Life as an Extreme Sport

Foolish Games

…and these foolish games are tearing me they’re tearing me apart…

I got yelled at Sunday night. Several times, by several different people. In fact, I’m beginning to suspect it’s becoming a sport for my friends – they seem to be competing to see who wins credit for screwing my head on right. Currently, the score is pretty unfair, because Jenna has many years of accumulating points under her belt. My mother trails a close second; again, she has years under her belt. Third place is currently unclaimed, and the latest round (tho vigorously fought for by both Jenna and my mother) was clearly won by The Swede.

…and your thoughtless words are breaking my heart you’re breaking my heart…

This conversation with The Swede wasn’t an easy one. I had run off earlier that day without him; I had a burning need inside of me to just run and flee, and I got as close as I could to flying away by simply getting in my car and driving. I ended up at the Japanese Gardens, off of Lake Washington. Beautiful, beautiful. In a lot of ways this alone re-energized me. I burned thru two rolls of film, I sat and wrote, I played with the koi and squirrels. After this, I just drove for a while, listening to Delerium and thinking.

I won’t deny what I was thinking about – it was, of course, Mars. I was overcome, actually, by a powerful urge to simply show up on his doorstep and talk. This made me sad, more than anything. I felt it showed an incredible lack of self control (tho admittedly I didn’t actually go anywhere or talk to anyone but a very attentive juvenile squirrel).

Instead of acting on impulse, I drove around a while and then came home. I almost immediately hopped onto the phone with Jenna, shutting the door behind me as I wandered into the office. After talking to her for two hours, I spoke with my mother. This was another hour. (During this time, The Swede wandered into the room to tell me he’d made me dinner. Of course, the conversation was more along the lines of “are you hungry?” “no.” “oh, I made you dinner.” – sigh, he looked so sad, too.)

After getting off the phone with my mother (who also yelled at me), I went out to the living room to ‘face The Swede.’ (Yes, that is how I was looking at it.) I ate a little, and we talked idly; he looked nervous and tightly drawn. I had a hard time keeping eye contact.

I don’t remember who started the conversation, but we did start talking. And what he mentioned first was that I don’t say “please” anymore – I did at first, but I’ve stopped in the last few days. I had a sinking feeling I knew what he meant, but I did ask for further explanation. He felt that I was more ordering him around than asking for his help – does that sound like a familiar complaint? Needless to say, it sent rather cold chills thru me, and made me feel even worse. Then I got to hear about how I actually shut the office door in his face – I hadn’t even seen he was behind me. Ugh; I was near tears at this point. I already knew I’d been so horrible to him the last week, but to hear it…

I told him everything. How I was feeling, how confused I was, how I didn’t want to hurt him and didn’t know what to say or do anymore. That, for better or worse, I’m simply falling to pieces, and having the bad timing of doing it while he’s here. I told him about Mars, and how torn I am there – how much I miss Mars, and want my marriage back. Of all the confusion that brings, and knowing it’s not possible, and wanting something with him, being able to see the beginnings of a future…

And he got teary, and sad, and then told me he was mostly sad for me. And yes, it hurt, but you know, he came here with nothing more than expectations and hope – and they were just expectations. That besides the fact I’ve been so miserable, things have been fun. That nothing is settled, nor does it need to be settled. He just talked, and reassured me, and told me he loved me for me and who I am, and that he wants to support me, wishes he could comfort me, and that there is no rush or pressure. The most amazing thing happened – altho I’ve had friends telling me similar things for the last week, altho Jenna royally lectured me, altho my Mom offered perspective and encouragement, it was these simple words of comfort and truth from The Swede that made all the difference. I felt a literal lightening of the load I’ve been carrying on my shoulders.

So what if I don’t have all the answers right now – I don’t need them. I simply need to relax, remember to breathe, and see where life leads me. Right now, it has led me into the wonderful arms of a wonderful man; who am I to complain?

…you were always the mysterious one with dark eyes and careless hair, you were fashionably sensitive, but too cool to care…

Yes, I miss Mars. All those things I said to him in both letters – the one not sent and the one sent – are true. I can’t be his friend right now; it’s raw and I just am not used of the idea. But my mother slapped me into perspective on this one (well, figuratively slapped) – how can I even think or want anything more if I can’t be his friend first. Maybe nothing will ever happen again. Maybe something in a few months, or a few years. Who knows. But what she did know was that nothing ever happens if you can’t first be friends.

Damned moms. When did they learn all the answers, anyhow?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to being his friend, or at least trying. I’ve decided to take baby steps, and see what happens. The first was posting on edgecase again after a long absense. The next was sending eMail – completely random and unplanned, but I would have felt awful had I not told him about His Holiness the Dalai Lama being in the States (especially since Mars might have a chance to see him). In a few weeks, when things have calmed down and I’ve had more time to think, I think I’ll ask him to coffee, or the Japanese Gardens, or something. Just to talk. I’d like to know more what he wants from me, what he expects.

