Monday, January 30, 2006

Closure

We walk through Georgetown after deciding that a little retail therapy was our only course of action, overpriced coffees in our hands, heads thrown back in loud, uproarious laughter, a slight sway in our step that most single women have. We march store to store, rack to rack, trying on things, matching things, laughing, talking, cursing, little 5 foot whirlwinds in designer jeans and expensive shoes. After one particularly credit card damaging store, we decide we'll breathe long enough to eat. We walk out of the store, arms linked, laughing and talking, snickering at the overtly gay man twisting his way across the street. Suddenly her laughter stops, her eyes rooted to a spot about 10 feet up from us on the sidewalk. There, hand in hand, was the man she'd spent 2 years of her life with&the woman he left her for. He'd traded up when he got a better job; better apt, better car, better fiance. I try to grab her hand and yank her the opposite direction from the happy yuppie couple. She won't move. "No," she says her voice barely above a whisper. "I need to see this. Just hold my hand." So I do.

We stand there in silence and watch them. Watch them laugh and talk, the easy way they are with each other. We watch her fix the collar on the coat my friend bought for him on his first day at the new job he's gotten that makes him feel so important. We watch them hug and kiss and cuddle their way down the street, pausing at windows every few feet, their laughter ringing high over our heads. As I watch my friend she watches her. Long shiny hair, perfect skin and makeup so deftly applied it looks like a painting. Perfect straight white teeth, gravity defying breasts suspended from a tiny waist. Expensive. A perfect trophy. I feel my friend sizing her up, comparing and contrasting their qualities and from her grip on my hand I know she doesn't think she stacks up. We watch them until they disappear from sight. I look at her, her face tight and impassive, barely seeming to register whether or not she's breathing. I feel a dull pain in my hand from where she grips it tightly, her hand warm and slippery, but there is no way I am letting go. Her face flushes pink, then red and as I look into her eyes I think I literally see her heart breaking. "Ok," she says, never even bothering to catch my gaze. "Ok."

We walk in silence. I want to tell her that he did her a favor. That he was an ego centric, emotionally unavailable asshole that was more devoted to his career than her, who couldn't be more concerned with who she was as a woman, who deserved that barbie looking bitch with no soul. I want to tell her she deserves more than being just some trophy to a man. I try to tell her all this and she stops me. "If I'm the one who's better off then why am I the one in so much damn pain?" That shuts me up. We walk until we reach Dupont Circle, her silently treading the recesses of her mind, me wondering what she was thinking, if I could somehow traverse the terrain of her thoughts without stepping on the land mines I knew she was setting in her mind. We sit on the fountain, her head on my chest, her body curled into the crook of my arm, my head resting on top of hers, he tears slightly muffled by the down of my jacket.
"When Rob broke up with you," she starts, "how did it feel?"
"Cold. Heavy. Hollow. Like someone had carved me out from the inside. I felt numb. Mostly sad, and sometimes really angry. But mostly, just sad."
"I'm so sorry. I didn't understand it then, what you were going through. I didn't know really how to be there for you b/c I didn't know how it felt. Now I do."

Somehow it doesn't feel better, knowing that I'm not alone, knowing that someone knows how I felt. For some reason it is no solace at all. I know what it's like to see the man you used to love with someone else, see all the tiny idiosyncrasies of your life together played out with someone else. I don't know if it ever starts to hurt less or if you just get used to the pain. I don't want to tell her that. I don't want to tell her that her heart will never stop beating momentarily at the mere possibility of the sight of him, that to see him with someone else will never claw at your gut any less even if your feelings for him have long since died. I tell her a story about a time I saw my 1st love&his new girlfriend at the restraunt we loved, how, even long after we were over and I didn't want to be with him anymore and was happy with someone else, it tore me up inside. I admit to her that I spent 30 minutes on the floor in the bathroom crying my eyes out.
"I know how much this hurts. I know. The questioning, the who is she? What does she look like? How are they together? Does he do with her the things that were special to us? What is she that I'm not? I know the feeling. Its like being perpetually cold. For a very long time. But eventually it starts to disapate. You start to thaw."
"Thank you," she says.
"For what?"
"For not brushing off my pain with some bullshit, you're-better-off-I-am-woman-hear-me-roar speech."
"You're welcome."
We sit and we talk. Tired, uneasy talk from 2 women who are skittish about trusting people. She reaches into her pocket.
"I always carry this around with me."
She opens her palm and it's her engagement ring. 3 brilliant, flawless carats that I fawned over then that somehow resemble a shackle to me now.
She says, "I used to think that he would show up somewhere one day, admit that he was wrong, beg me to come back. I always wanted to have the ring with me just in case I needed to slip it back on 1 day. Pathetic right?"
"No," I reply, and in my heart I just can't find it in me to judge her because I know what that wishing is like. Hoping that one day you'll wake up and realize that it was all some bad dream or that he'd magically realize his mistake and come home. I tell her I think we all remember those times, that she's not pathetic. She's human.

