Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

It started almost ten years ago - a passionate, intense affair. I threw myself into it with abandon and poured my heart and soul into making it a success. Early mornings led into late evenings of time together. We were inseparable.

About seven years ago I started feeling a little caged in and out-of-touch with myself. I wanted something new, so I had the difficult conversations we all know so well and flung myself away. It took all my energy to leave, but I had to because I had no more energy to sustain.

After that I had a three year affair with another that was never a perfect fit. It had its pluses, but it had its negatives as well. I still kept in touch with my previous affair but neither of us made any moves. I tried and tried to make it work with the new affair, but it just wasn't happening. When I finally came to grips with this, I left.

I swore I wouldn't attach myself so intently to another for a long time. I needed to play the field and take a break from the intensity that followed me when I found a match. For four years I've done just that. I've had many affairs, but all on my own terms. I kept my own home, I set my own schedule. I was independent.

But I kept going back to that first affair. Sometimes it would be a quick interlude. Sometimes it would be a few months or more. We even didn't speak at one point for almost a year and a half.

A few months ago, the grand discussions started again. "Things have changed, I need you, it's all different, here is how it can be for us". I fretted, I wondered, I worried. Should I go back? Finally, after much deliberation, I said I'd try it again. We'd tie ourselves together again and see if it could be what we hoped it would be. I had a trip planned, but said I'd be ready to commit when I returned.

I got back last week. I came forward with an open heart. Yet I was dumped - or duped. "It's all changed", I heard, "You are still wanted. You are still needed. You are still the one. But I can't give you what you need". The old patterns are so deeply embedded, why did I think they would change?

That, my friends, is the story of my professional life over the past ten years. Now I am back to my age-old question. Should I stay or should I go?

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