Tag Archives: becoming single

The New Post-Relationship World

There’s a couple that have been long prominent in Vancouver’s web community, and last night came the heart-breaking news that they’re ending their marriage.

How did the news reach us all?

They both changed their Facebook relationship status to “…from married to single” within moments of each other, and with one simple “Yes, it means what you think it means”, the cat was out of the bag and their entire friend/peer community knew.

Gone is the era in which they’d have to have uncomfortable dinners or stilted conversations with one friend after another after another, gently breaking the news that their friends are gonna take hard, making them feel even shittier for having a marriage fall apart.

Now, boom, everyone knows. Just like that.

It’s terrible, in a way, the idea we can all receive so quickly and casually such perspective-shifting news affecting people who have genuinely touched most of our lives.

There’s something disjointed about reading one small system-generated line of “X has changed their relationship status from married to single” among a newstream filled with political news and shared videos of a cat dancing.

These “small” tidbits about our changing lives float in “newsfeeds” now, as if they’re just another piece of fascinating trivia we’re supposed to digest while we absently surf the web in sneaky moments on the job, or distractedly click through those social sites where we just vicariously absorb the coolness of others’ lives.

Facebook isn’t just a revolving door of meaningless status changes. It really is a way to keep us all connected.

In all the nauseous sadness that came with the suspicion that, yes, those two relationship status updates really did mean what they looked to mean, I thought “Thank god they can tell everyone so easily now.”

Dissolving a marriage? Oh, my god. I can’t imagine the shattered illusions and sadness that comes from having to admit it’s over, the horror and fear that comes from making the first step to end the possibility of all those dreams you once made together, the feeling of perverse betrayal and anxiousness at telling friends and families the union is over.

It’s unquestionably going to be one of the worst weeks in the lives of both of those people. And here, bang, pow, all of a sudden they have everyone in the know, offering support, and just saying, “We’re so sorry, we understand, we’re here.”

As if any message could mean more to either of them today.

Say what you will about the flash coolness of the internet and how detached it makes us from each other — always plugged in via vicarious tidbits, thus able to stay comfortably at arms’ length while we busily carry on with our modern mad lives — but there are times like these the internet is like a lifeline thrown to troubled souls.

Never has it been easier to rally the support of those who love you, or to just put a desperate plea for understanding, help, or time out to those best able to deliver.

As a society, we need to learn to share more with each other, to use each other as crutches through hard times, and we have to learn how to react when our friends express themselves.

I’m sad for my peers today, for what they’ve lost, and for what I know they face in the coming year as they try to re-find their place in their newly-single worlds, but I’m very glad their choice of being plugged into an online community (that has really strong roots in real life, locally, too) will get them through this time with support and love.

That’s the power of the internet — it holds the ability to unite us, inform us, and keep us tuned into every passing minute… not just globally, but interpersonally.

It’s a good power. A life-changing, life-saving power.

Yes, I’m sad for my friends today, but I’m proud of them for having the courage to know when it’s time to change things. What a difficult, but important step. I’m happy to know they have friends who swear they’ll be there, I’m glad to know they have a place to ask for help.

It’s a strange new world, friends.

Oh, For God’s Sake!

Okay, to the anonymous who left the comment that has inspired this rant:

It’s okay, I’m not taking it personally, and I understand you were coming from a nice place and being genuine. Still. It ain’t you, it’s society, and I’ve been meaning to comment on this for awhile.

_____________________

I just broke up with someone, and I’m a bit touchy about it, even now, a whopping eight days later. I know, all these hours and days have passed us by, a whopping eight days and six hours, and I ought to certainly be all good and better and fine about it.

But I’m not. I know, I’m hoping to nip this in the bud before a stunning two weeks has passed, but I’m so emotionally stunted that I’m not sure I’ll quite manage that.

Okay, obnoxious mode is off.

Here’s the deal: I fucking hate the western culture of pretending we’re stoic and tough and good and fine just a few days after any kind of adversity befalls us.

It’s like old-school hockey. “Holy smokes! Didja see that hit?! That boy had his bell rung but good. The coach is looking him over, and he’s giving some shakes of his head. Holy hell, he’s joining the team again. This kid’s a trouper — bell ringing and keeps on singing!”

Back in the day, you took your hits like a man and played through, no matter what the cost. Naturally, it turned out the costs were high.

You have to understand, strong and stoic are things I strive to be. I understand life’s hard and comes with challenges, and it ain’t all fun and games. I’ve had some really hard times in the last decade particularly, and I think I’ve handled them all pretty well. Never perfect, but who among us is?

If I just up and dropped the thing with the ex, and all the struggles I’ve hit this week, you know what? You’d stop reading me. Because I would cease to be myself. It’s this overly analytical, detail-focused, mildly obsessive, often compulsive cynical satirist you’ve come to enjoy. That’s who I am. I’m a rebel without a cause, a thinker without a clue, and a poser with no apologies. That’s me. I get lost in the chaos that is my life because I am absolutely unapologetically self-obsessed.

