Dearest Rachel –
Today is the first time all week I’m walking. And to tell the truth, I feel a little guilty about having delayed it this long. Not that I’m particularly concerned about how much exercise I get (although I’m quite sure I should be), but that I might be disappointing someone.
You see, last evening Erin and I didn’t get together to walk over at Melas Park, like we’ve been doing. At this point, her training schedule for the marathon is such that she simply doesn’t have the time to go slowly anymore. Every day she is supposed to be running a certain number of miles, and while I understand Tuesdays and Thursdays are relatively light in comparison to the rest of the week (except Sundays), she finds it hard to squeeze in the time to do even that much, let alone something like walking for an extra hour or two. She confirmed with me yesterday afternoon that it wasn’t going to be possible going forward, but admonished me that I need to keep up my own walking schedule even without her by my side.
I responded with my usual snarky “yes ma’am” reply, not unlike when you would tell me to drive carefully when I informed you I was on my way home from work (either that, or “aw, do I have to?”). Look, I try to be lighthearted about this sort of thing.
But once I got home, I just couldn’t find it in me to head back out to exercise. In fact, I think I crashed relatively early last evening, only to be woken up by Chompers at about oh, one in the morning or so.
So I’m sure she would be disappointed in me to find out that yesterday I shirked on my duties… to myself?
I don’t know why that should bother me, but it does.
I think it’s probably some vestigial hope I might be able to get to appeal to her somehow to become more than friends. I know better (and to be honest, it’s made that much more clear to me every time we actually meet in person), but there’s that one nagging little corner of my mind that holds out false hope. Why I should think I could actually impress her due to my efforts is beyond me; after all, she’s literally run far beyond me. I really need to let go. But it’s a difficult thing to do.
The scary thing is, this is something I’m going to have to deal with going forward. Whoever and whatever I am will have to undergo serious modification if I am to appeal to any potential ‘Megumi’ going forward. Otherwise, what reason does she have to choose – and stay with – me? Until she decides to utter the words “I do,” whatever relationship we might have is going to be in constant flux, and I won’t always know what to say or do in order to appeal to her sufficiently to get her to stay with me.
That wasn’t necessary when you and I were together. After a certain amount of time, you get used to each other and each other’s foibles, and accept them. This was, after all, what we signed up for. And while your parents feared for so long that you were getting into nothing more than a “starter marriage” (whatever the heck that was supposed to be), they managed to set up a low bar for us to clear, and clear it we did, much to their relief and surprise, apparently.
It’s a liberating sense of security, never having to feel the need to impress you with anything I was doing. I didn’t have to prove anything to you in order for you to love me. You just did, and you always would. We were… forever.
The thing is, of course, on the side of the veil there is no such thing as forever. But until this January, that’s something I never considered.
Oh, there’s a certain age at which everybody thinks they’re going to live forever. High school and college, yeah, you think you’re utterly indestructible. You remember me telling you about Petra W.; it formed the opinion in me that every high school yearbook almost has to have at least one picture in there of a student with dates under their name, just to remind everybody else that no, you’re not invincible.
And this is the thing; since people don’t last forever, neither do relationships. Yes, ours was “as long as [we] both shall live” – literally as God intended. But that’s been set aside, as you have been called away. Sure, I’ll see you again, but under what circumstances, I’ve no idea. Will we still be a couple? We we even know – or find – each other amongst the great throngs of heaven? I honestly don’t know what that’s going to be like, and while you’re there now, you’re in no position to fill me in on any of that.
And I’ve gone on so many times before about the fact that however many years I’ve got, they’re going to be empty without you. But any other relationship I try to form it’s going to be unstable for a very long time; or at least, considerably less stable than ours was, and I’m not sure I’m up for that.
So why do it? Why put myself through all the trouble, when there’s no guarantee that anybody would put up with me as I am? Or why try to change myself to fit somebody else’s concept of their ideal companion?
To be honest, there’s probably a few things I could improve about myself, so changing myself wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. I do hope I can find someone who would be satisfied with who I am, but also willing to push me to be a little bit more. Otherwise, if nothing else, I’ll just end up sitting around, rotting in my recliner, and that’s no way to end up.
I’m not looking forward to the instability, but at the same time I just wanna get on with it, and figure out where I need to start adjusting myself, and if those changes are moving me in the right direction – the whole ‘running toward’ thing, after all.
Consider this: you can run away in any direction; to run towards some thing requires a specific direction. And I need to find that.