"Does it get better? Do you learn how to let yourself go again?"

I want to answer her. I want to tell her yes. But I'm not sure.

"Well I know the 2nd time I fell in love, I wasn't looking for it. I was so cut off from it. I just knew it wasn't gonna happen for me. When I thought I was building a wall around myself, that was when I was most vulnerable. He got to me. And I fell for him."
"But what about after? You had Mr. Wonderful..."
"Yes."
"And you let him go."
"Yes."
"And now?"
"I miss him. All the time."
"So why don't you call him? You know he's probably waiting by the phone."
"Because it's not right. It wouldn't be fair to him. And I miss him, yes, but being with a woman who, in her mind, and in her heart is still with someone else, isn't right. The right thing isn't always the easy thing, but its always best."

We're silent after that and I realize I've said many things I never thought I'd have the clarity to say. What is it about others pain that brings out the best in us?

Her head suddenly jerks out of the crook in my arm. "I mean who IS she anyway?!?"

I hug her again and kiss her forehead, draw he back into the curve of my arm. I realize that it doesn't really matter who she is, or anything about her. All that matters is that she is not you. And there is nothing you can do to change that.

After awhile she gets up and says she gonna walk back to her apartment. She starts to walk away and then comes back to where I am sitting. She opens her palm and tosses the ring into the fountain.
"How do you feel?" I ask her.
"Cold. Hollow. But alot less heavy."

She turns around and move towards home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

By the Way...

It was not AT ALL my intentions to rename this page "estranged love" or whatever that says at the top there. It's still "This is What Happens...". However, for the LIFE of me I can't figure out how to change it in this new damn template. Anyone particularly good with HMTL? I'd love the help...and by 'love' I mean I am in DESPERATE need of it and might build a small altar to you in the corner of my room.

Kidding!

I Promise I am not Covering my Ears and Screaming "la la la!!" at the Top of my Lungs...Wait-What Did you Say? I Had to take my Hands from my Ears

A few things that you all should be proud of...

I got my hair re-colored. No more dark, hood rat roots!! I re-love being a blond (at a slightly darker, semi-black girl friendly hue hue.)

THERE IS FOOD IN MY FRIDGE. And LOTS of it. And healthy shit too...you know, all those fruits and vegetables and shit.

My room is clean. I can see the floor without having to peer through piles of (maybe) clean clothes and paper circles.

I bought cute shoes and undies at the VS semi-annual sale. ALL ON SALE.

I have paid all my bills.

I am working out. ALL THE TIME. (Thus eliminating my need for those court mandated anger management courses. Hoo-rah!!!)

I have money in my savings account.

I am buying a car of my very own next month.

I have been to all...ok MOST of my classes. (I still hate school; some things don't change.)

Did I mention the food?


I'm doing pretty well, keeping to my new year's resolutions, getting things done, sending out resumes, planning for life after graduation (how does coming out making 50-60K sound? Who does that straight out of college in the cut-throat, pay-your-dues-in-the-mail room world of television?) Things are falling into place reasonably well for me. I'm totally happy. Not even thinking about that thing I'm not supposed to be thinking about. Uh uh. Not at all. I am all brand shiny new and improved. Woo positivity! Woo moving on! Woo 2006! Woo! and maybe a little Yay!!! thrown in for good measure. (Geesh...all this positivity is tiring.) But yes, TOTALLY not thinking about the thing I'm not supposed to. Nu uh. Not me. I got mind control over myself.

Yeah... I don't believe me either.

Damn that thing I'm not supposed to be thinking about. I'd done pretty good about it actually. I hadn't thought about it in exactly 2 weeks. And then I started listening to the tracks on my Dell on random shuffle. Good idea in theory, bad in practice. Why? Because I was not at all prepared when that DAMN SONG came on. And then it reminded me that I hadn't been thinking about that thing that I am not supposed to be still thinking about, let alone admitting to anyone else that I am actually still thinking about it. And now that I have realized that I went so long without thinking about the thing, it is all I can think about. And I can't convince myself to STOP LISTENING TO THE DAMN SONG.

But yeah, other than that I'm TOTALLY fine.

I was talking to Mr. Vague last night (the one guy who's charms somehow refused my "I need to be alone" stance on life. I really should review where the break down occurred with that) and he says to me, "You're so mysterious." Am I mysterious? I didn't realize. I mean, yeah, if 'mysterious' means, like, maybe, being slightly a little less than forthcoming when it comes to personal information but I mean I TOTALLY thought that this post was an exercise in concise and explicit writing, yes?

Anyway, it's 3:09am. How do I know that? Because that's what the display says on my computer...which is currently PLAYING THE DAMN SONG ON REPEAT. But you don't know that because I have not admitted to it. Because I am not supposed to say that. Just like I am not supposed to say that I am thinking of the thing which I am not supposed to be thinking about because thinking about it is not helping me not think about it. So it's a damn good thing that I'm not thinking about the thing because if I were, it would certainly drive me (and all the people reading this) more than a little crazy. Glad I'm not crazy...nope, not a bit, nuh uh, not at all...no crazy here.