I’m not at all the guru some people have taken me for. (WHY have you done this?) What I am, is a really, really, really good reality surfer.

See, whatever comes at me, I find a way to ride it until it breaks. I’m very good. I’ve had to be. I don’t have a smooth-sailing life in the least. Ahh, I’m so in it for the drama, man.

Anyhow, whatever. The point is, my relationship ended just a week ago. I’m not gonna just drop the topic and be magically healed like I’ve just had a Jerry Falwell moment or something. Anyone who does is just asking to get fucked mentally, because that’s not how to deal with troubles. Own it, experience it, make love to it, and let it go. Don’t just chuck it and hope the garbage guys come.

I’ll be moving on from this, you can bet your ass on that. Soon, too, probably, but it’ll happen after I’ve really come to learn something from the experience. See, my life is lived because I choose to examine it — and now, immediately, not some 50 years down the road as I write my memoirs.

Keep in mind: This week holds a party, a concert, a big social night out, and maybe a couple other things. It’s busy. I’m not sitting around on my ass as much as it might sound. When I am around, I need to learn a little about podcasting.

The podcast looms in the nearer future now. A matter of weeks, for sure, probably three of them. The trouble I now have is that I need to design a new blog. I will be keeping the Cunt alive, and feeding it periodically, but there’ll be a new blog, Smut & Steff, a companion blog to my podcast. You’ll see photos and notes and such about things inspiring me any given week, some postings of mine, and that sort of thing. I intend to have it be a very symbiotic relationship, sort of like blog+podcast=steffness, I hope.

So, a new blog, a new podcast… much looms. In the meantime, deal with my self-involved life — I can’t afford therapy, and you’re a sexy listener, so I’m thinking it’s working just fine for the short-term. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest and shit sometime this week and my writing will snap back on soonish, I suspect.

Thoughts On a Monday

I wonder sometimes if not being alone with our thoughts is why Becoming Single is often so hard for us. We finally feel like the scary silences are broken by this voice of this Other who has acclimatized themselves to becoming a part of our lives. And, one day, they go. For good, for bad, for now, for all time, they simply go.

Then, silence. And in that silence, questions of doubt, of your worth, of your import, they all start to whisper and wail in the walls of your mind, and then where are you? In a storm of your making. A thought storm whirling around your newly deserted cerebellum.

It doesn’t matter that I don’t think it’s me that caused my recent break-up. It doesn’t matter that I believe myself to be a good person to know and a kindred heart. It doesn’t matter that I know what talents I have an all areas of my life. What matters is, I’ve suddenly found myself single again. Naturally, the next step is to wonder what’s wrong with myself and why it didn’t work.

I’ve done a little of that this past week, but not nearly as much as I would have expected. Probably one of the least likely questions for me to ask myself, actually, is “why me?”

I once wrote a rant about how much existentialists piss me off, and how much I hate that question, “Why me? Why me?” I think I said, “Why you? Because it’s your fucking turn!” Maybe that’s as simple as it really is. I don’t ask why I go through adversity. I know why, ‘cos shit happens, and this shit is my shit, and trying to figure it out beyond that is gonna give me an embollism.

Sitting around after a week like I’ve had and wondering “Why me?” isn’t exactly productive. I do it, though, but to a different end.

I don’t remember how much I’ve said, but the people who laid me off on day two of employment have offered to have me back to the job on August 1st, and I’ve agreed. To tell you the truth, when I first started that job, I was expecting to be hired for another on my very first morning with them. I wound up catching my prospective new employer at a bad time, tried calling later, and remain in the dark about that job to this day. The point is, I walked into my “new” job with a really bad attitude. I didn’t want to be there, and wanted to be hired for another job by noon.

In short, I was a fucking spoiled brat who was living anywhere but in the present. WHAT IF I lost that job to get reminded of how appreciative we ought to be about everything that comes our way? What if I lost it to be shown just how wrong negativity and cynicism can be? I thought I would hate the job, because my perception was that it was 80% bookkeeping. Know what? That’s the last dude’s incompetence. In my world, it’s 6-8 hours a week, and that’s after having been around for a week. In fact, now that I’ve been there a week, I know the job’s a good fit for me. What’s more, I’ll be awesome at it.

So, this week and next week, I’m working for my old employers. (Never burn bridges.) Then, I’ll return. It’s nice, it’s the first job I’ve had in a long time where I’ve been able to walk in, figure out what needs doing, and not have anyone on my back micromanaging me. Some of us folk have motivation and a sense of work ethic, you know, and we work better without being told what to do. That’s me! If there’s anything I felt at the end of my day Friday, I’d have to say empowerment would be the word.

In the end, I’m glad to be single this week. I’ve been through the ringer, and while it’s awesome to have someone around to be a support and all, there’s also something to be said for enduring adversity on your own. This has been the second worst summer of my life. Hands down. Only the summer when my mother died was worse than this. And I’m so proud, I guess, that I’ve kept it together to a degree. I’ve not let all of you in as much as I could have about all the things I’ve been feeling. Those who read The Ditch probably know more about that side of my life of late, but either way, I’ve been stifling some of the fear.

