Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Going Dark

This whole blog thing started with me wanting to leave comments on other people's blogs, post some silly links, and tell a story about a mouse. Almost three years later, it's evolved into something else entirely -- a diary of sorts. And I'm often thinking that keeping that diary and making it public is something that might not be the best thing for me, personally and professionally.

Besides, isn't blogging just narcissism meeting the 21st century?

But I need a creative outlet. I need to write, to express myself through the written word. It is who I am, who I always have been. To me, it seems that I am not nearly as eloquent in person -- my witticisms are less witty, my earnesty less earnest, my hopefulness less hopeful, my sadness less sad. I feel the most when I am writing. I find myself crying rivers when I am writing, but am dry-eyed and logical when I am not.

I like the me that feels much better than the me that thinks.

Still, I need to figure some stuff out, and am too vulnerable here right now. Maybe eventually I'll write here again, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll work on that book I keep talking about instead or I'll start keeping a paper journal. Who knows? But, at least for the time being, this space will be dark.

Not Meant To Be

This is about the sum of it today:

Not Meant to Be - Theory of A Deadman

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I am trying so hard to be positive, to think positive thoughts.

The hardest part, though, is that I am no good at sitting on my hands waiting for things to happen. I like to make things happen, to get concrete answers. I need to know what is going on. And, as I've said countless times to countless people, patience may be a virtue but it isn't one of mine.

I am driving myself crazy. I am making myself sick. I need to get out of my head.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I love to write, but it's a challenge. When I am content, I often can't find things to write about. When I am upset, I often can't find the words to express my feelings. And I am always so concerned about what other people are going to think about what I write that it causes me to over-edit and over-generalize and over-simplify in an attempt to over-sanitize.

It is no different in my life. When I am happy, I focus on that -- but when I'm not, it's hard for me to express it -- to find the words, to articulate what I feel, what I think. And I am so conscious of other people's feelings that I keep finding myself burying my own. I am paralyzed by fear.

I have to work on that, because, for someone who makes a living as a communicator, I am not always effective at it in my personal life. I need to say things, to get them out into the open -- to make myself heard.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby steps

I worked on my novel again today, for the first time in months. It was just a chapter, but it felt like something major.

I applied for a promotion at work last week. It seemed like exactly what I needed to do to get back on the right track.

I spent time with my friends, some that I haven't seen in months, over the past several days. I went to happy hours and parties, had some drinks, ate holiday foods, laughed, and told stories. And the schedule of events on the horizon looks promising.

And yeah, I flirted. I had almost forgotten how good it can feel.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Observation #2

A positive side effect of having experienced actual tragedy is that it makes you better able to distinguish between the real thing and what is, for lack of a better term, just a bummer.

Seeing comedy in tragedy

I very rarely write about former relationships because I was taught that it's not nice to speak ill of the dead. (Just kidding! Or am I . . . .) No really, what I was taught is that if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say it at all. And while that rule doesn't apply to when I am sitting around with friends and family trading what seem to be witty barbs, it certainly applies to a written medium, and even more so to one that's as permanent as the internet.

But I keep thinking that there's something inherently comedic in this last breakup. Mostly because (1) I really didn't see it coming at all and (2) the location. And as someone who self-identifies as a writer, I can't get it out of my head without getting it down on paper. It plays out like a screenplay:

Enter scene. Urban IHOP, rainy evening. Girl walks into restaurant, in long coat, umbrella and shopping bags in hand. Sees boyfriend sitting at table, and goes over to him, grabs his hand.

You all can figure out how it goes from there.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The end is the beginning is the end . . . .

One minute, everything is going along swimmingly, and the next it's over. That pretty much sums up the year for me.

I walk into the room, thinking everything is normal, and then the floor disappears and once again, I am in free-fall mode.

I should know better than to invest in anything by now, but for some pathological reason, I keep on doing it. I need to stop setting myself up for disappointment. I need to stop expecting that things will work out. Clearly, they don't and the only thing I'm ever left with is a gigantic pile of defeat and heartbreak.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting close

I haven't bought a Juliana Hatfield CD since sometime around 1994, but for some reason, I've been reading her blog lately. A couple of days ago, I came across something she wrote back in June that really spoke to me:

The idea in this song was the push/pull of ambivalence — my simultaneous attraction and repulsion toward potential love objects. Feeling a longing for a connection to someone but pulling away before getting too close. Or not being able to get close. Being more than just afraid.


