I had a relationship once, it went a little like this:
Met the person in the dark ages, became acquaintances and then dated someone else for a time. Lost track of the person for several years before they sought me out; got a call out of the blue and it took off from there.
It didn’t much matter that I was here and they were there, no, it was an escape from the drudgery of each day that passed--something to look forward to. Even if the time spent was brief, even if there was little actually shared at a time, it added up over days, weeks, and months until it was more than an escape. That person became a fully fledged life raft from the storm I’d submitted myself to.
One could say they were a ray of light in a dark time, and I didn’t know much of anything at all at the time. My perception of who I was was poor, my actions worse. I flew by the seat of my pants, living one moment to the next, just hoping that it’ll all work out.
Spoiler: it never does, but that’s a lesson I refuse to learn, even now.
After growing closer, with seldom visits, expectations inflated. Acceptably so, as those who are together for years might attest, there expectations of marriage, children(?), and other such things.
I told myself I was okay with these things, but whenever they came up, I brushed them off. Wasn’t ready to commit to anything.
And so another year passed this way; things weren’t always good anymore. That ray of sunshine carried with it a weight, one that I was deeply uncomfortable. Unable to articulate this in any meaningful way, things came to pieces only after one fight too many and one too many false compromises reached.
It was over, but the worst had only just begun.
I learned the meaning of what people say when they reference their ‘baggage.’
Never before had I carried something like it, and to this day I still feel it. It’s not the feeling of failure, not exactly, but the apprehension of trying again. That the same thing will happen and the baggage I carry will only increase as my life goes on.
I logically understand that this is the way life works, that as one ages there are more things to regret and carry as a burden, but I cannot emotionally convince myself to commit.
It’s a flaw, a deep one that hinders all my personal relationships, whether it’s opening up to friends, to talking candidly to family.
I just don’t engage people, not anything more than a facsimile of surface level. It gets me by, but I ask myself what I’m missing out on.
So many people around me have someone, marriage, children, and everything else. Or they have it on the horizon, at the very least.
But when I look at the horizon I don’t see anyone else. And most of the time I struggle to even see myself there, such is my short sightedness.
My flaw is my own, and while others may carry a burden exactly like it, I am the only one who has to live with it. I close myself off to others, and when asked to open up, put on a good act, enough to get by with some, but not others. The others that matter, the others that will see my lie for what it is and resent it.
I cannot blame this flaw on that person I had a relationship with once, it’s all on my head. My baggage is mine; and while I can’t say I allow myself to have it, I’m certainly doing nothing to get rid of it.
So bon voyage, fair sea travelers, maybe I’ll see you at the horizon and the end of all things.
I hope that I find something else to resent about myself before then. Otherwise I’ll be terribly bored with myself, and terribly disappointed.
Styles Yugen, signing off.