forgive not forget

It’s about forgiveness. It’s about acceptance.

I’m learning to live without you now,
But I miss you sometimes,
The more I know, the less I understand,
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again,

I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the heart of the matter,
But my will gets weak,
And my thoughts seem to scatter,
But I think it’s about forgiveness,
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore
The Heart of the Matter
Don Henley

Sunday night the X and I had dinner to sort through the wreckage that had become our relationship. I can’t say it went well and I can’t say it went poorly.  I can’t tell you if we went home separately and I can’t  tell you if we went home together.  

I can tell you that I spent time with a woman whom I love very much and who looks so conflicted.

Maybe I never looked at it from her perspective. How can I be angry at someone who is so obviously torn about all of this? Maybe I am misreading her and maybe it is only when she is with me she feels this way so that’s why I notice it.  Maybe it’s all in my head.  Nonetheless, I love the X and can wrap my head around her confusion, presuming that is what it is.

I can even empathize. I’ve certianly made some piss poor decisions in my life. Paid a high price too. But, over time, you learn to forgive yourself. You have to. You accept your decision, right or wrong, and move on.

Mistakes, everyone has them.

Mick Jagger and David Bowie did a cover of “Dancin In The Street”, in 1984-ish. If ever there was evidence of rampant cocaine abuse in the 1980’s it would be that duet and it accompanying video. Who else but a coked up record executive, coked up record producer and two Bolivian marching powder generals could concoct such an atrocious remake? I mean, talk about poor decision making…ugh, just watch the video (I won’t even link to it, that is how bad it is…I’m  embarassed for them).

But, over time all is forgiven.  

So while I may not like how the X is handling all of this, I can understand because I’ve been there before. And I, selfishly, wanted her to avoid making some of the same mistakes I made, but that is foolish.  One has to walk their own path.  Only time will prove whether all of this is a good decision or a bad one.  Only time will allow the distance necessary for forgiveness. 

It’s about forgiveness.

We spoke about how we weren’t right for one another. For the first time at that dinner it finally dawned on me, we are not right for one another. Not because we don’t love one another. Not because we don’t want to be with one another. Not because it doesn’t work most of the time. We’re not right for one another because some of our values are diametrically opposed.

You see, the X is a social animal. Loves it. Needs it. Thrives on it and lives for social interaction. I don’t. I prefer time alone to chase my personal endeavors. Some of them, sure, I would like her to come along and participate in and I could get cranky about it when she couldn’t read my mind, and then, in every man’s seemingly never-ending reserve of brilliance, turn around and tell her I am not a mind reader.

Similarly, she wanted me to do and feel the same way about her social activity as she did. She wanted me to go and do everything with her, do it without asking, do it without kicking up any dust and do it with glee.  Well, I wanted the very same thing, just directing the energy towards my pursuits. I don’t feel I was negligent in my responsibility towards that social stuff, I tried to find a balance that worked for me and worked for her. I guess I failed. Similarly, she would say she was not negligent in her responsibility towards me. I have no doubt that she too tried to find a balance that worked for her and for me. However, neither one of us FELT IT the way we needed it.

And that’s the bitch of it all, in’it?

You see, on serious issues, like child rearing, politics (I think I’m a little more left and by little, I mean a lot), money, planning…shit that actually matters, we were similar and often on the same page. History is filled with introverts and extroverts who made it work. It’s also filled with those that couldn’t. I’ve written about how we were honest with each other this time around and we had these conversations and discussions about what we need. We both would try, but we never felt it.

So, I think Sunday I finally realized and accepted we are not right for each other. I may not agree with it and I may not agree with the reasons on which this current decision was made, and so steadfastly held to, but I accept it. For me, the things that frustrated me about her and, I can only presume, the things about me that frustrated her were, in the time-line of a life together, minuscule. 

Love is, among many things, about accepting and embracing those differences and trusting in each other enough to believe in the bigger picture. And maybe she didn’t share the same picture of us together through life as I did.

Like any thinking person, there are more questions than answers with a break up.

I have to believe as artists Jagger and Bowie questioned their decision, but did it anyway. They allegedly knocked off the song and video in one night (see early statement about cocaine abuse) and all the proceeds were to benefit USA For Africa or Live Aid or something like that (I really can’t imagine that song as ever having made its way into the black). They accepted and embraced the absurdity of it all. And ultimately, in the course if their career time-line, it’s a blip.

Everyone has a graveyard of bad decisions.

I can’t tell you how the dinner concluded. I can’t tell you what the morning brought us. I can’t tell you if we were alone or together. I can’t tell you how much I will always love her. However, I can tell you that 20 years from now, we won’t remember why we’re not together, we’ll just know we’re not together.

Time will heal the wounds but won’t erase her memory.

However, I still can’t listen to the Jagger/Bowie version of “Dancin In The Streets”…I think that is going to take a little more time.

*Originally written May 2011