I consistently deceive myself into thinking that humans will make decisions based on logic and reason. Feelings cannot be quantified so easily, which makes human interaction often tedious and strained.
I am a fixer… if something is amiss, I set it back on track. If something is broken, I will make sure it’s working– I can’t walk away from something if it is in pieces. This includes machinery, puzzles, relationships, etc. I am not good with the unresolved and when something feels (there’s that word again) out of sorts, I cannot dismiss it. What does that lead to? Over-thinking, processing, searching for answers, replaying the events in my head until I find the piece that went astray… and once I have zeroed in on that straggler, I start my investigation.
The investigation resembles a complex mathematical equation. The answer is the current moment, and all of the tiny occurrences that precede that moment serve as the equation; however, when the current moment feels amiss, I need to solve for the variable x.
When the solution to the equation is 3, and all other parts of the equation are equal to 3, yet some aspect of the events leading up to now apparently doesn’t equal 3… and maybe none of the parts were ever meant to equal 3! And maybe I am just making up numbers and nothing is actually real… but numbers are real; unless they’re imaginary. OMG, have I been working in imaginary numbers this whole time?! I don’t think so but it sure makes one wonder. I try to solve for x — and maybe this is a fool’s game, thus positioning me as the greatest fool of all time, but I still try.
After working the numbers and creating the equation, sometimes it’s not as easy as solving a math problem– the data could be skewed because the source is human. And humans make mistakes; humans allow subjective factors to influence their output. This can result in miscommunications and misunderstanding, but it’s typically well-intentioned and lacking malice. Sometimes math just seems downright unpleasant.
But math is not human, and humans are simultaneously fascinating and devastating. In one breath a human can make you feel like you’re floating on air, and in the next rip your heart out and hold it in front of your face as you watch the remaining THUMP THUMP emerge before the electrical energy fully fizzles out and you are standing there without a heart… ok, you wouldn’t just be standing there if this could actually happen, but I am speaking in hyperbolic tones in order to make a point. We love to love each other, and yet we still hurt each other all the time.
I haven’t had my heart ripped from my chest in a while, and for that I am lucky. In fact, I don’t know that I have ever actually felt that kind of debilitating pain from heartache. I think that I thought I felt it a few times, but it was never like Carrie Bradshaw felt it in the first Sex and the City movie when Big stands her up at the altar.
I have never been so blind with rage and betrayal that I have wanted to beat someone with flowers before scooting off to Mexico, only to stay in bed for days. I have cried, I have sent too many text messages (SO MANY TEXT MESSAGES), I have shown up to places unannounced, I have picked fights, I have lied. This doesn’t make me a bad person, it makes me a scorned lover, and that is something we can’t explain. I am not proud of all of my manipulations disguised as defense mechanisms, but we do things to get by. In order to save face, we put on airs and we fake it until we make it.
All said, getting relegated to the friend zone in the Arena of Love is never an easy maneuver to navigate. For me, it is difficult because I am constantly trying to solve the aforementioned equation after 100% of the time being placed in the friend zone. (One of these days I will get one to stick… you just watch.) And I need to make something clear here, I am not a perfect human who is always all-in when it comes to matters of love. I sometimes ghost guys; I dismiss people; I don’t always text or call back. So being friend-zoned is also just karma. But when it occurs I think to myself, Where did I get off track? What happened? Have I said something “wrong”?
But love is not math– and sometimes it is simply not the right fit, even if you want so badly to believe that it is meant to be. When people tell you who they are and what they want, believe them. They have a pretty good indication of what they want and who they want to be, because… well, they are them, and you are not. So don’t try to understand or change or create logic where there is none. People are fickle; this does not make them bad people. We like what we like, and as a culture of instant gratification becomes more available every day, patience and old-school courting are just no longer desirable. Sure, it sounds nice, but as a wise woman once said, “Why buy the cow when the milk is free?”
“Life is a paradox, and it doesn’t make much sense,” said Madonna on the final track, Like it or not, on the critically-acclaimed Confessions on a Dance Floor. And she’s right. We don’t get to choose how someone loves us; we get to choose if we want them to be a part of our lives. People in our lives will continue to make choices that baffle us, but it is not our job to pass judgment. As friends and lovers, we are there to support, to question when necessary, but never change the person in front of us. If you are feeling the need to change someone, or help someone adjust their life (unsolicited), take a look at yourself. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn… and I am still learning it.
Math class is canceled. For now.