Archive for the ‘revisting the past’ Category
“Don’t be afraid to fall in love. It’s the only thing that matters in life. Fall in love with as many things as possible. Fall in love over & over & over because in the end that’s all that really matters.”
This line from Country Strong is notably one of my most favorite lines ever- for obvious reasons, especially if you know me well. However, in watching the movie on Sunday afternoon I found myself being more taken with another line, spoken by Beau (Garrett Hedlund) to Chiles (Leighton Meester):“Tell me what you want.” Even though she wasn’t able to verbalize her desires, the movie script gave Chiles just what she wanted.
But what about those of us who don’t have the luxury of living life under the direction of a screenplay? What about the rest of us who do not have writers providing us with courageous words and romantic monologues to verbalize our desires? And what about the ones that know what they want… however … aren’t quite sure that they’re capable of having it?
I’ve found myself walking away from situations like this before- ones that required me to go after what I wanted. While other factors contributed from time-to-time, the main reason always remained the same: I didn’t believe I deserved to have what (who) I wanted. Because of that, I never had the courage to say the words I dreamed about saying; nor was I strong enough to override the never-ending doubts with confidence. Instead, I relied on dreams that it would just happen and the hope that someday I would change my ways.
Well kids, even though I still find myself struggling a bit to make some dreams part of my reality, I must admit that this is the closest I’ve ever been to ‘someday’. And let me tell you, the secret is Knowing that You Deserve to Be Happy. Believe that You are Worthy of Loving & Being Loved. Once you learn this, and you are the only one that I truly discover it for yourself, then you have the courage to tell another exactly what you want…and make it yours.
Song of the Moment: Steal You Away by Randy Rogers Band
I woke up thinking about him the other morning. “Him” being that boy that I used to wake up every morning thinking about, not to mention fall asleep thinking about and waking in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, trying not to think about him. From what I remember, he appeared in my dream and I believe his girlfriend did too.
I’m happy to report that I was okay. I really was, and still am. I can’t say the same things for all those other mornings (and nights) in the past, but this time I was perfectly okay.
As I shared with you yesterday I’ve been listening to Someone Like You by Adele; in fact I cannot stop listening to this song. (It’s on right now as I’m typing.) This song is not only beautiful, but Adele sings it with such power & soul that I find empowering…especially for anyone that has ever been the victim of love & heartbreak.
So my friend & former roommate, Mike, used to tell me that I listen to ‘sad white people music’, and I won’t even bother wasting time trying to defend myself because Someone Like You would certainly fall into his category. However, as I continue to listen to this song and notice the direct tie to my own experience with the first real love of mine, I’m not feeling any form of sadness. Knowing that I could look him & his girlfriend in the eyes right now and say, “I wish nothing but the best for you” makes all the pain- as excruciating at it was at times- worth it. Why?
Adele found the right words to explain how I view the respective feelings on my early twenties: Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made. Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste.
Bittersweet. When we look back on the past and see where we are today, noting the lessons that we’ve learned along the journey, one can only accurately describe it as ‘bittersweet’. So many things in life prove to be bittersweet….but we don’t tend to realize the ‘sweet’ until we can accept and embrace all the ‘bitter’ components that guide us along our way.
Sometimes Most times that takes a lot of time, and confusion too. I’m not ashamed of my mistakes nor the memory full of regrets that once plagued my mind. They happened. They’re all in the past…and I’m no longer there dwelling in those choices and missteps. I’ve accepted each and everyone since instance of my life that I might have once classified as ‘bitter’ because now I know that were Blessings in Disguise. I’ve embraced that each past love & (coincidential) heartbreak was a stepping stone in the grand scheme of this Little Life of Mine. I may have no idea what’s next nor where I’m truly head, but I’m actually okay with that. Maybe not every second of every day, but I’m okay. And even more so, I’m okay if I ended up making more mistakes along my journey; however, I’m determined to live my life without any regrets.
