What comes around goes around. I love that saying. So many notable quotables are either overwhelmingly optimistic or way too cynical. This one just asks for balance in the world. And this is the one, as more time goes by, proves to always be true.
Naturally, there is a not-so-hidden wickedness in this idea. An eye for an eye and so on. I realize putting out such bad energy is not good for the soul, blah, blah, blah. That passes. But it never passes completely. It just lessens over time. It lessens cuz you no longer think or wish it but if the subject comes up, the pang is still there.
In this world of immediate gratification and scorned folks, paybacks are always on the menu but we never quite know when it will be served. Life is sneaky that way. And while it is a universally held belief that what goes up must come down, I had my doubts. Justice isn’t always served while on your watch. Sometimes, it happens when your off duty. So off duty you don’t even give a fuck anymore. But trust me, it happens, even if it’s not the way you pictured it.
What spurred this revelation you ask? Oddly enough, it came from some sideline viewing of a breakup. I have no real tie to the story and know one of the parties through work. The gist is this – his long time on-again, off-again who he never deemed good enough to marry found someone who does and now he’s re-thinking his whole philosophy. More context, yes? Well not two weeks ago, the same fellow was dating like a fiend in order to get away from on-again, off-again in order to find someone (in a more methodical fashion) who he deemed more worthy of his lifelong affection. I mostly tuned this out cuz said gent has always spoken of this particular lady in an offhand manner, which due to my current male hate state of mind, was I needed to avoid. No thanks. But suffice to say, his story, at the time, did not extinguish my fire. Blah blah blah. Fast forward and oh, the mighty have fallen.
Do I sound glib or heartless? I don’t mean to be. It’s sad to see someone be so devastated but it’s also something that is of his own doing. My sympathy might be higher if the circumstances did not hold a certain repugnancy for me but in truth, they do. They most passionately do.
It’s always upset me when relationships are so very lopsided. Not that it’s not common but as per usual in my world, the ladies are the ones overcompensating for these meandering fucks aka men. Oh, did I mention, it’s usually the guys I’m friends with? Yah…not great.
Maybe cuz I’m a lady or maybe I just root for the underdog but I’ve always found it so upsetting when one refers to their partner in such disrespectful ways behind her back. It’s not the usual couple bitching either. It’s the kind of offhand manner in which they speak of their partners. As if they don’t matter (cuz they don’t). But they’re all hugs and kisses when they are with them. It’s not that they don’t have affection for their “loved” ones, it’s that they love themselves more. It makes me wonder if he’s actually invested in her or just lonely enough to “settle” for the current edition. Watching that dynamic always makes me a little sick and a lot angry. There is no kindness. I’ve found that whenever this happens, especially if they speak ill of their partner from the start, they’ve already marked the end. At the most cynical, these people are simply placeholders until the person they really want arrives. At its most truthful, it’s that these are people are afraid to be alone and need companionship to fill their void. Fuck ‘em.
As I said, man hate was at a particular high.
So, color me surprised, that such a “sad” event has actually had a weirdly profound effect on me. While my man hate was actually waning on its own, this has helped squelch it a little bit more. Perhaps it was watching a man in agony over a lady he’s pushed aside so many times. Or maybe it was just seeing the universe in action. I honestly do not wish this man pain but seeing the world mete out its own brand of justice filled me with…hope. Odd right? Life is so funny that way. I cry and then I laugh.
My friend sent me a story about a male newlywed who realized marriage wasn’t for him. This was super misleading as it was more about the affirmation of love and marriage than what the title would suggest. Basically, on the brink of his wedding, the guy was concerned if he was ready for marriage/if he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this girl, etc. In seeking some sort of answer, he went to his dad, who schooled him as such – marriage isn’t for you but for your partner. It’s about lack of selfishness. It’s about giving. It’s about wanting to love someone more than yourself. About making them happy for the rest of their lives (not you, well, not ALL about you) and they, hopefully, in turn for you.
At first I was puzzled cuz it seemed to go against all logic. Make the person happy with no thought to yourself? Huh? What? And then it started to make more sense. It’s not that our selfishness will not find us. But it’s the desire to redirect that. To think of someone other than me, me me. The best example of pure and unconditional love is between a parent and child. The kid comes first. Period. And when my mind followed that road, the rest of the article’s logic kicked in.
When I think of the couples that do work, I realize they do share the quality the newlywed’s dad spoke of – they think of the other person first. Not always. But a lot. I’ve seen my friends do acts of kindness big and small (that can easily be taken for granted) for their significant others and it’s purely for their sake. To be their support system. To put whatever their needs are at the moment above their own. To always think of themselves as a unit. Time will tell whether they last the lifetime but their relationships do seem healthy. They just make sense. Bottom line, they don’t make me roll my eyes.
