Saturday, 11 July 2015

Love, Life and all the Sucky Bits Inbetween




None of us ever feel completely in control. That's a fact. People may look in control, they may look as if they have the world at their feet, as if life is perfect, and as if they know exactly where they are headed, but that is never the case.

Each of us struggles to hold on, struggles to grasp onto to the good, to let go of the bad, to control our emotions, even to control time. I used to think that life was about planning. Life was about sticking to one grand narrative, finding romance, finding a fulfilling job that pays the bills and living in perfect bliss. But I've come to realise that that is not life. That's a story, that's imagination, but its not real, it can never be real. Life is messy. No matter how hard you try you can't control what happens, the only thing you truly have control over is yourself.

Take love for example. You can't make people love you, no matter how hard you try. You can be the nicest, sweetest kindest person in the world, the kind of person who is always there for someone and doing things for others, but that doesn't mean that everyone will love you. Some people just won't love you, no matter what you do, and the harsh reality is that often enough those people won't deserve your love either. Be it friendships, relationships or family ties, love is messy. Sure love can be something that lights you up from the inside, makes you float ever so slightly above the ground and adds a sparkle to everything and anything, but its also makes you doubt yourself, makes you jealous and sometimes turns you into something you're not. Love always has two sides, you can't have the good without the bad, which also means that you can't have the ecstasy and joy without the pain, without the loneliness.

I used to think that if I was good enough, if I tried hard enough and pleased those around me enough, that they'd love me back. I was terrified to be alone, for people to dislike me, even hate me, and to be honest, I am still terrified of all those things. Like I said in my previous post (which you can read here) this fear has made me spend almost all of my nineteen years on this planet with an inability to let go, a desperate need to fix things, and in a constant effort to please others. I'm only just starting to realise, that like so much in life, you can't control love. You have to let the good in with the bad, love is about getting hurt, otherwise you wouldn't recognise those moments of true bliss even if they smacked you in the face.

Thinking you can control love is like walking down the street with a blindfold over your eyes, eventually you are going to walk into a lamppost, and its going to hurt. And that's a good thing. You can't control who you love, and you can't control who loves you back, but what you can control is who you are in these relationships, and most importantly you can control when to let go. And that's something that I am only just starting to realise. That I can let go, that that's what I'm in control of, that nothing is perfect, no matter who you compare yourself too, each relationship and friendship has its problems, and that some aren't worth the fight, some aren't worth the pain, some you have to let go. And just like life, love doesn't follow a grand plan, its doesn't stick to the grand narrative you imagined, and that's ok.

I used to think the same things about life, that if I planned enough and stuck to that plan that the hurt couldn't get in. Things couldn't get messy. I begun planning my days out, doing hours of exercise in the morning, house work in the afternoon and searching for work experience and internships, seemingly bettering myself and in control. Yet even with this control in my daily routine, with a plan that contributes to my imagined grand narrative, I still cry myself to sleep every night. The misery is still getting in, and no amount of planning has stopped it from breaking down my carefully constructed barriers. Life is just the same as love, no matter how structured your day is, and how much you plan, the bad is still going to get in with the good, and you have to let it. I have to start letting it.

Today was the first time in three or four weeks that I didn't stick to my plan. I just sat on the sofa snuggled under a blanket, watching films and drinking green tea. And sure, I may have originally sat down to watch films because I was miserable, but about half an hour into my first movie I felt myself beginning to relax, I stopped crying and drooling snot all over my face, and just let go.

I find myself writing this post (another mug of green tea in hand) feeling somewhat at peace with myself. The past few days, all the hurt that I had experienced, the endless tramplings I felt I had gotten just floated away. I just decided to let them go, to accept them and move on. I'm going to be letting go of those people who have been walking all over me, and hurting me for too long. And I'm going to be happy. I can't control what happens next, and that's ok, I'm just going to do what makes me happy, control my own happiness, and fuck the rest. Because you know what, love, life and all the sucky bits in-between are decidedly short, and they aren't about controlling every last detail and protecting yourself, they are about living. They are about being vulnerable. They are about taking a stance for yourself. Cheering for your corner, for yourself, and living in the moment. And from now on that is what I am going to do, for me, not some plan, not some grand narrative, and certainly not in a desperate attempt to avoid the bad.

So come at me, I'm ready for you, both the good and the bad.
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