"I Love, I Love To Do My Thing
Ha, and I, I Don’t Need No One Else.
Sometimes I Feels So Nice, Good God...
I Jump Back, I Wanna Kiss My Self!” – James Brown from “Superbad”
For the past week my personal grief has been a self-conscious little dance of avoidance.
Step One: Turn away.
Step Two: Lean back from people who don’t give a shit, and even those who PRETEND to give a shit.
Step Three: Cover your ears to platitudes, and probing questions of “how are you?”
Step Four: There is no step four. You simply allow the dancer to dance in his corner, alone.
I’ve never been very good at reaching out when in need. I’m usually the reachee. Through some Grand Design, through fate or destiny, I’d long ago been assigned the role of The Strong, Dependable One. We so-called 'Strong Dependables' do have reps, you know. There are unwritten, unspoken, and yet understood rules that we do not allow the hue of our fears, or the blue of our tears to the reach the surface of our public skin.
Because of this, we can be seen as Superbad Superhuman Mofos. Our needs are rarely if ever considered. Our feelings don’t really matter.
We are appointed to be the net that catches those weaker ones who fall all around us. We give great hugs, and good late-night phone. We know when to nod quietly… and when or how to provide the right words. Our shoulders grow strong and wide from the weight of our boundless feats of empathy. We are longtime companions to the misunderstood, brokenhearted, and the lonely.
This is what we do. We get damn good at it, too. So damned good at it, we become these scholars and superheroes at it, even though, it’s a thankless gig, most of the time.
But… what… ABOUT… US? Don’t we MATTER? Are we not worthy of the same strong nets to catch US should we ever fall from the ledges of OUR lives?
Last night, I ‘broke up’ with a once closeasthis friend of mine. It was TIME. It was due time. It had long been passed the time, but being a person who collects and keeps souvenirs, I hold on to people longer than I should, longer than necessary, and longer than they even deserve to be held. Maybe that’s a very human trait. The friendship was not working in a way that provided mutual dependency or accountability. The relationship was not nourishing or fulfilling to my spirit. In the role of GIVER: I was the one EXPECTED to remember birthdays, anniversaries. I was to be the thoughtful one, the in-the-moment one whose caring and consideration was a GIVEN... while my own birthdays, anniversaries, triumphs and tragedies would traditionally go unnoticed, unacknowledged, uncelebrated, unfelt. But that’s cool. I don’t bitch, much. We can’t expect people to be the way we want them to be (though sometimes, a lil mutual appreciation would be nice).
The final straw came because I realized the worst offense of all in any relationship is to be taken advantage of, taken for granted, and just plain TAKEN.
When we reach that place where we give much and receive little, when we become an option as opposed to a priority, and when we become conditioned to being treated as if we don’t matter, then, for one’s own sense of self-worth, it’s time to reevaluate our place in that relationship.
And so, I’m doing that Dance of Letting Go.
It’s not done with hard steps that lack of grace. It’s not some deeply attitudinal selfish-assed boogie. It’s a dance done by moving away from the constricting atoms around us. It’s believing in your own stars, and orbiting your own moon, your own sun. There’s no partner involved… and none is necessary, unless you find a good one who can keep time with you, and who can accentuate and compliment your rhythm.
The people we surround ourselves with should add to the cadence of your lives, and not stumble around blindly or clueless, as if oblivious to the beat…
So… I’m doing the Dance of Letting Go. And I’m doin’ it, and doin’ it, and doin’ it WELL!