Wednesday, June 15, 2005

First and Last?

I’m sitting here listening to a little bit of Nikka Costa. For those of you unfamiliar with her, she's simply brilliant. Right now it's "Push and Pull".

Mr. Nothing's got alot
He's got a lot to say
He's good at being what he's not
He gives nothing away
Another day goes on by
and he never speaks his hear
He takes his chance with what he's got
its too late now to stop
you push and you pull it struggle with the knot
that's tying u up while you’re fading
you give and they take and they take what you got
Round and round til it breaks ya
You push and you pull it struggle with the knot
That's tying you up while you fade into you’re life
Mr. Nothing is late
He's running outta time
He questions whether chance or fate
will ever show a sign
He looks to the sky above
for a glimpse of that it means
but it now or never ever made a bit more sense to him

Love it.

Anyway I was flipping aimlessly through the channels and I was struck by something Britney Spears said and in its simplicity it was actually profound. (Yes I was inspired by something Britney Spears said. Blow me.) It was an episode of her god-awful reality show in which she was talking to her desperately- in-need -of- a- shower- hubby and she was telling him how she thought that the first person she loved would be the person she spent her life with. Only... notsomuch. And it struck me as ironic that I had just had the same conversation with some people earlier in that day. I have a very small contingency of female friends but all of us have been in love at some point. (Unfortunately some of us might add.) And we have all been there through each other's loves; we've been there for the giddy squeals in the beginning, the "aww that's so sweet!!!"s and the "I've never seen you this happy"s. We were all there to witness the subtle changes and breaks, the inevitable fights, the late night phone calls filled with panic and tears ending in gently given wisdoms and inside jokes. We were there for each other through each and every time the door closed for the final time, the returning of possessions, the burning of the pictures. We were there for the anger, the sadness, the bitterness, the acceptance and the lapse into all of those all over again until we finally came out on the other side. We know each other's hearts, the tenderness and the toughness, the facades we build and what really lies behind the windows polished so clean they blind anyone who wishes to peer in.

I say this to say we know each other. We know each other's pains and weaknesses, we know each other's love.

So I posed this question to the women in my life: Is your first love your last? Meaning is that the last man that you really and truly love with everything you have before pain ever makes it occur to you to be guarded? Is your first love truly the only man that can be the greatest love of your life?

The opinions ranged of course but none of theirs matter because, well, this is my blog. If they'd like to comment they can start their own. But I believe this: your first love cannot and will not be the last person you love with your whole soul. Everyone knows, no one more so than me, that there is a certain sacredness with which you handle your first love, a certain reverence you give it above all others. It is like winning a gold medal or establishing a record... whoever does it after you, no matter how well they do it, you will always be the first. No one can take that away. And that in and of itself is a powerful thing to say. But the difference is this, I believe that the love you experience anytime after that first real and true love will be, fundamentally, entirely different. Number one because it is with a totally different person and no matter what anyone tries to lie and tell you, what kind of person you're with will determine how you love. Secondly and most importantly though, that first love is what taught you what love can truly be. It has made love a real and tangible thing, not just some story you read in books with brightly colored paintings or hear about in hushed whispers. It makes it real for you and it centers you in it, ground you in the reality of what , for you, love will and will not be. Simply, this; first love teaches you to expect pain but also how to work through it. First love teaches you how to love ferociously and without fear while still giving you the understanding that it can end. If you're lucky like I was first love shows you the standards to which you will hold all the people in your life but anyone you love after that shows you that its ok for those standards to change.

So I tell you this because I know you're reading; You can fall in love again after first love just as wholly, completely and totally as you could ever dare to dream if not more so because you are no longer romanticizing in your head some knight in shining armor riding in on a white horse. You are loving simply a man just as he is, not as you dream him to be. You are loving a reality, not a realization, someone who, when all that prettiness falls away, just loves you. And isn't that really all you need?

A little bit of Nikka which seemed appropriate...

So I stand before you now
Faulty but not broken
Fragile as the break of day
And sometimes sad like words unspoken
But i'll let you in
I'll let you into the corners of my mind

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

a Little Bit of Balance

A few days ago I posted a long whiny diatribe about all the things going wrong in my life. In an effort speak some positive things to life and out of complete disgust with my pitiful bitching, I've decide to compile a list of all the things I'm thankful for. So here we go...comfy?

1. I'm thankful for Joy because loving her is by far the most significant thing I have done with my life. She's taught me to be kind, patient and loving...with myself. And even when I was at my worst she loved me in the purest and most unconditional way. In her words, "honey I'd still love you if you were a man." And I couldn't have put it any better myself.