Ahh denial. I always did have a love affair with Egypt.





In music...

THE DAMN SONG.

Please someone, if you love me, take my Tamia CD from me IMMEDIATELY.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

When the Apple Falls far From the Tree, Does it Hurt?

Me and the future father of my children were discussing baby names yesterday for our as yet unconceived alarmingly attractive children that we will be having in the future. I believe we decided on Sean Robert for the first boy, despite my initial discomfort with the name. (You put two and two together.) The conversation resurfaced throughout most of our day together as we walked around the city and I bought shoes (yes, yes I know I didn't need any more shoes but they were ON SALE) and lingerie (again I know I don't need anymore lingerie but they were also ON SALE... and PINK!!!) and what started out as a joking conversation quickly got me to thinking. While I am well aware of the fact that these 3 (or was it 4?) children we are supposed to be having will not be coming for many, MANY years to come, or at least until we can determine the least awkward and friendship damaging way to conceive them. (If you know John and I you know why this is an issue.) However, it got me to thinking, what kind of mother would I be?

Now if you were to ask many of my friends, they'd tell you that they couldn't possibly imagine me with a child. And I can't blame them because it is my own fault for not really allowing them to see the mothering part of my personality. The truth is that I have always loved kids, always wanted a house full of kids, both biological and adopted. I always felt, for some reason, a strong maternal instinct for everyone in my life, that nurturing thing that most women have that seems to be up at full throttle with me. The instinct has always been there, ever since I can remember. But here is my issue...I've never actually BEEN a mother. (Obviously.) And more so than that, I haven't exactly had the best of examples. Not that my mother was the worst, but she's not exactly winning any awards or anything that's for sure. Would I be a good mother? Or will I, quite possibly completely ruin my childrens' lives subsequently becoming the stuff Lifetime movies and successful psychiatrists are made of? Oh God, if I have kids will they grow up and cut me off and then write a NYT best-seller about what a screwup I was as a parent?

And how does one balance career and family? Like I said, I'd like to have a big family. But my career field isn't exactly pregnancy/family friendly. Will I have to give up what I love to do? Or will I, in a quest to maintain some semblence of my former self and a life of my own that I am content with, end up neglecting my children to their very capable and overpaid nanny or to their overworked father, and subsequently become one of those parents who gets to know her children through phone calls and pictures and second hand stories of what they are doing? I don't want that. But I also know the inhumane pull of my ambition. Will I look up in 20 years and have the career I always wanted and yet still be alone?

I used to tell my ex boyfirend all the time that he and his career (and he and his pride..and his stubborness...and his tendency to not allow himself to need people) were going to have a long and happy life together because he was so ambitious and it didn't leave room for much else (including his relationship with me). But I wonder now, was I projecting? Were those really my own fears manifesting themselves in our relationship? As much as we talked about getting married, having a family, all of those other plans we held for so long, was I really far more distrustful and insecure of it than I let myself believe? I'm not so sure anymore.

I wonder what kind of mother I'd be. I have certain ideas about things that I would do or wouldn't do, but will they hold up in practice? Or will I just be one of those people on Oprah crying as my children attack me and tell me how I screwed up their lives? I used to not want to have children at all. As a matter of fact, I was so scared that I'd be a bad mother that it was my plan to have my tubes tied at 18. I don't remember exactly what changed my mind. But was I right back then that it wasn't in my best interest to have kids just as I don't know anymore if I really believe in marriages that last? Because in all honesty, I've never seen either of them work. Or was I just letting my fear of failure dictate the things I wanted? I don't know yet. But its certainly making me less excited about the future arrival of Sean Robert.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

We're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

For all of you all out there in the blogosphere who have been sorely missing it over the last few weeks, Overheard at the Mecca is back, remodeled (no thanks to me...ALLLLL because of Shani-bean), and updated. Hope you enjoy. Don't forget to send us your submissions of the ignorant stuff you hear on campus at overheardatthemecca.gmail.com. We'd like to start updating a lot more so we need your help!! Enjoy!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2006

this is how you know

The time is right
I'm gonna pack my bags
And take that journey down the road
Because over the mountain I see the bright sun shining
And I want to live inside the glow
I wanna go to a place where
I am nothing and everything
That exists between
here and nowhere
I wanna go to a place where
Time has no consequences oh yeah
The sky opens to my prayers
I wanna go there
I wanna go to beautiful

Please understand that it's not that I don't care
But right now these walls are closing in on me
I love you more than I love life itself
But I need to find a place where I can breathe
I can't breathe
I wanna go to a place where
I can hold the intangible
And let go of the pain with all my might
I wanna go to a place where I'm suspended in ecstasy
Somewhere between dark and light
Where wrong becomes right
I wanna go to beautiful


