Saturday, April 26, 2008

Revisiting a train wreck

I was cleaning my condo today, sorting through stuff in boxes that had long been stored away from my last move, when I came across an old journal. Back in the year 2000, I had bought a handy little blank leather-bound journal. I had intended to start keeping track of my thoughts, but I mainly bought it because I liked the way it looked. It has an oversized flap that wraps over the cover when closed, along with a leather cord long enough to wrap around the book several times. The long leather cord is totally unnecessary - it's not like the contents of the book are going to be struggling to get out - but still, there was something about it which I liked.

After I bought it, the journal sat on a shelf unused for probably six months or so. Then in July of 2000 the journal finally got some use. I had recently met a woman I fell head over heals for and I started writing all sorts of crazy stuff. I say I wrote "crazy stuff" because reading it now that's how I can best describe it. I was totally out of balance - apparently every thought I had revolved around this new woman in my life. As a result, I did manage to write some decent love poetry - I suppose there's something to be said for having a muse - but still it definitely wasn't healthy. It's easy for me to say that now, but at the time, I was totally delusional and thought I was acting quite reasonably. I was completely convinced that there was true love and I had found it. And this made it all the harder for me to cope with when the relationship came to an abrupt crashing end. I suddenly had to live with the reality that what I most firmly believed in and had tried to focus my life around was actually imaginary.

About two years after the break up I wrote the following in the journal:

"I still look back fondly on my memories with her but realize our parting was for the best. I depended too much on her for my happiness, made her my reason for being, thought that true love existed and that there was some grand meaning to it all. I was delusional. Sure, I was happy with her, but having now spent two years alone, I realize I am a better person on my own; I'm more balanced and introspective. I am at peace with life and I am enjoying it all."

And this brings up the point of what I'm trying to get at now. From reading stuff I wrote several years ago, I can easily distinguish between what appears to be "balanced" thinking and what appears to be "delusional". But, it would be so much better if I could actually do that with thoughts in the present. What things am I doing now that seem to make perfect sense but years from now will make me cringe and say, "What the heck was I thinking?"