Saturday, July 12, 2008

get out of my head Missy Higgins

Column two. So far, the scariest I've written. I only imagine it will remain so.

The good news is, my boss thinks I write well. It’s probably why I have a job. The bad news is, he wants me to divulge more.

``I just want to reiterate, the writing’s terrific, really accessible…but I want to know more. Why did you guys break up?”

I have to wonder whether, as a passionate gossip, said boss actually wants to find out more simply to add to his personal collection but I will reluctantly oblige.

The thing is, I have been trying to work out what went wrong for the last six months. What happened? Was it me? What could I have done better? I am yet to come up with a succinct answer. So boss, a warning; in my effort to be utterly honest, my writing may just go to shit.

So far I’ve told myself, and others, that working alongside my boyfriend put too much strain on our relationship. For four years we woke up together, showered together, ate breakfast together, got ready together, drove to work together, spent eight hours sitting next to each other, went to the gym together, went home together, ate dinner together, went to bed together and started the process again the next day.

We got so used to being together, day to day life, and therefore our relationship, became monotonous. That’s what I tell people. And it’s true. But while it was a factor, it’s not the reason we broke up.

The sad truth is we both got to a point where we were asking questions. Not of each other (which was probably a problem in itself) but of our relationship and whether it was heading in the right direction. They were questions I never considered in the early years and they were questions which scared the complete crap out of me.

Society and, possibly more often, television tells us that “you’ll just know” when you’ve met THE one. The funny thing is, for years, I did know. He was the one. We were destined to get married and live happily ever after. But it unravelled.

I cannot and will not speak for the man in question but, from my point of view, a combination of expectation and fear combined to release doubt in my mind.

Expectations the perfect relationship should travel completely smoothly, even when I am smart enough to know that’s not the case, and fear of following in the footsteps of my parents whose split when I was six (and seven, and eight, and nine, and 11) produced shock waves which still linger 20 years on.

That doubt ate away at me until I first heard Missy Higgins’ Where I Stood. I was alone, in my car, and I started to cry.

“There were sounds in my head, a little voice is whispering, that I should go and this should end and I found myself listening…you mean more to me than anyone I ever loved at all but you taught me how to trust myself and so I say to you, this what I have to do.”

I cried, I blubbered, I was an embarrassing mess but, just as Missy said:

“I don’t know who I am without you, all I know is that I should.”

I don’t make a habit of taking advice from strangers but never have I been so personally touched by song lyrics. I knew it was over. I was devastated but, finally, I was sure.

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