Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Was A Willow Last Night In My Dreams...

I bent down over a clear running stream...

....'Crazy on You', Heart

I picked up a new yellow journal this week. It is the same PacMan Moleskin that I have been using for a few weeks now, but I needed to start from scratch.

I wanted to give myself a do-over of sorts.

You see, it's been a rough few weeks.

My friend lost a sister;

My best friend is finally having to admit that he's not in the relationship he wants;

Another friend lost his mother;

A new friend is mourning the anniversary of losing not just one, but two mothers;

"The Girl" is home from college and feeling very stressed.

And my faith in others has been bruised a bit in the most insane of ways. You know how something unexpected takes the wind of out your sails? Well, there. Then you know how I feel.

Or felt.

Putting it behind me, right? Getting over it. Learning that sometimes, people care more about those who leave than those who stay.

Writing about this whole sex in the city existence I have (as my therapist has called it because I wouldn't have thought of it).

It's all a lot to work out at once. I kept telling myself that I would focus, and I haven't.

That I would stick to a theme here, and I have, but at the same time I have traveled off of my own path.

Write a book. Train for triathlons. Open my heart. Forget that it is hurting in the first place.

Right now, I'd rather fly to the sun on wings made of paper than do one of those things.

And that's exactly why I'm trying so hard to remind myself that the hardest things to do are the most necessary.

So, today, A is home and we are setting our schedule for the week. I will run, and swim, and bike through whatever is ailing me.

And lucky for this space, I'll fill it with details of how one moves on from what they allow to hold them back.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Know, Nobody's Perfect...

There are times when I wonder if the memories I have will just fade to black.

Poof. Be gone.

Or, is it possible that because I feel them so strongly now, long after the moments, that they will just always be with me because for a moment in time, the love felt between two people was just that strong.

There were times that I used to sit up at night and doubt what was happening. How could this man, this stranger, love me as much as he did? Why?

I miss waking up and knowing we would talk. I miss learning more about my favorite adopted city knowing that we would one day live there and explore everything together.

I miss knowing that he could look at me and tell what I was feeling.

It was my decision, you know. To separate.

I wanted us to have a chance to get ourselves right before we made any commitments to each other. It had to be thought-out. I needed that. I thought, no, think, he did, too.

He said it meant I didn't love him enough. I said it meant I would love him until the day I died. Even if we couldn't be together.

...dramatic? Yes. But true.

It's been almost a year since that conversation and 8 months since we last saw each other; 5 months since we last spoke.

I wake up, look around my apartment and see him.

Every day I put on my 'signature' necklace and think of him.

I just think of him differently as time goes on and we don't speak.

And then I think...we deserve to do what I said we should.

Live. See. Understand.

So I am trying. Even when it requires a reminder.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Or Have You Completely Erased Me From Your Memories...

I woke up the other day and realized that for the first time in years, thoughts of "The One" were not my part of my first few images of the day and it made me sad.

There are days like today, when I miss him more than any words can express.

I want to curl up next to him and tell him that I love him and that I feel safest with him. Then I stop and realize that wouldn't be completely true.

I do love him, but I know that the directions we have traveled have brought us 'apart' not 'near'. So the burden of having the memories is just that: a burden.

There was a time when I could just put my head on "The One's" shoulder and it felt like the whole world actually stopped for a few moments while I caught up.

Maybe that's too much pressure to ask anyone else in the universe to be a part of, or maybe it's too much to ask me to forget what it felt like. Either way, the loss still hurts as much today as it did when my heart first felt the cracks.

And maybe that's what makes me the most sad. I'm not sure at this point.

What I do know is that it's hard to have people placed in front of you who are awesome in so many ways, while you're trying to mend a broken heart. Yes, I can't stay inside, hidden, for the rest of my life. Even though that's really what I want to do right now.

Just sort of hide out.

I feel like now is the right time to do it, before I do some kind of damage that I can't repair. Like say something I don't mean or worse, don't say something that I do.

A lot of this is because I know I am tired of walking with my sister's weight on my shoulders. I want her to figure out her own next steps, but then I wonder if it is fair to ask that from her since she is so clearly damaged in all the ways that really count.

And I want to be able to release a lot of the things that are bothering me, but then what? Burden someone else with them? No, can't do that. So I write. And I plan. And I write some more.

And today...I just happen to miss someone so much that my heart feels heavier than usual.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sweet Things You Say To Me...

I'm just not 'feeling' it anymore.

If you were to ask me what happened, I couldn't tell you with a straight face.

I just know the feeling is gone.

Maybe it was 'The Prince's' last two posts. Each one explaining how he's not seen as the hot, hip, happening thing in his chosen city.

