The Letter of the Day is “T”

So there is an art form in human interaction that is seemingly lost in today’s society.  So today, “T” is for tact.  If you don’t know what that is, here let me google that for you.  I am not going to climb on my pious horse and pretend that I am the queen of graceful social interactions, like I pirouette my way through conversations.  I am going to climb up on my soap box however and rant about common decency and things that shouldn’t escape your mouth past the age of 4.

Everyone knows that children say the most ridiculous things, they may be true but can also be very hurtful.  They are children so they do not understand the struggle that life and human interaction can be, therefore, you hear things like, “You’re fat.” or “Mommy, that lady is ugly.” escaping their tiny but poop-filled mouths.  You hope to god that you can teach them those things are hurtful before they reach an age where phrases of that nature become truly heinous.

So can someone please explain to me when it became acceptable to assume that a woman is pregnant if she is bearing a tiny pooch or a baby doll tee.  What type of ill-placed parenting taught someone that it was okay to just ask, “So is this number one or number two?” while her hand makes its way to my stomach?!  And to add to that, since when does being pregnant mean that my stomach is public property?!  DO NOT TOUCH ME IF I DON’T KNOW YOU!  I don’t care if I am 8 months along and there is no question anymore as to why my extended belly exists.

I have a very dear friend who has made her way down the path of weight loss that almost everyone struggles with to arrive at an amazing weight with a banging body only to get almost daily inquires as to whether or not she is with child and I have to say at this point shame on all of you.  Shame on you if you don’t have enough tact to artfully find out what you want to know so instead you just plow ahead with your chainsaw and tear down her carefully built self-esteem.  Guess what, if you can’t be polite and think before you speak, just don’t speak.  It’s not like you need to know if your cashier is pregnant or not.  Is the extra 5 seconds of conversation that information would give you really worth the ego blow it delivers if you’re wrong!?

That’s not living…that’s just not dying.

In my life I strive to have no regrets.  I know this may seem like a “no duh” type of statement but if you truly consider it how many people live their lives specifically with that goal in mind it is actually less common than you think.  This aim helps me to put my life in a new perspective when it comes to making tough decisions required from time to time.  When I am deciding whether things are worth doing or people are worth knowing I try to take a step back and look at the big picture with and without said option.  The problem for me comes when I am likely to regret either possible outcome.  This situation doesn’t arise often but I have hit it full on and am aching from the impact.

There was a post made a while back about a girl that I fell in love with when I was younger.  She let the silence between us span almost a year before she contacted me on her return to the states.  The message was inadequate and unprovoking in it’s entirety but the sheer fact that she messaged me at all after such a long hiatus sent me into an emotional spiral, the likes of which are rarely seen outside of the halls of high school.  I did not respond immediately, I tried to weigh my options but this was one case where I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.  Having her in my life was so important to me that I ached to message her back so I could see her once more but the problem was at this point seeing her and continuing our friendship was so painful that as much as I wanted everything to be okay the truth is that it wasn’t and probably never would be again.  I lived in limbo with my feelings for almost a month before I made my choice.  Having her in my life was no longer worth enduring the pain and longing I had every time she abandoned me emotionally.

I decided that it was time to end things and begin the healing process.  I wrote a letter explaining myself to her.  I believe that she deserved to know where I stood instead of us just being silent and I felt that I needed to say some things for the sake of closure.  I expressed all that I could in the best way I knew how, with honesty and sincerity.  She, understandably, didn’t respond well.  I received a note back containing a few defenses of her actions and a wish that things wouldn’t end this way and confusingly a statement that the silence between us was somehow my fault.  All of that aside I finally felt done, there was no excuse good enough to explain away the utter disregard she had shown for me as a friend or otherwise and now I had the only amount of closure I was going to get.

