Monday, July 14, 2008

Moving On- Vol. 3

Yep, Vol 3 is coming quite soon after Vol 2 but I thought it best to deal with the issues separately. Vol 2 was about talking to people about the decision, namely my grandmother because I didn't want to be the one to reveal one of the driving factors behind this decision and a part of its timeline when she didn't know. Vol. 3 is about the doubts that come creeping in and how ultimately people make the decisions about how to decide how to live their lives in the first place.

For those of you who haven't noticed, I'm an all or nothing kind of a person. I go to extremes. While I am aware of this and I have made some efforts to change it, I must admit that, for the most part, I like that I am like this. I don't always like the results or the situations I put myself in because I take extreme action but I do like this quality in myself. If nothing else, I will at least readily admit to it, to its influences in my life and my decision making, and that it isn't something I really feel like changing at this particular point in my life. Maybe someday. Probably someday. But not today.

I'll be the first to admit that the life course decisions I made last week were made on a sort of whim, during a very VERY stressful time, when I had way too much time alone with music to think about the grand scheme of my life. (Art in general, as it usually has a short period of time in which to make a large statement, tends to exaggerate things so while an artist might advocate radical change in their work, such as leaving someone at the drop of the hat in a song, in real life, even if they did leave that person, they probably put quite a bit more thought and time into it than the song implies. As Ani sings, "I just write about what I should have done/Sing what I wish I could say".) Don't get me wrong here: I'm not changing my mind or my decision. But I'm feeling more philosophical now about how people decide how to decide how to live their lives. The more time that passes since my decision, the more I can see the possibilities of the life paths I'm choosing not to take. I can see the value in each one of them and I also know that lots of people take those life paths everyday. I wonder not only how they decide which path to take, but I wonder how they decide how to decide. (Maybe it's too late for this but I'm gonna try.)

While I've never quite had the courage of my convictions, I've always thought that people should live in extreme ways: follow their hearts and their goals and their loves and put it all on the line. They shouldn't follow some pre-determined path for their lives. They shouldn't be meek little sheep. They shouldn't do something JUST because it is what is expected of them by family or friends or society. All that romantic bullshit crap. And I've gotten into lots of arguments with friends and family members as to why one should follow their heart/goals/dreams/love/whatever or they were just sell-outs and would always be unhappy. I still believe that to be true in many ways. If you have a strong desire to do something and you don't do it or you can't do it, then I do think you will always regret it and, depending on how you deal with that regret in your life, you might make yourself or your family miserable with that regret. Sometimes even just a little desire for something can haunt you until the day you die. Something you wish you'd taken the chance to do or say.

But I also know that loving blindly and blindingly isn't always best. When I look at the possibilities of where choosing a life with BT could take me, there are alot of horrible possibilities down that road. I'm not naive enough nor do I trust enough in his desire to change that I can see it going how I once did---- He pursues an Army or law enforcement career while I finish school and then write or edit or whatever from wherever we end up because of his job choice while raising a couple cute little kids that he dotes on. With him, just as with ex-T really, I see distrust, horrible fighting over money and other women and men, possibly addiction on either side of the relationship, and ultimately mutually assured destruction (or self-destruction, or both.)

But that doesn't mean that I don't want the real big true LOVE. I want to be someone's first and only choice just because they love me so much they can't stand to be without me, not just someone that I can put up with and who can put up with me while we both just work 9-5 to pay the bills and have nothing beyond that. I think every hopeless romantic artist type hates that idea of yuppie suburban hell, or what they think would be hell in any case. But it's not like I can't advocate for the positives of that lifestyle as well. When I look down that road of a possible life with TyRoy, I can see all that wonderful stability. But there is freedom there as well, as we have an open relationship, both in being with other people but also in exploring together. That possible life isn't as restrictive as it would seem on the surface either, especially because he may retire soon-ish from the career that currently dictates where he lives and for how long thus opening up the possible lives even more. Also, he doesn't want and cannot have children, so any children we would raise together would be no accident but both well-thought out and part of a time consuming adoption process. I can see that the possibilities of a life with TyRoy would be both stable and free, routine but also open to...spicyness (?). Don't know what to put there. But, at least not right now, it doesn't afford me the ability to just decide for myself where and how and when to live. Right now, I don't believe that I could commit to even the very open commitment that even this relationship with TyRoy would require.

