Men + Myself + God

Tag: breakups

Two Things Can Be True (at the same time)

by P. Braithwaite

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When I decided to come to Brazil, I wanted to fall in love at least six times. Looking back, that was a stupid f*cking idea: falling in and out of love is exhausting. I think maybe it’s been so long, I’d forgotten how annoying love is. Luckily for me, it didn’t happen the way I’d hoped. Instead, I went on lots of dates, and spent time with different guys – all of them wonderful in their own way. Seriously. They were all wonderful. I’ve never met so many perfectly great guys in my entire life. As a result of my good dating streak, I realized something profound: men aren’t inherently terrible people.

I don’t know if it’s the grey hair sprouting enthusiastically from my head, or a general weariness of being bitter, but I’m mellowing out on my judgement of men. Men who can’t give you what you want aren’t assholes. Men who don’t take initiative aren’t weak. Men who can’t handle your <insert amazing noun here> aren’t stupid. Men who aren’t well-endowed aren’t pointless…

They’re just men, and, based on what you want, they maybe aren’t for you.

Of all the men I dated in Brazil, there is one who got under my skin. We had an incredible connection. On our first date we spent hours talking about everything under the sun. He was sarcastic — something hard to pull off in any language. That said he’s uhh…a…stereotypical Brazilian man: he breaks dates, doesn’t say no (when he knows he should just be honest), and he’s prone to get swept up in the moment without any plan of follow-through. One minute he sees our future, but, in the next minute, he can’t manage to see my text messages. (And…there’s a strong chance he might be married…I should probably mention that as well.)

This is a man I could love, I thought, but this is also a man I would kill.

And in that sentence, in that one phrase, is the nugget: two things can be true at the same time. A guy can be wonderful, but erode your self-esteem. A man can be a spiritual soul mate, but a logistical nightmare. A guy can have undeniable chemistry with you, but have a binding legal commitment to a wife and children (yikes). He can have everything you want on your extensive list, but trigger you in ways that would be damaging to your psyche.

Two things can be true at the same time. The bad doesn’t necessarily cancel out the good.

We (or just I) have a tendency to turn our lovers into villains when our needs aren’t met. The guy we thought was sooo dreamy becomes an asshole, and the person we fantasized about marrying is suddenly an undesirable monster. The truth is far more simple, but harder to make peace with: this wonderful person is amazing for someone, but that someone probably isn’t you.

This is the lesson I’m learning today, as I lick my wounds, pack my bags, and swim in foreign seas. I’m trying to remember: there are always always always other fish.

And so it is (at least for now).

(photo cred: Ryan Mcguire)

Someone Else’s Karma

by P. Braithwaite

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I’d be lying if I said he was forgotten. Sometimes, when I least expect it, the air carries his scent: laughter, sadness, passion, love. Other times a new season of an old show will air, and I’ll remember how we sat tangled on my couch. Happily. Addicted. Oblivious. Drunk. Refusing to let me fast-forward commercials.

“Commercials are our chance to really talk.”

When it’s over, bad memories are comfort. They support your thesis – he’s an asshole; she’s a jerk. The happy memories are harder to swallow. They are an under-wire bra, sexy but constricting. You can’t wear them for long. They don’t support the present circumstances.

Forgive me; it’s 1 am and I’m nostalgic.

It’s seductive to imagine a forlorn ex-lover writing you love poems with his own blood. Or its enticing to imagine a lover who never cared — a man who never loved. A person who has moved on and has forgotten you exist. Chances are, the truth is somewhere in-between.

You never know someone else’s karma.

You never know where a person’s path may lead them, and you never know when or why they may think of you. Life has a way of moving us forward. Nature only supports growth. Memories soften around the edges and fade into our present. We don’t linger. We move forward. We heal.

But that doesn’t mean love wasn’t there.

We never know another person’s karma.

The sad truth of life is that we can never know, unequivocally, the level of love or devotion that existed within another. We can only trust in our own perceptions of the past – the love was real, the moment magic, and the ending…for the best.

The ending is almost always for the best…

But you never know another person’s karma.

You can only nourish and cultivate your own.

And so it is.

When Dodging a Bullet Feels Like Sh*t (#31writenow, #nablopomo)

by P. Braithwaite

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I’ve been pretty vocal about my relationship with Dr. Dolittle. I’ve written about the breakup, I’ve spoken about not loving him, but what I don’t often mention is that he was my one of my best friends. As a result of confusing our friendship with romantic love, I was planning to relocate to the Midwest. I was going to move my life to be with him.

In my heart, I knew that was a bad idea. I knew I wasn’t passionate about him and that something was amiss, but I was planning to relocate anyway. I thought the weird feelings I had were a flaw on my part. I wasn’t strong enough to realize I could simply be alone. I hadn’t learned that being alone doesn’t make you unloveable.

So I convinced myself I was relocating for love.

During our nightly phone chats, he’d fill me in on all his womanizing friends. He’d explain how so and so’s girlfriend was moving for the sake of their relationship and she had no idea that so-and-so was a cheating bastard. We’d have philosophical discussions about this…

“He’s robbing her of choice!” I’d say. “People have the right to know what they’re getting into. If they don’t know the truth it’s not love!!”

I had no idea Dr. Dolittle
was worse than So-and-so. Sometimes I think ‘so-and-so’ was an imaginary friend, a way for Dr. Dolittle to confess his own sins, but I was too busy researching apartments to really notice.

Until, as fate would have it, the truth came out.

Finding out that Dr.Dolittle cheated on me was bad enough. Finding out ‘the other things’ shook me to my core. I changed my locks, my bank info, and stayed with my parents for at least a month. I felt physically robbed of my ability to trust myself. I am still learning to stay honest with myself at all costs.

But, as painful as it was to be blindsided that way, at least shit hit the fan before I moved.

My point is this: sometimes dodging a bullet feels like a punch in the throat — you can’t breathe, you fall forward, and you think you’re going to die, you get dirt in your eyes and you can’t see. When you hit the ground, you avoid a large bullet that was meant for your f*cking head.

You don’t realize it because you’re busy wailing and carrying on.

What doesn’t kill you is meant to save you. I promise. All trials and tribulations open you up to deeper truths…if you let them.

So today, just exhale. If you are facing something traumatic, if you are reeling from regret, know that it could’ve been soooo much worse. You made it out. Even if you waited, you made it out in the perfect time.

The worst is over now…and the rest? Well, how you recover is up to you…

And so it is.