Friday, February 22, 2013

This isn't background music

While I was at Esalen with my best friend from Junior High and High School, we were laughing about how we used to make mix tapes together (long before they were replaced by CDs and then playlists).  She told me we should each make a mix for each other with no rules.  Just significant songs or something we thought the other would enjoy.  I couldn't wait.  I was trying to figure out how to make her understand what my life had become and how much she had missed over the past 10 years of her being largely absent.  What I came up with was the list below.  It wasn't until I listened to it several times that I realized that I had encapsulated the past two years of change that had occured within myself.  Each song had a significance and I pulled out a few lines that particularly illustrated the point for you to read.  It hit me early Wednesday morning, right after arriving home from my trip to see my BFF in South Carolina.  I was listening to Ke$ha: C'mon at top volume and decided I was literally going to jump for joy the entire time--first on my bed, then on the floor.  If you haven't bounced for 4 minutes straight lately, I assure you it's harder than it looks, but still fun. C'mon 'cause I know what I like, And you're looking just like my type. Let's go for it just for tonight. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon! Yes I was singing at the top of my lungs as well. For anyone interested in a quick two year recap that fits on a single CD, this is your lucky day.  Is this going to be a day of new revelations? Who knows. I never know what I'm about to say. I think it's part of my charm.  Here is the playlist, in order:

Track 1. Beautiful Small Machines: Super Conductor Hey there, tin smiles I’ve been loading down your files, Moving up your dials and I think I know what’s goin’ on. I am programmed, Clicky-click at your Command, Shift for a man with the heart of an automaton.
This was a fun and flirty song for me.  I had learned how to pick out a guy that I liked and cater to him.  You could say it was a game of cat and mouse, but much more fun. I can't listen to this song without being all smiles.  It's a girl next door turned hopeless romantic with the twist of always falling for guys that seem to be robots.  It all seemed quite appropriate and in the end, I always got what I wanted. What's there not to smile about?  This little heartless robot girl can transform into anything you want and need and plenty you've never dreamed of. I've got the frequency to turn you on...

Track 2. Breathe Carolina: Blackout Cut up and I can't feel my hands no need to chase. Can you relate? can you keep up the pace like you're dying for this? I'm only getting started. I won't blackout. This time I've got nothing to waste. Let's go a little harder. I'm on fire I wont Blackout. I'm on my way. I'm only getting started.
The was my second wind song.  It was about controlling situations that were in front of me.  I'm not too tired, too hurt, too scared.  It didn't matter how hard I got hit, I always threw myself forward.  It didn't matter if I was driving to San Diego or LA, I guarantee you this was always on the playlist. Always.  Dried sweat, half rubbed off makeup, and a determination to get into trouble.  That was me.  My ex husband once asked me how long I was going to keep up this rock n roll lifestyle I'd started following.  I had no plans to stop. I was only getting warmed up.  You want to know what happens when you punish yourself over and over?  You get used to it.  It also stops being fun when it doesn't hurt anymore. I wanted to call the shots and I did. This won't stop until I say so.

Track 3. Coconut Records: West Coast I love you Standin' all alone in a black coat. I miss you I'm goin' back home to the west coast. And if you shake her heart enough she will appear. Tonight I think I'll be stayin' here. And you never did like this town. I talk out loud like you're still around, no no.
This is the newest song on my playlist that I discovered very recently.  This is about healing for me and being the healthiest I've been up to date.  All of a sudden I realized that I missed myself.  I do need someone to squeeze my heart and drag me back into reality.  Doesn't it hurt so bad when things don't work out?  I think that's just part of being alive and making it through this mess.  I think it's time for me to go back to where I came from.  Back to the beach, to the little surfer girl who loves wearing rose quartz around her neck because she always believes in love.  I built my defenses up as high as they could go and then I tore them all down.  I miss me.  It's time to come home.

Track 4. David Guetta & Snoop Dog: Sweat Can you be my doctor? Can you fix me up? Can you wipe me down? So I can make you give it up give it up Until you say my name, Like a Jersey Jersey shuttin' down the game.
Let's play poor little defensless girl.  There's something amazing about dance music, isn't there?  About the feel of the bass and being dominated by a man.  Sometimes the best feeling in the world is to just let go. Have you ever had someone rip your clothes off and not be able to do anything about it?  Been thrown across the bed, held down?  I suggest you try it.  There is something delicious about a power bigger than you and me.  Oh desire and sex and heat and sweat.  Anytime I need to get revved up, this is my song. And don't worry, I'll put you in your place too. It's not a fun game if we don't take turns playing both sides. Do it again, and again till you say my name.

