Wednesday, December 17, 2008
C'mon ladies - you know what this means. I don't know that I had ever really thought about this in my life, and what it would mean, if anything at all. There was a time when I thought I would end at 7, but we all know how that turned out.
Then there was a nice lull of a year or so, and them BAM - 8, 9 and 10 within 5 weeks of each other.
Okay, I think they are all explainable, and I don't regret it, but the fact remains that I am now in the double digits.
I wondered how I would stack rank against my peers, so I sent out the query to a few close friends to see the numbers that came back, and the results were interesting. Everything from one to almost twenty.
Almost all of them said that they never thought they'd get higher than 10. More than one mentioned that when the number hit the double digits, they felt kind of slutty, but eventually got over it, realized that that's life, and have been enjoying themselves ever since.
I didn't query any guys on this, but I am fairly certain that if I did, the results would be quite different. For one thing, I don't trust guys to be honest with the numbers, and I think they would be heavily inflated. I also think that their attitude towards the overall number would be different. Guys wouldn't feel bad for hitting double digits, they are likely to feel bad for not.
It is an obvious, much-talked about, still-lingering stereotype, and it sucks. I hate that there is a voice somewhere in the world that tells me that I should feel bad, or that I could be perceived as promiscuous, while guys will pat each other on the back with each notch in their belts.
So ladies, I say this - we take back the power of the numbers into our own hands. Whatever your number is, own it, appreciate each experience, learn and grow. Don't look back with regret. We frickin' rock. Don't forget it.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
1) I don't want to have kids just to have kids. I never have. I have never said, "I want to be a mom and have kids and that's that." I didn't even think I wanted to have kids until I met someone I wanted to have kids with, and that was in my 20's. It was only after that that I realized that for me it wasn't about the kids first, it was about finding the right person to have a baby with. It's a big difference.
2) My self worth is not tied to what I do and how I do it. Meaning, it's not tied to how well I do in school, or how well I do my job, or what job I have. This seems so simple now, but I cried yesterday when I finally realized this. And I realized that no one will ever make me feel again like what I do dictates who I am and what I am worth. Now that that's over, I realize how much it sucked.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I stopped running during the mess I made of my life earlier this decade, but earlier this year, I started running again. I had a goal to complete a half marathon a month before it was all over, and I did it. I did it alone, with no one to cheer me on, except my own two feet and a necklace around my neck that I had wanted for years, instead of a ring around my finger I never really wanted in the first place.
A little while back, I read a short piece written by a woman who started running after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Though our paths were different, the sentiment is the same. This is a small part of what she wrote:
And then I ran. Exactly as planned.
I was running for my life, in a sense, though I knew that competition was really unfolding inside my body, far beyond my control. I was running in affirmation, in defiance. I was running to prove that I could, to show that I was not defined by the clusters of renegade cells that were growing within me.
To deal with something in my life that has not, in any conceivable way, gone exactly as planned.
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.
Monday, December 1, 2008
But the person who really made think this weekend was Pearl. Pearl is a dear, old friend of Lou and his wife Tessie. I met Pearl this weekend, and found out that she has been friends with the Levines for over 70 years. Pearl made me think about friendship, and about one friend in particulary, my DT, Paprika.
Oh, Paprika. She makes me want to scream like only a sister can. But I love her. I yell at her like I yell at my mom. Because I love her. I want her to love herself. Because she deserves it. And I know that, because I love her.
When I met Pearl this weekend, and watched her celebrating with Lou and his family, it made me think of Paprika. And that, 58 years from now, we will have been friends for 70 years. I look forward to celebrating that day with her.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
And then I changed my mind.
Do I really want to devote a perfectly good day every year being mired down in anger and regret? Not really.
So I've decided that today will not be the day that would have been our third wedding anniversary. Instead, today is just another day. Get up, have breakfast, go to work, go home, and maybe even spend the night in the arms of a new love.
I'm not thinking about three years ago. I don't want to. I'm not angry or bitter or upset or avoiding anything. I just don't want to.
So, as of now, and going forward, November 26 is just another day.
Monday, November 24, 2008
A Bitter Song
All I need is a bitter song
To make me better
All I need to write is a bitter song
To make me better
If only to hold me
But I don't like it at all
Won't feed it
Won't grow it
It's folded in my stomach
It's not fair
I found love
It made me say that
You'll never see daylight
If I'm not strong it just might
All I need is a bitter song
To make me better
All I need to write is a bitter song
To make me better
I feel better
I feel better
- Butterfly Boucher
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
That's basically what she said to me, in a nutshell. For an hour this morning. I begged and pleaded with her to tell me how to fix this, but apparently, there is no pill or diet or technique to be employed in the feeling-changing department.
