...and not driving all around me crazy while doing it.
I think my friends and family are ready to kill me, and I am not sure I am being facetious. This up and down emotional roller coaster that I have found myself riding is not recommended nor fun for anyone involved. And it seems like a more extreme ride with Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas around the corner. There is greater significance to this time of year than just the holidays. As I have measured out my life with coffee spoons...or breaks. Many bacon, I mean coffee, breaks.
And for clarity, the ride is not exactly a roller coaster, but rather one of those old school roller coaster-esque House of Horror rides that you find at the amusement parks. The ones where the ride goes through partitions made of hanging strings of plastic rubber into the depths of cheesy horror scenes filled with flashing lights, bone chilling sounds, and musty smells. I hate those rides. I am the one with his hands over his eyes peeking through the veil of my fingers. Just when I think the ride is almost over, the partition leads me to another predictable, yet no less jarring, scene.
And getting over the angst and sadness of the breakup with my ex-girlfriend Jane bears striking similarities to this iconic amusement park ride.
For instance, I was feeling pretty solid last Wednesday night, having sent a good parting-ways-for-now email to her. It felt like I was making my way through one of those sections where there is no surprises, the one where you think, "Maybe this is the end of the ride." And then, boom, the partition leads to a another scary scene.
This one was in the form of texts received from Jane on Thursday morning. One from the cab to the airport to say that she was sad I was not with her. The second was presumably from the plane, saying that it sucks that I was not coming to India with her, and that she was sorry for hurting me and sorry SHE could not make it work. Out jumps the "it frustrates me that she never understood that it was for US to make it work. Not each person individually, but together” mantra. It was supposed to be one of the pluses of a loving relationship. Can you really call two people a couple if there is only one person deciding the outcome of the relationship? My emotions were running away from me. Time to shut my eyes again.
With great determination, I was able to make it to the staging area between the ghoulish scenes. Also known as a trip to a spa, where I unwound and felt all was right with the world. By the way, for those whom have never experienced a actual spa before, I will let you in on the secret…it is awesome!. I spent my time there wandering around completely naked, flipping between steam rooms, and saunas, and ice cold tanks. Even mixed in a full body scrub. And when I say full body, I mean full body. The masseur did not miss a crevice.
The place was amazing and the feeling of being out there in my own skin, vulnerable and naked, was cathartic. And the feeling of being centered had me at peace. During which I was satisfied that the solution to my journey was to just love Jane simply, no expectations, no over-thinking. Living my life, and what the future holds is for me to find out. And remember that I can only be in control of my actions, of how I respond. This area of the ride felt like a safe place. Maybe it was almost over, I told myself.
Nope, the ride was not over. I next entered the section of the ride that seemed innocuous, but was not. And it was called Instagram, that insidious bastard wrapped in fun, innocent pictures. My hands were over my eyes, at this point, but the compulsion to peek through that veil was too great to resist. Shit. India's landscape is beautiful. I don't blame Jane for wanting to set up shop there and not come back. What an amazing trip to be taking. Why couldn't she be posting pictures of Lincoln, Nebraska?
And then came that gut wrenching feeling. That sweet, yet not so sweet, torture. The fact that I was not experiencing India with her. But it was more than that. The fact that I was not experiencing life with her. My love of travelling, exploring, and having adventures with someone for whom I am passionate not being sated. Instead I was staring at a house that did not seem to want to be organized. This led me down a brief, yet intense, spiral. The worst part of the ride. Fuck.
And this went, and still goes, back and forth, sometimes day to day, sometimes hour to hour.
Feeling good about organizing the house, but melancholy that the house reminds me more of her than anyone else save maybe my boys. Feeling happy picturing Jane enjoying her friend's wedding. Feeling regret about not communicating more using Facetime when she was away, as text is unreliable as an emotion-communicating tool (due to a lack of verbal AND non-verbal cues).
Feeling positive about volunteering at a food bank. Feeling distressed by vivid dreams about running into Jane while trying to avoid seeing her. Feeling calm after conversations with my brothers and friends.
Feeling sad that we will not be going back to that fair to ride the House of Horrors ride again.
I hate the ride. But I loved riding it with her.
The Loneliness One dare not sound by Emily Dickinson
The Loneliness One dare not sound—
And would as soon surmise
As in its Grave go plumbing
To ascertain the size—
The Loneliness whose worst alarm
Is lest itself should see—
And perish from before itself
For just a scrutiny—
The Horror not to be surveyed—
But skirted in the Dark—
With Consciousness suspended—
And Being under Lock—
I fear me this—is Loneliness—
The Maker of the soul
Its Caverns and its Corridors