Track 5. Dev: Take Her from You You say you love her. Once upon a time I loved her too. You say you lo-o-o-o-ove her. But you don't love her like I do. You've got to give me that girl Or I, will take her from you.
This was my eye opening. One day I woke up and I realized I had lost who I was completely.  I'd given it away to my ex and buried the rest.  I wanted it back.  I was determined to figure out who I was, respect what I wanted, and make my own decisions.  I was never going to give myself to anyone completely ever again the way I had done in the past.  I had nothing to be ashamed of.  Nobody loves you the way you should love yourself.  My heart is mine and so are my decisions.  Me? Not for sale, not in lost and found, no negotiations. You know that I want you And if I can't have you Then no one can.

Track 6. Eric Church: Springsteen I bumped into you by happenstance, You probably wouldn't even know who I am. But if I, whispered your name I bet there'd still be a spark.
There came a time that I allowed myself to look at my past.  Back to where my innocence died and everything that came before it.  Back when I had a mother, I believed in love, and I really trusted other people. I needed to get back to that place and truly remember that it was possible to live in that space again.  What a beautiful thing youth is and all the emotions that come with it.  I've spent probably too much time with men younger than me just watching them.  Have you kissed a man who has yet to be hurt?  Let him hold you in is arms?  There's a pureness there that I want to preserve.  That I want to touch.  I look back at my college boyfriend and all the love and faith and trust I had in the world back then.  It's worth remembering and I cherish those memories.

Track 7. Gym Class Heroes ft Adam Levine: Stereo Hearts I only pray you'll never leave me behind. Because good music can be so hard to find. I'll take your head and hold it closer to mine. Thought love was dead but now you're changin my mind
This is an interesting song for me. I really wanted it to be mine. I wanted to find love again and have that feeling and it never happened.  Man after man disappointed me.  My heart hurt.  You know what? I still smile when I hear it. I sing it to my daughter.  Turns out I had the feeling all along in my own heart and I was too stupid to own it and express it myself.  I never thought love was dead.  Someone's love for me died.  That flame did not burn out forever in my own heart.  I believe it, though. One day someone will show me that love still exists and I won't be scared that one day they'll leave me. It wouldn't be love if you didn't lose yourself in the feeling, would it?

Track 8. HelloGoodbye: Here (In Your Arms) Well you are the one, the one, That lies close to me. Whispers, "Hello, I miss you quite terribly." I fell in love, in love, With you suddenly. Now there's no place else, I could be, but, Here in your arms.
This song has an owner and a year. It was my 2012 and will always remind me of my #1.  The only one I spend the night with.  The one who sees me cry.  The one who I'd run to when I wanted to hide.  I never would've thought.  I don't know how these situations present themselves, but they do.  So here I am with a smile on my face thinking about how all of a sudden I was willing to break out of my destructive cycle to sit very still with someone. Thai food and movies. YouTube in bed and a ridulous amount of sex.  I think affection and understanding aren't appreciated nearly enough because we're all waiting for Mr. Right to show up with a diamond ring.  Sometimes it just is what it is and you should appreciate your moments alone in the dark, snuggled in the sheets you brought him, where his smell clings to your skin, and everything is just ok for a few minutes. Cause our lips can touch, Here.

Track 9. Jack Johnson: Better Together Love is the answer At least for most of the questions in my heart. Like why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it's so hard? It's not always easy and Sometimes life can be deceiving, I'll tell you one thing it's always better when we're together.
Oddly enough, this song is for my little sister and our kids.  I don't know how it happened, but this past year I discovered the real meaning of love and that it's a large part of my purpose in this world.  I don't know why my sister and I are so close or why I love her kids so much, but I can tell you my life is better with her in it.  I hear this song and it reminds me to make the effort to always visit, to text, to look at my priorities and realize that money and sleep and vacations are nothing without the people standing next to us holding our hands. 

Track 10. JTX: Love in America Hey kids here we go heavy metal disco. Put your hands up this is love in America. Malibu to Broadway, Dance away the heartache. Blow the world a kiss this is love in America. Hey kids here we go: Sex, hugs, rock and roll. Fill your cup up this is love in America.
There is no song on this list that represents fun like this song does to me.  It was the first year after the divorce.  I was insane.  I travelled the country, threw myself like a slingshot into the arms of so many different people for just a moment and then slipped through their fingers just as fast.  Most chased me. I never stopped running, but I did look back to blow kisses now and then.  Vegas, Austin, Seattle, SF! I earned my crazy reputation poolside, in airports, rooftop bars, clubs, dives, and on the streets of Laguna Beach. The Adventures of Miss Austin.  One day I'll write them all down for you and you'll hear the story of all the men who almost had me and I loved intensely for just those moments we were together before I disappeared again. Tonight it's just me and you.

