There are a lot of things I shy away from on this blog. Talking about the rough times, for one, is something I tend to lean towards even when I'm trying my hardest to be honest. But I want to read this back one day and know that it is somehow a true depiction of the person I am now, even edited the way it is, and so this entry is necessary for the purpose. It may, however, seem like something of a non-sequiter.
This trip was meant to be about growing (metaphorically, that is, although I understand that all the vegetable farming might point you toward the literal). I have some issues that need big time sorting out and I wondered if coming across the world might be able to help me with that. It seems that, with at least one of them, it has.
I suck with men. I mean that. I am gawd awful, utterly and hopelessly inept. The only close, long term relationship I have had with any man without a single massive blunder on my part is with my father. That fellow is one of the brightest lights in my world and I think between us we've managed a fairly healthy interaction for over nineteen years now. Any other man I've had consistent contact with for any length of time has ended up being hurt by me in some way. Or, if not that, I've managed to royally piss him off at some point. I can't get along with gents and it's really difficult for me to tell you why. Mostly 'cause I ain't sure myself.
These "issues" or projections or whatever the hell it is that makes me verbally abusive or emotionally manipulative toward the unfairer sex came to a head recently. Or, at least, they came up in my head in a way that made me examine and contemplate them. I think I mentioned Monsieur Astrophysicist in a previous entry? He worked with me on one of the farms? Well, the night that I got relatively sloshed I forced him to tell me his real opinion of me. And one of the things that came out was that he thinks I have issues with men that need resolving so I can, well, be healthy, happy and a decent human being. I know it sounds like an obvious statement but while it's always been a glaring omission when I list the important people in my life and next to no masculine names apply, I'd never really made myself think about my apparent hatred for men before. I guess it's something people back home accept about me and thus I never really tried to work through it.
I laughed about it, really, because truthfully I didn't think that there was a single man in this world that could make me reconsider my admittedly stubborn and ignorant point of view that sweet, smart, considerate people could only be female or homosexual or both. If this wasn't the case, I maintained, there was something strange about the individual I was forced to like and respect.
And then I met someone new.
How ironic that I met this person the day after I was told my greatest character flaw was my lack of love for men? But that's what happened. He was so perfectly imperfect, so captivating and- ultimately- kind, clever and unique, that I thought the universe was playing a joke on me. Wasn't this what I was warned about? This charming man? The one to make me re-evaluate all that I'd thought before, everything I thought I knew about "guys"? Alas, he was human. He was my friend, too, but so very human. I discovered unpleasant things about this individual almost as soon as I'd decided I could handle any weaknesses he revealed. I was crushed but somehow relieved. Did this make me right the first time around?
No, I don't think it did. The love I had for this man, for the fresh start he represented to me in the way I could see half of the human population, didn't just evaporate. Nor did my hope. I came out here to learn more about myself. And as much as it hurts to do so, I've unearthed some ugly aspects of my personality and now I need to examine them. These two men in my life recently, the first with his kind cruelty and the second with just his presence, have made me assess what I think about men and in what capacity I can see them in my future. Can I appreciate them as they are? See them as complete, and therefore completely damaged, as I am? And love them just the same?
One man, I think, has earnt that love, whole and entire. Not either of the ones I spoke of above. The one I betrayed at home before I left. I see that action now as one symptom of my fixation on male inadequacies, a shameful and ridiculous attempt at remaining distant. His forgiveness, though, and subsequent support, is maybe the most important part of what I've realised recently. I will forever feel that he gave me peace when I thought this could only be worked out in turmoil. It may be the first time I've said this properly to a man but thank you. Your presence in my life was essential to this one happiness, and, I think, many more.
It's not a perfect metaphor.