I thought that I could do it, to suppress my desires for an emotional companion in order to pursue my greater ideological and motivational dreams in the field of humanitarian service. I thought that I could pacify these deeper emotional desires with a pseudo-intimacy of limited duration with different people, a kind that is found in a purgatory between a one night stand and that of a soul mate. The hope would be that while I wouldn’t be escaping from the pool of despair I would at least be able to keep my head above the water and prevent myself from drowning in my own emptiness and isolation. Of course, and emotional lifeline will eventually come and get me out of the water, right?
As one might expect, it is impossible to wade in the water forever, and eventually something has to give, but how does one find, build, and nurture a relationship when they aren’t even in the same country? True intimacy can’t be experienced during a Skype chat. While a Facebook correspondence might be a wonderful band-aid, it is ultimately and fundamentally incomplete. How can you observe the subtle movements of her face, feel her hand drawn affection on your back, or watch her breath of life through her ever rising and falling chest. A picture won’t allow you to experience her quiet humming as she moves between rooms. No, true intimacy can only be achieved by spending time with each other ,and that can’t be done when you are both literally on opposite ends of the world.
For what is a relationship but shared experiences amongst people? These experiences don’t have to be positive or negative, intentional or unintentional, epic or miniscule in scale, but can simply be any kind of happening that can be felt, heard, smelled and touched by two people at the same time. The physical presence of the significant other acts to assure a person that yes, you are here with me and we are growing together. This growth is not something that can happen in an instant, but rather takes time to grow and develop into something profound. It takes time and effort to enable this growth to happen. This is why out of the countless number of people we have met in our lives we only keep a close relationship with a small number of them.
I am starting to believe that this reality exposes a fundamental limitation of writing and the written language. While the world around us and its myriad of subtle qualities can be very effectively described through prose, it simply is unable to offer truly substantive emotional matter, like a sweetener with no nutritional value. Writing can build and develop the anticipation of expectations. It can prep a person to become more aware of the field of reality around them, to think about things and appreciate them in a new way. However, it is only by experiencing that ‘thing’ that a person can obtain the emotional nutrients for themselves, to really taste what it is and to ingest it into their being. A good writer will be able to get you as close as possible to experiencing an event or emotion, but ultimately words will never enable a person to truly empathize on it’s own.
Assuming that this is correct, it would seem that I am at some kind of a paradox of such, in which my professional aspirations and my romantic desires are incompatible, being mutually exclusive and living in a world of zero sum potential. The understandable demands of a relationship requires my physical presence, but to be physically present means that it will be impossible to do the work that I want to do.
So push those feelings down deep and silence their cries to be heard. Push them down, deep down, all the way into the farthest reaches of the catacombs within and seal them away so that they won’t bother you anymore. You will find that it is the moments right before you fall asleep at night that are the most difficult, when you lay there in darkness and silence on your own self. Don’t worry, inevitably fatigue will set in and you’ll sleep for another day. Let you attention be consumed with everything else available to you in your life, be it work, friends, hobbies, or what have you, for if you don’t the cries from within will creep into your consciousness and drive you mad.
Chaos is being alone with one’s own thoughts, and in your moment of contemplative introspection you many momentarily peak back into the catacombs and release the beast forever lurking within. While it doesn’t solve the problem and the beast remains, at least you’ll survive another day. What else is there to do?