Track 11. K'naan ft Adam Levine: Bang Bang Scorpion, She's so hot she's a scorch-ian,
Killing me softly, Lauryn or Kevorkian, Couldn't tell if she's coo-coo or corky, when I asked her her name she said “Call me Ten.” Testing, testing, Things just got more interesting.
She shot me, she shot me, Bang, bang... she shot me.
I decided that I wanted to be in love again.  I had no idea how to accomplish it or what I would do with it, but I wanted someone to love me.  The girl next door came out and my God everyone wanted, well, something.  Maybe the crazy was attractive.  They wanted to tame me.  Or own me. I don't know. But I had fun seeing what everyone would do when I said this or that.  It was all a big game, just me and my shot gun.  Nobody got hurt, right?  Maybe just me. Just me.

Track 12. Katie Armigner: Better in a Black Dress I'm better in a black dress, call me a hot mess
I feel so good, ooh I've got to confess, I like the way it feels In cowboy boots and heels, So listen up, baby here's the deal: I don't need a white veil, I got a black dress. Don't need a preacher, not yet. Don't have the blues, when I've got my red wine

I hit a wall. I was so tired of everyone giving me advice on what I should do. I believed that I would never be with anyone ever again and so I told myself and anyone who would listen that I didn't want it.  I stopped dating or looking for a relationship.  People say put out what you want.  Others say it finds you when you stop looking.  I didn't care anymore.  I like casually dating.  I like first kisses and stolen glances. Adrenaline.  I wanted my black dress, red lipstick, and wine.  Fuck all of them.  So take that gown and lay it down to rest. Cause I'm better in a black dress.

Track 13. Keri Hilson ft Nelly: Lose Control (Let Me Down) Maybe you didn't really need my loving, Not the way I needed yours. I was only try to keep it open, How you gonna slam the door? Led me to believe we were together, You were on a different plan. Just when things were changing for the better, You became a different man.
Betrayal.  Have you ever let someone in?  Listened to what they had to tell you, believed it, and watched it fall apart?  Listen to a man tell you you're just what he wants, he's crazy about you, and you must be special.  You could be the one.  Then watch him make no effort to see you and give you zero priority.  That was this song.  I don't cry when I hear it, but it reminds me of the used car salesman boyfriends of my past.  They didn't want me.  They just wanted to know they could have me, but none of them ever got me, did they? A real man wouldn't have done it like that. No boys allowed.

Track 14. MGMT: Kids You were a child crawling on your knees toward it. Making momma so proud, But your voice was too loud. We liked to watch you laughing. You picked the insects off plants. No time to think of consequences.
I started out in the dating world so innocent and got a good taste of my own blood from being backhanded repeatedly.  Tough lessons.  I started conditioning myself to learn from my mistakes and turn off those pesky things called feelings.  If they used me, then I would use them first.  I feel cold when I hear this song, like a reminder, but I love it.  I would start feeling attached to a man and hear this play in my head. Control yourself. Take only what you need from it.

Track 15. N.E.R.D.: Rock Star Remix You can't be me I'm a Rock Star. I'm rhyming on the top of a cop car. I'm a rebel and my .44 pops far. It's almost over now, It's almost over now

Track 16. Nelly Furtado: Maneater Maneater, make you work hard, make you spend hard. Make you want all of her love. She's a maneater, make you buy cars, make you cut cards. Make you fall real hard in love.
People call me a maneater like it's a cute little petname.  Aww, be careful, Dad! She eats boys for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as dessert with her tea.  Try to mess with her and she'll teach you a lesson for sure.  She'll break you because she can.  She'll show you what love feels like and take it away. Did you think you were special? She can change that.  Come closer. She won't bite. Hard.  So hide your boyfriends, husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles, cousins, and any other pretty little thing with a Y chromosome you might be attached to.  Here she comes. Make you wish you never met her at all

Track 17. Pitbull: Shut It Down Now baby, save me From the game before it plays me. My life's a movie, Call me Martin Scorsese. I can care less if you love me or hate me. Life's a bitch, now fuck, you pay me.
There was a point when I got tired of the game. We all hit that point.  When I was ready to cut someone off or cut myself off in general, this was my song.  You pushed me too hard.  Maybe I scared myself or I couldn't shake the hurt off.  It's a fun dancing song and I'd celebrate the end of another mess. Now watch me shut this thing down.