I’ve only ever been truly at ease when I am all by myself. For the longest time I thought this meant there was something really seriously fundamentally wrong with me, but now I have begun to accept this truth about myself: I am most comfortable (most myself) when I am alone. And I am fine being alone. Happy, even. When I tell people this, they usually think I’m fronting or being defensive, and they say, “Oh, you just haven’t found the right guy yet.”

Maybe that’s true. Maybe. But if I am willing to concede that, okay, maybe I have never met anyone with whom I am compatible, then you who say I haven’t met the right guy yet must be willing to entertain the thought that maybe what I claim to be true is true, and that maybe I really want to be alone. And maybe I like being alone more than I’ve ever liked being with anybody.

On some level, I understand this. But I'm starting to feel otherwise.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


The other night, someone said to me that they wondered what I was like before my mother died.

I didn't know how to answer the question.

Have I changed in the past 10 months? Certainly. Would I have changed over the last 10 months, regardless of the loss? I think so. Maybe not the same way, but people have a way of evolving, like it or not.

Maybe it's a question best posed to my friends -- at least those who have known me for some time -- seeing as it's hard for me to really see the difference from the inside. But sometimes I feel the difference -- it's as if I stopped being one version of myself in the early morning hours of February 7. Sometimes I feel older and more serious -- but not all the time. Sometimes I feel more inclined to stand up for myself, since my mom's not around to (1) do it for me or (2) push me to do things. And on a more noticeable level, I'm sure I'm a little more quiet, a little more closed-off, a little more cautious, a little more introspective -- and a whole lot more sad.

Still, the two changes that I am most certain of are that I've become less inclined to believe that things always work out in the end -- they don't -- and that, no matter what, I am capable of picking up the pieces and moving forward. Still, those are lessons that I'd rather not have learned, given the cost.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I am, at heart, a non-confrontational person. Yeah, I'm guilty of offhand sarcastic remarks and quips when things annoy me, but most of it is meant in jest. For me to really get aggravated -- and speak out about it -- things really really have to bother me.

Today, I was bothered.

On my way to pilates, I stopped at the UPS store to drop off a package. I was returning one of many, many catalog purchases of late. Apparently, one of the ways I dealt with not getting a birthday present from my mother was to buy new clothing and shoes. But I digress.

The package was prepaid. So, I just wanted to run in and run out of the store so I could get to my class, but there was no parking, so I wound up driving around for a couple of minutes looking for a spot. When I finally parked and ran up to the store, large box in front of most of my body (The box was 2 feet long -- no joke), I noticed that there was a very long line of parents and kids, most of whom were holding red and green balloons.

I quickly gathered that none of the people in line were actually there to conduct business in the store. You see, as luck would have it, the UPS store is in a neighborhood that was having its annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, and the store itself hosted Santa. So after exchanging brief words with some of the parents, I decided to bypass the line and go straight to the door.

Of course some blond woman yelled at me, "How rude! Don't you see that this woman with a stroller and a baby is trying to get out? You should have let her out first."

In my defense, I didn't see the woman with the stroller and the baby. The box was obstructing my view, especially while trying to hold it while keeping the door open. And in all honesty, all of the people and all of their kids seemed like they were moving into the store, not out of it. But on some level, I was not being very observant. I mean, I was surrounded by all of the kids and the noise, and all I wanted to do was drop off the stupid giant box.

I said, "Oh. I'm just trying to drop off this box and I didn't see her." I continued walking into the store, handed the clerk my box, and proceeded to exit. The transaction itself took 5 seconds.

On my way out the door, the woman started with me again. She said "You are so rude."

I was halfway out of the store, but I got annoyed. I spun back around and said, "Excuse me?"

She didn't say anything, so I started walking again.

Of course, then she said, "I guess some people don't understand Christmas."

I stopped again. "You really want to do this in front of your children?"

She glared at me and said, "I can't believe you are so rude."

I got a little defensive. "First of all, I didn't see the woman with the stroller because I was carrying a very big, very heavy box. And second, if anyone has the right to be mad at me, it's her -- not you. Mind your own business."

She said something else, but I don't even remember what it was. All I know is that by this point, I was fuming. So as I turned and walked back to my car, I said, "Well, I guess your kids are learning that the true spirit of Christmas is to be judgmental and rude."

The woman with the baby and the stroller? She was long gone by that point. But if she had said something to me, I probably would have apologized.