Am I in love with you? Yeeeessss?
Do I want to be with you? No.
Do I love you? Yes.
Am I in love with you? Yeeeessss?
Do I want to be with you? No.
I saw something come across social media yesterday.
It stuck with me.
“You have to have courage to love somebody. Because you risk everything. Everything.” The quote is attributed to Maya Angelou but these days who knows if she really said that or not.
The words stuck with me because I’m am not courageous, apparently. And I know it.
It implies I can’t love somebody. I want to. But, I don’t think I can – not this way. Not in a way many people describe as “wholly, honestly, completely.”
As bad as it hurts to break up with someone without being so emotionally vulnerable, I can’t begin to think of how it feels to lose them when you’ve completely and totally bought in and turned over your heart to that relationship. It is risky.
Yes, I assume everyone will leave one day because no one has ever proven me wrong on that. No one goes into a relationship intending to leave, but...
I hate it, but I’m not willing to risk everything.
My therapist often mentioned serendipity. She said that serendipity is when the universe brings good things to you by happy accidents and lucky encounters.
Today I was at the book store looking at the Classics. My eyes wandered over tomes such as “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey” and “The Histories.” Among the epics was a small pink book. The pink caught my eye first since the Classics were bound in navy, burgundy and gray. Then the title required me to pull it out and investigate - “Dirty Pretty Things” was beautifully scripted on the narrow spine.
The cover was light pink and felt like ultra suede. Soft and supple and smooth and I could wrap myself up in that material and take a nap on the beach - I have a thing for paper. The cover art was an interesting water color (my preferred medium) of a girl. She is sad.
I looked around to see if anyone had noticed what I had picked up. No one had. Why would they?
I opened and flipped through. Very short bursts of text centered and sometimes asymmetrical on one side of clean white pages. Poems. Statements. Questions. What is this?
I turn to the Introduction and as I read my face got hot, I felt butterflies in my stomach and I found it hard to breathe. This book is nothing more than the author penning his thoughts and memories about a past lover. When he explains the couple’s affinity for “The Little Prince” I thought “he is me” and I closed the book.
I looked hard at the book shelf. Why was this book here in this section among these big, old, monster-laden journeys? Perhaps because it’s his tragedy?
So many little things about this book spoke to me I felt it through my body. I knew I was supposed to find it and that nothing but a serendipitous chain of events got the book in front of me. And I was glad they had.
I’m not a book reader anymore so to find a book that literally compels me to take it home is a treat. The little pink book has already inspired and excited me. Thanks, serendipity.
Angie is my friend.
I’ve written about her before on this blog – we have something particularly special.
She tells me everything. I tell her almost everything, because that’s how Nat operates, ya know.
I wish I could spend more time with her, but she lives in another state. We often day dream about all the things we’d do if we had time together.
We’d do our hair and nails, go shopping, have a glamorous lunch with cocktails and dine in the evening somewhere with excellent people-watching and cute boys we could flirt with. We’d smile, flip our hair and casually touch their arms as we giggle at whatever ridiculousness they talk about.
Although we’d immerse ourselves in the most wonderful “Girls Weekend” Angie would stand out among all the other women at the salons and boutiques. She’s very tall, her hands and shoes are bigger than most dress shops cater to and her Adam’s apple is conspicuous. But her heart is sweet and her intentions are good and she just wants to be herself – which is hard for her to do at home.
I care about her and love her and worry about her and want her to be content with herself and I will do everything in my power to help her feel that way – especially if it’s partying and drinking and looking at cute boys. =)
It’s a long story, but I was thinking about selling my piano. And this is how it went down: At dinner one night with James and TAG I casually say “I’ve been thinking and I’ve decided I should sell my piano.”
TAG stopped chewing and if I could take a picture of James’ face I would have, because she looked as shocked as if I just announced I was having a baby. No one said a word.
James: “Nothing, except that’s your most prized procession.”
TAG: “Why, Babe?”
Me: *crying* “Well, I haven’t even looked into what I could get for it, and if I wouldn’t get much, I won’t sell it, but if it’s worth it, I will. I need to do something and I’m too old to sell my eggs, I already looked into that.”
James: *still staring at me without moving*
The truth is I started playing piano, this piano, when I was 6 years old and I have carried it from house to house through all the phases of my life and no one touches it but me. I don’t let children play on it. I don’t let people place drinks on it during parties. And even though I don’t have much time to play, I still do. And I still love it.
I have practiced for hours at a time on that thing – late at night, early in the morning and whenever I could find the time in between. I loved my lessons and recitals and competitions and it was through an invitation-only “Honors Recital” at the University of Texas Music School in Austin that I had one of the defining moments of my life. I have cried and prayed and rejoiced and worked through some of my best and toughest times over those keys.
I never thought I’d part with it. So I decided not to.
And the rest will work itself out.
More than any other statement I find I recoil with anxiety, anger and fear when someone says they want, wanted, tried,
plan or planned to “fix” me.
I guess no one else realizes they aren’t perfect and have no business fixing me until they fix themselves.
Also, the past 5 years working on myself and my relationships don’t appear to have made much difference – or I’m just THAT fucked up and 5 years only scratched the surface.
And it makes me feel, more than ever, that I will never find anyone who loves me for who I am… without wanting to fix me to see if they can make me “more loveable.”
Dammit. This completely sucks.
Today I closed on the home refinance I started months ago.
This is a huge victory for me. Here’s why:
1. When faced with a mountain of paperwork, I shut down.
2. Anything concerning money makes me sick to my stomach.
3. It very hard for me to ask for help – especially from my dad.
But I did all of those things.
Some were easier than others, and most involved a LOT of crying.
Aside from my divorce, this was probably the most involved, confusing and emotionally charged accomplishment of my adult life. This is what I learned along the way:
1. People want to help me just like I want to help people.
2. Real estate is in my blood and is a huge part of who I am.
3. I really have accomplished a lot – a LOT – since my divorce.
So, it’s all done. And I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my family and friends.
The girl doesn't talk much about the things I want to know the most.
So, I have to be careful. And sly. And patient. And I have to listen actively and carefully.
But on this evening she spoke.
She asked about boys and boyfriends and friends and told me I didn't embarrass her, although sometimes the things I do embarrass her. Then she told me she's ok with that.
We talked about what makes a good boyfriend.
I told her that a good boyfriend is someone you enjoy talking to when there's nothing else exciting happening.
That made her smile.
It made me want to cry - beucase I know how close I am to losing her attention to a boy who may or may not know that I will gut him like a fish if he hurts her.
I have a new theory.
Statements that begin with “I feel” are really about “I want.”
When you say “I feel sad,” what you’re really saying is “I want you to apologize,” or ”I want you to cheer me up,” or “I want to talk to you.”
When you say “I feel like we’re drifting apart,” what you’re really saying is “I want you to be interested in me again,” or “I want to spend more time together,” or “I want to break up with you.”
It’s exhausting to spend hours discussing feelings. All you’re doing is beating around the bush and avoiding making a direct statement about what you want that will make you happy, shut you up or shut someone else down.
My theory was proven just this morning when TAG texted me what he wanted instead of how he felt. For the record, he doubted the validity of this theory until, for every scenario he came up with, I gave examples of how an ‘I want’ statement was better than an ‘I feel’ statement. After the text, he also acknowledged how much easier it was to be direct about what he wanted than explaining how he felt about something only for me to then ask “So what do you want?”
I’m not saying we should ignore our feelings. There’s a lot of value in experiencing them, but not too much in talking about them without being honest with yourself and others and asking for what you actually want.
She will never tell you everything.