Track 18. Robyn: Fembot I've got some news for you: Fembots have feelings too. You split my heart in two, Now what you gonna do? Once you gone tech You ain't never going back...I'm hi-tech, baby.
I broke through the emotional restrictions that had held me for so long and it was an amazing feeling.  Imagine the surprise of all the men I was dating when they found out that I actually wasn't an ice cold robot and I had feelings.  This girl wants a relationship?  She wants a family? She's upset that she's not just with me?  She cares that I didn't call or text?  Yeah, it's true.  I spent a lot of time crying then listening to this song and reminding myself that it was ok to have feelings and be a "girl".  When did that become such an ugly accusation anyway?  I happen to like being female, thank you very much.  I'm not sure they knew what to expect after I decided I wanted an emotional/physical connection in my life.  I was soooo perfect before, wasn't I?  I'd come over, no drama, cook, fuck their brains out, then leave. Quietly. And I'm hot as fuck. What more could you want?  How about a real person to share your life with? No? You miss the fembot, huh? I guess I can't blame you. In fact I'm a very scientifically advanced hot mama Artificially discreet, no drama.

Track 19. The Temper Trap: Sweet Disposition So stay there Cause I'll be coming over. And while our bloods still young, It's so young it runs. We won't stop till it's over. Won't stop to surrender.
This was my reckless abandon song.  It's so sweet.  Where you want someone as much as they want you.  It's the moments when they touch your face.  When they pull back and tell you you're beautiful.  They pause to run their fingertips over your stomach and kiss your chin and look into your eyes.  I could die in those moments.  I'll never give them up, no matter how we ended.  Thank you for showing me that those things do still exist in the world. I'll have them again.

Track 20. The Ting Tings: Great Dj Nothing but the local DJ. Who said he had some songs to play. What went down from this fooling around. Gave hope and a brand new day.
This is a celebrations of music. So appropriate here.  My life is a constant soundtrack of feelings and rhythms.  You'll rarely find me without music playing in my car, over my headphones, blasting in my house while I'm cooking or cleaning.  Music has lead me by the hand. Changed my life.  I couldn't imagine a silent moment in my head or the space I occupy.  Seems like such a waste.  When I am alone, it helps me celebrate, gives me strength, helps me cry, and dries my tears. 

Track 21. 3OH!3 ft Ke$ha: My First Kiss Your kiss is like whiskey It gets me drunk And I wake up in the morning With the taste of your tongue. In the back to the car, On the way to the bar, I got you on my lips (I got you on my lips). At the foot of the stairs, With my fingers in your hair, Baby, this is it.
You know, I'm a kissing person.  You know who you are.  Some people can't be bothered to kiss and others indulge for hours.  I'll judge you based on your lips.  I love full lips.  There are few things more sensual than someone's mouth when it comes to intimacy, sex, or playfulness.  You know how to kiss me and I'm yours.  I haven't slept with a lot of different men. Maybe that surprises you. Even counting before my marriage, my total number hasn't even hit 30.  Don't forget, I'm a juggler.  I keep them long term.  But how many men have I kissed? I couldn't keep track of those kinds of numbers.  Take my breath and a little piece of my soul. If I close my eyes I think I can remember them all. She won't ever get enough Once she gets a little touch.

Thus concludes my trip down memory lane.  Are you ready to download some music? Because I think I know exactly what playlist I'm about to listen to.  Which track should we start on?
XOXO The Elitist