"Beautiful" by India.Arie

"Beautiful" was a song I first discovered my senior year in high school during a dance concert I was performing in. It is one of those songs you fall in love with upon first listen, a beautiful string of acoustic harmonies seamlessly blended together to become one bittersweet anthem to moving forward. It's amazing to me how songs come full circle almost like life does; I can't believe I first fell in love with this song almost 4 years ago but I realize that must be right because here I am, once again a senior and on the brink of moving on. My senior year in high school, I went through the same growing pains I think everyone goes through when you realize that you are outgrowing some of the people you hold dear to you, that you are on the eve of really taking some real and tangible control over your own life, almost to a place where you can shape it into what you envision it being. Back then, graduation was bittersweet for me because I realized that many of the people I'd grown up with, loved with, laughed with would soon become casualties of this war we call growing up and that, with the exception of VERY few, soon they would be no more than people I remembered fondly, memories of times I'd only recall from pictures. Some of them I grew away from naturally; some of them I realized I needed to get away from so I could grow.

I'm feeling the same way now.

As it is now 2006, I am forced to look at the fact that in 5 very short months, I will be on my way into a life I'd like to call my own. I will be graduating, moving on, relocating to an as yet undisclosed city (I'm not being secretive...only God knows what I'm going to do with myself) and I will be leaving behind some people, things and situations that I have grown accustomed to, for better or for worse. I am preparing myself now because I remember how hard it was in high school, when the realization that I needed to be without some people in my life hit me hard and suddenly and it was a lot to handle.

You ever just dealt with something, been through something, said something in the passion of a heated argument that you looked back on and went, "What just happened here?" You know? Like one of those needless. pointless arguments that you know you really just wasted your time having because you got nothing accomplished. Or have you ever been through something so terrible, so awful and looked back on it later in disbelief like, "I can't believe I ALLOWED myself to go through that!!" and you just shake your head at your own negligence with which you've handled your emotional self? I find myself doing that often when I think of the year that just passed, and if I am to be honest about it, many of the things I have done over the last few years. And it is strange really, to watch your life go by, unannounced, to look at it objectively as a spectator and go, "What the fuck was I thinking?!?"

No, really. What the fuck was I thinking exactly?

I can't believe some of the things I allowed myself to get caught up in in 2005. Even back in 2002 when I graduated from high school and felt so prepared to take on the world, so ready to change and to grow and move into beautiful. I think maybe I have gotten painfully sidetracked.

I feel like I'm on the verge of something and I've never felt this way before. I feel like I'm on the edge of something bigger than even those things I have allowed myself to imagine, and that's pretty big. I feel like 2006 is gonna be a big year for me. I feel different right now than I've ever felt in my life. I have absolutely no concrete idea about where I'm going.

And it feels great.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my lists, love my plans, love my control. But right now I recognize that none of those plans really matter; they're not important. Hell, I never end up doing them anyway. And maybe that's what this feeling is... the comfort in knowing that even though there is no clearcut, obvious, or easy plan that I see, I'm ready. When I was 18 and graduating, I wasn't moving on, I was escaping. I'd prepared my escape for so many years, so carefully articulated each and every step of the journey that I was only fleeing blindly, relieved that it had actually worked. The difference now will be that when I graduate at 22, I'll truly be ready for the world. I am having no whatismymissioninlifewherewillIgowhatwillIdo anxiety that most upcoming graduates have. Because I KNOW. It is not the loud, boisterous sense of confidence I thought I had as a high school senior. It is a quiet, readied assurance that I feel down to my very core that I will be alright. No, really.

I am so different than who I was 4 years ago and I'm proud of that. And even more proud am I that I realize that there are still things about myself that I would like to change, and I'm proactively pursuing them. I have never been one for new year's resolutions; I believe that if you truly wanna change your life you will do so whenever the hell you're ready. I guess this year it just so happens that my 'ready' coincides with a flip of the calendar. So I'm gonna try something different. I'm gonna have some resolutions here that I hope, if they are in print, if there are thousands of witnesses that I will not go back on. I don't believe I will. I do not have some crazy long impossible list of off-hand things. There are only 4. Only 4 things that I am going to focus on changing in my life. So here goes...

#1: I Will not Stress Over Things I Cannot Change

Which will be hard for me, because well, I like being in control. Really, you might not know me and might not believe me, but things REALLY DO go better when I'm in charge. Really. Don't just ask me... I have references!!! But that is beside the point. I realize, that I cannot, will not have control over everything. And that truly growing up means that I have to learn how to deal with that. The truth is, I have to learn how to deal with things as they come, not how to control and manipulate them from the begininng. Because when things (inevitably) go their own way anyway, I am caught so completely off guard. And I spend more time going, "Where did I lose control of things?" rather than saying, "Ok how can I fix it." This I recognize is gonna be very hard for me. It involves a certain kind of courage, a certain faith in people and a trust in others that I'm not sure I have yet. But I want it. I'd like to stop being that girl that's always looking for the catch, that's always analyzing the ways that someone could fuck me over, trying to cut them off at the pass. I'd like not to be the girl that only remembers the negative about things and people. And more importantly, I don't want to be so good at controlling everything that everyone EXPECTS me to do it, as I have in the past. I don't want always to be the go-to girl, the fix it girl, the "well you know Lauren will take care of it". I'd like, for a change, for someone else to take responsibility for something. And I'm thinking that maybe, in my zeal to help, to encourage, to be there for the people I love do dearly, that I have actually crippled them. Maybe, when I thought I was stepping in to help, I was actually impairing their ability to control their own lives. I never meant to of course, but I can see how, in some of my relationships, this could be entirely possible. I mean some of my friends come to me for advice on things that I should TOTALLY have no say in, and they look shocked whenever I say that I'm not going to help or give advice. Maybe I have done more harm than good.

