Saturday, December 05, 2009

Brutal Realizations

I had an amazing dinner/conversation with an amazing friend last night. I can't remember if he yet has an alias on this blog (I'll have to investigate, but for now I will call him ChirpBoy (see about 5 minutes into the vid for the reference.). But, it was wonderful to see him - he is thoughtful and insightful and generous and caring. We talked for hours and it was really wonderful to know that there are people out there that I can talk with and neither of us is "waiting for a chance to talk." We're just there, hearing the other person, taking it in, caring about what's said and being honest in our response. ChirpBoy is a stellar friend and there aren't enough words in this world to thank him for his friendship. But the outlying theme of the evening, despite all the back and forth was: He's worried about me and with good reason.

I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I'm working myself into the ground. I have said - and without pretense or exaggeration - that I'm probably going to keep on working until I have a nervous breakdown. And I'm not really that far off. Witness the drama of the Turkey Day Holiday Visit. (I didn't post about that - some things are actually private.) I am fully aware that I am teetering on a ledge and it's only a matter of time before I fall off. Here's hoping I fall in the right direction. (I'll post some examples soon - promise!)

Still, during our conversation, ChirpBoy said something along the lines of the following: "Maybe you should think about taking a vacation and going to see GoodBuddy. I'm still not sure that he's a good influence on you, but it's clear that this separation is hard on you. You need to be able to talk to someone who will validate your feelings, unlike [I purposefully leave this out as it could come to no good to anyone]. And, it's clear that you care about him a lot. And it sounds like he cares about you, too. So, take some time, have some fun and figure out how you're going to handle this new situation with the two of you."

It's a thought.

I have to take a serious hard look at the finances. And my travel schedule. I'm on the road more these days than off. And the new year doesn't look much slower. Still, as much as I miss my home and my kitties when I travel, I miss curling up into GB's shoulder and drifting off to sleep.

So even if the finances look tight, I might seriously consider the trip. And here's why:

I do not want to sacrifice my sanity at the altar of CBL. I know that I have to do my job and - in this economy - I have to do it extremely well every day and every way. But I am also not responsible for keeping her afloat. The reality is, CBL relies on me to manage her own anxieties and her own personal boundaries. And that is not something that I should be, nor - any longer - can be responsible for. Because she is so insecure, she desperately wants to outperform what can reasonably expected. And, because everyone else on the team has a life and a family, they either can't or won't give in to her outrageous demands. But not me. I'm continually picking up the slack of others who drop the ball or take their qualified and legitimate days off. I have about 17 personal days coming to me and I still feel bad about taking them. But it's becoming increasingly clear that I need to take time to "sharpen the saw."

And, yes, the reality is this: I miss the days when GB and I would spend hours bantering back and forth. We usually hung out in my bathroom, which seems weird until you realize I was (in vain) trying to minimize the residue his smoking habit left in my home. But I cannot tell you how many memories I have of him, sitting on my bathroom floor, hand lifted, lit Newport Light pointed out the open window. Me sitting on the bathtub ledge or perched onto the vanity. Both of us talking miles an hour. Arguing. Laughing. Competing. Agreeing. Challenging one another. Enlightening one another. Hitting high fives and fist bumps when we hit upon the A-Ha statement.

Phonecalls just don't cut it. He's tired, I'm tired, we don't translate, we can't really hear each other or its just not a good time. We can give lip service as much as we want to staying in touch across the miles. But nothing will ever make up for in person communique.

So, yes, I desperately miss him. In a very physical way, but of course, also in a very tangible way (and they are different things). I want to kiss him and smell him and, hey, let's be honest, he's not that difficult to look at (fill in the blanks here as you wish.) But I am also distinctly and very massively feeling the need to re-establish our connection. Because, as much as we argue and as many times as I want to tell him to go to hell, no one on this planet understands me the way GB does. And sometimes there are just too many things to say to get them all out in a phonecall.

I do realize that I need to make a serious and concerted effort to establish real and grounded connections here at home. And that once I do, my reliance on these distant relations will lesson, over time.

But I cannot imagine, after all we've been through - the losing one another and seeking out each other again - that GB and I will ever NOT be in one another's life. I cannot imagine it and I will not imagine it. It's just too painful a thought.