Tipping Point"Feel no shame for who you are." Jeff Buckley, "New Year's Prayer
"Love and death are very similar, because they're the times in your life when you most want to believe in magic, when you yearn for some symbolic act or retrospective edit which can change the world you find yourself in." Hap from "One of Us" by Michael Marshall Smith.
"I have given up trying to recognize you in the surging wave of the next moment." Rainer Maria Rilke
Within the space of an hour, I had gone from having a rather good night, believing that things were back on track to yet another sleepness night, losing all faith in certain matters. There's a part of me that would like to leave everything that I have, move to some dusty nameless town in the Central Valley and cut myself off from everybody that I've ever known.
I know for most of my life, my friends thought "Shit, how is he gonna fuck this up?" with regards to a certain aspect of my life. I also know that I never disabused them of this notion. So they go about, trying to give me well-intentioned advice about what to do and what not to do, providing me with their insight. And in my more insecure days, I actively sought this.
But life is an iterative process, and who they thought I was ten years ago is not really who I am now. I've been through one intense relationship that nearly left me a burnt out shell, that nearly pushed me over the edge. The relationship taught me to be cautious, to hold back on my emotions, keep them in check because I'd rather not go through that again. I've gone out enough to know that I'm not the quiet, awkward guy that I was in college and law school, but instead that I can be charming and cute if I wanted to be.
Now, of course I still make mistakes. I've made some very recently. But they weren't in the same vein as mistakes ten years ago, and more importantly, they were my mistakes and mine alone to deal with.
Not enough positive things can be said for friendship and good intentions, but whether those intentions are beneficial can only be measured in the effects they have.
My friends have seen me at my worst, and being friends, they don't want to see me back there again. I understand. But unfortunately, I feel like they define me, base predictions of my actions, by my worst. As I said before, I have given them much reason to do so before. Yet this doesn't really help me. By defining me by my worst, they are setting me up to fail.
Imagine you're at the office. You've turned in some prior mediocre work, so the whole office is staring over your shoulder, telling you how to write, which correspondence to send to which executive, correcting your punctuation and grammar. They all mean well. They want you to stay employed. Are you going to do a good job because they're rooting for you, or are you going to fuck up under the strain.
There's an additional dimension, common sense that I wish I realized before, which is, after a certain point, my friends just have to let me run with the ball. If I trip up and fumble on my own, my bad, but don't trip me up in trying to push me forward.
Maybe I am deluding myself, maybe the situation really isn't right, but let me find out on my own. At the end of the day, in these certain matters, the only relevant perceptions are mine and the other person's--not the perceptions of my friends, her friends, third parties, etc.
The cliche is "be yourself," but how can you be yourself when you get third hand information that you fucked up. Try being effortlessly charming when in the back of your head, you have "you fucked up," or "it's not the right situation" spinning in your mind. You can't? It's a sure fire way to fuck up if you're friends turned out to be wrong, isn't it?
Unfortunately, at this moment, this entry is too little too late. Because of all this, I am now back to being the person I was ten years ago. This entry is the result of that self-fulfilling prophecy of me being that guy who over-reacts and flies off the handle. How can I not fuck up, not be intense now?
I can't say that I hope for anything different, because I have lost hope, at least for now. I feel heartsick and angry. That tipping point is coming. Maybe I'll welcome it with open arms.