14 January 2007

Writing Tears

I’ve mentioned before that I’m horrible at journal writing, and this weekend was the perfect example: today I finally wrote in my journal about when Nick broke up with me. This happened in November, people.

Okay, so that was only partially due to my slacker journal keeping abilities. Partially, of course, it was a move to avoid making it reality. If you don’t write something down, you can still change your point of view later, and no one ever has to know it was any different. (Ah! the appeal, the illusion of consistency!) But once it’s written in your journal, it might as well be carved in stone: it happened. You thought it, and you can’t change it. Oh, you can change your mind, yes, but you will still know that at one point you did think that. You’ve committed who you were at that point to the page, preserved it forever in amber, a monument to your naiveté, your stupidity, your inexperience.

Which is why I hesitate to write about potential romantic involvements—boys, crushes, dates—in my journal, even though they would be arguably the most important thing to write about. Sure, if they turn out to be The One (somehow, you can tell that should have capital letters), then it would be nice to have all of the play-by-play recorded somewhere so that you can whip it out for the grandchildren 40 years down the road. But things don’t work out, what do you have left? Sure, theoretically we should live without regrets and be able to reminisce about past loves without being disheartened. *snort* Yeah, that’s likely. It mostly ends up feeling painful, or pointless, depending on which side you were on, and you’d just rather forget it all.

I look back at my last journal, the first one I ever filled up completely. One particular boy—who never noticed me and probably will never notice me and who probably wouldn’t have worked out if he did—has about, oh, 30 pages all to himself. 30! And nothing even happened! (Nick has 17.) And these are not small pages. What am I supposed to do with them now? I flip past them on the way to the next blank page and they just make me feel sad. For a second, I feel the hope, and then I remember that it came crashing down in the end. The whole emotional rollercoaster compressed into the instant I pick up my journal. Who needs that kind of emotional stress?

Another thing I’ve noticed while catching up the journal: I don’t cry over boys, or people in general. I haven’t ever cried over Nick, nor that other hopeless boy, nor any other that I recall. Yet those of you who know me know that I am easily moved to tears. I’ve cried in almost every English class I’ve ever taken—wait, scratch the almost, because I can't think of any exceptions. I cry in church; I cry when I feel inspired; I cry in presentations; I cry in interviews; I cry when I write anything; I cry when I debate; I cry when I talk about books, for goodness’ sake. Tears have become my truth detectors. They’re how I know something is real. If I don't cry at least once a day, I'm probably not even awake. I’m addicted to tears, and yet I can’t seem to shed a single one over something I'm actually supposed to cry over.

I can think of two possible explanations for this. First, perhaps I was never really that emotionally attached to these situations. Maybe I was just going through the motions I saw in chick flicks. More and more I think there’s something to the argument that they are unhealthy for women to watch.

Or maybe I really am incapable of connecting with people on the same level as I connect to ideas. My tears seem to have become inextricably tied up with my quest for knowledge even as they have receded from my connections to people. Perhaps I have fallen in love with ideas to the point where people cannot possibly captivate me on the same level.

Maybe this is a problem.

1 comment:

Cathryn said...

Dangit! I had a great response, but the internet in my apartment complex crapped out again. :P In any case, thank you for the comment. And you're right, I have noticed how eerily alike we are! Every time I think about it...wow. Haha. I don't know if I work with you! I keep waiting to run into you...right now I'm only working afternoons after 3 (I've got a killer block class), but come second block I'm going to have a gaping hole in my schedule from 8 AM to noon every day, so I'll see if Penny will let me pick up some more hours.

Anyway, thanks for the pep talk. :) And good for you for journaling! Secretly, my journal isn't even in Provo...I try to pretend that blogging is a good enough substitute. :P