November 13, 2011

At Arm’s Length

Many years ago I had Brad on phone and Mohamed (the ex) called. I chose not to take that call and finish my call with Brad. Before that day Mohamed always had priority. Only family came before him. But that day I decided that Brad is more important.

I called him later and we had a fight over Brad. It wasn’t the first time. He fought about Brad since he knew about his presence in my life. He fought about every single male I had in my life. Friends, relatives, colleagues and potential dates. He was jealous. He said he loved me and he can’t see me with someone else. He wanted me to be his while he kept on with his plans to marry his cousin. The last thing he said in that call was when you need me you know how to find me. And we didn’t call ever again. Brad disappeared, then re-appeared and finally disappeared. I have been missing Mohamed ever since that day, needed just to hear his voice many times. But I didn’t call him.

I can tell you a long list of why I didn’t call him. All rational reasons but honestly the only reason I didn’t try to contact him is that I know him enough to know he won’t take me back easily. That he will make sure he punished me enough before taking me back. And again it will be his rules. I will have to be available as a full package and do with whatever he decides to give me. And I couldn’t do this to myself. I just couldn’t take the idea of being blamed for trying to do the same thing he did to me. I couldn’t take the idea that he has the right to have a wife while I am the one who has to compromise to be with the man she loves. If he loved me too he should have compromised for me. I felt I deserved that much. I felt I deserved to be the woman he introduces to everyone. Not the one with no right to call unless no one is around.

It took me years to get with Mohamed to that point. It took me years to be unable to play with his rules. Brad actually helped. He was the voice that told me how magnificent I was. I felt good and capable of breaking the link with Mohamed. It wasn’t as painful. I was angry. I was deeply angry and heartbroken and I had that nice guy telling me all the nice things. So I hung up the phone and I never called him back.
I didn’t try to hunt Brad when he disappeared for the 2nd time. I don’t know if I ever loved Brad. I once told a friend that I loved him. But I am not sure. I am passing through a phase of being unable of deciding why I did certain things. I am not sure. And I can’t tell whether the things I have done were right or wrong and consequently I can’t tell now whether the things I am doing are right or wrong.

Then there was that guy. I can tell I loved him. And I played it cool. I waited and I waited. I gave all the hints. I made all the signs. Everyone noticed but him. I had two choices to walk away or to stay and wait for a little more. One night I wrote him a message “I love you” but instead of sending it I saved it to drafts. I wasn’t ready to deal with the aftermath so I waited.

 I waited till an incident happened and I got crazy. And to cut a long story short. I lost the guy. He is with someone else now. And I can’t walk away. He never knew I loved him. At least I never told him directly I did. I wasn’t ready to deal with the aftermath. So, I preferred to play with his rules. To be kept at his arm’s length. I preferred that he gets to enjoy the full package and I settle for whatever he has to offer. 

I wasn’t ready to lose him. I wasn’t ready to call him and say I love you I don’t want you to be with other women. I wasn’t ready to lose him. I am still not ready to lose him. I can’t live without him. I have tried to replace him with everything but nothing fits. A friend once told me that my love for the guy is more a companionship. Another friend told me that it is logical that I don’t like any of the men people try to set me up with because I already found the perfect company, that’s him.

 Maybe they are right. I told you before I am going through the “can’t tell” phase. So maybe it was just the joy of companionship. Maybe it is that he is the type of company I wanted for the journey I settled and didn’t check other options. Maybe the love was for the company not the person, I can’t really tell.

But what I can tell right now is that I am doing something that I would have told anyone is wrong to be done. I am comparing that guy with someone else unintentionally sometimes and intentionally in other times. I am taking decisions with the new guy based on how the reactions with that guy were. I know them better than thinking they both will give the same reactions. I am aware that I have been mixing and probably punishing each of them for the other’s mistakes. I know that I pulled away my hand once and didn’t touch one of them because the other hates to be touched. I know how different they are. 

But I know one thing. Both will never take the step to meet me half way. Or maybe I am wrong. I can’t tell. Maybe only one of them wasn’t able to do this. And that I should stop comparing because maybe the other one will meet me half way. Because I was able to tell that one that I love him and that I want a relationship not just whatever we have. Maybe, he will get past his many reasons (that I am sure all valid and rational) that make it more convenient for him to keep me at arm’s length. Maybe he will come around.

And if he didn’t … I don’t know but it is just unfair to be kept at arm’s length. But what if this is as good as it gets? The worse is what if they keep you at arm’s length because they know that this is as good as it gets. That you have never done better. That it is a long history of being kept at arm’s length. And it is ok to do so to you.

What if the idea of missing you is better than the idea of being with you? Isn’t it all about that? You stick to a person because you can’t lose them?

What if this is as good as it gets? The best you can have is to be at arm’s length from the person you love and want for life. Arm’s length is near enough but yet too far from where you want to be. Will you settle for the best you can have or try to find the best you think you deserve even if you can’t tell whether or not you deserve better than the best you have already earned?

Am I making any sense?

November 09, 2011

Where are we now?

There is a joke about a man who was asked about the secret of the success of his marriage. He replied that he made a deal with his wife. That major decisions are his job & she gets to do all the minor decisions and that was the last decision he made.

The joke might not be funny. It is sort of funny but I think it holds more philosophy than it was intended to do. Or maybe it is just my mood that makes me see philosophy in such a shallow joke.
What constitutes a major decision? We were all introduced to the “starbucks” decisions in the legendary movie “You have got mail”. It is a series of insignificant decisions that lead to a cup of coffee. A process that makes you feel accomplished but yet not life changing (threatening) in anyway.

So, if the type of coffee you drink to start your day isn’t a major decision what could a major decision be?
Education is a life changing decision which makes it “major”, so is career, marriage, having kids or finding a new place to live. Break ups & investments too. The first that comes to your mind when you think of a major decision is probably a crossroads where you have to decide a turn that will decide your destination. Minor decisions are supposed to be the ones we take down the chosen road just to get over obstacles to get to the destination.

Life changing crossroads is supposed to be clear. You are probably confused while deciding, else you wouldn’t have known that you are at a crossroads. Or even you wouldn’t have felt how “major” the decision is.

Between you & me I think “major” decisions are over rated. It is easy to take a major decision regardless how hard it seem to be. After all & out of being confused a person will do what they will over think all the options, will ask for opinions & will eventually take a calculated step into risk. Crossroads decision might feel hard but they are the clearest decisions you can make. You pick a road, that simple. You decide a destination that you know you want, regardless that knowing what you “really” want is a challenge & a major decision in itself.

You know what do I believe are “major” decisions? It is the decisions we take on the go. The ones we don’t think about. The ones that we think are taken to serve “major” decisions already made in previous crossroads.

Those “minor” decisions are taken without taking risk into account, like when you go order sushi & end up in ER. Your lunch of choice would lead to putting an end to your story. And such minor decision would consequently lead to more minor decisions that could be “Life changing”  in so many ways.
Every step of the way is a crossroads. Every step could change our lives. Even the steps we take thinking will lead to the destination we set at the beginning of the journey might turn to be taking us to somewhere we never knew existed.

Every step of the way is a life changing decision. Even your morning coffee.