I’ve got Willie Nelson’s nasal voice in my head singing “you are always on my mind,” on the upswing. The first time he says it in the verse when it sounds hopeful, not the second time when it sounds complacent.
Last night I had a dream I was driving a white van with a bunch of people in it. People I care about were in it. And it was like a desert-like environment. Not exactly a road, but definitely there was only one way to go through. The problem was there were these GINORMOUS gorillas patrolling and trying to stop the vans from getting through. When I say ginormous, I mean roughly three times the size of the van.
Part of me wanted to stop and take stock of the situation. Check for a pattern in their movements, like you would in a game of Donkey Kong, so you know when it’s safe to jump.
Part of me wanted to let someone else take the wheel so I wouldn’t be responsible for all the lives on board if I failed in getting us across the expanse.
And the whole time, pedal to the metal. Full speed ahead. Trying to calculate on the fly whether to swerve or head straight and try to outsmart the monster trying to derail us.
Ever have those dreams when you get stuck in a critical moment but the action continues? Like when you’re running toward a door and the door isn’t getting any closer, but you’re still running and reaching the door feels imminent.
That’s what was happening in that dream last night. I was in a constant state of having to make that decision. Stop or go? Hand over the keys or be self-reliant? Take the risk for the ultimate reward or turn back and halt progress?
*You are always on my mind….*
That time it was on the downswing. Is complacent the right word? Resigned, perhaps. Or, in a better mood, secure.
Letting go of bad habits isn’t easy to do. Sometimes you’re not even convinced the habit is so bad. Is it so wrong to be the person they turn to when their day is going astray?
The difference is, I think, in the desire.
Is it wrong to be that person? No. Is it wrong to WANT to be that person? That’s where shit gets tricky. If you start to look forward to being the stronghold at their emotional ground zero, then you might start to rely on that position to feel validated. You might even start to find a silver lining in their sadness. Hello codependency.
Are these two threads even related? The Willie Nelson song and the dream, I mean. Loosely, yes. I don’t know how deeply I want to explain their relationship, but there is one.
Old me, or previous me, or the Phi that Was would have been classified as fairly high up on the needy scale. I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with being needy, but moving away from that classification helped me become a better version of me. One that’s more in line with the view of myself I enjoy having.
I recently accidentally upgraded to Windows 10. I was half asleep and the computer told me to restart for the update and I thought it was the regular kinds of updates. Turns out it was the entire operating system update.
I’ve not yet changed it back. I haven’t had anything other than minor inconveniences with Windows 10, but there’s certainly a lack of the comfort in knowing where things are and how things work that I had with Windows 7.
The new Phi is a little bit like that. There’s a familiarity in old habits that are not so easy to disregard. The familiarity with old relationship styles, old communication patterns, old yearnings to “be the one he turns to when he’s sad.”
So on a day when I don’t really hear from him, it’s easy to default to those old programs. To blame something else, or to look at a text message as “proof” of love (and a lack of text message being the denial of love), or to wonder if perhaps he’s just having a rough day and then wonder why he doesn’t turn to me if it’s that rough.
And then NEW me, the Windows 10 version spits out an error message: codependency is incompatible with new operating system.
*You are always on my mind….* (Upswing). First thought of the day, last thought each night, all the thoughts in between, yadda yadda yadda. Look, I don’t write about it much but kids, I’m legit smitten here. Talk to people who see my face when his name comes up or when I’m in his presence. There is no doubt of my smitten-ness.
*You are always on my mind…* (Downswing). Hit the gas. Plow through the day. Avoid the monsters that are trying to derail you. The silent phone doesn’t mean his heart has gone silent.
This operating system is incompatible with the impossible.