So, I realize it's been five and a half years since I've written, and I feel like I should give anyone left reading this thing a little closure. This blog, by and large, was about my innermost thoughts and feelings during a difficult time in my life. Looking back now, I was kind of lost and probably even pretty depressed at times. I wasn't happy with myself or my life.
Fortunately, I got through that period (and this blog helped a lot). I got to a place where I could truly love myself and be happy even without having a significant other to lean on. And once I reached that place, everything else good followed. I met an amazing man, we got married, and we're expecting our first child next month. I'm truly happy. And though I still have issues with anxiety (and sleepiness!), I can confidently say that I love my life, and I am so grateful for what I have.
For anyone else going though tough times, please remember that things will always get better. Time heals. And if you don't give yourself a chance, you may never know or experience the amazing things that are in store for you. Always love yourself first, and the rest will follow.
Lonely Night, Lonely Life
When did it become so easy to cry?
Maybe it's because...I MISS HIM. It's not really all the time that I miss him. It's just sometimes, when I feel he should be here to share something with me.
I want to feel him next to me in bed at night. I want him to see our (my) puppy's latest trick or cute picture. I want him to watch American Idol with me and complain the whole way through.
Sure, I've felt this way before, after other break-ups. But I feel like this time is somehow different. I was never really in love before this. I had deep feelings, but not in the same way. I had never so desperately wanted to spend my life with someone.
Of course, just because I wanted it doesn't mean it was right. It couldn't have been right. I couldn't marry an alcoholic with a bad temper and no college degree. There, I said it. I kept those things a secret for so long because I was afraid of people judging him, or judging me for being with him.
I didn't define him by his addiction or by his shortcomings. I wanted to see something more beneath the surface. I wanted to see only the good -- his quirky humor, the sweet words he whispered in his scruffy voice, his sense of adventure. I wanted to believe he could change. I wanted to believe I could help him.
But in the end, I just gave up a part of myself. I'm not sure if I really helped him at all. I was just his enabler. And now, we're both left weaker. I still care about him in an unbearable way. But I know with every fiber of my being that I cannot be with him, that I shouldn't even be communicating with him.
And in the moments of weak resolve when I've contacted him, I end up justifying this all over again. To him. Because he is constantly arguing in favor of our relationship and what it once was. He says he wants to be with me. And sure, in a perfect world where alcohol and money and responsibility don't exist, I could be with him. But otherwise, I would just be hurting myself.
I realize that when I call him, I'm not only hurting myself, but him too. Calling gives him hope when I know all too well that there is none. It's selfish of me to want to know about his life or to want to hear his voice. I always thought he was the selfish one in our relationship. Now I guess it's my turn to admit that I have to let him go.
Here I Go Again (On My Own)
It's like the song says. Here I go again. On my own.
It's been well over a year since I've taken the time to write down my thoughts. So why now? Because I can't keep it inside anymore. It's the same old story. I threw myself into a serious relationship. I gave it all I had. I fell in love. Not a little bit. A lot. It was passionate/can't live without you/best sex I've ever had -- that kind of love. From the sound of it now though, it seems like maybe it was just lust. I guess I don't know what it was.
But I know how it made me feel. It made me feel needed and wanted. It made me feel like I had a place in the world and a future. But only during the good times. When it was good, it was so far beyond good. But when it was bad, it was so much worse than I could have imagined. I guess that's passion for ya.
And now that it's finally, truly over, I feel alone. I feel sad. I feel like someone died. I feel like I'll never find such a magnetism with someone again. I wish I could be with him. I wish he was somehow himself but still different. I wish it would've worked out. I wish everything I did for him paid off. I wish I could've helped him more.
And now I can't help him. I can't keep wanting to be needed. But it's so hard not to. It's so hard to let it go when he insists that we're meant to be together. It's so hard to not want to hear that.
My brain knows I can't ever be with him. My mind knows that giving him another chance could be the biggest mistake of my life. But my heart? It is completely illogical and irrational. It wants to be loved. Even if that love is only verbally expressed.
Love is complicated. Relationships are complicated. Men are complicated. But nothing is more complicated than the human psyche. For once, I wish I could just empty my mind completely and start over.
My Life in a Box
I remember that cool fall day a year ago. It was a weekday, but I wasn't at work, which means it must have been Columbus Day, or maybe Veteran's Day. It was a little like today, deceivingly sunny and chirpy, with that sneaky chill in the air. And the leaves were turning, the orange ones blowing around past my windshield.
I had a mission that day.
A mission to completely pack up my life as I knew it and cart it all back to that place where I came from. I was going back to my roots--my parents, my childhood home--and I was going to do it as quickly as possible.
I stopped at the storage place along the way hoping to find some packing material for my fragile dishes. I walked in, all disheveled and wind-blown in my lazy pants and sweatshirt, and I remember thinking how strange this all was.
I remember wishing that I didn't have to do this alone. Thinking how nice it would've been to have him help me this one last time. How nice it would be if he could just go and do everything for me. He would have known better than I where to find packing stuff, after all...heck, I don't even know the technical term
for "packing stuff."
