The word of the day is “the tween” and I don’t mean it in reference to age… this is a bit more like purgatory. This is the time between things. Specifically, I want to talk about the time between when you experience a disappointment and the day you move past it.
You see a long time ago some one asked me “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” and I replied, “Oh! I’ll be so disappointed!” To which she wisely replied,
“Well, you’ve been disappointed before and you got over it. You will again.”
Well, shit. Such a simple and direct statement but it was life changing for me. It was so accurate. I’ve been let down, disappointed, even crushed and I always bounce back. Maybe not exactly the same as before, but I recover – my wounds heal. Please understand this “take a risk rule” does not apply to physical risk. I’m still never going to jump out of a plane or ride a zip line or climb up a mountain or eat weird raw foods in the Orient. Nope, I’ll keep my two feet on the ground and my menus domestic.
Ever since she said that to me, I realize I have been more willing to take chances on things – to try something new, to follow my gut or God, help me, follow my heart. So far, she has always been right. I bounce back. I recover from defeat. I know and believe that disappointment is just a temporary state. That something better waits at the end of it.
But OH MY GOD… THE TWEEN. The freaking TWEEN.
The waiting for the let down to abate is fucking awful. That part where your head and your heart are in constant competition with each other. Like Ali vs. Joe Frazier inside my soul… 15 rounds every damn day…. A Thrilla in Manilla in my innas. Constantly talking yourself off the ledge. Knowing what you should do, willing yourself to do what you need to do and then emotionally reacting and doing the dumbest shit possible.
I’m not just talking about romantic disappointment… the tween can strike anywhere, anytime – that’s the danger in the tween – it is universal. Maybe it’s a job or a promotion you didn’t get. Maybe its eating that piece of cheesecake when you shouldn’t – though how anyone could find that disappointing is just weird to me. Maybe it is struggling to have a family. Maybe its a loss. Maybe its divorce. Maybe its not be accepted somewhere or worse, your kid not being accepted on to a team or to a school. Maybe it’s a friendship that you let slip away.
My question for the cosmic void then is “how do I make THE TWEEN go faster?”
There’s the adage that “time flies when you’re having fun” but I don’t want to have fun. I want to wallow in self-pity which is so boring and so awful that it makes time drag. So no wallowing.
I suppose I could focus on my career – work a whole bunch. But, let’s be honest, it is difficult enough to work from 9-5 and I’d hate for work to get any expectations that the trend of me doing extra will last. Because it won’t.
Maybe I should watch movies, except those are filled with things that will make me cry – romance or tragedy – or some bullshit like that. I could travel, but after years of travel for work I know, without a doubt, that the general public is more disappointing than anything I’m currently experiencing.
So, I suppose I’ll just do what I’ve always done during the tween – I watch shows about serial killers, read books about serial killers and listen to podcasts about serial killers. I think it helps me cope. It says “hey look… here is some one way more fucked up than you”. Because realistically they are way more fucked up than me. I’m not out chopping people up in wood chippers or making a dress out of their skin. I’m just waiting for time to pass with my old pals Ted Bundy, Charlie Manson, BTK, and now the Golden State Killer.
This tween around, I’ve been focused on wrongly accused killers. Totally new twist for me. Like, how much WORSE do those guys have it? Everyone says they are serial killers – they aren’t – and they are still on death row. I mean that’s a big ole tween to overcome – death row. Think about it – the actual worst that can happen during their tween is to die. I guess I find some comfort in the fact that I won’t be strapped down and shot up with drugs against my will with a room full of people watching.
But here’s where I think I’ve landed. The tween is not about time. The tween seems like time but it is not – it is distance. Like in Star Wars – Han Solo says he did the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs, but that can’t be because a parsec is a unit of distance not time so it can’t vary. I recently learned that apparently George Lucas didn’t know this – so Star Wars geeks have been flipping out since 1977. But I digress in my analogy.
The tween isn’t about how long it takes to get past disappointment. It is about accepting that disappointment doesn’t define YOU. It is not about YOU. You took a chance. You took a risk. You put yourself out there. YOU were great. The result wasn’t. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. I guess what I’m saying is that the tween is about distance not time. The tween is when you have to put distance between yourself and the disappointment. You have to accept that whatever happened doesn’t define you and it isn’t yours to hold on to. I’ve had it wrong all along just like George Lucas.
I thought that time healed but its distance that heals.
It just takes time to go the distance.