That blows. Someone really needs to come up with a pill for that one.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I have a friend who told me the other day that I have a big FUCK OFF sign on my lawn
I don't actually have a lawn, but I get the metaphor. She said I can be really defensive with people, and that it's usually to either prevent myself from getting hurt or having a reason to fall back on when the inevitable hurt finally arrives.
I never really thought of myself as a defensive person before. Angry? Sure. Bitter? Who's not? But not defensive. But as she laid it all out there plain as day, it was hard to deny what she was saying.
This all came up because there's this guy...blah blah. Whatever. The point is, I don't know what to do with him. I do like him. But I don't want to tell him. For two reasons - one, I don't want to hear him say he doesn't like me back. Two, I don't want to hear him say he does like me back.
It would be really nice to have a boyfriend. But, it has also been nice not having a boyfriend. And I'm really not up for heartbreak right now, so I'm keeping all of this to myself. But apparently, it's more than that. It's the big FUCK OFF sign on my lawn rearing it's ugly head.
I told her all the reasons I don't think it would work between me and said boy.
And she said, "This is you, making excuses for why it won't work, so that when it doesn't work, you can say you knew all along, and you think that if you keep these reasons in your back pocket and pull them out when the 'inevitable' happens, it won't hurt, because this will be your ammunition against it." Or something like that.
Anyway, the point is, she's right. I had never thought about it like that before, but as soon as she said it, I saw that she was right. And not only did I see it in this situation, but I saw how I have done that over and over again in my life.
It's not to say that I'm going to tell said boy how I feel, but she has given me a lot to think about.
Angry, bitter and defensive.
Jeez. I suck large.
My thoughts now, November 12, 2008:
She was right and wrong. I can definitely put up the FUCK YOU sign when I need to be defensive. But that's not what was going on. Because, the day after I wrote that, I went on a date. And another date. And another. With the same guy. Not the guy in that post. Another guy. A guy I'm still dating today.
So where did the FUCK YOU sign go with this guy I'm dating now? Why didn't I have it up with him but with guy #1? I don't know why it was so hard to see then. I didn't want him. Looking back at it, and it wasn't that long ago, it's pretty clear. I didn't want him. I could have had him if I wanted it. I didn't. I made every excuse in the book.
"It just won't work."
"We're too different."
"We're too much the same."
"He's too much the same."
I felt like I should want to be with him. It made a lot of sense, on paper. But I just didn't feel it. I didn't then, and I just couldn't fake it. I did that for so long, I just couldn't do it anymore.
So there we have it. It only took me 5 months to figure that one out.
Good on you, Anne. Keep going.
As I was looking over my old posts, I noticed I have seven unfinished drafts. Then I thought, "well, that time has passed, it's too late for those posts". Then I had another thought. This is my blog. This is my writing. There are only, like, three people who read this blog anyway. So I can do whatever I want with it. Nobody cares. So I'm going to go back and see if I can finish what I started. I'll back date them for my three faithful, so you can go back and see what was a-go when I started them.
I'm so sure you will.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Well tonight, I am officially unblocked. And it only took a big fall into that cesspool called Memory to do it.
I'm moving. Again. For the sixth time in five years. I moved in 2003. I moved in 2004. I moved in 2005. I did not move in 2006 (though I prayed every single day that year that I could move). I moved twice in 2007. Yup, twice. And now, it is October 2008, and I'm moving again.
And as it is with moving, you go through shit, and sort out shit, and pack up shit, and inevitably, you find shit. I found a lot of shit. Pictures and cards and blah blah. But what I found which was the catalyst in my unblocking was e-mails.
A folder full of printed e-mails starting in 2001 and ending in...whatever. I didn't even check the date of the last one, but believe me when I say the folder was full.
There was a lot of stuff I got rid of. There are some things I still have, and maybe will get rid of one day. I'm sure there are things I will never get rid of. But today, I got rid of that folder. Years worth of correspondence, some of it I'm sure very sweet and romantic. In the recycling bin. So that it can be turned into paper that will one day be used by someone else to print an e-mail from his or her beloved to be put in a folder to be thrown away years later, not with tears, but a shake of the head instead.
Well, at least I'm unblocked.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
That chair across the room is creaking, but I'm sitting over here on this couch. There's typing on a keyboard, but my laptop is closed. There are footsteps in the hall, but I'm still in the bathtub. The water in the kitchen runs when I'm in the bedroom, and the sheets on the bed rustle when I'm in the kitchen.
Music comes on then goes off. There's a voice talking on the phone, but I see my phone, sittng on that table over there. It's silent. Paper's rustle. Cupboards close. There's a breathing and a sighing and a singing. And that laughing again.
And it's not mine.
Tonight I noticed that as the swimmers were sitting in those chairs waiting for their turns to rise and make the way to what they hoped would be the first of two podiums that night, they were all shaking their feet and legs in nervousness and anticipation. I noticed this because it's something I do - I have done it for years. I shake my legs and/or my feet constantly. Or I fidget in a hundred other ways. People have often commented on it, asking me why I was so scared or angry or did I have to go to the bathroom.
