I used to have a tag on my blog called “annual winter break drama.” Everything bad that ever happened in my personal life always seemed to happen in the magical Christmas season, when there are beautiful lights and delicately falling snow and nobody wants to be alone. It started becoming a such a regular motif that I think, consciously or unconsciously, I began to anticipate drama around that time and probably elicited it too. I chose to have all my tough conversations then and probably expected to feel the new year wash away any of their repercussions.
For the past two years, fall has been the season of choice for these conversations. It seems I also pick times when I’m away from home to have these conversations, when the last thing I should probably be is alone. Trying to find the poetry in the sadness, probably forcing it and sounding extremely cheesy, I’ve come to realise autumn is as good a time as any for renewal. The falling away of the old, then death, making time and space for the new, then the rebirth.
Other than poetry, there are a few things I’m trying to force that just aren’t there. I’ve become really great at reading between the lines of text messages to the point that I’m coming up with my own lines. I can force myself to believe that “no” means “yes, but I can’t tell you that right now” and that “I don’t see you that way” really means “I’m desperately in love with you, can’t you see past my words to know what I’m really trying to say?”
He told me he used to like pasta, and pasta hasn’t changed over time, but one day he might just not like pasta anymore.
I guess that was enough for me to finally get it. In the simplest of analogies—offensively simple, really—I understood. I am pasta. And he’s right. People’s likes and dislikes change over time, and there is no blame on them if they do. When we think of everlasting, eternal relationships, we think of marriages where the commitment has been made to the institution, to God, not just to the other person. Anything before that is just words, really.
I am pasta, and no one is obligated to love me forever. It would be nice if they did, but more likely they will just tolerate me forever. Everyone gets bored of eating the same thing over and over. But it can be tasty and healthy and a balanced meal, and someone with a good deal of maturity might opt to continue eating pasta for the rest of their life, while others might be more capricious in their menu choices. Or, maybe they haven’t found the one food they can eat forever yet.
I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. This has been a long time coming, and I’ve wasted a lot of time on someone I knew there was very, very little chance of a future with. And ultimately, nobody owes me anything. I know my strengths and I know I’m a great person to be around. I should have more dignity than to hang my lifeline on someone who never really decided he wanted it. My mistake.