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I miss you

Dear readers, thank you for your emails to me.  It's strange sometimes that I don't have a lot of public followers on this blog, but I hear from you from all over the country and world.  Maybe it helps me keep the state of mind that I'm writing only for me and nobody is watching.  But I know somewhere that you're all there and it means something to me that you take the time to read what I agonize over writing.  Know that I pour my heart out to you here and this is the truth, in the purest form I know it.  I wonder if some of you were to see me on the street and look into my eyes if you'd see the broken heart in my eyes that I show you here.  The fact that so many of you reach out, identify, and share yourselves with me gives me strength to carry on, have the strength to be honest, and hopefully help you on your ways as well.  Maybe I'm at a place in my journey where I need some strength and encouragement and I feel the need to reach out.  I don't know if I'd say I'm faltering because there's nothing to fall back on, but I can tell you that my heart hurts today.  Just writing that title brought tears to my eyes.  It seems like the closer I come to healing, the more glimpses I see of my former self and I realize how much I miss who I was before and wonder who I've become now.
Someone tell me how to get over a 9 year love affair.  After almost two years of trying, I realize that I'm still not all the way there, but I'm so close. So close.  It seems like the past month I've been going through a guided tour of emotional cleaning.  Like a dunk tank of sorts where people who love me have taken turns placing a hand atop of my head and submerging me in water until I stopped fighting.  I spent a weekend with my younger sister and my heart was still.  A soul who understands mine can look into my eyes and remind me that I have a greater purpose and am more than the accumulation of hurts that have been done to me.  I look at our kids and know that I'm a protector and full of love and goodness and I can access that pure happiness through them.  She reminds me that my child and family is my priority and I am blessed beyond anything I could've imagined in my youth to have her as a support system for me.  I hope she realizes that by just loving me both her and husband have done more good than I can tell them.  I know I'm generally regarded as a fun time and a party in a can at family events, but if it weren't for them, I can't imagine what I'd be celebrating.  I have the luxury of being completely honest around them and I feel like they are the same with me.  My sister told me that she couldn't imagine how life would be if I hadn't gotten divorced almost two years ago.  I wouldn't be who I am today.  Think of all of the growth, the path to being a better person, the realization of what really matters in my life.  Even my silly line dancing, new friends who I love so much, and all of the adventures that have opened my eyes to more experiences than I thought my lifetime could hold.  Who would I be today?  Certainly there would be no Love tattoo on my forearm reminding me that I am the true embodiment of that ideal in this world.  I couldn't be anyone else than this.  It reminds me that the divorce was the right course of action in my history, even if it left me with such a miserable broken heart. 
Next I was fortunate enough to be lead to Esalen where I experienced a full break down of my defenses in a way I didn't think I could enjoy.  I was so afraid to talk to or spend time with a man after that experience.  I was scared of what I would say or what I would admit to, which it turns out had merit.  I had met a man who I was crazy about and told him that I only wanted to date him.  That I was a notorious juggler, but I was hung up on him because he was special and I wanted to give him a chance.  He responded that he was not jealous and I could do what I wanted because he would blow anyone else out of the water if he wanted.  Oh devestating response.  The old me would've responded "challenge accepted" but I just cried.  We hit crossroads in our lives where we either follow the familiar path of destruction or we try something new to excape the inevitible insanity of previous situations that we've lived before.  I wanted something different.  I sat still.  But scheduling conflicts and possibly low priorities kept us apart and I found myself wondering why.  Maybe it was because I can't start a real relationship with someone until I'm healed from the last fiasco. I told him as much as he seemed fine to back off.  Again, I was tempted to view this as rejection or blame myself for running away and hiding where I'm safe.  Instead I just cried.  It all works out how it should, right?  If it's right, then he will resurface and if not, then I will keep him as yet another fond memory of what might have been and someone who made me feel special.  A true rarity for me. 
There's so little special in the world.  I don't find many things that bring me comfort and heavens knows I've tried everything.  I've been comforted by bible passages and tarot cards.  I prayed to God and listened to psychics.  I'm willing to admit to anything to get better.  I've caught myself projecting my relationship with my ex over men who didn't deserve it and feeling the hurt over and over again because I can't seem to let it all go.  Feeling used, betrayed, lied to over and over again.  I catch myself being too upset over a man that doesn't deserve that sort of weight in my life and point my finger--there! I'm doing it again. Stop, stop. Please make it stop--I go back and explain to him and apologize and he tries to understand and I go on my way again.  I wait for the next time I treat someone unfairly then have to make it right.  I've finally come to realize that yes, I'm still crying inside over the same man and am unable to accept the death of our marriage.  Two years later? How sad.  I have no illusions we will get back together.  I'm fine with that.  But I need to lay the past down to rest and finally cover up the wound that apparently is still open.  My counselor thinks I should visit where we got married to say goodbye.  All at once my sister and her husband booked a trip to Maui for me and my daugther to do just that.  It all seemed to fall into place without me knowing what was happening.  In another week I will walk on that beach again and, well, I don't know.  Let go I hope.  Just thinking about saying goodbye to one of the happiest days of my life overwhelms me with saddness.  I guess that means it's the right thing to do.  If don't wrench those happy memories from my bloodied hands I will never fill them with new ones. 