Now I’m no expert on love, but I really did love him. You know why I know this to be truth? Because with every ounce of me, I want him to be happy. His happiness is what matters to me even though I’m not the one that he’s chosen to make him happy. This may sound ridiculous to some of you and truthfully it would have sounded such to me up until a year ago; however, life has taught me so many lessons and can only be understood by truly loving another.
For most (if not all) of my 7-year crush/love/infatuation with that boy, I thought that I was C.R.A.Z.Y. I felt foolish and devastatingly sad, and the photos from a large portion of those days is evidence (to me, especially) that I just wasn’t quite myself. Those days painted me with regrets and heartache but I can see how bittersweet they really were. “Bitter” because of the pain and anguish I felt- literally- and “Sweet” because of the experience and understanding that was gained.
May I add something else here before ending this post? (Thank you.) As I acknowledged, I have loved before. But this love I experienced was filled with a lot of hurt- before the acceptance & appreciation set in. See, this love may (or may not have been) one-sided, and therefore, there’s a lot about love that I fail to understand. For instance, I don’t know if I whole-heartedly believe that Sometimes it Last in Love…at least for me. This is my new ’bitter’ that is looking for his ‘sweet’. Like all bittersweet recognitions, only time will tell.
When I think back on my History of Boys…I realize what good taste I have. Okay, there were some questionable crushes & boyfriends back in my middle school days- no names mentioned- but you Hampton kids may remember my dating track record. (Note: Sadly it was more plentiful as a pre-teen than a twentysomething.) But in all seriousness, or at least as much as I can muster up regarding this topic, I really do have decent taste in boys…which is probably why I’ve been single for so long. I kid, I kid. There really are good guys out there and I’ve been fortunate to know many of them; crush on some of them; and even make-out with a few of those heartbreakers. But that’s where the potential love story always seems to end- with a maybe I’ll see you again kiss. I swear I’ve been cursed for not sending those darn chain letters. But then again, is it really a curse since I’ve had the chance to meet, crush on, and/or kiss at least a dozen of incredible guys? Can that be considered bad luck if I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with these once-in-a-lifetime kinds of guys…even if they prove to be unattainable?
Unattainable Guys. We all know at least one guy (from our lives) that falls into this category. That middle school crush. Your first love…and heartbreak. The bartender at your favorite college bar. Mr. Perfect who you always see on your commute to work. Unattainable Guys: Those boys that have a bevy of girls chasing after ‘your guy’ that will never be yours. A group of vultures (aka girls) that your inner-thirteen year self deems is prettier and better ‘girfriend material’ than you. Unattainable Guys: Ones that you can look at and desire with every ounce you have to give, but can never call ‘mine’ (yours). Unattainable Guy-itis is what I’m going to call it, and is something that I’ve had for a while now and just cannot seem to get rid of. GRRRrrrrrr.
Yesterday I found myself continually confessing to my friend Sarah, who’s visiting from Bermuda (yes, as in ‘Bermuda, Bahama, come on, pretty mama’), that my fate in life is “To be single”. I’ve accepted it and, quite frankly, I feel like I have a lot to offer the world of Singletons and Couples based on my Forever-Role as a Single Lady. Of course Sarah’s response was like most others, “Minnie, that’s not true! You’ll meet someone when the timing is right and he’ll be fantastic because you are fantastic!” I stood strong in my belief but also engaged in a night-long on-and-off conversation (with the other girls too) about Love, Crushes, and All that Jazz in Between. Sarah also got to witness the Lovely Boy Scene that is here in Chicago, IL. Yes, please note my sarcasm. I definitely wasn’t “winning” last night, although I could care less since I was in perfect company with my ladies.
(Plus, my ♥ is with Max.)
