I was already pondering this post today about where I am in my head when I made a somewhat amusing observation. Thirteen years ago today Cat and I got married. I was thinking back over past relationships and the date popped up on my computer… it took me a moment but the date kept tickling the back of my brain until I realized the connection. It’s a fine correlation with what I was already circling.
One of the things you might know about me is I’m a bit of a romantic. I’m nostalgic, I love stories, and I save everything. I’m not a hoarder but anything that sparks a memory I hang onto, good or bad. Souvenirs from every relationship are carefully boxed and saved, emails and texts are never deleted. Hell, I still have the chat conversations with Anne (Not to be confused with Ann) from back in my college days and those are fifteen years old now. I’ve gotten tattoos were several different girlfriends, a permanent reminder. In another box I have every notebook I’ve ever written in, poems, journals, story ideas, and more reminders. It’s one reason that I almost never delete posts on my blogs. Almost never.
I treasure each and every one of those memories, good and bad. They make up the mismatched puzzle pieces that make up me. Losing or getting rid of one is like losing a tiny piece of myself.
However, there is a down side to having all those things saved. When I’m not feeling great it’s all too easy to revisit old hurts, tangible reminders, detailed electronic records. Old heartbreaks. I could pull up every argument, every bad situation, every cross word shared, every heated argument. It makes stewing in my own negative feelings all that much easier.
It would probably be easier if I got rid of all that stuff but, like the rest of life, there’s no way to just eliminate the bad without losing the good. For every bad experience there was something positive, some silver lining or some lesson learned. I covet them like stolen gold. My precious…
Relationships. Wonderful and horrible all swirling together in a fine mess.
The other night I had an email conversation with a friend in which she asked about my dating life. I told her the truth, that I’m not looking at the moment and probably won’t be for a while. Sometime in the next year I’ll be transferring a couple thousand miles for work. Even if that weren’t the case I’d still be taking some time off.
In the situation with Stephanie I emphasized the fact that I’m completely emotionally unavailable right now. It’s true. I’m not even interested in sex. The only sex that I appreciate is when there’s some emotional connection, however large or small, otherwise it’s just empty for me, and I can’t form any connections. I just can’t.
So I’m just going to focus on myself for a while. Probably a long while.
And while I focus on myself I’ll be going through boxes trying to decide which, if any, shouldn’t make the upcoming move.
Thirteen years. Thousands of memories. Crazy.