I had a boyfriend once who fancied himself a philosopher. We were talking about insanity and Catch-22. If you think you can go insane, does that mean you’re more sane, or already insane? I believed then, as I do now, that it means you’re probably less likely to go insane if you realize the potential you hold for becoming insane, if that makes any sense.

After this past month, I can tell you unequivocally that I think it’s possible I could one day lose my sanity. I don’t think I ever will, but I could. This past six weeks felt pretty fucking close to it, but it never did happen.

I’m finally in silence, though. Not only am I single again, but the constant bickering going on at the back of my mind has ceased – the insecurities, the worries, the wonders. For now, it’s ceased.

There’s the old saying, “Why do I keep hitting myself in the head with a hammer?” The answer? “Because it feels so good when I stop.” Welcome to my life. And this, this is “stopped,” and it feels so-o-o good.

And then there was None

Well, I’m single now. We pulled the Band-aid off and decided things just weren’t working.

As far as break-ups go, this was the best I’ve probably ever had.

It’ll be hard for me to be friends, I suspect, since I’m not really the one who quit the relationship. He was trying really hard to keep his shit together after he shattered his leg in March, but losing all your mobility and being introduced into a life where you have near-constant pain and chronic exhaustion tends to take a lot out of you emotionally.

Having been injured far too often last decade, I know this. I relate all too well. That, in many ways, made the past two months even harder. I wanted to be angry at him for pulling back, I wanted to resent him. I just couldn’t. I understand. It’s why I was so broken-hearted when I learned that morning that he’d broken his leg so severely. I knew the guy I was falling for was probably going to disappear for a long time. I’m just surprised it took a couple months to happen.

The relationship started wonderfully. It was so promising, full of future. Then, literally a bad break. Why fate intervenes as it does, I’ll never know. It just does. I can’t sit around in sadness and loss about this, because it is what it is: Dumb fuckin’ luck.

I don’t typically stay friends with exes. I’m making an exception. I also don’t tend to get back involved with exes, but in this case, I’m keeping a very open mind. On paper, we were obvious. Meant to be together. Even after we decided to break up, we were on the phone for an hour, just chatting.

Bad injuries can break a bit of your soul. Life becomes struggle. Too many people have never experienced the hardness brought on by a lack of freedom, lack of mobility, and constant pain. It really robs you of something, and it can really fuck with your psyche, too. This time, it did.

But, hey. He knows I care. I know he cares. We just can’t be what we want to be, and I can’t wait any longer. He doesn’t want to hurt me any more than this already has. It’s a respect thing.

Sometimes, moving on’s the best thing you can do. But I’m glad we’re keeping an open mind. Finding a real, passionate connection’s a rare thing in this shallow fucking world, and writing something like this off because fate played a hand, well, I’m too much of a romantic to just do that. Deciding to move on has been a long time coming.

Part of why I haven’t been writing as well as I’d like to have been doing is because I’ve been biting my tongue. So much of this has troubled me so deeply for so long that I’ve just felt unable to share it, because I knew he was having such a hard time already, and I didn’t want to bring any more negativity to the plate, or make it harder for him. In so doing, I took more bruising than I maybe should’ve done.

But now it’s done. Now the future’s decided, a path of action has been declared.

I was at a thingie last night and had a couple of those “moments” where you can tell the guy’s really digging you, you know? It was strange, because I felt like I was cheating on The Guy even though I’d sort of decided to end it today already. Maybe there’ll be a re-learning curve on this. He says he won’t be looking for relationships in the hiatus, but that I’m entitled to do anything I want, given that I wasn’t the one who pulled up anchor a couple months back. It’s nice to have that understanding expressed.

Having this resolved comes at a good time. There’s a potential that I’m going to spend some money I shouldn’t spend, and get the fuck out of dodge for a weekend. I’ve found out that there’s a scooter rally in Wine Country this coming weekend, and for a hundred or so bucks, I can have a great three days of fun with people who are positive, zany, intelligent, daring, and adventurous. Exactly the qualities I’m looking for in new people.

Am I going to sit around and be celibate as I hope that maybe I’ll get back together with this guy I really like? Absolutely not. I’m not going to sleep around, but I’ll see if some connection can be found somewhere. I have to presume things may never re-ignite, tragically, but I’m also hoping that being back on the market will remind me of what I might’ve had, and keep that desire awake a little.

Man, got to tell you, some days I really miss being six years old. It was all so simple, wasn’t it? Is it any wonder everyone gets felled with an early-20s depression as they realize everything’s just gotten infinitely more challenging?

Pity I have nothing to drink, but that’s probably a good thing. I do, however, have a roach I can smoke. I feel a little toying with dope coming on in my new future. A little bender can’t really hurt.