Today I had another thought about it, as I watched all those swimmers shaking their legs as if the vibration their feet were making on the tile were enough to vibe that gold medal right around their necks. The thought was this: maybe my lifelong twitch has not been a twitch born of anxiousness or fear or general anxiety, but a twitch of anticipation, of something big to come, something I have been waiting a long time for. Something good.
Which twitch? Number two. For sure.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yesterday my brother and I were talking, and I was telling him about all my new adventures this summer. My brother is the opposite of me - he's totally not a corporate suit. He always tells me that I just "work for the man", am "part of the rate race", and I'm wasting my life "padding the pockets of the white man". Whatever. It pays the bills for now. He's much more free and easy than me. His life is about being happy. My life is about getting through it.
This summer I've started to realize that he my be on to something, and I think he could see the change as I was telling him about drumming and dancing and singing and laughing and generally not caring so much about all the stupid shit I've worried about before. He said it was like I was having my "TSN Turning Point". He could be right.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
But I long so much to be curvy
All my life, everyone has said to me
"Anne, why are you in such a hurry to
Get here, get there, do this, say that,
Finish this, start that,
Anne, why can't you just fuckin' relax??"
Sunday, July 6, 2008
So he said to me several hours later. Several hours after I noticed my shadow while I was wearing a wig, and commented that I didn't recognize it.
I'm sure when he wrote it, he didn't realize what a maelstrom he would set off in my mind.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
When I was there in June 2001, it was at a crossroads in my life. A simple metaphor to explain it is this: I was trying to decide if I was Mt. Pleasant & Eglinton or Queen Street West. I chose Mt. Pleasant & Eglinton. But since then, I have, at times, longed for Queen Street West, and the life I didn't choose.
Mt. Pleasant & Eglinton is a little more right wing, Queen Street West leans a little left.
Mt.P & Eg is LaCoste, Queen West is Betsy Johnson.
Mt. P & Eg is patisserie's, Queen West is bohemian outdoor cafes.
Mt. P & Eg is straight lines, Queen West is curvy.
To me, that life is so much more free. Free of a lot of the useless stresses and concerns I carry with me every day. The people are more relaxed. There is so much more art and music and culture and intelligent conversation.
But there is also insecurity, and instability, and it's that part of Queen West that I could never get my head around. It's not always like that, but it was with the crowd I saw. So I turned away, went corporate, and only looked longingly over my shoulder occasionally.
Until just recently. I was invited to go with someone who is very Queen Street West back to the Muthadi Drum Festival after a 7 year absence. And I loved it. I loved the crowd. I loved the freedom. I loved the music and the art. I can't believe I stayed away for so long.
It has made me start to think again about the choices made, and stuck with, over the past several years. It's not that I regret them, but I wonder if it could be different going forward. If I can be different. I wonder if I could be Queen West after all. Or, if I could have one foot in both worlds, and live them both.
So much has been going on, and it's a lot to process. But one thing for sure - I won't miss Muthadi again.
I pulled out the envelope. My address, right there in my own handwriting. The stamp, a leftover from Christmas, with a reindeer on it.
Inside, the end of my old life, and the legal permission to start a new one.
I stared at it for a good minute, not moving, not sure what to do.
Someone coming in the door of the building startled me. I took it upstairs, and just looked at it. It took a phone call to my DT, and the reassurance from someone who understands that it's all okay, to finally open it.
It sucks, but it's done. It's finally done.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I honestly don't know what the world is coming to.
Do I think people should smoke in cars with children in the car too? No.
But more than that, the government does not have the right to tell me what I can and can't do in my own car. I don't even need to extend this argument - we can see where this is going.
I am not a smoker. I have smoked in my life, and I probably will again here and there, but by all definitions, I am not a smoker. I would never smoke in my car. I would NEVER smoke around children, in my car or otherwise. But I feel for smokers on this one. I really do.
The government has made it impossible to be a smoker. You can't smoke in the mall. You can't smoke in restaurants. You can't smoke in bars, or clubs, or public bathrooms. You can't smoke on a plane, a train, and now, even your own automobile.
But, you can smoke. Smoking, not illegal. And yet, smoking - illegal. They won't ban it, but they won't let you smoke anywhere. NOT IN YOUR OWN CAR. Nothing is more ridiculous.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
As reported by the Toronto Star, this means "that groups promoting anti-abortion ideas will not be reimbursed by the student union but will still be allowed to operate on campus, said Gilary Massa, vice-president external of the York Federation of Students. 'This policy does not apply to religious organizations,' said Massa. 'It only applies to groups whose sole purpose is to spew anti-choice rhetoric on our campus.'"
And I say again...WHAT?!?!?!
