Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Left Behind

I decided I was an adult the day I put my hand down a garbage disposal and rooted through rotting food to find the gunk that was clogging the disposal. This was long before changing poopy diapers was common place. This was before I had a dog, or a lawn with visiting rodents, or dying pets, or tomato plants with visiting tomato worms. Being a grown up, I decided on that long ago day, was doing what needed to be done regardless of the smell or ick-factor.

Many years later I learned that being a grown up is also learning when things need to be left undone. Sometimes some things need to be left on the side of the road and abandoned. Sometimes this is harder than putting your hand down a clogged garbage disposal.

There’s a line in a song by the Barenaked Ladies that goes like this,
“If there's someone you can live
Then do so.
And if there's someone you can
Just shove out,
Then do so.”

And maybe the person you need to leave behind isn’t bad, or evil in anyway, maybe the problem is you (or me.) Maybe when you’re with this person you end up saying or doing things that you later regret. Maybe they make you think thoughts that are “too expensive to ever keep.”  (That’s a U2 line, because I seem to be thinking in lyrics today.)

And maybe you really love and admire this person, because this is a good person, it’s just that when you are with them…you’re not so good. So you set up boundaries. You plan escape clauses. Until you just have to say, something about this relationship isn’t working. Can I fix it? Can I change the something about me? Because heaven knows you can’t change anyone other than yourself. Will changing the venue, the circumstances, or the time of day make a difference? Until finally, you walk away.

Because you just don’t want to be the person you become when you walk into that person’s company.

When you look at the world
What is it that you see
People find all kinds of things
That bring them to their knees

I see an expression
So clear and so true
That it changes the atmosphere
When you walk (in)to the room

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world

When the night is someone else's
And you're trying to get some sleep
When your thoughts are too expensive
To ever want to keep

When there's all kinds of chaos
And everyone is walking lame
You don't even blink now do you
Or even look away

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world

I can't wait any longer
I can't wait 'til I'm stronger
Can't wait any longer
To see what you see
When I look at the world

I'm in the waiting room
I can't see for the smoke
I think of you and your holy book
When the rest of us choke

Tell me, tell me
What do you see
Tell me, tell me
What's wrong with me

U2--When I Look at the World

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