May 29, 2012

Home Away From Home

Note: I wrote this in June 2011, but blogspot is weird now and puts the new date on things that you take out of draft mode. I just decided I want to choose posts to have up one at a time for now. I get nervous having a bunch of information about myself out there all at once since my posts are pretty personal. Call me crazy.

"You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in really isn’t your home anymore? All of a sudden, even though you have some place to put your shit, the idea of home is gone. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You’ll never have that feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself for your kids or the family you started. It’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea. Maybe that’s all a family really is: a group of people that miss the same imaginary place."

- Andrew Largeman, Garden State

What's wrong with me? Maybe it's the depressing music that Pandora is playing right now. Maybe it's the nostalgia it makes me feel. It's like I'm back in high school being punched in the gut by the pain of unrequited love.

My chest is literally heavy with loneliness and the longing for connection to someone. I hate that I'm afraid to say that because it makes people think that something must be wrong with my marriage. No, I just don't think two people can solve each other's every problem and fill each other's every need. That's why we have brothers, sisters, parents, children, etc. We get different things we need from a variety of people and serve a different purpose in each of their lives as well.

Oh great, now this song just started, "Happiness hit her like a train on a track..." This is how I feel. Eerily hopeful but despairingly sad.

It's so strange to me the way a new person in your life can make you feel. I am suddenly pulled back into my 14-year-old self. Awkward, insecure, overly critical of every word escaping my mouth or my fingertips. I share too much; I ask too much; I am too much. I weigh a person's every word and action just as heavily as I do my own. I read into things that aren't there but that I hope so desperately are because I want this feeling to be mutual. More often than not, it is not.

Is there anything more sad and disappointing than realizing you thought you were on the same page with someone who turns out to be in a completely different book? Human nature is so odd. There are so many unwritten rules about proper interaction. I am also a victim of putting too much emphasis on the importance of following societal norms. I always worry too much that I'm not following them or feel empathetically embarrassed for anyone I see breaking these unknown restrictions on our developing relationships. I get pushed away by someone pushing too hard to get close to me. And then turn around and push someone else away from me.

I have an uncle who happens to be gay. A few years ago, I found a letter he wrote to my mom when he was 14. He told her about a female friend he had who was moving away. He said he realized he loved her and that they just held each other or something and stayed up together all night. For some reason, this really touched me. I realized how beautiful it is to love someone who isn't your family member or significant other. I almost wonder if it's the purest form of love. Here's this person to whom you are neither genetically related nor sexually attracted, and yet you care so much about them. That is such an active choice to love someone. What an honor to have a friend who loves you like that, and what a privilege to find someone you love like that.

I just want to connect. I want to learn something new. I want to fall in love with a new friend. No, I don't want to be single and dating, though that was fun while it lasted. I love my husband very much and feel so lucky to be with him. It's just that I find so much joy in getting to know new people, or getting to see people I already know in a different light. I always try to take away something from each new encounter with a fresh face, but, once in a blue moon, I see a face like that and it looks so familiar. I just want to find out why. I just want to find out why it is I love some people before knowing them well enough for such a strong feeling to make sense.

I would also like to know if I get that feeling because that other person has it, too, or if perhaps it's just all in my own head. Unfortunately, I think the latter may be the case, which honestly makes me feel more delusional and alone than I already did in the first place.

Good Lord, this post is depressing. But it's honest. And weird. Just like me, I guess.

Post #23: Regaining Passion

"Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gosh, I've been reading a whole bunch of stuff I wrote back in high school and college, and I can't believe how passionate I was. I still think I am, but then I read that stuff. It inspires me. Past me actually inspires present me. It's really all ridiculous considering the main thing I want to do in life is inspire others to action, yet I never know what action I need to take in order to do that. Then I read things I wrote years ago and feel inspired by my own words. That's either twisted or narcissistic or awesome, and I haven't figured out which yet.