So where does this leave us?  It leaves you reading a blog about a broken heart and me trying to deal with high school strength emotions in my adult mind.  I feel utterly broken whenever I try to deal with the situation brewing inside my head/heart straight on.  Logic is inadequate at making sense of my emotions and what I am feeling can be so overwhelming.  I am reminded that there are some things only time can heal and even though I find that to be a horrible answer to any problem; it is, alas, my only answer and I am ready to move on, to live…

So I leave you with the every so slightly cliched but still relevant words of One Direction – Story of My Life

“And I’ll be gone, gone tonight
The ground beneath my feet is open wide
The way that I’ve been holding on too tight
With nothing in between

The story of my life
I take her home
I drive all night to keep her warm
And time… is frozen
The story of my life”

A Fresh Start

So with the new year inevitably comes the obligatory “New Years Resolutions”.  I typically try to steer clear of this type of “commitment” but I do like to commemorate the day somehow.  This year to prevent myself from feeling upset by the cards I’ve been dealt and from forgetting the wonderful little joys that happen through the year, I am stealing an idea from the internet.  I am going to put a jar in my house, alongside it will be pen and paper, when soemthing good happens I will write it down and deposite it in the jar.  Then at the end of the year my husband and I will recount our good moments together (my husband will contribute to the jar too).  To me that is amazing, to be able to recount a year only in good moments!

I am also beginning a project that will last the whole year.  This will be my second attempt to suceed in this adventure.  It is the 365 days project.  For 365 days I will take a picture of myself.  I found the idea years ago and failed at my first attempt and it has been living on my bucket list ever since.  I present to you my first picture of 2014:

ImageIf you would like to follow my progress you can see them on Flickr.  Hopefully everyone had a great and safe night.  I hope you don’t make any empty promises to yourself and find a way to enjoy life and cherish the good times.

Add Some Chaos to the Madness

The past month has been a bit of a whirl for me, my husband still has not found another job, bills are being paid by helpful family members and I am coming to terms with the fact that I have to quit school so that I can support my small but demanding household.  This is my chaos.

I have been working for years toward a goal that I’m not even sure I want anymore but loath to give up because it means I have to return to the drawing board.  I spent a month writing a novel in the hopes that someone will read and want to publish it.  This is my madness.

My life has stopped making sense.  I am stressed out to the point of making myself sick.  I try to soldier on and continue with my life but then something else comes to smack me in the face.

On the morning of Thanksgiving some more bad news blew into my life, anything that I had been thankful for disappeared and I was left feeling depressed.  My husband and I loaded into the car a little later to gather with family for the holiday but I was still feeling low.  In the evening my whole family gathered in the living room and they went around to every single person so that they could share what they were thankful for.  I was not in the mood to be thankful for anything, I did not share.  Instead I went to the corner to feel sorry for myself.

Later, when my bad mood had passed and I squared my shoulders to again face life head on, I felt like I had cheated myself out of something.  There were many things I was thankful for that I had now missed the opportunity to share with my family.

In times of sadness and struggle it is so easy to lose oneself in the big problem that is staring us in the face and ignore the fact that there are little victories but the truth is that little victories are what make life worth living.  Little victories are what you get up for in the morning and what keeps us going between the big events, victory or failure.

So in no particular order, my victories this year:

  • My Grandpa walked me down the aisle.
  • I got married.
  • I finished Nanowrimo.
  • I made new friends.
  • I ate Chipotle in three new states.
  • I got to see my niece.
  • I ran a 5K with said niece.
  • I did a 5K with my friends.
  • I left the country for the very first time.
  • I got a new car.
  • I found the place that I want to live.
  • I found the house I want to live in.
  • My relationship with my husband is better than it has been in years.

Mid-Nano

I suppose I should have mentioned in my last post that I would be unable to post a frequently as I had been due to that fact that all of my writing efforts would soon be funneled into my emerging book.  So to make up for that a little bit, today’s post will be an except from my novel.  Just to give you a little insight, Penelope is the main character and she’s just gone off to college.  She’s missing her best friend an awful lot and just sits around feeling low and kind of whiny.

