Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's not me, it's you

As I reflect on the last 2.5 months that I allowed myself to share my emotions with someone, I begin to wonder what the deal is with guys. I am by no means bitter about men. Ok, maybe I kinda am, but I'm not bitter in the sense of wanting all guys to die in a fiery pit of hell, I just wonder what the hell their issues are.

I went out to dinner and drinks with two separate lady friends of mine the last two nights. It was good to get the invites, with both ladies sharing much of the same heartache and frustration that I've been experiencing. So really, it was a time of venting and support and, well, downright boy-bashing.

The first friend is one I've known since I was 5 or 6. She and I have grown up playing soccer together. She was on my first team, the Ping Pongs, and I have pictures to prove it. We weren't super close friends growing up, but we were always in each others' lives one way or another. I have always kinda considered her my little sister, because she's a year younger than me and I've always felt that we have that connection. Anyway, she's just getting out of a 13-year relationship. Yeah, that's a freaking long time. The details of the relationship don't matter; what does matter is that she's finally become strong enough (or tired enough) to leave him. As she was telling me all of her woes, I was so proud of her for finally seeing that she would never be happy with him. She actually said, "I can live my life forever with this guy and be comfortable, but never really happy. But I don't want to do that. I want to know what a happy, healthy relationship is like." I wanted to hug her.

The second friend is one that I've known from high school. We were never close. However, thanks to technological advancements such as Facebook, we've become close. It's odd and awesome all at the same time how a website can lead to people bonding over daily status posts or mobile uploads. Anyway, we've been talking a lot lately about the difficulties of dating. She was the one who actually introduced me to the website where I met my last heartbreak. Due to recent status posts, we've been emailing about how we're both struggling with relationships lately so we decided to get dinner and drinks. This girl is amazing. She's been through a ridiculous amount of heartbreak and all while raising three wonderful kids. We shared our stories and discussed the unfairness of relationships. It was a good night.

What I'm having difficulties understanding is why the three of us are having such difficulties finding men. I know we're not the only single ladies in their 30s out there, struggling to find a good man to hold onto; but why is it so difficult?

I understand that a woman can only hold onto a good man when she is ready to love herself. I understand that many women have men who are horrible to them and they just accept it because they don't want to be alone (aka, be like us). I also understand that it takes patience and an unsettling waiver to find the right one. But seriously, what the hell is wrong with these men that those of us who are primed and ready are finding? We are wonderful catches, any man would be lucky to spend the rest of their lives loving us. But they can' Why?

I am becoming more and more convinced that these issues are less about me and most women. I'm beginning to believe that these issues of relationships are more about men. Men are just as battered as women, but the difference between men and women is that women want the fantasy of living happily ever after and will pick themselves up after every heartbreak to try again. Men, on the other hand, don't buy into the fantasy. They get hurt and are content being alone or hanging out with their guy friends drinking beer. But what about when all of their buddies are married and having families? Don't they ultimately want to share their lives with someone? Isn't that what everyone's seeking? Maybe I'm just naive and a ridiculous romantic.

I know I'll never understand the complexities of men. I also know that finding a man is not the answer to my problems. I'm just ready to be in that chapter of my life and for whatever reason, fate is not allowing me to.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Did I love New Moon?

Aaaaaand that's all I have to say.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feeling the aftermath

Yup... here it is. That damn feeling. That feeling of control over your emotions being lost. The feeling of, when is this going to happen for me??? The feeling of hope slipping away. The feeling of do I really have to start over again? The feeling of heartbreak.

When is this going to get easier? I'm 31 years old. When do I have to stop searching? When do I get to experience what my friends get to experience? When do I get to walk down the aisle and spend my life with the man that I love? When do I get to experience the fears and happiness of pregnancy? When do I get to start watching my kids grow?

I swear, I'm trying to be patient. I swear. I've been ready to do this since I was 18. And maybe I wasn't ready for the right reasons until recently, but the point is, I'm ready. I just don't understand why I'm not getting to be there.

