Staying Friends

I’ve noticed some people claiming a perfectly-decent friendship with their ex, sometimes even great; I have to wonder what their secret is, or whether they’re just full of crap.

Long after things were said and done with the woman from my first serious relationship, it occurred to me that we didn’t actually belong in each other’s lives anymore. The very same woman who is now married with a young child.

I just felt as though my being in her life was wrong; it was also screwing with my head, bringing up old memories and feelings I didn’t care to have.

Now I’m once again neck-deep into a situation in which I’m friends with an ex; a woman I care about a lot. How do I look past the closeness we once had?

Everything’s different now.

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I Want to be a Better Man

Something happened tonight that knocked me back. Rather than shut down and hide away from how I feel, I thought I’d jump on here and try to put the feelings into words.

It’s typical that a man should be shallow and closed off, but what happens when you have a man who can be emotional and even sensitive? That’s me, and it’s a problem.

Men aren’t supposed to be emotional. Men are supposed to lock that shit down. Nobody wants to see a man have leaky eyeballs. A man is weak if he becomes emotional and sensitive; lesser. So society teaches us.

I want to stop bricking up and locking down when someone gets too close. I don’t want to bolt for the door when things get too tough. I’m sick of being self-destructive. I need to be better, for myself and for her.

I’m the sort of person who struggles to say how he feels about certain things with a woman, and sometimes with friends and family, such as when I’m upset or annoyed. I’m so preoccuped with being a good person and doing the right thing, that I just stop being a damn person.

A person will make mistakes. How many times have we screwed up to get to where we are now? We’re all screw-ups, but we learn because we talk about it. To this day there are people studying many years into the past to learn from our mistakes. If I hide from everything, I will learn nothing.

I’ve been connecting with a woman on a level I’ve not quite had before. It’s a very communicative thing that I’m finding both comforting and challenging.

On one hand, I feel good knowing that I can say some pretty messed-up crap and she’ll probably understand, but on the other, I’m vulnerable and that freaks me out.

I’m not just vulnerable to her, but my belly is open to being a giant fuck-up; that’s the worst. Sure, I’ve been open with a woman before, and yes, I’ve let down my guard with a woman before, but this feels different.

I’ve spent most of my life, until a couple of years ago, thinking I were some sort of nasty horror that hides in your basement. I’m just a man—I’m no demon, but I’m no angel either, and I think I have to learn to accept that.

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My friend is moving out!

I had yet another late night—a little after three in the morning. At about 10:30am I started hearing this loud, urgent knocking on our front door. This place is mostly floored with lino, so the knocks bounced around the flat making it super loud. I peeled myself off the bed and clambered about for my clothes, all the time getting annoyed at the loud, persistent knocking.

Man, who the hell was it!? I was on my way to the door, quite annoyed, and said, “alright, fucking hell, I’m coming!” I heard a gentle female voice shout “sorryyyyy!” coming from behind the door, at which point I knew it was my support worker—oops.

I let my support worker in, and she kept apologising, but the urgency was for a good reason! My flatmate is being moved on to his own place. I have mixed feelings about it. I am pleased for him, don’t get me wrong, he’s lucky to be going where he is, but I can’t help but to be really gutted because he’s a friend, and things are really settled here. There’s no arguments about cleaning or who did this and who did that; to quote Todd Howard, “It just works.”

Luckily, my flatmate mentioned that it’ll be alright because he can visit his other friend, his dad, and me, at which point I was relieved, and told him as much, since I was worried this was gonna be the end of that chapter.

Who will I end up with next? I’m worried I’m going to end up with another person like my last flatmate who made living at that place hell, so much that I lost my temper with him, after which I flat-out refused to live there and ended up somewhat homeless for a couple of months. I’m due to be moved on out of here myself, so I just have to be patient; it’s just all the stuff in-between that worries me.

On the bright side, at least I’ll have somewhere else to go. Isn’t positivity grand?

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Given the Chance, Would You Start Again?

I’ve sometimes thought quite a bit on this question. I used to wish I could do things again; undo those mistakes; right those wrongs. Now, I’m not convinced starting again is the answer.

I’ve had a good effect on some people’s lives. Hell, even when I’ve negatively affected someone, that may well have had a positive knockback. I’m not sure I want to undo the good I’ve done. I’m not sure I want to undo any possible good done as a result of my actions.

Yes, life has been difficult, yes, I’ve made mistakes, and yes, I’ve many regrets, but, I’ve also learned a lot, had positive effects on a number of people, and so, as a result, I think that I would not want to do it again. I believe, actually, for my to take such a chance would perhaps be selfish.

Had things been done differently, I may not have gotten to know my father so well. I may not have such an awesome best-friend of whom I’ve known for 7 or 8 years. If things were done differently, I wouldn’t have made the mistakes that strengthened me and taught me valuable lessons in life, those lessons of which will prepare me for the upcoming struggles I will invariably face. Had things not reached this point, I would likely not be a guitarist, and a relatively decent one at that. I would not be enthusiastic and passionate about the German language, and therefore would not have connected with many German people, learning things about their culture, and appreciating how they feel about certain subjects.

The next time you wish to start again, consider this: it’s not just your life. For better or worse, we are in this together, and, believe it or not, the actions to which we commit and the words we express can truly matter.

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