      I went off to Seattle to attend college, not sure of what I wanted to do but wanting to go north and I liked the weather there.  I miss Summer so much after I left.  She had stayed kind of close to home, about an hour away, and began getting an art degree.  I spent the first two months of school feeling depressed and seriously considering transferring to be close to Summer.  I still had not admitted to myself that I was in love, I just knew that I wanted to be by her side.  My dorm roommate on the other hand was almost never in the room.  She had joined many clubs and one night, after coming home to me eating popcorn and watching musicals for the third night in a row, she informed me that she wasn’t going to let this happen.  I owe the success of my first year of college (at least socially) to Alyssa.  She forced me out of that room and to the group meeting board, told me that I had to pick out three and she would attend them with me, at least the first time.  I chose the LGBTQA club, the art club and the multicultural club. 

We’ll begin with my first meeting to the art club.  I happened to go on a day when most of the members were collaborating on a painting with another member, two person teams, if you will.  I showed up, with Alyssa, but they didn’t have any extra canvases (made sense since we were newcomers), so they split us up and put us with two people that didn’t have partners.  This being the first club that we decided to go to, I was not sold on this whole, adventuring out of my room thing yet.  Then I got paired with a guy wearing a chicken costume.  I cautiously approached him, afraid he might cluck at me, and saw, with a moment of “what the heck“, that he had markers and brushes strapped to the toes of the chicken feet.  As I watched, he lifted one clawed foot and dipped the attached brushes into carefully arranged paint buckets.  Then he set off across the canvas with his hands tucked into his arm pits and elbows flapping, while his feet shuffled their way along like someone trying to wipe mud on a door mat.  He was actually walking and clucking like a chicken across the canvas.  I waited until he needed to reload his brushes, then introduced myself, telling him that I would be his collaboration partner.  He raised his beaked face at me and screamed, “DON’T INTERRUPT MY METHOD!!!!”  That was the precise moment that I figured out that the art club was not for me…

Ah, November…

There is something that happens in November that makes this month very special for me, gives me a rush of adrenaline and a high like nobody’s business.  I am not talking about Thanksgiving, although the endorphins released into my body after consuming turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, monkey bread and chocolate pie are also nice.  I am also not speaking of Black Friday, though the rush of giving some over-powered soccer-mom the “ha, I got the last one” fake-smile while she snarls at you is also a favorite.  I am speaking of Nanowrimo, or for those who are unaware: National Novel Writing Month.

nanowrimoThe Office of Letters and Light is a non-profit organization that encourages writers to get out their inner story.  I know many people that always say, “I’d like to write a book…someday…”  Well, Nanowrimo is your chance.  During the month of November, writers across the world sit at home, in coffee shops, at libraries and bang out 50,000 words in 30 days.  Far from being something that makes you reclusive (or more reclusive in that case of some of us), there are many events that you cna join in on with other writers from your area.  Nanowrimo’s website has all of this worked out for you, you just join and get started!

I participated in 2010 and succeeded.  For me, this feels like a competition but it’s entirely with myself: me vs my inner editor.  (Ah, the inner editor, the one that tells you that you can’t do it and tries to make you go back halfway through and fix the flaw in your magic system, when you’ve only got 30 DAYS!)  The inner editor is something that needs to be silenced.  When I complete my goal I get to look at her all smug-like for about 24 hours, until I realize that I do have to go back and edit before it will be something that I can share…

So this year, after a 2 year hiatus, I will be striving for that goal again.  I stopped after my first year because I was in school but this year I am just going to have to become a little bit better at time management and make this happen.  I love that I have one completed novel and it’s time I had another.

If you have a novel in you, itching, scratching and dying to get out, please, for the love of writing, DO IT!  Best of luck to those that are participating.  If you are in the Fort Worth area, maybe I will see you are one of the write-ins!  Please feel free to add me as a writing buddy: suitablyconsidered

A Four Letter Word

There is this predominating thought circulating in certain circles, particularly in the teen years, that the phrase “I love you” is something that should not be uttered lightly.  That the phrase is sacred and has become altogether too commonplace.  This is a lie I tell you.  Yes, saying I love you and not meaning it is a travesty, you should never lie to someone in this way.  But why let the world define for you who you should love and when.  There are many different types of love, all just as valid as the last.  So share your love because being told that you are loved never feels bad! (In this I am excluding all of the situations involving creepy people and bad people.)

