You swore. You pinkie promised the little girl that managed to survive inside of you that you’d never go there again within yourself. The land you visited, the land you that you discovered that one sunny day in the mid-afternoon unexpectedly would be barricaded became open again. It beckoned… It told you it was okay to return and rest upon the grass and the open, wild fields it offered.
You knew it was lying. And yet you went.
And with those first hesitant steps you knew you were walking into the unknown. A territory that lacked rules, expectations. More importantly, you knew it lacked justice.
But for a girl… woman?… who loved justice, you still stepped quietly looking to explore. You’d heard about this place. A foreign world of selflessness where the governing rule was emotion and instinct. It sounded wildly bueautiful and exotic. What a thing, you had thought to yourself, to abandon the thoughts you so clutched to.
Returning, you realized, was not so scary. It was not as frightening, because you were armed with the knowledge of what to avoid. You knew what would damage you, and you recognized the dangers within this land but you never turned away even as your heart sped and your rational abilities evaporated into the sweet air. You had returned. And you were bold now. You weren’t scared.
You were alone. And you found that the air you had once so enjoyed as a breeze delivering the aroma of flowers and pine and grass was now reduced to a simple chill that reminded you of the lack of arms around you. The air was the echo of your solidarity of which you were both proud and ashamed. You had struggled to retain your independence. You worked, hard and silently, simply to be alone. And this made you sad. It made you, among other things that you could not name… confused.
The same eloquence that had been granted you here before had been revoked. Instead of plenty of words and a rushing of emotion you were solemnly observant. You had learned, since the last walk you had taken along these grounds, to be stoic. Your recongnition of the flaws posessed within this land was painful and it embarrassed you of the person you were in your last visit. You were ashamed of her former charming naivety, and you were ashamed of you current cynicism.
But you refuse to leave. Instead of looking for an exit or a path outward you sat. You picked at the leaves of grass and felt the wind’s reminders of your soul’s silence. Nothing rushed inside of you that day- and the river of your emotions remained constant regardless of the trinkets of the past that you crossed on your return’s travels. The bench where you both sat. The picture you took. The letters you wrote. The words that flowed that meant not much then that carried the weight of the universe in their memories. Nothing can move you now. It seems the air is mimicking your fortitude…. it blows, but falsely. Nothing moves because of it.
Perhaps you imagined it. It would not be the first time you felt something that was in fact, not there.
Sigh. You are older, now. A year older. You know the days have passed, and the required number of weeks have qualifed you into a new category of year of birth, but you are older in new ways. Your heart moves slower and your reactions lack the enthusiasm you knew them once to be capable of. It’s not their fault, you think to yourself. How could I have known that it… and then you stop the thought. The same thought you’ve echoed within yourself so many millions of times. You couldn’t have known.
You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have stopped yourself. You couldn’t have prepared your heart. You couldn’t have protected yourself. You couldn’t have spared your future. You couldn’t have stopped the walls from forming. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have slowed the motions. You couldn’t have removed his hands. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have expected he would kiss you that way. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have seen what you would end up as. You couldn’t have realized it would hurt this way.
You couldn’t have known.
You couldn’t have known.
And even if you could have.
What would become of you then?
Aaand, I’m never telling another guy I date that I have a blog and I use it to talk shit on men. Good plan.
Sooo…. There’s starting to be a troubling trend in my life.
I realize that you didn’t ask what this revelation was, and I bet you don’t really care, because I wouldn’t care since this is a very blatantly selfish post. But- I’m going to tell you anyway becuase I want to hash this out with myself and see where my mind takes me. I will also probably delete this post in 3 days becuase I promised all 4 of my readers (hi mom!) that I would stop being melodramatic and introspective because self-searching isn’t funny. It’s sad.
Anyway. I haven’t been emotionally interested in anyone new for a year. I understand this sounds like absolutely nothing and you’re probably sitting there like, “ummmm, you’re a douchebag. Stop thinking so much, you’re obviously not good at it.” But let me explain before you get all judgey and mean.
I dated muscles for a while, then Mr. Pretty, then the Libra. They overlapped one another and came back around and did start-stop things, all since 2009. Nobody new. I’m scared of new people. No, I’m terrified of new people.