2. Reka is one of the most AMAZING women I've ever met in my life. She's not perfect because she's human but she's genuine, kind, and loyal. She would give me the last dime in her pocket because she just would. That simple. Her unwavering faith in god and in family inspires me to no end. When I was growing up I was mostly all alone and I always prayed for a big sister to watch out for me so I'd never have to feel alone again. And now I don't.

3. I appreciate Almost Fiance for showing me the kinda love I'd always heard vague rumors about but had never seen in real life. Loving him is so easy. There don't have to be long, drawn out, emotional arguments, putting each other down or drama. Love is having someone in your corner even when you do everything you know to push them out, even when you do everything you can to show them you're unworthy. Love is when they stick around long enough to prove you wrong. And god when you finally let someone love you...its an amazing thing.

4. I'm so grateful for Shani. Why you ask? Because Shani has great timing. So you're probably thinking to yourself, what the hell does that have to do with anything? Well I mean emotional timing. Shani has an inherent way of connecting to another soul and I'm grateful for the fact that she always seems to know when I'm ready to talk, when I just can't bear it, and when I'm ready to hear what I need to hear. That is priceless.

5. I'm grateful for my little brother who won't let me take me so damn serious. He shows me what its like to be a kid even when you're not and he's 15 and still thinks I'm the coolest fucking sister there is. And you never get to a point where you don't need to hear that.

6. I love going to Howard. I love everything about being a Bison. It hasn't been easy for me but I'm proud of myself and I wouldn't trade my education in the classrooms at Howard and out for anything.

7. I'm grateful for family. And by family I mean those people who aren't even blood that love me, are invested in my success, and took care of me at time when my blood family couldn't. Not everyone has another support group to fall back on and even though I don't always use them, I know they are there.

8. I'm glad I feel in love with First Love so young. He made me set the standard for how I will demand to be treated by a man for the rest of my life. Most women search for years until they find the template, and I got mine on the first try. And well, that's just fabulous.

9. I'm soooo thankful for the ability to create. I realize that its both a responsibility and a gift and I don't know where I'd be or who I'd be if I didn't write and sing and act and dance.

10. I'm grateful for thinking too much. Sounds crazy I know, but I see things, feel things, know things that most people miss during the human experience because they're so busy trying to get through it.

11. I love having my friend C in my life because he can always make me smile. Always. Without fail. He always knows just what to say to make me feel like I can go just a little bit further.

12. I'm thankful to have a father who, although he wasn't perfect, works sooooo hard for his family. I have rarely if ever seen many men make the kinda sacrifices he makes for us. Who can say that?

13. I'm grateful for my stepdad too because I know that no matter what my relationship status that there's a man who loves me like no other who's only a phone call away if I need to talk or even if I just need to hold the phone. I love him because he always has a goofy joke for me just when I need it and that may seem so small and insignificant but not when you haven't heard yourself genuinely laugh in forever.

14. I'm love the fact that I'm stubborn, willful, and decisive. Most people probably look at those things as though they are negatives but I'm glad I am. No one walks over me, no one takes advantage of me and look at it this way...if I'm all those things for myself I definitely will be for you too. Which brings me to...

15. I'm grateful that I'm so loyal. There are few people I call friends. But those few that I have I would do anything in this world for and I know that they know that. I'd lay down my life for any of them in a sec because they are all more than worth it.

16. I'm thankful for
Kyle because he makes me think. He always has a way of telling me things I should know for myself without being condescending or hurtful. Not very many posses that gift.

17. I'm appreciate wisdom born from pain. I've been through a lot in my life, much more than most 21 year olds I know. And though it hurt, sometimes still hurts, I'm thankful for it. Because I am by far one of the most thoughtful and empathetic 21 year olds I know and I try so hard to make sure others don’t have to feel pain as I have.

18. I'm thankful for mercy and for grace because Lord knows I've done things that I'm ashamed of and yet somehow good things still come to me anyway. It is because of nothing I've done so great.

19. I'm probably most thankful for being a cynical optimist. Meaning simply that while I seem a cynic without, I'm actually very hopeful within. Its just hard to show sometimes. The optimist in me means I'll never lose hope, the cynic in me just keeps me grounded. It’s a nice balance.

20. I'm thankful for peace. Not the in the middle east kind, but the internal kind. I don't have it yet, but I know its possible. And I'm glad to know that it exists so I can achieve it.

