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Evasions - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Evasions
I managed to get out of the social half of next week's Away Day. It involves going bowling. They tried to convince me that this should take precedence over staying in the office and trying to meet the August 1st deadline for the Graduate Prospectus (not to mention getting the Reporter published on time that day), but I put my foot down. Having refrained from insisting on a day's holiday earlier (and missed out on spending extra time with a loved one as a result), in order to guarantee meeting this bloody deadline, I'm buggered if I'm going to be pressured into wasting half a day on something I don't even want to do.

Today I am missing people I have no right to miss. Not their fault, for they never promised me anything and have given me more than I hoped for; but sometimes I can't help dreaming. A dear friend told me today "You deserve to have someone's whole heart." She's wrong. Nobody has anybody's whole heart; everybody has so many commitments in so many different directions that the best any of us can hope for is the fragments of time (and there were days between) left over after everything else has been done.

And there are so many things still to be done. (And miles to go before I sleep.)

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vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: July 20th, 2004 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

wholeheartedness

Time with you ought not be leftovers from everything else that has been done. Wholeheartedness is the acknowledgement that yes, money has to be earned, and some time needs to be spent on one's soul/innerbeing/etc, but otherwise, you are the person of choice, and everyone else is in some way, actually, an add-on. You deserve to be someone's first choice, and that someone should be in a position to act on that choice, and be able to accept what you have to give - which is considerable.

But you have the right to miss anyone. You're right, you can't help it, and why should you put yourself in a false position by denying your own truth?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 20th, 2004 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

I don't think I've ever been anybody's first choice except where they've been the sort of person who couldn't imagine that anybody -- including me -- would choose them. In those cases I've not so much been their first choice (they don't tend to see that they have any right to "choose" because Nobody Would Want Them Anyway) as the person that they might, under duress, be prepared to admit isn't pushing them away.

To be honest I really don't think I'd know what to do if somebody actually wanted to spend time with me first and foremost. Fortunately it's unlikely to happen.

No, I can't help missing people, but I probably should resist talking about it when they're not mine to miss.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: July 21st, 2004 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

I probably should resist talking about it when they're not mine to miss

Feelings aren't in the realm of "rights", and so if you miss someone you miss them. The fact that you can't be their primary person doesn't invalidate your feelings, nor your validity in expressing them. Pain is bad but it's the being told you can't have it/express it/acknowledge it which is downright damaging.

Why, exactly, resist talking about it now and again when you're feeling that way?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 21st, 2004 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

Why, exactly, resist talking about it now and again when you're feeling that way?

Because sometimes it makes things worse. If the person I'm missing feels pressured by me talking about it then they'll probably just decide they don't want to waste time on someone who keeps selfishly demanding their attention, and then I'll miss them even more.

It's a balancing act: keeping quiet enough that they don't feel like I'm making demands, but not so quiet that they completely forget I exist. (And if I lose concentration I might forget that I exist, and then where would I be? ... Happier, possibly.)
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: July 21st, 2004 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

If the person I'm missing feels pressured by me talking about it then they'll probably just decide they don't want to waste time on someone who keeps selfishly demanding their attention

If the only thing that keeps them from feeling they're "wasting their time" on you is your silencing yourself, then they are already deep in a hole which does neither of you any good. If they're involved with you then they gave you permission to be yourself and to let them deal with their own consequences. If they're adults, that is. You deserve to be with someone who can row their own boat.

Life can be lived, however, missing someone like blazes, knowing sth will never work out with that person, and still actually finding happiness with someone else. It's hard to imagine that this might be so, fear of the pain of separation being awful to contemplate, but at least entertaining the possibility that one might be happy with A.N. Other is worth five or ten seconds of one's time.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 21st, 2004 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

You deserve to be with someone who can row their own boat.

But the people who can row their own boat are rowing along happily in their own direction, with or without company, and don't want a miserable neurotic child clinging to them.

[...] and still actually finding happiness with someone else

Finding happiness with anyone, ever seems monumentally unlikely at the moment. I have to become something I'm not -- something loveable, something interesting enough for somebody to be willing to put up with it hanging around all their life -- and I don't know how. :-(
sion_a From: sion_a Date: July 21st, 2004 07:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

You already are interesting enough ... and I think you're loveable.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 21st, 2004 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

That's "interesting" in the Chinese sense, right? :-/
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: July 22nd, 2004 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

something loveable, something interesting enough for somebody to be willing to put up with it hanging around all their life

You are loveable and you are interesting - maybe not simultaneously, all the time. But that isn't required of you nor of anybody else. It isn't possible. Being an imperfect human isn't a good reason to decidethat one doesn't deserve to be someone else's primary.

