Where is My Mind …
September 28, 2010 § 2 Comments
Even though it’s only been about three days since my last post, I feel like I haven’t updated in a long, long time. Time has been moving very slowly, and it makes me wonder if this is how a fly experiences it’s short lifetime: perceiving each day as much longer than its 24 hours. I try very hard not to feel anything that can be even remotely identified as self pity. And if I do feel it, I certainly strive to keep it contained and not express it publicly. But this is the longest period Cesar and I have spent apart since we met almost exactly two years ago, and — whatever — I’m sad and sappy having not eaten a meal together or seen his face in more than two dimensions for two weeks, with another week and a half to go! I’m also completely exhausted, as I’ve tried to speed time up by taking on extra work in my free time. But I have to admit, despite my inability to sit still on the weekends without him or get restful sleep alone in our apartment, I’m experiencing the time apart much differently than I would have experienced time alone in the past.
First, I have to address how strange it is to acknowledge that I have only known Cesar for two years. We have built a life together so quickly and instinctively that it’s odd to consider our individual existences before that day in September 2008 when he first set foot in our previous apartment. In reverse chronological order predating our … dating … and subsequent engagement, I went through a brief “dating” phase, which made my skin crawl both at the time and now in retrospect. I guess at the time I thought it was obligatory to bite on at least a couple poorly cast lines at some point in my life. I definitely could have gotten along fine if I had just continued swimming. But live and learn and no regrets, right? I would say all it did was delay the inevitable with Cesar except that I think, by definition, inevitable things defy timelines.
Going back a little more, I had a very trying, lonely, emotionally brutal first year in New York/Jersey City, during which I was trying very hard to cope with separation from my family and home. I was also desperately attempting to escape some residual effects of a messy break-up. Thinking now about that relationship — which was the only relationship I’d ever been in up to that point, and which now I can clearly see lasted far too long — is incredibly foreign. There’s a Death Cab song with lyrics that I have to rely on to describe how it feels to reflect on “now” versus “then”:
You’ll be loved you’ll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved
Yeah, absolutely. Some of my worst nightmares today put me back in that relationship. But I get to wake up and realize with utter relief that my life is in Brooklyn with Cesar. And I now understand the feeling of having one’s past seem like a different life, wholly separate from that which the individual is experiencing in the present. Thankfully, those nightmares get fewer and farther between all the time, which further alienates me from who and where I was only four or five years ago. Again, to my utter relief.
And jeez, before that relationship, I was seventeen and only worrying about homework, play rehearsal, and my AP exams. A kid! So weird.
Over the last two years, Cesar and I have talked in great detail about who we were before meeting. Who we were in past relationships. Who we were when we were just “dating” people. Who we were in high school and whether we would have known or liked each other if we’d gone to the same school (in this hypothetical situation, we’d be the same age). He has seen where I grew up, I’ve seen where he grew up. The two locations, separated by most of the country, have a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. And ultimately, we’ve discussed how integral and yet completely irrelevant our past lives are to our new life together.
These discussions have given me a deeper understanding of who Cesar and I are, both as individuals and as parts of a whole. And that understanding imparts deep trust, as well as the ability to remain at peace while we are apart. Now, that being said, I cannot wait for him to come home so we can cook some real meals together, eat some ice cream, and sleep deeply for days!!
Happy Birthday Cesar! I am thankful for your life, my life, our life!