Abandoning Longevity

I keep thinking about longevity and how durational thinking was antithetical to my recovery. It’s not that I’ve abandoned the principles of long-term thinking or planning –– professionally, I have multiple projects on the go and a ten-year plan. Personally, longevity doesn’t work for me anymore, so I’ve started to reframe how I think about success when coupled with time.

When the gauge of career or relational success is duration, we don’t account for uncertainty, change, or the fact that shit happens. You can wake up one morning, and in a phone call, it’s all gone. Comparing myself to my parent’s fifty-year marriage or career is not helpful when the social container for work and love has changed dramatically. In kindness, I offer that longevity is a heteronormative narrative often wielded to discount queer loves and losses.

Jumping in:  Grievers point to a future denied. Part of mourning is exploring the unfair stripping, how the dead didn’t experience a trip, a wedding, the birth of a child, retirement, and this is how we form narratives of tragedy. It opens a lot of punishment for survivors to carry that much weight. 

Expanding out: Instead, what if we pointed to a lifespan of experiences as sort of emotional beats, feelings, and sensations disconnected from a measurement of any kind? It becomes not how long I/you felt something, but that I/you felt something. That something (joy, tingling, anger, desire… etc) becomes timeless, relatable, and interchangeable.

My losses form my thinking, but I’m looking for ways to celebrate my beloveds while employing my post-traumatic wisdom. Micro-beating experiences allow me to relish the present moment as is. I don’t place the burden of things needing to be long-lasting to be valid. 

I will leave this idea open for future expansion or revision, but I wanted to throw it out into the void.


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