If I had to pick the common denominator in all of the failed interpersonal relationships – friends, romantic partners, family, etc. – throughout my life, it is me. Some may have left because I was too emotionally absent, while others may have left when I was overtly callous toward them, but it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it was my actions or inactions that caused nearly every interpersonal relationship that has come my way to collapse. My wiring will never change, even as I mellow and embrace relative responsibility, so rather than run from those bridges I burn, I must turn to their light to better understand my own place on this earth.
Not everyone will succeed in life, and success for one person can look radically different than that considered success for another. I feel successful on many fronts, but I cannot claim stability to be required for my feelings of success. Reframing my existence, I serve as nothing but a connection between different poles of a wanderer’s journey. My role is to glean and take what I can in the moment, and serve as some sort of memory for those that interact with me. Maybe I will be a force of positivity for another, or maybe I will be a mass of negative momentum, but all who cross my path will be changed because of the influence I wield.
I once thought it awful to be something so transient in relation to others, but I suppose that is something to be championed instead. I cannot wear out my welcome if I know that I will never be long for a given interpersonal relationship, and none, including myself, can stagnate for the same reason. All in life is transient to some degree, but I am the ultimate drifter: swaying in the breeze and changing form and shape, filling those voids that are thrust upon me like a water filling glass. I am someone others will never forget, even if my nearness should always be judged as temporary. Life itself is temporary. “Temporary” should be given more weight. We don’t know when we’ll leave, but we cannot stay. Rather than cry over the permanent severance of self and others, I turn now to the bridges burned to light my way forward, according to my story, and the stories I’ve helped write.
Image: Sebastian Ritter – CC BY-SA 2.5