Being in the suburbs always inspires me to write. I am not sure if that is because I have more free time, therefore more time to think and actually act on those thoughts, or because it is reminiscent of all the pain of the summer, and as a motivator, pain is killer (pun intended). This holiday season is full of emotion. It seems that among all the joy, there is a fair amount of sorrow mingled in for me and my friends. Deaths in the family, illness finally winning, relationships torn apart, alongside other things, like work woes. It seems that everyone I have come across in the preceding weeks have had a very bah humbug attitude on the upcoming days of festivity. Believe me, I am with them, and though I am trying to see the twinkling lights as hopeful representations of what the new year has to offer, the past twelve months have made me into a cynical Scrooge. Maybe I will need the ghosts of past, present and future to visit in the night to remind me that the good does dwell within the human scope.
I am currently listening to “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. The chorus repeats the question “is love alive?” This particular holiday track has always struck a chord in me. Even when I was with Jonathan. When I should have, actually, felt more love. My family, his family, friends abounding, and most importantly, from him, there should have been no doubt that love was alive. I cannot help but think about last Christmas, though, and the extreme turmoil I was in. Our relationship was failing, and I was too scared to let go of something I knew was gone. He had been my life for so long, that something, anything, different, terrified me to my core. My heart, despite being helplessly pledged to him, was no longer in the relationship. I somewhere between being too scared to move and too scared to stay. Long buried issues were surfacing, and with each new discovery, the pain dug deeper. I sit here, over a year later, with the scars present, and internally, still healing. And reaping the consequences of not only his actions, but mine.
The past week or so I have watched Sex and the City. The show always had the potential to make me cry, but upon visiting the series this time, I have found myself in tears more times than ever before. It seems that the relationships of the four women all hold commonalities with the relationship I was in, and hope for the new, better, stronger relationship(s) of my future. Carrie, in the first season, asks Mr. Big to “stand still” with her. I want that. But when I think about it, when I think about that future, with the steadfast love from one man, it frightens me. My wish for a committed relationship is there, but it’s buried under miles of uncertainty and fear. I sit and say things like, “When I am married,” or “if I ever have a wedding,” and as I say it there is a voice in the back of my head that questions, “Will you ever be strong enough for that?” And what is even harder is that I am not sure how to portray (or decipher) patience from other things, like inability to move forward, the desire not to, indifference, or other far more hurtful things. Notice my question is not a matter of desire, but a matter of ability. When you have your wedding music picked out, your desired dress hanging on the wall (or even bought), your invitations picked out, a location (with a deposit down), and then it all goes to hell and you realize you are unsure you can walk down the aisle, does your hope of that happily ever after ending vanish? Is it just another unforeseen cost?
I have taken small steps forward. Some seem monumental, though, larger than life and terrifying. They feel right. But it doesn’t stop my hands from shaking, my mind from questioning, and my heart from racing. Am I creating my own fears or will it fall into an easy understanding? Jonathan and I felt easy, and maybe that was a bad sign, considering when we broke up, it felt like I was with a stranger, someone who hurt me far above what I thought was possible. And I know he felt the same way.
Okay — I am finished. No more walking down this lane. The ghost Christmases past haunt me daily, I need to live in the present, so the future doesn’t seem so frightening.