The other night I dreamt of someone from my past. The older I get the more I dream of people, rather than my stories/characters, etc. It can really be anyone (though some are more persistent than others, formed out of deep longing and regret, and I wish I could make some of the dreams stop.)
This one was different, because while I still have dreams of them occasionally, rarely do I think of them unless I run into a certain topic (usually online or in a movie) and it makes me go “I wish we could have remained friends because only they would have understood/enjoyed this.”
But several years ago, I had to end the… friendship… relationship… whatever it was. It was odd. I could have handled that relationship more maturely today, but back then, I was all about putting things in boxes, and the mess that was us didn’t fit into any box. Though that wasn’t the only problem with it by any means.
Unfortunately remaining friends wasn’t an option for me, because this person continued to say disturbing and creepy things, and sometimes I worried about my welfare around them. And yet, there was a part of me (a smaller part these days, maybe because I’ve matured and it’s become less important) that only they understood 100%.
I think many people have some part of them that no one can fully grasp. There’s things about close friends, or even my husband, that I can understand as best as I can, but our brains work differently, so there is a limit. It’s a magic moment when a very weird part of your brain is understood to a T by another person.
For me, that part used to be intricately tied to romantic love. I had a very black and white view of a lot of things at the time. I was sheltered and naive (but sure didn’t think so!) Now, I know they don’t need to be intricately tied at all, but it’s too late. Even if it wasn’t, this person really wasn’t stable, and sometimes I felt in danger, which I’m sure they would be devastated to know. But I did.
So I don’t know why I have regrets. I remember being afraid of them, and my husband knowing it (early in our dating.) But a part of my brain must have regrets if I still have the odd dream. Or does it? I don’t know.
I ultimately blocked this person everywhere. It was the first time I blocked someone I’d been romantically involved with. And I had tried not to. In a way, thinking of them still “triggers me” you could say. If I see a photo of them all of a sudden, I get a cold sweat, the hair on my arms stands on end, I get a cold chill down my spine. It’s a reaction like you would if you’re afraid of something dangerous. It’s not a good feeling. So I wonder why I still have dreams.
I guess I always regret friendships dissolving. Regardless of whether I do it, or someone else does. Relationships are so messy. Every person you meet, you know, it’s so unbelievably unlikely for you both to be born at around the same period in history, and then meeting, and then becoming involved with each other. The number of people you’re going to be doing that with is finite, and not as large as you might think. So every connection that is broken permanent is a big loss, in a way.
But sometimes it’s for the better. When I severed this connection, I remember feeling intense relief. So it must have been for good, even if I am nostalgic for good memories…
Maybe I just want to make new good memories. But with COVID, it’s really hard. So every little thing these days, like playing games together or going out to have ramen with Christopher, or something as simple as stopping to have a donut in the parking lot before grocery shopping together, all of that, I treasure it.
Even when he scares me half to death by pushing himself into almost passing out from heat exhaustion, so that he’s sprawled on the floor and I’m yelling at him and trying to be as scary and serious as I can which is incredibly hard because he’s so good at making me laugh —even those kind of upsetting moments, I treasure. Every one. Because every little thing enriches the connection I have with him.
Haha, sorry… this is very rambly and I kinda took a weird turn. I guess in the end it’s just a post about relationships.
You can’t take for granted any connection you have in your life right now. Or ever, really. You never know when everything is going to change completely. As, indeed, it has. So treasure what you have, even if it seems limited by so many constraints right now.
The so-called “new normal” won’t be forever. But the past isn’t coming back either. Don’t take for granted what you have in these COVID times because it’s less than what you had before. Because just as you don’t know what wonderful things are around the corner (and there are: I promise) you also don’t know what you will lose next.
Treasure it all.