Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I have come to realize that I am not good at being alone. There is too much noise in my head for me to be one of those independent people who do everything by themselves.

I used to tell myself that I was in constant contact with SkinnyB because she needed it. Now my text messages and my call log tell a different story. I am always in touch with someone. I used to complain about all of the work calls I received, especially because they invariably came when I was in the midst of a celebration or a social event or a Skype call to TheFish. I used to talk of changing my number or turning off my phone at the end of the work day. Now that the calls have lessened, I almost miss them. I never changed my number; I cannot bring myself to turn off my phone for longer than an hour.

I wonder if this is just part of being a twentysomething in the new millennium. Have my age, Facebook, Android phone, Twitter, etc ruined my ability to be alone?
Or is my inability to disconnect for even a few hours indicative of something else? Am I too needy? Have all the years of pushing people away turned me into a lonely creature who craves human contact, no matter how limited or impersonal?

Maybe I'm overthinking this. The people I call most are the people I care about most. The people who call me care about me. Maybe it is just that simple.

I love and I am loved, what else could really matter?

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

As I was driving to work on Easter Sunday, a warning light came on my dashboard. 
It looked like (!) and it scared the shit out of me. 
I had all of those crazy spinning thoughts that I get; I considered not going into work; I was convinced my engine was going to blow up. I white-knuckled it all the way to work. In the parking lot I flipped through the  previously- untouched owner's manual in my glove box, but I couldn't find an explanation. I ended up Googling it. 
Tire pressure. I felt like a complete asshole for freaking out.

And then I realized that I had no earthly idea how to put air into my tires. And then I felt like an asshole again. 
This was the kind of thing my father would have once done for me. Or, after that, my brother. The nearby tire store was closed for the holiday. None of my guy friends who would've helped with this were at work. 

I ended up telling the story of freaking out about the light that morning to my co-workers and sheepishly admitted that I had no idea what to do. They laughed at me and said "You grew up fighting and you can't even put air in your tires?". Brawling with my brother doesn't equal life-skills. A mean right hook doesn't make a girl into a tomboy.  
After work one of my female co-workers followed me to the gas station and very patiently taught me to put air in my tires. She was so sweet about it, teasing and helpful, but it made me feel so useless.  

My former boss used to say "They don't even know how much they don't know" or something to that effect.

I hate feeling like that. 

I hate that I don't have life-skills. I hate that I have no idea where to start in acquiring them. I hate that every time I feel like I'm starting to get it together something slaps me down again. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Staring at the Clock on the Wall

What began as an impromptu overnight trip south quickly went awry. He was irritated about work and criticized me for smelling faintly of cigarette smoke.. I was flushed and wild-eyed from an afternoon of wine tasting and too many Americanos. Traffic was awful. The restaurant had accidentally cancelled our reservation. The hotel clerk called me "Mrs" when we checked into our room.

All of a sudden it was late; we were two hours from home; I was in way over my head. 

I believe that you learn a lot about people from the way they handle unexpected annoyances. He doesn't handle them well. 

We managed to have a good time despite all of the hiccups. I'm always amazed when this happens. I'm not very good at hiding my displeasure. 

That night I lay awake long after he'd fallen asleep. I wanted to turn on the light. I wanted to write. I longed for my laptop, which I'd left behind in my living room. Instead, I lay there and I thought it all out, I wrote in my head. I tapped out fragmented thoughts and half-decisions on my phone. Only one thing seemed concrete.

This isn't how it was supposed to be.

The next day we were supposed to stay and explore, shop, eat, go wine tasting.  I asked him to take me home. We left early and made good time. Traffic was headed the other direction, mostly.

I spent the day with friends. I semi-crashed BestFriend's backyard brunch with her crazy family. Then I drove downtown for a late lunch and shopping with TheTransplant. 

He came over tonight, after all Easter festivities are long finished. Even though I work at 4 o'clock. He said he was determined to "make it up to me", even though I'm not upset. There is nothing to make up.

But, yet again, he sleeps while I write.

That's a line from a Jewel song, you know. Like right now, he sleeps while I write. I sort of detest Jewel's whole whiny-90's thing, but that line has always stuck in my head for some reason.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Of Ham and Hatred

 When I was growing up my parents always selected holidays as the time to do something incredibly fucked up to each other other. My 21st birthday was no exception.
As a result, I've always been very bah-humbug about all holiday celebrations.
You'd think I'd be super excited about having no plans for Easter this year.

By now we all know that I'm a contrary bitch.

Easter has always been the only exception to my holiday hatred. I love Easter. Absolutely love it. I have no idea why.
My parents separated for the first time on Easter Sunday when I was twelve. It was one of the most traumatic events I'd experienced to date. I remember crying bitterly into my plate of Easter ham in Crazytown that evening. I haven't been able to eat ham since.
Regardless, I love Easter. Every single part of it. Even the gross commercialized parts... except Peeps. No one likes Peeps.