And it’s unfortunate because I don’t really want to be single. I’ve lived that phase out and I’ve had fun and gone crazy and been selfish without thinking about how other people felt. I’ve used that phrase, “I’m only going to be young once.” I’m still young, but that phrase makes a lot less sense tonight than it did when I threw it around as an excuse.
Mr. Pretty and I were volatile (I know, I know… stop talking about it right?), but I thought it was just going to be a really good story one day. Ironically enough, it’s a shitty story and it makes me sound like a moron. Or Taylor Swift minus the fame. Same thing I suppose. And I was so wounded by it that I only dated people I was positive were safe. Muscles loved me, and still does. When the Libra and I dated the first time around, he was smitten and I was too busy feeling bad about myself to realize that it had potential.
So when I finally got over Mr. Pretty and finally saw that relationship for all of its awfulness, I didn’t think much about the fact that I kind of pranced around with Muscles again. When Muscles annoyed me to the point of outbursts, I didn’t think much about the fact that I went bee-lining for the Libra. What I didn’t think about was that, hey! maybe the the Libra isn’t smitten with me anymore. What a thought, right?
Well the Libra is not smitten. He’s actually on the rebound. And he’s actually still recovering from that. And for those reasons and some others I won’t bother to write about here, we parted ways. He and I doing so isn’t the point of this though… it’s just… WHAT THE FUCK WAS I DOING?
My relationships all have a similar trajectory, which is alarming. Want to know what it is? Of course you don’t! That’s why I’m going to tell you anyway.
We meet. He’s all about it and I’m sort of “eehhhh” about it. Then we stop talking because I behave like a 16 year old then I’m all, “wait! I’m totally sprung on you. We’d have hot babies. Wanna get married?” And then he goes, “Not really...” and I respond with “Seriously, I’m totally the right girl for you… WHY CAN’T YOU JUST GROW UP AND SEE HOW AWESOME I AM?!” and then, after staring at my cell phone for 76 hours straight begging for the LED light to blink or debating whether or not my phone is even working, I give an ultimatum because I’m delerious from no sleep and he’s like, “I’d really rather not.” And then I say, “Okay.” The end.
People always say that admitting you have a problem is the first step. So world, please consider this my first step. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t like me. Honestly, I’d prefer someone who thought I was nice. Or funny. Or both, whatever. I’m just worried that I kind of forgot how. My need to be in control of people superceded my ability to recognize when people weren’t right for me. Can I unlearn that? Is that like teaching a child how to un-walk? Or is it like actually breaking an addiction?
This sucks. I couldn’t get a cool addiction that would land me on A&E. I’m stuck with this bullshit cliche tendency that makes me more Dear Abby and less reality television.
*Also, I am concerned that the Libra is reading this (in which case Heyyyyy… this is awkward…) Because if I were him and I told someone that I just “couldn’t” God knows I would totally hit up their blog and be like this bitch is totally talking shit. But I’m not. Because I’m a grown up.*
*This was an awful post, written a few days ago and then forgotten about… But I need to put something on this blog that doesn’t reek of 2010 crappiness, so whatever. I promise to make up for this blogtastrophe with better posts for the entire year. I hope*
2011 has been a raging success so far. In the 48 hours since it began, I believe I spent 30 of them drunk. The other 18 were spent sleeping. I think. It’s hard to do math very well when your head feels like mine does right now.
People love to talk about resolutions… and I dread that I’ll have that conversation about 80 times in the next week with people too lazy to come up with something legitimate to talk about. It doesn’t bode well for those conversations that I actually don’t have a resolution. I resolve to do nothing except try not to die, which I’ve done every other year (some years with more enthusiasm than others) so I don’t mention it to people. My roommate has taken me on as a cause and keeps hurling resolutions at me that I didn’t ask for, I’m nervous I’ve become the girl who needs to be saved from herself. More on that later because that’s deeper than my current brain capacity can handle. But probably not- I’ll more than likely forget.
Obviously I’d like plenty of things to happen in 2011 and I hope a shit-ton of things DON’T happen in 2011. I would enjoy being named Princess of the United States (finally), and I would like to lose 8 pounds while eating cheesecake and drinking beer. I hope I don’t get AIDS or get fat or evicted. In essence I’m much too lazy to resolve to do anything, or resolve to STOP doing anything else. Like I said- Big Things in 2011!
