Friday, June 23, 2006

Au Revoir

I'm off to Europe today for two whole weeks! Wish me luck.h

On the schedule:

London: British Museum, Big Ben, lots of castles, Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Tower of London, and much more

Paris: Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, the Paris bird market, Napoleon's tomb, Versailles, the Champs d'Elysees, Seine River cruise, and much more

I'll back on July 8th with beaucoup stories to tell.

We'll see if I can understand even a word of French--note that I studied French for four whole years of high school--or for that matter, a lick of English.

Write ya in two weeks! Keep up the blog front while I'm gone. As excited as I am to go, I shall indeed miss it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Runaway Train

Do you remember
the smell of my hair
my favorite shirt
my eyes lighting up?

Do you remember
that time I threw your remote
that time you locked yourself crying in the bathroom
that time we each ate a two-foot wawa sub?

Do you remember
how I always left your TV on
how you left the toilet seat up
how we ate together at the table?

Do you remember
the way I laughed at you
the way I said I love you
the way I cried?

Do you remember
our pets
our birthdays
our home?

Do you remember the little things?
the habits
the gifts
the endless banter?

Do you remember the big things?
the fights
the smiles
holding me close?

Do you remember our firsts?
Do you remember our lasts?
our last movie
our last hug
our last kiss?

Do you remember
the night it all ended?

I remember.

Sometimes I wake up and realize that my life is passing me by. Sometimes I regret things that have happened. Sometimes I wish I could go back to different times. But mostly I savor the things I remember, both good and bad. The things that have marked me.

Even if it would make life easier to forget, I find myself hoping that my memories don't fade. And yet I see it happening already. I had trouble even thinking of specific moments to include in the poem I just wrote. And yet, the fact that I wanted to write that poem shows that I'm hanging on to something.

The past few years have been a blur of wonderful and heartbreaking moments. Right now, I remember them...mostly. But I suppose it's the natural progression to forget, especially when the subject is particularly painful or nostalgic. I suppose there's not a whole lot of good to be had from dwelling on the past. I suppose writing my feelings may help, but only to a certain extent.

I think I've reached that extent. There's only so much I can feel, write or say to mourn the loss of my relationship. There's only so much I can keep giving. Because it's not giving back anymore. It doesn't even exist...and I don't even want it to exist. I'm just continuing to adjust to the void it has left.

Memories may be precious, but I've realized something. In certain cases, forgetting is simply the best thing.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Letter

Dear Self,

I'm writing this to tell you I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that I was fooled into thinking I loved him. I'm sorry I thought so much of him. And I'm more sorry I thought so little of myself.

I know I deserved better. I know he deserved...different. I know I was miserable for a reason--many reasons, actually. I'm sorry it took me so long to see them.

I'm sorry I spent so much time trying to make it work when I knew it couldn't. I'm sorry I deluded myself into thinking that there was long-term potential when you--my soul--kept screaming out at me that there wasn't. When I envisioned myself leaving him at the altar and tried to imagine how in the world I would get away with that.

I'm sorry I felt so sad that sometimes I couldn't get out of bed--both before and after it ended with him.

I'm sorry that I feel stupid today, the very day I found out he is engaged to someone else.

It's not that I want to be that girl. It's not that I'm not happy for him. It's just the fact that he's moved on so effortlessly, in so little time. It's the fact that this makes the time we spent together seem somehow... much less important...less real.

I feel that I put more effort and more heart into the relationship than he did. I always thought I had the upper hand, the power position, the ability to leave. But I think that it was him all along. And that makes me feel slighted, used, duped.

I'm sorry I feel that way. I'm even sorry I'm writing about this in my blog.

I'm sorry I didn't listen to my parents. I'm sorry I didn't listen to my friends. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you, self. I'm sorry I was so afraid of hurting him that I hurt you instead.

I promise to never ignore you like that again. I promise to never put myself second again. And I promise to hold out for the very best.

Because you are a kind soul, and you deserve it.


PS Can you stop being so damn depressive?
PPS I'm sorry I just swore at you...let's add that to the list of things I won't do anymore.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Job Well Done

Picture it: Last weekend, midday, my dad's hospital room.

I'm sitting at the foot of his bed holding a crossword puzzle. I read the clues to my family, trying not to scream the answers out even though I know some of them immediately.

My mom gets one right away. "Good job!" I say enthusiastically.

She finds this hysterical.

It's become somewhat of a habit for me, but one that only comes out with my family. For some reason, I'm always patting them on the back for even the tiniest of accomplishments.

My mom gets a particularly difficult jar open? She gets a "Good job!" from me.

My dad manages to turn the channel from American Idol just in time for LOST to come back from commercial break? He gets a "Good job!" from me.

I suppose it has something to do with me being protective of my parents. Wanting to make them feel good.

So I find it a little odd that I don't take this same approach with myself. One of the things I realized last year during my little pre/post break-up breakdown was that I constantly derided myself.

Make a wrong turn? "Lauren, you idiot," my brain screams at me.

Start to cry? "Shut up, stupid."

Those negative thoughts would run through my head all day. But slowly I learned to change these negative thoughts to positive. So instead of "Lauren, you idiot," I would say to myself "Don't worry, it's no big deal."

I haven't quite gotton used to mentally rewarding myself yet, but maybe the fact that I'm "Good jobbing" everyone around me means that I'm on the right track.

So, in the spirit of loving myself, I will now acknowledge a few of my recent accomplishments, no matter how insignificant they may be:

- Going grocery shopping for my parents (and offering to do so even without being asked) - Good job!

- Refraining from eating the whole lemon merengue pie and instead having just a sliver - Good job!

