I haven’t had a dream in so long. I suppose that sounds kind of depressing, doesn’t it? But I mean it literally. I haven’t dreamt in my sleep in months. Then again, it’s been months since I slept more than a couple of hours at a time. Although, technically, I’m pretty sure I woke up ever couple of hours last night, but the point is that I slept at all. And I dreamt.
Anyway, I dreamt I was in some semblance of my parents’ clinic, in the gym part. I was speaking to this muscular, but not too muscular, man with tanned, smooth, inviting skin and a strong but sensitive smile. He was taller than me, meaning he must have been about six and a half feet tall, and he was also much larger than me due to all the delicious musculature wrapped around his thick frame. We were talking genially and he was clearly a very kind and honest man. This must be why I felt such strong attraction to him.
Well, anyway, we were talking about this party he was throwing. I was concerned I would miss it as my friend Tyler had a party that same day (Friday night), but sexy body builder guy told me his event was actually going on that night (or, rather, Tuesday morning) at two thirty! Also, it’s worth mentioning that the event was a sort of “practice funeral”, so that e would have the chance to attend his own last ceremony. (This concept was clearly pulled right out of the book The Fault in Our Stars, which I had just read.) So I promised I would attend and we moved to the other room so he could use some intimidating muscle machine while I fixed some errors with the organizational system. We talked some more and he was a thoroughly interesting and comfortable man to be around.
Later, I recall my mothers (for, in this dream, I has two mothers and a blatant dearth of male parents) chasing us down the street advising him to propose to me. I certainly didn’t mind the concept, although I knew it was too early in our relationship for such a step. He clearly did not like the idea; he said he wouldn’t be ready to be a husband until he found a job more wholesome than owning a night club. Apparently, he though of me as a classy guy who needs to be persuaded with family-friendliness to agree to fiancé-ship (which is absolutely untrue, but flattering nonetheless).
Perhaps this dream is telling me what I really want in a relationship. After all, I woke up only begrudgingly, having felt so thoroughly satisfied while under this tan man’s spell. Either I should start dating older men who are successful and in good shape and health, as well as kind and caring—after all, there are few situations more full of beauty than finding trust enough to give yourself to someone more strong, financially stable, and socially powerful than yourself and knowing that he will treat you right—or my dream simply means I long to be enough to satisfy myself. In other words, there is no denying that a dream is entirely inside one’s own head. All those emotions, all that joy I felt, I provided myself. Those are my emotions, and I felt them. Although, if I ever give up and do decide to find a man, I know exactly which one I want.
It’s been that kind of a semester. I feel like I’m living several people’s lives all at once. One of them is quite the social butterfly (shout out to my Arlington friends, improv peeps, and soon an abundance of trinity kids). One of them is a scholar of epic proportions. (I mean, I hardly study, but I’m still making 4.0s everywhere.) Another is a performer, surely (hence improv and whatever the fuck it is I’m wearing today). And lastly, one of them is at least a little but if a druggie. (How do you NOT smoke when you drink? That just doesn’t make sense.)
Sharp, intimidatingly blue eyes who seem to effortlessly stab themselves into your own. The kind of eyes whose gaze you can feel deep in your chest like temptation…like terror. They seem to tear you apart somewhere within your bones, some place you can’t see or feel or really prove exists; nonetheless, you sense it torn in two, at the mercy of those merciless eyes. They are the color of frozen breath as they hold the power to burn you to darkened ashes. You cannot refuse them; you cannot turn away. They hold you hostage and you love them for it. They stare silently into your own pupils and you swear they can hear your thoughts. These pools of blue must be the most intelligent in existence, and they take your breath away, as such. You stutter, or freeze, or even begin to fear them. You are lost now. You have no control. Give in. Let go to their suggestion. Give them what they want. Do as they ask. But do not leave their gaze; you need them. And they will destroy you.
