In my observation, this is a conversation that needs to happen in the mirror.
I assume that you assume this narrative is a conversation happening between myself and someone else. In some ways, this is true. However, allow me to assure you in advance that these two entities, separate but equally powerful in their own rights, reside in one single dwelling.
It’s cramped and congested.
It’s welcoming and cold.
It’s fun and friendly.
It’s horrible and homey.
It’s a perfect dichotomy of pieces that fit perfectly together in shatters and shambles and smiles.
It’s an absolute description of me, myself, and I.
Another birthday is upon me, and as I look back at my 32 — my Year of Learning — I am satisfied that I did what I set out to do. I drank too much, slept to excess, made more friends-for-a-minute than I could count, had money, went broke, and found a million ways to really fuck some shit up.
So, here we are.
My Dearest December: You always shed a blanket of mystery and anticipation upon my anxious soul.
And so it is for you, my Dearest December, that I write these words.
Until recently, I knew I was a wounded bird. I understood that I didn’t know how to speak. I realized that my ways of dealing with conflict aren’t up to par with those of the typical American adult.
What I did not realize, is how much turbulence truly does live in my heart and mind, body and soul.
Then one day… so suddenly… so unexpectedly…
I met a man that made me remember what it was like to have my heart sing. In the last two months, I’ve felt the most amazing and significant love. I think it’s always been in me… somewhere… hiding…
Perhaps I didn’t want to let it out. Perhaps it took someone special to hold the key.
I don’t know. I think I never will know. Or maybe I’ve known all along?
In any case, I’ve been tasked with the terrible duty of figuring out why I keep fucking up. After all, who wants to admit that being “this guy” is part of your genetic makeup?
For clarity, I struggle between the conflict of nature versus nurture. I believe that two halves make a whole. I subscribe to the fact that experiences make you you. I know that my history has made me me.
What I don’t understand is how to reconcile my internal conflicts. I don’t know if I’m facing a friend or a foe, and I don’t know how to distinguish the difference.
Through deaths and rape, through smiles and milestones, through the good and the bad, I’ve put up enough walls to keep out some debris while letting trash flood corners of my existence. The amazing and beautiful things in my life — my friends, family, and fond memories — they all have their place. They put on their superhero capes when I’m falling off of a ledge, and they use their invincible powers to keep me in a safe place.
I didn’t realize the structure of my walls was all fucked up until recently. It wasn’t until I laughed harder and longer than I had since high school — until I had butterflies in my stomach that would make the Botanic Gardens jealous — until I got excited to come home just so I could be near him —
It wasn’t until then that I realized that I have no idea how to just be. Clearly, it’s time for me to get back on my yoga mat.
The internal conflict inside my being is turbulent. It’s terrible. It’s nothing anybody should ever have to endure. While my heart flutters and flies, my mind and emotions play tricks, and each one lies. I don’t know which way is down and which is up. I have no idea how to turn my dial down, and I think my sound button is broken.
I am mute.
That sentence speaks volumes.
For whatever reason, perhaps those which I’ll never know, he forgives me. I’ve been downgraded, don’t get me wrong. I crave the closeness — the skin-to-skin — the masculine arms that make me feel safe and protected. I yearn for the moments when I’m encapsulated in his presence, surrounded by nothingness and content in the moment that captured me in the beginning.
But I’ve really fucked up.
For whatever reason, he let’s me be around. It’s a blessing, and I know he doesn’t know the gravity of his gift. He also doesn’t know the pain that I endure when I try to act as any normal adult female should.
It hurts my feelings… my soul… my heart…. my being… that I can’t be what would be amazing for him. I want so badly to be that “beautiful” woman that he fell in like with when we met. I can’t remember the last time someone told me I look nice or said, “Good morning, beautiful” so softly and gently as the sun shone into my windows. I also can’t remember the last time that I had such a miserably hard time letting someone appreciate being around me.
I just keep wanting more.
Is that human nature?
Is that selfish?
Is selfish human nature?
I know that one day soon, I’ll come home, and he’ll be gone. I can’t blame him. Why would he stay? Do you hear the turbulence with which he lives? He doesn’t know if he’s living with a friend or foe.
Neither do I.
I’ve built parachutes and pillows around my friends, and I try my damnedest to always be there if they fall. They’re always there for me, too. In this equation, one thing is missing.
I’ve either forgotten to build in my own protective device… or I’ve installed a piece of equipment that malfunctions at the most inopportune times.
It’s me and you. We need to figure this out. We’re leaving 32. Going forward, are you going to be friend? Or are you choosing to remain foe?