Friday, January 30, 2009

Meme Me

I was tagged by the 25 Random Facts thread that's been going around. Instead of putting this in my facebook, I figured I'd just put it here and lead people to it, i.e. boosting traffic in the easiest way I can think of.

So here goes:

1) My nose is stuffed up.

2) It alternates between being quite cold and quite warm in my office.

3) My boss doesn't like it when he sees me on the internet not working.

4) I like my job because, at times, there is nothing to do, so I dick around on the internet or write, when no one is looking.

5) My boss does not read my blog.

6) Though I love my job, I often feel like I'm settling in my life.

7) I love my life, even with the settling.

8) If I weren't so lazy, I would be a completely different person.

9) It should have been obvious to me, from an early age, that my life would have something to do with theatre/entertainment.

10) I starred in two school plays when I was in elementary school (Alice in Wonderland & Heidi).

11) I was in Stage Corps in high school.

12) I once said, in high school, that I would love it if I could live off of lighting/theatre work.

13) I was pleasantly pleased when I learned, in college, people do live off of theatre/production work.

14) As much as I love being a tech, I know I should be writing/acting/directing.

15) There is this huge well of creativity in me that I ignore.

16) I often have dreams that are so vivid and interesting, I jot them down.

16b) These dreams could easily be made into short stories/movies/plays.

17) I think my subconscious does this on purpose, trying to force me to write.

18) I try to watch the Oscars and Golden Globes every year because, deep down, I know I should be there.

19) I use my love for my SO, family, and friends as an excuse to myself for not going to New York/Los Angeles/etc.

20) If I chose to, I wouldn't have to work for a year.

21) As soon as my COBRA/insurance is worked out, I'm going to start seeing a therapist.

22) There are plenty of people I met in college that I regret not making more lasting friendships with.

23) There is way more going on in my head then I ever let on.

24) I am the prime example of a wealth of potential never fulfilling anyone's expectations.

25) I like to use /'s and ()'s when I write blogs.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Scenario Six

It is hard for me to fully explain the complexity of the 2 hour conversation my SO and I had last night. So, I will cut to the chase: We are good. We are together. We are still an us.

And now, what happened:

I made sure to start the conversation in neutral territory, my car parked outside his home. This gave either of us an easy exit strategy option, which I feel is important when having difficult conversations.

Though I made have picked a good place to start, my choice of introduction was flawed. I tried to immediately cut to the chase, without giving much of an explanation. I said the fundamentals of our relationship needed to change, or, more succinctly, No Sex No Sleepovers. I said I still needed him in my life because he was such a good part of it. I didn't want to loose that.

He, feeling completely shoved off guard, didn't understand what this was coming from. I began to explain what I was feeling and why, but he said "Okay, you have made your decision." This, I thought, was going to be the beginning of his shut down and walk away tendency. Oh, was I wrong.

He began to talk about all he had gone through in his life, from his first sexual encounter (which still effects him today), to his angry youth years, where he had nothing but hatred for the world, and ending in his life now, three years of trying to create his own peace in action and mind. He talked about how he is a better person, what he wants to become, and the path in which he is trying to get there. I was dumbstruck that he spoke so much.

As I interjected here and there, things about our previous conversation were cleared up. I explained to him that I felt I had no choice but to change the nature of our relationship, NOT that I wanted to. I explained I couldn't be with someone who couldn't give me a full life. I broke down the conversation we had, point by point, to try to make him understand. But it was I who did not fully understand what had happened.

That night, when I brought up marriage and children, to him seemingly out of the blue, he felt pushed and manipulated. He hates that feeling. He thought I was laying down an ultimatum. I thought he was rejecting me. Neither of us got it right.

He said he didn't want to get married in two years because he would rather us let it come as a natural progression of the relationship. To him, in a long view of us together, he sees us married with a family. But, that night, he couldn't explain that. He went into reactionary mood and, when he thought I was pushing him, pushed back.

I thought he was killing my hopes for our future. I thought he was telling me the best I could hope for was all that we had now and nothing more. Instead, he wants us to grow together without the pressure of deadlines and need to do's. He is a go-with-the-flow type guy and wants that for us.

