The Smoking Cheese

It’s finally lunchtime after a long and productive morning. I’m ready to quit and get some perspective/rest before I go back at it. There are weekly and monthly processes that need to run, and both of them had to be done this morning. Nothing was hard, just time-consuming and thus, the need for a break. If I can get this blog entry finished quickly, I may even actually get up from my desk. 🙂 I usually don’t, because I like to have a solid hour of writing- it actually is my form of rest, because it’s engaging a different part of my brain.

However, today is a bit difficult because I’m not sure what to say. This weekend was delicious in its simplicity, but not much new to report except that I made another friend on OKCupid that is hella smart and thoughtful, an INTP that asks deep, probing questions… and I thought I was an intense personality. It felt good to have someone to write to that would answer with questions and answers that were equally thought-provoking and intuitive, as her personality dictates.

I sometimes come up as perceiving rather than judging, which I generally take to mean “you’re not as much of an asshole as you usually are.” I’ve used that line before, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Judgment is swift and doesn’t require as much thoughtful process as perceiving what is happeningi n the moment without comment. I am trying to lean into it, but, like Jesus, I also have my table-flipping moments. I don’t think there will ever be a time in which I completely cross over, but I can try.

There’s no limit to the things I am capable of learning if I try, so fingers crossed.

Yesterday, there was no one I wanted to tell more than Argo about this newfound writer, and it hurt knowing I should stay away, because not communicating has kept so much of my feelings about the situation at bay. I still pray for her all the time, and I figure that if I can keep doing it, forgiveness will continue to flow from me, and I won’t get as lost in anger, regret, and shame. I don’t wish to continue the pattern of escalated language on both sides, but I really miss the days in which we laughed, and oh, how we laughed.

It is way more fun to giggle at the memories of her, because while she does have a hard edge sometimes, she’s also kind of a goofball, and that’s what I miss the most.

But time does not go backwards, ever. I leave a door open for her just because I can, but that doesn’t mean she’d ever be willing to walk through it. I am sure that I, in some ways, should close the door and be done… but there are too many good memories to let them overtake the bad ones. I am just not that kind of person… the kind that constantly focuses on the negative so that it’s easier to let go of someone permanently. I tried, and it just didn’t work for me. It was much easier and inherent to who I am to focus on the laughter and let the pain float away, day by day, piece by peace.

She’s not the only person with whom I threw a match on a bridge, trying to walk away, but I don’t carry as much regret over the others, because they were relationships that needed to end. Perhaps this one does, as well, but I am not strong enough to say that to myself… at least, not yet. But I have stopped the practice of burning the candle at both ends trying to think of ways to rebuild the bridge we broke. That was killing little bits of me, because it was one step forward, two steps back, and over time, I realized that what had been torn asunder could not be rebuilt quickly or easily… there are only so many apologies you can make over e-mail, without the ability to look into each other’s eyes and see real emotion.

I just keep reminding myself that planes go both ways, and when Dana and I lived in Houston, there was nothing keeping her from coming to visit us just as easily as there was nothing keeping us from going to visit her. If we’d really wanted to meet on the ground, it would have happened by now.

And perhaps that is the saddest part of all, because I think it would have cleared up an amazing amount of bullshit very, very quickly. I think we both would have thought the other was funny and brilliant in a different way than could have ever been conveyed over e-mail, because I am a simple woman. It doesn’t take much to make me double over with laughter. It also doesn’t take much for me to tear up with remorse, and in some ways, I think Argo is owed that, rather than an apology in black and white… to be able to say in real time that I was in a very shitty place and I couldn’t handle my “stuff.” This is not to say that I don’t think she handled everything perfectly and I didn’t, just to say that I own my part in everything that went down.

The other thing I’ve learned over time is not to take too much responsibility, like apologizing over and over for her perceptions and not my reality… I was awfully hard on myself, and good at it, whether it was my deal or not.

But it took a long time to think all that through, because I have a tendency to take on every problem in every relationship, rather than realizing that I can only own 50 percent of a relationship and not all 100.

I’ve probably written sentences like this a thousand times, but said friend had been reading my blog and it opened that can of worms for me…. again.

But not in a bad way, just a re-realization that perhaps I can stop beating myself up quite so badly. I say things to myself that I’d never say to anyone else, and I have to ask myself the hard question of, “if you wouldn’t treat others like that, why do you do it to yourself?” In some ways, that answer is easy. It’s an ingrained pattern over years and years. Breaking it does not come overnight… but slowly, in the night, as I dream my way into wholeness.

In my dreams, Argo and I have the conversations we need to have so that I wake up with more clarity and not less. It is inconvenient, though, that I only hear the things I want to hear rather than the things she might actually have to say. But perhaps that would only open a door to more pain, and I’m willing to avoid that entirely.

If there’s any hope in this garbage dump of a situation, it’s that eventually pain will pass and either I will have peace within myself or we both will, enough to be able to talk without the spectors of who we used to be.

But I’m not holding my breath. I just think her feelings matter, and it is just as important for me to hear them out as it is for me to find peace within myself. However, knowing that these things are equally important helps me to know that I’m always going to be okay either way.

I look forward to more thought-provoking questions from my INTP friend, because it helps to provide perspective on my internal ruminations that may or may not feed into reality, and having someone call me out on it is a lifeline.

I just hope that I listen as equally well as I talk, because she is just as interesting as me, if not more so. I seem to do so much better one-on-one than I do in social situations with more people than that… I feel as if I can have a relationship with one person, or a relationship with a thousand when I’m up in front of them, because I can connect with an audience far better than I can connect with people at a party.

But in this era of new things, perhaps that is the next step… to stop being such a wallflower… because I come in two flavors. The life of the party for fifteen minutes and then I’m ready to go home, or the person that sits quietly in the corner hoping that no one notices me, because my “get up and go got up and left.” I also get nervous in person as opposed to writing because there is no delete key… no safety net.

For instance, at the Folklife Festival, Hawkeye and I were walking around and I saw this big wooden shack that said, “cheese smoking.” I said, “I wonder how they get the cheese to start smoking.” The joke fell so flat that I wanted to crawl into the ground, but I thought it was *hilarious.*

And on that note, I have to get back to work. See you on the flip side.

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