My position: Pro Choice
My other position: Everyone else is allowed to have a position
EVERYONE ELSE IS ALLOWED TO HAVE A POSITION.
As long as these groups are not hurting anybody, they have the right to have their voice heard. Full stop. Just because what they're saying does not follow the left wing, socialist mandate of Dork U does not give the student council the right to dictate who gets funding and who doesn't, simply as a matter of opinion. The only reason this ruling doesn't extend to religious groups is because they know it would be in front of the Human Rights Tribunal before the ink was dry on the mandate.
What next? Groups who support the war in Afghanistan won't get funding? Groups who support the war in Iraq (gasp!) won't get funding? Groups who support the Tories won't get funding? Groups who support the distribution of Pez dispensers at political rallies as a sign of fun and good faith won't get funding?
And this, my friends, is why I went to Schulich. Not Dork.
Monday, June 9, 2008
As Hillary was getting ready to concede defeat, Barack made what was one of the most moving and powerful political speeches I've heard in a long time. For me, it was akin to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. Barack's speech: This Is The Moment.
I found it to be one of the most electrifying and inspiring speeches I have heard in recent memory. His delivery was superb, and his character came shining through. But ultimately, it was the message of hope, of change, and of the chance at healing towards a new beginning that really moved me. All delivered with the kind of integrity which I now expect from him - and he hasn't let me down.
As with every great political speech, the last paragraph spoke volumes:
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
I heard his speech live. I read it over and over again. And every time I do, I feel excited about the political process again. Because of him, (and Hillary too), I believe again. I BELIEVE. I believe it can be done. Not just for Americans, but for all of us. I believe.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Gardenia, written by Mandy Moore and Chantel Kreviazuk (performed by MM, though I think CK would also have done a bang-up job if she had performed it herself.)
It's acoustic and melancholy and beautiful, and it resonates with how I've been feeling for a long time.
I tried to post just a portion of the lyrics, but it didn't seem to fit. Then I figured, "Hey, it's my blog. I can do whatever the hell I want."
So here it is.
Well, I put so much thought into getting ready
Now I know that was the best part
It's so easy to get caught up in what I'm regretting
Forget what I got from a wounded heart
I'm the one who likes Gardenia
I'm the one who likes to make love on the floor
I don't want to hang up the phone yet
It's been good
Getting to know me more
I've been seeing all my old friends in the city
Walking alone in Central Park
Doing all the things that I've neglected
Traded 'em all in
To be in your arms
I'm the one who likes Gardenia
I'm the one who likes to make love on the floor
I don't want to hang up the phone yet
It's been good
Getting to know me more
Well, I hear my own voice
It sounds so silly
Keep on telling my story all around
Everything I lost ain't so different
Well, this is how everybody gets found
I'm the one who likes Gardenia
I'm the one who likes to make love on the floor
I don't want to hang up the phone yet
It's been good
Getting to know me more
This song reminds me to hold on to the lessons I've learned. Mostly lessons about myself, and my life. How I live it. How I want to live it. Who I want to live it with. What that would look like to me. But mostly, that I can get through it, and come out the other side happy. And to always remember that "pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding".
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
These revelations keep coming to me - slowly, and often, and often more than once, because I keep pushing them away, not wanting to see them, and not believing the picture of me that is being revealed to myself. But it's changing. I'm almost 31 for Christs sake. I can't hide from myself forever.
Here are some revelations that have to come me lately:
1) I have grieved. Really and truly grieved. Over the past year, I have used a lot of words to describe how I have felt, but I never said the word "grief". But I'm can say it now. I felt grief over what happened. Sometimes, I still do. Maybe I will for a long time to come, on and off, in waves, as it happens with grief. And that's okay.
2) I'm afraid. Of a lot of things. Mostly of failing, which I have still managed to do on a grand scale many times in my short life.
3) It really does get better.
4) You can change.
5) Things are rarely what they seem. Less than rarely. Almost never.
6) I'm not as smart as I think I am.
7) I'm not as dumb as I think I am.
8) There is a lot of great music in the world that I have yet to hear.
Monday, June 2, 2008
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know
The less I understand
All the things I thought
I'd figured out
I have to learn again
I've been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my heart is so shattered
But I think it's about
You don't love me anymore
- Don Henley
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Don't get me wrong. I love Barak Obama. I LOVE Barak Obama. I have since I heard him make the keynote address at the Democratic national convention two years ago. He's a rock star. He's sincere. And as much as this is becoming a cliche, I really do believe that he is looking to bring about real change in the political, economic and social landscapes of his country. I have no doubt that in many ways, he would be an amazing leader, and a much needed breath of fresh air in the White House.
