Where do stories end? On shifting relationship dynamics, communication, and piecemealed lessons

. 3 min read

You can't end a story when parts of it are still running around lost in time... That's why she wanted to keep the book lost, so as not to end the story.

I was reading a version of the above quote today in a novel. It's a multi-layered story from which you can pull a ton of different meanings, largely depending on where you're at in your life. Consider what the fantasy version of The Alchemist would look like, and you'll understand what I mean.

Anyway, I found it so interesting, esp. as I was at dinner with an ex last night. We're trying to sort out how to be friends, if we can be friends.

I've had people ask me what the point of that is. My answer is that there was a beautiful friendship that made up the brunt of our relationship. And in spite of our world views not clicking to the degree you'd need to make it as a couple, I still highly value his mind, our conversations, how they seem to be able to run on endlessly, the way we know each other inside and out...

That is special. And my viewpoint is this: why toss it in the trash because he's an analytical, atheistic engineer, and I'm a creative, spiritual writer? Unlike in partnership, with a friend you can highly disagree on things and be totally okay moving forward. Because you know important things, like for example how you want to raise your children, aren't really a factor you have to consider in your now-friendly relationship.

Okay. So while that is what I deeply believe, I also have another thread of thought that is less evolved, and maybe more human. And here we return to the quote previously mentioned. Here it is again:

"You can't end a story when parts of it are still running around lost in time... That's why she wanted to keep the book lost, so as not to end the story."

This contrasting thread is woven from emotion, from how it feels to actually sit across from an ex. Truth time, it is not as calm and clear as I wish it was. As my theories tell me it should be.

Because, in spite of the philosophizing; in spite of knowing this one isn't the person for me; in spite of having met someone who was a better fit by a long shot; in spite of the fact that I still carry feelings for that better fit to this day —

In spite of all of that, I am still a human with a heart.

And my heart remembers the past.

And every time those lines get tossed around like, "When we were together..." it feels like getting emotionally pinched.

And then, through this feeling comes the weaving of the contrasting thread.

And I start to wonder if, in the vein of the quote above, maybe we are ignoring these twinges of pain not because we are evolved, but because we want to hold on to something that no longer exists.

And maybe the only reason we want that is because we're both a bit lonely, a bit sad.

In the end though, it's not either or. It's both.

It felt wonderful to reconnect, to chat about our lives, to even share about the one I found and lost after him, and to feel him both listen and speak deeply and intentionally.

And at the same time, it felt painful to do all the above, too.

This is why I can't say at all whether we should be wrapping up our story. How does anyone know?

"No story ever truly ends as long as it's told."

I've always been the sort of person that acts fast. But lately I've been trying to embrace the notion that everything and everyone is our teacher. And therefore, this bizarre entanglement may not need to be escaped oh so quickly, as it likely has a lesson in it.

Maybe it's a lesson in honest communication. I've surely never been as direct as I have been in the last year. And I suppose that's a great takeaway. It's what Carina and I have been saying actually. Relationships teach you the art of communication like no other.

It may also involve lessons in introspection, in slowing down my spontaneous nature, in releasing the desire for control.

I guess time will tell. My only hope is that I can take whichever lesson is meant for me and absorb it into my being so that I can be a better person, for myself as well as for whoever comes next. Whether that be the one that may return, or someone entirely new. I can't say, and I suppose I shouldn't try to.

As always, loves, I share this as, once upon a time, I read that a writer's duty is to express that which most keep tucked away. And I have always agreed with this statement. Likely in part because it's who I am anyway. Bottling myself makes me feel sick. Sharing is healing. And if my doing so can help someone along the way—even just by knowing they're not alone in their tangled thoughts and feelings—that's a massive bonus.

Big hugs you guys.

And deep breaths.