From An Ivory Tower.

Andrew and Marysia have just left. They remarked (among many other things) that I haven’t updated this in a while. Sorry, folks.

So, here’s the news: now firmly ensconced in South Woodford, where I fluctuate between (most of the time) feeling a sense of achievement at getting out on my own, and contentment at having my own place to come back to, and occasional bouts of feeling kinda lonely. They’ll pass.

Enough of the news. Tonight’s thinking, prompted by conversations with the pair of them:

Talking about dreams and plans – aside from writing, I have none. I do not want anything out of life. There is nothing I feel I have to do/achieve/acquire in order to make me happy. The only thing I want is to be happy, which most of the time, I am. I’m good at enjoying what I have, rather than lusting after what I haven’t. I’ve taught myself to be happy with the hand life deals me.

Eighteen months back, as I’ve said here before I think, I turned my back on what I wanted (or perhaps, realised that I didn’t want it after all). This was a dreadful shock to my system, as I switched from building myself around this goal to suddenly having nothing to strive toward. It fucked me up for a good chunk of last year. So I rebuilt myself, and now I try not to want anything out of life, and I’m happier for it.

Corollary to this: talking about people for whom we would drop everything, give up our lives as they stand and just risk it all for – Andrew and Marysia would like to be in a position to do this. I’d be disappointed in myself if I was/did.

The difference, of course, is that I had someone for whom I’d have dropped everything, if they asked, and then I got my heart broken. I swore that wouldn’t happen again. Not the not getting my heart broken (that might well happen again) but that I’d never give anyone that amount of power over my hopes and dreams. I’d never make the decision to place what I wanted second to someone else. Not only is it unrealistic, because while I can say that I made that choice, and if called on it specifically, would have followed through, it’s also true that I failed in it in a thousand tiny and selfish ways, but it’s also unfair both to me and to the other person. It’s not fair to place that sort of burden on someone, whether they know about it or not.

But the two things combined make me wonder: am I becoming isolated? Am I, over time, withdrawing from the world, focusing on giving it and the people in it less power over my happiness, becoming happier and more sure of myself at the expense of emotional attachment?

I’ve never been tactile (except within a relationship, when I can be quite normal about it – my boundaries are removed, there). I do not make casual physical contact (unless I slip or stumble, obviously), and I do not like to be casually touched. Even the slightest contact has significance for me.

But I’ve noticed, over the last year or so that I’m actually getting worse. I’m over-reacting in response to it. I can’t (or possibly just don’t) mask my reaction as I used to.

This leaves me with the mild worry that I’ll never actually manage a relationship again. The thought doesn’t fill me with horror exactly. As I’ve said before, I’ve more than made my peace with being single. But y’know, I’d like to have the option. And I’m bad enough at flirting anyway. I don’t need it getting harder, thanks.

But enough of this semi-whining (I’m not worried or miserable about any of this, just sort of observing it in a detatched manner, so y’know don’t go thinking I’m having an angsting session or anything – it’s just something I’m thinking about). I have fine Bourbon and good movies to watch. So I shall relax, happy and untouched. :)

6 Comments

  1. Fixed it. I don’t use a convetional LJ client to post – I’ve got a blog-to-LJ PHP script I wrote myself that does everything via HTTP. I’ll have to spend a bit of time looking at PHP’s unicode tools, obviously – this is the first time I’ve been bitten my it, probably because I wrote that entry in Word, first, before cutting and pasting into blogger.

  2. I really wouldn’t jump to conclusions, and for two reasons. First, you may be the more realistic party when it comes to risking everything for a person. By doing that, you hand your future over to their needs, desires, and choices. And thus, you make them responsible for your happiness.

    That’s not fair, is it? It’s hard enough to figure out what makes you happy. How on earth is someone supposed to figure it out for you? That’s assuming they’re nice enough to put your needs ahead of theirs given such a temptation. And it’s very easy to risk all when things are going well, but when you’re unhappy your first instinct will be to point a finger at them. It’s a romantic beginning to love, perhaps, but hardly a recipe for an enduring relationship.

    Side note: Marysia may be a special case, because of the untraditional relationship she desires. Things may be considerably more complicated than usual in her case.

    Anyway, I don’t want to seem hypocritical. I’m saying all this as someone who’s about to relocate across the country to a city where I’ll be close to my boyfriend. But I wanted to do something much like it before we got together. Plus I think it will be in my best interest. I wouldn’t have allowed him to make the decision for me. And I’m maintaining full responsibility for my happiness once I get there.

    To make my second point, it’s very common to feel more distant and lose a little idealism after a breakup. Sometimes it’s a healthy experience, I think. Some romantic ideals are perhaps best once shattered. And there’s a definite point where you start to wonder whether the recovery process isn’t taking longer than it should. Honestly, there’s no definite amount of time it’s supposed to take. But experience tells me that it always takes longer than you wish it would.

    As far as the touching thing goes, you may simply be getting older and more abrasive. ;-)

    One more thing! It seems to me that it takes a very special and unusual sort of woman to light your fire. You could be fully recovered from the breakup, and it still might be a while before anyone stumbles across your path who’s worth your time. Hey, I bet it’ll be worth the wait.

  3. Oh, I’m not worrying about it. I’m just interested in the way my reactions differed from other people’s, and wondering why. It’s not like I feel emotionally scarred or impaired, and I know fine well that I’m over that break-up, so I’m just interested in why I’m reacting that way, and thinking it though in public. :)

  4. Er… voice of experience?

    Anyhow, don’t mind me. I tend to place long rants in other people’s journals, for reasons I don’t entirely understand. Perhaps I’m just nosy…

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