You Were Never the One

I got an unexpected (LONG) facebook message from an ex today. This is someone I haven't heard from in years. The message gave me almost every detail of his life, including the reason he was writing: he's getting divorced - for the 4th time. He's 39.

Apparently this 4th divorce has been a kind of wake-up call. He's decided to ask every woman who ever broke up with him what he could have done differently in the relationship. He asked me to "be brutally honest."

The thing is, I never thought of him as a long-term prospect. I liked him, but he was never the one. I knew that. When I broke up with him I told him that I didn't think we should see each other anymore because it would never be what I wanted and I didn't think it would be what he wanted. At the time, he agreed.

Today, he told me that he was head over heels in love with me and was devastated when I broke up with him. I had no idea. I guess because I knew I'd never love him, I couldn't believe he could be in love with me.

But you can't write that - "You were never the one." It's mean, right? Especially since he confessed his ardent love for me. It's also pointless - at least for his purposes. The thing is, I never lived with him and we dated for less than a year. I don't have any constructive criticism for him that will help him with his present quest for self-transformation.

My inclination was not to answer at all. After all the time he took to (unnecessarily) outline his entire life since last we met, though, I felt like some kind of response was in order.

This is what I wrote:

Dear Ex-Boyfriend (not his real name),

Sorry to hear you're in the middle of another divorce. I knew you'd gotten divorced from First Wife (not her real name), but didn't know you'd married again (and again and again).

I don't think I can (or want to) offer you any help with your request. There was no issue in our relationship that caused our breakup, it just wasn't what I wanted (and I was never that into you).

Take care,

Dorothy (not her real name)

A perfunctory reply, yes, but I have to confess, I was more than a little annoyed at the whole thing. I wasn't flattered or inclined to help him. The fact that he's on his 4th divorce only confirms that I was dead right in not wanting to be with him. I mean seriously? FOUR divorces? After 2 maybe you pump the breaks and reflect. After three, maybe you really take your time before marrying wife #4.

I don't remember him as the kind of guy who averages a new wife every two years, but maybe that's one of the things that I knew and never processed. Maybe I just didn't care since I thought of it as a mostly casual thing. I'm not sure.

What I wanted to write was:

Dear Ex-Boyfriend,

What's past is past. Let it go. I never loved you and never wanted more than regular sex and an occasional dinner companion from you. If you're in the middle of your 4th divorce in 9 years, you're probably an irredeemable dick. While this isn't how I remember you, I have to admit, I don't remember you well.

Please, please (pretty please) never contact me again.


Sometimes people are so dumb.


There Are Years That Ask Questions And Years That Answer

I was browsing through an old notebook and I had part of this written in one of the margins. Actually it said, "...years that answ." It took me a minute to decipher my own scrawl and then to remember the quote (from Their Eyes Were Watching God - Z. N. Hurston). I'm not sure why I wrote it in that margin at that time, but it got me thinking.

Last year was a year that answered. I came to understandings about myself, what I want, my happiness, and my disposition. I also came to understand some of the people in my life a little bit better. Some of the answers I got were things I didn't want to hear. Others were so obvious that I don't know how it took me so long to arrive there. It was a year that made sense in a mad way. I made some decisions that seemed lunatic but that were the sanest things I've ever done. In all, it was a highly satisfying year.

This year - not so much. This year is an asking year. How do I balance my marriage with friends? How do I deal with new family members? What am I going to do with my life that I now share with another person? Do I want to be a lawyer? Do I want to be a writer? Is there any way that I can do everything that I want to? Will I get to do the traveling I want to do? Why do I feel inadequate sometimes? Can I finally hold standing bow for the full time? Does the world need another yoga studio and if so, could it be mine? And finally, why is it that candy can't be one of the food groups?

With all of these things (and more - believe me, this is the short list) simmering away, I feel that the next few years will be questioning years - even if they turn out to be asking only, "How do I get that done?"

I have to admit, I prefer the years that answer, but only a little. The years that answer are the years that we apply our growth, I guess. The years that question let us do the learning we have to do to get on with things. There's fun in that struggle. And there's always a let down after the answers come. Sure, you got a couple of things scratched off your list, but there are always more waiting around the corner. There is no moment of completion - which I guess is a good thing, because I'm pretty sure that's death.

