Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Setting Fire to Our Insides for Fun

While mindlessly inter-webbing a cute co-worker of mine, I decided to Google myself, just to see who else is out there like me...or not like me but with my name. Under images I found a picture of myself and was horrified. I clicked on it to see where it liked and found it was part of my friends blog who referenced mine. It was liked to my actual previous post "100 Reasons Not To Be In a Relationship." I re-read my previously scorned reasons and laughed. The cycle, the pure cyclical nature of this things we call life. I was bummed out, jaded and needed to feel it was okay to be single. Then low-and-behold, I met the next love of my life (referenced in the previous post entitled "A Contradictory New Year." 

In recap, I didn't want a relationship. In fact, I did everything I could think of to stop it. However, he fell into my life and made me do it. I fell in love and I told him. We had a great year, I admit. Full of summer pool parties and winter drives where we thought we might die. We frequented blockbuster, even making friends with the clerk. We had our favorite restaurants like the Chinese place by his house "Red Ruby," Texas Roadhouse, and Pizza Hut. I have yet to go back to any of these. I met his daughter and fell in love with her as well. That year, something in me changed. I no longer wanted to run to another country and find what it was that I was looking for--I had found it. Right here, in the suburbs of Detroit. The man I was going to build my life with. The man with whom I was going to work extra hard to make enough money to support us and his daughter. I even pretended to care about sports for him. And, for once in my life, I not only was able to sleep alongside someone, but wanted to. I longed to have his arms around me every night and to feel his breath on my neck. It was love, a grown-up love I had never felt before. We had built something, something out of nothing in this dreary, quiet town. And I couldn't wait to explore it. He held my hand and I let him and he would let me kiss his forehead whenever I wanted. I bonded with his roommate and his friends and we barbequed in his driveway. I felt comfortable with his sisters and brother and actually wanted to visit his parents. I wanted to be a part of their life, too. I wanted to prove everybody wrong and show them that I was capable of loving someone, of being apart of something bigger than myself. And we made it work, and it was lovely and he smelt like home.

