Persisting In The Depths

As a warning of sorts I just want to say that I am about to be openly, brutally honest. And it pains me to feel like such a disclaimer is necessary, because I feel like this should not be the case if people were less judgmental and more welcoming and accepting of the thoughts and feelings of others of especially their very own generation, whom they should relate to more than ever.

Yet I see all the time people openly criticizing others for “being vague” on social media or for “confusing (social media outlet) with your diary.” This strikes me as odd because here are two extremes both seemingly frowned upon by the more general public. But this should not be the case. There should be no imposed limit to the amount of “acceptable” sharing. It troubles me deeply to see this in my own generation, because we in particular should be pioneering this treasure of a communicative outlet and appreciating all that it allows us to share with each other. This is amazing, what we can do on here, how many connections we can maintain and interact and identify with. Absolutely amazing, and I for one cherish every single last glimpse into the minds, into the feelings and emotions of any person I’ve ever met (or haven’t) and have connected with, here on the internet where input ones and zeros amount to so much societal potential. It should not be a stirring pot of judgment and resentment. But if you think I’m mistakenly writing in my diary? Excuse me; I am only trying to share my inner thoughts and feelings with you.

Sometimes people just need an outlet, and an outlet can take so many forms, be it a diary entry, a face-to-face conversation, a blog, a punching bag, a book, a long drive, a phone call, a jog, some painting, some music to make or listen to, a dance floor, a chat room, a puzzle; it could literally be anything. Something makes somebody feel like they have dealt with something, made some progress, and this should not be seized and stomped on and pulled apart because others felt annoyed at having witnessed it. Projecting it outward is an act, deliberately executed, and whether or not you agree with whatever it is, or think it “whiny”, you should respect that brave lunge and feel privileged to have been a recipient of an outward expression.

So I write this, because I feel like I am close to achieving some measure of peace with my particular circumstance at long last, and this outpouring I have been putting such careful thought and consideration and feeling into is, I feel, an important step in the final stages of this progress. So I’m just going to leave this right here, after it’s completed. It will already have served its ultimate purpose whether or not it’s brutally ripped apart or appreciated, the underlying objective being to express oneself, and share a passion… and passion has no bounds.

And there is a passionate pull, an intense burden so heavy inside me that it’s all I can do to not outwardly portray it. As I’m sure many know, I’ve found quite a lot of success lately: I’ve graduated, I’ve moved, I’ve gotten a good job, I’ve met so many new people, I’ve more deeply connected with so many existing acquaintances, I’ve had so many good times and I have so many places I can call home and so many friends with connections so deep I can’t ever imagine losing touch. I used to endure an entire year before I got the chance to visit friends in Cheyenne for a woefully brief two weeks for vacation. And now that I’ve brought myself into the region, and have spent so much time up there, I begin to feel deprived if I spend those same two weeks without being in town, I’ve re-adapted so fast. The acclimation was startlingly swift, even though I anticipated swiftness.

But I left behind an unimaginable fortune when I got here; she did not follow me. I did not know if she would, that was the mighty risk I took. But I felt like I needed to be here. It was so deep inside me I couldn’t just brush it off. It tugged at my heartstrings, persistently escalating over eight long years to the point where I had never felt so sure, not about anything. And so went for it, and so I am here. And I am happy; geographically, I feel like I am where I belong. I look around and I just appreciate being here. I swear there is a greater beauty in the skies, in the colors sometimes shining at particular angles of retreating sunlight… perhaps this is due to the altitude difference. I enjoy being physically nearer to the cloud cover overhead, and even the landscape has a certain appreciable quality to it. It’s somehow in the shapes and the colors of the rolling countryside and the mountains so nearby in such contrast to the stretches of plains seem to cast a majestic quality upon everything around; I just adore it all.

But for all of this, romantically I lost it all. My arms were wide open just in case, and the truths of my most hopeful intentions were, as far as I could judge at the time, made entirely known. In my head it all fit so well: she was having trouble job hunting after her own graduation, a lot of her friends had moved away or were not very responsive, and at such a point in a young life it is perhaps the most opportune time to embark on such a commitment as moving so far and striking out fresh. Yet she stayed and moved on, despite the efforts, despite my attempts to convince her of my hopefulness for us. And I hold no ill feelings toward her at all, of course. It was not ugly in any way. And in a reversed situation I can’t say what I would have done… I feel like I would have gone along, had I been in a similarly uncertain situation, but of course I cannot know, having never been there. So this must be stressed: there are no hard feelings.