Now that I got me started I could go on forever thinking of a million more things but I'll stop. But I certainly realize that things aren't as bad as being negative would make them seem. Truth is, I'm a lucky girl. And you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who has as much to be grateful for as I do.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

As the Chips Fall Where they May...

It all happened. All of it. EXACTLY the way I said it would. Every single piece of it, to the letter, to the T, down to the very smallest, tiniest detail. I was right. Karma prevailed. Everything I said would happen has happened. Somehow I thought I'd be happier about it. Somehow I thought it would please me more, soothe the remainder of the hurt feelings, restore order and calm in my universe. It didn't. Instead I feel worse. Worse because I hate to see people suffer. Worse because maybe I spoke it into existence, worse because I wished the pain that I'm seeing manifest itself even knowing how horrible it feels because I lived through it...worse because I dunno what kinda person I am for willing it to be yet standing among the rubble.

I'm in a precarious position here. I can play both sides, make things worse, reap a little psychological revenge. But that's not me. That's not who I am. I love. Its just that simple. I love even when love is completely absent, when it can never be returned, when I should be walking away. I love hard and I love long. And I will not apologize for that. Nor will I apologize for being human and wanting these things, willing these things, speaking these things to happen as if they could somehow aggrieve the pain done to me. They can't of course, I recognize now.

Somehow, I thought I'd feel better, happier, vindicated in my resentment. But I don't. Maybe I'm not as vindictive and malicious as I wish I could be. Only time will tell whether or not that's good.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Restricted Access

I've been doing quite a lot of reflecting and writing, and the such lately and I have come to one very important conclusion: I don't know how you people deal with me. You know nothing about me hardly, I screen my calls, I am quite emotionally intense, plus the million other things that would make me unbearable if I weren't so darn cute! ;-) But of these things let's take that first one: you don't know anything about me. Now with some of the people in my life that is because you are intensely self involved. But for many others its because I have simply lost the ability to speak openly and be forthright about myself. Hmmm...yep I can't pinpoint the exact time it happened but its definitely in full effect like the first cookout of summer. Ok pop quiz... Who knows what's going on in my life? RIGHT NOW. Any hands? No? Figured.

Ok so here we go....

I'm afraid my mom and step dad might be getting separated because, put simply, my mother is an drunk, bipolar, self destructive sociopath with a serious mean streak. Too many big words for you? Ok she's a nut. And for anyone who knows how much I adore my step dad (which might be no one because I never talk) you understand why I'm so worried. My step dad stepped in when I was 12 to be like a father to me when my own father wasn't doing so. There aren't many men of that caliber out there. And he's been my daddy for 10 years, long before they got married 2 yrs ago.

On a similar tip, I think my father might have had or could possibly still be having an affair. How do I know this? Because modern technology confuses me, cell phones have too many buttons, and instead of opening his phonebook I opened his text messages. Why is this important? Because my daddy and stepmother have been having issues and his having an affair would #1 further dent my already pretty shitty view of marriage and #2 would make me question whether or not he actually did cheat on my mother. My daddy has been a lot of things I've hated, but I've always considered him loyal and selfless. I don't wanna lose that.

Nope don't stop reading, I'm not through throwing up yet.

In April, I looked First Love straight in the face and made him tell me that he didn't love me anymore. Why would a woman do such a malicious thing to herself you ask? Because I have not quite yet learned how to move on when I'm not in pain. The pain makes me go away when I need to be done with situations but also brings me to this place of silence. But I digress...yes I made him do it. Sorry to crush the dreams of all the people so emotionally invested in that 6 years turning into a marriage, 2.5 kids and a picket fence, but its not gonna happen. I finally realized that after all these years, all we have is all those years. But that's good and let me tell you why.

Because I'm in love. So there I said (wrote) it out loud. I don't think I've said it out loud yet and its been this way for awhile. I think that's my 1st time admitting it. Haven't told anyone yet, just downplayed it, dropped in subtle hints disguised as jokes that everyone just excused. So there. Ok gimme a minute for my heart to stop beating so fast. Why is this so hard? The talking I mean. You should see how fast I'm typing. I'm afraid if I don't get it all out really quickly I'll punk out.