Some of the time you might be a "neurotic child", but you definitely aren't that all of the time, either. You've got lots of adult in there and even some bit of parent wanting to struggle out from time to time :-) - Frex, you did a very adult thing in refusing to go bowling and in determining to meet your deadlines. Very row-your-own-boat decision. You deserve to have that acknowledged, and OK, my doing so isn't the same as immediate respect from your boss or colleagues, but I think it's a very respectable decision, honest and right, and I say go, you, for respecting yourself and your work.

willing to put up with it You're not an "it", you're a human being with all the bits.
Some of which may contradict each other, but what of it?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 22nd, 2004 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

Ironic, really: at work I felt like I was the one who was being immature about the Away Day, refusing to see the bigger picture of 'bonding' with my cow-orkers (or whatever it's supposed to achieve) because I wanted to do the stuff I thought was important. <shrug> Perspective is a funny thing.

The bits of parent wanting to struggle out are something I think I need to try to repress or get rid of altogether, somehow. It just upsets me too much thinking about the children I'll never have. If it wasn't for that I'd probably be quite happy just being people's secondary choice; but I don't want the co-parent of my children to be somebody who sees me as just a stop-gap between their real commitments.

(Mind you I should probably be thankful that I can't have children; what on earth kind of a mess would they be with me for a parent?)
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: July 23rd, 2004 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

The bits of parent wanting to struggle out are something I think I need to try to repress or get rid of altogether, somehow.

That's a very Parental statement, actually.
But this: I don't want the co-parent of my children to be somebody who sees me as just a stop-gap between their real commitments is BRILLIANT, adult, spot-on thinking: YES, yes, YES!!! You are SO RIGHT.

Here's another parental statement: what on earth kind of a mess would they be with me for a parent?) Sheesh; what parent is that? Some awfully condemning and heavy-handed one who is crushing to a child and insulting to an adult, but not the kind of parent you'd be. You wouldn't say that to a child of your own, you're too caring.

If you physically can't have kids I'm immensely sorry that you have that particular row to hoe. I have three close friends in that state of being and it does take a shedload of time and effort to work through it; they have, I'm happy to report, and have an immense capacity for love and fun.

Your hypothetical children would be well-loved and enjoy your passionate commitment, and that is really all that matters. You would be loyal to them to the best of your considerable ability. And they would be merry, thoughtful, articulate, wiity, lovers of music and beauty; as well as stroppy, sometimes mean, sometimes dirty, sometimes clean [/Shirley Hughes] --- in other words, quite normal human beings, but having your delightful qualities in good measure.

And as those are partly nurture, as well as nature, if you and A.N. Other, the one who is able to commit to you, that is, end up adopting you'll still have lovely kids.

Negative thinking usually involves believing one can accurately predict the future and it Will Be Bad - but most folks actually don't have some accurate crystal ball, and the chances are at least 50-50 that Things Will Turn Out Better than one thinks.
hairyears From: hairyears Date: July 21st, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness




In those cases I've not so much been their first choice (they don't tend to see that they have any right to "choose" because Nobody Would Want Them Anyway) as the person that they might, under duress, be prepared to admit isn't pushing them away.


I should splutter indignantly and say "How can she say that? How cruel!" but I don't want to clean the coffee out of the keyboard twice in a day. That, and I've seen it, and know damn' well it's true, and quite close enough to home, too.

So what? It's only 'those cases' and it's their problem, not yours. Sad cases are not the whole world and you are surrounded by rather better material... and I've seen them choose you, at least two different people who were both desirable and desired. As far as I can judge such a thing, anyway.

I really don't think I'd know what to do if somebody actually wanted to spend time with me first and foremost.

You'll think of something: you really do have a lot to give. Or maybe I don't know you at all and should just shut up.


j4 From: j4 Date: July 22nd, 2004 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wholeheartedness

[splices bits of brain] Okay, I'm slow, I've just worked out who you are. I think I must have missed the announcement of the name-change...

and I've seen them choose you, at least two different people who were both desirable and desired

Now wondering who you're thinking of. The only people I can think of who you'll have seen "choose me" are people who no longer even keep in touch with me...

Or maybe I don't know you at all and should just shut up.

Sometimes I feel like nobody knows me at all; doesn't mean they have to shut up, though.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: July 22nd, 2004 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
In other circs, bowling's OK though.
Haven't been for ages - quite fancy it now you've mentioned it.
MUST get down to the local crown green soon, too.
imc From: imc Date: July 22nd, 2004 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
The bowling that comes with Super Monkeyball is quite good. :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: July 22nd, 2004 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but I can't see them organising a work outing to go and play computer games -- now, I'd go on that, if I didn't have looming deadlines. Talking of deadlines... back to the grindstone.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 22nd, 2004 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Whatever floats your boat. I just think it's boring... We used to go to the bowling alley occasionally when I was a teenager, and the actual bowling was just something to be endured briefly for the sake of getting to spend ages on the pinball machine and the air-hockey table. :)
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