Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ramblings of some sort

I made mistakes this year, all of which felt gargantuan at the time—all of which seem relatively trivial now, but are still important, because, most of all, I learned from them. And so the embarrassment of these mistakes is masked by acknowledgment, embracement, and recovery through understanding. Though most of my lessons this year were taught in the form of feeling and fearing and losing and destroying love, I really think that love is one of the most important emotions to know completely, even though that is often so hard to admit.

I think that sometimes the most difficult person to understand is yourself. As you get older you quickly become more and more aware of all the layers. There are too many layers. There are layers to yourself that feel so normal at one moment and so horrid the next. And that is, in my experience, the most frightening feeling of all: when you wake up in the morning and you can’t remember the person you were last night. You look in the mirror and you can’t recognize the person you’ve seen each time you’ve looked in the mirror over the past thirty-one years. Your actions are read back to you and you can’t recall yourself. You are ashamed of yourself.


I began this year at my parents house in Oregon. At midnight, I was preoccupied elsewhere, so was yelled at by JK for not being on the webcam. I had a feeling, even then, that the year 2010 would consist of many pitfalls and reckless nerves.

In front of a house on the outskirts of Austin, I learned my first lesson about real love—it persists even after the parties involved have torn each other down. Real love builds us back up.

In a crowded restaurant, sitting across from him in a comfy booth, at the end of the coldest months of the year, I learned that real love, however misguided, is forgiving. But also that misguided love is hopelessly flawed and, regrettably, temporary.

At the beginning of June, I learned I was not a vegan.

Underneath a streetlamp in the suburbs, I learned that no matter how kind and giving and honest you are, you cannot make someone love you. I learned my own strength, and my ability to recognize an unhealthy presence in my life, and be rid of it.

At the end of the spring, I learned that real love truly loves you unconditionally, even without reciprocation. But this love, I also learned, can quickly become greedy, and will selfishly turn you against all the exits in order to keep you under its wing, even at the expense of your own well being.

As the first signs of summer began to spring, I longed to understand the most unforgivable of actions in the most horrible way.

In a small bedroom lacking air-conditioning, I was brutally, gut-wrenchingly, and boldly honest. And in that honesty, I finally recognized to myself the real weight of my actions. I learned that some things are simply unforgivable, no matter how badly you want to cling to the notion that forgiveness is possible.

The final shred of evidence of my once respectable self was ripped away with the departure of my source of life support. I learned that dishonorable actions do not, eventually, go unpunished.

On the cold tile floor of an empty house, I learned to accept my mistakes as my own. Most importantly, I learned to accept the blame for my own misfortunes, and my abandonment.

On the third dark evening of the year, I said goodbye to my parents, and I learned how much I could truly love and miss someone. And in the missing of them, I learned how much I truly appreciated them. I learned that real love persists, despite thirty-one years of conflict and resolution.

Amidst a fever and the first signs of fall, I learned that it is not so much about understanding the difference of opinion, but the indifference of it. I learned that despite how much hurt is inflicted, or how much time has passed, or how much love is shared and lost and shredded, there is room for forgiveness.

And finally, through the peep-hole of my house, I spotted a missing link, and I remembered everything I had learned at once. I remembered so much undeserved love, the bitterness of its departure, the sheer pain of the emptiness it left behind, accepting all of the blame so silently, and finally feeling peaceful. And I learned another lesson in the art of starting over, however slowly or reservedly. I learned that the things you are most patient in waiting for are really the only things worth waiting for.

This year I learned to accept the fact that layers change, so people change, so relationships change, so love inevitably changes. Sometimes love changed is love lost, but lessons lie amongst the residue that are painful to face, and the most important to know completely, I think.

This year I have loved, ohh I have loved, and I do not regret.

xoxo val

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