I'm burned out. I'm tired of dating. I'm tired of going through the first stages of discovery with the guy you kinda like. I'm tired of starting to feel that comfortability with the guy and kinda getting into that relaxed state of mind. I'm tired of letting my guard down only to get smashed in the face.

I can only do this for so long. I'm seriously wearing thin. Especially when the circumstances are all but perfect and you still have to walk away, because you know it's not going to go any further if you stay and wait.

So again I'll spend the holidays alone. Again I'll have to hang out with my family, who I love, don't get me wrong. Again I'll have to watch my brother and his family that he's creating and wonder when I'll get to be plus one in my invite request. The only thing that keeps me going is that this has to happen at some point.

But when?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Putting my foot down (and seeing the light)

Here I am again, at this point in a relationship where I'm not getting what I want from it and second guessing myself. Here I am feeling like I'm becoming some crazy chick that is over-analyzing everything. Here I am getting hurt that I didn't get the phone call or the text that I wanted, becoming resentful of a situation that I can change.

I think I've finally figured out that this is the point where something isn't right, whether it be with the relationship in its entirety or with how I feel it's being played out. And guess what, I'm actually going to step in this time around and speak my peace, so that I don't continue to follow down the same path of always being the one to compromise, but never feeling like I'm being compromised for. I'm taking control. Not of anyone else, but of myself and my emotions.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get rejected; that I won't get what I want from this. But you know what, I think I might be ok with that. I don't want to end the relationship, but I can't keep being in something that isn't meeting my needs.

The fact of the matter is, I want more than what I'm getting. I can't help that. And maybe he can't help being at a point in his life where he can't give me more. But if that's the case, I need to move on. No more timelines, no more waiting around for him to hopefully change his mind. No more waiting around for anyone to figure out if they want to be with me or not. I am who I am, take it or leave it. Be with me or don't.

I make no apologies for who I am or how I feel.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An inspiring story

I just finished watching the much anticipated (by me) Dear Jack documentary. It's the story of Andrew McMahon, the singer for Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate, who gets diagnosed with Leukemia in 2005 at the age of 22. From the beginning of his diagnosis, he documents most of his journey on camera and through writing.

Any documentary of this nature would be a powerful one, but I fell in love with this guy because of his story, so this was especially powerful to me. I was introduced to Jack's Mannequin about a year ago through blogs and read that this was an amazing guy with an amazing story. I investigated a little and found a few of his blog entries near the time of his diagnosis and afterward. He is an amazing writer, to say the least. I was told that the first time you listen to a Jack's Mannequin CD, it's good music, but it's not amazing. But as you begin to really listen to it, you begin to actually hear how amazing the music really is. And this music did in fact hit me in that exact way. He is an amazing artist. His songs are beautiful and his passion is felt in the energy of just his CDs. I have been a huge fan since.

As I watched this documentary, I couldn't help but imagine myself and my family in this situation. It was heartbreaking and real and intense. I saw the pain and the love and the fight. I was in tears for most of it. I imagined what my family, my parents in particular, would be like. I could see my mom trying to stay strong, but not lasting long. I could see my dad being the rock, almost removed from it all, trying to make me laugh instead of breaking down and crying in front of me. And for the most part, I imagined myself in this position. This is going to sound weird, but this isn't the first time I've imagined myself in this position. In the position of getting really sick and having to be put through the trials and tribulations of fighting the sickness. How would I react? I would like to think that I would stand strong and remain positive, but how do I really know that? I do know that it would be another time of deep thought and reflection in my life, as I think it would be with anyone.

I have always thought my purpose in this life is more than what it is now. I have always thought that my words and reflections about myself would be my impact on this world. This is why I blog. I had this blog for a few months before I went through my life-changing experience. If you've been reading for long, you'd know that the breakup with the last boyfriend and the therapy that followed it is what I'm speaking of. I don't know exactly yet how I will use these words and these reflections about myself, but I feel like they will be used in some way that will be an inspiration to others. I think that many people live their lives without the reflection that I've had with myself. I am a deep thinker. Many people may not know this, but I often contemplate things on a level far deeper than any other person might. I feel things deeply, I think about things deeply... It's just who I am. There's something about reflecting and contemplating that gives me energy. I think this may be why I love music so much, especially bands like Jack's Mannequin. I love hearing and seeing other people's passion and energy. If I feel their passion, I'm apt to loving their music.

