Let’s face it; I am a person that thrives on distance.
I move far away. Repeatedly. I leave all the sentimental things that matter to me, and a few belongings that don’t, in storage in a city where I am not a resident at the mercy of an ex who hates me and loves me in equal measure. I leave people and I do not mourn them and I forget the little details you learn about someone when you are stitching yourself into the tapestry of their lives without even trying. I regularly leave out large swaths of my life when discussing it with people that love me because I can’t handle conferring with an audience or the possibility that doing so will leave me open to confronting some complicated emotion I am unprepared to wrestle with. I willfully entertain men who want different things than me (emotional distance) and leave right before things get ugly, when my exit can be the kind of graceful thing they still remember fondly years from now with only their closest of friends. I fall, wholly, hard, illogically, for men I’ve not spoken to in many moons and who live in states that are not my own (physical distance), who will, inevitably, choose to be with someone who is not me (twice). And we both know that. These are true, ugly things about me that I have come to know over much soul searching and can admit after much cowardice; being a natural expert in warm aloofness is a successful survival mechanism and a burden; an instinct and a draw.
And it’s no longer what I want.
There are times when you kick yourself for being the way that, really, you had no hope of not being, and have not done enough to change since you became cognizant of it. Like, for instance when your daddy, also warm but detached and emotionally awkward in the way that you are in your own life, calls to tell you that your last remaining grandmother is in the hospital because she is bleeding in her brain. You feel the urgency of closer. The acute physical reaction of being too far away, when the miles you put between the life you were born into and the life you’ve built against all odds hurt you. They actually physically pain you. And you know, without hint of exaggeration, that if you could, you would flip your entire face back, Pez dispenser-style, and eat every single one of the jagged, disgusting miles between you and the only things in the world that mean anything in the world.
When you are a person who thrives in distance, learning to be close, managing the awkward ride of straddling who you were and you want to be, means changing. Completely.
Before it’s too late.