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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Yom Kippur bad romance atonement

Should we atone for thoughts, even the unexpressed ones, but the ones that are there in our heads, the dark, ugly, awful ones? I'm not sure, but I can't help but think that even if we don't atone for them, we should try to find a way to make peace with them so they are not lurking there, embedded, waiting for the right moment to flourish. I have tried very hard to banish the worst of mine. I've peered as directly as I could into their source, flooded myself with information that might make me a little more empathetic, compassionate, anything.

Honestly, I think if I could create distance, physical and mental, that would help a great deal, but in lieu of that, I'm doing the opposite. The last time I did in such a way it was if not cathartic, powerful, because it proved to me I could do it and not collapse, not fall to pieces. I could actually find something new inside myself and try to let that newness be my guide and the only way I did that was by being as open as I was capable of being, of trying as best I could to wash away every preconceived notion I had, to have zero expectations, even if that meant pretending I was watching myself from afar, from a safer place than the chilly one I found myself in.

I see that even in the simplistic of human interactions I go toward the darkest place, I assume that everyone is against me and then I stubbornly turn against them because it's easier to do that than to simply acknowledge how much I wish they hadn't.

Maybe the distance I need isn't physical or mental, because, frankly, those would be utterly impossible, but perspective. I want to be able to salvage the good memories and let the sinister ones fade a little bit. Both have taught me a tremendous amount about my own vulnerabilities and weaknesses as well as my strengths. Black-and-white thinking, after, I don't know, 35 years of it (we probably don't start thinking that way at one, so it's an approximation), is very hard. Letting go of so many of my misplaced desires and dreams, along with a level of willful gullibility, is important, but not berating myself for it is important too.

I can listen to "Bad Romance" an infinite, ironic number of times and yet if I'm being truthful I can't say it was all bad, or even majority bad. The highs were just as soaringly height as the lows were low, and that massive roller-coaster drop was a high of its own. I just was more prescient than I could've predicted two years ago when I wrote an email in a café a few blocks from where I am now. I knew in my heart then that I was not cut out for the kind of relationship I found myself in, and yet I was utterly selfish, greedy, needy. I wanted to walk into that door because I thought maybe the next time I would like the sensation, perhaps, or that maybe one day I'd walk into it and it would open and behind it would be...I don't know what, but something better than where I was before I stepped onto the doorstep. Yet I overrode instincts, simply because I wanted to. That wanting is a powerful, tricky, sometimes nefarious thing. You can get what you want, and then what?

Yet I don't want to go through life never wanting again. Of course you take huge risks by doing so. Sometimes you take those risks knowing in a place you don't want to acknowledge so you don't, that it will fail. Just because I don't want to be that naïve, dumb, foolish girl I was anymore doesn't mean I was never her. I was, and I don't hate her or even pity her really, I just wish she could've been a little more self-protective, a little smarter. I have to own her in her best and worst moments though, fully, and reckon with her in order to be the best person I can be right now. And I will, until maybe one day I won't have to.

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