Living Without

I still wear the necklace she gave me. Even though we’ve lost touch. Even though she thinks I’m crazy to do the things I do.

She was one of the first to call me brave, well before I had even considered it. She wasn’t the first to call me crazy, and if she’s the last, it’s a sure sign I’m doing something wrong with the rest of my life.

I have a small collection of trinkets from people to whom I was once important. Best friends, boyfriends, people who I once thought I could never live without.

I think that fairly often, when a new friendship or romance looks promising. That feeling of a missing puzzle piece. That “Where have you been all my life?” sentiment. I often try, in these situations, to imagine myself going on with my life after I’m not important to this exciting new person anymore. I never can. So I always conclude that I won’t be able to, and proceed to bend over backwards to preserve their esteem and affection for me.

I’m always wrong. The people I’ve stopped being important to are many. The people who stick it out are few and far between, and even then, the parameters of the relationship change. Usually because I leave the city/country/continent, so meeting up every single day and talking in between the way we once did is no longer possible.

I’m always okay eventually. I always cope. I always adjust. I can live quite comfortably without a lot of people that I once thought I could never do without.

I think it’s because I’m misdiagnosing my inability to imagine a life without them. I have a tough time imagining anything too far in the future in too great a detail. Before I left home for university, I literally could not imagine what life at university would be like. It was too far removed from what I had experienced, what I knew. Ditto for before I studied abroad, before I finished university, before I left home for Korea.

Not being able to clearly imagine anything too far different from what I’m doing right now, not being able to imagine anything too far into the future in anything but the vaguest terms isn’t an indication that I should keep everything the same, on the contrary, it’s often a sign that I need to find the next cliff to jump off, as it were.

I’m making my peace with no plans and vague plans and maybes and what-ifs. This is a struggle for me. I am my father’s daughter, after all, and the voice of nurture telling me I need a plan (a very specific, heavy-on-logistics one) is pretty loud. But locking in for the long term is not what I want to do right now.

That might be why every time I catch myself thinking I don’t know how to live without something or someone, a friend, a romance, a job, or a command of the language spoken where I live, I wind up living without it soon after. Maybe not in the same phase, maybe not in the next one, but not too long after. Almost like I set my own challenges.

Not knowing what to expect out of the next step is half the fun. The other half is doing things I never thought I could.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Living Without”
  1. louiseinbiz says:

    I feel your sentiment. Hope all goes well with you 🙂

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