He thought my "ultimatum" and my instance came from a place of "this is what you are suppose to do." He thought it was peer pressure from my friends, a sort of keeping up with the Jones thinking. I explained to him that my wanting a husband and children had nothing to do with my friends or my past lovers. I want a full life with him, not a half life. My mother never had my father. Her life was less than what she deserved because of the situation she found herself in. I don't want that. I want a full partner, a full family, a complete life.

I hurt him. He literally said his chest was in pain. It was hard for him to look at me. He couldn't understand why I didn't know that he wanted this, why I doubted him. I offered for us to go back to my place and just chill. He said he needed time to think, to ruminate over all that was said, and figure out where to go from here. He got out of the car and said he would call me on Monday, give it the weekend. When the door was closed, I started to ball. Full on snot and tears were streaming down my face. My wails were loud and throaty. I felt I had made possibly the worst mistake of my life. I had unwittingly thrown away the best thing that had happened to me.

And then my phone rang. It was him. He asked me if I wanted to come inside for a little bit. I said yes, and hurried to his front door.

We sat. We talked in the dark of his bedroom. He said he didn't want me driving the way I was. He said neither I nor Slick, my car, deserved that.

He said that on previous occasions he had just walked away from relationships. He didn't want to this time. He made a choice. He wants me to stay.

We found a way to make things better. And we're okay. We had sex last night for the first time in about two weeks. I just couldn't be that intimate lately because of my conflicting feelings towards us. We laughed while watching stupid tv. And cuddled last night as we slept.

And as he got out of the car for work, we kissed like usual, he told me to drive safe like usual, and I said I would, him waving at me as I spoke, as usual.

This feels right. I'm glad neither of us let it go.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It Hurts & Soft Landing

When one is in a heightened state of emotion, little things can spark an unintended reaction. Everything you see and hear suddenly feels like it is about you. It doesn't matter how mundane or silly it would be normally. Rational seems to escape your every day.

For instance, every since Bad Night, I almost cry about 3-6 times each day, sometimes more. And by almost cry, I mean my eyes start to flood and I make it stop. I have to intentionally pause whatever it is I'm doing and take a breath. This proves more difficult while I'm driving. However, if my SO is sitting beside me, I am able to distract myself from reality.

Every day, since we had our talk, I have thought about how it is going to end. And I know this is what is causing me to have the emotional stability of a teenager. But hey, thems the breaks.

I think it's going to happen tonight. This morning, when my alarm went off, I was already in a bad mood. He could sense it. (I think this may be the first time in our relationship he was able to pick up on my emotions.) I brushed it off as not wanting to go to work, as being tired from working the inauguration, as just wanting to go back to sleep. I suppose when my snoozing didn't do the trick, he knew it was something else.

I'm trying to be better about when I bring up serious conversations. As we are getting ready for work, or while I am driving for an hour in rush hour traffic, did not seem the right time to talk about this. Especially since, if things go too wrong, he may have gotten out of the car on the highway rather than dealing with the situation.

When we got to his work, he asked me why I was so poopy. I told him we would talk about it tonight. He gave me a look and got out of the car. He told me to drive safe. And, unlike other days, didn't wait for me to say "I will" as he closed the door, literally shutting it while I was in medius phrase. How very ironic.

I think he knows what's coming.

All I want is a soft landing. I want my gym buddy. I want my theatre buddy. I want my friend, even if I can't have my husband and my child with him. But, I honestly don't know how he will react tonight.

Scenario One: He shuts down.
This seems to be the easiest and most likely to happen. He will just say, "Okay," and let me go. He has said previously that he thought he would live out his days alone. But that was before me, before us. I suppose everyone falls back on what they know.

Scenario Two: He actually tells me what he's feeling.
This seems the most unlikely to happen. He almost never divulges what's going on in his head. For me, that has been the most frustrating part of the past two years.

I've tried to find out why he doesn't want to marry or have kids. He's never talked emotionally about it. He has talked about how he is fine being alone. And he's told me about his Dad, for whom he has mutual indifference and hatred. Being that his father is dead, I suspect there is more simmering under the surface that he is unwilling to confront.