But with Barak Obama as President (or as the Democratic nominee, but let's not even get into what will happen if John McCain manages to pull a rabbit out of a hat on this one), it means that Hillary Clinton won't be. And that's what sucks. Because despite the whole "I-got-shot-at-but-maybe-I-didn't-quite-get-shot-at-in-Bosnia" incident, she's amazing. She is smart, sharp and cultured. She has been groomed for this role since Billy Boy was playing I'll Touch Yours If You'll Touch Mine in the Oval Office. She is the only woman I can think of in my lifetime so far, who could really be the President of the United States. For her to lose at this stage is really upsetting for me. Because, yes, it is important to me that a woman be President of the United States. I really do believe that her gender (along with her politics and her spirit) would make a huge impact, not just for the country, but for women everywhere. Again, so cliche. But true.
I said over a year ago that the next Democratic ticket should have been Hillary Clinton - President, Barak Obama - Vice President. If Hillary had won the nomination it is pretty much a certainty that she would have asked Barak Obama to be her VP. And he would have said yes. That was a done deal. I also said a year ago that if Barak Obama were to win nomination, he would ask John Edwards to be his running mate. And with Edwards' endorsement of Obama a couple of weeks ago, I think that one's pretty much in the bag. I can't say for sure that I think Obama won't ask Clinton to run with him, but I wouldn't bet on it. He doesn't need her the way she would need him. I'm sure he would look at her not just as a distraction, but as a competitor. Billy Boy tagging along everywhere certainly wouldn't help.
But here's the thing - can Barak Obama really win? Are we overestimating the multiculturlism and inclusiveness that we believe the United States to be? Or are we overlooking historical, deep-rooted racism that is sure to rear its ugly head as soon as a black, son of a Muslim man, steps up to the plate? How many more times are the Republican pundits going to slip their tongues and call him Barak Osama? How many more times are they going to flash that picture of him with his head wrapped and tell us that, despite all factual evidence to the contrary, he really is a Muslim? And we know what that means - Muslim=Al Quaeda=Osama Bin Laden=shit getting blown up all over the place. So, I'll ask again - as much as we want him to, and as much as we want change, as much as we want to believe we're better than that - would we really vote this black man into the office of the President?
I'm not so sure. I wish I could say YES YES YES, but I'm not sure.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Anyway, it's not that the emotional vomit won't continue after today, but I would like to make a concerted effort to bring more into this forum than what has been here for the past couple of months. But I'll start that another day.
For today, I need to get out there another cathartic experience I had. This one has been a long time coming. Over a year. And in situations like this, that is a loooong time. I didn't mean for it to happen, and I never expected it to happen, not on this day, with this person, but it did. And it was great. Here's why:
I knew that this for me would be an emotional experience. It wasn't just about getting it over with and moving on. I was so scared that I would cry, that I continued to postpone it. That, plus, I really hadn't spent time with anyone who was worth the time and effort this would take.
But then...I have this friend. And he's the lovliest person you'll ever know. He's kind and good and trustworthy. He's honest and sincere and full of integrity. I trust him completely. And a week ago, when we were spending some time together and a tender moment turned into a passionate moment, I let it happen. I told him what it meant to me, and he couldn't have handled it better. And now that's one more chapter in my old life I can close the book on, and one more chapter in my new life I can open the page to. It doesn't matter what happens in the future - I wouldn't have changed this for the world. It was worth waiting for.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Sing it loud ladies.
“Men are LAZY. They will only treat you well enough to keep you. The reason I treat my wife so well is because if I didn't, she'd be GONE IN 60 SECONDS. The reason she'd be gone is because she KNOWS she's worth it, and DEMANDS that level of respect. The reason men walk all over Paprika is because she doesn't like herself enough to believe that she deserves better. She SAYS that she loves herself and she's confident, but if that were true, she wouldn't spend so much time worrying about "What does THIS mean? What does THAT mean? What does it mean when he does THIS?" You want to know the correct answer to those questions? WHO CARES? Even if you're going to lie awake at night worrying about how your relationship is going, trust me, HE'S NOT. You talk about what you WANT (I want him to want to spend time, call, think about me, whatever). If what you want has to come from someone else, you're never going to be happy.”
Sing it loud.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
This morning, I went on a simu-date. Breakfast, at the Golden Griddle down the street.
I didn't want to go. I didn't want to go when I set up the date. I didn't want to go when I woke up this morning. I didn't want to go after my hair was all flat-ironed and straight and shiny. There was a voice inside me that kept saying, "this is not going to go well."
Funny thing about that voice. It's always right.
It wasn't AWFUL. But it was't great. It wasn't even very good. It was just kind of...meh. There was zero chemistry (from my side anyway), and we have almost nothing in common.
I'm really. Not. Interested.
Of course, the problem is that I don't know how to say no. Like when he said "So, there's a movie theatre up the street from here. Maybe we'll go for a coffee and go see a movie sometime." I should have said, "um...je pense que non." Instead, I said, "Sure, why don't you send me an e-mail. That's the best way to get in touch with me."
I'm such a loser.
No more simu-dates.
