Yesterday I went to a little event we have every year here in Washington called Zoo Lights. It's at the Point Defiance Zoo out in Tacoma and I've always made a point of at least trying to attend. Some of you know this but I went to high school in Tacoma, despite living in Auburn in a completely different county. It was an arts school and blah blah blah I may talk about my experience at SotA in another entry, what I need to talk about now is the separation of those memories from the life I am currently living.
I had this high school girlfriend see, we were perfect for each other and very much in love. So much so that when it came time to go off to college on different sides of the country, we were unable to pull ourselves away from each other. There were millions of signs pointing directly to it, plenty of friends too, but we just couldn't see how toxic we were for each other. How everyday that we spent talking to one another on the phone was another step back into a pit of unhealthy relationships. I could outline for you all my failed relationships and the reasons they didn't work out, and I won't take all the blame! But for many of them, whatever problems we had would always arise from the fact that I was too emotionally distant to truly make a meaningful connection of love. I was too deep into my toxic pit, I was too hung up on a romance that had ended back when I walked across the stage and picked up my high school diploma.
So this high school girlfriend right? She's the worst and she's a bitch and her little claws dug into my heart are what's keeping me from moving on right? Wrong actually. I always like to think I'm the hero of my own story, but as it turns out I'm probably just the ex-boyfriend that the heroine needs to get over to move on to bigger and brighter things. That's exactly what has happened too. I had my head so far up my ass I never saw how my actions were affecting the people around me, as well as a very specific person on the other side of the country. She became disenchanted in my pretty words, or realized how dangerous they were becoming to her, and she cut me off completely. An act that I'm sure was extremely challenging to actually do, since my weak ass self only ever did what was easy and felt good. If you are somehow still on my side, listen to this: I wrote her a love poem for her birthday, but didn't finish it in time so I bought her a gift as well. Her birthday was in September and her cutting the ties was in November. I still have yet to give her either poem or present. Who does that!?! Anyways, "For Lady Part One" will be posted this Friday, it's a love poem. "For Lady Part Two" will be posted sometime after the holidays, it is not a love poem. Her gift will be re-gifted to somebody else and I will try to stop writing poems about here now that those two are out of my head.
Now what does this all have to do with the zoo? Re-association. I have been trying to dissociate all my fond memories because they hurt and they make me feel weak, they make me consider dialing a number I have since changed the name for to remind me not to dial the number. Dissociation is a tricky business because you are quite literally trying to trick you brain into not thinking of that person when you think of that memory. It's unpleasant and really feels like you're just hitting yourself with a hammer. The easy thing is instead to re-associate these places, people, and ideas with new memories, and that is so much easier to do with the people you love.
When I think of Glen Hansard I don't think of the date she took me on in high school, I think of the concert I brought my dad to that was so good it made us cry. Now when I think of zoo lights I won't think of the yearly ritual we took to romantically walk through a park we had long since gotten tired of, instead I'll think of the night my friends and I shared a hot chocolate and laughed at Anna for being afraid of LED animal displays. I'll remember bringing them to my parents house and being roasted by everyone in the room while enjoying the home cooked meal my mom just "happened to have the ingredients for." I'll remember how we had to go to three different gas stations because one wasn't working and the other may have been in the process of being held up as I approached the door to pay.
It's not a pleasant process of pealing away the memories of an ex-love. It is however necessary for those who want to continue living happily and fully, without feeling empty because you caught a whiff of perfume that was juuust similar enough to make you spiral.
That's all for now, talk to you again next week.