On Ending Things Badly

I hate when things end badly. And it’s not even that whatever ended ended badly—its that I felt like I wasted a huge amount of my time.

This can be really simple: like a bad grade on a test I studied really hard for, or when an experiement doesn’t go well in lab. These simple disappointments, however, have simple solutions: I can go back and think about what I did wrong, and try and do better the next time around. It’s how study habits improve and how science and technology improves.

Then there are trivial things that are more or less out of my control. Good examples of this are endings to fiction stories that feel like a slap to the face. HIMYM and Blood of Olympus, for instance, aren’t endings I can control, since they belong to their creators. But then there are things like alternate endings and (because it’s fictional) imagination, and I can make up an end for myself. The time spent watching or reading becomes a blessing, since I’m so familiar with the situation I feel confident constructing an ending of my own.

But then there are people.

Now to be clear, when I say “end badly”, I don’t mean die, I mean a falling out.

For instance, a few months ago I wrote this terribly wordy and cryptic post, because I was upset with someone, and also myself, for not being able to “imagine them complexly”. We had a strange sort of falling out, where conversation was awkward and almost non-existent.

I ran into that person the other day.

Conversation was stilted and strange. But just like how it is with books, we managed to fall into a familiar pattern because we were so used to the situation.

The problem with familiar pattern is that it reminded me of everything that made me mad. And feeling that way makes me feel like I wasted so much time on this person.

And I don’t like feeling that way. That I wasted my time on someone. Life’s too short and people aren’t so easily categorized into bad and good.

I don’t expect to find an answer by writing about this. I don’t expect a means to forgive or a means to accept, forget, and move on. Probably because I’m not sure which course of action I should take.

Because I don’t want this to end badly.


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