Have you ever been looking for something? You try the calm, pat down approach first, thinking that you had to have the item in your pockets or jacket. Then, as the time to leave nears, your search becomes much more frantic, checking and rechecking everywhere that you remember them being. Then you resort to the violent, hurricane-like hunt, tossing rooms like DEA agents in a drug dealer’s house. By the time you’re finished searching, your house, room or office looks like a small thermonuclear device had been detonated in the midst of a tornado. Nothing is the way you left it, everything is a disaster and it seems like you’ll never be able to put the pieces back together. By the time it’s over, you’re no closer to finding what you’re looking for and in the ensuing pursuit, you now can’t find other things that you need and as you decide to forget it and let it go, you turn and it’s in the most obvious place that you could have possibly imagined it could be. But the damage is done; countless other items are now lost as well, out of sight and soon out of mind until you’re reminded that you need it which will begin another frantic hunt. But during that search, you sometimes find things that you never even knew that you were looking for.
I've learned in the last two weeks that no matter how hard you search for some things, they’re nowhere to be found. Some things are going to be forever lost to abyss. But the things that are found when you are searching for the things that have been lost are not always cause for celebration.
Maybe some things should remain just lost.
There are things that I've been searching to find for quite some time, but I just haven’t been able to put my finger on the location. However, as time has gone on, the toll that searching for them has had on me had started to wear me down. To be honest, it was killing me. I’ll leave whether or not it was figurative or literal for you to decide. But because of a unique turn of events, I found myself in a position to do a good deed for someone and maybe even find one of the things that I had been sorely missing.
To quote an oft-repeated line from a favorite movie: “Obviously, I had miscalculated a few things.”
As I sit here now, the experiment is coming to an end. The bags are packed and the ticket purchased. And just like the day she arrived, I’ll find myself unable to sleep. To truly draw the experiment full circle, this also makes the third time in five months, I've had to watch a person that I've cared about walk away, with no idea of if I’ll ever see them again. The first left while I was absent, the majority of her things gone before I had returned. The apartment felt much emptier when she was gone and the hole that was left over has yet to be filled by anything. I've poured other objects into the void, hoping that they’ll be able to patch the wound: work, hobbies, even time with friends. Nothing fit and as I tried each substitute, I found that the wound had festered, and had started corrupting everything that I tried to use to replace what was lost. The second I could barely even say had enough time to be a real part of my life. I lied to myself, believing that I going to have the opportunity to build a meaningful friendship from what honestly amounted to nothing. And you can’t build anything on a foundation of nothing, so that dissolved, as expected. Could it be that it putrefied because of the fact that I was trying to fill the gap left behind by the first injury? Or was I just lying to myself the entire time of the value of the interpersonal relationship? Only the future will teach me the truth of those statements, but history hasn't been given me much reason to believe that I’m wrong. And now, the third story is ending. The wound hasn't gotten any smaller, and I know that the decay left behind has hasn't healed any more than it had six months ago when she left. I can’t honestly tell you that the same questions I asked myself on the two other occasions won’t haunt me night after night until I find something else to distract me from this until I can’t actually start to fix the root cause of the damage I've done to myself.
Did I believe one hundred percent that this endeavor was going to have a fairy tale ending? Yeah, I did.
But remember this: not every fairy tale ends with the prince slaying the dragon and rescuing the damsel in distress. In some fairy tales, the monsters win.