Though, I really did set myself up for this one. I knew it would be bad. I knew a bit about him, and all of it screamed "NOT RIGHT FOR YOU." But I went anyway. Mostly to take the edge off the candy-man, where I have been putting way too much pressure. But it didn't do any good. And it didn't help that the first thing I thought of this morning stuck with me all through the date.
Memories are a funny thing. You don't know what will trigger them, or how they'll make you feel once you've remembered. I had a memory this morning, from a long time ago.
It was late September, 2001. A friend of mine was going to Mexico for 6 months, and we had gone to her going-away party - the first time he met my friends. The first time we danced together. As usual, everyone loved him. He got along great with all the guys, and all the girls. Drinking, talking, laughing. But it was what happened afterwards that came back to me this morning.
It was late that night (or rather, early the next morning). He called me when he got home. Told me had a great time. And then, for the first time, he told me how he felt about me. He said this:
"Anne, I just adore you."
Nothing happened this morning to trigger that memory. But it's all I've been able to think about today.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Sometimes a girl needs the caps lock.
I feel better already.
Friday, April 18, 2008
- kissing, and then some
- someone touching my shoulders, hair and face
- waking up to the smell of coffee
- someone to press my feet
- someone to talk to about EVERYTHING - work, politics, spirituality, pop culture, family, and everything in between
- someone to talk to about nothing
- someone to call me on my bullshit - much harder to do on my own
- not having to get up to get myself things - it's not just about being lazy, but about feeling loved
- someone who cares about all the stupid things
- someone who will do something with me because it's what I want to do and that's the only reason
- someone who knows about the things I don't (like cars) and can take care of those things (so I don't get scammed by the mechanic, which has happened more than once during the past several months)
- someone to teach me new things
- someone who reads the manuals
- being so loved, feeling so loved
Some things I don't miss:
- crying on the bathroom floor
- crying in the kitchen
- crying in the study
- crying in the car
- crying in bed
- the feeling of dread going home
- the feeling of dread as I think about the rest of my life
- feeling like when it came to the most important things, he was always hearing but never listening
- not sleeping (okay, I've still got that issue, but it's a work in progress)
- always feeling sad. always feeling sad. always feeling sad.
- having my younger cousins look at me and say in unison, after I described how I had been feeling, "that's clinical depression"
- not wanting to run, or play music, or spend time with my friends and family
- feeling like I should get pregnant, but praying that I don't get pregnant
That's a tough list. Balanced, I think. I don't think it makes it clear one way or the other if I made the right decision. Maybe I'll never really know.
Head up, young person. Don't look back.
Monday, April 14, 2008
It was different for him. His family had lost pretty much everything they owned. Twice. The first time in a military coup, where the only things that were left were some of his mom's jewellery which they had hidden in a plastic bag in the toilet bowel. No joke. And the second time when they moved to Canada with 6 suitcases for four people. My books alone wouldn't fit in six suitcases.
He also lost a brother, who at the age of 18 died of heart disease. He lost two grandparents in six months. He lost his own innocence when the responsibility of looking after his family fell on his shoulders.
He'd been through a lot. I get it. And with all the accumulation and then loss of so many "things", he often stressed that I would probably be a lot more relaxed (read: happier) if I could just let go of my attachments to things.
"Anne, they're just THINGS. They aren't what's important. PEOPLE are important. RELATIONSHIPS are important. Being at peace within is important. You can't get that from your attachments. In fact, your attachments will make it harder to find. LET GO. Let Go. let go."
I know he was right. Intellectually, I get it. But emotionally, I still can't let go of all of these "things". I don't know what it is. I don't know why. It makes no sense. If intellectually, and even spiritually, I can understand why these attachments will always hold me back, why can't I just let go?
The past week gave me a couple of good lessons in this. First, it was the pen.
The first gift he ever gave me was a Lamy fountain pen, for my birthday, three weeks after we met. I had mentioned to him a couple of weeks before how much I love fountain pens, and I still have that pen, to this day. Over the course of our relationship, he gave me several other pens, nicer, and more expensive. My favourite one was the Pelikan. I loved that pen. It had a nib that was perfectly suited to my writing style.
Last week, I lost that Pelikan. Actually, I think it was stolen from my bag. But either way, it's gone.
I was so upset. So, so, upset. Partly, because it was such a beautiful pen, and not the kind of thing I would go out and buy for myself. And also, because it is one of the few physical things I have left of that relationship. When I left, I didn't take many physical things with me. But I took all of my pens. To lose one was heartbreaking.
I called him and told him. I was hoping for a little sympathy, and understanding. He knew how important those pens were to me, and what they meant to me in terms of our relationship. I don't know what I was thinking. He said it gently, and kindly. But it was the same story I've heard a thousand times, "it was just a 'thing'. Let it go. It's not memories. It's not our relationship. Let go of attachments."
