Saturday, August 29, 2009

The hardest part of saying goodbye

“The hardest part of saying goodbye is having to do it again, every single day." This quote from One Tree Hill is referring to death. However, I believe that it is also applicable to the end of a relationship; because in many ways, ending a relationship is a kind of death. It is the separation of a couple (the merging of two individuals) into two distinct individuals. The routine of doing daily life together is disrupted and future plans become obsolete. I have struggled, more than I'd like to admit, with saying goodbye, every single day. It has been difficult knowing that I can't just text or call him "just because" or just to let him know I'm thinking of him. It's hard not knowing when I'll hear from him or see him next. We live within about six minutes of one another, so even seeing the sign for his street, or driving by the DQ we went to, or the flower shop he always bought my flowers from is a painful memory. Although some may say each day is a new day (and I realize it is going to require many of them for enough time to pass for me to completely heal) its hard waking up realizing that it is just another day that I have to say goodbye. Goodbye to us. To him. To the person I was with him. To the plans and dreams we had together. And to our future.

He was supposed to go home with me next weekend to attend his first K-State football game with me. Anyone who knows me well knows that Kansas State University is a HUGE part of my life. I've attended season football games ever since I can remember. I'm a two time alum of K-State and as such have an immense passion for the university. I really do not think words can express how excited I have been to take Kirk with me to a game and have him experience the traditions and atmosphere of Kansas State. It is going to be REALLY difficult to go to the game and have an empty seat next to me, knowing that it was intended for him. Fortunately I have an amazingly supportive family who are helping me through this. I will be sitting at the game with my brother Josh and his girlfriend. I'm sure Josh and I will analyze the game, coaching strategy, and refereeing as usual. I'm really looking forward to that. Also, my parents realizing how difficult a 9 hour drive alone would be (too much time to think) are flying me home earlier in the week. So, I'll get to spend almost an entire week in Kansas with my family. Something that will allow me to escape my daily routine here.

For now the "distractions," love, and support of my family and friends are helping me manage the pain of saying goodbye every single day. And I know that with time, my heart will heal and hopefully I'll be able to wake up some morning and not need to say goodbye.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Loving on purpose

The newest season of one of my favorite television series (One Tree Hill) came out earlier this week. One of the things I value so much about OTH is that I feel the it provides an accurate representation of life. Yes, it is FULL of drama. (That's what makes it entertaining.) But it doesn't depict the "happily ever after" that movies and television shows so often do. Instead, it shows that love, relationships, and life aren't easy. You don't fall in love and ride off into the sunset. Relationships require work, and a lot of it. And yet our society convinces individuals that true love is easy. That if you have to work at it, its not true love. It is absolutely infuriating.

In the season six opener of OTH (no spoilers, I promise), Lucas is "choosing" between three women he loves. He is daydreaming imagining life with each. As he considers his life with one of the women, he recognizes that "its easy with us, huh?" and her reply is the "the easiest." But guess what, he DOESN'T "choose" her. I applaud the director and producer for including that. They could have easily left this exchange/scene out but they chose not to. Instead, they choose to reflect a reality not often presented in our society; just because its easy, doesn't make it RIGHT. And just because a relationship is sometimes difficult, doesn't make it WRONG.

A few minutes into the episode, Lucas is at the airport waiting for the girl (who is still unknown) that he called to show up and go to Vegas to marry him. Following is the transcript of what follows:

Old man: I want to tell you something son. It’s the most important thing there is. Love. Finding the right person to spend your life with.

Lucas: I know I made the right choice.

Old man: Yeah…(laughter).

Old man: That’s where it gets you. Thinking you’ve got a choice. Love finds you son, you don’t find love. Its got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, what’s written in the stars. A lot to do with the simple fact most women are smarter than we are. And why, your sorry butt never had a chance. But…if you want to believe you had a choice in the matter, I’d say you made a good one. Because she showed up. And she sure is pretty.

I believe that love manifests as a result of the combination of destiny, fate, and the choices we make. I realize the juxtaposition I am presenting by claiming that love is the result of both destiny/fate and a choice. But here is my view. Destiny and fate place us in a position to meet one another. But what we do with it from there, is our decision. Had I never applied for the Ph.D. program at the U of MN, been accepted, moved to the cities, taken the Ed Psych class fall semester, met Amanda, and gone out with her that night I would have never met Kirk. That I believe was destiny/fate. But it was my decision to say yes to a date. And my decision that "this was something worth holding onto" that lead to love. I believe love is a feeling and an emotion but more often than anything love is an action. A deliberate choice. For example, I love Kirk with all that I am. And that is a feeling/emotion. But there are many times I deliberately chose to act lovingly toward him. Even at times that my stubbornness made it difficult (and I know there were times I was "difficult" and he did the same). I have long believed that "love is not enough," which I find extremely disheartening. But, I also believe, that if you love someone enough, you are willing to put love into action for that person. Even when its hard. Even when you don't want to. Because you love them. And if you can do that, and find someone who will love you on purpose in return, then that kind of love IS enough. And always will be.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You'll never change if you just run away

