Monday, July 28, 2014

I have 5 minutes to describe 5 years of emotion stuffed into 3 days

"I have to end this date so I can go home and write about it," I didn't say. But I thought. (Because it's too close to bedtime and I don't have time to really write!)

I've been all over the map the past few days. Awaiting possible terrible news from a loved one (who the fuck could sit and "chill"?) to obsessing over a date the Cyclist went on (is she prettier than me?) to dealing with a friend's illness ("It will be hard for you to see my scars," she said, stepping into the shower) (the only difficult thing is thinking about the hardship a body can go through), so really the last thing I was thinking about was this date.

I was so wound up Saturday that I cried, thinking of all the people I am going to lose.

But today I have not lost anyone and disaster is no longer imminent. My friend is out of the ER and my family is out of immediate danger, and the Cyclist will still be my friend, even if he finds someone else and falls in love.

So I let myself see the cute boy with expressive eyes in front of me tonight who seemed both excessively nervous and very sweet in that non-player way that I like so much, a friend's words ringing in my head: "Don't forget it took time to build up to that comfort level you have now with the Cyclist. You didn't have that at the beginning. Give another guy a chance."

So when he hugged me, I relaxed and let myself notice what he smelled like.

It was nice.

(Sent from my phone)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Part 2

I am terrible at taking my own advice. "Don't worry before you know for sure what's going on," I said. "Nodules in lungs are common. Worst-case scenario, it's serious but even if it were cancer, it's supposed to have a 92% cure rate if caught early."

Then I got off the phone, turned off the lights, settled into bed and cried myself to sleep. Or, not-sleep, considering as I'm still awake.

Worst-case scenarios are so haunting.

The worst case for me is to lose the ones I love and I don't know how to bear the thought. Thinking of the terrible thing never prevents the thing from happening nor prepares one for coping, but what are we to do in the face of such giant inevitable losses looming?

Abstract me would say "give back" -- maybe after a train wreck tears away part of your life, the only way to get it back is to lessen someone else's pain? But all I can think about right now is how hard it is to be human sometimes. Funny that I once thought the worst thing that happened to me was go through a divorce. Pssht. Silly girl.

I got 4 hours of sleep last night. I have got to get some rest and I don't know how.

So I will read, but not about lungs.

(Sent from my phone)

Friday, July 18, 2014

The update I would never post on Facebook

Despite a healthy disrespect for overuse of muscle relaxants, my ass is always relieved to find that they do, in fact, seem to help for this recurring neck thing I've got going on. Except the price is high: I lose the entire outer shell of my persona and turn into a bag of organs. I have absolutely no ability to do anything other than metabolize.

The turn of events between late last night and today is almost comical.

I somehow tweaked an old injury helping a friend out of the emergency room last night when she stumbled and I grabbed her. The knot grew tighter and now I need to lift my head with my hands just to turn it from side-to-side. Then someone in the family called with possible terrible news, so there's that, and I'm still freaking out over my friend being sick because she was readmitted to the hospital today, and, to top it off, I may have food poisoning. Good times.

In the 20 minute window between doses (basically the only time I am capable of clear thought, and, not coincidently, also writing this), I scoured the internet for information on muscle injuries and wondered if I should fucking go to school to learn how to deal with this shit and then help other people with the fucking soft tissue/muscle injuries. So yeah, maybe that will be my new hobby.

Better take advantage of reading before the next dose kicks in. Peace out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A very different end to the day

"So you're writing a book of dating stories?"

"Yes, I'm maybe a third of the way through it."

"I hope I'm the last chapter."

(Sent from my phone)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

That time I tried to be a big fat jerk

I am an asshole. And I don't care.

I canceled this coming Sunday's date because he didn't reply to my last email, and I ended up reaching out to see if we were still on (don't make a girl do that, by the way), and he replied with a short (curt) "yeah," explaining that he can't play sports that day anyway (so he would have cancelled if he could have?) so I ditched the date. I need a guy to be enthusiastic about meeting me.

Not like this.
Then, tonight's first phone conversation with another potential date was so terrible that, when he finally asked about me (after I steered the conversation away from the counseling session it was turning into), I didn't want to answer because I never wanted to talk to him again after we hung up.

I still feel kindof bad about Home State Guy. Remember when I was having a rough week but didn't know why? It was because I was tied up in knots about both the idea of seeing him again and the idea of not seeing him again. Something about him made me uneasy and apparently having an anxiety attack is the body's way of forcing you to face your feelings. The only way I can do this dating thing is to be really up-front and honest.

The optimist in me says:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The egg experiment, for busy-ass adults

I am sitting in front of my computer with a hoodie on to block the blast of arctic air streaming out of the ceiling duct above my desk from turning my head into a block of ice. At least for the duration of this post.

I want this to be fast so I can go play with some beads.