Also, ultimately, I don't think I'm anybody's first and only and penultimate choice in a LOVE relationship. Definately not ex-T, who could never go without a girlfriend and who has always only really wanted a family and right now just wants someone because he is so desperately alone that he knows he will (hell, is) self-destruct (-ing). Not BT, despite the fact that I know he thinks he is in love with me, that I'm the love of his life, that he'll never stop loving me and that he would always chose to be with me if I wanted him no matter what his life situation. I admit that, especially right now, I think he'll probably be the love of my life because I can't imagine ever loving anyone the way that I loved him, but then again, I'm not sure I want to and I'm not sure I can. I'm not pretty sure that LOVE I want won't feel like that love did/does. And despite how I know BT feels and/or thinks he feels, I don't think I'll ever feel like I was his first, only, and penultimate choice. As for TyRoy, well, he's a tough read and, because of the heartache of his very recent divorce, I'm not sure even he knows how he feels right now. I'm probably really the same way- Even if we were each others' first, only, and penultimate choice, I don't think either of us would know it or could be sure of its truth because of what we have just gone through and/or am going through.

Fuck me. I've just spent all this time talking about how deciding your life possibilities is only about romantic entanglements and where those take you and how your life is in part decided by those. MP would say that is part of my problem- that I ONLY see my life possibilities in terms of where a romantic relationship will allow me to go and/or will take me. And that brings up the point of using your romantic relationships to decide your life's possibilities. I think that for many woman for much of history that is how we made our life decisions, if we had the luxury of being able to make decisions at all, whether just because our family told us what to do and we did it or because our class and/or economic status dictated that life was a certain way. Recently, my grandma told me that when she was 13, she had a short story published in a pulp romance magazine. She got $35 for it. (She said that it would have been $50, the real prize but they had to edit it some because of her grammar and spelling, but she was still really proud. $35 was a big deal in 1948, especially for a family as large and as poor as hers was.) But when she showed it to her mom, her mom punished her for writing that filth. She became really ashamed. Grandma told me that my mom and uncles didn't even know about that story. She only told me, I think, because she really wants me to not give up on my dreams of being a published, supported by my work author. On the other hand, while I know she must have had dreams of writing (or she wouldn't have wrote the story) or at least dreams of romance and sex (or she couldn't have written the story), her life was largely decided by marrying my grandfather and having children with him. The times when she did move far from home were to be closer to him when he was in the Army and training. While I'm not sure about this, I would bet that they moved to the city they did because their was work their for him and they could by land in the developing suburbs nearby and it was the closest city to their families. My mom's life decisions were largely lead by her romantic life, or at least by her male romantic partners as well. I think that my mom sees my generation as really the first that could make these life decisions based on what we wanted, not on who we married and what they wanted or what they did, so we should stay on birth control and make the most of our ability to have a Sex and the City lifestyle if we wanted it, or whatever lifestyle we wanted. (Yes, I know those women are quite a bit older than I am but they live in NY. It's different here in the midwest.)

But I know that it can't be that simple for men either, even though I know that men are hemmed in my different things than women. Some men really do have the wealth or the privelege or just the sheer confidence and intelligence to pursue whatever life they want- whatever career they want, whatever love they want, live in whatever part of the world they want to live in, etc. But those men really are few and far between. I'd love to be able to ask MP, and have him be able to tell me honestly, how he decided his life path, what made him chose career over the possibility of having a family, or a regular normal family. Was it just personality or family background or just that he grew to love one thing so much so that he never really found room for the other at the same time? I honestly think that most men get hemmed in by the expectations of their family on their lives, whether that be for them to fulfill (or rebel against) their father's unfilfilled dreams or to carry on a family tradition or to be the first one to really get the family out of that gutter. Sometimes it was just marrying the girl that they knocked up (or marrying the girl that they wanted to be able to have sex with, if either the girl, the boy, or both wouldn't have sex before marriage.) But I look at TyRoy and I wonder how he got to where he is and if he's happy with the life decisions he chosen or how he would change them if he could. While he seems to have been all around athletic, he focused on one sport, to the point that I think he went to Olympic trials and in the past competed against guys who are going to the Olympics. He chose the military and a specific branch, over his parents objections. What made him feel the need to serve his country in that specific branch when he could have gone to any number of prestigious civilian universities and probably had a sucessful career with more stability and probably less risk of death? I know that sometimes people just make choices because they are handed circumstances in life and they really only have one viable option or really only one best option. I understand how those decisions get made. (I also do understand that sometimes those decisions aren't REALLY well, there's only one thing you can do, but that they are usually times when doing the other thing is so incredibly difficult that very very VERY few people take the "un-viable" option.)

Once again, it might all be too late at night to really get this point accross but I want to know how people decide what they are going to use as their way to decide. How do they decide they they are going to use whatever they use (love, money, the easiest way possible, the hardest way possible, the way no one has ever done before) as their barameter for making decisions? Maybe it's just the writer in me, wanting to get into everyone's head. Maybe it's that I want humans to make sense. Maybe it's just that I want to be able to find and define my own barameter thus making it easier for me to assert that I am making the right decisions here.

Post answers if you have them.

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