Thursday, May 19, 2005

Introspectively Yours - 580

A piece I just finished and relegated to draft status was 500 words that ultimately said nothing. But it did spark something inside. I indicated I couldn't or wouldn't write about Love. That everytime I did, I came off like some lovesick teenager after his first kiss. I thought about that and it dawned on me that Love is a subject I have avoided in my writing since, well, my early 20's anyway, 30 or so years ago. So with a "that was then, this is now" attitude, I thought I might just re-visit a subject I have been uncomfortable with for the last 3 decades.

I need to identify what kind of Love I want to discuss. Family type love or lust for the other sex type Love? I have never felt completely at home discussing either. So I guess it doesn't matter much which one I start in on. What may matter more is why am I so uncomfortable with the idea of discussing Love. I have experienced Love, good and bad. I haved loved . I have been loved. I have wanted love. I have wished another did not love me. I have foolishly pursued another's love. Pretty much experienced it from all sides. But I don't like talking about it. Odd. I guess it's a guy thing. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

But like most excuses, all the guy excuse does, is allow me to duck out on a tough question. I have often wondered if my refusal to open up about emotional facets of my life is a sign I don't want to face some of the uglier little truths about me and the way I have carried myself from the cradle to the here and now. Like I am ashamed of the life I wasted or failed to use to it's potential emotionally. But most of the time, I think my less than eager attitude to talk relationships is based more on my desire to stay aloof and detached from those folks who would be closer if I let them. That placing an emotional barrier between myself and those I love is a way to soften the blow should I be rejected at some future date.

When I contemplate this, I always end up back to my childhood and growing up in a family of like minded souls. I never felt like I belonged or that anyone really cared I was there. I grew up feeling like some duty everyone had to deal with. I wasn't abused. I was ignored.

Well, That's how I feel when I am in the "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms" frame of mind. The truth is, I was probably truly loved and cared about. But like me, my family didn't wear their love on their shirt sleeves. Getting all mushy and misty eyed was not our style. Real men don't act like that.

Even if the truth is somewhere in the middle, the fact is, I have a problem opening myself up emotionally. And after 53 years of developing and nuturing this tendency, is it possible to break the cycle? Is it even worth the time and heartache? Hmm. Self growth at anytime seems like a good idea. But like most ideas, they stay just that, passing moments of what we should be doing but probably won't because staying in the rut we already have is safer than trying out a new one.

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