I have discovered (as much as I hate to say this) that Sex and the City has a lot of very applicable viewpoints on life and relationships. In particular, Carrie's rules for breakups. I find two to be particularly applicable to my own experience. The first, you can't make it through a break-up without your friends. The second, retail therapy works WONDERS following a break-up. I went to dinner with my best friend "A" tonight and it was just what I needed. I desperately needed to get out of my apartment (breaking up and having your car in the shop at the same time leaves you feeling particularly isolated and alone). We also did some shopping (I got a new outfit to wear out this Friday!). Something about seeing how amazing your "tush" looks in a pair of jeans is a real pick-me-up.

A and I have had very similar experiences with men recently. Mostly that the guys we've dated prefer a simple life and therefore simple women. However, as a result of listening to the lyrics to a Christina Aguilera song, ("Voice Within") I began to accepting and embracing the complications/challenges that exist in life really the cause of difficulty in a relationship? Or is it those who choose to ignore the reality that life is complex and challenging that makes relationships hard? As with anything, I am sure that the answer lies in the balance between the two. Individuals who thrive in complex, complicated situations can benefit by valuing the simple aspects of life (in my case learning to choose my battles wisely) and those who value simplicity can benefit by embracing complexity as an opportunity to grow and experience life in a different way. However, attaining a sense of balance and equilibrium between the two will be difficult.

In staying with this line of thought, I found a specific line in the song to be quite applicable to how I'm feeling right now. "You'll never change if you just run away." In particular, people won't benefit from the differences in others if they run away from the challenge rather than working through the difficulty.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Defining chaotic stability

I have been thinking about beginning a new blog entitled chaotic stability. After the events of last night (Kirk and I ended it) and the reasons behind why we are no longer together confirmed why I so badly need to write this blog. A.) I hope to actually utilize this blog the way it is intended by posting REGULARLY. B.) I feel that I'm no longer the girl adjusting to city life that I was when I began my last blog. C.) The framework I apply and operate from in life is chaotic stability. D.) Maybe this blog will serve guys who are either in relationships with complex women, considering beginning a relationship with a complex woman, or have recently ended a relationship with a complex woman. I hope that this will provide some insight and be helpful in determining whether or not you (the man) can handle a complex woman.

Our existence is comprised of both order/stability and chaos/instability. Many people are most comfortable in a state of order and stability. Most see the value in chaos to a degree but MANY people are uncomfortable in a state of chaos/instability. I believe, that as is the case in all other aspects of life, it is a matter of finding a balance between the two. Life is bland and boring if only comprised of order and stability and yet has no meaning if comprised solely of chaos. It is maintaining these states in equilibrium that a full life is experienced.

Let me briefly explain what I mean by order/stability and chaos/instability by listing concepts that I believe are associated with each (some using the 'synonyms' option on Word that I found to be an accurate reflection, the others my personal opinion).

Order/stability- constancy, steadiness, strength, regulate, categorize, simplicity, stagnation, unchanging

Chaos/instability- hardship, confusion, disarray, insecurity, flux, unsteadiness, volatility, challenging, complexity, change, growth, improvement

It is not difficult to see why people typically prefer order and stability to chaos and instability. Being in a state of chaos and instability is not easy. It is actually extremely difficult. However, as a complex woman, I value chaos and instability. I function best with some degree of chaos and instability. I personally HATE stagnation.

My philosophy on life is that I don't ever want to go back in time to re-experience life. Afterall, why would I want to return to a day when I am less of the person I am today? Why would I want to return to a period where I had fewer life experiences, had less wisdom, was less aware of who I am and what I expect from myself and others in life? It simply makes no sense to me. I want to continue to grow and change and become a better person tomorrow than I was today. With that being said, I realize I need people in my life who challenge me to be a better person. In many ways, I want a significant other who has opposite temperament/personality styles than me and is willing to work with me (in challenging each other) to establish some sort of balance between the two of us. I want someone who is willing to work through the chaos and instability with me not to change FOR each other, but to become better individuals and therefore a more stable, thriving couple.

I thought I had found someone who fit this philosophy. He definitely challenged me! And because of him I've become a more well-balanced, stable person. Unfortunately he doesn't want the chaos and complications that I so value. He values simplicity. He values a relationship being easy (which I honestly don't think exists). It breaks my heart because I see the potential in what we could have been and remember fondly what we were and what we did have. But, unfortunately, this is just another case of love not being enough. And I do love him, unconditionally.

The thing I've come to realize through this is: I believe, in relationships, you have to work through the chaos and instability to establish and maintain a sense of order and stability.