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Saturday, August 17, 2013

I'm Scared

*I'm in a profane mood. Be forewarned*

You ever have that movie that you know you have to watch but can't bring yourself to actually watch? Usually, this type of movie is the kind that makes you jump from your seat or sick to your stomach. Usually, these types of movies are legitimate scary movies.

The movie I watched tonight was not that type of movie. It was scary because it just reminded me too much of my life ... of my wants.

I've been looking at this movie, Timer, for what feels like years. I have no idea when it actually appeared on Netflix the first time but I've been avoiding watching it for a long time now. The synopsis of it made me uneasy. Not because the movie would be bad or seemed bad, but because the movie would undoubtedly make me analyze my own feelings on the subject matter of love.

Of waiting for love. Of wanting to be loved.

Of being tired of being alone.

And this movie did exactly that. It was written well, it was acted well, and I enjoyed it. But throughout it all I was sitting there and measuring myself against it ... in a lot of ways I felt like the main character of the movie, Oona. Everywhere she went people were with their 'one' the person whom they would spend the rest of their lives happily with.

The movie makes you think about the nature of love. Of the different kinds of love and how they manifest themselves. More than that, more than anything, this movie made me feel like Oona. Constantly waiting. Constantly wondering. Being disappointed and being used to the disappointment.

Looking, enviously, at everyone else around you and wondering how they managed it. How they got it right and why you can't.

This movie scared me. Because Oona was approaching her 30th birthday and her Timer (the device implanted into her wrist to tell her when she met her true love) hadn't even started counting down. It was just sitting there, staring at her blankly. She'd gone about and made a bit of a life for herself.

But it was incomplete. She'd look at that Timer on her wrist every day and every day it stared back at her, blankly. Despite being surrounded by friends and family, she was alone.

I feel the same way a lot of days.

This week has been a particularly troubling one from a personal standpoint. I've made some decisions that are big changes for me.

My time in Virginia is coming to an end. I'll be leaving soon for Ohio and I'll be entering an entirely new situation. Familiar in some ways but very different in others. Picking up and leaving after spending the last 14 months here in Virginia isn't easy.

I don't know what's after this, really. I have a plan but I don't like plans. Inevitably they backfire on me.

I'm going to take a few years, earn some cash, and go back to finish my degree. I don't know if it was ever the right decision to leave in the first place. I want to be mad about it, I want to scream at the top of my lungs, but I'm done with it.

I fucked up.

It's over.

I will refuse the notion that the last two years have been a waste, because they haven't. I'm in the best shape of my life. I've been graced with not just one new family, but another. People I would take a bullet for, give any organ they need, and do anything for.

I won't regret any of that.

I'm 24 going on 25 in October.

And, much like Oona in the movie, my start in life is late.

Maybe it's the way it had to be. Maybe it's the way I demanded it to be because I'm stubborn beyond reason.

But I'm scared. Every decision, every movement, from this point on ... it's crucial. It can't be fucked up.

I'm also counting on things that, up to this point, have been reliable. My car not having an unexpected major issue. My health not taking an unexpected turn for the worse. My life not being impacted by some left field shit.

And if even one thing goes wrong ... if one thing falls apart ... this could all collapse on me. Everything could fall on top of my head and I don't know what happens after it all falls.

I have the honor and pleasure of knowing some brave, strong people in my life. Some have overcome messy divorces. Some have overcome cancer.

They are my examples and I only hope I can be a little like them. They've overcome. They've dealt with life and they deal with it every day. They don't case themselves in a bubble and hide from the world.

Not like me. I don't like the world. I don't like what happens in it. I don't want to like it and I don't want to be a part of it most days.

But I am a part of it and life is coming for me. It's a giant maw, waiting to swallow me whole if I'm not strong enough.

And I'm not.

I took that personality test this week and discovered I was an INFJ. Basically, it's this. I put it to a vote to some friends and I trust them ... they said it fits me very well. And I want to disagree with them and scream that it doesn't but damn it, it does fit me well. I read through it all, every bit of research I could dig up on it, and I just sat there dumbfounded.

It was like a checklist and I was checking all the things.

I'm not pleased about it now. I was less pleased earlier in the week but now I'm getting used to the idea. It's me. I'm me.

I hate being me some days.

And I'm scared of that INFJ. What exactly does it mean? It's the way I'm programmed, apparently, and I hate to be programmed in such a way that I can't change.

But I've tried hard to change these last two years. Physically, I'm a completely different person. But my personality is still largely the same. I have more control now, I don't get as mean and vindictive as I was before. I'm proud of that.

But I still have those thoughts and those feelings. I still want to sit there and say the meanest thing I can to a person, to crush them, if they piss me off. I don't anymore but I think it.

How can any of that be good? A story bit a friend of my wrote recently echoed something similar, where her character had a dream that she felt guilty over.

It was only a dream. Only false memories. But it felt so real ...

I have those all the time. They play through my head in the night. Dreams I feel horrible about. Worse case scenarios. Fantasies (of various natures, but THAT kind for sure) about people that are married, or involved, or are my friends.

How can any of that be good? How are you NOT supposed to feel guilty about it? Because, frankly, I don't know how. Dreams are dreams, right? But I fuel those dreams. They come from my mind and my twisted human desires.

The dreams are my fault.

Maybe this is why I'm alone and lacking in love. My life is a fucked up mess in a lot of ways. But I have a lot of people that love me. I don't know why and I don't understand, which frustrates the hell out of me. I want to understand, I need to understand, but I don't.

I'm a stubborn mule. I take years to see what people determine in a far shorter time period.

Maybe I'm missing it. Or missing some vital component.

I'm incomplete and this feeling is echoed in so many of my favorite characters to read (written by other more talented authors) and characters I write myself. I KNOW this feeling. I live with it and I hate that I live with it, but it's familiar.

I like the familiar. I like routines. I like habits. Change is tougher for me than most.

I'll put off change for as long as I can.

But I can't put it off any longer. My life is changing and I don't know what the future holds. The movie scared me because it reminded me of that and so many other things.

How far have I really come?

Not far enough I feel. Not even close.


  1. Zach. I know you hardly ever listen when I try to tell you. But I try anyway, because I love you, and a lot of people love you. You're not hopeless, you're not a fuckup, and your timer is just fine.

    I married the man I loved at the age of nineteen. And I loved Rick so much it hurt. It burned, a good burn. But it became a bad burn, and it didn't even take long to. I was nineteen, and to anyone outside, I had it all. And in reality, I was far from ready, leaving one abusive home for another. It took me until I was THIRTY-ONE to take charge of my life.

    At twenty-four, almost twenty-five, you are so far ahead of where I was, dear. I know you hate hearing it. I know everything in you goes, "But I'm different, those rules don't apply to me," but I said all the same things, and often still do. Kes does too. It does not make it true.

    We all love you. So very much.

  2. As someone who met the one at age 26, I gotta say, timers are for turkeys. And pumpkie pies.

    They're not for people.

    Because yours, and mine, and Jennifer freakin' Aniston's? They mean diddly.

    It's not just that everyone differs. Even the concept of a timer is faulty. Why just one? Why not five? Hell, Elizabeth Taylor was interviewed, and she said that every time she married, she felt she was in love, and committed. I have no doubt that that was the truth. Her truth.

    Your truth will undoubtedly differ.

    And you have not wasted time.

    You have laughed. You have changed. You have created. You have made friends, and been a friend.

    None of that is a waste, ever.

    So, when are ya gonna start living in Massa-freakin'-chusetts?

  3. Jes: You'll have to wrestle with me in a vat of pumpkin pie filling for him! :P