Saturday, July 23, 2011

For the back of my closet

Dear [Secret]
I have months where you dont cross my thoughts at all. And then there are days at a time where the thought of you rests heavy on my mind. I'm not quite sure why either. Because I am more than comfortable with the reality of our non-existant relationship. I'm not disappointed by the distance between us; I think its quite right. And I do not possess the courage to bridge the gap that has been rightly created. I am cowardly, but mostly I know that reconnecting would be to no end. Because I dont want anything from you and I have nothing to give in return. No thoughtful words of enlightenment or wisdom. Which is why it is so confusing to me that after forgetting about you for a time, all the sudden something will remind me of you, and I'll be overcome with the desire to speak to you again. Its to no end. The friends I confide in roll their eyes and quickly change the subject, all the while non-verbally letting me know that I am pathetic and ought to be more self-restrained; as if my desire is pure romantic folly. Or maybe I project my own feelings on them; my inability to leave thoughts of you be, there is nothing more pitiful. But like you once told me "I wish that the silence between us wasn't so alienating."
This time I kept thinking about conversations of substance. And being a person of substance. Its funny the little things that I choose to remember in moments like this. The endless emails you and your father share, where you discuss everything and anything. Sitting around your families dinner table, listening to the conversation. And being intimidated by both. Maybe I've blown the significance out of proportion, but I dont think so. Because there is something completely charming about it to me. Charming and mildly terrifying. Really talking always requires a certain amount of straightforwardness, openness and honesty. And being seen, really seen, leaves me with the feeling that I will always come up lacking.
I think I give the impression that I am full of substance - I avidly write in journals, and read classic literature (and appear arrogant about both). But lately as I've been evaluating myself, I fear that I fall short on substance. Oh sure, I debate life like any 14 year old girl. But actually thinking and feeling deeply about complicated matters -  well I get tired and never delve too deeply. I would rather be entertained than informed. Conversations of substance, isnt that what ought to be happening with those I profess to be closest to? Shouldnt I be more than just the routine of my life? I do not know how to go about sitting with the people I love the most and actually talking about the things that are important. Actually talking and listening, about things of substance and significance? Well that can be uncomfortable and it is so much easier to just avoid it. I suppose thats why I am so much better written or even on the phone. The distance makes me feel braver than being in person does and I am able to convey much more. But even when I bring it up, I often quickly regret it and pull back.
Its odd that I still want to be the person you thought I should have been. But I dont want it because of you and some vain hope at reconciliation. I guess I'm just tired of falling below people's expectations. And below my own. I want to feel that I am the person of substance that people mistake me to be. I just am so paralyzed by my own self-doubt. I want to be a hopeful person; I need to become a hopeful person. I know this. But no one tells you how much hope can hurt. And I'm not good at being hurt.
There was a moment during church last week, where I was struck with gratitude to you. And I cant even really say why exactly. But there it was. And as hard as it is to view myself in a critical manner, through your critical manner, I think that thoughts of you instigate my best intentions. Yes, I often fall short, but there is a kind of hope in continually trying to stretch a little taller than I am and be a little better than I was the day before. Even if I dont succeed. Maybe someday I'll tell you that. But knowing myself, probably not.

No comments: