(Someone asked me last month “Didn’t you used to write about sex?” And though this seems a million miles off from that question, it’s kind of a very abstract and intellectualized retort to why I’ve been pretty off that topic for a while now.***)
I remember being 10, maybe 12, and wandering through our resort’s hotel lobby when I saw a fellow looking an awful lot like Santa Claus, at a Baha’i Faith convention’s information table.
Always drawn to Santa-like people with the hope of receiving things for free, I naturally stopped to tell him that he bore an uncanny resemblance to my North Pole friend. I then decided to ask him what B’hai Faith meant, and he more or less told me how BF pretty much was this hodge-podge faith that leant credence to many beliefs. His notions, not necessarily the truth. Go play with Wikipedia to learn more.
I wandered off afterwards, deep in thought. I was a profound Catholic and had toyed often with the notion of being a nun as a kid. (Seriously, I thought I could feel stigmata every time they talked about the sacrifice Christ made. I was hardcore.)
When I was 12 and 13, though, I began to start noticing other religions in the world and I knew I had questions. And it all started with this chance encounter with the Hawaiian-shirted Santa at a conference info table. This notion of believing every religion was right in some kinda way, though, that really appealled to me. Until someone could prove one way was more right than another, why the hell shouldn’t I respect them all?
I believe that even today, that some people get all bent out of shape and want to believe strict interpretations of things, but anyone with half a brain and the remotest amount of research abilities can see that there are uncanny parallels among all the great faiths today, and you really do need to ask why those parallels are so predominant.
[Oh, so here’s where I remind you that this is my blog, I’m not paid to be a pundit, and I don’t need to take abuse, nor do I need to suffer attempts to convert or “save” me. I believe what I believe, and while I love a philosophical debate, religious ones are another matter. Don’t waste your time on me, is what I’m saying. Go save a soul who really wants saving. And if my ideas offend you, surf elsewhere, friend.]
I don’t really want to go there and have that big theological discussion, though. I believe more in energies and consciousnesses than I do deities, and probably always will. Call it whatever gets you to sleep at night, honey.
My point is, though, that I guess there comes a time in all of our lives when we reach a crisis of faith, a crisis of consciousness, and even a crisis of self. We lose who we are and big questions like “why are we here?” and “what’s the point of it all?” starting swimming in our stream of consciousness, and no matter how often we try to stop up the dam as the flood of wonderment happens, we keep coming back to the wonderings.
I’ve had these times before, like when I was 13 and lost all faith in the Catholic church, and became a kind of disillusioned I think I’ve never stopped being, and the parents’ divorce, Mom’s death, and even when I cheated death myself.
And in all my life I’ve had one moment, one moment in time, where everything really made sense and all the answers to life just kind of came to me. It was one night in the summer of 1995, living in the famous Yukon, when I went by myself to sit at the top of a canyon and watch the midnight sun change on the landscape of mountains, trees, and the river. I smoked a joint and drank a beer and sat there in silence for four, five hours, just enjoying my place in the world.
And the answers hit me as clear as they could any philosophy 101 student. Why are we here? Because we are. What are we here for? For whatever. Who am I? Me. What am I? Just human, baby. Why’s it happening to me, why me? It’s my turn, man, it’s just my turn. Where am I going? Wherever I want to. Who made all this? It doesn’t matter; that it’s been made is self-evident.* Why does it matter? Well, who said it did? What’s at the end? Either the end or a new beginning, but either/or, certainly not this.
What’s the meaning of life? That it is a thing to be lived. Noun, meet verb.
Well, somehow in the midst of everything that was my life in the last year and a half, I kind of forgot my place in the world, what I thought it all mattered for, and, more importantly, I got confused on what mattered. I became unhappy, ungrateful, and even angry, but I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping it checked, which isn’t a good thing.
At the time that everything kind of came undone on me, I was in a relationship, and I found myself all of a sudden thrown back into being this person I was a long, long time ago, the person who needed to validate herself through relationships with others. And when the relationship came to a long-avoided end, I found myself just stunned at who I’d become and figured that was that, I’d stay single and the problem would be solved in the short term.
And I thought I was past that, that I wasn’t doing that anymore — the validating of self through others, clinging and needing their approval — but it’s only in the last couple of weeks that I’ve realized I’ve still been doing it… I just haven’t been fortunate enough to be getting laid at the same time. I’ve still been seeking approval, and petty things like that.
I’ve recognized it now and it’s a huge goal for me this year to really realize how repetitive that theme has been in my life, and I’ve been reconfiguring my values a little since my wee epiphany.
It’s really, really, really easy to get into the habit of believing the propaganda we see everywhere, that you’re “nobody until somebody loves you”, as the old song goes. It’s easy to believe that, if someone loves us, we’re somehow better than if we’re not with someone. It’s easy to believe, too, that it’s easier to be with someone no matter how hard they make it to love them, than it is to be alone.
