Friday, June 08, 2007

House of Mirth

What happens when you don’t have a breaking point is you can never really write off your dreams as you once saw them.

I was raised in a house of constant forgiveness. We could scream, pull hair, threaten the world and still have meatloaf the next day with a side of group-hug. We created and weathered all storms, small, huge, silly and important. It was perfectly reasonable for us to spend hours on our feelings, enough to stay home from school or act like a loon and know that it was all okay because we were a unit. Failure was not an option. It was both infuriating and amazing not to be able to give up. It was, and still is, good in many ways. For us at least. For me working with the rest of society, the corporate world and adult life in general? Not so much.

Other people don’t fathom what my idea of sticking it out means. And how I wish I could be them; I wish I could run away from my problems, deal with them in quick fixes. Slay someone with a word and never look back to see if they survived, convincing myself that I was right to run from the dragon than to face it head on.

It would have saved me a lot of heartache in this world. It would have gotten me out of crappy jobs, friendships and relationships far sooner. There wouldn’t have been such a stick-to-it-tiveness ingrained in me. My middle name is Clare, but I’m thinking of legally changing it to “try, try again.”

But how do you know what is your own point of no return when you value not having one? How to quit when you’re behind so that eventually you’ll end up ahead? Slogging through circumstances that don’t care how hard you try or how good a person you are seems futile. There is no gold medal for effort for you when the relay team has put their success on your shoulders. By that token, the failure of the team is your failure. How unfair this is. How inevitable.

Now it’s time for a new lesson. How to get out while you’re still alive; trading self-preservation for your old good intentions and virtues. Things like unconditional love or perseverance can only take one so far. Why go through the pain for a job, a friend, a significant other who will not go through it for you?

It is important to be a rock, to be strong for a person or a situation. It is important to believe that being pure is enough, but it is not everything. Sometimes we all need someone to lean on, something to depend on, someone who will simultaneously take a leap of faith and one for the team, but what we truly forget, is that as important as it is to be the one who can shoulder the shock, is that we need the same in return.


Anonymous said...

It is virtuous to be there for someone else, but even more so to admit that someone should be there for you.

Same with a job sitch--if they can fire you at any time, then you can walk away at any time. It's good to give something your all, but if whatever isn't giving their all back--you'll never get anywhere.

C-47 said...

you write it alot, but i'd like to think that although it was at times crappy im not entirely relegated to that. in fairness you are awesome enough to make a man go mad. i grew up a little with or because of you, and when thinkin on you it makes me smile more then not.


some dude lucky enough to have spent time with K, and who a small facet of will always be nineteen cause of K. (she makes a man write songs)

Anonymous said...

Well I never got to spend anytime with you, k, but by 'virtue' of this blog, I'm pretty much in love with you and always will be.

Can't even believe anyone wouldn't--you've even got exes still blessed because they had you in their lives! So move forward with anything and everything, the world is lucky to have you and you should never forget that.