The first time this idea hit me was a few years ago after a fight with my boyfriend at a college football game. I am pretty little, so I resemble a college student more than I do an adult (if you don’t know any better – or from a great distance). I probably more accurately resemble a high school sophomore.
Anyway – we had a horrifying argument. I was crying, he was yelling (and falling dramatically in the dust screaming that I was abusing him), everybody was staring. It isn’t one of my fondest memories, nor his finer moments. But it happened. And maybe it happened to bring me to this blog – 3 years later. Regardless – I was so fed up with the shenanigans, that I said Fuck This and started to hoof it home (hoof it, y’know, walk). The further I got away from the college, the more I started to realize just how dark it was outside. Just how stupid walking alone along the busiest street in the City at 10PM was. Especially when a bunch of drunk drivers were out, and college frat boys were crawling the streets. I was somehow able to snap out of my rage long enough to realize I was being completely irrational before anything terrible happened. Before someone came along & kidnapped me. Before I got hit by a car. I was putting myself in severe danger to prove a point to my belligerent boyfriend. Something woke me up to the situation. It was the idea that I was being unnecessarily selfish. I thought about my Mom, and how horrible it would be for her to have to live with the fact that I cared more about my stupid pride than my own life. Than her happiness. And I immediately turned around. I headed straight for the nearest well-lit area, and I called a Taxi.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time something like this has happened to me. I get myself into some pretty awkward situations – not always dangerous, but thoroughly uncomfortable. i.e.: at a boys house I don’t know how to leave even though I want to, at my house with a boy I want to leave who won’t, driving on a country road at night with a car following too closely, meandering a hiking trail by myself. I’m not completely stupid, but there are times I find myself making decisions based on my current mood, that I reluctantly admit later weren’t the wisest choices. I’ve been fortunate enough to never be critically hurt, or physically harmed – mainly just emotionally scarred & exhausted – before I find the courage & opportunity to leave.
How do I finally leave?
I think about the situation from the perspective of somebody else.
First, it’s my mom. If my mother knew I was
half any of the places I’ve been when I feel this way, she would be terrified. She would be mad at me, and she would probably yell, but mostly she would be concerned. She would feel like she failed me, and that’s the last thing I want. To know that she would be so upset by my actions that she would turn sick with worry, makes me sorry enough to leave right then and there – regardless of how awkward the exit may be.
I also think about it from the other side – what if I was a mom? If I knew my daughter was lying wide awake in bed, in the comfort of her own secure apartment, because a boy she invited over wouldn’t leave her alone – I would probably end up in jail. I fear having kids for this reason – life doesn’t always allow you to protect them. You have to instill in them enough courage, self respect and dignity to care enough about themselves to be brave, and strong, and smart.
I think about my friends, and how pissed off I would be if I knew they felt this uncomfortable in any situation they were in, and stayed.
Sometimes, we forget how precious our own life is because we’re unhappy, or we’re pissed off, or we’re moemntalriy defeated. But we must always remember that even though we are “only me” to ourselves, we are everything to a lot of other people in our lives. We must think about them when thinking about ourselves isn’t enough to keep our chins up & our choices smart.
It’s hard for me to admit all of this stuff because these choices make me seem so stupid. So childish and naive. Inconsiderate. and wrong. But I think I needed to. I needed to put these moments into words so that I don’t find myself in the same predicaments anymore. So that other people understand they aren’t alone in making sketchy choices. That we all make mistakes.
But we aren’t cats. So we must be careful. We have one life, not nine. And even though 27 feels feels old sometimes, it shouldn’t be the end of anyones road.
“Perhaps watching someone you love suffer
can teach you even more than suffering yourself.”