So now, as I sit here thinking and feeling deeply about this DVD, I am in that moment of reflection. I think about how blessed I am to be surrounded and supported by such wonderful family and friends. I think about how blessed I am to have a job that makes such an impact on so many young people. I think about how blessed I am to live a healthy, happy life. I think about what kind of an impact I've had on others. I've really tried my best to be thankful for all that I have and all that I've worked for. I've tried to be thankful for those that have been in my life. I don't think my family and friends know how much I love them and appreciate them, but I'm not sure I know how to put into words what I feel.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for people like Andrew, who have gone through something so life-changing and learned something from it. It gives me hope that people aren't just living this life for the instant gratification or even for what awaits them at the end of this life, depending on their beliefs.

There's a quote from Joseph Campbell that hits what I feel about living life. "People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive... so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."

When I am in my states of deep thought, I feel alive. I feel like I am experiencing life. I could be sitting on my chair, typing an entry for my blog. I could be on a boat, sailing around an island in Greece. Wherever it is, I feel alive. I try to really feel in moments like those. I try to take that time of feeling and reflection and do something with it. Many times, I don't know what that something is. So I just write or blog.

One day it will serve its purpose.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lessons of love

Today I was reading this article from Honey and Lance (my new favorite blog about dating and such) and I had some revelations. To sum it up, the dude was talking about what he learned about dating 3 chicks at once. I have never dated more than one guy at a time, not because I couldn't *cough*, but because I just choose not to. I can't maintain that much emotion and divide it among 3 dudes. I'm literally incapable and it just isn't fair, to me. You, however, can do whatever the f*ck you want. As long as you're not being whorish. And even then, to you I say, have some respect for yourself, but do what you want.

So anyway, it made me think about what I've learned from the dudes I've dated. I'm not going to sit here and hash out every single guy I've dated, but I will hash out the ones I fell in love with. Those are the ones I learned the most from.

Love number 1:
He taught me that firsts loves are capable of punching you in the face, helping you back up, punching you in the face again, helping you up, punching you in the face again, and then continuing to repeat this cycle for over 8 years (while I let him). He showed me that you can love with no boundaries and without knowing any heartache (until you are metaphorically punched in the face). He taught me what insecurity is. He taught me what passion is. He taught me what complete and utter heartache is, to the point of wanting to die. He taught me what butterflies really feel like. He taught me that promises can be broken, even with a ring on my finger. He taught me that even though I thought I was in control of who I was, I was completely wrong. He taught me that although the love may never die, two people are not supposed to be together no matter how hard they try. He taught me that everything is not happily ever after. He taught me that you can love someone and think they have your best interest at heart, but they don't always... but not out of premeditation or malice. He taught me that you can't change anyone. He taught me not to lend money to a significant other. He taught me that I love tall, white guys with dark hair. He taught me how to man up and walk away. He taught me how unabashedly wonderful yet how sick and depressed love can make me feel. He taught me a lot about myself.

I don't regret the 8+ years I spent loving him. Some people may say that it was a wasted period of time and that I should have just figured it out sooner. But I didn't. And the time that it took me to figure it out was not wasted. I felt things I had never felt before, both good and bad. I learned that I am capable of loving deeply. I will never forget my first love.