In March Mike grew distant and I didn't know why. He stopped sending his normal "Good Morning love" texts and hardly spoke to me. It became like pulling teeth to see him. At the end, I was only seeing him once a week, where I usually would stay at his place for days. We were moving backward and I couldn't understand why. So I did what every normal girl would do (which I hated) I clung with everything I had to what I felt like I was losing. However, it felt as though I was grasping at nothing but air. He hardly looked at me and we fought all the time. I remember then looking back at the beginning thinking how we had never fought, ever. We were too reasonable for that. However, in the subsequent months our relationship was reduced to him asking to give him space, him ignoring me completely and me finally blowing up, drunk, crying and yelling, perched in the bed of his truck so he wouldn't leave. Not my finest moment, but I knew what I wanted and I was keeping it. However, it got to the point where I was miserable every day. I woke up with my heart heavy and the nauseous feeling that someone was dying. Either me or him, it felt like. What was worse was that all I could think about was the fact that I never wanted this, he made me do it. He made me love him so that he could leave me and I would once again feel the crushing weight of the world on my heart and soul. The day I had enough I went over to his house to break up with him. He was crying and I was numb but then I started crying. He held me and asked me to stay, to try. It was a wonderful night, one I probably will never forget. I left him while he slept but was hopeful for tomorrow. The next day I didn't hear from him all day. That night he sent me a lengthy text message explaining he needed to figure out something and couldn't do it with me there. He needed space and asked for me to wait for him. I knew I couldn't but tried anyway.
The next day I felt... relieved. The war was over. I had lost, but I was still breathing this time. It in no way compared to the devastation I had felt with the last one. 
I picked my head up, threw on make up and went to work. I walked past my boss's office and as he knew what was happening in my relationship I couldn't look at him, for I felt the painful fire of tears strewing in my eyes.
My boss, Ryan, called me to his office later saying "We're going to have a real problem if you do that, walk by without saying hi." He said this with a side-smirk that I would later find endearing. However, once he saw my face and blood-shot eyes his smirk dropped and looked at me with curiosity and sadness. I waved my hand away and ran into the stockroom. I cried for 15 minutes and thought "this will never happen again." I have not cried since and it's been three months. I hardly even let myself think about it... except when I go to write it down.
About two weeks ago now I text one of our mutual friends and asked him if he wouldn't mind getting my Nintendo from Mike's house, the only thing I really wanted back. That night Mike text me and there was no fighting but a civil, heartfelt exchange of what if's and I'm sorry's. He asked me the next day if I could try to work it out, he was better now and ready. Whether this was sincere or not, I will never know, but I said I didn't know how to answer that when really, I just couldn't tell him no. I guess a little part of me will always love him, and a little part of me would like to try again. I miss him. I try not to think about it, but I catch myself seeing things that remind me of him. However, it could never work, I know that now. It is not the life I wanted, and I don't think that I could be happy in a small house living right where I grew up. I need adventure and spontaneity and wonder and curiosity and excitement.  I'm twenty-four and knowing where my life is headed sounds like death to me. 
Anyway, looking at that list today I was reminded, yes, of all the reasons that relationships suck, but more-so and more importantly I was reminded who I was and I want to be her again. Fearless, and not running away from things, but running to them.
While watching Doctor Who the other night the Doctor said this, and I really took to it:
I’m not running away. But this is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see, Amy. Because it goes so fast. I’m not running away from things, I am running to them. Before they flare and fade forever.
And it’s all right. Our lives won’t run the same. They can’t. One day, soon, maybe…you’ll stop. I’ve known for a while. Because you were the first. The first face this face saw. And you were sealed onto my heart. Amelia Pond,  I’m running to you and Rory before you fade from me.
The Doctor, “The Power of Three”
And I can't wait to explore. 
About a month ago, after going over my failed relationship for the thousandth time in my head, I finally realized that we simply weren't meant to last forever, and there was nothing that I could do. We weren't meant to be and it was okay. He was part of a year of my life and he made it beautiful. And now... well now it's time to move on. Get back to who I was and explore and wander around, because not all who wander are lost. 
In that same period of time, I may have developed a crush on someone. And it's fun and it's new and although nothing will develop because it can't, I still get the butterflies when I run into him or hear his voice. I hold to these things, and am glad that they are still possible. Because after that blank-white page slides over your future plans you had built with someone, you need to hold on to what you can, to find the beauty in the world. Because it's still there, just waiting for you. And out of the brisk, fall, air, a new flower of hope sometimes blossoms.