This year I'll be spending Easter alone, and I'm sort of beside myself about it. I'll go to an early mass, and I have to work in the morning, which is fine, but then nothing. I don't have plans for Easter dinner.  My mother has chosen to spend the holiday out of town with her boyfriend. TheFish is, of course, still away at school.
Its weird, and very fitting in a sad-girl kind of way, that I will be alone with my dog on the one holiday that I actually enjoy.

Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it is past time for me to figure out how to be outside of my family and my obligations.

Besides, if I'm alone no one can judge me for drinking too much wine.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I have been feeling like I'm running in place lately. As though all of the things I have been actively striving for (sanity, happiness, stability, independence, success) aren't getting any closer to fruition.

Small slights sting more than they ever have before. Every unreturned phone call and harsh word cuts deep- even though I knowingly surround myself with blunt and brutal people. I know with one hundred percent conviction that I am being ridiculous, but that doesn't stop the wounded feelings.

Lovegood once told me that I'm a pushover. The part that she doesn't understand is that I can't always tell if I'm overreacting or if my hurt and anger is justified. I'm afraid of letting my crazy out, so I pick my battles very carefully. Maybe too carefully.
This is, perhaps, where I get myself into trouble. I have a hard time trusting people, so when I do let someone into my life I expect that they will appreciate how difficult it was for me to do so. I expect that they will respect and understand that I can't always vocalize my needs. I expect that they will understand that when I say something isn't a big deal it almost always is, and that when I'm dramatic about something it is almost always trivial. I know that it is ridiculous to expect people to know this. I know that I hold people to higher standards than they are capable of meeting. I know it is crazy to do this- to set my relationships up for failure. I know that I can't expect people to follow the strict life rules that I set for myself. I am incapable of explaining this without sounding like a self-righteous asshole. This is why I cycle through friends with such regularity, it is why my relationships don't have staying-power. I am easy to disappoint.

I wonder why I do this. Maybe it is easier, safer to just be disappointed. If someone disappoints me, I don't have to try anymore, right? Maybe. I'm not sure anymore. Its something to think about it.

Lately, I have been actively making an effort to get better, to be better.. I have been making an effort to verbalize my feelings (with the exception of last week). I have said no. I have done things for myself because it was what I wanted or needed. I have spent time alone, rather than spending time lonely. I am actively trying to be independent and healthy and let go. I am making an effort to forgive and understand and be reasonable.

This is where the running in place comes in- all of this effort seems wasted. I don't feel any more healthy or stable or independent. Everything still feels messy, like I'm barely hanging on... like I've been barely hanging on for awhile.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

No More Balloons

Thursday was Justin's 24th birthday. I had spent the last few weeks with a growing anxiety. I had mentally circled the day in red ages ago. 

In years past, my mother has assembled some sort of hoopla to celebrate Justin. Two years ago we went out to the spot where we scattered his ashes and released balloons, then she cooked all of his favorite foods and we exchanged gifts. Last year my mother and I released balloons at the park where my brother played Little League. We followed that with dinner at his favorite restaurant and a dessert that was a childhood tradition. 

This year: nothing. No balloons. No birthday cake. Nothing.

No one even said a word about Justin. My sister had an appointment to get her hair thinned at 3:30 that afternoon.  BestFriend called me; she didn't remember that it was Justin's birthday. I couldn't force out the words to remind her.

I couldn't bring myself to say anything to anyone. In the days leading up to the 29th I hadn't mentioned it either. I wasn't sure how to approach it with my family; I didn't want to inflict it on my friends. I know that my friends would have been supportive. When I mentioned the significance of the date after the fact in that casual-but-not-really-casual way that I bring up tough things my friends were lovely and supportive and insisted that I should've told them. It wasn't that I didn't want to, exactly. I felt incapable of forming the words. And I didn't want to shine a light on my pain, or invite people to pity me. I didn't want to be viewed as seeking attention or sympathy. 

To be completely honest, I expected people to remember. Not my friends, but his friends, my family, all of the people who inserted themselves into my grief   when he died.

The worst part isn't that no one reached out to me. The sad, dark part of me always expects that. The worst part is that I feel as if everyone forgot Justin. All of the people who were his friends, who promised to love him forever are gone. It hasn't even been three years and he's already been forgotten. My grandmother didn't even call. 

By early afternoon, I couldn't take it anymore. I got into TheEgg and just drove. I ended up at the same sand dunes where we scattered Justin's ashes. I go there every so often to visit him. Not as much as I should. I sat there, wrapped in a beach towel and staring into the sea, until the wind dried all of my tears and my feet were numb. 

Days later, this is still bothering me. I feel so alone. How could they have all forgotten so soon?

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I am experiencing a period of sensitivity.

This happens to me sometimes. I become temporarily unable to see the humor in things. Off hand comments sting; insults and petty digs pierce my soul. My whole self feels raw, as if there is a sucking wound in my chest. My skin is tender.

It is not unlike the way that depression feels, but it is not wholely like it either.

