girl-aflame's Diaryland Diary



Saying goodbye is so hard.

So long after I found the courage to let go, I am still letting go bit by bit. Being here in this house permeates me with memories, happy and sad, hard times and lovely times. The questions that haunted me then have not lost their potency for putting time and distance between us. In so many ways I deal with tragedy by numbing it, by putting it away and not looking at it squarely on, and this is what is occurring now. I lie in my bed sometimes now and wish that Brian and I had made it, I wish I was back in his arms, I wish we could have had all the happiness we worked so hard for and put so much of our lives into. He said that one day I might look back and feel guilty, and I am feeling some of that now. I wonder how it was for him. I wish I could have been there for him more, but if I was I suppose we wouldn't have broken up in the first place. I know wanting to be back is really only an expression of the grief that I didn't fully feel surfacing again. In other ways, I read the conversations we had after I came to college and I know in my heart that it's over. Those days are behind me now; my life with him came to a close more than a year ago, now. I guess it's still just so overwhelming to think about. I bent so much of my energy, so much of my hope, on those crucial days and now they will never come to pass. It's really hard to rewire my thinking and go forward.

It makes me a little afraid about Brandon because I don't feel that soulmate connection with him that I had with Brian. But I think that's partly because it's really difficult for me to think about anyone in Brian's place. It's hard for me to think about anyone but him when the word "husband" is mentioned. But I do love Brandon and I think he's a wonderful person. I think I just need a lot more time before I'm fully ready to think about having a future without Brian in it. And it's not as if we're getting married tomorrow. By the time the decision has to be made, I will know whether it is the fact that I am not fully able to adjust yet to having another lifepartner, or if it is that Brandon isn't "the one." In some ways I want him to be, though. I think I'm ready to rest. At least some parts of me are ready to take my final bows and leave the stage, and retire into the arms of someone who loves me. Other parts of me are still running free and might always be running free.

I want to write him a letter though. Brian, I mean. I wish I could give him some kind of salute, some kind of tribute. I wish I could write the eulogy of our relationship. He deserves so much respect and admiration. He made me into so much of the person I am today. I still feel a very great tenderness toward him; I think he's a great man and I hope the father of my children has the integrity he had. He was my second father in a lot of ways and I couldn't have asked for a better person to take over the work my own father had to leave behind him.

*sighs softly* I don't know. It's all so sad that it had to happen this way. But I know I have to seize the opportunity that's been given to me. God is still taking care of me. I am so much on my own now; even in a partnership, I know that my first resource is myself. I have never felt that way in my life, diary. So I guess Brian gave me my independence. Independence feels like the enemy of romance, but in reality you have to be a whole person before you can give yourself to anybody so I know it's not. Anyway, so few people are given a second chance at love and I feel like I have that second chance before me now. Brandon is a wonderful man too. He lacks the age and seasoning that Brian had; he lacks Brian's composed dignity that came with so many battles. Brian had a... quiet fatigue about him in some ways. He had spirit and spunk still, yes, but so many of his lessons were behind him and now he only wanted someone to hold him at the end of the day. Beautiful for me to think about, but diary... my young heart was just beginning its sunrise. How could I have been made for sunsets? Brandon shares that sunrise with me. Brian's optimism was in the form of courage; Brandon's is in the form of hopefulness. I see that same hopefulness in me. I see those same aspirations in my own plans for the future. We share a generation and we share a freshness that Brian, in all his infinite love, could never give me. So much to his disappointment... so much to my own.

It isn't that Brandon is better than Brian, or that Brian is better than Brandon. I think they both love me, although perhaps Brian's maturity allows him to know more fully what that means (although I think Brandon would be very willing to learn), but the fact remains that while both of them have many things I want, Brandon is the one who has something that I need... something that I cannot go on without.

He really is a gorgeous boy, minions. I look into his face and I see a clear bright sky of nothing but new possibility. There is a strength and a warmth in his eyes, too. I can trust him, diary. I can believe what he tells me and what he feels. I believe in his integrity and in his desire to do the right thing and I admire that so strongly. For such a young man, he has a very straight path set out for himself and that makes him a thousand times more attractive to me. Invisioning myself with him, with him, as a partner, is so very different than the vision that I had of Brian and I together. Brian and I together meant... security... he would protect me and I would revitalize him. I would be the spirit and he would be the strength. Brandon and I together means... two people trying to find their way through the world and toward each other. Neither one of us knows much more about life and living than the other but we would find it together. Hand in hand. We would... glow together... newlyweds. That term could never apply to Brian and I. I feel like my relationship with Brandon would be more uncertain but safe enough to last.. I know he would fight for his love, but I feel like he (and perhaps I) have a lot to learn about it yet. Experimentation, adjustment, growth, and ultimately cultivating something beautiful and new... something that we both put equal share into to create. Youth is the buzzword for us, where the buzzword for Brian and I would be... stability. There are downsides to both: youth is no guarantee, and staiblity is almost too much of one.

So which one am I more afraid of? When I had one I wanted the other... and now that I have the other, it isn't that I want the other one again so much as maybe I see the value of the other one as I never saw it when I had it. But I am not unhappy by far. I am perhaps the happiest now that I have ever been in my life before. It isn't solely because I have Brandon that I am so happy. I think it really has a lot more to do with me and my mindset and the opportunities that stretch before me. It was very story book for me to feel like Brian meant my whole happiness, but I am a much stronger person now. The truth isn't very romantic, but it is healthier. *smiles with just a hint of bitterness* Why is it that people prefer romance, diary? I know that the deepest part of me certainly does. But the part of me that always argues for sense tells me that I'm better off now, that I'm growing up and learning to be a well adjusted adult, which is what my family never learned to have, nor do so many unhappy americans as they search for futile perfection in their own lives.

And thus we come to it: it's the same struggle, the one that I see now that I will be fighting all my life. To do what's better for me, or to do what moves me? The common denominator of my dissatisfaction and my restlessness isn't the people I'm with, it's me. I can be happy if I put my mind to it, or I can be miserable no matter how perfect the outer circumstances are. In many ways my leaving Brian was necessary and made sense, and I don't regret it. I don't regret anything because it has all led me to this path, this winding road of lessons that are all valueable to me. In other ways, however, I would have been loved and taken care of for the rest of my life with him. He could have been the love of my life. But so can Brandon. If I find someone that truly loves me (which isn't easy, I'll admit), then the rest is up to me. It's up to me to decide to be happy, and to decide what's more important to me. I can't rely on someone else to give me emotional stability or peace about my life and what I want out of it. I can't expect to find someone who is a 100% fit to the mold I have laid out for my dreams; there will always be corners to cut. And that's up to me to decide which corners to cut and which absolutely must stay intact. After I make that decision, then it's also up to me to live with it and to make it into the best situation it can be. A perfect lover can seem like a prison and a less than perfect lover can make someone perfectly happy, if their mindset is in the right place. The fact of the matter is that everybody will always be less than perfect. I can't change that, but I can change my expectations and I can make the choice to stick by someone's side whatever comes along. That's what makes a life long relationship at the bottom line: two people determined to make things work, to make their partner feel valued, to make their home and their own selves happy.

From now on I am in control of my own future. I won't let a second chance slip away from me because of fear or weakness or anything else. If it doesn't work then it won't be because I didn't give it my all... and when it's all said and done, I'll have myself to fall back on, and I am more than enough to make my own life beautiful and worthwhile.

1:48 AM - June 11, 2004


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