At 2:30-3 am, after a trip to the Wiener Circle, Sarah and I changed into pajamas for an after-hours Girl Chat and viewing of He’s Just Not That Into You. As the movie began, we found ourselves talking about the Unattainable Guys in our lives, including her boyfriend of 1.5 years. Yes, her now-boyfriend was once categorized (by Sarah, herself) as an Unattainable Guy. This is the same friend, Sarah, who is most confident girl I know. The same Sarah that I’ve witnessed many of boys ogling after for 6 years now. Yes, this girl once believed that she had her eyes on an “Unattainable Guy” that wasn’t interested in anything more than a flirty (sparks flying) introductory conversation and make-out session the first night they met.
So where does this leave me? Has Sarah’s confession given me hope? Not really; however, it’s left me with this thought: What if that Unattainable Guy worries that you’re the Unattainable Girl that he can never have? What if he has the same doubts & concerns that you have about him? What if? What if.
In one chapter of my History of Boys there was one Unattainable Guy whose own history appeared to be quite similar to mine. Having had known him through my friends for a year (or so), I enjoyed having the chance to get to know him better myself- as friends (with some friendly flirting, possibly, in the mix too). To be honest, as my crush grew I found myself getting more intimidated as I realized that he was one of those guys that always had girls hoping to be The One He’d Choose. (I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t once hope the same thing.) But through that (minor) intimidation over Mr. Unattainable, I came to this realization: I may not be the beautiful girl, but I am pretty great. I may not be perfect, but I have a lot to give a guy. I may not be the one this (or that) seemingly unattainable guy will choose…but someone will (one day).
This realization is still my belief…even in rough, emotional-draining, self-esteem depleting moments like ones I had today. I have this habit for liking Unattainable Guys and I’m going to accept my fate that this isn’t going to change anytime soon. However, I’m also hoping that life will stop teasing me by throwing good guys into my path that I will never call ‘mine’. I’m hoping that I’ll continue to trump those negative thoughts and believe that me being ‘me’ makes me the most beautiful to the one that chooses me. I may not be too good at writing songs (about my History of Boys), but can continue to write my own life story. A story in which the protagonist (yours truly) comes to find that There’s No Such Thing as an Unattainable Guy, and therefore, whole-heartedly realizes that there are more than fifty reasons for a good guy to choose her (me).
*Note: As always, when I make these affirmations to myself, my hope is that you (whoever you are that reads this blog) adopt this Acceptance & Confident mindset for himself/herself. Remember, You Are Beautiful.
Song of the Moment: Hey Stephen by Taylor Swift
I laid in bed thinking, Happiness tends to be Temporary (for me). With that thought tumbling through my mind, as the sun rose, I knew that sleep was a long shot. If I couldn’t stop this nonsense then I was in trouble. Another sleepless night for moi. But the thought seized; and surprisingly I stopped that thought by telling myself, Just Enjoy It. I stared out the window at the snow-fallen sky one last time before closing my eyes for a few hours of sleep.
Life has been extremely kind to me lately, which makes me reflect on the night/ early morning in which that thought perpetrated my mind. Actually, if we’re being honest here, that feeling of happiness has only gotten stronger since then. Many good things have occurred these last few weeks including my trip to Athens (with Alisha, Jakob, and Kelly), an evening in downtown Columbus with Kristin and other friends, and this past weekend with Max. Additionally I’ve been fortunate to spend almost every day in the company of A*MAY*ZING friends.
As of late my mind has been very clear- even despite all the running around. Though tonight, as I let myself partake in a lazy night in, I once again found myself reflecting back on that moment of the past and recalled a line from The Time Traveler’s Wife:
“Don’t you think it’s better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?”
Not only is The Time Traveler’s Wife my all-time favorite novel (Note: Not movie), I often find myself thinking I am Clare Abshire (minus the whole time travelin’ boyfriend/fiancée/ husband). I’ve hung out for way, way too long (mistakenly) believing in my own version of Henry (ck). I waited…and waited….for love & happiness to enter and re-enter my life.
