Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Savings

I'm a great saver. You know I save my money, or I wouldn't be living in France and not working. I've mentioned before that I save all of my emails (almost all, I try to dispense with the "just business" ones), all my letters and even the little scraps of paper with random notes. I try not to save clothing I don't wear anymore, but it's difficult.

I have had a draft email sitting around for a year and a half that I can't delete even though I'll never send it. It's addressed to my last boyfriend about a week before he broke up with me. I never sent it because it was more of a message to myself than to him.

Then I thought, what's the blog for if not sharing my innermost thoughts? Ok, it's not actually for that; some things must remain private. But what about a glimpse at how ridiculously miserable I was with that last boyfriend? A little reminder that, as much as I'd like to have a "long-term meaningful relationship" being single is a much better than being miserable:

Dear X,

Maybe you won't get this before I see you...but I still feel the need to write. The more I think about things, the clearer it is to me how mistaken I've been in my approach. It's true that we're not communicating well. I also don't think that I've been unreasonable. But it's clear as day that you see me that way. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to feel misunderstood. Maybe I don't have to, since you probably feel the same way.

What I have to say is that I'm done. I'm done pushing and expecting and waiting. I still want to see you, but I'm going to stop insisting on anything in particular. I'm going to live my life fully and independently. I'll let you know when I want to see you. I'll only expect that you'll do the same.

Maybe you've been trying to tell me this all along. Maybe you're not the first person to do so. I don't know why it's so incredibly hard to act on, but I intend to follow through.

[Jamy]

Do I sound miserable? All I know is that I was miserable when I wrote it. I hated the way I was acting and feeling. I never got anything but fleeting satisfaction from that relationship. The costs were high and the payoffs few. What's worse is that while I had some happy moments with him, I felt like I wasted my time. I also felt like I learned nothing. At the beginning of that relationship, I felt much as I do now: impatient for the next thing. So, perhaps this is a good reminder to be patient. It's worth waiting for something that won't feel like a waste of time.

Oh, one reason this came up is that I just got an invite to a party given by a friend of the ex. It's the "same" party where the ex and first got together…and where I dragged my buddy, PW, last year as cover. So, when I declined the invite I said I'd like to come but I was in Paris. Maybe the ex will see it, maybe he won't, but a girl can hope.

I mentioned the invite and my response to Pele and she said, "Nice! That'll show him. 'Not an artist,' right!"

What was she talking about? I left out one part of the conversation when wrote the story of the break up for the blog. I made the classic mistake of asking what it was I was "missing." He hemmed and hawed while I stood and stared at him. It was an impossible question to answer, but he thought I wanted to hear something or maybe he really believed what he said, which was, "Well, most of the other people I dated were…more artistic. Maybe that was a problem."

I stared at him, dumbfounded, but not speechless. I said, "I AM an artist. I am a WRITER."

I might have thrown something at him then.

The memory of him saying that, of realizing how little he'd bothered to know me, made getting over him fairly easy. I don't think I told the story before because I found it particularly insulting and I still liked him and didn't want readers to hate him. Silly me. It doesn't make him sound hateful, just ignorant.

While I haven't written my novel yet, and maybe I never will, I'm enough of a writer to try. And what is he? Living his life without someone as interesting, creative and adventurous as me in it. Poor baby.

(I hope you won't begrudge me a little smug. I need it to resist the men floating around who I don't really like but who might tempt me. I need to remember why that doesn't work for me, even if I am on "vacation.")

Grateful for: being on my own.

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