You Want to Know What Doesn’t Hurt Me

iTunes playlist: In a Sentimental Mood by John Coltrane and Duke Ellington.

I’m quietly succumbing to this idea: we simply can’t control everything though we want to.

I was talking with a friend last night and he warned me about the ups and downs of a break-up and how it will come in waves. I’ve experienced them already. The difference for me, now, is that when moments of sadness overcome me: I let them. I let them wash over me. I cry a little. I give myself five minutes. I tell myself this is what I’ve chosen, this is the way life is, I have to accept it. There are some things which happen that we can’t control and not everything is a reflection of who we are. Somehow taking responsibility for what I did and accepting that I will have to accept the way others feel about me or what I’ve done because those are their feelings and I can’t control them makes me feel better. It releases a lot of anxiety and pressure I put on myself to control everything.

The iTunes playlist switches to “Not as We” by Alanis Morisette.

When I was 13 and her Jagged Little Pill album came out, I felt like every single song applied to me. I’m not really sure who I was thinking about when I belted “You Oughta Know” into my hairbrush, but I remember passion coming from my tiny teenage lungs as I cracked out the notes.

It’s a little different now. It’s pretty clear to me how I relate to this song and I doubt I’ll ever forget why:

“Day One, start over again. Step One, I’m barely making sense.”

“Now I’m faking it, til I’m pseudo making it. From scratch begin again, but this time I decide and not as we.”

I don’t feel like I’m always just calling in my life, but there are moments, there are definitely moments when I find myself looking around, not wondering: “What have I done?” but, more “How did I get here?” Sometimes the pit in my stomach feels very heavy and I feel lonely. Sometimes I feel so light and free and unburdened that I have to find something concrete to hold onto. Sometimes I feel terrified that I’ll never make anything out of my life, that I’ll never find the thing, or the person, that really lights me up.

The iTunes playlist switches to “If You Were Here” a cover by the Cary Brothers.

“If you were here, I could deceive you. If you were here, you would believe. Would you suspect my emotion wandering? I do not want a part of this anymore.”

When I was still married, I would listen to this song and it would hurt, because I felt like I was being deceitful, and instead of acknowledging the truth earlier, I tried to deceive myself by convincing myself that I was in love, that I could be in love, when I wasn’t and couldn’t. I miss that feeling of being in love. I see my happily married friends and I think, “That is what I wanted! That is what I want!” I hope my guideposts will be clearer next time. I don’t want to identify with this song anymore.

“The rain water drips through the cracks in the ceiling. I now have to spend my time on repair. And just like the rain, I’ll be always falling. Only to rise and fall again.”

So I’m spending a little time on repairing myself, but I’m just not sure how broken I am. Shouldn’t I be more broken? Am I broken enough? And because I don’t feel broken all the time, not even most of the time, I worry that I’m covering up the pain. I hope that writing about it is the catharsis that is healing me and being open and up front with everyone is the reason I’m not feeling broken.

You want to know what doesn’t hurt me? I do too. I’m tired of wasting so much time being sad and depressed, but I’m afraid of burying it so deep that one day it will well up and overwhelm me. I just get up every day, try to figure it out and then pursue whatever doesn’t hurt me. Sometimes, though, I subject myself to it a little bit, just to remember that I have something that merits feeling.


4 thoughts on “You Want to Know What Doesn’t Hurt Me

  1. Though I’m on the ‘other side’ of a break up, I still feel your pain and empathize with your search to find your happiness. I take some solace in assuming the one who broke my heart will journey into the growth and self discovery that you’re experiencing. It is truly inspiring, for me to read this. Thank you for sharing.

    • I’m sorry you’re hurting. It’s funny that you use the word discovery because it feels so much more like confusion. But eventually, all this reflection will morph into understanding.

    • It is! But, I think now that I’ve made the mistake, I will know better what I want/need. I still can’t believe I was so blind to what my body/soul were trying to tell me. My head just wasn’t connected. I didn’t believe in The One….I’m not sure that I do.

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