What if you knew when it would end?


As philosophical as I’d like to think I am, I am not talking about the end of days. Sure, the earth will likely implode one day in the distant future with the amount of shit we do to it and pollute it with, but that’s not what I’m on about. I’m not even trying to get into the greatly deep discussion about death. No, I’m talking much more personal, everyday things.

What if you knew when your cat or dog would die? What if you knew when you’d get fired? What if you knew when your parents would pass? What if you knew when you’d get into an accident and lose your car? What if you knew when your relationship would end? What if you knew when your child would move out and you’d no longer depend on them to make you the parent you’ve always known yourself to be?

What if you knew when it would end?

Would you do things differently? Would you not even start to begin with?

I struggle with this daily. Seriously. Every day.

When you start watching a movie or reading a book, you know it’s going to end. You aren’t shocked by the fact that it finishes. You aren’t upset or put out. You went into it knowing full well that it would finish. But between the time you start the story and end it, there’s a middle. There’s a meaty bit. Characters build, things happen, and the ending is (usually) satisfactory. And if it’s not, you’re annoyed, but none the worse for it. You experienced it. You learned something (perhaps not to read a certain author or see a movie by a specific director).

Can that logic be applied to life? Is experience and gaining knowledge and know-how enough to make something worth it if you know it will end?

When I was 27 years old, my 19-year-old cat passed away. I’d had her for more than half my life. She was, quite honestly, my best friend. She grew up with me. I got her when I was just 8 years old. I named her “Spooky” in my infinite creativity because my parents brought her home to me the day after Halloween. She was my confident. I used to imagine I could communicate with her. I’d created a legend of communication with the number of times she licked my hand when I asked her a question; 2 licks for “yes,” 1 lick for “no,” 3 licks for “maybe.” It was all quite scientific — especially to my 8-9-10-year-old self. Spooky used to follow me everywhere. She slept with me every night, even in her old senile days she still managed to jump up on the bed and curl herself up around my head and purr the loudest purr I’ve ever heard come from a cat.

Every day, Spooky would sit in the window and wait for me to come home. Seeing her excited face in the window each day, seeing her mouth excited meows before she leapt from the window to greet me at the door always brought a smile to my face — even on my absolute worst days. The moment I’d sit down on any surface, Spooky was instantly in my lap. We used to sunbathe in the backyard together. She used to “help” me fold laundry, and we always had the best time when I tried to make the bed; she absolutely adored running around  under the sheets and chasing my hand through the fabric.

Then she was gone.

I didn’t know the day it would happen, but I knew it would happen.

Spooky passed away about 2 weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Owen. A close friend of mine at the time told me that it was the universe’s way of opening up my heart for another “baby,” since I loved Spooky so dearly.

I have two cats now. I’m not at all as attached to them as I was to Spooky. Not even Biscuit, who we recently acquired as a kitten. I won’t let myself get sucked in again. I know it’ll end. Not tomorrow, and likely not for many more years, but it will. And I don’t want that hurt again.

Is that what I’ve learned? Is that the lesson I took away from my 19 years with Spooky?

I think a lot about how I’d have felt had I known when my marriage would end. What I would have done differently (if anything). Or if perhaps I made it end when I did. If I chose the date. If I chose the stamped delivery date of our demise. Did I know the end all along? And if I did, did that change me? Change us?

I know, with a good amount of certainty, when my current relationship will end (at least as it is now). No, I’ve not chosen a specific day and time to say, “Thanks for the good times, but I’m out.” It’s a bit more complicated than that.

What I know is that it will end. And I’ve known it from the beginning. But I still went into it. I went into it cautiously at first. I went into it thinking I could control myself, my emotions, my brain, my heart.

Fuck, I’m dumb.

Has it changed how I’ve reacted through our months together? I’m not sure. I’ve never done this. And I’ve not had enough experience otherwise to say there’s been a huge difference. The only thing I can say is that it’s stunted me in opening up fully. In trying to protect myself I’ve kept a few walls up, perhaps even built a few new ones as the end gets closer and closer.

Is that why I went into it in the first place?

There are those around me who say that’s more than likely. It was a “safe” choice, a way for me not be alone, feel loved, have a good time, and to gain experience and learn without a huge form of commitment.

To that I say: Bullshit.

I hate being hurt. I hate crying. I hate being upset. I hate feeling lonely. I hate feeling lost. I hate saying goodbye. I hate endings.

Why would I go into something knowing it would end? Why would anyone?

Because we’re humans. Humans who crave interaction. Crave connections.

Things end. That’s life. That’s how the world functions. TV series end. Pets pass. Children grow up. Parents pass away. Jobs are lost. Careers change. Location are changed. Families separate. Things end.

If we all knew when those endings would occur, we’d likely never be as brave or experimental as we are in life.

What if upon meeting a stranger at a bar, the first thing they said to you is: “Pleasure to meet you. In 3 weeks time precisely, I’ll say something really cruel and asshole-ish about your sister, and you’ll never talk to me again, ever. But until then the sex will be great and we’re going to have the BEST time together.”

Would you still do it?

Or if when you went for a new job the last thing you were told in the closing interview was: “You’ll work here for 3 years, 10 days, and 15 hours before HR comes in and tells you we’re downsizing and you’re one of the chosen few because we know you can survive, but it’s going to come as a shock for sure. But until then you’ll gain some serious experience in the field and grow your reputation in your position. Oh, and we have rockin’ Christmas parties.”

Would you still take the job?

Of course you would.You’d call back the person at the bar, and you’d call the next day and take the job.

Because as humans we believe in chance. Hope. The possibility that things will change. We hold on to every ounce of possibility we can. Even when we know, inevitably, there is an end, we hold on to the hope that the ending is avoidable or at least re-directable — kind of like a choose your own adventure book (I loved those growing up, btw… maybe that answers a lot of my adult issues … and is a subject for another blog).

I know the end. But I’ve not turned away. I opened my heart again. I expect hurt, but hold on to the hope that its avoidable, changeable somehow. That the ending can be manipulated, molded, formed into something that’s more of an interlude perhaps.

I’m in the meaty bit of my book, and I’m desperate for it to be a “choose your own adventure” that will keep me in an endless loop in the middle, never reaching the end.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on January 18, 2016.

3 Responses to “What if you knew when it would end?”

  1. It is just sex, not a relationship 🙂

  2. […] you knew it would inevitably end, was that the reason you went into […]

  3. […] of being desperately and completely alone, and readjusting to my new solo life and time, as well as accepting what I knew was coming all along. Accepting what I could not change. So “why bewait what is done and cannot be […]

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