Anyway....Yes I'm in love with Almost Fiance. I'm on a roll here. And I know now more than ever that this is a man I could spend my life with. How do I know you ask? Because after I figuratively shot myself in the chest there back in April, it forced me to do some serious soul searching. And I realized that I don't even know if I was ever still in love with my first love in as much as I was severely attached to the idea of us. I'd used our relationship as a crutch for so long, as a reason to not really get too attached to anyone because "it wouldn't be the same" that I didn't know how to move on from that. But the truth is, there was more him than there was us, his expectations, his ideal, his terms. I don't know if I was ever completely myself. Maybe bits and pieces of myself, but never me in full throttle, never the full rainbow of colors I posses but rather just a select few that fit safely inside his color spectrum. That's a long time to pretend. Don't get me wrong, he knows me inside and out, as far as facts go, but what about that other thing? That intuition, that deeper knowledge and understanding of another soul? I don't think we ever had that because I can now freely say I felt unappreciated and taken for granted. And he made me feel I wasn't good enough. And no one you can even consider spending your life with should make you feel that way.

Wait I'm off track. Where was I? Oh yes....So all of that stuff I was missing before, I have that with Almost Fiance. Its nothing short of the other side of heaven. Its simply amazing. I mean, I just never knew. I had no idea when I met him 3 years how significant he was, how amazing of a man he is. I could go on but this isn't a love letter. Long story short, he makes me happy. How simple is that? No drama, no excess baggage, no bullshit, no chaser. HA! Extraordinary for that to occur nowadays. He and I, we're just perfect. Not perfect beings in a perfect relationship, but we're perfect for each other. And that's something you can't manufacture. Oh but wait-That sounds great right? But there's one thing... He's in Iraq. Did I not mention that? Oh and could possibly be going back, ohhhh, every 6 months or so for 6 months FOR THE REST OF OUR NATURAL LIVES.

Which brings me to my #1 enemy of the moment; the news. I dunno if I'm helping myself or hurting myself but I swear this 6 months has been like the worst kinda torture. I find it so appropriate for my life that I have found that ever elusive thing, that kind of love that everyone wishes for and so few people actually find...and I can't have it.

In addition to that all... (Oh you thought I was done? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA)My brother is apparently suicidal and no one bothered to tell me.

My best friend and I are growing apart and I don't know how to fix it, especially considering its my fault.

My family is absolutely nuts. They don't like me much, never really have and the feeling is entirely mutual. God how they drive me fucking crazy, always fighting, always gossiping, lying. Of all the people in the world, do you know who made me feel the worst about myself because of my color? My family. Nothing like family persecuting you because you have absolutely no control over who your parents are. And don't let us forget how stuck up I am apparently. How is that no matter what good I'm doing, its never enough?

It apparently looks as though I will be homeless in the fall.

I'm invisible in my department and my career seems to have no hope of getting together.

Gay Husband, who just completely shattered my heart and the friend he used to (and still occasionally) fuck want to be my friends again. I'm torn between complete and total fear and distrust of them and the fact that I love them both dearly. (Well one of them definitely the other maybe not so much) Maybe I'm not so over it all as I thought.

I might not graduate on time.

I love people way too hard. Why is that? And I don't just mean men, I mean family, friends, everyone. You can't tell, I know, but I just get so GODDAMN attached to people. And I don't know how to let them go. Even when they're not good for me, even when they hurt me, even when they aren't even half the friend or whatever to me as I am to them, I find myself so impossibly attached. Is it possible to love too hard?

My grandma died in September and I miss her. Does it ever get better? That missing is compounded by the most insane amount of guilt possible because in the months before she died I avoided her assiduously. I didn't want to see her in her deteriorating state, and although sometimes I want to believe that she understood because my grandma always understood me, I wonder if she was hurt by my actions. I guess I'll never know, but I certainly know I never got to explain myself.

I wonder why I'm so hard on myself. I am so awful to me. I'm never good enough for me no matter what I do. I don't bring me anything but down. Why is that? How is it I can be so supportive and encouraging of everyone else in my life but when it comes to me I'm intensely hard on myself? Maybe because it never occurred to me to be any different...

Anyone who knows me knows I hate church. Not because I don't believe in God but because I resent the fact that the modern church has become a business, fashion show and courtroom in that everyone gets judged. I'm torn between wondering if things in my life are going so wrong because I don't go to church regularly or because its just the way it is to be for me. But if I were to start going now wouldn't I be a hypocrite? Maybe I'm not really resentful of church per se in as much as I'm resentful of how I was treated there after my 1st stepfather cheated on my mother, beat the hell outta me and was still held up as a martyr in the church because he was a man, while my mother and I were cast out like we were somehow faulty because of our suffering.

There are very few people in my life who truly know me. And I know that's mostly my fault. But after a lifetime of being invisible, how do you begin to paint yourself in? After never really fitting anywhere, never really being tethered to another soul, feeling some sort of lasting kinderence, how do you erase it and start again? I'm not quite sure.

