This evening, for the first time in a long time, it occurred to me that I can sit across from someone I love and still feel my void half-empty, nowhere near half-filled. We can talk for hours, and still find ourselves repeating the same stories week after week. You don’t remember what you told me last week, forget what I told you, and I just play along to your tune. When was it, that moment I realized it’s easier this way?
Today it felt like I was hearing the slow crack of a glass window as the wind hit it hard, from the outside, the whole time I was inside. Today I thought, it’s like listening to the echo that reverberates around my center, long after that glass has shattered.
This evening I realized that you can love a lot of people in your life, and still find yourself maddeningly, defenselessly alone.
Know your fight is not with them
Yours is with your time here
Dream your dreams but don’t pretend
Make friends with what you are.
– John Mayer, The Age of Worry
The truth is, maybe I deliberately took the long way to arrive at this conclusion. Maybe it’s true; I knew it all along. So I made a poor attempt to soften the blow, one I knew was coming from a mile away. Maybe I knew it all along: you can love a lot of people in your life and understand, deep down in your heart, that they are the wrong ones for you.
Or maybe you’re not right for them.
you’re just not right for each other.
“It sounds to me like your support system – core support system – they… aren’t here.”
“But maybe I need to learn to give people a chance, too.”
I had a revelation the other day, a small one; obvious.
We put on different personas depending on our company. We adopt specific roles depending on who it is that’s sitting across from us, that maybe it’s more about who we are to them and less about what they are to us.
Our perceptions of each other don’t always align; I could think of the person as my best friend, that whole time we’re sitting face to face, while he or she thinks surprisingly little of me. We could laugh the hour away, and still not notice that we’re entertained by separate jokes. We could exchange similar ideas, and still fail to connect the dots. We could just as well sit right across from each other, perfectly spaced apart by a standard-issue dinner table, and not feel that anything is amiss.
I can love you for being the person that you are, and still feel a gap as wide and as deep as the Pacific Ocean, between us.
I can love you whole, and still find myself empty.
What now? Why now?
(Is it you? Is it me?)