Dear John*

August 15, 2016

Look, it’s not you. It’s me. Something’s just not clicking right now, and trying to get that spark back is so tiring and too much effort.

I thought spending a few months apart, earlier this year, putting some distance between us might give me a healthier perspective. dearjohnAbsence making the heart grow fonder and all that. Things wouldn’t look so dim and depressing with the long winter gone.

Summer’s only exacerbated the troubles, however. Made me more lethargic during the times when I wasn’t just full on angry. Angrily lethargic. That’s no way to live.

No. There’s no one else. This is only about you and me. Yes, I’ve been to other places, taken in the sights, rode other people’s public transit. You and I have never been that exclusive.

The thing is, I used to go away and return energized, full of appreciation for what we had here and excited about the possibilities of how we could make things even better. Fresh ideas. Different approaches. A new way of seeing things.

But that didn’t seem to hold much interest for you. “This isn’t there,” you’d respond whenever I made any sort of suggestion for trying something new or to improve on something that wasn’t working. We’re different. We’ve always done that this way. Change is hard. What we don’t know might be worse than what we already know.

I understand that.

It isn’t like everything’s terrible. That’s not what I’m saying. There’s lots to be happy about, plenty of examples to point to and say, Yeah, we’re doing that right. Maybe I’m just too demanding or dearjohn1(Maybe I’m just like my father too bold… HaHa. We’ll always have Prince. Oh, wait. No, we won’t.)

I just don’t think wanting to do things better should be seen as a challenge, viewed with such suspicion. We can learn from others. We need to learn from others. I’m not perfect. Are you?

I know you don’t think that you are. It’s just, you seem awfully satisfied living inside this bubble we’ve created together. The future you foresee now is exactly like the future you imagined in the past. This makes any deviation from that impossible for you to conceive.

This kind of resistant view, an unwillingness to adapt when evolving circumstances warrant, only succeeds in digging a deeper rut. You exhibit a tenacity of suspicion toward anything that does not conform to your prevailing view, demand a vigorous examination or assessment to look at all angles, consider every option. What you already believe to be true? Well, that’s just a given, and given an uncritical pass. As it was, so shall it be.

But you’ve also heard that bit about putting new wine into old wineskins, yes? Something’s got to give, is how I think Jesus put it. What once seemed to be fixes have turned out to be the source of many of our problems. Finding solutions is never easy. Realizing we need to do so should be pretty obvious.

Stop me if you’ve heard all of this before. HaHa! Zzzzzzzzzzz… Of course you have. No doubt you’re as tired of hearing me say these words as I am saying them. What we have here, I fear, is a failure to communicate. You’re not listening and I’m not explaining myself clearly enough.

In the end, that’s all on me. If I’m the unhappy one in this relationship, it is up to me to explain why that is and what we can do to try and patch things up. writingaloneI have not been able to do that over the course of our 6 and-a-half years together. My tone has become hectoring, annoyed badgering, counter-productive. It’s doing neither of us any good, contributing little, impacting even less. It is difficult to imagine anything positive coming from continuing on this way. Bitterness doesn’t become either of us. That’s just not how I want to see this story end.

(* a literary trop, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental albeit highly appropriate in this case)

sadly but clear-eyedly submitted by Cityslikr