Maybe it’s fair to admit that I’m still waiting…though not for that “Henry”… but waiting for something. Something Real. Something Honest. Something that Challenges Me, yet Comes Naturally. Something that Makes Me Happy and is Something that I’ll Fight with Everything I Have to Hold Onto. Because (I know) when you find Something Like This, then It’s Worth The Wait and Worth Fighting For.
As I said in a post a few weeks ago, Clarity is a Beautiful Thing. I know now that happiness was temporary because I wasn’t happy within. I wasn’t happy with myself. I didn’t love myself. And truthfully, I never (fully) believed that happiness was something I deserved.
Well, my friends, I am proud to tell you that those days are a thing of the past. I am now in fighting-shape to keep Happiness here and here it will stay. I (now) know I deserve to be happy, and SO DO YOU. My hope is that you never doubt it, but if you do then come back to this post (as many times as you need to) as a reminder that You Deserve to Be Happy. You Do. You Really, Really Do.
…the fortune teller who read my tarot cards on New Year’s Eve also told me, “… you don’t sleep well.” Oddly enough, on that night I found myself thinking, No, I sleep fine. Last night, as I tossed and turned with anxiety and a multitude of thoughts, I realized that she was right. I don’t sleep well. At that time I may have been sleeping fairly well- due to both exhaustion and a bout of happiness- around New Year’s Eve, but generally speaking I’ve never been a solid sleeper. And all photos with bags & dark circles under my eyes are proof.
It really shouldn’t take a tarot card reading to inform me that I don’t sleep too well. After all, I think I know whether or not I sleep at night. But then again, I guess I never realized it? I guess I always thought that it was normal to take 30-60 minutes to fall asleep at night; and that it was normal to wake up at least 2-3 during the night. It’s not, is it? Another round of Oi Vey, please?
I’m learning to embrace nights like these and see them as part of life’s little lessons. My friend, as well as fellow adventurer and student of life, Kate, just wrote, ”You can’t teach these things, you can only learn from them.” So what did I learn from last night? I’m not exactly sure yet, but I did wake up with this notion:
Let yourself be sad. Let yourself cry if you need to. Ask God, “What do you want from me?” Ask yourself, “Why am I letting this bother me so much?” Put on that comfy sweatshirt that makes you feel better. Throw your hair in pigtail braids. Watch sappy movies. Listen to ‘sad white people music’. Write it all out if that works best for you. Spend the day with your emotions. Allow yourself to get to know you better. Find out what makes you happy when you’re feeling blue. Be your own best friend for the day. And don’t forget to keep breathing and telling yourself, “It’s all going to be okay. You’ll feel better tomorrow.” And you will. I will.
My senior year at OU consisted of several sleepless nights;and if I did sleep, it was more of a passing out after a night filled of drinking situation. During those restlessness nights of anxiety, I found comfort by being my own best friend. No one else understood what I was going through. No one else knew about neither the anxiety that kept me awake at night nor the panic attacks that woke me up every so often. No one else seemed to understand, not even my own mother, and so I stopped talking about my problems altogether. Instead I tossed and turned every night attempting to fall asleep as I hit repeat on my playlist to find comfort in Anna Nalick’s 2 am and she instructed me, “And breathe. Just breathe.”
This week has reminded me of those nights for more reasons than I’d like to admit. Nights that occurred five years ago have seemed as though they were only yesterday; and the pain, somehow I can feel it again. But this isn’t five years ago. I’ve come such a long way since then. I’ve grown so much since those days. I just need to shake this off once and for all. So here it goes….
** Kate is a Season 4 Blogger for Stratejoy. Read her first post, Life is Messy.
Lexie: I know that I am supposed to toughen up. I know that I am supposed to not care. But how, how do you not care?
Mark: It’s the hardest part of the job. The very hardest part.
Lexie: How did you do it? How did you learn?
Mark: I’m still learning.
Stranded in my apartment without Internet these last few days, I’ve been reliant on my Grey’s Anatomy DVD collection to provide me with McDreamy therapy since I couldn’t blog out the uneasiness of these last few days. Last night, during a Season 6 episode, I found Lexie saying the words that I’ve been trying to spit out: How do you not care?