So I will not stress over things I cannot change like the fact that people are exactly who they tell you they are and you can't change them, the fact that there are women in the world who don't realize that there are field goals in basketball as well, that there are fat people in bright spandex EVERYWHERE, that jimmy choo WILL NOT in fact make shoes just for me for the rest of my life, that I CAN'T please everyone, that most of my family will just always be crazy, that there is a possiblity that my life will take me away from all the people I love and cherish, that no one really wants to make an SUV that's easy for short people to climb into, that I will not in fact ever change my mother or the fact that George Bush is in office.

However, I do hear that Toronto is beautiful this time of year.

#2: I Will not Apologize

For anything. EVER.

Unless I am actually wrong and TRULY sorry.

Sometimes, I find myself so timid, so quiet that it astounds me. I have never been timid nor quiet. But there are times when I am so intimidated by some of the things I fear that it causes a complete and total change in me. I catch myself often times offhandedly apologizing for things that I haven't really done wrong or things that, really, I am not sorry for. I have become, recently, so anti-confrontation that I find myself going to great lengths to avoid it because sometimes I just don't feel I have the strength for the fight. Immediately thereafter, I am so disgusted with myself, so shocked at this person I've turned into that I barely know how to sit still with me. Is this what I have allowed time and persecution to do to my spirit? Weaken my desire, my drive, my NEED to fight? Not acceptable.

I am tired of apologizing for things I am not sorry for. I am tired of apologizing for things that I meant to do. And as horrible as it may sound, I am tired of apologizing to people that I hurt intentionally just because I don't wanna seem like a bad person. A teacher once told me, "No man has ever accomplished anything great that was afraid to be disliked." And I think he was right. Never in my life have I ever been afraid to be the bad guy. Because the truth is that I realize even when I do things I am not particularly proud of, I am still a good person. Those that know me and that truly love me unconditionally, recognize this as well.

I realize that in some ways, I have made apologies for many aspects of my personality even when I was never saying a word. My changing myself was an apology, my assiduously avoiding arguments when I knew I was right was a silent admission of guilt. And I will not do it anymore.

I will not apologize for being anything that I am even if that means being, focused, selfish, driven, blunt or even if necessary detatched. Because I have done it too long, given out meaningless apologies so long that it's a wonder that I am not in fact, as sorry as I say I am.

#3: I will Take Better Care of Myself

There is no food in my fridge. I have run out of shampoo. The vitamins I usually keep in medicine cabinet? Gone. I can't remember the last time I did anything for myself, necessity or just excess. No, like, literally can't recall the last time I did a good deed for me. Now ask me the last time I did something nice for someone else. Really. Ask. Me.

In this instance, taking better care of myself doesn't just involve your atypical "I will eat right and go to the gym" resolutions. (Though I must say I have been going to dance class (which I sorely missed) and running as well as eating REAL food these last few weeks I've been home and the difference is SHOCKING.) I am moreso referring to my mental and emotional health than anything else because I truly believe the neglect of those two has lead to most of my physical problems in the last year. I will make sure I rest. And not just nap. I mean really REST. Between taking 21 credit hours, working two jobs, doing a couple shows and just generally dealing with life, up until I came home I can't remember the last time I really had a good nights sleep. And it is a damn shame when you have to FORCE yourself to sleep more than 2 or 3 hours at a time because you're so used to living off so little. I will make sure I go somewhere to take someone's yoga or ballet class, not because it will give me the physical discipline I have been missing (if you wanna get ur fat ass in shape, take a ballet class) but because the classes I used to DEMAND of myself that I take were like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stifling life. They were an hour or two where I could be and just let go, exist without fear of what would fall apart in my abscence. It was a much needed stop for sanity on the way to complete mental breakdown that I somehow convinced myself that I didn't need or didn't have time for. I will not do that anymore. No check mark on a to-do list is more important than what I love to do. I will take some time for myself without someone having to force me to do so. Because I recognize that this "sleep is for people who don't want to be successful" mentality I have is really wearing me down in so many ways. I know it'll be difficult because I have seen the results of what pushing myself can create. I know the success you can reach if you push just a little beyond the limits of what is normal or healthy. But right now, I also realize that all of those accomplishments will be nothing if they're something read out of an obituary over my casket. I don't know what I was thinking. Last year a doctor literally told me that if I didn't slow down I would have a stroke before I turned 22. And it scared me. But did I stop? No. I made it worse for myself, escaping into jobs, and relationships, and activities to take my mind of the fact that secretly I was miserable and dying on the inside. But no more. I realize now what I was trying to avoid all along... all these affiliations don't really mean much to me other than a bullet on my resume. Rather, I found myself so imperviously caught up in these things because when I am working, when I am creating, when I am in control, I do not have to think about those things I ran away from. And it's about time I stopped doing that. I will stop spreading myself so thin among school, work, jobs, activities, relationships. And this is where it gets tricky. Because it is inadvertantly in my nature to 8,973,561 things at once. But I'd like to actually live my life, not just create it.

