Omega (Blongish)Submitted by Sage at 2010-06-07 23:05:48 EDT
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I have a worldview, as do most of you…some say “the glass is half empty”; some, “the glass is half full”. I’ve even heard it said that “the glass is neither full nor empty; it needs a refill”. Mine, as I’ve likely said before, is “the glass has a fucking hole in it”.
This morning I was feeling particularly pitiful and bitter about life, and as I often do when this feeling overtakes me, I turned to my faith; more specifically, the Bible. It occurred to me that today may be a good day to read Ecclesiastes. Basically, it talks about how everything we as humans do or acquire in life, is meaningless. This verse in particular, pretty much sums that up:
“’Meaningless! Meaningless!’, says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, NIV)
(Hopefully) everyone has heard the Byrds song “Turn, Turn, Turn” which is based on Ecclesiastes 3. It is also well known that its (unknown) author declares that “there is nothing new under the sun”. Ironically, his assertion is unoriginal. Regardless of its pessimistic take on the meaning(lessness) of life and the sorrow wisdom brings, Ecclesiastes is worth the read, if you haven’t already read it. If you’re too narrow-minded to read it simply because you want to boycott the Bible…fine, don’t read it.
I took comfort in the fact that my tendency to believe “the glass has a fucking hole in it” is somewhat in line with the author’s belief that everything we do is meaningless because we all die in the end anyway. In other words, it doesn’t matter if we pour water in a glass, it has a hole in it, and all the water (effort) we put into the glass (life) just spills out of it eventually. The wise or rich have the same fate as the foolish and poor. We have the same fate as animals. All of our accomplishments are nonsense, because the mad, full of folly, poor, rich and wise all end up forgotten. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That is the eventual, unavoidable fate of each of our lives.
Relationships are no different than life itself…they all end. They all experience a death, whether through the fatality of one of the parties, or through some other factor which ultimately causes the relationship to end.
Prior to meeting and involving myself with my current boyfriend, I casually dated someone I knew I couldn’t have, and that wouldn’t love me back. Time and space allowed me to realize that I only fell for him because it was safer and, as I convinced myself, nobler to love someone when that love wasn’t returned. Strangely, I was able to love to the fullest, without fear of the unknown, because the end had already occurred in that there was never going to be a beginning. I knew it clearly, and I found security in that knowledge, which (however backward) is why I stuck around.
It is much more difficult, I’ve found, to be in a relationship where you actually have to be vulnerable with someone who seems perfect for you, and who says they love you back, and with whom you place all of your trust. I have never had so much respect or esteem for a man I’ve dated; I have this one on a pedestal. If it turns out he’s not what he seems, I’ll be devastated.
I suppose all throughout our relationship, I’ve been thinking about how it’s going to end. Will one or both of us end up hurt, or can we actually make it to the end of one or both of our lives? Not knowing is supposed to be an adventure, but it scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I constantly fight the urge to leave him because it’s a seemingly endless, daily battle to keep my guard down. While I do completely trust him, I question whether or not he’s trustworthy, not based on anything he says or does or doesn’t say or do, but rather out of my own paranoia and fear. Fact is I’m not even that scared to be alone…contrariwise I think I’d be at greater peace if I knew I didn’t have to be vulnerable and trusting with someone else.
One of my friends pointed out to me that my tendency to torture myself with these thoughts and beliefs is akin to living my life wondering how I am going to die. He’s right…I can’t live in my relationship wondering about the end. I suppose I’m one of those people that wouldn’t mind knowing the exact date, time, and cause of my death. I feel like if I knew the end, I could live my life that much more thoroughly. I would have a defined deadline I could work with to accomplish everything I wanted to…I could see the things I wanted and experience the things I wanted.
I wonder if it’s the same with my relationship. Would knowing the end make it any more worthwhile? As an example, if I knew my current partner would end up cheating on me in the future I wouldn’t wait until the cheating began to get out of it—I would end it as soon as I gained the knowledge of the probable future, which would ultimately change the story, wouldn’t it?
Back to life, I wonder if we would try to change our fate if we knew it. If our lives were to end in a car accident (one of my biggest recurring nightmares and fears), would we drive on the day that we knew it was supposed to happen? And if our days really are numbered to an exact moment in time where it ends for us, does that happen no matter what? So, if I was SUPPOSED to die in a car accident and I know that, and so I choose to attempt to twist fate by not driving, and not leaving the house for that matter, what happens then? I’m aware that this thought process is all very “Final Destination”. I hated that movie, it creeped the shit out of me.
At the end of the day, death meets all of us, and there isn’t anything we can do about it. I suppose I have more peace with death, because after we die, there is no fear (according to my faith). After the end of any relationship, whether it ends in death or it ends in sadness or regret or even mutual respect, we don’t know what will happen next, which spells fear for me. Part of me is afraid to even begin anything because it ends eventually; I’ve said and felt that for years. But it’s too late now, I’ve already begun something. And like everything else, it will end eventually.
I weigh all decisions in life based on the amount of risk involved, and I try my best to live my life with no regrets. Do I live my relationship that way? No. I live it in fear of what will happen next. I hate to admit that I regret living and thinking this way. I suppose that in order to stop this feeling of regret, I have to remind myself daily that even if I get terribly hurt in the end, I am a strong and resilient person who will be able to survive the worst of endings. Maybe knowing it will end eventually and allowing myself to be at peace with that fact is the key. Because ultimately, I find the greater risk in my situation right now would be to end things and be alone—I really do have it too good to just give it up out of irrational fear.
Loving another is supposed to enrich our lives. Love found me, I didn’t look for it—who am I to reject it? I suppose the outcome in this relationship is just as unknown as my fate in this life, and I should live both to the fullest, with reckless disregard for death and all his friends.