I was told that spiritual law dictates that you will recieve what you put out.  Also known as Karma.  I guess that means that my happy ending is coming.  I will stand before you and tell you with 100% honesty that I dedicated my whole life to being a good wife and mother to our child.  Can you see my future? Can you read my past?  Then tell me what I did to deserve what happened to me because nobody has ever loved another person as much as how I loved my ex.  Nobody tried harder or suffered more.  It's no wonder thinking of our wedding day brings tears to my eyes.  But I will not receive back from him what I put in, will I?  I've been told it will come from another.  That there will be love for me again and more children too.  Does that sound crazy?  Maybe it does to you, but it was a comfort to me.  It means that those prayers will be answered one day if I can find my way back to place where the hurt is not a daily haunting and I am strong enough not to hide from how I feel.  And I'm so close. I feel like there is just one piece of the puzzle left and I can smile at a beautiful picture of my past.  Let's preserve it, hang it on the wall, then walk out of the room and close the door.  I'm ready for a new puzzle now.  The first piece is me.  The second is my daughter.  I look into her eyes and I see her spririt, wild and free.  She jumps without looking and she loves without fear of consequence. I remember those days.  You want to know where my strength comes from? It's her. It's no wonder I listen to love songs and she floats into my mind.  Amidst all of the destructive sexually fueled music, there will be Pat Green: Wave on Wave.  The words bring a smile to my lips "You came upon me wave on wave, You're the reason I'm still here, yeah. Am I the one you were sent to save?" I think she was.  I really do.
Next I flew across the country to visit my best friend.  Defenses down, I walked into another famiy's house with my own tiny sidekick to join their lives for a few days.  I watched my daughter play with hers.  I held her new baby and my heart filled with joy thinking about how much I wanted another child of my own.  I sat on the couch with all three of our kids in my arms and told them each I loved them and I was happy in my own skin. Safe.  And life happened.  She got a speeding ticket, washed her phone, my kid got stuck in a playhouse, refused to use the toilet, and we mostly just stared at each other with the same tired mommy face.  I couldn't have been happier.  My best friend is an amazing example of someone who knows me and accepts me for who I am.  Not only does she know me and love me, she does it from across the country.  We've never lived together.  And while I've visited three times in the past 18 months, most people would tell you that it's not possible to get to know someone and maintain a relationship over such a distance.  I'd like to show you evidence of otherwise.  She reminds me every day that someone in this world thinks that I'm worth it.  She puts in the effort to make sure I know I'm important and she doesn't have to.  Do you know how hard it is to do that from different coasts?  She is an amazing person and I'm lucky to call her a friend, nevermind my very best friend.  It's a remarkable contrast to what my ex husband did to me--someone who saw me every day and couldn't show me he loved me or take care of me on an emotional level.  But through her own daily struggles with her family from houses to grandparents and jobs and sick kids, she never misses a beat.  When we do get together, you can't put a price on that girl time.  We drank root beer floats and ate cupcakes and cookies.  There were no calories and the woman even lost 2 lbs.  I'm pretty sure that's evidence of the existence of God right there.  After two nights of crying over men, examining my broken heart, and eating half the baked goods, she asked me (jokingly) if I was done going over all my issues.  Yes ma'am.  I felt like over the past few weeks I've confessed to everything imaginable and unburdened every truth I could scrape together.  Can I get better now, please?
I was so sad to leave her after our weekend.  It's hard when someone you love lives so far away and you're not quite sure when you'll see them again.  I'm so lucky my sisters live close enough to me that I can get in my car and be there when we need each other.  Then again, I suppose I can jump on a plane and see her if she needs me too.  There is something comforting about always only being a text away though, that's for sure.  It just goes to show you that love is not dependent on anything but your heart and the effort you are willing to make.  So now that I've been lovingly detoxed by my sister, my gf at Esalen, and my best friend across the country, now what?  I've been told by my counselor to go to Maui, seen in the Tarot cards that harmony in love is coming, and been told that marriage and kids are in my future.  All signs point to up, don't they?  Then why do I feel so bad right now?  Maybe I've been dwelling on the past.  Or maybe the past has a way of coming to find me.
I always say I live my life with no regrets.  I also say that you meet people for a reason and they all have a role to play in your life.  I would like to know where all these men have come from and exactly what they are doing here.  It's been a wild two years, hasn't it?  I laugh thinking about how I was worried I'd never meet another man after the divorce and here I sit, unable to figure out where they come from and why they hang on for years from all over the world--Italy, UK, Australia, Puerto Rico, and of course from the US: California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Texas, Washington DC, Massachusets, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, New York, and my apologies to anyone I missed.  Ages 20-61, from the very rich to the very poor.  I wonder how I managed to live and love with such reckless abandon and not get myself hurt, killed, or catch any diseases.  Some of those memories make me shudder, but most make me laugh.  I do wonder how some people jump in and out of your life in a few weeks and others linger for years.  There must be a reason.  I'm doing my best to listen to what everyone is trying to tell me.  So maybe I felt rejected when someone I thought was special didn't want to make an effort for me.  Instead of going on a rampage, I let another come bring me dinner and watch a movie.  How does it all seemlessly fit together all of the time?  Are some people supposed to make us cry and other dry our tears?  And if so, then how do we let them without feeling like we're using them or letting ourselves be used?  I'm not sure there are answers and I'm ok with that right now.
I'm not sure I have a real ending to this.  Honestly, I think I could write for a few hours and not feel like I've gotten it all out.  I'm not sure how I can communicate that I'm feeling hurt and hopeful at the same time.  It's a strange feeling to have your trust betrayed and still want to try again.  Mostly I think I'm tired.  Emotionally exhausted and it's about to get worse.  Is there going to be a happy ending at the finish line for me?  If so, where is that finish line?  All I can do is keep moving forward and believe that it's coming.  It has to be.  Spritual law, right?  So now everyone line up and give me whatever message you have for me and I promise to listen.  I'll take my bible and my horoscope, plus your hand and don't forget the cupcakes.  Whether it's matching bikinis or pjs, I'm in.  Text me goodnight or that you miss me.  Show up with Thai food and have sex on the counter tops.  I don't know anymore.  Honestly, I'm starting not to care.  I think I'm ready for another free fall, this time into something good.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