I read the words and didn't reply because I didn't want to throw off whatever vibe he was giving out.

What I took in was: 'Why, yes, I do have a pretty awesome girlfriend in a pretty awesome city, but that's just one girl in one city.'

'It's not really enough.' Then I remembered: It isn't.

Have I explained this to him? Yes, I have. I know that deep down, he hears me. If I thought otherwise, I'd have run, screaming, long ago.

But with all that knowing, I am only sure of one thing: My faith and devotion have been tested and on many levels, it's what I know I deserve for taking this chance in the first place.

Yes, I took a step down a path I wasn't sure about and learned a most valuable lesson:

My instincts are smarter than I am. Thanks, instincts, for the reminder.

Alpha. Omega. Beta. Zeta. Whatever.

The people and places shown in front of me only make one thing clear: Perhaps there is a need to remove all of the old. Not just some.

I'm not even sure if I am feeling sad or something else at this point.

Relief? Resignation? Surely not resolution, but I'll get there

Sadly, (or not) I always do.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Could Never See Tomorrow...

But I was never told about the sorrow.
.....'How can you mend a broken heart', Al Green

Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I think back to February of last year.

Waiting in an airport in Houston, and then finally landing in Austin...

Realizing 'The One' wasn't going to be there to meet me and walking through the airport trying not to make eye contact with anyone.

I could feel the tears streaming down my face so I wrapped my scarf up just a little higher.

When I checked into my hotel I was grateful that they had given me a room facing away from the sun. As soon as I closed the door I climbed into bed and stayed there for two days. While my girlfriends called and begged me to eat, I stayed under the covers and tried not to exist.

I cried because I played my own starring role in damaging our relationship and then I cried because I had never felt so alone, then I cried some more because the answer to what felt like all of the world's ills lay in one direction and I couldn't figure out how to get there.

On day three I went outside and looked around at a city that is both beautiful, and on many levels, will always terrify me.

I have been through heartache before, but in Austin, I learned what it feels like to fall from the greatest height, with no net.

And, still, a year has gone by and you still won't find me saying bad things about 'The One'. I take the responsibility of not paying attention to where our relationship was going, or maybe it is more that I did not fully understand how we got to where we were.

The ending is the same. The feelings are the same. The emotions just as relevant today as they were 14 months ago.

The difference is that I am trying something I have never done before: learning to embrace the parts of life that make me happy and being ok with believing there is something just for me, whatever it is. Is it moving on? No. Yes. I don't know. We haven't spoken since Christmas. I am trying to get this all right. To do what is needed amd expected.

Of course, in no way do I get this right all the time, but just having the ability to discuss so many feelings has been eye opening. Or is is it heart opening?

Either way, insomnia makes it worse in so many ways. Relationship hindsight is the universe's big joke on all of us.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Line Between Love And Obsession...

Is drawn by only circumstance.
.....Anonymous Quote

Sometimes, when I look back at my time with "The One", I realize that we were in a constant state of flux. Or, maybe it was just me.

An affair can become like a drug. You need your fix. And yet, it was the times when we were alone, sitting at a cafe, or reading together in bed, that we were the happiest.

I remember one museum trip early in our relationship. I had always wanted to visit the Chicago Museum of Art and the day we picked for this trip was perfect. Of all of the things that I saw that day, one exhibit stood out:

"Untitled" was a masterpiece in its simplicity.

Per the exhibit:

Felix Gonzalez-Torres produced work of uncompromising beauty and simplicity, transforming the everyday into profound meditations on love and loss. “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is an allegorical representation of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. The installation is comprised of 175 pounds of candy, corresponding to Ross’s ideal body weight. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount parallels Ross’s weight loss and suffering prior to his death. Gonzalez-Torres stipulated that the pile should be continuously replenished, thus metaphorically granting perpetual life.

I can remember walking over to the exhibit and taking 2 pieces of candy. One for me and one for the love of my life.

3 years later and I still have that piece of candy in my jewelry box. Maybe that was the best part of being in love. While the chaos of the world was moving around us, when we were together, the simplicity of just 'being' kept all fears and doubts away. Together, we always felt safe.

An affair is not a cause for a celebration on any level. It requires a lot of bad behavior to protect those few moments of good. Again, the burden of being in love at the wrong time is just sometimes too much to understand.

But each time I open my jewelry box I look at that simple gold-wrapped piece of candy and I know, without a doubt, that for a moment in time, my heart was safe.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let This Be My Last Word, That I Trust In Your Love...

Rabindranath Tagore
...Scholar, Poet, Teacher

I just spent the day talking with two of my girlfriends about trust.