I did, however manage to already accomplish something. I went to the movies…. which, I agree, sounds worthless and like an everyday thing that anyone can do. But! I went to the movies alone. Let that sink in for a second. On Sunday, I mustered the guts, energy and actual desire to walk my stocky little butt up to the theater all by my lonesome and sit through almost two hours of awesomeness BY MY SELF. Which makes me officially ready to be a cat-lady. Or officially independent… depending on how highly I’d like to think of myself, I switch between the two.
It was actually quite enjoyable. I brought extra socks so I could keep my feet warm (which I normally just suffer through so I don’t look like a fucktard wearing two pairs of socks and flip flops), and nobody bothered me with inane commentary while I sat along the back (I’m not so ready to flaunt my loser-y aloneness just yet). But on a serious note: it was a step toward shirking the general idea that people are always judging me, and furthermore, shirking whatever judgements they formed about the short girl wandering around without a companion and questionable foot-wear. Because it’s true what people say: you’re really not as important as you think, and you’d be surprised to know how little people think of you.
Okay, so maybe I just blogged my way into a resolution: stop overestimating myself and keep my toes warm, and let everyone else be damned. Easily the most ridiculous resolutions I’ve ever heard, let alone written for myself.
PS: go see the King’s Speech. Promise.
The holidays always seem to ambush me… Some sort of unexpected gust of wind that takes me from the mundane life I have come to shape for myself. And as quickly as they come- they vacate, leaving me with the debris of wrapping paper, the sweet memories of family and good food and joking banter with my sweet but absolutely irritating younger brother. This year proved to be no exception. I sat on Christmas eve wondering where the eff Christmas spirit was hiding, why I had yet to embrace it when all of a sudden it was Christmas day and then, before I had time to register it, it was the day after Christmas. The holiday hangover.
My best friend’s dad is sick. From needing a transplant to life support to up and staring down hospice care…. it’s a frightening thing to deal with. This is D’s dad… the fellow blogger, fellow cynic, fellow over-analytic woman who is my soul mate who mentions me in her blog which may or may not qualify me as famous (www.youkitschme.wordpress.com). During one of the visits I made to his hospial bed, Baba Gut (a nickname he ordained himself with… which is, in all honesty, quite fitting), imparted words of wisdom on us. Words that made me cry, words that hit home, words that had impeccable timing, and words that I’ll let D explain if she ever decides to do that… because they aren’t mine to say.
But this was the first holiday season that was coupled with reality of growing up. Looking around the table on Christmas night, I realized that the people gathered around my heart each year will change. I will gather new souls to mine, while mourning the loss of others, and each year the numbers will more likely than not dwindle. Life is, like someone said in Esquire recently (don’t judge my less-than-profound reference, ass), a generally sad thing- with bright spots that are moments of happiness. So this year taught me another lesson I never asked for. (Isn’t that always the way? Lessons, flying like knives from the back, never the front where we can prepare and ready ourselves… becuase we would duck them and the wisdom that they painfully force upon us). What was the lesson?
Years ending in even numbers will always be worse than years ending in odd numbers.
I don’t care if I sound crazy- I say/write this with a very solemn face and brown eyes that remain unblinking. Crazy works for me, and I have long since shed that accompanying shame. Screw you.
That’s mostly a joke. Key word being mostly. But 2010 wasn’t my year… I’ve explained this as both an excuse, a scapegoat and a target repeatedly on this very screen. Normally, I obligingly write a yearly wrap-up sort of thing… As if my life is a non-profit that owes an explanation for how it spent its time to a board of old, mostly white directors. Only it’s not. And if there were a board of directors in my life, it would be the few people I’ve decided I’d give a flying fuck about… which don’t want to read any more of my whining. The lesson being, then, that I can’t keep perpetuating the same shit that I say makes me miserable. People hurt you. Life has moments that make you curse at innocent plants and then at yourself for being such a loon that you could possibly mutter evil words at inanimate objects. At the worst moment, you’ll stub your toe and traffic will suck. You should have known better and
if you didn’t- now you do. In sum: growing up sucks.
