My lover takes his coffee differently every day. He holds views which change from week to week. Sometimes he wants a lifelong commitment, and sometimes I’m not sure if we’ll be going out tomorrow. On the one hand it’s devilishly exciting. On the other, there is no consistency, no constant and no possibility to plan. He’s like a gas which assumes different forms. One day he’s the family man, the next he’s planning to move abroad to do a phD… without me.
You cannot define his form. It is his form and his choice. You can like the form or not. You can accept the form (or not). You have the choice day by day whether to go out with him, the new him. Sometimes I’m in love with the form he assumes, he mirrors my sense of being, he illuminates new facets of the universe. Other times, I cannot penetrate the fog, I cannot connect with who he is. He reworks the script, and demolishes my ideas of what we are to each other. And on those days I don’t even know whether he likes me. And yet those days are also peculiarly satisfactory. It’s those days I am reminded that he is free to leave, but that I am too, always. I have realised that I am not committed to our relationship anymore than he is.
So in our terms, commitment is that we have clothes at each others’ houses. A family subscription to MS Office. A toothbrush head. And I’m reminded of Carrie Bradshaw’s Mr. Big. How if one person defines commitment with milestones of a mortgage and marriage and the other doesn’t, it’s destined for failure.
Maybe I’m being selfish, he says. Maybe you want someone who doesn’t drop in and out of your life when he feels like it. Maybe I am not ‘X’ in your equation.
X is solvable. X is only unknown, until it is known and after that, it solves everything. He is not ‘X’. He is a wild man, a free spirit, who rewrites the formula, just for fun. You don’t plan your future with a man like that. And yet even that isn’t quite right. Because that shapeshifter is our creation. And when I am with him, I am also therefore a shapeshifter; it’s the only way to be happy in such a relationship.
Sometimes I have thought I wanted commitment. I have thought I wanted consistency. But I’ve had those and oh lord, how bored I was. And I have wondered, how far can you go along this road of living in the now, only ever the now, without going insane. There’s a part of me which loves the insanity. Likes the idea that we have to simply let go and live. Reframe. Reset. Reload. It’s an exhilarating ride, a rollercoaster and for the last two years it’s made me wildly happy. Does it still? I’m not even sure. Those adjectives, happy, sad, excited, and annoyed. They all feel like pieces of a false identity puzzle. I feel them come and then go.
Because the price I’ve paid for being in this relationship has been the loss of my identity. Any identity I assume, is all too easily discarded. My core is nameless, faceless. Unbound by morals, and untethered to values. And after two years of untying knots to ‘who I am’, what’s left is an unmanned boat free but without direction, sailing on the tide of life. What I do is largely irrelevant. Who I am, is also irrelevant. I look in the mirror to see a person, and a body which is mine, but which is simply a vehicle for experiencing life. I dress it. I feed it. I have fun with it.
With this new outlook, I find new ways to experience life without trying. Opportunities pop up and I take them. I work and I write when I can. I love and care for my children, my friends. It’s challenging and at the same time is becoming effortless. My life is oh so very ordinary, but at the same time very un-ordinary. My life is great, but only because life itself is great and I am truly a part of it.