a pause for reflection

As time passes, I become more aware of my struggles to deal with emotional scars. I began writing in happyperson, this blog, because I had a feeling that my life lacked meaning, purpose, and a sense of direction. I was not a happy person, and the only way that I could become one was by writing. 

I do not always know what I want to write about. Sometimes, like in this sentence, it’s fluff. But the fluff is, in itself, an effort to understand. This journey seems to be designed in that manner, so I push on. And I wonder what will come from writing these nightly posts? What will I discover, down the line, about myself and my place in the world? 

This blog can be categorized most succinctly as an existential journal. I share my thoughts, the things that I usually wouldn’t share with anyone else. I allow myself to be vulnerable, write poems, and share goals. 

There are truths that are so difficult to accept, and you cling to the hope that they may not be true. We create illusions to escape, and sometimes we create diversions. I notice myself trying to escape my thoughts a lot. I scroll through Instagram, I listen to music, and I sleep with my phone beside my pillow. Because being alone is really hard sometimes. 

In boot camp, I felt alone. I made friends there, but sometimes it just felt lonely. In my solitude, I wrote. We didn’t have much alone time, but that’s when I realized, when I am alone – I write. That makes me a writer. I wrote letters to my mom, Gely, Kathy, Jeffrey, Eric, Caroline, and Sammie. I wrote a letter to Sammie, and she replied – I clung to that letter because it gave me hope, reassurances that I mattered out there to someone in the world, other than family. 

For some reason, I never really felt sure about the letters with Caroline. It bothered me that they were typed. I didn’t ever share why. Sometimes I get sensitive about the smallest things. I wanted a hand-written letter, personal memories, I wanted to know what flavor coffee you were drinking, what it felt like to get caught in a thunderstorm while going out for groceries. I wanted to hear about the new candle you purchased, and what the smell reminded you of. 

I am in some regards a tortured romantic because receiving a letter should have been enough. But I oftentimes acknowledge a fatal flaw is my inability to accept people as they are. I place undue expectations, and sometimes what I fail most at is acknowledging that this is not a problem with the other person or with me. But this is a problem of compatibility – you know what you want in a partner, even if you don’t think you know what you want. This leads to inevitable conflict.

I didn’t touch a single photo on the day we parted ways. I’d see Caroline’s picture on my dresser as I put on my uniform in the morning. I’d have her letters in my desk drawer, and I every time I would lock my phone away I would see them in there. On the day when I finally decided I would erase one photo, I put my head down and cried. The moment was painful, as I acknowledged another failed relationship. 

It was a time when I needed a hug, or maybe a friend to tell me it was all going to be alright. That I would find someone special, that time will heal the wounds. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the silence filled the room as tears made their way down my face. I took the pictures off of my corkboard, and I took the letters out of my desk. It made one big pile, and then I erased a photo on my phone. 

Scrolling back through time to select memories to destroy – why do we do such things? If I were really to love every part of me, then I should have loved who I was in the moments when those pictures were taken. I should have kept them to remember a relationship that brought smiles to my face. Because even the bad ones have some good memories. 

I didn’t though. Those memories will live only in my mind until they expire. One day, I may be somewhere and remember being there with her. But these days, I would have to think hard to reach those places again. I would have to travel backward through many more memories. 

I recently reached out to a girl to ask her to join me for trivia. She let me down easily, but I know that even if I think I want another connection I am not ready. I have wounds still, I have problems and issues I haven’t addressed. Even if I did have a chance to explore a relationship with Sammie, it would probably suffer because of those issues I have failed to address.

What I mean to say, is that in this recent and past relationship, I failed to hold myself accountable and I believed that the key to a happy relationship was just finding a more suitable partner. While there are fatal differences, like misaligned values that can keep bonds from strengthening, the truth is that an incomplete, unfulfilled person will not be complete, happy by introducing to another person.

To think that that is the only discovery I made is overly simplistic. That is a discovery, and a lot of people acknowledge that when they share advice, but it is one of many things I failed to understand about myself. 

Instead of building new relationships, I think I should really strengthen my relationship with my mom, my friends, my sister, and my Dad. I am alienated and distant, but that is a tale for another time. 

Tonight, I will drink my tea and maybe read a book. A cozy bed awaits where I will lay my head to rest.

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