So that's a lot. I know. I could tell you how I lost my virginity or about my step dad, or my first boyfriend or the myriad of reasons that I can hardly trust a female further than I can throw her (and that sounds like real fun), but alas it is late, and there's only so much about my past I can excavate without the whole dig site falling in around me. So that's just a small taste of what goes on in my head at night. And you people wonder why I can never sleep...That's is all. I'm done emotionally throwing up now. Just leave me to quietly dry heave on the floor.

Monday, June 6, 2005

Entering into an Institution

So anyone who knows me even remotely well knows I have little to no respect for the institution of marriage. Not in a home wrecker "I'll-break-up-your-marriage-and-not-care" sort of way but more so in a "I've-never-seen-it-work-out-so-I'm-very-skeptical-and-don't-think-its-necessary" kinda way. (That took a hella lotta fucking concentration to type.) I have never really seen anyone get married and stay married and the marriages that I have seen that make it over that treacherous 2 year mark are empty, loveless marriages that just aren't the ideal of how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

Marriage is often referred to as an institution. Do we all know what an institution is? Somewhere we put crazy people. As in, you'd have to be crazy to enter into an institution as my ever smart friend Danita put it. And I'm not crazy. Nor do i particularly care for the idea of 6 months of divorce proceedings, custody battles, dividing money and property, etc. Not my idea of a good way to spend 6 months of my life. Don’t want an ex-husband whom I look at with regret and can barely manage to have a civil conversation with him for the sake of our children. I don't wanna be that bitter ex-wife, suddenly thrown back into dating while trying to handle the emotional trauma of a divorce. Not something I wear well.I always said that while I wouldn't MIND getting married, I don't HAVE to get married. Meaning simply that if I found someone that I loved, that loved me, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with I would do just that, sans the big diamond and elaborate ceremony. (well maybe not without the diamond.) But I really can't be convinced that a ring and a piece of paper with 2 names on it in calligraphy will make anything more concrete or solid if it wasn't already. So I just don’t really see the point.

You understand? So while I would never tell anyone else not to get married, I just don't think its necessary for me. Don't think it's really one of those things in my future that’s in the cards for me.

Got all that? Good.

Now forget all of it.

I wanna get married. And I haven't honestly considered marriage in a real adult kinda way ever in my whole life. Hell for the most part I can't even stand the idea of dealing with most of the men I have known for a week let alone a lifetime. But as I'm prone to doing, I have changed my mind. Do I still believe that the piece of paper and ring will make anything more solid? Yes. (But a
Tiffany's ring would make my finger look MUCH better.) But I realize that I like the idea of committing my life to someone else, my whole life, all of me completely and totally, not fractionally or marginally as I have always done. I like the idea of making this pledge in front of the people who love the both of us and celebrating our happiness with them all because the fact of the matter is, not too many people find that someone that they feel they can be bare with. You know what I how you see those older married couples who got married at like 15 and have been together ever since. How they know each other completely and totally, every gesture, every mood. They have found that one person in the universe with whom they can be themselves, for better or worse. They have found that person they want to be bare with.I want someone I can be bare with.

Hmmm... so does this mean I'll be planning a wedding anytime soon? HA. Although I would be a flyyyyy ass bride. lol I just realize that I like the idea of calling someone my husband, of being committed to someone who loves and cherishes me, takes even better care of me than I do. I like the thought of being excited to wake up to someone every morning, spending my everyday with them and growing old with them. If I do this, if I get married, I wanna do it once and that's it. No starter marriages, no second time arounds, no practice runs. If I'm gonna get married, that's it. Because of all the titles I don proudly, ex-wife is not one I wanna wear.

So let's see, the girl so against marriage wants to get married. Why the sudden change of heart that she never even completely had after spending 6 years of her life with the same man? Wouldn't you like to know...Just know I'm happy and content. And that is the best thing to wake up to every morning.


OHMIGOD!!!! Why is life so fucking difficult?

Why am I not already making movies and such?

Why is everything such a struggle for me? I see those people who have had such an easy life, where things have always fallen right into place for them, who have never really had to FIGHT for anything.... and I HATE them.

If there way some kinda way that maybe, one day, life could just turn out the way it was supposed to, the way I wanted it to, really I'd be like the happiest little girl in the world. But alas, I'm an angry woman and the longer I continue to have to depend on other people for things, the more I realize I don't really have anyone in my life to depend on.