Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Up, down, and the trouble with clarity.  §

The weekend was wonderful. So wonderful that we didn’t want it to end. We were tempted (or at the very least, I can speak for myself and say that I was tempted) to not let go as it came to an end. It felt to me as though I’d achieved a new kind of clarity over the last week or two about the future, about my feelings, and about us. I was almost ready to pack my bags and suggest that we move back in together.

In the end, however, and after some happy discussion, we allowed our own “cooler heads” to prevail and we put an end to our weekend according to the established, regular schedule that we’ve maintained, and which has been very good to us. And we went our separate ways again.

Why mess with success so early in the game, when there’s no pressing need to do so?

— § —

By mid-day today, last night’s apparent clarity was gone.

Instead, doubts, unresolved issues, and the intense event-by-event of everyday life all conspired to leave me feeling comfortably glad and secure in the fact that we’d decided to stick to our existing arrangement last night.

“We made the right choice,” I thought. “We stuck to the arrangement and didn’t try to get ahead of ourselves. Good thing.”

Obviously my feelings, mid-day, told me in no uncertain terms that it had been too early for us to move too quickly, and we’d spotted that, and respected ourselves and our love for each other and done the right thing. Gosh, we put aside immediate gratification and happy denial and instead did the slightly harder, but much more helpful thing, long term—and we did it together! Aren’t we so mature now, and making great progress?

I was rather happy about that. I had achieved a new and different clarity. This one was the correct one, obviously; last night’s ostensible clarity had been feelings in the moment, not big-picture thinking. Now I was really clear about things, and we were still in a good spot. Not quite the almost-too-good-to-be-true spot of last night, but still good. Deep good. Grown-up good.

— § —

And here it is in the evening. And I am feeling two conflicting things.

Part of me worries about self-sabotage. I read it as: You could have done something that made you happy, but you “maturely” decided not to, and so you didn’t experience that happiness. You have no evidence that anything bad would have happened. But instead, you moved on, and then later on rationalized your rather avoidant decision by telling yourself that you did the “mature” thing, and confused successful avoidance of intimacy and vulnerability with “feeling secure.” Hmmm.

The other part of me is pulling in exactly the opposite direction. Feeling avoidant still, it looks at the two recent “instances of clarity,” one last night and one at midday today, both of which have now obviously dissolved, and it adds these to the simple facts of our days apart, of our very light communication on such days, and of the weirdness that tends to overtake things after just a few hours out of contact. It wonders, justifiably, if everyone is simply pushing large rocks up hills.

And then, I have the impulse to refer all questions to the therapist. And of course, that adds to the general malaise a kind of worry that we can’t even think straight on our own anymore; we have to ask a third party to help us to identify how we feel. WTF?

— § —

At least on that last point, I can tell myself that life has clearly been better with our therapist than without her. Far better. So whether or not we are ourselves capable of dealing with our feelings, it is good that she is on our side and good to consider referring questions to her. The data doesn’t lie.

— § —

But I do miss my wife right now. And I love her. And us. And I also still feel confused by or conflicted about many things.

So much for “clarity.” I suppose life is more complicated than that.