- Making an appointment to take my car to the dealer (finally) and an appointment to get my hair colored - Good job!

- Taking over something for my boss today at work even though it was somewhat stressful - Good job!

And finally, the best one of all...

- Downing an entire bottle of wine last night, getting totally drunk, missing one of my inane MTV shows that I shouldn't be watching anyway, and not giving a shit about any of it? A JOB WELL DONE, LAUREN!

Sometimes you just need to give yourself a pat on the back.

Sometimes you just need to get drunk.

And've gotta do both.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Always Half Empty

I don't get them.

Those people who are so happy-go-lucky about everything. The ones who write things like "I love being in this world" and "I love my life" in their AIM or Myspace profiles. The ones who are always laughing, always offering up a nice phrase or a funny story. The ones who ask "Why are you sad?"

That's the thing. They don't get me just as much as I don't get them. They don't know why I'm sad, and even if they did, they still wouldn't get it.

They're optimists.

Me, the Pessimist

I've always categorized myself as a pessimist. For as far back as I can remember, I just knew that word described who I was.

Maybe that's because I never see the silver lining in a situation. Because I concentrate on the negative instead of the positive. Because my very first inclination is always to feel sorry for myself.


I find that I can peg an optimist almost instantly.

I was interested in a guy a couple months ago, but there was something that bothered me about him. He was just too happy. Too upbeat, far too enthusiastic, and sickeningly nice. "Normal" people may see these qualities as strengths, but I just see them as annoyances.

Because how can I, the devoted pessimist, relate to an optimist of such severity? It is almost as if I feel he is missing something. Without that pointed ability to quickly zone in on the doldrums of life, he is not a whole person.

Empty or Full?

Being a pessimist can be damaging, yes, but it is also the only way I know to truly experience life and all that goes with it. I experience such a range of emotions. I let myself fall deep into the darkest depths. I let myself cry incessantly.

I give in to my emotions, almost always, whether they're happy or sad. I don't ignore the positive. Rather, I deal with the negative first. I just don't understand people who seem to exude that positive energy all the time. I find them exhausting.

And I'm sure they find me exhausting, too. And depressing, even.

I'm an emotional person. And this is how I live my life.

I don't choose to see the glass half empty. It's just what I do.

Sweet and Sour

My various profiles will never say that I love life. I will never say that I love my life. I'm grateful to be alive, yes, but I'm not ready to make such a blanket statement about my state of being. Sometimes I do feel like I love life, but sometimes I feel like it could be a whole lot better.

What is life without pain? Without torment and suffering? I keep wondering why bad things happen, but maybe they happen to teach us to appreciate what we really value in this world. To help us appreciate the sweeter times. After all--and to use a cliche (forgive me)--would the sweet really be so sweet without the sour?

I appreciate the bad just as much as I appreciate the good. Because the bad makes me who I am. And believe it or not, despite all my emotional issues, I've finally come to appreciate myself as a person.

I'm a pessimist.

And I like it that way.

Friday, June 02, 2006


I noticed the flashing red lights immediately. I thought nothing of it until a moment later as I carefully negotiated my way along the narrow road past the firetruck.

And then, as I maneuvered around the shards of broken glass, a horrible feeling hit me.

Could this be my dad? We were so close to home. He'd left right before me. But he knew the road. The ambulances couldn't possibly have gotton here that quickly.

I craned my head, searching for the damaged car. But I couldn't see past the ambulances in the few moments it took me to drive by the scene.

I looked back frantically as I turned at the stoplight just up the road. Still, I could see nothing.

No, that couldn't be my dad. No, I can't think like this. I can't worry all the time that something bad is going to happen. This is not healthy.

Still, I felt uneasy. So I took my cell phone out of my purse and placed it in the cupholder next to me. Waiting. Hoping that it wouldn't ring, but waiting just in case.

I drove along, listening to a Britney Spears song, slowly letting the uneasiness slip away from my thoughts.

Until I heard the all-too-familiar sound of my cell phone. Vibrating in the cupholder.

I picked it up with fear, my heart beginning to pound. I saw the number I didn't want to see. Mom.

"Lauren, dad's been in an accident."

My heart sunk. I immediately started to cry.

I felt fear, yes, but more than that I felt guilt. I had a feeling that it was him. And yet I didn't stop. I didn't bother to turn my car around and go back to look. I thought that would be crazy behavior.

I drove right past as he was being pulled from his horribly wrecked car. I caught a glimpse of the stretcher. How could I not know?

Luckily, I got to the hospital quickly. I saw him. Bleeding, scared, in pain. I cried for him some more.

And miraculously, he is okay. A broken rib, a punctured lung, lots of cuts and scrapes. But he is alive. Lucky. Very, very lucky.

And yet, I can't figure out why this happened. I have a hard time calling a cancer patient who gets into a horrible car accident lucky. He's already weak from chemotherapy, and now he has to heal from this.

How many challenges are going to be thrown his way? He hasn't had an easy life, not in the least. He's worked so hard for everything. He's given so much of himself to his family and everyone he has ever known. He's the type of person I want to be. He's the type of person everyone should aspire to be.

I'm scared. These bad things just keep happening. My world feels so fragile. Vulnerable. What's to stop another horrible thing from taking holding of my family? Why are we even here? What's next?

The world has become a scary place to me.

I'm afraid of dying. And I'm afraid of living. And I'm afraid of losing someone that is such a necessary part of my life. Someone that has made such a positive impact on the world around him.

He doesn't deserve any of this. We don't deserve any of this. But does anyone?

I don't want fear to take hold of me every time I see a car accident on the side of the road. But now, what choice do I have?

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