Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for letting me take a break to work on the expansion of How To Heart Break with Vera Kachouh. I am a procrastinator and our deadline is on Wednesday, so today this will be on the shorter side.
I have been thinking about two things that are kinda related. Maybe you are thinking about them too?
When it is better to know information or not? Like, unfortunately, I cannot think of a steadfast rule that applies to everyone and every situation. There is just not one.
What does it mean to be “over” someone or something? I asked IG yesterday about this and like 250 people responded with what they thought it meant. And again, if you are looking for answers, I got none.
For me, I personally have always been of the mindset that it is better to know. More information is more information. And then you can make more educated decisions with the information that you have. Being a person who likes to lean into hard things, there is a certain pleasure I get in the pain of knowledge. A few weeks ago, I interviewed Paul Bloom on his new book, “The Sweet Spot,” in which he argues that humans are not hedonistic. They are more complex. They crave meaning and significance. That a good life has a purpose. And for me, there is meaning in pain. The ache of your heart when your ex shows up in your feed is devastating and comforting.
When I was young, I also believed very strongly that being in touch with the reality of life was inherently beautiful. Take the pain of rejection, there was something savory about it. Like it meant you were alive. And being alive meant that you felt things. The worst life that one could lead would be one of numbness.
Recently, I can think of a few times where I made oppositional decisions regarding knowing more information, betraying my younger self’s ideals. The first, with regards to wanting to know someone’s true opinion: my mother-in-law. She was living with us for the past three months and recently left. But on one of the first days, she was with us, I asked her a question that was a tender spot for me. She asked me if I really wanted to know the answer. And at that moment, when I asked her I had been seeking her appraisal, something she doesn't give freely. Appraisal and validation are things that I seek freely. I realized that I couldn’t handle what she was feeling at that moment about the topic at hand. So I stopped asking her questions. I was too fragile and still am to handle the truth of her thoughts and feelings in regards to our life. Or perhaps I just didn’t want to defend my neediness or choices that I felt were right.
I tried really hard to assume the best when I could. And we made it through the next three months by the skin of our teeth. After Christmas, on our last day, she said to me, “What a lovely Christmas this has been.” And I thought to myself, “Yes. It was nice. Congrats to us, we both kept our shit together fo
r the holidays." Throughout our time together, my therapist kept asking, “Why do you care so much about what other people think?” And honestly, I don’t know. I just do.
(side note about holidays: is a peaceful holiday all it is cracked up to be? Is that the goal? I don’t know about you, but growing up a peaceful holiday never happened. My Christmas tradition, until I was 20 or so, was to cry. I cried about everything or anything. I say this with pride now, but I didn’t share this with anyone this Christmas for fear of being judged. In our house, someone always had some drama. And as an adult, I think I kinda miss it. Like there is no one to complain about. There is nothing exciting. Just all merriment. I am just saying that perhaps I do crave drama. I say I want stress-free, but I also want entertaining. A boring holiday might just be a boring holiday. Also, I should say there WAS drama this holiday for us. It just was stuffed. Held tightly below the surface for us all to “save face.”)
The second instance - is one where I chose to know. I remember this exact moment when I was talking to M’s CF Dr about having a second baby with CF. She is someone who I deeply respect. She said something like, “Carissa, don’t you think it is better to know as much information as you can so then you can make the most informed decision.” So we did. We got the CVS test. We terminated the pregnancy. I regret it. Somedays I wish I didn’t know. But it is easy to imagine the good times. And hard to predict the how I would feel on the hard ones.
Lastly, how do you know if you are over a relationship? While working on the book yesterday, I asked people if they ever thought of their ex’s -
And I was really surprised that some people didn’t think about their ex’s. Like I was sure that it would be 100% people think about there past loves. Dispite this, I feel like the above number gives me some comfort. Comfort that you are not alone if you still think about past loves. And comfort that they still think about you. Doesn’t mean it didn’t end for a reason. Doesnt mean you should be with them. But I don’t know about you, but I find the idea nice that perhaps I am thinking about someone who still thinks of me too.
Here are some of your responses:
Basically, I have moved on, but I am not over it. How about you?