You know how in middle school (gotta catch 'em early), most kids get assigned the "egg" project? The goal is to liken an egg to a baby so youngsters could see the responsibilities of parenthood manifest before they hit puberty. For a week, you carried an egg around with you at all times. If you didn't have it with you, you must hire a sitter -- someone has to oversee the egg. It can never be left alone, not even for a minute. (Of course, the egg doesn't wail, demand strained beets nor spray unmentionables from various orifices so it's nowhere near the reality of having a baby, but for an 11-year old, the analogy sufficed.)

I want some certain someones to do an egg project, just for me. I want someone to pick up an egg, starting with when I wake up, and carry that egg until I get home. Then they can put the egg down until bedtime. During that tiny window that they are not holding the egg, everything they wanted to do that day can happen.

Email BFFs? Make doctor appointments? Call Great Aunt Sally? Exercise?  Pay bills? Reevaluate retirement accounts? Flip through online potential boyfriend catalog & respond to messages? Paint toenails? Update cell phone OS? Go foodshopping? Blog? Work on side business? Eat dinner? Meditate? Fly through the air & become one with the universe? Socialize with new roommates so you don't appear antisocial? Fuck around on Facebook so you at least know what people you don't have time to see are up to?

Fine. You've got a 1-2 hour window. Go.

It is exceedingly frustrating to stretch up against these limits of time.

This makes it difficult in the dating world, because I'm constantly meeting new people. I've even gotten really good at meeting upstanding people, thanks to being as picky as hell. No spark for the last batch, but still... really great guys I could see being friends with. But between family wanting attention and the folks whose company I adore & crave, I don't know where to grow all the new friendships.
"No, Thursday's out. How about never--is never good for you?"
And now my eyelid is twitching from staying up too late the last few days and I need everything to stop.

Where do people get all this TIME??

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What do you want to change?

My counselor likes to start talking about the things we complain about. It sounds simplistic but this is how you know what your problems are. What don't you like? What do you complain about to friends? Move, like a poked amoeba, away from the source of the unpleasant stimulus.

But sometimes people don't even realize when they're complaining about something. This is why awareness is so important -- otherwise you don't really realize it's an issue.
Distractions abound if you let them!

"I'm so tired." "I hate this extra weight." "I can't stand how messy my desk has become."

How do you move from complaint to action? How do you go from "I should clean" or "I should get more sleep" to actually doing it?

Well, the first step is figuring out what's going on. Why are you not doing something you think you should? Do you not really want to? Is it time to adjust self-expectations to remove it as a perceived responsibility? Or do you just need to figure out how to get around the barriers?

We plan for our educations carefully. We know the end goal: a degree. We enroll in programs, enlisting the help of a mentor (student advisor) for advice on how to climb the steps incrementally to that goal. It takes time and planning but we expect this. Successful changes take a similar route. What is it you want to target?  What kind of life do you want to live? What kind of rhythm do you want to see in your everyday routine? What are you not satisfied with that could use some shaking up?

Whatever it is, either remove the burden of "should" from your vocabulary and release yourself from that expection, or get started. Every day is a new day. If you'd began working on it this time last year, how far along would you be now? Start planning now. Your future self is waiting.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The unexpected sisterhood

I stood behind her with her new breasts in my hand, as she held open her shirt. "Let's see how these fit," she said. "Here, I'll hold it open."

I tried to gently stuff the little foam pieces into the little premade boob pockets but I couldn't really see and the shirt was defective and I didn't want to disturb the bandages, and the dog was standing in the way, unsure if she should put on her best guard dog face. I mean, humans can be so weird! We were basically doing the boob equivalent of the following:

We looked over at ourselves in the mirror and burst out laughing. We eventually got them in (actually a different pair, as the first were indeed the wrong match for the shirt).

"I don't think I mind them so much," she said, shrugging as she adjusted them into place. "I thought this would bother me more than it does." She smiled at me from inside a body that had betrayed her, and her beautiful essence poured out, filling the room with the light of friendship and trust. She was never more beautiful, my friend.
"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. "
(Photo from here.)

Friday, July 4, 2014

5 things

1. EIGHT hours after dental work, I can finally move my lips again. (Does it take *everyone* this much time for Novocain to wear off??)

2. I somehow bit the hell out of my tongue anyway, despite not eating a single drop of food. All that restraint--I'm starving!!--and it still wasn't worth it.

3. Sad at ending something before it even started, but there will be no third date for Sweet Home State Guy and I. He handled it so nicely though - you can tell a lot about someone's character by how they handle unwelcome news.

4. July 4th. This time last year is the last time I really dated someone besides the Cyclist. I feel a million miles away from then. Remember City Guy? Now we're like, friends and shit. We sit all Dharma-like in meditation class (yes, we took the class together), flying through the air and becoming one with the universe, then head to the salad bar where I encourage him to ask out that cute girl he likes in class. I never thought we'd be friends. Life is weird.

5. Life is wonderful too.

(Sent from my phone)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New business idea or PTSD therapy argument?

My Facebook status because hey, why just silently smash bugs in your neck and suffer when you can creep out your entire feed and bring them along for the journey!