Monday, October 25, 2010

Stop/step back

In looking over yesterday's post I realize I sound too harsh; too angry. I'm not. Let me address it in a succint, to-the-point, just the facts way:

By being hurt, I needed time and distance from the person who hurt me. I was not, at the outset, afforded that. So the healing process couldn't begin when the split occurred. Now I have had some time and distance to think things over and through--more importantly, to step out of myself, the situation and try and see things from an observational point of view, along with the views of friends and people who cared/were sensitive to what was happening.

This is the simplest way of stating it and closing this topic once and for all:

I cared about someone; this person acted as if the feelings were mutual. This person and I had been friends for many years and then became reacquainted earlier in the year. I did not expect, imagine nor plan for this to happen. It did and I was very happy; I believed she was too.

We spent a few months together. There were some very serious, critical moments during that time together. When those things happened, it was me who she called on or I automatically stepped up to the plate and did what was needed/took care of things to make her life easier, etc. This is what you do when you care about someone.

But: I was questioned at every turn. I was always having to prove my worth to her. I was constantly being tested by her. Simultaneously, she would say things that would make me question her and make me wonder if her long-rooted problems were now creeping into this newly-evolved relationship of ours and going to destroy it. I thought she was trying to sabotage "us" before we could have a chance.

I was warned by many friends and some family members to please be careful; something wasn't right and I should take a step back. I had my own misgivings. And I listened to no one.

She ended our time together with the same suddenness that it had begun--it was quick; like a knife blade being plunged right into me. A week prior to the split, it seemed she was happy and looking toward a nice, not-too-distant future. So where did the break happen? What made her do such a sudden turn? She was biding her time with me until someone she was waiting for had cleared his decks and made her his flag of convenience. As soon as he called, she went. Simultaneously, I was feeling the pains of being with her, doubting her and thinking more about what was becoming a mess between this and my marriage--say what you will; I can see how and why I was ready for the finale.

So I immediately focused myself on moving on. The interesting thing is: when a break-up happens, both parties need time and space apart. I know the usual pattern is the person who got "dumped" usually calls the other person within 24 - 72 hours after and begs, pleads, cries and so on. I did not. I heard "it's over" very clearly, along with her very grasping-at-straws reasons why she wanted it to end. I did not call; I did not text or e-mail. I tried to let the shock subside and my feelings to diffuse from having been turned inside out.

She texted me four days after the split. Three times in one day. I chose not to answer; she got very angry and when I phoned her to clarify things because texts don't do anyone any good, she and I clashed. So much for civility and maturity.

I cannot, in good conscience, pretend that we are still friends. Here is why: I did not get what I needed from her--starting with honesty; she couldn't even give me that. Add to the mix that there was an obvious lack of respect by her texting me after we said goodbye and expecting me to respond or to give her absolution.

I never lied to her; I never misled her; I never pretended to be someone I was not; rather, I did everything she ever asked of me. I never made promises--I was as good as my word; if I said I was going to do something, it got done.

I never broke the bond of friendship--I never broke the faith. She completely dissolved our friendship by not having the simple decency to say "we're going too far too fast", etc. Or just saying "I don't want this to go too far--I don't see it lasting". She just took me for a ride. And she jumped off without giving any thought to my feelings. Which makes her a hypocrite. All her talk about having been treated badly and hurt in the past--she is exactly what she claimed to both despise and fear.

That's what I was implying and should have said when I wrote "friends don't hurt friends". That isn't friendship. She ended our friendship. And I am not planning on revisiting it. The pain of our split and loss of our friendship is over. So are the other emotions. Now I'm at a point of being indifferent to it--to her. That was what I meant by I no longer care. I don't wish ill; I don't wish joy--I don't wish anything. I have nothing to say or offer when it comes to her or the topic of her. I've exhausted my supplies and ideas. I have said everything I'm going to say. She's someone I was acquainted with; as a friend and briefly as more. And I couldn't tell you anything beyond that because I didn't really know her. It's called "I made a grave mistake"; I own it, I admit it and I've moved on from it.

She once said "please don't ever shut me out of your life"--I know now that was the set-up; I should have braced myself for the fall--or turned and walked away from her right then. I didn't. For all the times she said "you're going to get tired of me and leave me", I didn't. I gave it my all. She lied. She failed. And now I have shut her out of my life and there isn't a sense of loss.

Everyone should always take someone else's declarations with a grain of salt. It can be a saving grace when that person is not who they present themselves to be.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New designs for life

The songs are coming together with speed, clarity and an amazing breath of life. I will start recording as soon as my day-to-day activities and responsibilities subside a bit.

That being said, here are some elevated observations:

- The joy of re-connecting with people I have loved and not seen in a very long time is a wonder and a true definition of appreciation. Time, distance and circumstances may have separated us, but their loving support in an immediate fashion tells me that I still have a "family" who will always care. Look up the word "grateful".

- Friends don't hurt friends. It's that simple. Once it happens, there is no friendship left.

