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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Past: A Nice Place To Visit...But I Don't Want To Live There

One of the things about living a full life filled with friends, co~workers, acquaintances, passers~by and hangers on is that at some point, it becomes necessary to say a final goodbye. Ideally, we want some precise severing of ties, parting of ways complete with the reassurance that we'll never have to see the person, place or thing for as long as the earth revolves. But life seldom ties such a neat and finishing bow. Typically, people are driven to this act through a traumaticd  dramatic, life altering situation that causes intense self reflection and the inability to avoid making drastic changes. It needed be that way. The point is to utilize "grown up moments" to prevent dragging a situation out to a cataclysmic end.
Despite Boys II Men protestations to the contrary, saying "goodbye" isn't as hard as we make it out to be. One of the biggest impediments to moving on is simply not knowing when to say "when". A person who lacks barriers exhibits tendencies that allow, if not encourage, all kinds of foolishness. So the first step is always identifying your "finishing line". What's the line that family, business associates, friends, loved ones, that one guy/girl with the smile that stops you heart, strangers can't cross? If you don't have one (or several...) you've identified the lynchpin of your problem. There's no nice way to say this bit. Establish some boundaries...or live in the past, present and future of doormat~dom.

The illustrious "them/they" have cross your oft~spoken of line of impropriety. Arriving at your home unannounced, eating the big piece of chicken, sitting on your bedroom pillows...I can guarantee that the breech was not as insignificant as this, but lets play with a couple of nonlife threatening scenarios. You're tired of repeating the perpetrated infractions, they are tired of hearing them. What steps do we take? A monstrous, INEFFECTIVE, blow up designed to make them remember the moment they trampled your threshold of civility? Truth told, it means little to them. It's like holding a are the bearer of the burden.

Step one is always realizing that this (insert yo stuff here) is your perception. Honestly, I'm disrespected by the most random things. Don't play dumb around me, don't fail to offer a hand/shoulder as I walk (despite the fact that I may not use it), don't track your shoes further than my living room...but they'd better be in a closet by nightfall. Weigh it out. If the world doesn't explode and your name is still good in all your favorite ain't that serious. Agreed?
And so the "egregious" occurs...and the doors to communication have closed, bolted, welded, locked themselves. The "move on" stick is in your hand and you're confused about how that's to be done...

Know your role. The key portion of "relationship" is relate. This takes two people. If you're all talk, or I'm all talk, rest assured, we've missed a vital component of understanding. Explain in clear, concise non~emotional language the problem. I can admit that as a woman, I've had problems with this, but thank ya Buddah for email/text/smoke signals/crop circles. (Avoid exclamation points and caps...just a hint). Frequently, I have a great point, but I'm quick to lose it in EXCLAMATION POINTS AND CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! because nobody wants to hear or see that. In your attempts to put the past behind you, acknowledge your contribution, acknowledge what you needed and acknowledge that it wasn't met. (And if you never articulated the importance of said need, go play in traffic.)

Honor the hurt. My best friend and I fall out/fight/argue/throw molotav cocktails at least once a year. And at no time during the battle do we feel like "this is the straw that broke the junior high camel's back"...because it isn't.  However, I've experienced friends (no cutesy quotes, which I'll explain in a bit...), who were not as long lasting.  I can still call them friend without negating their relevance because at the time...they were a friend, in the way that they understood.  Trust, they gave their own warnings, and sometimes,I chose to ignore them.  This doesn't mean, I won't miss the ability to laugh at the one random song that we swore we'd never sing in public. But when my "stuff", business, life,  is trampled, he's gone despite abstract and actual pain.  You aren't supposed to move on from friends without some tearing flesh. (Sorry).

Identify what will improve in their absence. Look, I've dated poets, bankers, physical trainers (smile), entertainers, postal workers, computer techs, doctors, real estate agents, perpetual students, cops...(ummm...yeah, there's a difference between date and a smash)...and it boils down to this, if they don't fit...they don't fit. And more importantly when I don't fit...I should move on. It's not a slight against myself or those involved, but my deal breakers require some homogenous mixture of all of the above and in realizing this, I can let go. (Anthony Hamilton). Currently, I enjoy a combined energies and all our debates that compare the composition of methane gas and the factual statistics of 2 + 2 ...and most importantly I how we collapse into each other's arms at the end of a long, stupid, Texas hot day, glad for each other. Our time spent apart isn't the goal, but it's fun. Conversely, I've been subjected to people whose very inhalations I wish to stop. It's not the same. Minor irritation is not betrayal, it's life.
They've trampled your ideals, Guess what. You don't need them. Okay, this sounds MEAN, but look at it this way, swimming downstream is MORE difficult than swimming upstream in a dry gulch of oil laced sand. Sweetie...they don't mean, want, desire, love, tolerate, expect, enjoy, strive for, smile at, build with, breath, celebrate, dance about your sucess. The secret of properly disposing of your past is realizing that it is not only the past, but understanding that in it's capacity as your blocks your future.
And your future is bright...

Wave goodbye.

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