I don't often write about yoga. It's a strangely personal thing to me, but I have to thank the practice for letting me have an occasional second of presence where the seesaw is perfectly horizontal. When Q=A. And now that I'm developing math equations that I have no hope of ever solving because my math skills are complete shit, I will rest.


Son of a Bitch

Okay, so I have this template for my blog. You're looking at it right now. It's pretty and all, right? But 9 times out of 10 it doesn't load right. What the hell? I've messed and messed with the HTML and nothing makes it work. I'm willing to entertain the idea that it's Blogger's fault, but Wordpress makes it too hard to use your own domain name. Maybe I'll go over to the .org, more professional Wordpress and see what I can figure out. Then migrating a blog? I don't know. I wish I knew enough HTML to actually write my own template. Maybe that's a hobby I can take up. Hmmm.

I'm going to mess with it a little more tonight and then I've had it. I'm going to change it.


I am home from vacation. Spent and refreshed at once. I went to sleep at 9:30 last night and work up after 8 this morning.

I have several incomplete pieces of writing and ideas that sprang from being away. I will gather them up and possibly post a few of them tonight or tomorrow.

I can't ever decide how I feel about unfinished writing - well, my unfinished writing, anyway. I write down ideas all the time. Ideas are one thing, but a part-done piece of writing is a different ball of wax entirely.

If I have an idea, I generally write down the bare bones of the idea in a tiny outline. Sometimes I get back to the idea, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I write something based completely on that little outline and sometimes I rob the main idea and put it in something else. This is all quite satisfying to me.

What I hate is having little frayed bits of stories or essays or whatever dangling around. I don't know why they fade out. I'll get something in my head and I'll go for a while and then it stops. Nothing more comes. Not even a general sense of where it might go. When I go back to these fragments, I've often lost the train of thought.

I then begin to wonder if it's worth trying to pick up again. Yet I almost can't get rid of a piece of writing - no matter how embarrassingly awful or misguided. But I hate them - those incomplete thoughts.

Not every piece of writing will lead somewhere good or effective or well-plotted. I know this. I know that sometimes just making an attempt makes other things happen - new ideas bud and flower. It doesn't make me feel better about the pieces though.

I'd like to know what is so compelling that I must write it down, but that I can't seem to figure a finish to. Maybe I'm really questioning my life. Oh hell. That's too deep for my vacation-worn mind to grapple with now. Forget I said anything.


On Rivalry

I'm not, by nature, a competitive person. I never have been. This made it difficult for me to swim competitively and is one of the chief reasons I stopped. I felt sorry for the people who lost - the kids who were so invested in winning that they were crushed by not doing so. Or worse, the kids whose parents wanted them to win. My parents were happy for me if I won, but they weren't pushing me to win, win, win.

I've never cared if I won or lost. I guess because in a lot of competitions I took part in, I often won. Swimming, spelling, softball throwing... I could also get good grades in school and not do very much work. I know I had at least one friend in high school who had a little competition going in her head regarding our grades.

Matt is competitive. Not in life, really, but as far as games and sports go. He likes to win. We have a Wii (which is awesome, by the way) and we got Sports Resort. I kick his ass at "Swordplay" every single time. He can't take it. He gets so mad he won't play after I beat him. I find this somewhat hilarious. I don't tell him that, of course, but it is.

I don't understand the investment in that kind of stuff. I'm not saying it's wrong, I just really don't understand. I think I'm pretty lucky that way.

Recently, though, I've felt a little competitive with myself. It's weird. It's all to do with yoga and standing-bow/dancer's pose, which are slight variations of the same pose as far as I can tell, but they do have different Sanskrit names (dandayamana dhanurasana and natarajasana respectively). Anyway, this pose is my bane. And the fact that I feel competitive about yoga seems somewhat counter-intuitive to me.

I do two kinds of yoga pretty regularly, both of which incorporate this pose into their practices. As the result of starting a second kind of yoga, I realized that the way I'd been going about this posture was wrong. So I started over - kicking into my hand and not really going forward much at all to re-align my back foot.

Now I'm having more balancing problems. I find that I'm talking to myself in my head all the time, "Kick higher than the last time. Hold it longer. It looked better in the last set. You can do better than this." And it's disruptive to my practice. I get annoyed with myself for not doing it as well as I did yesterday. Then I get annoyed at myself for getting so distracted. Actually, I think this competition with myself is more disruptive than competition with someone else would be.