- People who arbitrarily hurt those who care about them and have given them no cause to do so will forever be mired on the bad karma wheel. So it goes. I don't think it's out of line for me to say that I don't wish ill nor joy to the person who hurt me; I don't wish anything. She is no longer a factor in my life and I think that was something a lot of people were waiting/hoping for me to say. And it is true. While I may be accused of being "cold", I no longer care about this person. A "former friend" (by definition) is someone who can't call on you when they need someone/anyone/something. People aren't meant to be convenient.

- I am moving forward faster; I am physically/emotionally/spiritually stronger than I was before. The signs are not just there--they're now visible. I feel fantastic.

- I look in the mirror everyday and feel a pride that I had long put under wraps. Not arrogance. Just pride in who I am and what I'm about. I'm at that happy point where when I see/hear/know bullshit is bullshit, I'm going to call it and immediately walk away from it, rather than getting sucked into a game. I despise games and I won't play.

Sometimes a sad end turns into a beautiful re-beginning.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Everything has a price to pay

Not every conversation I have is tinged with reflection or sadness; those who have been generous in closing ranks around me during this time have been good and honest and forthright. No one ever played "yes man" and nodded agreement with me. In truth, it was quite the opposite from the very start. I was warned to be careful; I was begged to stop and think about things that had been said from day one; I was told I could and would be hurt. I did not listen nor heed anyone's warnings and kind protective suggestions. These were all forshadowings of an "I told you so" nature not meant to be malicious. And so I went willingly and did get hurt. It was an education--a sad instance of teaching not wanted, but in hindsight, needed. I was humbled by it and I have seen things in a different light and through the eyes of others.

So as I had to close that door, so too do I have to close another for the last time. There are no ways around the obvious. I need to pick up the physical elements of the life I've been surrounded by for the last decade-plus and put an end to a charade that suits no one and makes neither person happy. My marriage is over; there is no point to pretend that there could ever be any kind of reconciliation; I am not happy--I am not willing to trust as she is not willing to trust. We have grown too far apart, done too many hurtful things and will not meet one another halfway. So this is acceptance. I concede that it cannot be saved; cannot be worked on or a goal of reconciliation worked toward. I see it. I know it. I feel it. I will not look away from the truth. There is no love left here.

Letting go is the obvious. I let go of one person because I knew it would not last and there would only be more unhappiness; yes, there are some residual feelings still inside me, but as time passes, so do the emotions that may linger. With my marriage, it is a very clear statement that while I have to let go completely, there has to be a physical separation in order to achieve peace--certainly, peace of mind for me. A change of job, a change of address--these physical and very real elements would suit me completely. I cannot stay on the treadmill of wanting to insure her safety and comfort: i.e. making sure she remains on my medical coverage, having a place to live, paying her credit card bills. I can no longer be responsible for her life. If this must end, then it must end in total.

I didn't want to be viewed as "the bad guy" by cutting her out of my life in this manner, but I no longer am concerned with how people see me and that isn't being belligerent. Why, in all good conscience and sense, should I continue to keep my life on hold for someone who isn't doing anything to correct her end of a bad situation? I am not a victim--let that be clear--but let it be said that I didn't cause this entire overturning of our life. It goes back two years; it was her actions that caused everything that happened in its wake. She is someone who I no longer know, replaced by a being that I frankly do not like nor want in my life. She is a stranger that I have no reason nor desire to get to know. She has made herself distant from me on all levels; it is blatantly obvious, so why am I to be the better person and allow her to remain in my orbit? I am not a masochist nor am I clinging to her. If it has to be made clear, at this moment for necessity's sake, I have never relied on her for anything, so how is she my responsibility? We are adults and have to take hold of ourselves and the things we do with our lives.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The apologist

Forgive the sarcastic title; I have these moments where I veer from understanding and truly feeling enlightened over to contempt, repressed anger and a need to be brutal in my honesty so I can yet again purge all the negatives that linger in me. Thus I say from the outset, I'm not sorry. I have nothing to be sorry for any longer. It's another form of release. I no longer feel any sense of guilt over anything. I have shouldered and dealt with the things I am responsible for and that is all I will carry. I have looked long and hard over the mistakes I have made; I have circled them, noted them and subsequently will not make them again. I have seen the list of the elements in my life that make me happy and equally unhappy--one set to be polished and cared for, the other set to be discarded and heaped on a bonfire.

I change, it seems, from day to day. I don't mind admitting this one iota. Obviously, in this time, the changes are from the turbulence I've been experiencing and I am suspicious and cautious as to the "movements" (if you will) of others and me treading near those same waters in any way--I have my own "danger ahead" signs posted everywhere. You know, me first--I have to keep complete protection of myself from everyone. It isn't paranoia; it isn't fear--it's the wisdom of time, distance, separation, negation, re-evaluation and extrication. I have had to face some very cruel and painful realities about a few people I have loved and the impact their actions have had on me. And to every action is a reaction.

I don't think of myself being connected to anyone at this time, save for maybe one or two people. I see myself as being a good, safe distance from people--"friends"--as my doubt of their sincerity is at an all-time high. All I think when someone calls is "what do they want from me?". Suspicion heightens and sharpens my senses. And not wanting to make ANY investments in anyone or any kind of "relationships" means I can look long and hard at anyone who calls on me. I've come back to believing in nothing as far as other people are concerned. That doesn't make me feel high and mighty or superior; I just know that the only one looking out for me is me.