But not surprisingly, I found it anyway. I bought some big sheets of brown paper that were lying around the store, and triumphantly hauled them inside to my cozy, now half-empty apartment. I walked in and felt the stale warmth of the sun coming in through the huge balcony window. The place had already taken on such a feeling of emptiness, of impermanence.
It used to be a place of love. Friendship. Hope and future. Now it was just a meaningless space surrounded by walls, filled with piles of random things. Picture frames, dishes, tools. I separated them all out.
His pile. My pile. His pile. My pile.
We used to share everything. Now we shared nothing.
I got out my new packing material and my boxes, and I started to pile things in. At first I was methodical, labeling each box based on its contents: Kitchen, Bed sheets, Books.
But my organizational scheme soon gave way to chaos, and box after box got a perhaps more appropriate label: Misc. The Misc. boxes held everything and anything: picture frames, misfit articles of clothing, a shoe here, a shoe there, my pretty blue shower curtain.
I finished in a few hours, lining up all of my boxes by the door. And there they were, all of my important life posessions, dumped into brown stiff cardboard, in a place that I would never call home again.
I made sure to neatly pile his things in another part of the room. I gave one long look back, taking in the desolate expanse, and I walked out the door.
A week or so later, my boxes and I were home. I unpacked only what I needed, which, again unsurprisingly, wasn't much.
And the rest of the boxes, I left in the basement. The cold, dust-filled basement. I'd come down every once in a while to get an erstwhile item or two, but for the most part those boxes just sat there. Shelved away in my life and in my mind. Memories pushed aside so I could start over again.
Yesterday, in an effort to clean up the atrocious packing job I had done a year earlier, my mom went through those boxes. She unpacked and re-packed and threw out, unaware of the sentimentality of that act.
The undoing of what had become permanence for me. The stirring of old memories.
She asked me to venture down and go through some of the mess. She wanted to know what could go and what could stay.
I obliged. And there they were. The infamous Misc. boxes. Still filled with my random crap.
I picked up a picture frame, laying down on its face, and for a moment everything came flooding back. I could see
the apartment. I could see this picture of us in
the apartment. Sitting on my white bookcase in our
bedroom, front and center
. It was quite possibly the best
picture of us ever taken. I'd had it blown up to 5x7 to fit the frame, a pretty gold one with swirls of green and bronze around it.
I didn't know what to do.
I set the frame down as I looked around at everything else. Another picture of us in a different frame--one that in fact I had given him (somehow I ended up with it). And then another. And then the little toolsets he bought for me just so I'd have them. The air purifier that he bought for our room.
"Well, what do you expect?" my mom said, noticing my perplexed expression. "He was your life
And then I knew what to do.
She was right. He was
But not anymore.
I opened the frame, and I tried to take the picture out. The funny thing is, it was stuck. Somehow water had gotton inside, and the picture was literally fused to the glass. I couldn't take it out without ripping and ruining it.
I tried peeling the picture off slowly, hoping to maybe salvage it, or at least salvage the frame glass. But it didn't take. So I ripped hard, and part of the picture ended up stuck on the glass.
I held the curling picture in my hand, our smiling faces still intact, and I couldn't help but feel the irony of the situation, the figurative metaphor for our relationship and the way it ended.
I gave the frame to my mom, who was very excited that she'd have another item to put in her garage sale pile.
"What about this?" she asked, pointing to the ruined photo. "Should I throw it away?"
"Yeah," I said. It came out easier than I thought it would.
Because the damage had already been done. It was the original rip off the glass that hurt just a little bit. And the real rip the year before that hurt a lot.
I know my memories will never really leave me. I know I'll always have things that remind me of him. But I also know that I'm happy now, and that I'll be happy in the future. I know that I can go to the store and come back with all the "packing stuff" I need without lamenting the fact that I don't have a companion.
I have a different life than I had with him. And it's a good one.
I surveyed the now-repacked boxes in the basement, all neatly closed and stacked. All filled with what used to be my life, and again relegated to this dark, lonely little part of our house, and that little corner of my mind.
"Let's go back upstairs," I said to Mom. "I need to go to sleep."
"Okay!" she chirped, happy with the work she'd done.
Without a second thought, she picked up my old photo, crumpled it in her hand, and threw it in with the rest of the trash.
Upstairs we went into the warmth and the light. And I didn't look back.
The Year of Me
It's been one year.
One year that has undoubtedly been the most challenging and self-affirming of my entire life.
In the past year, I've felt heartbreak. Love. Pain. Intense relief.
I've felt emotions that I didn't even know existed
until something happened that tore my world apart. I've been so far down into that deep dark hole of depression that I thought I'd never see the light again.
And I've come through it.
I've realized what's important in life. I've become closer with my family. I've become closer with myself
I've learned to love who I am. I've even learned to like the way I look. I've learned to stick with the people who are good for me. I've learned to stick with the decisions that make me stronger.
