Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What's in a passport?

So a little over a week ago, I posted a Facebook status, "And the passport is in the desk."  This status got one like from one friend I haven't met, and have only talked to over the phone.  I don't know if she got what I was saying with that.  I talked to my sister later, and she understood what it meant.  I don't know if anyone didn't get what I was saying, honestly, but the silence in response to that post was deafening.  Either way, I know I have to say something about it for my own peace of mind.

So, just in case anyone DIDN'T get it, the passport is in the desk, because like most people I suspect, I use my desk to store things that are important, but might not always be of immediate use.  I used to keep it up in the dash of my car because I used it a lot.  Those who know me know that I was frequently going to Canada to visit my girlfriend.  The time has now come that I no longer know when next I shall be crossing the border, because I no longer have a girlfriend in Canada.  After the better part of seven years, I decided that it was time to break it off.

This was not a decision I made lightly or in a moment of rage.  I held off breaking up for a long time, and as the now-ex-girlfriend can attest, I did indeed fight to try and save it, including a couple meetings with our pastor to try and help gain perspective and focus.  However, at one point I met privately with the pastor, and after explaining the extent to which I was frustrated, he calmly said, "At this point, it's okay for you to walk away."  At this point, I knew it was inevitable, and I still made a last ditch effort to try and prove myself wrong.  It was a long road, and I remember at one point feeling my emotional ties snap, to where I emotionally checked out of the relationship.  And I still tried to make it work, hoping to gain back what was lost.

I suspect a lot of it had to do with a fear of being alone again.  Before the Canadian girlfriend, I was in another long-distance relationship, and broke that other one off to be with her.  So, this is technically the first time I've been single in over a decade.  But to be honest, this was the first one where we were really together, lived within driving distance of each other, and were making serious plans.  Yeah, I really didn't want to throw it away.  But also, who I was while single, and even in the other relationship, was vastly different than who I was with the Canadian girl.  I was significantly more pathetic then, probably even creepy.  I distinctly remember when people found out I was in a relationship with this Canuck, they treated me differently.  Teenage girls that I worked with at a dead-end job stopped treating me like a member of the Addams family and started treating me like a human being.  I was different; I was happy.  And I did not want to go back to being what I was.  I was certain that if I did, then spiraling back into that person would be unavoidable.

To some degree, I have a little.  I'm a bit sadder and moodier now.  I'm more on-edge, and feel prone to snap.  I've noticed it in a few moments of tension at work, where I just about yelled at one person or another over something trivial.  I feel like my humor at work is a bit off too.  Not that I'm funniest person at the office, but once in awhile I can get a laugh.  Even I can tell my punchlines are not good.  My mood is not what it was, and if I can't rein it in, I'll return to being a social pariah in my professional environment, which is pretty much all I am now.

Who am I now?  I have a cat now, so I have someone to come home to, but as much as I love the little fuzzball, he's not another person, and can be a little twerp himself sometimes.  I'm still a Christian, but lately, the only way I can get Sundays off from work is to actually put in a leave request slip, which is just wrong, but that's another topic for another time.  And having just moved to a new place, I haven't really found a church that I want to call home either.  My job is about the only solid external anchor now, and I worry that I'm gonna end up married to my work and die alone.  I don't want that to be who I am.  I want to find a new home church, a new group of friends outside of my coworkers, and maybe even be able to hang out with my coworkers outside of work sometime.  I want to find a woman who can make me a better person and help keep me that way, and someone I can do the same for.  I want to keep believing that this is possible.

Surprisingly enough, what I don't want to do is vomit all over my ex.  I don't want to air the dirty laundry or unload to the world everything that pissed me off, especially towards the end of it all.  This actually surprises me because I remember the weeks leading up to the break-up where I dwelt on everything that was irking me.  I kept venting off the steam several times to myself and to the Lord in prayer.  And if someone actually wanted to hear all about it, I probably could summon up the frustration to launch into it again.  But for right now, I really don't want to.  We're still friends, and I don't want to hurt her.  I want the best for her.  I still see some of the positive things in her that made me think we could go the distance together, and I don't want to destroy those things.  I don't want to rant about the things that drove me away.  I'm guessing that means I'm either ready to move on and date again or I'm nowhere near ready to move on and date again.

The Bible says there's a time to refrain from embracing, and for us, that time has come.  Goodbye, Erica.