Today, I let go of something else. I took my engagement ring to a jeweller to get the stone reset into a necklace. I guess it's only half letting go, since I'm keeping the diamond. But it wasn't easy to leave the ring and know it wouldn't be there when I got back. But I knew it was time. I want to wear it when I run the half marathon on May 11. I want to stop thinking about the first time he gave it to me, at the Rainbow Room in New York City. I want to stop thinking about the second time he gave it to me, on a quiet Sunday night at home. I want to stop trying it on with my wedding band, and feeling sad because it looks so beautiful, and then having to put it away again.
I know they're just things. I KNOW. But it's hard.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
It's not the first time.
I can't say what brings it on, or what makes it go away, but right now, the feeling is very strong.
I can't sit still anymore. My mind wanders here and there. Usually there. Hardly ever here.
I'm sure my therapist would tell me it's a symptom of the ADD she diagnosed me with after having talked to me for 30 minutes. I like her, but she can really be a bitch.
I feel like I'm standing on a ledge, and all I want to do is jump. (It's a metaphor folks - I'm not suicidal). The problem is, I don't know what jumping means. Do I quit my job? Have a one-night stand? Move to San Francisco?
I haven't slept well in several weeks. I wake up in middle of the night, and can't fall back asleep. Or, I just don't sleep at all. I start working, I stop working. I have great intentions to cook fancy meals for myself, but I just can't seem to get my thoughts organized enough to get it done, so I end up eating frozen pizza. I start doing things - a million things all at once, and then get flustered and can't focus and I have to stop and talk myself through one step at a time to get things organized. I realize this sounds like ADD, but I've been here before. it's not ADD. It's the most overwhelming feeling of restlessness.
I suspect this has something to do with that day coming up in early June that I've been trying hard not dwell on. I let the thoughts of that day come and go, but I don't usually let them linger long. I've also been trying not to think too hard about where I was a year ago, leading up to that day in early June last year. Memories come and go, but I don't let them linger.
Perhaps that's why I'm restless. Maybe I need to just deal with whatever I feel and move on. But I'm so tired of feeling sad. I'm so tired of regret. I just want to get on with it - without the restlessness. I'm sure contentment is out there somewhere. I've had it before - gently sitting on my shoulder. It was a brief period in my life, but that feeling of peace has always stayed with me, and I've been searching for it ever since.
God, I need to relax.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
It's been a while. A long while.
And then it happened. In the early, early morning of March 30, 2008, I kissed another man.
It was a tease. So brief, that looking back, I wonder if I imagined it.
But I know I didn't.
It was definitely a kiss. Quick, simple, but a kiss just the same. Two lips, quickly holding on to and then letting go of two other lips.
And now, it's all I can think about. And the best way I can explain it is this:
Imagine if you haven't had chocolate in a very long time. You remember how much you loved it, but then your favourite chocolate in the whole world, the chocolate you swore you would eat forever, gets discontinued. The only way to get that particular chocolate now is on the black market - it has to be underground and it comes at a very high price.
So you lay off chocolate. You do other things. You run, you read, you think about decorating your new apartment. But you always think about chocolate, and how you miss it.
And then one day, someone gives you a tiny piece of chocolate. It's different chocolate than what used to be your favourite (but is now only available on the black market and has to be underground and comes at a high price), but it's chocolate. And it's not bad. Not bad at all.
And now, all you can think about is chocolate, and how you want it again. That chocolate you tasted, that was good. You wouldn't mind that chocolate again. But at this point, any half-decent chocolate would do. Preferably, chocolate with nuts.
And this wasn't just regular chocolate either. This chocolate had nuts (obviously), but it also had caramel (when he passed by me and softly touched my hair), and raisins (when he walked behind me again and ran his fingers lightly across my back). This chocolate melted in my mouth (when he stood next to me and slowly ran his fingers up and down my back) and left a sweet aftertaste (a gentle hug goodbye).
It was a sweet, tingling, mix of emotions that I haven't felt in so long I wondered if they had become extinct and someone had forgotten to tell me. But apparently, they're alive and kicking. And they're back.
This could get messy. I could soon get very, very fat.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I called. They said the paperwork was ready. And I cried. I cried all morning. I cried AT WORK. I DON'T CRY AT WORK.
I called my mom. She didn't know what to say. I called my twin. She knew exactly what to say. I left work early, and went to finally end this chapter of my life.
And it didn't end.
Stupid retard government workers just can't do shit right. 15 minutes after arriving, and jumping through hoops and waiting in lines and filling out forms and dealing with cranky bitch behind the counter (why do I always get some cranky bitch behind the counter?), cranky bitch tells me I have to wait till June 2.
There's a day I don't want to think about.
All the paperwork is in, everyone agrees that this thing just needs to END, but for some reason even the stars can't figure out, I have to wait until June 2.
Looks like it's a day I'm going to have to think about after all.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
"My name is Anne."