Now, being alone, there’s a contentious issue. I both absolutely love being single and hate it with a passion. And it would be so much easier if I was in a relationship, no matter how mediocre it was, right now because then I could say “Yeah, well, at least you’re dateable” and “thank god I’m not on the singles scene”. Being involved sometimes allows us to overlook those things we’re not enjoying about ourselves.
But being single means there’s that silence punctuated only by the rise and fall of your breath or the springs creaking in the couch under you as you shift your legs. Being single means deciding if you’re in the mood to be a party of one at dinner, whether you need to dredge up a friend, or whether you should just stay home for the night. If you’re alone enough, the voices speaking in the back of your mind can steal a bit more of the spotlight. Being single means always hearing “Oh, you’d be so much happier if you found a good man.” Mm, well, a vibrator’s handy too, and there’s no messy wet spot to contend with afterwards.
I honestly think there’s nothing greater than someone being single, not chasing relationships or flings, and being completely happy with who they are. Wow. Good for them. “Completely happy” is not a phrase I use lightly, either. I know few people in life that really are “completely happy”. Content or self-satisfied’s a lot easier to come by, and not something to dismiss either, but complete happiness is pretty much what everyone strives to be, isn’t it? That mirage in the desert of our lives? And to be that AND alone, and okay with it? Kinda like the Holy Grail of maturity, isn’t it? You hear about it, and you know people even go off lookin’ for it, but, wow…
I don’t plan to spend my life alone. I doubt I’ll ever find one person I can love till life’s end, I don’t believe love’s as simplistic and easy as that. I’ve been through enough change and turmoil in my life to know I’ve been a dozen different people and the dozen or so men I’ve been really head over heels for were all fine men… for that moment in my life, and that they’re in my past is probably a great thing. Vive le demise, gents.
I think relationships and sex and communication are just fantastic and I intend to indulge in much of them in my lifetime. But there are times when losing ourselves in the arms of another really does amount to a loss, and possibly a loss of far too much to make the entanglement worth the grief.
I’ve had a time of great clarity in these past few days, of realizing I’ve still been giving people far too much power over how I feel about life, and having now realized what I’ve been doing, I’m pretty passionate about reclaiming who I was that sunny midnight in the Yukon, having had that moment of clarity where all of life just exploded in simplicity.
That’s my 2008, reclaiming simplicity in all aspects of life. Even dating. I’m getting social, back into the world, bein’ a “joiner” again, and dusting off my flirtin’ shoes. But I’m doing it the simple way, the “it’ll happen when it’s ‘sposed to happen” way, instead of trying to hook up and get laid via the computer, which also was seeming a good plan over the holidays.
And maybe my hormones will mutiny and demand I get me some casual nooky to quell my quivering thighs, or maybe I’ll just connect with someone soon the old-fashioned way and be unable to fend off cupid’s piercing arrow, or maybe I’ll have fun slowly making my world completely change with effort after effort, week after week, with or without someone in my bed. I don’t know. I’ve given up trying to guess. I’m doing what life presents to me, but at least I’m letting it do the presenting.
The only thing I do know is, I spent much of last year being a spectator to life. Now I’m gonna be living one and not watching.**
Noun, meet verb.
*See, I never fucking understood the creationism argument. I always thought these fuckwits who are actually stupid enough (I lied when I said I respected all religion; creationism is fucking moronic and I don’t mind offending you if you believe in it) that some dude sitting somewhere created all this in a literal 7 days. A) You’re offending your omniscient being if you infer they needed to take seven days to do anything all. This should be a fuckin’ snap for the dude you think has the ill skillz to rain Armageddon upon us all. What’s the other 6.75 days for, then? and B) I think the idea that a god might’ve had the brilliance to cause a single simple “big bang” from which atomic life was born, and then that it had the incredibly complex interrelating of species and environs to spawn something as complicated, eternal, and beautiful as evolution… well, that’s kinda sorta omniscient, don’t you think? What’s the fucking disappointment and whining about, this constant asserting it had to be seven days and there really was a suburb called The Garden of Eden? Wow. I just don’t get it.
**Trrrust me. You have no idea. I can make things happen pretty quick when I’m in the mood to. I have a plan. I just don’t want to share. You’ll get yer news after-the-fact this year, kids.
***So, no, I wasn’t in the mood to write about sex for a very long time, but this blog has always been first and foremost about how to love yourself so that you can love others better. This is all part of that. If you want dripping cocks and fuckin’ till you’re raw, then there are other blogs. I’ll be writing about sex again, but I do what life hands me, man. You want to email me a question about sex, I might write about it. Ain’t getting questions. Ain’t getting laid. So. Do the math. But like I say, this was always about more than sex and always will be.