Finding my way back to me

Familiar catastrophes led me last night to unload on the two Thai girls looking to buy the shop. I hadn’t quite pulled a rabbit out of the hat, but I had managed – with the help of my solicitor – to pluck something out of the fire.

In discussions with the agent we had negotiated the bond back to $20K. Though reluctant, I offered to throw in $5K of my own money – to be refunded in 12 months – to help the Thai girls manage the cost. This I put to them as a saving option.

They responded positively, but promised to get back more fully later. That happened at about 9pm, and I saw red. In their email they said they were happy with the change to the bond, but because the rent had gone up (by $35/week) they had an amended offer $3,000 less than the previous offer on the table.

As much as anything I was deeply offended. The offer was ridiculous and disrespectful, and – given I proposed chipping in $5,000 of my own to the bond – would leave me very little cash in my pocket. That was all legitimate, but the real offence was felt more personally. I had bent over backwards to make this happen, I was making personal sacrifice to make it so, and I didn’t even get an acknowledgement, let alone a thank-you.

I said a lot of things in the course of two violent emails. I told them they should be ashamed of themselves. I said it was extremely bad karma they were bringing down on themselves. I told them that greed and disrespect meant they were going to lose the best opportunity they were going to get – and I hoped in the cold, lonely years ahead they might remember that. As you can probably tell, I was filled with righteous indignation.

Today I’ve felt extremely unsettled. It looked like my last chance to sell the shop had gone. That is catastrophic, but I don’t need to tell anyone that. I didn’t feel good either about what I’d written. It was out of character. Maybe I had reason to feel aggrieved, but that did not give me the right to act so badly.

It’s something I worry about sometimes. I don’t think I’ve ever been as alpha as I have been in the last 6 months. I’m strong, combative, on my toes, aggressive. For the most part I don’t cross the line – it’s rare that I’m actually unreasonable, and though my personality is robust I retain a sense of right and wrong, which is important to me. What I dislike about it is that I miss being the person I was. With the alpha pre-eminent in me now the more shy, retiring and sensitive aspects of me – all authentic – are in remission.

I spoke to a friend about this the other day. I pondered aloud that it was my survival mechanism. He agreed, without it I would not have survived till now. Still, it’s not who I want to be. More than anything else I long to have the life back when I can be my authentic self, in harmony, all the time.

That’s some little time away unfortunately. Last night the alpha got the better of me, and I went too hard.

I didn’t know how to undo it. I was afraid, given that we have been negotiating, that any sign of contrition might be seen as weakness. Unfortunately that’s a legitimate fear – people are not as decent as they used to be.

And so today I felt this thing in me. It grew as the day went on. I couldn’t rest. Part of me was terrified that I was about to lose everything. The other part of me was filled with remorse.

To occupy myself I picked a random period from this blog’s long past, and began to read. The period was August 2007, when apparently I was in love. I shouldn’t say apparently – I remember it well. The years blur though, and this moment in time came up by happenstance.

I read my posts of that time. They were beautiful. Now there is some beauty only I see because to the words I add my memories. They are embellished by actual experience. Still, I think there is something empirically beautiful in so much of what I wrote then – much, much more than anything I have written lately.

My words were introspective, reflective, I described moments and occasions, often lovingly, and sometimes with frustration. I ruminated on the nature of things, of love, of what I felt, about the ebb and flow of currents between boy and girl. I was myself, the thrusting, proud and boisterous character I am sometimes, but I was also something delicate and sensitive, a tuning fork for everything around me. My words were dusted with a kind of innocence that comes from feeling things truly, and with wonder. It was good to read again.

Something about reading these recollections changed how I felt and thought now. I found myself calming down. Something more fatalistic settled upon me. And I knew, with the certainty of Gordian with his knot, what I should do.

It’s funny how the simple answer is normally the right answer. I wrote an apology to the girls and sent it off. I had no right to say what I did. I was upset, but you had no obligation to me. I was fulsome in my words of remorse. It felt good to write them.

It doesn’t matter what they make of it, though I hope they read it as the sincere apology that it is. I am reasonable again, and in doing the right thing finally have lifted a burden from myself.

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