Chicago has made me a lot colder and much more harder than I ever thought I could be. Trust me, it’s a must to survive in this city. For the past few months I’ve found myself silently mumbling under my breath, I don’t care. I really don’t care. I don’t care when 15 people, including men my age, push in front of me to get on the train. I don’t care if my outfit isn’t as trendy, short or tight as the other girls in the bar. And I really don’t care if I make a fool out of myself to get a photo with my friends and a celebrity who I admire.
You can tell yourself I don’t care, but the truth is sometimes you do care. When it comes to some things, some people, you fight yourself to prove that you don’t care. But as you feared, you do care and you’re emotionally-drained self is proof. You have always cared, and no matter how much you try to fight it, you will always care.
I sit here, with frost-bitten fingers and goosebumps-covered limbs, staring out the huge front window at my Starbucks onto the snow-piled street. A surplus of thoughts & emotions are preventing me from working successfully today, well, that and a very slow Internet connection. Too many thoughts are distracting me. Too many feelings are numbing my body. All of these proving (to myself) that I am guilty of caring- perhaps, caring too much.
I guess it was Monday when the unexpected happened. Was it really Monday? Must have been since it’s called Moan-day for goodness sake; however, this week I’d like to change it to Moan-OMG-day…or something like that. So on Moan-OMG-day I stumbled upon something that made me say, “I don’t care” a thousand times in an attempt to fight all of the I (still) care too much- feelings.
So I care, and because I care, I’m finding myself emotionally-drained right now. I would love to write everything down that I’m feeling right not, though, to be honest, I’m still not sure what I’m feeling. The only feeling that I do know is that I care. A lot. And that it’s okay to care. After all this was something (someone) that was (is) really important to me so how can I not care? Did I expect myself to stop caring? If there’s one thing people know about me it’s that I care. I care too much about many things, and this is just one of them. So here I am, with even more frozen fingers than earlier, admitting that I’m okay with caring about this, about him. I’m just going to live with it. And sure this unexpected occurence threw me for a loop… but what’s life without a few bumps in the road? So another lesson learned here: Let yourself care. Always care.
And on that note, lunch break is over. That and I need to get away from Starbucks before the girls next to be get even more open about the ‘sex friend’ that they desire to have. Here’s another lesson for us all: Don’t think that you’re invisible at a coffee shop. People, many people, can hear what you’re saying. Think before you speak. And maybe, for some, it’s best to not speak at all.
P.S. To my friends who read this little blog of mine, I promise you I’m okay. And I’ll feel even better tomorrow. I’ve been through much worse and this is just a little unexpected curve in the road. Even if you neither know nor understand where my head is right now, I know that you’re sending me your love and support. Keep them coming because it’s still really cold over here in Chicagoland.
I’ve been trying to write a post- something short & simple- all day. But as you can see, no such post has yet to be written. Here’s to hoping this turns out to be something…anything… that takes away this huge lump of anxiety from my stomach, heart, and mind.
I’m just going to say it: Today is one of those days where I really believe that life enjoys f’ing with me. It all started last night, with perhaps a foreshadowing moment yesterday afternoon- but I didn’t even think too much of it. But last night, that’s when life started slapping me around and saying, What do you think of this? And now this? How about this too? One thing after another.
I feel so much and then nothing at all, and the nothingness is the worse part. Last night as this little situation began to unfold, I took the I just don’t care anymore route and did a little something about it. Nothing huge, but at least something. Something more than all of the things I neither said nor did many years ago when the opportunities played our right in front of me.
I woke up this morning to my Morning Show DJs talking about fortune teller’s predictions coming true. Even in my groggy state, I found that to be the last thing I needed to hear after last night’s discovery. Could my tarot card reading really come true? I guess only time will tell, but don’t worry I’m not holding my breath waiting to see.