10 feet from the cliff’s edge

Do you ever feel like God is answering your prayers?  Sort of a strange thing for me to say, but I can’t seem to fight the feeling that something is going on this year—a plan that I’m not exactly privy to, but I can’t deny that the events that have been unfolding all seem to be coming into place in a certain pattern.  Can you believe in God and astrology and numerology all at once?  Last year was my year of manifestation.  I felt like so much was going on, but nothing happened.  Nothing changed.  This year seems to be the opposite.  It’s been two years since my divorce.  I like to joke that I’ve never prayed so much in my life, but really, it’s true.  I guess you can say it’s been 2.5 years now since I spent the last six months of my marriage alone or subject to some sort of physical neglect or verbal abuse.  Sometimes I marvel at how six months of pain and suffering left such a lasting impression on my mind and my heart.  Every time I sit down and write, I ask myself if I’ve recovered.  Sitting here at Esalen in Big Sur, I’ve never felt so healed in my life.  I’m sitting in the lodge on a borrowed computer, thinking about my life and how everything fits together.
The stars outside are more than I can count and more beautiful than I’ve ever remembered seeing.  Maybe it’s because it’s so quiet here.  I found myself sitting on the edge of a cliff, listening to the waves crash below me, hearing the hushed conversations of those around me.  It’s amazing how we make things more complicated than they have to be in our lives.  I live in Orange County, CA.  It doesn’t get more convoluted than that.  There’s so much focus on career, education, clothing, cars, houses, and who you know.  I’ve spent the last two days with a group of people from all over.  We eat the same food in a community lodge, sit naked together in mineral baths, do yoga together, and repeat the cycle.  Tonight there was chocolate ice cream and wine. I have an unlimited supply of mint tea, different baked breads, and enough spreads and jams to make my heart sing around the clock.  I find myself wishing for more than 4 hours of yoga per day and thinking I could walk these gardens and hear the waves in my ears for days on end without longing for my phone to inform me that there’s a new call, text, fb message, or anything else that seems to endlessly fill my days.  I’ve been spending a lot of time worrying about how much I weigh and what I look like.  When everyone is naked and there is nothing sexual involved, the perspective changes.  I find myself feeling comfortable and beautiful in my own skin.  There is no shame in another slice of bread, laughter comes easy after a glass or two of wine, and new friends feel like old friends when the intimacy factor starts on a different scale.  Is anyone surprised that I grew up to be a yogurt and granola hippy?  Maybe my designer clothes fooled you.  Anyone who really knows me can appreciate where my heart lies.  It will always be at the beach with people who understand simple things like love, food, and family.  Fundamental principles that define me and govern my life.
I was invited here by my best friend from jr. high, high school, and college.  We got together for a dinner date a few months ago after not spending time together for years.  Soon after we booked this retreat, along with two of her other friends, and I had no idea what I was in for.  Believing that the universe brings people into our lives for a reason, I simply booked the yoga retreat and put it out of my mind.  I think it’s good for me to exercise some trust in my life considering the majority of my experiences have jaded me with betrayal.  I need to learn to have faith in people.  I had faith in her and I’m so glad I did.  Esalen is a beautiful place and I strongly recommend making a trip here for anyone interested in bettering themselves and seeing the human experience through a new lens.  Spending time with this woman has done more than she knows.  She helped me hold onto a positive memory from my past.  I look back at much of my childhood, which involves my mother, and consider it a wash.  So full of bad memories and mistakes and wrongs done to me.  There was a part of me that was content to let this person slip into my past.  How unfair.  Seeing her again in this place has done wonders for my heart.  Today, she is a physical therapist and massage therapist, clearly talented and accomplished in both pursuits.  Today she gave me a massage as I laid in the sun and it was a new experience.  I was surprised that the connection and affection we shared was still there.  Isn’t it strange how someone’s hands can feel familiar and their smell can still remind you of home?  Her laugh still makes me smile and her cough is still familiar.  The good hearted girl I loved like a sister has now grown into a complex woman, who still indulges the 12 year old girl that lives inside of her.  I don’t think there’s anything better than late night girl talk, but hottubing and wine does come close.  Can you imagine a scene of innocence?  Running around in the dark in towels, midnight snacks, and sincere happiness to just be together and share a yoga practice and a few cups of tea?  It’s hard, isn’t it?  It seems like everyone wants to picture cat fights, inferiority complexes, competition, and suspicion.  Probably also sexual tension or implications. There is none of that here. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I went so long without having a man or woman hit on me and I’ve been mostly naked while I’ve been here.