It's crazy, but I've somehow grown up
in the past year. To think, all this time I've been wondering why bad things were happening to me. I never stopped to consider the fact that it didn't matter why.
It only matters how I respond to these things, and how I continue to lead my life.
And right now, I think I'm leading a pretty good one. And it's not because of any one thing, either (though, yes, my wonderful new relationship sure makes me happy).
But I promise, it's everything. It's the combination of my attitude, my achievements, my decisions, and my relationships.
Sure, nothing is perfect. My dad's still sick, to an extent (hopefully a small one). I still live at home with my parents and don't make enough money. I still feel sleep-deprived every day. I still wish I could put all my energy and passion into school and quit work.
Yes, all of those problems still exist. But they're lessened by the fact that I've come such a long way.
For once, I can say I'm happy.
And all it took was one year...yes, it's been exactly one year since we broke up. But I'm not writing this post to honor that somber anniversary. I'm writing it to honor me
Because on this day last year, I'm ashamed to say I didn't like who I was. Or maybe I didn't know who I was
But this year, I know exactly who I am.
And I freakin' love me!
Now I think that calls for a little celebration.
The New Relationship Post
Sometimes I feel like I'm not in control.
Of anything. The traffic, my emotions, my relationships with other people, my pets, bad luck, good experiences, my LIFE.
I feel like total crap today. I feel sick to my stomach. I feel tired. I feel unmotivated. I feel not pretty.
And I feel...powerless to change any of that.
I feel things spiraling away from me. I can't seem to put my mind to anything and keep it.
I fear that I'm too easily manipulated by others. I don't know who to trust. And I'm not putting enough stock in the people who have already proven their trust to me.
I like to believe what makes me feel good. I like to believe what makes me feel safe. I like to believe that the easy way is the right way.
None of this is true though, is it?
I think a lot of my uneasiness is stemming from the fact that I am starting a new relationship. With a guy, yes. A guy I met in "real life."
Yes, it happened (!!!). I met someone (!!!). And I've been riding on this giddy feeling ever since. But it's starting to dissipate now, and the fear is kicking in... :-(
I don't want to make myself vulnerable. The strange part is, it's usually just the opposite for me. I'm usually guarded. I'm usually "safe" because I don't put too much of myself into the equation.
But now, after almost a year of being "single," I am so eager to be involved in this type of relationship. Too eager, perhaps. Am I jumping head first into this because I am lonely? Or because it's right? Because I am needy and insecure? Or because it's actually healthy for me?
I feel myself depending on him a little bit. And that really really scares me. I don't like putting expectations on people because inevitably they'll never live up to said expectations. The problem is...I expect a lot. Perhaps too much.
This guy's not perfect. Of course, I don't think anyone is. But is he perfect enough
for me? Is our social and physical chemistry enough? The spark is there this time, but is all the other stuff there? Should I be having these insecure and fearful feelings this early on? What does that mean?
I love being with him. But I can't help feeling that my life was a whole lot easier without anyone else in the equation. Is that a bad thing?
I have so many questions. How do I possibly answer them?
A Belated Memoriam
I meant to write a post about 9/11 yesterday.
But I didn't.
In fact, after deeply conteplating what the day meant to me--and to so many other people--on my drive in, thoughts about it vanished almost completely. I got carried away with work and then with class, and with everything else that normally bogs my mind down in the course of an overcast Monday.
I even complained
about the weather, the fact that I was tired, and the prospect of going to a five-hour class. I believe I even wrote in one e-mail "Why does today suck so bad?"
And I must say I'm rather ashamed of myself. Yesterday sucked, yes, but not because of my mundane and trivial problems. It sucked because of something that happened five years ago that our nation--and possibly the world--will never forget. History changed on September 11, 2001. I feel I must acknowledge that. I must put my life in perspective.
And yet, at the same time, maybe it's good that I was able to let go yesterday. That I was able to be so ignorant. I suppose that makes life easier.
It's just like with my dad's cancer. If I constantly think about it, I can't possibly lead a healthy life. I can't concentrate on anything important because what he is going through so easily trumps
anything I'm going through. Thinking of him being sick makes me feel sick.
I know it's important to remember and to honor those who lost their lives and those who became heroes on that day five years ago. But there is only so much we can give of ourselves--as individuals, and as a nation.
Now, I'm talking from the perspective of someone who was as detached from that day as anyone could be; I wasn't even in the DC area when it happened, and I didn't know anyone directly affected by the tragedy. So I know that makes all of this easier for me. I know I might sound ignorant.
But I can't help thinking...when are we going to let ourselves heal?
I guess the answer is that it isn't up to us. It's up to time. It's up to the next generation. It's up to the world.
Or perhaps this is something so cataclysmic that we will never heal from it.
And maybe we shouldn't.My heart and thoughts go out to anyone affected, no matter how remotely, by the events of September 11, 2001. May you continue to gain strength and peace in the wake of such a life-changing event.