Friday, July 6, 2012

Shiny tabs......

A notebook with big rings that open and close. And tabs. Lot of tabs, multi-colored, with shiny plastic sleeves. That might do.

I've come to understand in this aging process that life has chapters, but not like those in a book. Those are organized in some way that makes sense to the author or central characters.

Our lives, however, are not so neat. So, tabs would be good, because we can move them around whenever we realize the moon and stars have realigned themselves without our permission--or even our knowledge--only to send the events of our lives into a tailspin. Again.

The tabs could also be slipped into folders that represent those mistakes we keep making. The organization would be amazing, don't you think? If only we could transfer that order and that ability to rearrange events and people to the reality of our existence.

One folder in my personal notebook would have to be labelled "emotional abandonment." And it would have several tabs peeking out, all lined up in their bright colors, maybe four or five of them. Actually, five at last count.

I've always thought that I was the one who walked out, leaving numerous relationships scattered behind me like used tissues. I have carried a lot of guilt about those tabs, too. With only one notable exception (NO, you may not peek into that particular folder), it was me who cried "uncle!"

So, recently I have been reevaluating my life, assessing where I am at this point on my timeline, when the clouds parted to reveal a new understanding of my messy notebook. There's a country song that says it much better than I can: "I'd rather be lonely all alone."

Emotional abandonment seems to be a recurring tab for me, and I think it goes way back in my experience. A significant other (actually, five of them) was sitting on the other side of the breakfast table buttering his toast, yet emotionally he had already left the building. Optomist that I am, it always took me a while to notice the subtle changes that take place when one partner is in it, and the other isn't.

What I realized, then, was that it had only been out of a desire to protect and preserve ME that I had finally issued a TIMEOUT! in each of these relationships, followed by a permanent ejection of the emotionally absent player. I became the heavy, the walker, the "guilty" one. I know what passive-agressive behavior looks like and I hold no tolerance for it. None of these people had the courage to be honest with me, but once I recognized my loneliness in the presence of another, I called the game.

Aging means many things to each of us as we travel closer to the end of the timeline given us. To me, it includes some reflective time, and reassessment leading to positive realignment of what is out of synch.  So, I take responsibility for five tabs in my notebook that shouldn't have been there to begin with.

I'm throwing the whole folder out today.

Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields which have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.  Victor Hugo 

No comments:

Post a Comment