Grounded Edges, or Overly Personal Post #3
I wrote a thing, and then it felt too much like the thing I was supposed to write and lacking in soul, so then I didn’t publish it, and I wrote another thing. Then I spent another week wondering if I should publish the new thing only or the new thing with the old thing because the new thing contains information but no context. Honestly, I need to put this thing somewhere so I can close the tab on this blog post so here is the new thing, which feels right; the old thing, which is true; and an edit to the old thing cause asking for what I want > saying the right thing.
I wrote the note below a while back, still raw, still processing, and focusing on a detail of the story rather than its whole. The story below doesn’t focus on my experience, it pretends to. So lets call this Overly Personal Post #3 and tell it from its start on the floor of a Manhattan flat where the radiator was strangely positioned under the window (for maximum thermal loss in winter? Or perhaps I misremember.) and where I found what would be a really freaking Big Deal of a crush – and I didn’t how precious or how fragile it was, so I moved to Thailand. Which is to say, if you zoom out just a little, I had the life I wanted, and I moved to the other side of the planet, and it was what I needed in that moment in time. It was terrible and stupid and also perfect.
This isn’t a one-step-out-of-sync-for-seven-years story, because that’s sorta just a byproduct. What it is, is a realization that life is what happens when you string together all those snapshots and you look back on it and go “holy shit, I’ve changed and it’s been years not months.” It’s a story in which I tried some stuff and it didn’t work, and I am fucking proud of myself for giving it a go. And yeah, I mourn all the unchosen paths and lost moments, but the reality is that all of the discomfort and confusion of the past lends strength to the present. (Also fear, also gratitude.)
Because that night I spent sitting on the floor in a Manhattan flat rolled eventually into an evening sitting on a hotel hallway floor in Massachusetts talking about CSS, I can tell you if something is meant to be, it’ll be. Because that wasn’t the end of the story, I can tell you that sometimes, the things you really really want, aren’t meant to be. That’s cool too, they are parts of a puzzle.
Basically, this is what I needed; it hurts like hell and I don’t know what to do with it now that I have it, but that’s the piece that needed to be collected on this quest. That feels like a lot, maybe I’ll just sit with it for a while. BTW, I thought it was this; maybe it was in part, maybe I was wrong.
Like much of my generation, I have lived almost all the important – and many of the mundane – moments of my life on the public Internet. I have had birthday’s here, made friends here, spilled my secrets and my fantasies here. Perhaps not here on this blog, but across multiple identities and multiple platforms, I basically have a living breathing catalog of my life. This is not special, most of my friends do as well.
And then there are the things that aren’t public. Things that, despite living so much of my life on the Internet, I am still unsure as to how to present, in a public context, with dignity and respect…
A little more than three weeks ago, while we were both in NY, my partner and I broke up.
I’ve spent three weeks debating if I should say something here, aware that while I am not ready to live this part of my life in the public square, the absence of this information will also become glaringly obvious given the context of some of my posts.
But something else happened today. For the first time ever I considered deleting my blog. For the first time in 6 years of government jobs, and private sector interviews; of introducing this blog to potential partners and pretending it doesn’t exist over dinners with family members who know it does, I looked up from my computer, turned to my roommate and said “I could just delete the blog.” And then I burst into tears.
Deleting this blog, or considering that anyway, had nothing to do with the breakup above. It is in fact part of a dynamic that is related to my now ex partner only in that the world is small and he knows the people involved. But this person was a big part of the motivation for this blog, both 6 years ago when it was my way of reaching out into the world, and two years ago when I realized I could use it to express all the things our conversations had boiling in my mind.
Like most of the people I bring so intimately into my life, he inspired me to be a better, truer version of myself. He challenged me to be vocal about the world I wanted to live in (and that which I wanted to see abolished) and gave me the tools and emotional resources to do so. I wish him the very best the world has to offer in whatever contexts he chooses for himself. I really hope that when all the dust settles, I haven’t lost a friend.