17 December 2007

Sometimes I Wonder

Originally written a few months ago.

Sometimes I wonder just what I am doing here. Not here in New York, which I've already discussed many times, but just here in general, at the point in life where I find myself.

We had a fight last weekend. General crankiness, wanting to finish Harry Potter, toothpaste and disagreement about coffee tables were involved.

From a distance of several days, none of those things seem very important now. I haven't learned to choose my battles, that's for sure. Nevertheless, during a fight, each new topic adds fresh rancor and resentment, at least the way I have been taught to fight.

Why is it so impossible to let go, to realize in the very moment that things are not as important as they seem? For several months I justified telling my boyfriend each time he did something I disliked, and exactly why it hurt me, by saying that at least I got it out in the open. Usually this backfired when he continued to do the same as always, which I interpreted as not giving a crap for my feelings. More recently, I realized it was rather a passive way to "improve" another person, to change him into the shape I thought a person should take.

At one point, I did swallow my pride and try to apologize, only to be pushed away. Perhaps we haven't learned exactly what pushes our buttons, when to step down and when to hold tight. There was more than one point this weekend when I thought, "Is this really worth it?"

But no matter whom I'm with, I'll still be struggling with the same tendency to resentment, the same loaded jabs, the same bitterness. I'm worried that as we have bigger things to fight about, our fights will get bigger, too.

Instead of trying to change the other person, how many years together does it take to change one's own personality?

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