I often look back on my life and think about the things that
I have lost: Jobs, family, friends, relationships, objects. Loss comes in many
forms. You may lose these things forever or by a sheer stroke of luck (or
determination), “find” them again. Of course, losing your wallet isn’t nearly
as painful as losing a friend. Wallets can be replaced and not to sound
pessimistic but so can friends. Maybe not that particular friend, but people
come and go. I think of people as the subway; you miss the first train but soon
another one comes 5 minutes later. I had a friend tell me this was a rather
shallow way of looking at life but I like to think of it as detached.
In Buddhism, a lesson
that is very hard for me to learn in particular (and still to this day) is to not
develop attachments to people, places or objects. Attachments are said to cause
suffering and every human being down to their simplest needs and desires are to
avoid suffering and seek happiness. For example, take someone who dreams of
traveling. They have a house full of possessions, live a comfortable life, have
a stable job and are content but not completely happy because they aren’t
fulfilling an inner desire. But because of their attachment to those things,
they don’t have the freedom to travel. Rarely, you hear of people selling
everything they own and making a risky, life-altering decision. Ask those
people later if they regret it? Unlikely.
I’ve thought about just taking a year off from my life and
traveling to the East to study with the monks. Shaving my long, black hair off
(an attachment) and being alone with myself. Truly be alone with my thoughts
for hours on end. I wonder what person I would then become if I were to make
such a decision. Medication, doctors, therapists, hospitals, drugs, partying,
none of it seems to work for me. It feels like a last resort decision.
It's like this every time after hanging out with you. I hate hearing about where you are going. It's like a small puncture wound straight to the chest each and every time. I'm silent and I know I don't say much, and I know it's selfish. Why am I getting like this? I tried running away several times and here I am back at square one only it's not square one anymore. I'm way further down than I thought that I would be.
You tell me to stop running away from my problems but it's all I've ever known. You tell me to promise you that I'll face them when you're gone. But honestly, I don't know how I'm going to react when you are actually gone. I'm already embarrassed that I've expressed this much to you so far and here I was the entire time trying SO HARD to just be detached from you.
Sometimes I lay in bed some nights and wish I had never even met you or that you had never contacted me.
But that's just me wishing my problems away. Again.