Not that I've never looked at one of my classmates and felt a pang of desire to be able to do a posture as well as they can. One of the instructors (she works at both of my yoga studios) is a wafer-thin Japanese woman who can practically turn herself inside out. She's like a walking rubber band. Whenever she's in a class with me, I sometimes take a look at her just to see what her poses look like. They're beautiful. But I don't have any kind of competitive feelings about my fellow classmates. Just me. My reflection.

The primary problem is that I'm always practicing with me. There I am in the mirror. There I am in my head. At least if I was trying to compete with another person I could get away from them. I'm stuck with me, though.

Some people might think that a little competition with yourself is a good thing. Maybe it is. Maybe this will lead me somewhere in my practice and in my head that I'm not anticipating, but right now, it's maddening.


Twue Wuv

Matt and I stayed up talking until 2 this morning. Not about anything in particular, just talking. I love that we still do that. We don't do it every night, because we're old now and staying up until 2 after we spend almost our entire day together is kind of silly, but I'm really glad that we still do it sometimes.

When Matt and I first met, I was 19 and he was 23. Because I was scared and in a bad relationship, I never said anything to him about the fact that I was desperately in love with him and then, because of my fear/stupidity, I married the guy I was in the bad relationship with and moved away. Matt started dating someone else and over the course of a couple of years (during which I got divorced), we lost touch. But I always wondered about him. I tried looking him up here and there over the years, but never found him. Well, I did finally, obviously, find him. But it took 10 years.

For most of those years, I was single. I define myself as single because even though I might have consistently dated someone, it was never a relationship that would (or could) last. In my pursuit of passion, I found myself oft entangled with men who were great guys, and great in bed, but who otherwise were not suited to me at all - not in any lasting way. Men who 'adored' me but didn't love me. Men who loved me but didn't do it for me. Then a friend of mine, The Captain, emailed me through Amazon to ask me to be his Amazon Friend. I didn't know this feature existed until that moment. So I looked up Matt. There he was. I sent him a message.

At that point, I had a man in my life - albeit one who didn't want the same things I did (surprise). But I still wanted to just say hi to Matt and see how he was. I sent my email address along with my message and a few days later, I got an email back. When I saw his name in my inbox, I thought my heart would beat out of my chest. We emailed for a year and a half, during which time, both of our relationships ended. We started talking on the phone. He was kind of dating someone - casually - and I got jealous.

I realized that I needed to say something. Okay, I kind of chickened out and emailed him. He emailed back. And then we started talking about it on the phone. We made plans to see each other, but the first time I ever told him I loved him was on the phone.

From the time we saw each other for the first time to the time I moved in with him was 5 weeks. Seven months later we were married.

There were plenty of times in the years we were apart that I thought about how my life would end up. I wondered if I would find someone who made me giggle while simultaneously making my heart thump. When I wasn't sure I would ever find that person, I resigned myself to being a happy, unattached person. That's good, too - finding happiness in being alone. And then I found him.

I don't believe in soul mates. But I do believe that there is a perfect match for everyone - a burning flame of love and desire that compliments each of us in the ways that matter - the person whose mere existence on earth makes it easier to get out of bed every day. That is a true delight. And it's something everyone should have.

A friend of mine said to me once, when I complained about my job, "There is no such thing as total job satisfaction. We go to work to pay for our lives with the people we love. Everything else is just extra." She was right, of course.


This is How My Brain Works

I have odd, fleeting thoughts almost all the time.

For example, today, I sorted through a bunch of stuff (clothes, books, random stuff) to get rid of - Goodwill or something - and stuck it all in a box. I put the box outside the door so that I won't forget to take it when I leave the house the next time. As I put the box down, I had a little flash. It was almost in pictures. It went something like this:

If some Pompeiian disaster were to take place between the time I put the box outside the door and the time I moved it to the car, what would the archaeologists of the future think about what was in that box? I imagined some pasty British man in his 50s, squatting next to a dig area with a brush, pointing for a camera and explaining, "In early 21st Century America, it seems people left items outside their dwellings. We surmise (they always say 'surmise') this was some kind of superstition to ward off evil. A type of gargoyle, if you will..."

In my head, he sounds like George Sanders.