I don’t even know what to say about it all right now, but thankfully a few friends permitted me to write them emails and one note in the infamous Pen Pal Book to get a few Seriously??!!! and Are you kidding me? thoughts out. I also remember say those both out loud a few times these last 20 hours. Sorry, neighbors. Trust me I could have said a lot more, but I really just don’t know what to say.
I know this is vague and if anyone is actually reading this, I apologize. But this is one of those times when this blog really is a therapy appointment for me. So is Yoga, which I plan to do now. And then it’s off for Baby Therapy at the hospital. Hopefully I can feel something, and not just freezing cold, but the time I get back home tonight.
The title of this post is lyrics from In Your Atmosphere by John Mayer. This song played last night and this part of the song just reminds me of, well, something that last night encompassed.
If I run, will you run after me? If I walk, will you wait patiently? If I fall, will you have sympathy? If I run, if I run, will you run after me?
If I Run by The Harters
In the land before blogs there were diaries, or journals as we prefer to call them. If I was a betting person then I’d say that my first journal was written during middle school, as it was the fad of the 90′s girls. Coincidentally, or not, my journaling began as boys entered my life. They quickly became my Muse and my Weakness; my Confidence Booster, yet my Kryptonite. There was so much to say; so much to write. But for some reason, since I opened my first journal at least 14 years ago, I never had luck continually writing entries. In packing up my childhood room in my parents’ house a few years ago, I came across dozens of journals with months of lapses between pages and hundreds of unfilled sheets. On some of those pages I found the remnants of songs. Lyrics. Lines of love. Words of heartbreak. Words. Phrases. Ideas. Songs Unwritten…reminding me how I used to seek comfort in expressing my thoughts & feelings through incomplete songs, as I dreamed of becoming a songwriter. Just one of the many dreams I once had in that bedroom of mine.
Those words, those unfinished songs, told Stories of Boys Past. So many boys; so many stories. Okay, there really haven’t been too many boys but there are definitely a lot of stories to tell. My Stories: Childhood Memories & Teenage Dreams. And while the stories were different, each song had one thing in common. They were all unfinished.
As I wrote that last line I heard Matt’s voice telling me, “You always run away.” Unfortunately he was right at a time and there’s evidence to support his claim; however, before indulging into that, let me first defend myself. I am not a quitter. My will is too strong, perhaps too stubborn, to give up. In fact, I’ve only quit one thing in my life (high school soccer team) and it was something that I analyzed for an entire summer before trusting my gut instict. (Looking back, I still would have quit although part of me wishes I didn’t.)
But… when it comes to the topic of boys, relationships, and whatever else comes in between… I’ve been known to throw in the towel many times and fairly quickly. You can say I have issues, but save your breath because I’ve known that for a while now. That’s besides the point. The fact of the matter is why do I have these issues? Why am I so quick to flee when it comes to crushes and potential relationships? Okay, let’s leave the past in the past for time’s sake. I mean why should I waste my own time rambling on about middle school ‘boyfriends’ that I ‘dated’ for a few weeks? (I was always the dumper; and I’m not bragging about that.) Instead let me explain, or attempt to, how I feel about these unfinished songs of mine.
I’m not sure if I really know what happens (to me), but it happens all the time. Maybe I get anxious…which leads to insecurity… soon doubts about myself….doubts about what I’m feeling… ideas that I’m crazy for thinking that he could possibly ever like me. Soon that feeling takes over and convinces me to let go. Honey, what were you thinking? You never had a chance with him. He’s better off with someone else. I let go; I run away; and one more unfinished song ends without the (right) ending.
But like only one, maybe two, other time(s), something feels different. I haven’t let go yet; I’m still holding on with a semi-tight grip. Something is telling me not to run away this time: Stay. Don’t Give Up. Believe. Be Patient. “He is Good. So Good.” You’re Not Crazy. Believe. Something, whatever it is, makes me feel like this is/could be right. And interesting enough, I’m not the only person who senses it. Elicited by a conversation with my former boss, JD, another co-worker caught me off guard with her inquiry:
Julie: “Are you in love?”
