Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Issues with Optimism

Being an optimist doesn't mean nothing's wrong. It just means you manage to get through the tough times better, or you lie to yourself into believing everything is okay.

I've always prided myself in being an optimist. Up until college I used the same beach towel since I was a baby because whenever my parents asked if I wanted a new one I would respond "it works just fine" despite the fact that it was a third of the size necessary and featured large cartoons of baby Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto complete with pacifiers-in-mouth.In my mind I didn't care if it looked incredibly foolish because I was just happy to have a towel to dry myself off with after going for a good splash.
But recently it seems that being an optimist has left me blind. I forced myself to learn the hard way that just because it seems like everything is going just fine doesn't at all mean that it actually is. Especially when you've committed yourself to a life of loving someone for the rest of your life. It's all too clear to me that I wasn't at all ready to be in such a serious relationship, and on some level I knew that all along, but regardless it is no excuse for being so oblivious to the way that my actions combined with my optimistic view were tearing apart my relationship and the woman that I love before my very eyes.

I am not writing this in the heat of a recent argument or revelation; this discovery of my lies occurred twice over the past year, most recently about two months ago. I have been living with this regret and shame for quite some time now, and it's changed my life forever.

Throughout my life I always thought of myself as quite a prodigy of life. Yes it sounds ignorant and pompous, but that's how it was. I stayed out of trouble, worked with the philosophy that we are put on this earth to take care of each other before ourselves, made the personal choice to never smoke and to not drink until I was of legal age, and promised to stay abstinent until I was married. Above all I knew I wanted to find the one I could love forever as soon as possible, and direct my entire being to keeping her happy and safe.

Life threw me a curve-ball; I actually found her. I found the girl I could love forever, and she found that she could love me forever as well. Life was essentially telling me to put my money and time where my mouth had been for seventeen whole years before then; it was time to prove my words weren't just empty promises.
Unfortunately doing that was something I apparently couldn't do. Yes we kept each other happy and optimistic about our future together for three years through thick and thin before I asked her to marry me, but I was still fighting off demons that I had promised and sworn I had gotten over. It now seems so foolish and insulting to have asked her to promise to be mine forever when I couldn't even keep my promise to be honest and open to her.

My demons were discovered in two parts; once was during the school year when a close friend of mine got fed up keeping my secrets from my fiance, so she took it upon herself to come clean for me without much warning. Unfortunately (and I use that word very lightly) the nature of some of the secrets meant that in order to keep my relationship from shattering I would have to cut off all contact with the very friend who had made the revelations, and who was offering support and advice on both how to fight the demons and to be a better fiance the whole time I knew her. The reason I use the word "unfortunately" so lightly is that because as anyone with relationship experience should know; you should never seek an outside friend for help with your relationship in many instances, because your partner is the one you're supposed to be able to depend on. I take full responsibility for my failure to see this, so I take full responsibility for being the reason the friendship was cut off and that my relationship almost failed.
The second time was more recently, just about two months ago during the summer, when it was revealed to my fiance that I had been lying to her for the past two and a half years about something we had already discussed the severity of before, and of which I had promised to cease immediately.

I am 100% sure through all of this that I found the love of my life, if for no other reason that she's stuck with me to this day, and although she is scarred by my lies and deceit she still finds strength to support and love me as she always has.

It took me twenty years to realize how imperfect I really am, and I risked everything I love about my life to find out. I am now on a journey of somewhat self-discovery; by which I mean that although I am certain now more than ever of who I am, I am discovering who it is I need to be in order to stay true to myself, and the love of my life.

I must work to better myself if I am to better my life.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ten Thousand Words

Yesterday I achieved a personal milestone (is that the correct phrasing? I don't do this very often).
I deserve one of these filled with macaroni and cheese.
As I was writing my latest short story (which I have decided to describe from now on as a "Lifelong Tragic Love Epic" because that sounds cool) I glanced down at the bottom left corner of Microsoft Word to see that I had added a digit to the "Word Count" counter. I am in only the third section/chapter out of a planned five, but I've surpassed ten thousand words!

The statistics of this unfinished Lifelong Tragic Love Epic:

Pages: 16
Words: 10,133
Characters (no spaces): 44,027
Characters (with spaces): 53,858
Paragraphs: 304
Lines: 721

To put this into perspective, my longest story before this was a whopping 4,721 words total.

Speaking of that 4,721 word story, post below if you want me to comb through it once more quickly and then upload it to my website by the end of the month. I don't think I've currently got any stories on my site so it would be a great way to show you exactly whether or not I am as good as I think I am (although it was first written during my 8th year of school and was simply covered in a new coat of metaphorical paint several times over the next 4-5 years, so it doesn't exactly showcase my current skill level).

Writing has never felt so rewarding.