Christmas Eve I came to the realization that maybe I just need to be by myself. Maybe I need to cut out some of the extraneous people that are either not helping me or that I am just using as distractions. I decided right then and there that there would be people that I would not call anymore, people I would not hang around anymore, and people that I needed to let go of, if not just for me, than because they deserved to be more to someone than just a distraction from heartbreak. I called a couple people, a couple guys I allowed to fill the times when I couldn't stand the silence, when they distracted me, anchored me willingly after just the vague promise of something more. Made a few calls, had a few short conversations, really felt no loss. And then I had to call Mr. Wonderful. It took me seven tries to dial his number. He picks up, singing along to my ring. (No, I will not tell you what it is or why.)


"Hey baby what's up? Your family isn't driving you too crazy I hope?"
"No, I'm actually pretty good. No fights, no yelling. Pretty peaceful. You busy?"
"Nope. Never too busy to talk to you. You know better than that,"
he replies, and a part of me smiles on the inside because it's nice to feel like a priority for once. That enternal smile fades when after a second because I realize I'm about to hurt him.
"I need to talk to you," I say on a sigh so quiet he has to ask me to repeat myself.
"Uh oh. This is never good. This has got to be a world record or something."

We talk, or more accurately I talk, and he listens, listens without interupting, listens and for once in silence I don't hear judgement. I will forever appreciate him so much for that. I tell him, much more eloquently than I thought I would, what I'm feeling, how I'm feeling, what I want. He is patient, so patient with me, so gentle with my neurosis. They should bottle him and sell him in every store in America.
"I can't see you anymore." I say and there is a tiny part of me that wants to take it back when I hear his long sigh.
"It's ok," he says. "I'm disappointed, of course, but it's ok. I understand. I want you happy. After everything you've been through you deserve that much. At least you can't file this away under the catagory of one of your D.A.N. stories." He laughs and I laugh with him, not because it is particularly funny but so that he won't be laughing alone. It is the kind thing to do. But it's sad that he even has to say it. We hang up the phone slow and easy, make promises to keep in touch that we both know we won't really keep. And just like that it's done.
And honestly I feel better.

I'm thinking maybe I'm better off alone. Trying to find the balance between being alone and feeling alone because I don't think I've quite found it yet. Maybe there are certain issues one must seek to fix on our own. Or maybe it is like Mr. Wonderful told me once, "There is never a time when all of your issues will be "fixed" and you will be magically ready to be with someone. The trick is to find someone who is willing to support you during your fixing and for the rest of your life." I'm not sure what philosophy I follow, but for right now this feels right.

Maybe I'll stay single for all of 2006. Maybe the moment I decide that alone is best for me, someone will come and sweep me off my proverbial BCBG ladden feet. But, I also have to realize that maybe he won't. And that at some point in my life, I have to be ok with being alone, that I have to learn how to take better care of myself without someone forcing me to do it.



See what I'm goin' through
Might seem selfish to you
But I never tried it
And I think that I like it
I do

"selfish" Vivian Green


#4: I Will not be the 'Pull Away First' Girl

This will probably be the hardest for me. Because it is so inherrently in me to pull away before people leave. I used to have a boyfriend that, no matter what, he always pulled away first. No matter what we were doing, where we were, what was going on, no matter how much I wanted or needed him to not let go, he always let go first. And it hurt me. But somewhere along the line I realized that I'd picked up the habit. I did it with my mother, with friends, with boyfriends. I always, ALWAYS had to be the one that let go first, as though breaking the contact would somehow strengthen the control I had over the direction the relationship took. I even remember moments of letting go, falling into an embrace or a moment with boyfriends after him and how it felt when he let go first. Though I, objectively, can't say if he actually pulled away first or if I was just projecting. But I remember the feeling. It hurt me. And I'm ashamed that I have done so to other people. Not just romantically, but in all the various types of relationships I maintain. I'm disappointed in myself really. It's like someone abusing their children because they were abused...yes it is a learned behavior but is it really an excuse?

I don't wanna be that girl anymore. I don't wanna be the detached person so many accuse me of being just so that I can try to hold myself aloft of the possibility of being hurt. I don't want to be that person that will intentionally pull away, intentionally inflict pain to create distance that I know I can be sometimes. I don't want to be such a slave to my fear of being left that I am constantly in pergutory; one foot in, one foot out just so that I may have a running start on the heartache. How many, I wonder, how many times have I left, how many people have I hurt out of the need to be the one who leaves when really, they had no intentions of leaving at all? How many times did I jump ship, how many times did I let go first, when someone else was trying to hold on?