Scenario Three: He may say a little of what he is feeling.
I think there is at least a chance he will tell me something of substance, but I'm not expecting much.

Unrealistic Hope: He asks me to stay.
He says he will talk to someone. He says he will try. He says we can find a way to be happy together.

Slightly More Realistic Hope: We can still be friends.
After a month, after things have cooled down...maybe.

My SO and I fit in a way I have not felt with any other lover. That is why this hurts so damn much. I'm giving up on a life with a mate who would have made me happy. But he can't give me the things I need, a loving and growing family.

I don't want a half life. My mother never truly had my father. I want a partner and a husband, a provider and protector, but also a father to my children. I thought Steven was that man. I was wrong.

So now, I'm just hoping to keep my friend.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I love NPR. Love it so much that I tend to listen to it all day: in the morning, when I'm driving to the gym after work, and when I'm picking up my SO from his job. I even listen to it at work, mostly because I think it is better than the local rock station, which my co-workers love.

Today, while I was the only one in office for a few hours, I decided to listen to some old episodes of This American Life.

In the final hour of my workday, I listened to the episode titled "Breakups." Now, I had heard this episode before and loved it. Somewhere, in the back of my head, I knew this was probably not the best time to here those stories again, but I pushed that aside and clicked on the free podcast anyway.

May I just say: I am glad no one was in the office. One of the writers, a girl with the cutest lisp, played songs by Phil Collins, who she subsequently interviews in the piece. You never imagine yourself crying over corny weepy love songs, but that is what I did for about 15 minutes.

The girl played "Take A Look At Me Now," and the tears just came. Hearing about "empty spaces" and "coming back to you," when your not entrenched in the situation, seem juvenile. And yet, I had to grab a napkin within a second of the song clip.

The interviewer talked about how she wanted to write her ex a love song to try to get him back. All she wanted was for them to be together. And all I could think about is how I'm probably going to tear my heart from my chest soon. I still have that damn song stuck in my head, too.

Listening to her story made me wonder how I will be when it happens. Am I going to end up on the floor of my apartment in my pajamas listening to sad love songs and balling for hours? I'm not a songwriter, but will pages and pages of bad poetry or endless blog posts soon find their way on my computer screen?

Or will I chicken out again, and stay. For now, I'm going to the gym, listening to NPR. Denial girl has not made her last appearance.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bad Night

For some reason, my SO and I went back to my place Friday night and decided to drink a little. We each had a shot of Grand Marnier and an Amstel Light to chase it. I sat there on the couch, savoring the moment before my shot. He was wondering why I was taking so long to drink it. I tried to explain to him that this drink and I have a history. For a chunk of my life, it was the drink that got things going.

Unfortunately, I forgot it was the drink that got things going. It has this elixir quality to it that makes my mouth and brain disconnect. Or, more correctly, it connects my brain and mouth like concrete, not letting anything stay up there.

I asked him point blank, "So, two years enough time for us to get married?" He did his shut down thing.

One immediate sentence he spoke was true. I brought up this conversation seemingly out of the blue. But, for me, it doesn't feel like that. I think about this everyday, all day. Part of it is because I tend to worry a lot. The other part is that every time we have had this conversation, it has always been left up in the air. There has never been a fully concrete answer.

Well, I got one on Friday. He said he defiantly did not want to get married or have children. Yet another slap in the face to my dreams. I tried to get him to tell me why. The best he could come up with was "I never saw myself getting married" and "I just don't want a child."

We ended up straying away from the conversation, again. I was softly crying and I think that has become my defense machanism. If the conversation is going south, I find a way to not be talking about it.

Some how I ended up in my bed, sobbing. I told him I was going to sleep, and I tried. But I just couldn't. I couldn't deny what he had just said and the situation that left me in.

I kept imagining what had to happen next. I imagined having to drive him home. I imagined getting all of my stuff really quick from his room. I imagined driving back and crying myself to sleep. I imagined having to tell all my family and friends. I imagined having to call up my insurance company and take him off my life insurance plan. I imagined how we would try to still be gym buddies, how I would try to keep in touch, but knowing it would hurt so much. I imagined having to drop back into the dating pool, hating the way I look. I sobbed and imagined, and tried to get up the strength to do it.