So here it is:

How It Ends

I'm listening to that song. It's my new obsession. It's so damn inspirational. I can't explain it really. It's kind of comforting in a way. It just repeats, "You already know, yes, you already know how this will end." It's eerie. Then it plays this music that makes you see a montage of future you and all of your accomplishments. It shows you fighting for causes and pushing your kids on swings and grabbing your wife and laying a big, fat kiss square on her lips. It shows you squeezing her hand tightly as she gives birth to your first-born and your son rounding the bases at his high school baseball game and you reading the eulogy at your mother's funeral. It shows you tossing hamburgers on the grill at a family reunion barbecue and the time you won that huge courtcase and were bombarded with reporters on the steps of city hall and your wife turning to face you in the street on a rainy night as she's attempting to catch a cab after a fight and you grab her by the wrist just before she steps into one and hold her in your arms so that she knows how sorry you are for letting your career get the best of you. And then you see your daughter graduating from high school and looking over at you with a wink during the ceremony and your whole family running down the street after your dog because he got out for the fiftieth time and you proposed a group effort to recapture him and you patting your son on the shoulder to let him know that it's okay to not always be the winner. And then there are these clips of you crying uncontrollably in your car on some country road that you drove out to when you thought you had just about lost it to your mid-life crisis and then, for good measure, it skips to these wonderful bouts of laughter that your whole family took part in after some huge fight that you all realized was ridiculous right in the middle of it. Then it shows your daughter dancing in some recital when she was eight years old and still concerned with what her hair looked like in a bun and it flips to your wife helping your daughter get in her costume and then shows this extended look she gives you with all this love in it as if to say, "Damn, we're really doing alright. Who knew?" And then the music fades as the camera zooms in on your eyes. And then the image fades into the clouds. Because you already know how this will end.

May 24, 2012

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

"Begin by being thankful for what didn't happen."

- Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher

I got rear-ended on the way to pick my dad up from the airport this afternoon, and my neck hurts somethin' fierce. But I feel like I should be more upset by it. I was actually really calm, and the girl who hit me was really nice. Her car looked totaled, and mine doesn't seeeeem bad, but I guess I'll find out what the damage is tomorrow.

Things like that don't usually phase me. It's weird. I don't really care about possessions, so if I have to spend the money to get a new car or whatever, then I will. I don't think I'll have to, but, if I did, then what else is there to do than just deal with it?

I don't really care about money. I should care more, but I think it's one of the strangest and most obscure forms of currency in life.

Anyway, my airbag didn't go off, so that was lucky. Things could always be worse. Quite honestly, I'm surprised I've commuted in Orange County for two years and not gotten hit until now. Yay for southern California traffic!

Okay, well, I'm hungry and want to eat dinner and watch a movie on Netflix.

Time to be Thankful

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice."

- Meister Eckhart

A few things I'm thankful for...

Visiting Kyle in Europe long before we knew for sure that we'd be married some day...not only because it was an amazing trip that I think brought us even closer but also because I really got to know someone else in my life, too...

My sister, whom I had previously taken somewhat for granted and realized I didn't really know before very well at all, became one of my very best friends on that trip. Sisters, friends, and now neighbors...I don't think I could ask for any more.

Except for a second sister, maybe. This raven-haired lady of our family is simply the most hilarious storyteller, and my cheeks literally hurt after being around her. I don't know what I'd do without these two.
Or this guy...

I think most people would agree that my brother is a pretty awesome guy. Most of the time anyway. He reminds me that most things aren't worth getting upset about, and I have to admit he's right.
Speaking of awesome guys...

I love this man so much. Not only because of who he is but because of who he has made the rest of us. Let's just say that my sisters and I have found out that the whole girls-marrying-men-like-their-dads thing is eerily true. We've also learned something else...

There is no avoiding turning into your mother. And I, for one, wouldn't have it any other way. There's no explaining what it means to me to have my mom living a five-minute drive away. She taught me what it means to be a strong woman and an amazing mother.
Which leads me to my next thought...

