Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's Like The Dixie Chicks Said

You know, there's a song by The Dixie Chicks I've been listening to a lot lately: "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice." The Chicks wrote it as an autobiographical song about all the trouble they've been in since they said they were ashamed that George Bush was from their home state of Texas. When I hear it, however, I could swear they were thinking of Riin and I.

This is pretty much what Riin tells me when I try to get her to talk to me:

I'm not ready to make nice

And this is pretty much how I feel when she refuses to talk this out with me:

I'm not ready to back down

They could be talking about either one of us here. We're both pretty angry and sick of rehashing it:

I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round

This, in a nutshell, is pretty much exactly what Riin told me the night of that awful phone call:

It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

If Riin was here, this is what I'd say to her:

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and I kind of like it

Yes, Riin, you've turned my whole world around, and I do like it. I'm a radically different person from the one I was when you met me three years ago, and I like who I've become, and who I am becoming, because of you. You bring out the best in me.

I can almost hear your response to that: "But you bring out the worst in me."

Well, that's true. I can't deny it. Sometimes I do, and sometimes you bring out the worst in me, too. When two people are really passionate about each other, that's inevitable. It's Human nature. When we were together, though, I think we brought out the best in each other far more often, and in much more lasting ways, than we brought out the worst.

Look at all the wonderful things that have happened to you since we've been together:

You used to say, until you met me, you didn't believe that the feeling of love truly existed. Through us, you discovered it for the first time.

You took action to take control of your life, getting out of an unhealthy marriage and pursuing your own happiness for once.

You stopped just sitting around and waiting for things to happen, then doing whatever came along. You made plans. You set goals, and you worked towards those goals. Your life finally acquired direction.

As an offshoot of the new direction in your life, you discovered your true calling, Happy Fuzzy Yarn, and built it up from a struggling web page to a growing on-line business to be proud of (and I'm so proud of what you've done with it).

Those are just the big changes. There have been lots of little changes as well. You ended up getting a whole new bike as you learned the advantages of EZ-Fire shifters, suspension, high pressure tires and lightweight bikes. You've learned to remember your meals when you're at work. You've learned how to effectively manage an E-mail group, making the survival of Ken Kifer's Bicycling Advoacy possible.

You learned what it's like to be truly loved.

All of these things, big and small, are good things that our love has brought out in you.

Our three years together have changed the course of both our lives. I think what we have together is worth fighting for.

When you decided to end us, I made a mistake. I panicked and lashed out, criticizing you for all the mistakes you've made in our relationship, and tried to push you into talking to me about our issues. Now is not the time for issues. What I should have done was show you all the wonderful things you've done in our relationship, and the wonderful ways in which you've improved as a Human being, just as you have improved me.

The Dixie Chicks said "It's too late to make it right." That's the one thing I can't believe. Clearly, we have some obstacles to overcome... but I believe three years of love is worth overcoming them for.

However, The Dixie Chicks also said "Forgive, sounds good/Forget, I'm not sure I could." Riin, we must learn to forgive the mistakes we've made that hurt each other, but we must not forget. We need to remember. If we forget, we'll forget the lessons our mistakes taught us.

For now, though, let's just think about the good things our love has brought us, not the pain. We have a lifetime to work through the problems. For now, we need to remember we're Human. We're going to make mistakes. That's life... but life is too short to spend it rehashing mistakes and focusing on pain.

Let's remember, together, the love that brought us to where we are today.

I love you, Riin.

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