I feel good about this decision. (Ignoring him wasn’t working – look at how badly I fell apart last week.)

For those of you who are wondering where this leaves The Swede, it leaves him right where he is. We’re still getting to know each other. We have no permanent holdings on each other, or anything like that. Life will unfurl as it will – I’m not going to focus or worry about decisions or settling anything. When it’s time to make decisions and settle things, I won’t break into a thousand sharp pieces at the mere thought of a decision. The fact that I felt so paralyzed and unable to act or choose a happy path was a really good indicator that I was rushing any decision making process.

As The Fabulous Miss Jenna has often commented, I can be too impatient for everyones good.

…always felt I was outside looking in on you…

Many of you have asked me what a Reno-situation is. This is the name I coined for the syndrome Mars and I suffered from while living in Reno. (Simple, eh?) This syndrome was very easy to spot; it involves one person having outside interests while the other has none but the first person. Or, to give a more detailed example:…

While living in Reno, I had nothing but Mars. Sure, there was TalkCity and school, but that didn’t take up much of my time. Mars was the center of my world. I sat and waited for him to come home every night, and wanted to spend every free moment of time with him. Mars, on the other hand, had work. Unlike me, he had no quiet time during the day, no time by himself. He often needed that, and because I was so clingy, I didn’t see or understand it. In my eyes, he had plenty of time without me, shouldn’t he want to spend all the rest with me?! Aah, blindness and 20/20 hindsight.

The situation was unfair to us both. He wanted to be everything to me and still have his own time, I needed him to be everything to me, and spend all his time with me. Neither of us could be happy in that situation – I don’t think anyone can be, really.

So, my current fears of a Reno-situation are, of course, with The Swede. I come home, he’s there until I go to sleep. I’ve literally shut the bathroom door on his nose a few times – something I feel guilty about, but yeesh, let me pee in private!

I finally stopped sucking and brought this up to him. How it feels almost claustrophobic to be followed all of the time, how I’d like to be able to have a conversation alone without having to ask him to leave, and how I’m worried we’re falling into a situation I’ve already been in (granted in the other shoes, but I know the outcome would be the same). I understand that he doesn’t have a lot to do here, but…

He understood, bless his soul. And he explained that he did feel he was clingy, but it’s fading – he knows I’m around now, he doesn’t need to always verify it. (Isn’t that just enough to make you melt right there?) He also explained other things, and since that talk has been so much better about my space. To be fair, he was probably being better about it before I talked with him; it’s noticably so, now.

I’m not so worried about a Reno-situation anymore.

… as I clumsily stroked my guitar…

Have you figured out that I’m going thru that list of items from the other day? Aaah, I knew you were all smart, of course you caught on to that.

I don’t do enough outside the house, for myself. I don’t have an excuse any more, either – work will pay for a lot of this. So, I gave myself a firm kick in the ass and have been looking into doing the following:
Tai chi – Classes start midJuly; 1.5hrs every Monday evening for 2 months. Cost – $68, will be reimbursed by work.
Ai chi – Aquatic tai chi. Classes start midJune; 50 minutes every Thursday afternoon for 6 weeks. Cost – $60, will be reimbursed by work.
Watercolours – A beginning class on watercolour painting and perspective. Meets Tuesday nights. Cost – $125+ supplies, will be reimbursed by work.
Dance class – A variety of classes at a variety of times. Cost varies, will be reimbursed by work. (See a theme?)
Photography – Variety of classes at a prestigious school. Cost varies, and yes, say it with me, “will be reimbursed by work.”

Beyond that? Hopefully Jenna will be here soon and we can find a place together. That will give me a chance to save money and spend it on things like a crafts table, painting supplies, photography, etc. I’m also looking into a paper route, just for the extra money.

… with nothing to say, besides some comment about the weather…

I’ve been feeling closed up, unsure of myself and what I’m feeling (I think the above explains why nicely). This has made me tight and tense and mostly untalkative unless you asked just the right question; then I spilled over into your life with my problems. Not something that makes me happy.

I forgot something pretty basic – the more you smile, the better you feel. I’ve been laughing and smiling a lot these last few days. Every time I laugh, my shoulders ease a bit more. It’s a good thing.

… and you’d speak of your loved ones…

Thank you. Thanks to all of you. Each of you has contributed something warm and wonderful to my life; each of you has listened to me cry and tried to make me laugh. You have each given me something so wonderful – your friendship.

Thank you for listening, caring, loving, trying to help. I love each and every one of you. I am truly blessed.