How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

November 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm (Uncategorized)

My current “play-on-repeat-until-you-literally-can’t-handle-it-anymore” song is Pompeii, by Bastille. It’s a catchy, up tempo tune that on it’s surface is nothing much. Here it is, if you haven’t heard it (disclaimer, the music video is a little trippy, I hadn’t seen it until just now linking that up).

Anyway, the first few times I listened to it, it was just another catchy top 40 song, and then all of a sudden it struck me that the song was a metaphor for my life right now, specifically my parent’s divorce. I have been doing pretty well with all of it, but with the holidays coming up (and the accompanying nervousness in the “what the hell is all this going to look like?” that goes along with them) it’s been on my mind a lot recently. This song makes me think of the divorce because if you close your eyes/does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all/if you close your eyes does it almost feel as if you’ve been here before? is a startlingly accurate depiction of my perception of all this. If I focus on other things, if I don’t dwell on the divorce, I can almost ignore the fact that my entire family dynamic has undergone a seismic shift. The weird thing is how normal we all are about it, like this is no big deal, we’re just going on with our lives and we’re all fine. My family is fairly understated and stoic, which serves us well a lot of the time, but can lend a strong sense of the surreal to the things we do when we’re just rolling along like everything is ok when NOT EVERYTHING IS OK. 

On the other hand, though, what can you do? The volcano has blown (metaphorically), and whatever our family was is frozen under a mountain of ash. It looks the same, frozen like it was, but is definitely not the same. If you close your eyes, you’re still here, and you can pretend, but it doesn’t change the underlying reality of the situation. That’s not changing, and freaking out is definitely not a good option, but at the same time it’s just weird. That’s probably the best word for it, weird. Like, what am I supposed to do? I don’t like complaining to people, so I write in here and let it out this way, but it’s hard to know what to say. How do I say, “I listen to this song on repeat and I feel like spinning around and dancing in my room and letting my emotions and all the conflict inside me swirl and wash over me” without sounding a little crazy? And even though I know I have many wonderful, caring friends, what are they supposed to say? Sorry? Oh man, that sucks? Is there anything I can do? There’s nothing you can do. You know it, I know it, and that’s not good or bad (it just is) and so we remain at an impasse. 

Maybe I am overreacting, letting my imagination inform what I think the holidays are going to be like rather than being realistic. Maybe they will be relatively normal. Perhaps as an adult I should be OK with the divorce. I certainly am no longer at the point where I see my parents as more than two human persons. When you’re young it’s easy to see your parents as larger than life. That’s not my problem. I guess it’s just scary how much I feel like this whole experience has shaped how I look at love and relationships. I don’t like the paradigm I’m inhabiting at the moment. 

I dunno. It’s weird, so I write, seeking clarity. It remains elusive for now, but I’ll just keep working. In the meantime I’ll just close my eyes and let the music take me away.

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