My sister’s reaction to my dream on Sunday night was that it sounded like four nightmares in one. YEAH. I KNOW.
In this dream, I was interviewing for a position at Harvard (WUT). My phone interview was being conducted by a former coworker who wasn’t even employed by Harvard. The entire time I was in Cambridge, I cried to my boyfriend (now my ex) about not wanting to leave SF.
I also happened to be participating in a spoken word contest hosted by Oprah. When I was up to perform, the deejay started to play a terrible song. I began mocking the song and suddenly the crowd turned on me. I was run off campus with Oprah leading the charge.
Students in hoods and bandanas rose up to my defense and hustled me safely off campus. They told me that though they supported me, they couldn’t be seen with me and I was on my own.
I awoke, upset and still reeling from being chased out of Harvard by Oprah. Obviously this dream was all kinds of ridiculous – the common thread to these seemingly random events was that these were all things that I thought I had moved past.
- My frustrations with my previous job
- My conflicted feelings about living in San Francisco
- My ex-boyfriend’s presence in my mind
Closure is a unicorn. It is a myth. Closure is unattainable, because even if you think you caught a unicorn – you really just caught a horse wearing a horn on its forehead.
For the longest time I thought closure was something that you had to reach yourself. No amount of talking, questions answered or therapy could get you there. In time, you would be able to accept things and move on. But you had to do them at your own pace and the journey was a solitary one.
I thought I had moved past all if the things I listed above. For example, the feeling that I would chuck a chair at my ex if I ever saw him went away suddenly. I felt like I moved past those feelings, I had found my own closure in my own time.
But here’s the thing, I still owned that condo in Hate City, I was just now renting out to other tenants.
It’s ok to dislike something or someone. It’s ok to have unpleasant feelings towards someone. It’s ok to think that Oprah isn’t as great as everyone says she is and is just as exploitative as any other talk show host (she also introduced the evil known as Dr. Phil).
The idea of closure is that you get to close the book on a past event. That doesn’t happen. You may get to turn the page, but the page is still in the book.
The unhappiness, the tragedy, and the feelings – they happened and therefore are part of your landscape and your story. Experiences shape who we are and the people we become, for better or worse.
Life is not linear. We move forward, we fall back, we take detours and find ourselves on highways to places we didn’t know existed. Sometimes you have to use a plunger to bring old shit up, but you also have to have the strength to flush it back down.