It is during these times that I am most erratic. I will have an out of character soul-baring conversation with a coworker only to follow it with a days-long self-imposed exile. I am more still and silent than usual. I hold everything I see and hear close to me to be examined later. I dwell and I obsess about absolutely everything. I search for meaning and significance where there is none to be found.

Do I know this is happening? Yes. Do I know it is absurd? Absolutely. Can I stop it? Not a chance.

I fear that its a return of my crazy. That all of the sadness is coming back. I fear that I can't ever escape it. I don't want to wake up at 45 and still be in therapy trying to come to terms with age 19, my father, my sister. Justin. It has to end. I deserve an end. So I keep still and silent. If I don't react too quickly it can't get out.
And so I find myself sitting up in bed tapping this out on my phone. (My laptop would, of course, choose this time when I most need to blog to misbehave.) Taptaptap tap taptap. Dwell. Dwell. Dwell.

I'm dwelling on a comment made by one of the kids who works for me. It was mostly off-hand, but it hit disturbingly close to home. It mirrored something BestFriend commented (scolded) about last week; something TheTransplant mentioned weeks ago; my own secret fears. BestFriend is almost always right, but she's especially always right when I most want her to be wrong. I really want her to be wrong about this.

I know I'm being silly and stupid. I know I should shake it off. I know that I shouldn't care. I wish I knew how to be less insecure, more confident.

I should practice what I preach: What Other People Think Of You Is None Of Your Business.

But I'm weak and insecure and I have this gaping wound in my chest and it won't stop.
So until the melatonin I took kicks in, I'll be here tapping and dwelling. Taptaptap

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ah Ha

I think it has become clear that reverb-ing is not my best thing. But for me participating in the challenge was about jump-starting my writing again. I never realize how much I need my blog until I've neglected it horribly. By the time I realized it this time I was stuck. I tried to write, but I just found myself staring at that damned blinking cursor. There are ten or so saved drafts on my blog dashboard- all of the unfinished reverbs. Some of them are simply the prompt. Others are unfinished drafts: half thoughts, fragmented stories.  This hidden wasteland is probably just as telling of my year as any whole published post. Rereading the reverb posts makes me sort of ashamed. I wonder when I lost my voice. When did my words switch from chatty to stilted? Has my life always been so empty?

Anyway, in realizing that my blog has become cluttered with these half-formed posts, one jumped out at me. It struck me in a way that it hadn't before. Perhaps I will drag them out and finish them at some point this year. Perhaps I wasn't able to write them yet because I didn't need them yet. Who knows?

Prompt for December 24: Ah Ha: What deep thought struck you this year? How did it change you? 

I rolled over sloooowly. It hurt to move and for a moment I was disoriented, unaware of my surroundings. I reluctantly opened my eyes and the room came into focus. 
Brown bed sheets, white wall. Loose change, Bic lighter, digital alarm clock, lotion, and a man's watch on the nightstand. Earrings, necklace, bra, underwear, cocktail dress, I was fully dressed in my party clothes from the previous night. Spartan furniture, large TV. Silver heels (mine), discarded jeans on the floor- belt still threaded through the loops (not mine). More walls, they're extreme whiteness marred only by scantily clad girls, "The Official Rules of Beruit", and Bob Marley. 
I was alone. At Lames's. In his bedroom, to be exact. The night before we'd gone to his company Christmas party. The party was a two drink affair, but it was not a two drink night.
This realization was a relief, if for no other reason but that it meant nothing inappropriate had happened. I was safe. 

A week or so later, over cocktails and appetizers, I related to BestFriend a story of my night of over-indulgence after the Christmas party. It led to how laughably cliche Lames's room was; how every single guy I knew when I was 19, 20, 21 had virtually the exact same room.

"So, anyway, I realized..." I started to say.
"You need to stop hanging out with 21 year old boys?" she finished for me, eyebrow arched. That was not what I was going to say, but I was so startled by her words that the rest of my thought was lost forever.

I was already embarrassed about over-indulging that night. I hadn't drank so heavily (or been so hungover) in an incredibly long time, maybe years. But aside from the heavy alcohol consumption, it had been a tame night. No crazy antics, no inappropriate naked business, no law breaking. I was a polite guest. I didn't make a spectacle of myself.
Her judgement hurt. 
I think it hurt most that she was right. 

Not about my friendship with Lames, of course, but about the scope of my life. There's nothing wrong with drinking or sometimes drinking a little too much. But being 25 and making a habit of drinking to excess with a handful of barely-legals would be pathetic. It is passed time for me to get it together for good. I need to stop trying to be 21 again. I can't go back. I can't fix it. No matter how much I want to, or how much I joke about it, I can't be young forever. 

I had already realized that I need to let go of my father-issues, but I hadn't realized that I needed to let go of this too. I didn't realize that sometimes I'm still just trying to be popular, drinking to be popular. 
I'd forgotten how I self-destruct.I'd forgotten that I'm my own worst enemy.

So I'm going to grow up and I'm going to shut up.