I often set this goal for myself after some romantic devastation: WARD OFF ALL MEN FOR X TIME, X being some ridiculously long number of months or years. Well it never works. It just isn’t realistic. After two particularly ugly situations, I decided to make the vow again, but this time I would set a more reasonable goal: 34 days. 34 days? Such a random number. But 34 days is the number of days until my 24th birthday. It seemed like a good milestone and a lot can change in a month, so 34 days. The conditions are no dates, no hook-ups, no cuddling, no talking to ex’s, no looking for romance, no reaching out, checking in, no pining away, no wishing, no reminiscing. (I excluded twatching and facebook stalking because it’s become such an ingrained part of my life that I’d fail automatically. There would just be no hope of success. But I have limited myself. I can only facebook stalk or twatch one of my ex’s a day.)
Yesterday was day 1… and I almost failed twice.
Almost Failure # 1
I have many ex’s. Far too many for my liking but it’s true. There is one in particular “the infamous ex”. I loved him more than I have ever loved anything. We broke each other’s hearts multiple times, I’m sure, and we haven’t spoken in over 2 ½ years. He has been married for almost 2 years. For some reason yesterday it popped into my head that it would be a very good idea to email him. What would I say? Something along the lines of, “A lifetime has passed and there is no need to stay strangers. I hope you are well. I pray God continues blessing and prospering you and your beautiful wife in all your endeavors.” I thought this on the way to buy myself a burrito, and it made very good sense until I returned home. In all reality this would be a terrible idea. At best, he wouldn’t respond and acknowledge silently that I forgave him and that I was over it. Worse, he would respond and it would cause dissension in his marriage. There is no reason a married man should have correspondence with the woman he almost married. Worse still, he wouldn’t be over me and he would say this and I would respond in kind, and this one innocent thought on the way to the burrito stand would send both of us dizzying back into the disastrous love we worked so hard to leave behind. The only thing that stopped me from this potentially fatal mistake was my pledge! 34 days no checking in on ex’s. Crisis averted!
Almost Failure # 2
This year I fell in love… more deeply than I have ever fallen since “the infamous ex”. I thought he was wonderful. Parts of him are wonderful. He has an amazing mind, a contemplative spirit, these big deep searching eyes, rough hands, a killer physique, and deftness for listening. He is also a coward who is often driven by lust and a compulsion to be polite. At some point, I think he was in love with me. But love with me is huge. It’s the Atlantic. It’s tempestuous. But it will carry you to your destination. It was all too much and I was too much and I didn’t listen. This I admit. But at least I was always honest. He wasn’t. It cost us everything, down to my respect for him, down to my best memories of him, down to the knees of our friendship.
Anyway, I have been reading this AMAZING book, Eros: The Bittersweet by Anne Carson. READ THIS BOOK. It will change your life. It talks about the architecture of human desire, how it’s related to our quest for knowledge and our necessary grappling with potentiality. I fell in love with him because he reads books like this. He has not read this book and he must. He must, he must, he must. He will understand himself and his love and the thing he calls “intensity”. Yesterday, he was on gchat. It was the first time his gchat video icon had been green in months. I ached to message him. What would I have said? Something along the lines of, “I know we aren’t friends. Eros: The Bittersweet… read it. It explains everything.”
And I actually opened a gchat window.
And I actually typed just that.
And I actually sent it.
FORTUNATELY, my internet crashed at that exact moment and the message never went through. I considered this warning from God and I stayed offline for the rest of the night. Crisis averted!
That was Day 1. Let’s see what happens today.
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- bornforatimesuchasthis said: Alysia, Read this post & said a prayer for you. It hits in the heart & I feel strangely proud to be part of a worldwide family of Christian women who are desire to honour the King and put him first. The book of Hosea is a good one for days like these!
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- sbalakrishnan said: This post makes me so happy and gives me strength :)
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- cmao said: wonderful post. I also lovelovelove your love of anne carson. she is one of my favorite poets, hands down.
- 3-to-won said: You can do it; Interesting vow…. I may have to copy you… It must feel cleansing once achieved
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- bunniloveschrist said: This is for the moments when it seems all this isn’t worth it: I appericiate your transparency. God Bless.
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