A Contradictory New Year

[This post was actually written on December 30, 2011. It is heart-breaking to read now, but I wanted to post it, to remember. Not to forget and erase these wonderful feelings and memories with the painful reminder that life kicks you in the balls... or womanly parts...right when you finally realize you're happy.]
In a lovely contradictory fashion--because let's admit, I'm all about that-- this post is in complete opposition to the last. 1oo Reasons Not To Be In A Relationship? Great, it really was. Was I jaded, defeated, and feeling alone? Absolutely. Was I justified and realistic in my post? You bet. I admit, I was content in a weird- happy to be sad- kind of way. But something happened this year. Something amazing and scary and altogether life-changing.
After writing a small Facebook status, my brain wouldn't turn off with all of the ideas and theories that I learned this year. Thus, like all aspiring post-modern writers, we must write down our thoughts in a beautiful stream-of-consciousness fashion so that we can feel justified for having these feelings, and feel a little more like Sylvia or T.S..
So, here goes. I apologize in advance for all of the romantic notions and straight-up girliness. I'm completely aware that I've turned into one of those girls I hate. Only, I have semantics and rationality on my side. I hold tight to those.
What I learned this year: It's okay to try again. You are not defined by your past, but how you try to make it right. Life is funny sometimes, and you can't take it too seriously. And as much as we all hate those trite sayings, I believe now that one is true, when you stop looking for it... sometimes God throws something great your way. You just have to find the courage to let yourself have it.
I believed for a long time two things: vulnerability is weakness and that I didn't deserve love because I didn't believe in it. I put little effort or promise into my relationships with people. Since I was a tween I was taught that "People Always Leave." I still feel that way, but that burning hatred for those who left me is now just a tiny flame somewhere lost in the back of my mind, locked in a cupboard. I don't let myself go there, and quite frankly, I've moved on. I can completely say that I am no longer that lost little girl just trying to hold on to something, to feel real and understood.
It took awhile, two whole years in fact, of being on my own to build up this shatter-proof confidence and love of myself. I learned the hard--and slow--way that love is real. How did I finally figure it out, you ask? No, it wasn't from some boy who came to sweep me off my feet, but from a quiet whisper from myself, telling me that I am good enough. That I am worthy of anything and everything. That I am my own person, and I am a unique snowflake. The world often tries to tell you that you aren't, but if I've learned anything these last two years, I know that to be true. No one will ever be able to replace me on this world, and this gives me strength. Thus, I learned to love again. And it's true, once you love yourself, you can love others.
I then found the best group of friends that I could ever ask for. Like clockwork, after my devastating 2009, I started working for JCPenney. There I met the new loves of my life. Sam, Jess, and Dee have become my other family. Although we have our own busy lives, we see each other more at work than I see my own family. They gave me something to look forward to each day and made me feel a part of something when every one else seemed to fade away. They accepted me for who I am, even on my weird or cranky or pessimistic days. They were always there to talk to and offer advice and simply just to hang out with. I have had more fun with them than most of my long term friends, and I know that when we all move on from JCP, they will always have my back. As most of you know, I am notorious for not answering my phone, but for them I always try to make an exception. They make me want to be a better person. I can honestly say that I truly love them.
As I continued to get stronger and build up my own confidence, I concentrated and put effort into the things that I could control. I kicked ass in school and will be student teaching in January with a 3.8. I couldn't be happier.
I also learned this year that it is not healthy to hold on to things that are no longer good for me, but let them go, forgive, and concentrate on the people that love you and the things that you love. I spent far too much energy on one person who--honestly--could give a shit less about me. I still think about him often, but I've found days now, or periods of time where I don't. For the last 8 years I thought about him every day. It's started to fade, and I knew this day would come. I sometimes wish that we hadn't ended it the way we did. It's been two years since I've spoken to him and sometimes I wish I could see how he's doing. As awful as it was, I do hope that he's happy. People do crazy things sometimes, and I can't hold the grudge any longer. A few months ago I forgave him, and then something amazing happened.
At the beginning of the year I started dating again. I figured I might as well get a few free dinners and some entertainment. I had no hope for any of them, and ended most of them after a few weeks. Most of them turned out to be weird or awful, but none of them were really worth holding on to. And then one fateful summer night, I was sitting alone outside on my swing when I got a call from Corrie, a friend from school and Lyceum. We had never been too close, but had hung out a few times at parties. She said she had a friend of Dane's, her boyfriend, for me to meet. She sent me a picture and he was adorable and had a humble smile. At that point, I still had no intention of keeping anything long-term. I had big dreams of moving to various countries--hoping to find happiness there.
I met Mike on a Thursday night at a trivia game in the basement of a bar. Initially I thought he was cute, but as another Aryan, a little too close to he-who-must-not-be-named. I had vowed to only date brunettes, but like most of my intentions, he easily shattered them.
We went through a "non-label" period because I obviously have issues with commitment. I didn't trust him for a majority of our beginning period. I was a wreck but tried to hide it as best as I could. I kept telling myself that this would only last through the summer, and then I could go back to how I was. But like everything else, nothing goes as planned. Without sounding gay, yes, that's the best word I could come up with, he helped me change in the best way possible.
High five to Sara Quintana and I for trying something new this year. I honestly couldn't be happier. =] I hope everyone has a great and safe New Year.