There is no crime nor anything negative about putting one's self front and center after experiences like the ones I just had. It means you're able to stop, take stock and re-evaluate where you've been, who you've been, who you want to become and where you want and need to go. You're able to see the kind of people you want to have around you, the kind of people you want out of your life and the kinds of people you want to avoid completely.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What do I want?

A to-the-point shopping list of what I want, now that the cobwebs and deitritus have been collected and swept aside:

- A new job. Two years doing what I've been doing is long enough. I want more money, more responsibility and less micro-managing for the most arcane of duties. I am a professional; I intend to return to that sector.

- My body to heal and regain its strength after the stresses, emotional strains and unnecessary excesses, etc. This is a slow process and I know patience is not one of my strongest suits, but I am learning and am going with the flow. The 4-days-a-week-at-the-gym is slowly starting to pay off, as is the change of diet.

- The focus to record and complete an album's worth of material I am not only satisfied by but actually happy with. I need to remain with my vision in tact and to not allow distractions to come along.

- Someone to share the ensuing good things with that isn't damaged beyond repair; someone who doesn't feel it necessary to lie about everything; someone who isn't needy, someone who will show me equal respect--all in all, a pretty tall order. A nice, decent, attractive woman like that doesn't exist. And I am not exactly going to go out of my way to be some faux-nice/sensitive guy. So it may take a while to shop for that...

- The pleasure of time for myself; if I want to be alone with a book or watch TV or see friends, then I can do so. I like my down time and more so, my autonomy. I don't like forced obligation. Now that my decks are clear, I am not under anyone's servitude.

- A new apartment. I think it is time to move out and into my own space again. Something all mine. I am indebted to no one and have no one else's needs to consider but my own.

- Most importantly, the ability to maintain my sense of rationality, composure, diplomacy and all the elements that make me who I am. I will never question those gifts nor let them be shaken or compromised. I will use all that I have learned to keep myself in complete balance, rather than willingly be fooled by anyone again. We all make mistakes--we all learn lessons. I have now had my one; I have seen how and where I went wrong--I forgot how to say "no". So I will not repeat that error. Nor will I ever believe anything even those closest to me may say--unfortunately it's nearly impossible to discount the notion that everyone is pretty much full of shit.

All that I want are simple, direct and no frills improvements in my triumvirate of mind/spirit/body. I have the criteria and most of these items on my shopping list I've already begun to work towards. It falls back under the heading "putting myself first again".

As the man once said, there's nothing wrong with having aspirations--nothing wrong with walking tall... BUT if misfortune deals the consequences, sooner or later, friend... you've got to fall...

...and that could be properly directed at a few fallen angels I know of.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Duty now for the future

I'm too physically tired for the gym tonight; instead, I will head home to continue tightening up "Wash Away" and "Bed Of Thorns". I don't have to do the laundry; the other sundry things I had to take care of, I did on my lunch hour at work--this now frees me up to concentrate on these new songs. I need at least one night away from the gym so my body can actually rest/heal.

Aside from the tasks at hand, I took another major step in the right direction--partly as a reaction from the summer's events: I called my credit card companies and slashed my credit limits down--one of them, I decreased by $16K, so I never even remotely dance near the edge of that volcano again. I made the folly before and I saved myself from it--there's no point in putting myself in harm's way. I already cancelled one account and put the card in the shredder; all my focus is now on the future--my eye being trained on next year. Furniture, housewares - necessities to re-build and re-establish my life with.

You need to take complete control of your own life; I have that. I've also re-instated my temporarily-on-hold sense of discipline. You know the drill--the only hand you're going to get is the one at the end of your own arm. And I don't want or need anyone helping me. I am quite capable and happiest to do things on my own and for myself; I'm very good at being a self-contained unit.

Which is why I'm still veering towards recording all the song parts myself!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Autumn bugle

The writing just keeps flowing like an open tap. I've played a few of the new songs to close friends and there seems to be an excitement that I haven't felt since the days of "Well Of Loneliness" and The Punch Line's return to the recording studio in 1991(!). Of those songs, the one everybody keeps pointing at and having the strongest reaction to is "Bed Of Thorns". I think I know why, but it's a great song. I'd be a liar and a phony if I didn't acknowledge that. Soon enough, it'll be heard, but I do agree that "Wash Away" and "Everywhere" are also really good--especially "Wash Away", with its' singalong chorus (think "Texarkana" mixed with "Before You Were Born").

So what to do? Try and do this all myself or get to the one thing I do best? Working with other musicians? It's still up for debate, but I see that in the not-too-distant future.

Once again, it's a full life. Gym tonight (still sore); gym tomorrow night, dinner with friends on Friday--car business on Sat., dinner with friends Sat. night, Sunday gym and that thing I do... Even more intriguing is the upcoming reunion with my old "family" after 9 years; I must say, there are a lot of things to look forward to...

I'm seriously thinking it's time I had a real vacation. I do believe I've earned it.