Monday, November 5, 2012

OPEN LETTER TO NEBRASKA



Nebraska,

Waiting for you has always made me sad.  Maybe that is unfair… as waiting period is something that is difficult to tolerate.  When you are a child and you have to wait until Christmas for the possibility that you receive the most excellent blasto-rocket car, or for older tweens, the latest Nano music device that can post on every social website simultaneously about the delicious Mocha Frappe you just had with Seraphina and the gang, waiting can be extremely difficult.

I don’t doubt that you have very good reasons for your delaying the next step in our relationship, and from what you have told me you do have a very full schedule.  From dealing with the pressure of work, to helping your family manage their own personal growth and activities, you have had your hands full.  But with all those changes that you are managing, there is still one thing that remains the same—when it comes to our relationship, it is always going among the least in your life.

That is how it has been for most of the time that I have known you.  From the silly, playful and maybe a bit still immature NT (neuro-typical, pre-diagnosis) Mark that you knew from the early part of the previous decade, to the disenchanted and frustrated Mark that you were reacquainted with near the end of 2007, I never seem to merit what I call “a top three” place in your life, where I at least got to stand on the same podium of the other things that you value or place great sentiment on.  While I was not dissuaded in my pursuit of you because of my standing in your life (if I were, then I would have let go of the thought of you shortly after we met online), I have not been ignorant of it either.  Whether it was because you thought me reckless in the past, talking about moving to fly-over country because of an old documentary series and legendary football player, or my romantic overtures and dewy-eyed intentions for our relationship seemed adolescent to you, I never spent a lot of time trying to pin down your possible rationale.  There were two things that I did know-Where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be with.  Your confirmation that Omaha would be the kind of place that I would find hospitable to my personality and goals further solidified the boyhood aspirations that I had of “the Big O”.  And in spite of the abrupt detour that I took in the summer of 2010, I feel that I arrived within the window of time that suited me best.  But it was not the time that would allow for you and I to grow as friends, and certainly not as a couple.

You have remarked at how the person that writes in my blog is not the person that you know, as if there is the kind of disconnect between the reality and projection of who I am online.  I beg to differ, and I think that this is the crux of our misunderstandings about what we can be to each other, as well as what was reasonable to expect when I finally arrived in town permanently.

First off, you knew full well what I had wanted from you when I got here.  You knew how I felt about you and that I had designs on our relationship being my last attempt at finding love.  This was not out of anger or frustration as I have repeatedly mentioned how I feel that I have had a great run when it comes to relationships.  Perhaps I was not as good of a partner as I may have needed to be to “close the deal”, but that is okay, too.  See, it is because I never let go of the taunts and predictions of my adolescence and used them to build a strategy to not only relationships, but for life, and kept my self-esteem intact.  It has never bothered me to be the “tall poppy” in the eyes of people, and I was able to recognize that they would try to cut me down.  Whether it was regarding my chosen path in my life or it was the complications of the relationship with the people I have met, I have struggled to never lose “me”.

Secondly, if there was anyone who had created a solid aggregation of “what it would be like” once I arrived, it was you.  The reason that I know it was you is because I know ME.  The kind of whimsy that I run on takes into account all the doubt and contrarianism of the world, or at least it does its level best to, and creates expectations once I am engaged in my plan.  So, other than getting along well enough to be intimate and friends, I had no idea of what things would be like.  If anything, I remember what I could NOT expect of you.

For instance, when you told me of the various resale shops around town or places like “the Waiting Room” in Benson, you told me that you saw ME in them but that you would not be accompanying me on any such forays.  Lately you have taken to a form of reimagining the conversations we have had and the things you have in the past indicated that you would/would not do with me.  That is okay… I KNOW that were I of the mind to research the mounds of communication between us that I could find the quotes and statements, but I would rather you ask yourself what did you think about those and the other places that you felt I would find interesting around town.  And once you have done that, ask yourself if you had ever once thought of going there and did you think those were places that “they” did, or a certain kind of brother or sister did.  Then you would pretty much know what kind of statement you made when you first mentioned them to me.

What you fail to understand about whatever you thought about me prior to my arrival, whether you thought things were “white” of me (yes, you spoke to me about your brothers… but you have also spoken to me as though I was an Oreo as well, dismissing whatever “cred” I have from being raised in “the D”) or just plain nonsense, it did not matter to me.  I thought that my winning character and determination to be the best person that I can be would eventually win you over.