This is what I must live with. The idea that if I have in fact left people who had no intentions of leaving, if I have in fact inflicted pain on someone I once loved that they carry around with them to this day, it is my own fault. Maybe, my tendency to pull away from people before they get within 100 feet of who I really am is why there have been so many people who have come and gone from my life. Maybe it is my own fault. I am not sure. And part of me is scared to know. But more of me is so tired of pulling away from people that I love and, on some levels, am starting to trust just because I fear the reprucussions of letting someone else be emotionally responsible for me. I'm just so tired so being scared of feeling abandoned.

By the same token, I will not allow myself to be the person who holds on too long either. I will not, if for no other reason than my pride won't let me. If anything I have learned that it is impossible to hold on to someone who does not wish to be tethered. And I will not hold on long after they have let go just to convince myself that I am somehow doing the admirable thing.

I will not be that girl anymore. I will hold on to the people I love, even when they hurt me, even when I don't agree, because I love them, because they are dear to me, more dear to me than anything else. I will not allow the fear of being left dictate how I treat the people who have been so patient with me, have tried so hard to get to know me, to get close to me, to prove to me that there are people I can trust. I will not allow the bad memories of the people who did let go first push me into the same self-destructive behavior.

I know it'll be hard for me; my flight responses are more finely triggered than any other animal I know of. But I refuse to not try. I realize I can't pull away from people for the rest of my life. If for no other reason than I know the hurt it causes for someone to let go first when you need nothing more than to be held.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Funny Stuff La has Said This Year or Stuff she Just Thinks you Should Read

I really don't know the point of this post aside from the fact that I am always making rather snide and smart ass comments that somehow manage to come off funny and not bitchy. A friend of mine said to me after I said something that was apparently hilarious today, "you should write a book of all the mean, funny stuff you say. I'd buy it." And then I thought to myself... I can do you one better!! I'll put it on my blog. So here goes. I'm not really this mean or this full of myself... I promise.

Me on...

Ex-Boyfriends
"What are you talking about? She's just like me. She looks like me...only not as cute. She talks like me...only not as eloquently. She thinks like me...only not as intelligently. The issues we had are the same issues they have. He's basically doing our whole relationship over again..only not as well. It's like "Us: The Remix" only with a poorly mixed sample. She's the cheap knockoff version of me. She's like "compare to La" perfume. It's sad really."

Booty Calls
SM: Should I call him?
Me: Girl you know you want to see him.
SM: I do.
Me: Well then girl you better Dial-a-Dick.

Ridiculing Drunk People
Sister: I am sober!!!!!
Me: Yes you are sister, you are sotally tober.

Being Irresistable even though I am not a Member of Ooh La La
"I am a ooh la la girl... Cuz when niggas see me they be like, "Ooh Lala."

the Number One Reason Why People Move
Me: I'm really looking forward to moving. I just...can't be here anymore.
Mr. Wonderful: You can't move to a new city every time you go through a break up.
Me: I disagree. There are a million beautiful cities in the world...and I mean even I can't go through that many devastating breakups, right?... RIGHT?

Racial Profiling
*phone rings*
Mr. Wonderful: You said we're a match made in NBA heaven, huh? Hahaha
Me: I stand by my choice.
Mr. Wonderful: Well I guess it's a good thing I don't like hockey skiing or something.
Me: We would never have gone out on a date then.
Mr. Wonderful: Why not?
Me: Because I don't date white guys.

all the Men in my Life
"I...Made. a. Date. With a boy. A straight one. (Isn't it sad I have to put that?)"

How the World is Unfair to Short People
"SUVs are damn near impossible for tiny people to get in and out of in heels."

What School Means to Me
"It's the last two weeks of the semester, universally known to all college students as the time of the year when you try desperately to make up for being a horribly lazy student all semester by doing crazy amounts of work on 2 hours of sleep and 30 pounds of coffee without killing
yourself."

Shani Wanting Cowboy Boots...
Me: Are you fucking kidding me?
Shani: I thought I told you to shut up. I neeeeeeeeeeed them! Why won't anyone support me? What's life without a little bit of happiness now and then in the shape of really nice leather boots. And yes, boots are material possessions, which can't make a person happy. They are also symbols, however, for very happy childhood memories. Therefore, while I don't technically *need* them, they make me reminiscent of good times, and looking at them makes me smile. So shut up.
Me: Um... still no wife. But nice closing argument... and by nice I mean still wrong and I say closing b/c this conversation is over. NO BOOTS. COWBOY BOOTS=DIVORCE. COWBOY BOOTS=THE END TO LIFE AS U KNOW IT B/C I WILL RUN U OVER WITH KYLE'S CAR.

