Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's over so we'll work backwards

I managed to get caught up in the reality of my trip so much that I never managed to blog about it. Maybe it's because I was never settled enough to admit the truth of why I went. I was prepared to spend several hundred dollars to fly to DC and no one knew the truth of my reasoning. I gave fiddly reasons about museums and monuments and my love of politics when the truth was that those things were negligible when looking at the real math of my choice.

A Kite That Couldn't Be Tied Down
Today I read a story in the New York Times that hurt in that way scars will suddenly ache with no warning or reason. It surprised me and left me both crying and smiling. And wanting to tell the truth about why I went on this journey.

There is a girl and I fell painfully, deeply, inexplicably in love with her after knowing her for two hours. She was fiercely supportive, fighting even me to argue that I was something great. When others we worked with questioned my dedication and work ethic she defended me faster and more decisively than anyone I had ever seen. It was a sensation unlike any I had experienced. Suddenly my attempts to be good enough were not treated as something to be painstakingly dragged out of me but rather a delightful surprise. She was grateful and loving and confounding.

And she left when it was over. She disappeared to DC to continue her work to change the world for the better. Our communication ceased almost entirely. We never really knew each other; there wasn't a whole lot to say. But that impression she made on me stayed with me and when the days got bad it was the thought that she was out there and she had believed in me more than I believed in myself that gave me that little bit of strength to clench my teeth and keep pushing.

She had a love of the word "amazing". 
She used it all the time and I once asked her
what she was like when she saw something truly amazing. 
She said she thought everything really was amazing. 
She is amazing
She became my happy thought. In the darkest hours it was the thought that, while I was still stuck in this pit, she was still out there that kept me from collapsing entirely, from sliding back into that inescapable place of pain. I built her up and gave her new attributes, tweaked my memories of her to create something to hang on to when I just couldn't find any other reason. I used her as the channel to believe in myself. Through thoughts of her I gave myself permission. I created a superhuman goddess, my own Wonder Woman who would save me from myself some day and I gave my Wonder Woman her name, her face, her voice, her smile.

I can't give an adequate explanation but I needed to know if she was real. I needed to make my pilgrimage and see her and hear her voice and find out if my Wonder Woman was real or if I was just daydreaming. I needed to feel her believe in me again, the way she had before, because I'm getting tired of letting myself down as often as I have. I'm getting tired of believing and building myself up only to be disappointed in the end. She was what I held on to when things got rough and I needed to hear it from her.

I'm that broken but that's a blog for another day.

So I hopped a plane and flew 2,000 miles to a strange city with almost no money all in the hopes that I would finally get some closure. I would finally be able to let go of her and the part of my life she represented. Or maybe I was chasing her down in the hopes that she loved me the way I loved her. I'm not really sure. I just know I went to find her.

And I did. I found her and she was not the superhuman Wonder Woman I had built her up to be. She was just herself. Just as scatterbrained and frustrating and sweet as I remembered but she was not her. And I silently begged for her to tell me I was alright and that I was making the right decisions. She didn't. She told me to finish it. She seemed to expect more from me but she was still sweet and supportive. And she told me the thing I needed to hear most. That it was hard for her that it was all over and that something like the adventure we all shared is something that only happens once in our lives and we can't relive it.

In that instant it was finally over. So we said goodbye and three hours later I boarded my plane home not knowing if I'd found what I came for.

Maybe I'll tell the story of what actually happened over the course of my trip. Maybe not. I'm not sure yet.


  1. Hi Taylor, I saw your comment on the Dorothy Surrenders post of the NY Times story, and it led me here.
    I have a similar story. I fell in love with my girl in about 20 minutes. I didn't think things like that happened in real life. But, like you, I was limited in my ability to be with her. What happened was, I was checking out this college during my junior year of high school, and she gave me a tour, because we had a mutual friend who introduced us. And I just totally fell in love. I also ended up really loving the college. But I really couldn't spend time with her untl her school year ended. But we hung out all summer, but once school started up again we barely stayed in touch. I applied and was accepted to the college that she goes to, and was pretty sure that I wanted to go there (not because of her, but because it was the perfect college). But then she suggested that I stay over with her just to get a feel for the school. I was expecting this overnight to be amazing, and for us to connect in a whole new way, but all it did was make me realize that she was not really the person that I had fallen in love with. So I started on the long process of getting over it. But I am going to go to the college in September, so we'll see what happens. Even though I now realize that we would probably be terrible together, every time I talk to her I fall back in love for a little bit.
    ... I'm sorry that was so long. Maybe I should post an actual blog about it -it seems like I have a lot to say :)
    But I totally understand and relate to your story.

  2. Also!
    I read your 'about me' thing on your blogger profile, and would like to know which painting your entire life philosophy is based on, if you don't mind sharing.

  3. It's a lot to process, so give yourself that time. I think you took an amazing risk to find out the truth - and that takes more courage than anything else: to brave fears and doubts, because if you don't, you'll never know, and that could have held you back from something (or someone) out there that is your Wonder Woman.

    It's better to know, than to regret later on. :)

    (I also came through a DS link, btw :) )