Me: “No.” (Thinking, ‘I don’t think so.’)
Julie: “Are you in like?”
Me: (I couldn’t lie nor could the smile on my face.) “Yes, I like him.”
Between you, whoever it is that reads this blog, and me…I don’t want to run away. Though I worry I will. I worry that I’ll fall back into my bad habits as doubts and insecurity set in- as they’ve always been known to do. But what if the comfort of bad habits lead me to run? Will another unfinished song join the others as I take that first step in the other direction, or will something, someone pull me back…preventing me from running to far…just this one time?
“Come on… give in to me.“
The first time I vividly remember it happening to me was when I was walking into my apartment in Columbus, although just writing this makes me reluctant to call this the ‘first time’ because I’m sure that it had to have happened during my college days (which are a tad bit blurry and/or all blur together). Anyways, I’ll just emphasize that it was the first time I vividly remember this occurring.
“You’re awful pur-dee,” he said with a nearly toothless grin. “What’s your name?”
With some hesitation, which is rare because I never have a back-up (fake) name and typically respond quite instantly, I found my voice to respond, “Minnie.” Which isn’t exactly a lie since a group of friends does refer to me as such. (Note: Come up with fake name for such situations, and probably with a fake number and email address too.) Anyways, that’s really all I remember about that ‘memory’, but was worried that he was going to be waiting in that spot for pur-dee little Minnie.
Instances #2 and #3 happened within the same week or two, which I now recognize as my initiation to Chicago as they happened almost immediately after the move. Initiation or not, they most certainly taught me a lesson that I still carry with me today: Don’t talk to people on the bus in Skokie. (Over time that led to don’t talk to people on the bus or train anywhere. Few exceptions made.)
I’ll paint the scene of Instance #2 in just a few words: Train; Skokie; Night; Crazy Man; Brain Surgery; Old Email Address.
And Instance #3: Bus; Skokie; Night; “Do you speak Russian?”; “…be my girlfriend?”; (Seriously?); Uncomfortable smile & “No, sorry.”; (Wow.)
Since those uncomfortable situations, I’ve learned to keep to myself as much as possible. There was another “Will you be my girlfriend?” request on the train one day last spring, when on my way to visit Karrie, where I pulled out the (lie), “Sorry,I have a boyfriend. I’m on my way to see him now.” I was a little worried that he would follow me for proof. He didn’t. Maybe I’m getting better at lying or more convincing with my fake, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” line. Unlikley. (Note: Practice “Sorry, I have a boyfriend”
Now other than getting the “Doll, you have a beautiful smile.” from my favorite Street Wise selling admirer and the creepy stares & Spanish-accented cat calls , I have to say that I’ve become completely oblivious to any attention- if there has been any at all- that may come my way from creepy commuters or those passing by on the street.
Wait, I think there may have been one occurrence on a plane…yes, he was obviously very drunk…but I was able to purposely pass out to avoid anything completely uncomfortable from happening. (Note: Wear a fake engagement or wedding band on the plane for such situations. And it may be best to come up with a believable proposal story and a fake wedding date.)
Anyways, this brings me to last night, which could have been avoided if I didn’t choose to walk to the next bus stop. (Note: Never do that again.) The funny thing is I could literally sense the crazy as I got closer to it. I call it my Sixth Sense.
While reluctant to ignore my instinct, he came off quite harmless in the first minute or two in asking me if I saw the bus nearby. I made the mistake of responding, although briefly. He talked my ear off for those next ten minutes and I just shivered and listened. I let him have his moment.