I am so grateful to have such loving parents-in-law. They have this huuuuge family that I am constantly excited to be a part of, and almost all of them live within a three-mile radius! I mean, think about it, that could really go one way or the other, and I couldn't be any happier that it's a positive thing. I get to have dinner with almost the whole family every weekend, and I'm so excited for our future children to experience that.
We also have another kind of family for our children to enjoy...

We feel so lucky to have such wonderful groups of friends who love to make the most of everything, leap at opportunities, and focus on the things that are most important in life. We're also thankful for all the friends who aren't pictured, but I'm sure most of you know I'm terrible and never take pictures and must rely on my friends and wedding photographer for visuals. Some other people who aren't pictured include all of our extended families, including our grandparents who are stand-up people if I've ever met any.

If you couldn't tell yet, my life pretty much revolves around people. Most people's lives do, I suppose. I love that we have wonderful friends and a great big family. I'm still so ecstatic for Kyle that his dream job became a reality this year.

Mostly I'm excited for all the wonderful things to come. There have already been several new additions made to both of our families since that photo was taken a little over a year ago, and I can't wait for even more.


Enough about me.
What are you thankful for this year?

May 6, 2012

Do or Do Not... Because You're Damned Either Way

"Applause felt like approval, and it became a drug that soothed the pain, but only temporarily."

- Anita Baker

I have a problem. A totally and completely first-world problem. I want everyone to like me. No, not "like like" me, just plain old like me. I get uncomfortable and upset thinking that someone may not like me. I wonder what I must have done or could have done differently. How self-centered is it for me to care that much? About as self-centered as asking how self-centered I am? Figured.

This post is to be continued because I keep falling asleep trying to write it.


And I'm back. But now I'm wishing I had gotten all my thoughts down when I first sat down to write this post. Granted, I was way too exhausted to focus on it. Basically, I was feeling frustrated by the fact that my life basically revolves around people and relationships, which I used to think everyone's did. However, the more I learn about personality types and the more people I get to know as time goes on, the more I realize that my type of person, in particular, is very focused on people. Therefore, what other people think of me is very important to me. That's the part that's frustrating, not the fact that my life is about people.

A good lesson I've tried to teach myself, but to no avail, is that not everyone will like you, and you don't necessarily want everyone to like you anyway. I had an amazing teacher in high school who said that you want some people to dislike you because the list of people who dislike you says as much, if not more, about your character as the list of people who like you. I absolutely agree with that. My issue is that I always try to like everyone and connect with each person I meet in some way. So I always end up seeing the positive things in a person. This results in my putting a lot of stock in everyone's opinion of me. It is not often that I think, "Oh well, that person's opinion doesn't matter anyway."

Something that I've learned is that there are people who will dislike you if you are rude or don't talk to them, naturally, and yet there are also people who will dislike you if you seem too nice or are too friendly to them. I used to work at a hotel a few years ago, and I befriended one of my supervisors over the course of a few months. One day, she admitted to me that she had seen me talking with our manager the day of my interview and tried to convince him not to hire me. She thought I was being nice to the point that she was certain I must be fake. First of all, how sad is it that we live in a society where we have to question people's intentions that much? Second of all, there really is no pleasing everyone.

In a way, it's freeing to realize that. It relieves a lot of pressure to know that, no matter what you say or do, there will always be some people who like and/or love you and some people who hate or are indifferent toward you. So you can't let the fear of what others think paralyze you. Although that's much easier said than done, I think.

I really want to be a counselor because I am so incredibly interested in everyone's story but, even more so, also feel that it is so important for people to feel listened to and understood. I don't mean to sound overly accepting to the point that I can't tell right from wrong, but I honestly think most of life is so subjective that there's really no harm in being there to affirm the people around us most of the time.

More on that later. I'm falling asleep again.

Hmm, maybe that's a hint that this topic is too boring for anyone to read this post. Oh well. Tough noogies.