After 4 years of being in a committed relationship and watching a slow crumble, time and time again patching it up after various arguments like a row boat with a bucket and a couple of holes— We’ve grown tiresome.
At first using the pail to remove that tiny bit of water at the bottom seems manageable. We sit down, we talk about it when we’re at wits end and eventually apologize for the issue attempting to work through it. But the problem is that even though we were able to remove the majority of the water in the first argument, we essentially plugged the hole with a paper towel. Although there weren’t consistent arguments they would happen periodically and the ever increasing amount of pressure that forced the water into the boat each time would make it incredibly tiring to repeatedly scoop back out.
What began as a romantic date over the sunset while rowing through the lake festered into angst. Little did I know, I was happily rowing along in my low maintenance dinghy fixing the holes as they would develop ignoring my paper towel roll depleting sheet by sheet.
Sometimes it felt like progress would be made. I’d solve a problem with a trip, or tickets to a Broadway show — and on the surface of the night it would seem to work, and then the next day we’d be right back to square one. At what point do you begin to accept that the boat is going to sink because hard cardboard won’t plug a leak?
I’ve always planned loosely in pivots with if-then statements. It’s what allows me to be extremely flexible in any situation, and be prepared for it. When I speak, I speak from a fence. I understand perspectives of both parties even when I lean towards a different idea. Occasionally though, I can’t comprehend how people will stretch a speck of dirt into a mudslide. We’re the smallest of beings in a gigantic galaxy that we don’t even have the complexity to obtain answers to the most basic of questions. I have different personality traits than many — and I get that. I don’t need what others need and also can’t always provide what others desire; I’m no saint.
As my legs soak in this lake water, I’ve become complacent with the temperature of how it feels on my feet. We have some years apart between us and I’d often rationalize an issue attributed to the root of age. This is failed logic. Part of me truly believed that time would get us back to the safety of the shore before the paper towels would disintegrate — The truth of the matter is though, I was counting time in the wrong direction, and we’re simply becoming, or have always been different people.
The sun has long faded though. We’re both accountable in being unsuccessful in patching the boat fast enough to out-row the decay of time. I’m not pointing fingers in a butterfly effect of the where’s and how’s things went wrong — nor should anybody else. Steph will continue taking no prisoners with her “go-get-it” mentality and I’ll continue with my hands in various pots tumble-weeding all I’ve learned into future endeavors.
She’s ok. I’m ok. But the most important lesson to learn is not to be enamored with what seems to be everyone else’s “perfect relationship” through social media lenses. This is real work that you either put in, or walk the other way.