I keep thinking about bravery.  No matter what I seem to be doing here, my mind drifts back to it.  I think about how afraid I’ve been the past few years.  Afraid of everything.  It’s something that catches your breath and makes you chest tight.  I’m so tired of fear.  Everyone asks me if first dates scare me, if I’m worried about losing my job, if I wonder what people think of me.  What will I do if the man I’m dating reads my blog?  What if someone doesn’t love my daughter?  What will I do if my car breaks down?  I tell myself that I don’t care and nothing bothers me.  You know what I’ve come to realize?  I want to care.  It doesn’t meant that I want to be afraid, I just want to get to a place where I’m willing to accept the fact that things don’t have to go according to plan and that doesn’t need to be a negative reflection on me.  I don’t think there’s anything braver that you can do for yourself above accepting who you are and following your own heart.  Think about all of the things that fulfill you in your life and how many of those you let define who you are.  Now how many things do you do in your life that you hate and how many of those define you?  I’ve been coming to terms with a lot of things about me that I didn’t want to see lately. 
There is nothing more freeing than accepting who you are.  I don’t know why I’ve wanted to deny so much of who I am.  Maybe I was ashamed to admit that I wasn’t some of the things that I felt made up the “perfect” person.  I don’t like weakness, especially in myself.  I’ve come to understand that vulnerability and weakness are not the same thing and neither should be despised.  I think I connected the dots in my head between my husband leaving me and me wanting more kids, even if it wasn’t with him as a negative.  You know what?  I want to get married again and have another baby.  It’s scary and it seems impossible, but I want it. Maybe just saying that is enough for now.  He told me that my personality changed while I was pregnant and he didn’t love me anymore.  It makes me afraid that one day I’ll get pregnant again and my next husband will leave me too.  He made me feel so ugly and undesirable during and after the pregnancy.  I feel like if I admit I want to get married and have a baby, it will instantly make me appear ugly to any man I have feelings for.  Which leads me to the next problem.  I want to fall in love again.  Being here has made me feel so young again.  I find my heart singing like nothing bad has ever happened to me.  My heart had never been broken, like I can trust someone again, and happy endings really do happen. Is that crazy?  Or was I crazy to think that nobody could ever love me again and I would never find anyone worth a second look.  I’m tired of so many men telling me they’re not good enough for me or they can’t compete.  Imagine when one told me he was not only worth my time, but wanted to do things right so I didn’t think he was a bootycall.  Oh the smiles.  What happens next?  I’m afraid of him reading my writing.  I’m afraid of him changing his mind, deciding I’m not what he wants, him not wanting a step child, or expecting me to move or change my life or job for him with no compromise.  Such stupid things to be afraid of, aren’t they?  But all true.  So true.
All I can do at this point is be true to myself and accept what I want in my life.  I need to learn how to make love a priority in my life in a way that respects my feelings and agenda.  It’s not silly or childish to have faith in people and believe in love.  I breathe love.  The idea of that feeling brings me to tears, nevermind feeling my daughter’s arms around my neck or how much relief a friend’s voice or even text can bring to me when I’m in despair.  One day I would like a man to be able to comfort me like that.  I want to know what it feels like to have a partner in this world again.  I have been on a long road learning to love and accept myself and I feel like I’m finally breaking through those final barriers.  It’s so calming.  The next challenge will be to learn how to share my life with someone without sacrificing who I am for them.  Please walk beside me, not infront of me.  I don’t want to try to catch up.  Don’t walk behind me, I don’t want to drag you into adulthood and help you grow up.  Take my hand and walk beside me.  You may need to reassure me that everything will be ok and we’ll figure it out together, but I’m happy to do that for you too.  Today, more than ever, I know that everything happens for a reason.  Had my life not fallen apart over two years ago, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.  I love who I am.  Softer and stronger than I was before.  More capable of love and acceptance.  Determined to keep improving myself and how I see the world and my place in it.  I think that you can’t really love anyone until you love yourself.  You can’t share a life with someone until you understand how to exist in harmony in your own.  My last tattoo says “love” across my forearm.  My next will be an infinity symbol with the word “family” intertwined.  I’m ready to come full circle.  I’ve spun so many pirouettes in my life until I was so dizzy that I fell to my knees.  It wasn’t until I sitting still that I realized it was the world that was spinning and it would do so irrespective of what I was doing.  So I’m going to start walking now, towards my heart, towards the ocean, my family, my writing, and hopefully one day there will be more footprints on the sand next to mine and my daughter’s.  But for now, I’m just going to enjoy the sand between my toes.