People Aren’t Meant to be Kept

missing piece

It was supposed to be sweet, and in a sense it was sweet. She smiled instantly at the thought, but that quickly faded into a bittersweet resentment. The conversation went something like this:

Her: “One year ’til I graduate and then three more years of graduate school… ugh.”

Him: “But then you can hang out with me as much as you want!”

Her: “Yeah provided you don’t leave me before then.”

Him: “Why would I leave you?”

Her: “School, job, women, travel, opportunity, life? Anything could happen in four years.”

Him: “Nah, I gotta keep you.”

Her: “People aren’t meant to be kept”

Him: “You are.”

She didn’t know how to respond. She knew he was only meaning to be kind—to subtly demonstrate his love, a tenderness that she had sensed growing within him for some time now—but everything just felt wrong. Something inside her wanted to scream at him, “No! No, I am not one to be kept!” Because she wasn’t like everyone else, everyone who spent life aimlessly looking for another to belong to. She didn’t want to belong to anyone, she wasn’t anyone’s missing piece, she was a whole piece of her own, complete within herself. Why could no one see this? Why did everyone look at her as if she was just another mindless, love-seeking babe; someone who’s thoughts ran ’round the clock constantly pondering when she would find the man of her dreams and marry? As if marriage is all there was to life, as if spouse was the only title worth carrying! It’s absurd! There’s so much more to life, she thought, so much more to me!

But perhaps what infuriated her more was the fact that she thought that he could have been right for her. She thought that he understood her spirit; that he would be the one to run wildly beside her, rather than try to pin her down. But it turns out he was like everyone else; just another face of society trying to tell her that she can’t be free, another authority screaming “Integrate!”She knew his kind very well; the ones who lure you back into the cage, promising to leave with you, but then lunging to lock the door while you let your guard down. Well I won’t be trapped by any of society’s norms, she decided.

And so she finally responded,”I am not one to be caught or kept, and I cannot ever be expected to stay or return on command; that isn’t me and it never will be. And I will never apologize for this fact, I hope you understand.” Then, true to word, she left and she did not intend to return.

Send Me On My Way

leaving

Given all the time I have to ponder throughout the day, I do a lot of thinking about things that make me me. I’ve decided that I know why I avoid commitment like the plague. Now, I’m not just talking about commitment as in the marital sense, though that is definitely included; no, I mean commitment in every sense. For some reason I absolutely hate the idea of long-term investment, no matter what that investment might be. I would never buy a permanent home, or purchase a fancy car, or say “I do,” or really even buy any item that costs more than a hundred or so dollars. I mean, I can barely maintain a friendship any longer than four or five years! And it’s not because I don’t want these things, believe I do. I, like every normal being, have spent hours designing my dream home; the big, open windows and the little coffee table that sits in the library facing the sunrise. I’ve spent many a daydream romanticizing about my perfect husband, honeymoon, dream ring, and dress. And don’t get me started on my perfect set of wheels… But the thing is, as great as these things are, I don’t see myself ever actually investing in one.

I think the reason is that somewhere, deep down, I have an overwhelming belief that everything comes to an end. No matter how great something is, things get broken, people leave, and life changes. So if this is true, why bother holding on to it in the first place? Why buy a fancy electronic if a new model will come out the next year? Why buy a brand-new vehicle if I’ll most likely scratch it, wreck it, or sell it in a few years? Marriages end in divorce, kids grow up and leave, friends move on, relatives die, people get fired, I mean it sounds pessimistic but it’s the truth! But I don’t see it as a bad thing; to me, this realization couldn’t be more liberating. The fact that nothing is permanent means that neither am I. If things break and people leave and times changes, than so can I. I can break and I can leave and I can change. I don’t have to be the same person I was a year ago, not even a day ago. I don’t have to live in the same place my entire life or work at the same job!

Truth is… I don’t want these commitments because I don’t want to be responsible for them when they do end. I don’t want to be the one left picking up the broken pieces, I don’t want to be the one who’s left behind… So I do the leaving. It hurts less this way.

Stir Crazy

You know those times where you just feel like your body is aching, not from exhaustion but from lack of use. I JUST WANT TO LEAVE! I want to run out the door, hop in the car, and run away! Far away! Anywhere! Seriously, anywhere at all. I just can’t stay here anymore. I can’t live this life. A life of alarm clocks and planners and schedules; a life of responsibility and direction. I want to get lost. I want to be homeless and penniless and free! I want to wake up with the sun and fall asleep under the stars. I want to wander and wonder and discover; discover the world and discover myself. I don’t need to know where I’m going, I don’t want to know where I’m going, I just want to get going! But I’m scared. Not scared that I won’t be able to do it or scared of falling hard out there on my own. I’m scared that I’ll have to come back. I’m scared that I will have to return someday because I wasn’t properly prepared. I JUST HATE HOW OUR WORLD IS MADE. I hate that they make it so hard for people to be free and to be happy. Why is it wrong not to want a five-bedroom home with a white picket fence? Why is it wrong not to want to get married and have children? Why am I strange because I don’t want a job or money or welfare or a home or a family or a community or a routine? I just want experience. I want to live before I die. I’m scared that I won’t.