“Here’s Looking At You, Kid”

I fucking hate “Casablanca”. Of course, I’m starting in the middle of my story…

In my life, I’ve taken many routes to self-understanding: Self-help books, meditation, hypnosis, classes, tarot readings, palm readings, psychology, psychiatry, yoga, traveling, talking, drinking, sex, celibacy, organized religion, paganism, agnosticism, atheism…

Well, you get the point. I’ve had a privileged enough existence that I’ve been able to deeply contemplate the MEANING of life and interactions with others, sometimes ad nauseam. WHY do I feel this why? Should I feel this way? How do they feel? How should I feel about how they feel? The one thing I’ve absolutely discovered about myself and that remains constant: I absolutely despise ambiguity or vagueness

I don’t mind things not being black and white; I’m able to grasp and appreciate the complexities of situations and human beings. I’m not afraid of hard work in a relationship. Show me a relationship mountain dotted with jagged rocks and complicated terrain and I will climb it!

However, ask me to stand on the edge of a cliff with nothing but nebulous mist below me and step off into nothing, having only blind faith in the universe to support me…Frankly, just tell me goodbye now and let’s leave it at that.

I don’t WANT to be that way. I want to be nonchalant and open to whatever comes. I want to just let things happen. I want to have a lack of attachment to the outcome. I’ve realized trying to force myself to be those things in situations where I am VERY attached to the outcome is like asking fish to fly: It’s unnatural and has a very low success rate.

Sitting across the table from the man who broke my heart five months earlier, I felt a wave of realization wash over me. I still love him. I’ve done everything I can to see the negatives, to see the potential problems we might have had, to see his flaws clearly (which I do, believe me), to tell myself I can find someone better suited to me.  I’ve done it all in an attempt to assuage the grief that came with watching him walk away. Now I have to realize none of my self-talk meant anything. I still love him and I still want him in my life, flaws and all.

After hours of soul-searching conversation, an admission of love from him that I’d ached for months to hear and then passionate embraces in the parking lot, from which we practically had to tear ourselves away…I still have no idea where I stand.

He told me of watching Casablanca after he ended things and then weeping at the end. He looked at me and said, “You’re my Ingrid Bergman.” For a moment, I was taken over by the romance of the moment.

That moment lasted just long enough for me to get into my car, at which point logic returned and the resounding thought in my head was, “I don’t WANT to be your Ingrid Bergman! Casablanca sucked!”

The brief dialogue we’ve had since then, when I called to say “I think we need to talk” is wishy-washy to the extreme. It’s “I love you in every sense of the word, but I’m on a journey…what if at the end of the journey I decide we have to part ways?” “I want you in my life, yet I’m not sure where my life is headed. I don’t want to make the wrong decision and hurt you more.” “I can’t keep myself away from you physically or emotionally, but I don’t know what that means.”

Is it possible I’m in love with the one person who overthinks things more than I do?

The conversation had to end abruptly and is due to resume later. Hanging up the phone, the overwhelming emotion I feel is fury. Either commit to loving me, with all that involves, or stay the hell out of my life. We could have met and had drinks and walked away without declarations or passion or texts afterwards about how much we wish we were together; he opened THAT door. Walk through the door or I will close it and continue the business of moving on.

I love him, but frankly, I’m tired of loving people who don’t have the courage to love back. It takes courage to love someone and step up to the plate. It’s easy to talk about, but love is a fucking verb. I’m with Nike on this: Just DO it.

To peg me as Ingrid Bergman’s character in Casablanca, the woman who is loved and left out of some sense of noble sacrifice just infuriates me. It hurt like hell to believe in November he was leaving me because he didn’t love me. To hear he loves me, but there’s still a high probability (even though HE hasn’t decided yet) we won’t be together makes me ANGRY. At this point my heart wants to hear what else he has to say and hopes he moves past his over-analysis and fear to say “Yes, let’s do this.” My logic (and my ego) wants to say “Get the hell out of my life unless you can be clear about what you want.”

My heart, mind and ego are all in agreement that we feel the need to punch something, very hard, over and over again. I’m not sure what this evening will hold for me, but it for damn certain isn’t going to be yoga and meditation.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

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