It started innocently enough. Two of us watch Mob Wives and we were having a discussion about friendships. That sort of transitioned into how women treat each other.

Anyone who has spent time with me knows that I put my female friendships above other things. Yes, I can get mad at my girlfriends, but there are some women who will always be 'in' because I trust them to always be as honest with me as possible.

Maybe that is an odd way to phrase it, but I am sure that people have different levels of friendships or different things you expect out of people. I don't know, maybe that's just my issue.

What I know is that I am feeling a little more vulnerable lately than usual and I'm not enjoying this.

I feel like things I believed were either not true, or not totally true. People all have 'tells' and when you learn what someone's is, it is painful to watch or listen to them hedge on things.

There is vulnerability in trusting. You are allowing another person to help shape the course of your life.

I knew I trusted 'The One' the moment I met him. To be honest, the only other person I knew this about instantly on my old site was Red. Just from the second we spoke I knew that her intentions were to have the best interests of others in her heart. Usually, it takes me a while to warm up to other people on a more intimate level. I sort of hold back while we get to know each other. Maybe it's because Red is from Atlanta? Who knows.

I trust my daughter and my best friend, R. They both know me better than I know myself sometimes and they are brutally honest at all times just because they love me in a way that needs little except a return of love in kind.

But lately, as the walls I've put up around me have been tested, I am finding that my trust is fractured in places I didn't expect. It's probably not a good time for this on many levels. Or, really, is it ever a good time?

I've been clinging to things like friends, yoga and reading to get me through this time, which I know will end soon enough. The sun just came out here in New York, so I expect that as the life returns to my city, that the trust I've had shell-shocked will right itself. Or not.

All I ever know is that I miss what and who I miss and that's just the way life is sometimes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

You Broke The Bonds...

And you loosed the chains;
Carried the cross of my shame.

I have often wondered if I ever really told 'The One' how much I appreciated him in addition to how much I loved him.

No, 'love him'. It's eternal, the feeling, when you've done it right.

My regrets in life have been few, and perhaps it is because I have not ventured out enough, or perhaps I have been lucky. But the major regret I have about the time spent with him was that I never allowed him to carry the burden of our relationship. He tried to offer; he asked; he demanded.

I kept it all a secret from him about just how scared I was at times that it was either not real or too real.

Funny, the one person I should have been able to talk to was the one person I wanted to protect the most from whatever 'things' are out there that destroy relationships.

I thought of this over the weekend as I was visiting girlfriends in Canada. I thought of all of the ways I didn't get things right or got them more right than I expected. And all of this thinking was brought to the surface because a new friend sent me an email that made it clear he was willing and able to be a shoulder if ever I need it.

A few months ago, another friend of mine was 'there' when I needed it most. He's got one of those great broad sets of shoulders but I always hedge a bit because he has a more complicated life than I do on some levels. I can remember him asking if he was 'doing it right' (the shoulder offering) and I realized at that moment that I want to be his friend forever.

I'm not good at accepting shoulders. I feel like I should do one of two things: Warn him or try to learn to be able to receive help when I need it. I've already done things with him that I usually don't. It started when a girlfriend of mine asked what was wrong with me. She meant it in the best way possible. She looked at this friend and said: From the sound of it, you should really try something new with him.

She had her doubts about "The One" and "The Prince" from the start of each relationship. She asked me a question after my Austin trip last year. She said 'don't you just want to be single for a little while?'

I heard her loud and clear. And that's what I did. I took a look at myself and decided single would be better while I went through the painful process of thinking.

Then a girlfriend set me up with 'The Prince' and we did whatever it is we are doing. Dating? I'm not sure, although that is what he has called it at times.

It has never felt like it to me. I just didn't put in enough effort, I guess, to express it adequately.

See, I am willing to admit when I am at fault.

So, back to the new friend who has said I could write about him here, but who is still without a pseudonym. For now, he will be 'The Writer' because it is something he does extremely well.

He has me pegged in a way no one has pegged me in a long time. He quickly expressed that I say nothing while saying a lot. Smart guy.

I do my best to listen to what others say, and also to what they mean through their actions.

It's how I got to Paris, you know. I listened to words and actions on my trip to Denver and when I boarded my flight home, I sat down and wrote something just for me. Then I got home to New York and immediately booked my trip.

I had forgotten about my post until I was flying to Geneva. I opened my iPad and read the words:

Do. Not. Wait.

That's how I feel now. Like life is going and I've chosen to wait for things or moments when I know better. For months I was happily just doing then I got stuck somewhere. Confused? Lost? Ambivalent? I'm not sure.

I just know that the sun came out this weekend. Inside, where it needs to shine the brightest.