I changed the words of the psalm because I am crying to you, my Fanagans, the ones I turn to in both joy and pain. Somehow, I knew it was going to happen, but I did not expect it to affect me this deeply.
I got a text message from an old friend congratulating Dana and me because now we could get married in Texas. I mean, obviously an old friend because Dana and I broke up in February… or at least, I think it was February. This entire year has just been a blur of activity.
I feel the loss acutely. The loss of family, the loss of friend, the lost of comfort and safety and home and all of those things that marriage represents. The wisdom is that it was a loss I needed, a catalyst toward greater things because when I said I wanted them, Dana did not want them with me. She doesn’t like that I’m a blogger, doesn’t like how my writing affects her, and I accept it. She thinks that I have the capability to lead millions, but thinks that those people are more important than she is. I validate that those are her feelings, but they were never my own. There will never be another person like her in my life… but now, she is just a memory. When she said that she didn’t want to be a part of this life, I let her go. I released her into the ether and sometimes I see her in my dreams and we go for coffee, just like we did on the ground. But nothing more. Not ever.
What I realized is that our patterns together were never going to get me where I needed to go. That I was never going to achieve much by just hanging out, going with the flow, doing nothing. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my nothing quite a bit. Many deep conversations will live in my memory because we gave ourselves the space for them to happen. We sat in the backyard, we sat on the couch, we sat at the kitchen table, just talking. Wisdom always happens when you’re doing something else.
The thing is, though, those conversations were not being followed by actions, because we just enjoyed our nothing so much. When I noticed that our nothing box was leading to inaction, she took it as a personal affront, thought I was saying that because of her, I wasn’t succeeding. It was never my truth, but it was hers. My truth is that I thought of doing great things, but I also enjoyed the sweet, still moments, and I lingered in them a little too long for someone that’s about to be 38. I felt the pull of mortality, that I would not be able to do what I perceived I’d been sent here to do on this planet, that I felt a calling greater than myself… while sitting on the couch and talking about it but not putting anything into action. The fault was in how much time I was sitting around doing nothing, not her.
It was also easy to let go knowing how much she thinks of me as the manipulator. The actor, and never the responder. It always takes two to tango, and I am shamed beyond belief because some of the emotional arrows she threw stuck to my heart in a way that it’s taking major emotional surgery to get them out. Anything that happened in that relationship, save leaning on Argo for emotional support instead of Dana, is ours to own and not just me.
The biggest thing is that I explore myself to a frightening degree, and Dana just wasn’t down for it. Didn’t want to explore herself and get answers as to who she was and why she acts the way she acts and who she is in the larger picture of the network, the one we all strive to achieve. My asking her to do it was not well-received.
It was taken as launching emotional grenades and waiting for them to go off, when I thought of them as peeling back the layers of an onion, wanting her to open up to me when she would not.
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
– H. L. Mencken
I didn’t want to marry anyone who wouldn’t dig deep, didn’t want me to know them on that level. In the end, it was that way with Argo, too. They thought I was just pushing their buttons, when in reality, I thought they’d never answered those questions because no one had ever asked. I was trapped in this cycle of my closest friend and my wife battling me over stupid shit because they didn’t want to open up.
In a way, I was more surprised that Argo thought I was trying to push her buttons because the entire reason we became friends was to be able to ask those questions of each other, open up in a way that we never had before. When it became clear that I was going too deep for them, they both pushed me away, so I retreated to my own silence, asking those questions of myself.
I thought that by asking questions of them, they would ask questions of me. That we would all be able to wrestle with our demons in order to release them. They grew tired of what they viewed as bringing up old shit, when I found that it was the only thing that gave me the strength to keep going. That knowing myself was a battle for which I was initially unprepared, but has brought me more gifts than anyone could possibly imagine.
I can’t breathe when I think of all the times I thought I was starting a dialogue and they thought I was starting a war. That I became this person that wanted to meddle instead of this person that was just curious. You never think you’re being nosy when it’s a close friend and your wife. In my mind, it was information that I’d hope we’d want to know about each other.
We’d all fought our separate wars, and I wanted to hear their stories. But you can’t get anyone to tell you a story if they don’t wanna.
I lifted myself out of the situation so begrudgingly. I thought they both had so much more to share, so much more meat to chew that we left unresolved.
In a way, it tells me that it’s time to find people that will share their stories. That aren’t threatened by introspection. That do not take my knowing of them as a threat. It turns my attention away from them, because while they were the people I needed then, they are not the people I need, now.
How I wish they could be, though.