I had reason to think that it would be possible.  Solving for my relationship with Mookie Dee, the most recent relationship I was truly “in” was with Tee Jay.  The most important aspect of that oft-mentioned love was that she was a person who came to our relationship with an eye for “something different”.  When I came along, sure she thought I looked good but it was after getting to know who I was, that she made her choice.  This is something she was able to do very early as she got to know me because, well, it is not something that I am consciously doing, this “being different”.  But since that is what I have been told, it was good for us that she wanted something different and I came into her life.  With you, I have no idea of what you were looking for, not just in me but in a partner.  And that brings me to why you feel the “confident cat” that blogs is not the confident cat that you have met.

The phrase that I have adopted from Nietzsche from his “Formula For Happiness” had been something that I decided to build my life around after I lost my Mother.  It is not something I trot out for mere blustering, but it is what it is to me, a “Rule To Live By”.  For the things that fall outside of the purview of “A yes, a no, a straight line, a goal,” are things that I owe no obligation to for anything.  And for much of the time that I have been in Omaha, our relationship has existed outside of the confines of where I can be the person that I call, “the man you know and love”.

From getting together on Saturday mornings when you could steal away from the never achieved “twice monthly” meets, you do not have a good track record when it comes to being stable in your commitment to our relationship.  And that, is the defining characteristic I have of you in my life.  You make my heart swing from one end of the emotional gauge to the other.  There has never been a point where it has just been running at its optimal level.  So if you have not participated in vesting yourself in our relationship, what obligation do I have to do the same?

A relationship with me is not something that you actually place enough real value on.  I remember how I felt when you spoke about how you mentioned me to your family and prepped them on me becoming a part of your life and de facto a part of theirs.  I looked forward to being a part of your circle of select friends and maybe broadening my own horizons.  Perhaps we could have “coupled up” with one of your friends and go to a cabin or do some white-water somewhere… anything with anyone, really.  From dance lessons to bike rides, I looked forward to those things and being able to go to your girls activities and games.  But maybe that is being well too forward of myself.  I know that you are very cautious about your children and maybe that would have been too much to have expected of what place you had for me in your life.

You asked me to wait for you have the time to devote yourself to “me” on a date as friends.  There must be a “perfect” time in your mind where you will have everything in its right place and you can really be present with me.  Meanwhile, the world still spins and day becomes night.  Eleanor Roosevelt said that “…you must do the thing that you cannot do”, and her full quote is one that urges to be brave and face our fears, and that by doing so you will gain so much, much more.

I will never find out what you were afraid of, and that is the biggest reason that you never got to know me.  There is an element of risk in most everything that a person deems worthwhile and it does not matter what level of importance they place on a subject, whether it be a pair of new sneakers, the job offer out-of-state, or whether or not their heart is ready for love.  But fear kills more dreams than any other emotion, and it must be faced if one is to move beyond their doubts and into their desires.  

One day I hope that you find someone to be your partner, I really do.  And maybe one day we will be able to sit down and have that dinner or go to that movie.  But I can’t help but think that of all the ways that there are to treat a good friend, someone that you value and hold dear to your heart, that the way you have treated me is not among them. 

Take care and be well.  Miss you much!!

Love and Rockets!

Mark

5 comments:

Christina said...

I am in total shock that you posted this. But as with everything else you have posted, this is YOUR journal.

You have a girlfriend and have moved on with your life, or so I thought, yet you keep this "story" about us ticking daily with the emails and the text messages and these feelings that I don't fully understand and now this. I'm at a lost for words. But Mark, instead of making an full "open" reply, because in my opinion, this really is a personal matter, I will at some point address you in person.

Jonthy Williams said...

Mark,
I broke off a long relationship about a year ago. It was painful and difficult. I didn't write about it in my blog but I do consider my blog to be personal and therefore, I believe that if I'm struggling with an issue, I have the right to express my feelings. After a year, I am still troubled by the things left unspoken (mainly my fault). If I had chosen to share this part of my life (a sort of grief) I would hope that others could understand. You may find that your readers feel this is too personal but hey, so what. If it helps you then I'm all for it.

LceeL said...

Well, THAT ought to stir things up a bit. But, oreo? Really? That so is not you.

browniyzz said...

And for the record, I have never called you an OREO because in Nebraska, or as I have been called, thought as or as I've always known the term to mean, an oreo is a bi-racial person of black and white mix. I have no clue what it means for people from Detroit.
Sometimes your assumptions are mind blowing.
And no, I won't say anything on your blog when you write about me anymore. But truth be told, my emotions are all over the place that you posted this instead of to me privately.
So yes, it has stirred up things A LOT! Especially since out of respect for you I have to really bite my tongue.

Ken Riches said...

I hope you wrote this out of closure and are moving on friend...