But I close my eyes and there she is, wearing that so-familiar outfit. It is that simple, if I wish to call upon it: in my mind she is unchanging in all of her incredible beauty. And there’s her laugh, so hearty and contagious, and there is that characteristic sparkle in her eyes so hard to look away from. They are ingrained into my memory as deeply as any learned equation. And I drift off to sleep at night and she’s here, or I’m there, or we’re somewhere entirely unfamiliar, but it’s we, and I cannot help but wish with all of my being that I’d wake up and find this to be reality. And her slightest, most gentle touch just effortlessly peels all of the hard-won armor from my skin; I am utterly powerless against her. Sometimes I walk into a room and catch such a brief whiff of a familiar scent that for a fleeting moment she’s right there beside me, and sometimes I hear the faint whisper of a voice so deeply entangled into my mind that she appears in context, bright-eyed and strikingly beautiful as ever. I might taste the gentle touch of her lips upon mine and I imagine the cascades of a thousand waterfalls which cannot possibly manage to drown out the joyful ringing in my head. Such is her legacy to me.

I’m like a tiny creature cradled in the palms of her gentle hands, gazing up into dark brown eyes so deep as if an entire galaxy could be harbored within. Her slightest breath could topple mountains and turn landscapes to dust. My heartstrings are tangled into every last part of her body and mind, doomed to be tugged every which way with the slightest graceful movement. I would want to follow her anywhere, yet her presence fills the sky from horizon to horizon and churns within the individual grains of dirt beneath my feet as I wander the Earth. If not into her arms then there is nowhere else in particular to go because she is everywhere, is in everything.

But reality, of course, inevitably sinks back in… eventually, as it must, because I must move on as well. There is no other option when you’ve given every last effort you know to express the open invitation for someone. It simply becomes the reality which must be accepted. Our own personal desires may drive every single thing that we do, but our own personal desires do not determine what’s true. They do not themselves alter the separate desires of another person. The sheer force of my will alone cannot influence the situation any further.

And so I admit now that I do not know how to move on, myself. I don’t know how one does it without eventually coming into another such companionship which works to overtake the one just left behind, smoothing out the “moving on” process. I don’t mean to trivialize the following relationship, but rather to acknowledge the power it could hold in salvation. You shouldn’t seek it out because of this, but because you find it you could be freed. But without that path, I stand at infinite crossroads, no specific path being chosen, and time itself becomes the means by which I move on.

You hear that time “heals all wounds”. But I don’t believe that time itself should be what gets the credit, rather, I think we just forget how much they hurt. Time is the means by which we ever so gradually lay new, fresher memories and feelings upon the previous. You may forget one as it fades into the ever-receding past, but it will always linger, always persisting in the depths of you, ready to be called upon by random sensory triggers. Such is her reality to me, now. It comes and it goes, it’s fleeting and it’s persistent, it’s vivid and it’s vague, and it’s all of these at once in uncontrollable combinations.

The frustrating part about it now is that somehow I start to feel guilty if I begin to develop feelings for someone… as if I’ve let myself wander across some boundary I somehow should know I have no place being, even after all these months. And this is silly, I know, but it’s real, and I’m unsure of how to combat it. Because when I have tried so hard to be such good friends with so many incredible people, I then don’t know how to not jeopardize this, how to conclude that -this- particular one could be more somehow, and reciprocated. I feel like I don’t know how to be more than friends with anybody else after all of that, no matter how deeply I want to, or if want to. I don’t even know how ridiculously obvious this might have already been to anyone on the outside.

But I can say one thing with absolute, unwavering certainty such that I’ve never once been able to say about anything before: it is because of such an intensely emotional investment into this one single relationship I managed to let slip through my fingers that I still, and always will, believe in utter confidence that true love is a thing, is obtainable and is worth every single shred of effort you can put forth to call your own. It is as fragile as it is real, as painful as it is wonderfully blissful, and can be as heavy a burden on the soul as incredibly free as it makes it.

I do still believe the best is yet to come.



Posted by Eli Stanley | at 10:49 PM | 0 comments