Monday, January 14, 2013

Eternal Sunshine Obscured by Dark Clouds

I am in a funk.  And not in that good James Brown kind of way, either.  I'm in a full-on miserable, dark-cloud-over-my-head, pouty, irritated, stinking funk.

There are several factors in play here, but some of the most recent gloom has to do with the fact that I have been in brief touch with my ex.  I had something of his that he needed, and I reached out to him to give it back.  I didn't have to, but I was feeling charitable and thought that by doing so I'd be rising above the resentment I still feel toward him.  I even threw in a little "peace offering" of a local treat that he can't get where he is now.

I shouldn't have done it.  It kicked off a series of terse (on my end) exchanges that left me feeling...well, less than great. Look. No matter how much you think you're over something, no matter how much better off you know you are without someone, when the day comes when you've been replaced and have become completely irrelevant in someone's life, it's never an easy thing to swallow.

In "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," Clementine undergoes a procedure to have her memories of Joel wiped out after they split, and he is crestfallen when he runs into her and she doesn't recognize or remember him.  To make himself feel better, he has the same procedure done, but as Joel's mind is being purged of memories, he struggles to let them go and realizes he doesn't really want to forget Clementine. I think perhaps that's what happened to me to a degree.   The more I tried to forget him, the more I remembered.  And of course, selective memory when you're bumming is a dangerous thing.  Instead of remembering the negatives, I've honed in on the romanticized version.  Dangerous stuff.

After the breakup, I did my own memory purge of sorts and threw myself headlong into my life in an effort to get over it and get back to where I'd come from.  I had spent so much time and energy on the relationship that I lost a good deal of who I was.  So I had a reclamation of all the things that I couldn't do while he was around, and I blasted back on to the scene.  My friends jubilated.  "Welcome back!" they exclaimed.   I celebrated my newly reacquired independence with a vengeance; I tackled my house and made it mine again.   I was accepted into a professional chorus.  I started hosting friends and holding quirky dinner parties.  I traveled.  I wrote.  I performed. I worked.  I went out. I worked some more.

About a year after the breakup, I went to India for a month.  I had a brief whirlwind affair with a local man while I was there, which ended up being a catalyst to making the decision to start dating again when I returned to the States.  There's just one small problem there: I hate dating.  And I'm not very good at it.  I've made my feelings on internet dating quite clear before, but regardless of the method, dating just isn't my strong suit. At all. My ex, on the other hand, didn't seem to have any trouble getting back on the scene and finding someone new right away and falling in love and settling into a whole new life, complete with a ready-made family unit with two kids and a dog and a cat and whatnot.   And I suppose that's where most of the resentment stemmed from.  Why was it so easy for him?  If history is any indication, he'll probably marry this one, too (they ALL marry the one they find after me).

So this is what's got me down today. It's not that I miss him. I just wonder how come everyone else seems to be able to find love and fall right into it while I'm left holding a handful of broken pieces that never quite fit back together the same way.  It hardly seems fair.  Then again, not much in life is.

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