I grew up in a home where “I love you” wasn’t said.  I never knew that my mom even cared about me, I often wondered if her life would have been better without me.  I, in turn, never said it to my friends or family.  I kept this phrase to myself, not knowing how others would react or if they would even want me to love them.  After a lot of trial and error and many years of personal growth, I am proud to say that I now say it to many people, expanding my loved ones as often as possible.

The last puff that was added to my personal bubble of love lessons was when I was purchasing my new car.  We were referred to a very nice man from someone at our bank.  This man turned out to be one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  He was kind and caring, took a special interest in me and my husband.  And yes, I can hear your skepticism, and of course he was making money off of the car sale, that’s the way it works.  But I pride myself on not being gullible and not being easy to take advantage of.  This man  helped us find the car we wanted, and let me take it off the lot before I was approved for financing because my car was a death trap.  Then after two weeks of hassle and a lot of stress, the financing came though and he asked that we come back to visit him when we could.  I thought so highly of our experience with him that I took my friend there who was looking for something under $5,000.  “From a dealer?!” Yes, I knew the possibilities were going to be slim but by luck they had a recent trade in that fell within the budget.  After that was taken care of he told us that he loved us and hugged us both.  There is no way that he made a large sum of money off of that resale.  And I found out later that he put $400 dollars of his own money into that car for my friend.

I would not say that my love for him is the same as my love for my husband but that’s the beauty of love: it comes in all varieties.  He is a very kind and genuine man and I do love him.  I love him in the way you love someone that is there for you when you need help, the way you love a friend.  I, also, love all of you.  It takes a bit of courage to put oneself out into the world, there is a lot of judgment that can befall one’s creative works.  But I find it worth it if even one person is helped or inspired by my words.  It is you who encourage me to continue writing and I love you!

So your assignment this time is to find someone that you have love for, but have never told them, and tell them.  They may not know exactly what to say to you but that’s on them not you.  Love shouldn’t be horded and hidden away, it should be shared and spread.  This world will only get better the more we unite in love.

The Stupidity of Love

I met a girl back in high school. I met her before I knew who I was; back when I thought bisexuals were just horny, back before I knew sexuality was a sliding scale, back when I believed in the Christian god.

She made me happy. I wanted to be around her, always. She quickly became one of my best friends. We bonded over poems of teenage angst and a mutual love for a very stupid guy. Yet, in a very short time she became as important to me as he was, if not more so. I wasn’t to realize until years later that I was in love with her. “How can you not know?!” (yes, I can hear you) Love isn’t that easy.  And it sure as hell isn’t that easy when people are shoving their beliefs down your throat. (Good ol’ Bible belt…)

After high school she moved in with a man and slowly started changing. At least that’s the way I saw it, some of my peers say otherwise. She became kind of selfish. I can’t give you a blow by blow because my memory is poor but I continued to be blind to my love of her for a while.  Until one night, full of booze, I convinced her we should make out. I won’t say that’s when I figured it out but it’s when the fire was stoked and any hope I had of forgetting her was gone. Through time I found out that she used to crush on me back when I was stupid about love. She mentioned that the timing was just never right for us to be together. For me, she is the one that got away.

“If you loved her for so long you must have been single for a long time…trying to work through those feelings and all…” muttered random blog reader.  That is not true, aside from the fact that she eventually married the man she moved in with after high school, I do not believe that you can only love one person at a time.  Being polyamorous isn’t a choice I made, it is just something that is true for me.  While I was in love with her I fell for two other people and not necessarily separately.  I believe that you never love the same way twice.  This means that I love my husband with a very different love than that which I gave to said girl.  The love that I gave to her I can never give to anyone else because loving anyone else will inevitably be different than loving her.

She met a very nice man and I finally saw what some had been trying to tell me for so long. She was selfish, and not just a little bit. But to tell you the truth, I didn’t care. I loved her, gigantic flaw and all. But when we would fight or when she would do something awful to me, I found myself talking about it constantly, to anyone that would listen. It began to affect my other relationships, all of them. I went back and forth for a couple of years, talking about how mistreated I felt, while still seeing her when she would call. She moved far away and wouldn’t talk to me for months but when she was home I was there whenever she wanted. The last time I saw her I asked her to be a bridesmaid. She stood me up after accepting.