Which is why I am letting 2010 pass without a fight. I’ve sort of gone into hiding, reading the books I’ve long stared at but always said I never had the time for and actually going to the movies (while smuggling diet coke in my purse because fountain soda is fucking gross). During the remaining days of this year- I won’t put up a fight, I won’t argue my case and I won’t continue the bleating drone of how I was a victim of the economy, my family, life, and people I should have known better about. The only thing I was sincerely a victim of was myself. And maybe credit card people. They’re like vultures. All roads of blame trace back to me, and I finally have come to terms with this.
So. I won’t be writing about how much I hated 2010. Doesn’t mean I didn’t. But once upon a time, I had a conversation with an aunt who used to journal- used to jot down her memories and repeated the words of others and her own into notebooks stashed away in some anonymous box. When she was sick with cancer, I sat with her a few mornings and while sitting, wrote feverishly my own memories. I asked why she stopped writing. Her response burns me, years later: I like to think I stopped recording life and starting living my own.
Like Baba Gut, Aunt Betsy found wisdom in dark hours. I am still trying to find the balance between recording and living but swing violently from one end to the other in the mean time. And although I don’t know if I do a good job of putting the wisdom thrown at me to good use, I file it away. And like the other ones, those lessons will come to reveal themselves when I am a student deserving of learning whatever they have to teach.
Good Riddance, 2010. Kiss my ass. (okay. I’m a slow learner).
It’s raining really hard. Which- I’ve heard- happens. But normally not in California so this is new, and a little scary and probably partially responsible for me not being able to fall asleep.
Regardless of my misanthropic tendencies cited here, I really do believe in the world, and the (majority) of people in it. Which is why I spend every Tuesday and some Thursdays hanging out with homeless babies. I look forward to it all week, primarily because who doesn’t love babies? and also because my life is kind of filled with things that I dread doing. But this place is where miracles happen.
I can’t give any details because a handful of the moms who live in the shelter are abused or looking for a way to run from their addictions or crazy stalkers, or whatever. But they, trust me on this, are incredible. And all I have to do is walk in, grab my baby (I’ve fallen madly in love with a 7 month old who just started crawling), and hold him and play with him and just watch his two little teeth show when he smiles wider than I initially thought his face to be capable of. He’s insanely happy and offers me a workout chasing after him. He likes to play peek-a-boo and I like to make funny faces, so we get along quite perfectly.
This place, I’ve been to before. I’ve volunteered here a few years ago, where I met a little girl (4 yrs) named Jessalyn who was being given up for adoption. When I found out she was one of the ones being given up, I didn’t really know how to be around her. Did she know she was moving away? Was she scared? Did she feel unwanted? This little girl, however, was a bad-ass. She proudly announced to me one day that “A lot of people love me.” I didn’t dispute this. Jessa was beautiful, and tiny with long hair and goofy bangs… it would be impossible not to adore this itty-bitty person who was actually kind of bossy. So I said, “I bet they do!” And she explained to me that she had both a heart mommy and a belly mommy, and she got a heart daddy too! There was no fear in her little face, no shame, no worry about where she’d end up. The sheer fact that so many people loved her and wanted to care for her was all she needed.
Jessalyn, and this shelter are why I decided to adopt. I could be a heart mommy… I feel it in my gut that I could do that for a child, and I could make them proud like Jessa was to have a parent like me. But- time has taught me that being a belly mommy is in my future, too. The joy of announcing to my parents that I am pregnant, the feeling of a little kick, and a hugely swollen belly (that I will totally complain about) are things that I now want.
So while I watch these women with absolutely nothing left find ways to make their babies proud, I have found my own direction and my own strength. It reminds me, on days like today when I have run out of reasons to think so, that people really are good. They mean well, but sometimes get a little lost- some though, find their way back. Every Tuesday, I watch magic happen and get to play a (very small) role in it.
Even if the rain is bashing the skull of Southern California in, and the economy sucks, and people get sick, and I sort of forgot who I was this year, I’ve got hope. And should I ever get lost, I know where to go: a tiny building with a whole lot of strollers and an abundance of beauty inside. Thank you Jessalyn, the shelter, and that gorgeous little boy who spit up on my shirt a few hours ago for reminding me to believe.