Expiration Date(s).Posted: 09/21/2011
#nowplaying Simon & Garfunkel Sounds of Silence
My parents are coming to visit this weekend. A short time, just Friday-Monday, but I am filled with excitement and anxiety. It is a small window of time to let them into my life, to show them how I go about tasks big and small, to reveal more of myself in an effort to give both parties a better connection across so many miles. What I mean is, I’m feeling the pressure. And none put on me by them, but felt very intensley in my own mind because I basically have two whole days to spend with them and there is absolutely no way everything will “get seen/done.” I accept this. I must further accept that my weird little world where it’s just me and my needs/wants will be temporarily interrupted. It sounds selfish and reclusive, but as I have lived alone and independently for a certain amount of time, I find myself bothered by the simplest intrusions into this world. It will be great and I need to relax and know that I’ll try my darndest to make the most of the time we DO have together.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of longevity in certain areas of life. I suppose that it’s just one of those universal truths that most things/passions/people have expiration dates in a person’s lifespan. In the past six months or so though, I’ve felt this very acutely in terms of friendships. Are we all just floating along, clinging to each other until the next person comes along? I guess I should just say what I mean instead of speaking vaguely: I don’t understand how friendships unravel due to romantic relationships. I mean, I do and I don’t. Is it just my age, the life stage that I am in? I know many who are married, procreating, and happily content [maybe?] in this stage of life that I cannot begin to comprehend myself in. It is not these differences that bother me, though, as I am genuinely happy for their joys, but it is the inability to maintain existing connections once such major life changes happen. Perhaps one day I’ll understand, but I kind of hope not.
Somewhat similarly, the idea of the expiration date of a “passion”[I’m referring to an outlet/expression here] has been weighing heavily in my mind. Do we just occupy our minds with one thing until the next comes along? Is every passion really just a distraction from the difficult or painful areas of our life that need to not be turned away from, but rather examined intently? I do not know, but I do realize that activities that once held promise and stimulation can inexplicably die out. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quite abruptly. I think of my own obsession with fashion and clothing – clearly evident by the “Archives” section to your right– and how even it has dwindled. Last week was New York Fashion Week for God’s sake and I haven’t clicked through a single show. One passion dims; does another one spark? How long passes in between?
Finally, I’ve pondered long-lasting love, as I seemingly always am in some way, shape, or form. I’m probably the last person in America to hop on the Mad Men bandwagon, but I’m on it at last [I don’t consider myself an “early adopter”] and as Season 3 came to a close before my eyes, I watched a rocky romance crumble. I don’t mean to compare my friends’ relationships or any that I’ve had to that of Don & Betty, but it does make me think: how does any relationship last at all?! Seemingly EVERY union is in disarray, consumed with doubts and fears and I struggle to name one friend who is content in his/her romantic entanglement. I mean, we all have our secrets and inner workings that, thankfully, can always remain our own. But where/when does a partner fit in? And for how long? Does one occupy a passion and various needs until the next comes along?
Of course all of these questions are rhetorical and for me, there lies some comfort in the unanswered. Passion and longevity are defined in countless ways, depending on who you ask. It is scary, as I fear my passion for writing “publicly” will disappear one day- or even worse, fade away– while I peck away nonsensically on my computer, trying desperately to seem “relevant.” I fear the collapse of even more friendships, although the candidates have dwindled considerably. I fear the loss of love, the inability to regain love once lost, the self-exploration that must occur to actually be in love.
I guess friendship, hobbies, and maybe even love, all have their respective life cycles. No need to fear, but rather just accept, as aforementioned, that we will give each our best while they are with us.
To the one(s) currently occupying our vibrant minds, cheers.
P.S. I promise to never again use a stock photo of a milk jug. Ever.