One point that I want to bring fully into the light, without beating around the bush is that I both loved and hated her.  There are three emotions that are said to be tied to the heart.  Three feelings that can exist simultaneously even though you would think them to be opposites: love, hatred and fear.  This is why people can still love their abusive partners; why people sometimes fall for their worst enemy.  This is also the reason that the opposite of love isn’t hatred, it is indifference.  It is so easy to transfer all of the passion from loving someone to hating them, when it is over.  All that does is switches emotions but both are still very powerful and both can still cause you to loose control of yourself.  It is when you have control over your emotions and your actions around and about a person that you are truly over them.

The problem is that I still love her and it claws at me everyday that I don’t try to contact her. I’m done and it sucks. There is such a very specific part of my set of needs that she fills. (I do not know if this is because she’s a soul mate or if because I’ve loved her since I was young and for so long.) Even my husband, beautiful man that he is, doesn’t fill the same gaps she did.

I pride myself on being someone that people turn to when they are in emotional need. I’m good at helping in that way. I’ve helped women in abusive relationships escape from men who treat them like she does me. But at night, when I should be sleeping for class, I lay awake arguing with myself about putting things into public places hoping she finds them. I am strong enough, to not message her directly but that doesn’t stop the wheels in my head. This post is my insurance to myself that I won’t tell her about my latest adventure in writing.  She comes home again this winter, if you see this post disappear then my will has failed me again.

Trials of Strength and Ineptitude

There are moments in life that you know are specifically there to test what you are made of, to try and see if you can be broken and if not, then to bend you and add some spackle so you are irrevocably bent in this new direction and cemented there.  One of these such moments has befallen my household.  My husband, after working months to rewrite a major part of code for an internet security company, was “let go” within 30 minutes of telling the owners how to install the code on all the other machines.  There was no warning; there was no heads up.  There is something to be said for looking at your life and knowing that it could all come to a screeching halt in a matter of weeks.  Knowing that your existence depends on this little bit of paper (or in most cases as few numbers held on a magic box somewhere) and there isn’t a dang thing you can do without it.

My husband is not normally the optimistic one of us two.  He is the grumpy, down-trodden, self-doubting one.  But this time, I guess he knew that I wasn’t going to be able to hold us because he is seeing this as an opportunity to find himself a better job, one that he likes, one where the owners care about the product they are making.  He is almost excited to look for something else and elated at not having to answer to his jerk-faced bosses anymore.  I, on the other hand, am done.  I have a limited well of caring that I can dish out.  School is taking so much out of me that I can’t give anything else to this.  I am ready to lay down and let the train of life run me over and kill me in its tracks.

 

Life Goals and Priorities

My life goals are organized into a wonderfully disorganized conglomeration of thoughts that I like to call my bucket list.  (I recommend making one if you don’t have one.)

Some of the things on my list I have conquered, like having a large wedding or learning to play the piano.  Still, there are others on the horizon, for example: learning to drive an 18-wheeler or saving sea turtles.  Then there are some that will take me many years to complete, i.e. kissing my way around the world (kiss one person from every country) and eat at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in every state & country that has one.  Now, before we go any further there is something you should know.  I love Chipotle with almost every fiber of my being, I LITERALLY used to eat Chipotle everyday.  I have only recently (tonight, in fact) found out that they are located outside of the mother land.  I am very excited to see where Chipotle will take me and I personally am hoping for global domination.  Now, today’s post is going to be short, this is simply my way of telling you that at the bottom of my blog posts (if I can remember) there will be a map like this one, that has the states I have triumphed:

Chipotle Map

My map of US domination

It will not be this large again, matter-of-fact, it will probably be tiny, but it will be there, encouraging all of you to have small dreams and large ones; to set goals and try for them and to eat at Chipotle because that is some good food.