People have a tendency to measure things in units that make little to no sense (and no, I’m not just talking about Americans and their weird as fuck semi-imperial-fuck-up-system – GO METRIC) for no added perks.
Take students for example, who manage to completely forgo the normal ‘money’ concept and start measuring things in beers to be purchased (seriously, they do that here). They don’t get paid xx amount for their work, but they earn 5 beers instead. ‘Do you wanna take over my shift tomorrow? It’s gonna get you 6 beers.’ Buncha weirdos.
And I once had an friend who had an aunt that measured things in scarves. She knitted. A lot. And mostly scarves for charity. But sometimes she took requests for clothing items. I once had her knit me a dress – the time of which she measured in scarves. ‘That’s going to take me at least 15 scarves to make.’. Which equalled two weeks, apparently (with the added bonus of knowing you apparently cost 15 needy people their scarf. But it was a gorgeous dress.)
I – however – as I recently managed to put my finger on….tend to measure my time in exes. Or at least, I measure my past in who I ‘was’ as a person at the time of certain people in my life. Which means I often start sentences with ‘when I was with….’ to explain certain phases, activities or time-periods I went through.
Because for some reason it always feels like I was an entirely different person during my time with these men. With different preferences. Different ways of behaving. Different personality traits. I was a me-that-I-no-longer-am with each of them. Which also means that after every breakup follows that painful and awkward and hard-working period of self-discovery. Finding out who I am without someone dictating who I should be.
‘With ‘the long ex’ I would play boardgames all the time. I don’t anymore.’
‘When I was with ‘the first ex’ I was so skinny and sporty. I worked out so much. I can’t anymore’
‘When I was with ‘the last ex‘ I used to like thisandthis. I completely lost my appetite for it.’
It’s not even that I shape myself to be a different person for each of these guys. That I have to make myself who they need me to be just to suit their needs. Although, in some ways, I do, I suppose. As a part of a natural process of puzzle pieces interlocking, I guess. But I see it more as highlighting different aspects of ‘self’ to match the interests of the men I date. Not having to be someone I’m not.
Which means that, over time, the rest of ‘me’ simmers down into the forgotten preferences and I become a more one-sided person, for them. I don’t lose these parts of myself, I just bench them for the remainder of the match I play with the current selected partner. Us against the world, until the game is over and it’s each for themselves again. Only to rediscover the multi-faceted diamond that I AM anew every time I am freed into the world once more.
Sadly, the highlighted element. The thing that was ‘our’ thing – tends to become tainted as we end. I no longer enjoy board games the way I used to. They sit gathering dust in my cupboards (although, with a new ex on the playing field, my appetite for board games raked back up.) Just like I dropped sport after the first ex, but picked that back up since the long ex. It takes one ex, to regain interest in the preference I lost in the previous one (does that make sense?).
So I guess I gotta get myself a new ex to replace what I lost with the last one. OR (and this is what I’m hoping for) with this new realization, find the person that I can be all of my ‘me’s‘ with. So I can measure time like normal people. Instead of in people I’d rather not remember, for times with just parts ‘of me’ I’d rather not return to.