These other ones…the ones filled with poor decisions made in easy moments by weak fucks. Those just make me mad. The focus of love is no longer on the whole but on the part so why should it ever be a surprise when it falls apart?
My friend once told me I love hard, real fucking hard. I understand that better everyday. I’m fiercely loyal and true. And when you break my heart, I still find justifications for the actions. Understanding actions where no consideration has been dealt to me. How I would put them above me. Thinking about all of this within the context of that article put my head on a bit straighter too. All this time, I felt so foolish for caring above my load. But now, I see it isn’t so much that I was pathetic. It’s just the focus of my affections was off, not the actual affection itself.
Isn’t it funny…when something ends, the hardest part is always re-learning to put yourself first again. To let everyone else be second place. To make sure what he wants and who he is no longer has any weight in my life. I never fully realized how beautiful that actually can be. To have been able to put aside my notions for that moment in time. To love and want to love even if you aren’t loved equally in return. Unrequited can suck but knowing I have the capacity for that type of affection is also a reward. It just doesn’t feel that way at the time.
Also revelatory is being thankful for the guys that didn’t work out after all. In the moment, you want nothing more than to win their affections forever and ever! But when that moment passes, you realize – oh wait, you were never worthy to begin with. You could never give me what I needed. Seeing that darkness turn to light…that all those horrible turns these men did unto me were actually gifts. Ha! It’s not the first time I’ve thought about it in this context but it’s been long enough where it warrants epiphany status. Thanks assholes for breaking my heart. Not so much for the breaking but for teaching me lessons I couldn’t have learned any other way.
So now I acknowledge. I know how to love and I know how I want to be loved and how I deserved to be love. There is some wiggle room in there but not a ton. What distresses me, in all these terrible man circumstances, is how being with someone who has no idea what they want can be so incredibly detrimental. Perhaps it’s not just lopsidedness of affection of a lack of focus and direction. One side has it. The other doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing. Fun times!
My friend recently told me it’s great that I know what I want cuz so few do. I can’t say I have my life mapped out in any particular way but I have fairly strong (not set, note the difference) ideas of what I want and deserve in my life. I don’t have some weird rom com checklist of man characteristics I need fulfilled. I know that even if I had a list, I’d throw it away the minute I met someone I liked. It’s how it goes.
I’m aware of compromise and I’m aware of my shortcomings too. But hearing my dear friend say that gave me such reassurance. So many times, I’ve been chided for my definitive nature. For my passionate beliefs one way or the other. For my morals that might border on self-righteousness. That perhaps I should lower my standards or give people more chances, even though I already know the answer. I’ve doubted myself so much cuz I let myself be susceptible to everyone else’s doubts. As such, I am constantly reevaluating my morals, my belief system, my way of being.
Well, I’m a bit more tired and more weary from this well-worn road. I will always wonder if my road is the best one I could have traveled. What I will carry with me NOW is that the road I chose WAS the best road because it was the road I needed to go down AT THE TIME. I will own this.
Choices always seem easier in hindsight, don’t they? Being plagued by misgivings is a part of life but it doesn’t mean I have to always fall under its pressures.
My friend was right. I do know what I want. What I lacked was the confidence to stand by my convictions. I’m not an easily swayed person but I am a curious one. If odd paths look enticing, I will try them out but if they’re not for me, they’re not for me. I can say that now. But maybe not always back then.
Life can be paved with regret and I think every life should have a few. If only to say, I made some mistakes and yet here I stand. When things don’t go my way, my mind always hits all the details. As if wearing my hair down versus up one day would suddenly turn the tide. Why is it so human of us to always think ONE thing affects the entirety? The butterfly effect is not always true to life.
I still struggle with my “way” as I ramble down my current path. I will always second guess certain actions and not fully trust in the adage that things will work out for the best. Too neurotic and human to trust in faith so easily. But on days like today, maybe I can.
So my resurgence of faith has come out of something sad for my acquaintance. To find faith in someone’s tragedy is oddly sweet. Granted it’s not my sadness for once but even if it were, I think it would be alright if another saw a silver lining on my dark cloud. It’s befitting of the balance. It would be more acceptable to say I met a wonderful couple and they made me believe in love again. But alas, in my twisted manner, it is the undoing of an incongruent pair that has made me believe life can and will always find its equilibrium.
That, and karma is a motherfucking bitch (and one I hope will be devastatingly kind to me…and maybe not so kind to others). I’m a good person (really!) but I’m still a human! Always human.