Love number 2:
This poor guy came into my life two months after I finally ended things with love number 1. He didn't stand a chance in the beginning, but managed to win me over. We lasted over two years. I look back at this one and realize that I needed him there in my life for a number of reasons. He saved me from myself. He saved me from continuing the cycle of love number 1. He saved me from thinking that love was all about the cycle of passion and butterflies and then sudden breakups and confusion. He allowed me to understand that love has arguments and can still manage to stay alive when the argument is over. He allowed me to understand that love can last... for more than a few months. He showed me (again) that I can't change anyone. He also showed me that I can't change myself to make someone happy. He showed me that love is freakin hard. And that just because you fall in love, it doesn't always mean you have the same ideals. He showed me that life isn't all about finding someone and getting married. And that just because you think you deserve something, you don't always get it... and that's not a bad thing. He showed me that I need affection and passion in a relationship. He showed me that talk is cheap. He showed me how to love traveling. He showed me how to love being outdoors and active again. He showed me that people are freakin stubborn.

I actually learned more about myself with this one. The aftermath of it was the catalyst to me changing who I was as a person, for the better. I learned how to be happy with who I am and to not let someone else dictate how I feel about myself. I learned that I can be alone and be ok. I learned how to enjoy me. I learned how to fall in love with myself. The last year and a half since love number 2 ended has been the most enlightening period of my life. I have challenged myself to so many things that have made me such a strong, independent woman. I actually like who I am and make no excuses to anyone about it. That's a good feeling.

I've heard that each love lost should be a lesson. There should be no regrets about that time you spent with that person, you should only look at it in terms of what you've learned. I feel that. I feel it wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ode to Devo

So I taught division of fractions and mixed numbers today. Again. For my 8th year. Which, is really no big deal. I feel like I get better at teaching it every year. But this is the thing... at about my third year teaching it, I came up with a brilliant idea (and by I, I totally mean one of my 6th graders at the time). Somehow, some way, the students and I were fooling around during that math lesson, many years ago. I know, a shocker. If you know my teaching style, we're always fooling around. But we're learning. All the time. (It's kinda my trick. If we fool around while we learn, they don't know any better.)

Anyway, so we're learning and fooling and such and somehow the song "Whip It" by Devo came up. And somehow, some way, I started singing it. I think it had to do with the fact that when you divide fractions, you have to multiply by the reciprocal. For those of you non-math geeks out there, it means, "flip it." So you flip the second fraction and multiply. So I was saying "flip it," and a student said something about the song "Whip It." Ha ha, funny reference. Well, that turned into the following line: "When division comes along, you must flip it" (sung to the tune of Whip It, by Devo). Brilliant, I know.

Well, as you can imagine, it stuck. The kids dug it completely. And I've used it ever since. That was 5 years ago. And every year, fewer and fewer kids seem to know what the heck I'm talking about when I sing the original Devo song. Which I find utterly and completely disgusting. These kids have no idea what they're missing by only listening to KIIS FM or Power 106. It kills me. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Taylor Swift and some Black Eyed Peas, but I never listen to the radio anymore. Partly because I'm an iPod whore and partly because I can't stand hearing about birthday sex (oh, excuse me, birthday text) and p-p-p-poker face p-p-poker face over and over and over. (On a side note, I find it highly disturbing that my 6th graders come in singing the lyrics to this shit. Parents?)

But I digress...

So today I'm teaching it and I'm all excited to bust out the "Whip It" spin. So I do and the only one giggling is my student teacher. Who's 25. Thanks, I appreciate it, but the ones who matter in this lesson are the ones looking at me like I am an old fart, talking about classical music or something. Some of them act like they get it (I think they felt bad), but I know they really don't because when I get to the step in each sample problem where I say, "When division comes along...." and they sing, "you must flip it" in the obvious incorrect tune, there's something off.

So this is my call to parents or aunts or uncles or older brothers and sisters.... help a sista out. Play some good music for your youngins. They have to know this stuff. It's gotta be like a rite of passage or something. I know when I was growing up, I listened to things like The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac. And I remember that shit. Good [popular] music is a dying breed right now. And I'm feeling it. I'm feeling it hard core when the math references that always used to work are being thrown by the wayside.

Maybe next year I'll play the Devo song before I teach the lesson so as to develop some background knowledge.

All in the name of teaching division of fractions...