“Don’t confuse the message with the messenger, Phoebe; it’s what you’ve always done. See, messengers make mistakes; they get lost, they run away, they even die. But their message—’open your heart’—it comes from life itself; hear it, for my sake…and yours.”
Love is not defined by the mistakes lovers make.
I blame him for a lot of it. At least, I used to. In reality, it wasn’t his fault; none of it was. It wasn’t necessarily my fault, either. Blame is unnecessary. What I DO know is that we just weren’t right for each other at that point in time, and that we probably never will be. We ended on good terms, but we haven’t seen much (or really ANY) of each other since, except occasionally at work. I think he had his issues, and it isn’t my place to decide what they were. I know that I certainly had, and still have, my own issues. I was controlling, and I’m trying to let go of that. I intellectualized all my emotions and pretended that was strength when, really, it wasn’t. I also fooled myself into being perfectly happy with who I was, which I certainly am not. I love myself for who I am, but I definitely want to grow and change and improve. Specifically, I wish I were less lonely. I’m working on that; not on the loneliness, but the wishing. Being lonely is okay; my loneliness is a reflection of my capacity to love and care for others. If I were not lonely, I suppose that would mean I was giving as much love as I possibly could. I don’t think that day will ever come, but I think, with him, I was further away from my potential than was bearable for me. I need someone whom I can love more fully and openly. With him, I held myself back in that respect…although I never held my tongue when it came to criticism. And there’s another buzz word. Criticism. I am endlessly self-critical and, in intimate relationships, also very critical of my significant other. I’m working on that from the source; I’m trying to be less hard on myself. I intend to show myself unconditional positive regard from now on. I will fail many times, but that’s okay; I will still love me. I learned a phrase: “n’aimer que soi-meme”. It’s French for “to love only oneself”. I believe this should be my stepping stone. I have to love myself in a way I have never loved anyone before; only then can I truly love someone else unconditionally. I have learned a lot from my relationship with him, and I intend to continue learning from it until I the opportunities for growth have run completely dry. I realize now that I am not as strong as I thought I was, but I am also not as weak. I have strengths I did not know, and also weaknesses. I will always cherish what I had with him, but I am ready to move on to someone more important: myself. Then, as only time can tell, there may come a day in which I am ready to love someone else, and perhaps they will be ready to love me.
With him, I was almost always myself. I loved this about the relationship. But I think that may have been really bad for it because me being myself was almost intimidating for him. He had little familial support, while I no dearth of it. I do not think he was comfortable with himself, and I think my high level of confidence was painful for him, maybe because he knew he deserved to have that, too. He really is an amazing human being. He has overcome so much in his life, so much more than I ever would have thought a person could while staying so kind and good. He is an incredibly generous person except when it comes to himself. I don’t think he really knows himself, and I wish I had helped him with that. Instead, I basically criticized him by telling him to go to therapy when he told me he wasn’t happy. I think he interpreted that as more of an insult than my intent, which was genuine care for him. I just wish I had met him after he had dealt with all of his emotional issues so that we may have had something more stable and easy. The way things went, I was overbearing and egotistical compared to him, meek and self-loathing. And yet, I don’t really miss him. I don’t think we were really good for each other by the end of it all. The first few months were great, as a given, but then it became a war: I would fight to get to know him better, to grow together, to build a relationship, and he would do everything in his power to avoid it. I don’t think he wanted to face the prospect of putting effort into it in case it didn’t work out. I think he had already lost so much in his life and he couldn’t afford to lose more. I understand this, but I really wish we had gotten the chance. I suppose we’re all strong in different ways. This was something I could have handled, but he could not. Then again, early on he was so sure of us, while I was questioning my ability to really settle down. I wasn’t ready, and probably still am not; I think that’s what makes it easier to be single now. I’m excited to lie my life by myself. I think I need to do so; I think there are things I need to learn in this way that I could not have with him. In the long run, I am glad that I had this relationship because I learned a lot, and hopefully so did he, but I am also glad it is over so I can apply those lessons.