Friday, Jan. 16, 2004 | 10:09 a.m.



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Still More Coolness

Angst

Delivering the news of my move has forced me to face the issue of my impact on others. See, I like to think that when I leave places, whether it be for a short while or a long while, it doesnít really matter to anyone. I donít want to assume that I mean as much to the people around me as they mean to me. Iíve been trying to figure out why I do that since I broke the news of our move to my closest friend in Bloomington the other night. I could sense that my words had an impact because of what she said in our conversation afterwards. I kept downplaying it like it wasnít that big of a deal, but I I do that to avoid the knowledge that I do matter and I do have impact on the people and groups I am involved with.

On the way home I thought about what motivates me to do this because I donít just do it at times like this, when Iím moving and itís easier to acknowledge that I take up space and have impact on others. I also do it when Iím simply leaving somewhere. A party, for instance. Iíll leave a party without saying much because, after all, Iím not that important and no one will notice Iím gone. Then I find out later that someone was peeved because I didnít say good-bye or worse, that I hurt someoneís feelings because I didnít let them know I was leaving.

I hate hurting someoneís feelings. Maybe thatís part of all this Ė I really donít want to have to respond to that Ė to be respons -able for it. I donít know how to. What do I do? What can I say? If I acknowledge that I matter, than I feel like I have to do something about it, like in this case, not move, stay always or at least wait until someone else leaves first. And I know thatís not a viable solution, so in my lovely little disconnected head, I pretend I donít matter so I donít have to face this.

It's easier to hide, to be little and invisible, than it is to be visible. I'd rather work behind the scenes most of the time than be on center stage. I'm the master of the "it was nothing" response to praise. And at the same time, I mean, hey, look what I did -- recognize me. It's this weird dichotomy, that I simultaneously want to disappear and be seen at the same time. Ugh, I feel like I'm on the tip of saying something important, of having some kind of break through with all this, but my mind keeps pulling back from it.

So if I acknowledge that I do matter, what then? How do I deal when people are sad about me going, or angry, or in any way emotionally reacting? Do I do something? Do I not do anything? Not doing anything makes me feel supremely uncomfortable. If Iím causing something, I want to fix it. And in this, I canít. Do I just have to be uncomfortable? I donít know. If anyone out there has any insight, Iím wide open. I want to handle this move in a way that is emotionally mature and responsible. I want to acknowledge my impact but I donít want it to hurt anyone! Is it just a reality that if you are out there enough to make a positive impact, you are out there enough to make a negative one? And is causing someone sadness necessarily negative? Fuck if I know. I seem to be more full of questions these days than answers, and when the answers come, they're not easy.

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