(From a couple weeks ago.)
My friend Emily came over a couple weeks ago. She’s a unique individual and the way she sees the world is priceless to me. We were talking about how afraid people are to change their lives. Why, she asked, is it so hard for people to say this isn’t working and change it? You only get one life. You only get so much time, why are people too scared to say: this is what I need and get it? Ever since then, it’s been eating at me. Why are we so afraid to change the things that we need to change? Why are we more prepared to cling to homeostasis than to risk rocking the boat to get what we want? Levitt and Dubner wrote a chapter on it. It’s failure. It’s quitting and we are programmed from a young age to believe that quitting is bad. But is it? I’ve internalized the idea that quitting is good when it comes to food. When I’m full, I throw the rest out because to pay the price of being over-full is paying for the food twice. Why can’t this translate into life?
When we started to date, I was a mess. I was a bit wild. We went to parties and played drinking games together. Sometimes I toted a bottle of rum or tequila, usually rum, around in my purse. I look back at the pictures of us during that time and it looks like we’d be a crazy couple. We’d be free and open and have a blast. And we did.
We had a blast for a long time. Then, very slowly, we began to be ourselves. Not the fun messy, the actually messy selves we’d skirted around for years, began to emerge. I remember it all too well. We accommodate each other. I’m messy, but for you I do things neatly even though to me, it’s starting to feel clinical. Back then, I wanted to travel and study religion from every angle through empathy and experimentation. Back then, you wanted a wife who would sing with you in church. You bought a timeshare and I dusted off my fundamentalism, and we were happy. But I think when you have kids, you have so little time to actually be yours, that you aren’t willing to compromise that time by not being yourself.
It’s all the little things that have changed, most of which revolve around sex, and emotional intimacy. I miss who we were. I loved who we were, but we were pretending. We don’t have time for each other anymore, and we don’t make time. I look at the pictures and I wonder where we went. We were talking about our lives a few days ago. You asked me how I liked my life. I told you that it bored me, and I don’t enjoy it the way I thought I would. We do the same thing, the same way, every day. We’ve lost ourselves in the day to day. It can happen to anyone, but it’s never happened to us before.