I walked back into the living room and sat back next to him on the couch. I turned off the tv and quietly said, "I think I need to take you home." I talked about how he had just reversed the hope I had been holding for him to change. I talked about how I didn't know if it was fair to me to stay in the situation we are in now, knowing I will never have what I truly want. I talked about how, though I had hoped, it didn't seem to have changed the situation at all. He stood up, grabbed a plastic bag, and said he would just be a moment.

And then I asked him to sit down. I asked him to hold me for a moment. He didn't understand why I would want that. I told him I know this needed to happen, but just not now. Just hold me.

I told him how this felt like a mistake. I asked him why he couldn't just let himself be happy with me. I told him I didn't want this. I wanted to go to sleep with him beside me and wake up with him every day. I asked him if he would've ever broken up with me. He said he probably wouldn't have.

He said things had in fact changed. He acknowledges the relationship we have to the people in his life. He's begrudgingly called me his girlfriend to others. He's been looking at property, in hopes of one day buying a home. He wants to have his family there, his mother, sister, two nieces, and, yes, me.

And I asked him why he hadn't said this before. To me, this was progress. This was a reason to stay. This was a reason to keep trying. And it is the reason why we are right back into our routine, like nothing happened. My denial kicked in and I've been pretending since then everything is okay.

The difference this time, however, is that I know it's not okay. I know I shouldn't be in this relationship now. If I stay, I need to accept the fact that marriage and a child are not a possibility. And I'm not sure if I can accept that.

I'm looking into seeing a therapist. I have too many emotions and conflicting desires to flush this out objectively. I need some guidance. But mostly, I need somewhere to cry and talk.

There is a post script to this entry.
This morning, for the first time, he told me his father was a heroin addict. He'd told me about his father's promiscuous ways, his numerous siblings, and the fact that he died of a heart attack in his 50s. My SO keeps opening up and seemingly letting me in, but I don't know if what we have is enough, if it will ever be enough. Is it his Daddy issues? Is he just a stubborn unrelenting person? Why doesn't he want the life I know we could have together? I am too close to the situation to understand it.
It's just hard.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Tick

Ever since high school, the first time a major family member died, and I was old enough to be aware of it, I've developed a sort of "tick". Each time my mother leaves me a phone message, and her voice is not happy-go-lucky, I assume someone has died, and brace myself for who it will be.

It didn't start that way, though. My freshman year, my great uncle died. That may seem like an insignificant relative, but he was more like my second grandfather. My mother and I lived with her Dad, but, to this day, I haven't connected with my father's side of the family like I should. So, for the longest time, my grandmother's sister, my great aunt, and her family were a major part of our lives. When my grandmother died, I was four months old. Aunties took over that role, helping my mother and nurturing me. Uncles, that's what I called him, died my freshman year.

My sophomore year, one of my mom's best friends, "aunt" Georgia, died. It was as unexpected as a sand storm in winter. She passed in her sleep one night. I learned about it after school the next day. My mother and I sobbed in the car for about 15 minutes, and then we tried to move on.

Junior year, it was my aunt Sharon. She lived a state away with her two sons. We visited once, before she passed. I remember her being kind, sweet, and boisterously funny. And she looked so much like my mother.

Senior year, it was my grandfather. He passed while I was away in Puerto Rico on a class trip. My Mom didn't tell me until I was waiting for a connecting flight in New York on my way back home. The day I got back was the day of his funeral. His was a retired police officer and received the full complement of pomp and circumstance. I was glad I was not there to witness it. My mother picked me up from the airport and took me home. I watched a comedy show and cried before taking a nap.

Aunties passed my junior year in college. Ella, as you know, was this past year. I suppose the creator gave me a slight reprieve, some padding to prop me up before the big falls. No one prepares you for this part of life, of being an adult.

I guess, from the series of unfortunate moments in my high school years, of course one would develop a complex. So now, I take a deep breath and try to relax every time my mother leaves a message, asking me to call her back. Who is going to be next?
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