I was driving around the east side of Portland, on an early summer day in 2007 and saw the Hawthorne Bridge. The sun was glaring, shadows were perfectly in place, and my feelings were summed into this millisecond. I knew I needed to snap a picture with my phone.
I hadn’t decided if I should take the left or right lane over the bridge, but decided on the left at last moment. My feelings were summed up by this picture: having to drive on grates, cars zooming by, and everything looking better from further away. The person that I was dating, Inna, was in the car with me, nagging me about commitment and being exclusive. I did not want to speak. I wanted to absorb this natural beauty that is Portland. Instead, she kept up her one-sided discussion. I realized that I was always on eggshells with her. Her thoughts were being thrown at me a mile a minute. This is when I started to tone her out and focus on the bridge.
By now the sun was very bright. Every few moments, it would be blocked by the bridge’s structure, providing temporary relief to the exposure. Although it was breath taking in beauty, I was confined to that little section on the bridge; just like I was to them. Even the radio was not a distraction from her one tracked mind and emotional smothering.
Tunnel vision had taken over our perception instead of enjoying what was surrounding us. Even looking at the picture, you can see what looks like to evil eyes focusing on you when you get to the end of the bridge. Being so concerned with getting to that one point she wanted (in our relationship), it was easy to forget that there was life outside of that mindset. Neither of us could work out a compromise to what we wanted or did not want. After this day I knew I needed to make a change. I told Inna that I would not continue on with the relationship any longer. As much as I knew I was hurting her, I could not allow myself to feel like I was obliged to have the feelings back for her when I didn’t. I... [continues]
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