Why Relationships End
Steve: You ever been with someone and in the begininng it all started off good and then it just got really, really bad and you dont know why?
Me: Yes. That is why I'm single.

Not Being Able to Do What I Want Just Because I'm a Girl
"I HATE the double standard that women have to deal with. I hate that I can't like basketball (which I do) without someone accusing me of pretending to like it to get a man (which I don't have to do). I hate that I can't wear whatever I want to wear (which I do) without someone looking at me like I sleep around (which I don't). I hate I can't talk about sex honestly, openly, and frankly (which I do often) without people looking at me like I'm a slut or some kinda freak (which isn't always far from the truth but only with the right person). And I hate that I can't be up front about what I want in a man and what I will not tolerate without being labeled demanding or unreasonable or a bitch (which I often am)."

Why it's Fun Harassing Those That you KNOW are Smarter than You
Olu:You better listen to me. I know these things.
Me: What?!? You know NO things.

Shani Unleashing her Inner Prep
"You're so fired. LOL I knew it would come out of you eventually. You know what the prep leads to right? The "stay at home mom" uniform. Blindingly white tennis skirts, cardigan thrown over ur shoulders and Keds... here you come!!!"

Running Relationships like the Workplace
"Just keep in mind this open door is also a revolving one and that your space will be filled pretty quickly. Please don't get upset. Please no letters, phone calls, emails, instant messages, or texts. You have resigned from your position and you have been replaced. "

Why Tigger Woods is Still only Marginally Popular
"And by the way, does anyone else agree that Bitch Slapping should be a sport? I mean wouldn't you rather watch that on TV than, say, golf?"

Shani Calling me a Label Whore
"You put my page as a link under 'label whore'? That's not nice. People in cyberspace might think I'm shallow. They dont know my deep inner workings. And that is so not fetch-ohmigod!!! Manolos!!!"

Social Interaction
Shani: I NEED MY ROOMMATE'S FRIEND TO LEAVE
Me: Lol Y?
Shani: she's singing. And her voice is annoying. And she's a FUCKING CHILD
Me: Oh lord have mercy jesus
Shani: like, she acts like that annoying kid that your mom used to invite over, b/c she was friends with the kids mom and you were like, i don't LIKE YOU. And the kid was like, "you wanna go play computer games?" And you were like, "No. Go away."
Me: Gotta love it. Go make friends!! Go play nice... go kick her in the shins

Why I Never Pick up the Phone... I'm Probably Doing 1 of the 2
"Screening, by the way, is my favorite practice of all time. Better than faking orgasms, really."

Why Crying is Pointless
"Oh by the way, I hardly ever cry. It makes me makeup run. "

How Breakups Destroy Your Social Skills
"I'm not ready to like anyone. Or...talk to...humans."

Being Racist
Mnemosyne14: she was so LOUD
Lalafrmatl: As most blacks r
Mnemosyne14: i was like, um, dial it down a notch, sweetie, you're only embarrassing yourself
Mnemosyne14: lol, right? Black people are SO LOUD
Lalafrmatl: I know right? And I don't understand why
Mnemosyne14: like, it's 4345839048 decibels in there
Lalafrmatl: I'm RIGHT HERE.
Mnemosyne14: the room is only 4 feet by 3.5 feet. Come on guys!! Every day, i'm like, GUYS! WHY CAN I HEAR YOU DOWN BY THE ELEVATOR? JESUS!
Lalafrmatl: Ohmigod they've gotten to you too. You're yelling via internet
Mnemosyne14: i've been infected
Lalafrmatl: Oh no!! The blackness!! Its got u!!

Why Shani is Absolutely no Help in a Exestensial Crisis
Me: If all my exes have very distinct and separate issues and all they have in common is me...am i the issue?
Shani: ...yes. Of course not. You have the issue
Me: err?
Shani: You find the guys with these serious issues... how?
Me: b/c... I have issues?
Shani: yeah... read back to WHAT I JUST SAID. It's not about them, it's about you
Me: ahh gotcha!! I'm fucked up. Great.
Shani: But yeah, it's not about you being fucked up - everyone is - it's about you recognizing that and ... doing... something ... proactive... i guess? I dunno. I can only answer three questions per day
Me: Could you have told me that b/f hand? I'd appreciate knowing ur limit b/f actually entering into a dead-end therapy session
Shani: That's a question.

the Real Reason so Many Men are in Jail
Me: BULLSHIT NIGGA YOU A DAN!!! It's amazing... niggas never stay how they present themselves to be in the begininng.. And then when we say something about it its "why you trying to change me?" No YOU NIGGA, I'm not trying to change you, I'm just trying to hold you accountable for the person you presented yourself as in the begininng. Thats impersonation and fraud. You can go to jail for that shit!!!


Why I'm a Good Friend
Shani: why am i seriously cleaning my ipod. like, how anal is that
La: wow sweetie. u should leave ur room. Now. NOW. Please. Your life depends on it...
and by ur life I mean that if you get anymore pitiful, I will kill you. Out of the kindness of my heart.