Revelations Part II

They keep coming. And what is most interesting is not that they are coming, but I find that now that I am making a concerted effort to think before I open my trap, those precious moments make me realize how difficult it can be to articulate what I really want to say. With that, these revelations tend to come more slowly, and when they are full formed, are more well defined. But for my faithful three, here are some new ones:

1) I don’t want to have kids just to have kids. I never have. I have never said, “I want to be a mom and have kids and that’s that.” I didn’t even think I wanted to have kids until I met someone I wanted to have kids with, and that was in my 20’s. It was only after that that I realized that for me it wasn’t about the kids first, it was about finding the right person to have a baby with. It’s a big difference.

2) My self worth is not tied to what I do and how I do it. Meaning, it’s not tied to how well I do in school, or how well I do my job, or what job I have. This seems so simple now, but I cried yesterday when I finally realized this. And I realized that no one will ever make me feel again like what I do dictates who I am and what I am worth. Now that that’s over, I realize how much it sucked.

Running (Not Away)

When I was in University, I started running in the summers to stay in shape. I never ran very far, or very fast, but I ran. And I loved it. I still do.

I stopped running during the mess I made of my life earlier this decade, but earlier this year, I started running again. I had a goal to complete a half marathon a month before it was all over, and I did it. I did it alone, with no one to cheer me on, except my own two feet and a necklace around my neck that I had wanted for years, instead of a ring around my finger I never really wanted in the first place.

A little while back, I read a short piece written by a woman who started running after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Though our paths were different, the sentiment is the same. This is a small part of what she wrote:

And then I ran. Exactly as planned.

I was running for my life, in a sense, though I knew that competition was really unfolding inside my body, far beyond my control. I was running in affirmation, in defiance. I was running to prove that I could, to show that I was not defined by the clusters of renegade cells that were growing within me.

To deal with something in my life that has not, in any conceivable way, gone exactly as planned.

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.

Pearl

I spent this past weekend celebrating the 90th birthday of Lou Levine. Lou is loved and adored by all who meet him, and after meeting him for the first time this weekend, I can understand why. He’s a kind, generous, lovely man, who even at the age of 90, continues to spend his winters downhill skiing. A true inspiration.

But the person who really made think this weekend was Pearl. Pearl is a dear, old friend of Lou and his wife Tessie. I met Pearl this weekend, and found out that she has been friends with the Levines for over 70 years. Pearl made me think about friendship, and about one friend in particulary, my DT, Paprika.

Oh, Paprika. She makes me want to scream like only a sister can. But I love her. I yell at her like I yell at my mom. Because I love her. I want her to love herself. Because she deserves it. And I know that, because I love her.

When I met Pearl this weekend, and watched her celebrating with Lou and his family, it made me think of Paprika. And that, 58 years from now, we will have been friends for 70 years. I look forward to celebrating that day with her.

Just Another Day

Ani DiFranco is playing a concert in town tonight. When I first heard about it a couple of months ago, I thought I would like to go. I listened to her music quite a bit a year and many moons ago. All those angry, bitter, you-did-me-wrong, how-could-you-do-that-to-me, heart-wrenching notes suited my mood at the time, and I thought that would be a good way to mark this day.

And then I changed my mind.

Do I really want to devote a perfectly good day every year being mired down in anger and regret? Not really.

So I’ve decided that today will not be the day that would have been our third wedding anniversary. Instead, today is just another day. Get up, have breakfast, go to work, go home, and maybe even spend the night in the arms of a new love.

I’m not thinking about three years ago. I don’t want to. I’m not angry or bitter or upset or avoiding anything. I just don’t want to.

So, as of now, and going forward, November 26 is just another day.

A Bitter Song

Three years ago today was the first major snowfall of the season.

Exhale…

A Bitter Song

All I need is a bitter song
To make me better
Much better

All I need to write is a bitter song
To make me better
Much better

If only to hold me
But I don’t like it at all
Won’t feed it
Won’t grow it
It’s folded in my stomach

It’s not fair
I found love
It made me say that
Get back
You’ll never see daylight
If I’m not strong it just might

All I need is a bitter song
To make me better
Much better

All I need to write is a bitter song
To make me better

I feel better

I feel better

– Butterfly Boucher

Switch to: OFF

You can’t shut off your feelings. You can’t change your feelings. You’re going to feel what you feel, so learn how to deal with it.

That’s basically what she said to me, in a nutshell. For an hour this morning. I begged and pleaded with her to tell me how to fix this, but apparently, there is no pill or diet or technique to be employed in the feeling-changing department.

That blows. Someone really needs to come up with a pill for that one.

The Sign on my Lawn

Originally written on June 7, 2008:

I have a friend who told me the other day that I have a big FUCK OFF sign on my lawn

I don’t actually have a lawn, but I get the metaphor. She said I can be really defensive with people, and that it’s usually to either prevent myself from getting hurt or having a reason to fall back on when the inevitable hurt finally arrives.

I never really thought of myself as a defensive person before. Angry? Sure. Bitter? Who’s not? But not defensive. But as she laid it all out there plain as day, it was hard to deny what she was saying.

This all came up because there’s this guy…blah blah. Whatever. The point is, I don’t know what to do with him. I do like him. But I don’t want to tell him. For two reasons – one, I don’t want to hear him say he doesn’t like me back. Two, I don’t want to hear him say he does like me back.

Fun, huh?

It would be really nice to have a boyfriend. But, it has also been nice not having a boyfriend. And I’m really not up for heartbreak right now, so I’m keeping all of this to myself. But apparently, it’s more than that. It’s the big FUCK OFF sign on my lawn rearing it’s ugly head.

I told her all the reasons I don’t think it would work between me and said boy.

And she said, “This is you, making excuses for why it won’t work, so that when it doesn’t work, you can say you knew all along, and you think that if you keep these reasons in your back pocket and pull them out when the ‘inevitable’ happens, it won’t hurt, because this will be your ammunition against it.” Or something like that.

Anyway, the point is, she’s right. I had never thought about it like that before, but as soon as she said it, I saw that she was right. And not only did I see it in this situation, but I saw how I have done that over and over again in my life.

It’s not to say that I’m going to tell said boy how I feel, but she has given me a lot to think about.

Angry, bitter and defensive.

Jeez. I suck large.


My thoughts now, November 12, 2008:

She was right and wrong. I can definitely put up the FUCK YOU sign when I need to be defensive. But that’s not what was going on. Because, the day after I wrote that, I went on a date. And another date. And another. With the same guy. Not the guy in that post. Another guy. A guy I’m still dating today.

So where did the FUCK YOU sign go with this guy I’m dating now? Why didn’t I have it up with him but with guy #1? I don’t know why it was so hard to see then. I didn’t want him. Looking back at it, and it wasn’t that long ago, it’s pretty clear. I didn’t want him. I could have had him if I wanted it. I didn’t. I made every excuse in the book.

“It just won’t work.”

“We’re too different.”

“We’re too much the same.”

“He’s too much the same.”

I felt like I should want to be with him. It made a lot of sense, on paper. But I just didn’t feel it. I didn’t then, and I just couldn’t fake it. I did that for so long, I just couldn’t do it anymore.

So there we have it. It only took me 5 months to figure that one out.

Good on you, Anne. Keep going.