"Uh, hi Annie."
Did I really expect him to get it right? Whatever. We only have three minutes. Let's get on with it.
Question #1: Do you smoke?
If Yes, direct him to please move on.
If No, proceed to second question.
Question #2: Are you dumb?
If he understands that this question is rhetorical since THEY ALL ARE, then proceed with mundane small talk till the bell rings and I have to start all over again with bachelor number whatever.
If he starts getting defensive and saying that women, in fact, are the dumb ones and men are just trying to get by in the flurry of the nagging and the hounding and the pantyhose in the bathroom, then the answer is clearly a resounding YES and once again, direct him to please move on.
At the end of it all, I am quite certain that I would have had a more productive evening at home watching LOST with Swiss Chalet takeout.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
It is one of my all-time favourite reality shows, right next to the first Paradise Hotel. (Shut up each and every one of you - you loved it too.)
I feel so inspired watching these people work out hard, lose weight, feel better and better about themselves each week. It makes me want to work out, and lose weight, and achieve something major in my life.
And, as an aside, I have a huge crush on Bob Harper. He's hot, and he does yoga, and he has a beard (at least, he does this season).
My favourite episodes of all reality shows are the ones where family members come to visit, or the participants get calls home, or something to that effect. They make me cry like a baby, every time.
In today's episode, the contestants are getting makeovers at the 12-week point. I'm not going to get into the issue that they've each lost somewhere between 60 and 110 pounds in 12 weeks, and how utterly ridiculous and unsustainable that is, but they all got fabulous makeovers. And then they all walked a catwalk in their own little fashion show. And each time a contestant came out, he or she had a family member there to greet them.
Cry cry cry.
You'd think I could stop crying after the first two or three. I mean, I know what's coming. Contestant comes out, looking fabulous. Struts down the runway. Family member shows his/her face. Contestant yelps in delight. They run into each others arms and hug and kiss and cry and fuss over how much weight has been lost and how great the contestants hair/makeup/clothes are and on and on.
But no. I simply couldn't stop myself. Each reunion for me was a flood of tears as fresh as the first.
I truly am the biggest crybaby.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I LOVE this movie.
I planned my afternoon and evening around watching this movie (in fact, I'm watching the last hour of it right now).
I love Diane Keaton's character. Erica Jane Barry.
I love Erica's Hampton's home, decorated as if Sarah Richardson herself were on set, staging the home with flowers, wall sconces and Restoration Hardware bedsheets (hospital corners optional).
I love Erica's wardrobe, which matches her house perfectly. All whites and off-whites and oatmeals and khakis and baby blues. She never wears aubergene. She never wears red. She never wears orange. She does wear black, which even though it is in complete contrast to her house, seems to fit perfectly.
I love the beach that Erica's beautiful Hampton's home sits on. (I keep putting that apostrophe in Hampton's. Is that correct?) Anyway, I love the beach. I love the sound of the ocean. I love that it's right outside her doorstep. I want to live in that beautiful Hampton's home, with all its windows and white and baby blue and light and walk outside my home and be on that beach.
I love Erica's desk and chair, where she does her writing. It's a writers desk. A writer's chair. Unlike my desk, which I got from the "Take It As It Is" room at the local Ikea. Pitiful.
I love that Erica wears reading glasses. I wish I wore reading glasses, instead of stumbling throught the world half-blind with my serious near-sightedness and astigmatism.
I love Keanu Reeves' charcter - Julian. I love that Julian is a hot, young doctor who is completely head over heels for an older, intelligent woman.
I love the rainy scenes as much as the sunny scenes. The home, the beach, the whole thing is equally as beautiful in the rain. And so meloncholy, which suits my mood just fine.
The only thing that kills me is that at the end of the movie, Erica dumps Julian (who took her to PARIS for her birthday), for Harry, who showed up and crashed the party. Why does the smart, sexy, sassy woman always dump the smart, available, loving man for the playboy who jerked her around until he felt like he was ready? So. Not. Cool.
All this makes me wonder about my life. I realize that in my own life, something's gotta give. The hard part is figuring out exactly what that is, and then letting it go. But in the meantime, it's a great movie...
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Fear says, "I'm here, I'll keep you safe - you can't get hurt as long as you hang on to me."
Courage says, "Let go. Discover the unknown. You don't know what you're missing."
Fear says, "You don't need to know. Keep things the same, and you're always prepared. You'll never be caught off guard. You won't be judged. You won't FAIL. Not in your job, not in your relationships, not in life."
Courage says, "Let go. Follow me. I don't know where, but we'll find out together. I promise, it will be okay."
And back it forth it has gone, for over 30 years. Almost always, Fear won. But not anymore. Because guess what I found out - let Fear win, and you can still fail. In your job, in your relationships... So this post is the start of something new for me: Courage. Let's see where it goes.