And as his bus came to a stop in front of us, his Micro Machine Man-like,quick-talkin’ voice spoke his last words to me, “You’re really beautiful. But I’m sure you hear that all the time.” Acknowledging his crazy I didn’t take his comment to heart but still managed a genuine, “Thank you”. Seriously though, no one looks beautiful in Chicago during the winter months as the frizzy hair, bitten red cheeks, chapped lips are always on the Do Not Wear list. But no matter who says it, as delusional at they may be, when a someone tells a girl, ”you’re beautiful”, for a second, before she knocks herself back down with the negative self-image voices, she does believe it. She also wishes that it was said to her by someone else.
*The title of this post comes from lyrics of Crazy People by The Wreckers.
There’s an intersection right before you pass Mars High School that I drove through today, without having to stop. I acknowledged the building as I drove past, remembering it as where I once played and watched many basketball games at… once upon a time. And then, like clockwork, I remembered it as something more. Much more. As I slowed down (just a bit) and looked out my driver’s side window, I thought of The Boy who used to live in Mars. The boy who just thinking about made my heart flutter and hurt, all in the matter of an instant. The boy that I used to not be able to stop thinking about…was now a second thought behind the basketball career of my teenage self.
For a while, about seven years in fact, I couldn’t hear “Mars” and not think of that boy, or hear the name “Casey” and not think of Mars. Think: Casey used to live in Mars. But today…today was different. Today I found myself driving past Mars High School, lost in conversation with my cousin, Trish, and thinking about summer league games and four years of WPIAL Section 1 games against those Mars’ Planets. And then, for the sake of nostalgia, I made myself think about Casey: The Boy that used to live in Mars. The boy who I really did love.
Isn’t it funny how things change? It’s amazing what a difference a year can make.
Even if I had my blog at this time last year, I probably wouldn’t have opened up to you about this moment of mine- that I’ll share with you willingly today. Last year I wouldn’t have opened up about this at all. Not to anyone…well maybe Darlene or Adriana :) … but no one else. But this year is different. See, last year, around shortly after Christmas, I did sit at that intersection staring out the window at Mars High School. There were no basketball games running through my mind. Not a single one. The only thing on my mind was him. Casey. I sat there looking at the building, probably missing the turning of the traffic light, thinking about him. Wondering how he was doing and where he was doing just that. I wondered so much that a few weeks later, I texted him…wait let me try that again: I sucked up all my strength and ignored all my doubts and texted him, on his birthday. Why? Many reasons. For one, it was his birthday and it’s what a “friend” would do, and truthfully, I wanted to be his friend. (I’ve always wanted to be his friend.) Also, I wanted him to know that I still think about him; still care about him; and give him any sort of closure that he may have needed from me. And lastly, call me selfish, but I wanted closure for myself. I wanted to know that I did what I wanted to do and didn’t let my fears & doubts hold me back. In all honesty, while I did still care deeply about him last year, I really wanted to let him go. Once and for all. I wanted to know that I did something in an attempt to let myself let him go. And you know what, I think it (eventually) worked.
Like I said, this year is different. From many wonderful reasons, this year is different. This year I’m not ashamed to admit that I once loved a boy who may have never loved me back. This year I’m not afraid to say that I held onto something for way too long and only ended up with a heart full of cracks and disappointment. No, this year is different. This year I can truly agree that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. This year, for some reason, I can say at ease that I am truly grateful for the role that He played in my life because without him, I wouldn’t be neither who I am nor where I am today.
So, if by chance you, Casey, ever stumbled upon this, I’ll say this to you: Thank You. Thank you for allowing me to love you; helping me grow up; and showing me how great love can be- when love is returned. Our story would have been a good one. One that made people, made us, believe that fate exists. Possibly even, dare I say, soulmates. But it would have just been a story. And if I’ve learned one thing about love, it’s that real love is much better than some fairy tale or epic love story.
Song of the Moment: Back to December by Taylor Swift
I know that it’s over between us. I’m not bitter anymore, because I know that what we had was real. And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I’ll smile at you with joy and remember… learning from each other and growing in love. The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that’s what you’ve given me. ~The Notebook