Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There's No Such Thing as Forever

mattole road motorcycle
Mattole Road, Humboldt County, CA, March 2011
Since my teen years, from when I would ride my bicycle far away from home, running away from the loneliness and hurt of being an "unwanted stepchild", life has been a road. It's been a linear journey of going from one place to another and making turns down different paths.

I had grown up knowing that "forever" never really meant forever.

So when I was finally faced with the saving grace of being permanently anchored to something that I could grow from, I vowed to do something that my mother and father never made good on, honoring the sanctity of a promise.

And yet as with my mother and father, life brought me to another fork in the road, albeit 20 years later.

At least my mom and dad each recognized that you can't save a sinking ship.  And they've been around long enough to know that honoring something doesn't really get you anywhere.  I tried to be the hero that kept the ship afloat, and when people asked me how things were going I always told them all was well.  I wanted to know that I wasn't going to be like my mom and dad.

"It's about time!" each of them told me when they found out I had finally abandoned ship.

Some people have been able to remain committed to another person or to another institution or even to a specific brand of motorcycle, for the rest of their lives.  They even express that commitment by tattooing its name to their bodies.  But at what price does that commitment cost?

What other opportunities of growth and enrichment are we depriving ourselves of by remaining fixed to something?

Why do we make promises knowing that we can never predict the future?

And why I would believe that this time is different, and that this time really means forever?

If I can gradually eliminate "stuff" from my life, to the point where I become more transparent, more in touch with myself, and more reliant on my own faculties, then why do I need security?  Why do I need the promise of forever?

13 comments:

  1. Yeah, you just can't count on anything being forever. . . no matter what you think.
    Sash

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    1. Do I detect a healthy dose of sarcasm? ~Curt

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    2. No, not sarcastic. I'm surprised so many people thought I was being sarcastic. In the moment, I was hurt. I was thinking that Steve wanted out of his commitment with me. I know that writing this, for the whole world to see, makes me vulnerable and probably embarrasses the readers who are seeing into my human failings. But I won't lie.
      I thought he was sending me a message that he wanted to see other people and didn't want to be committed to me.
      When we married we both agreed that we would live in the moment, but I have a terrible fear of abandonment after my trauma as a child. This day it hit me sideways.
      I wrote about my reaction ~ http://www.sashmouth.com/2013/11/my-motorcycle-haven.html
      I overreacted and jumped on my motorcycle. I'm clearer today, but still frightened. The reality is that even if Steve doesn't want to leave me, none of us knows what tomorrow will bring. It's always best to savor the here and now.
      Sash

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    3. No one should be embarrassed. I think your reaction was very normal and I don't think you over reacted. You are right, none of us knows what tomorrow brings but we can have faith and hope that tomorrow will be an even better day than today. I'm glad you're feeling better, ~Curt

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  2. The English language doesn't really have subjunctive verbs nor the phrases that inherently go with it. You may have heard, though, of the Arabic phrase "Insha'Allah," meaning "God willing." People in Arabic countries are notorious for dropping it into everything: "Insha'Allah, I'll have tea with my lunch," etc. Although the Spaniards drove Muslims out in the 15th century, their influence remains in the Spanish language: One of the ways to say "perhaps" is "ojalá" –– basically "God willing." It's in French and Welsh and a load of other languages. In the very way that humans communicate, the way they interpret the world, many have a built in sense of hope, or, rather a need for it.

    The concept of these relationship promises is an extension of that hope. We want to believe in an everlasting love, in a someone who will always be there. It's a nice idea. It's a hopeful idea. I mean, Whitney Houston probably wouldn't have sold as many records if she sang: "I will love you until such time as I no longer feel you and I are compatible (or until you get me addicted to crack, whichever comes first)." To sing "I will always love you" is more hopeful.

    I personally like the idea of it, while admitting that's not necessarily the truth and the way of the universe. But the universe is utterly depressing. I'm not saying we should be satisfied with the shadows in Plato's cave, but perhaps there's value in keeping one's eyesight just a little blurred.

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  3. Steve, another interesting and thought provoking post...I've come to expect nothing less from you. I think forever means different things to different people. I believe we should strive to live in the moment, to be happy in the moment, and to have faith that those moments will continue into tomorrow.

    The bible speaks to faith, hope, and love. I think our world needs a healthy dose of all three. ~Curt

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  4. Ah... there are a few things... a few people that you can rely on... bet your life on... but by God they are rare, and precious.

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  5. I would be inclined to agree with Curt that forever means different things to different people.

    We can promise forever in a moment, but that doesn't mean it will pan out as we can't see the future. Maybe it is our forever and not their forever.

    I don't think people should try and keep a promise if it isn't a healthy situation to either person.

    I do believe I am lucky in that hubby and I have been together 19 years and there is no end in sight (that I can see). I think the best we can hope for is to make a promise to our best friend.

    I once heard that people don't fall out of love, they just stop being best friends.

    How about making a promise into the foreseeable future? (said tongue in cheek)

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  6. Mind jerking post, Steve! Cause for loads of thought.

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  7. IIWII (It Is What It Is) - one door closes another one opens. Great post

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  8. Many of us have been through this, Steve & Sash.

    I wore out Dylan's Blood on the Tracks trying to figure out what countless others had tried to figure out.

    I ended up with the same reults as them. And Dylan. And you.

    Hang in there, my brother.

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  9. I hear you man. I believe that change is the only thing that is "forever".

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)