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FRIENDS!

25 Jan

Being here again reminded me of my NaBloPoMo days. For fun, I headed to the website to check out January’s theme…

by Jolante (flickr)

FRIENDS.

It made me smile as that is exactly what I am grateful for this week. Anytime an emotional obstacle rears its head, it’s your friends that pick you up, distract you and keep you going when you get the sudden urge to stop. I want to say that this “reminded me who my friends are,” but I already know who they are 🙂

Someone said to me yesterday, “now you have time to focus on you and your girlfriends.” Instinctively I started to agree, but stopped myself. “Not really, that was never missing,” I said.

The reclamation of my time and focus usually brings me comfort after a break-up, providing a positive in a dark time. But for the first time I never really gave up my time. It was a combination of not losing focus on myself and my friends, and him never pushing me for it.

Acknowledging this took my positivity down a few notches — this was something that is important to me, and I had just lost it. I had lost someone who offered me something that I needed in coupledom as well as a crutch for moving on.

I am grateful to have had that, even if just for a short time.

It also made me realize that I don’t feel the urge to turn to him for comfort. Having the person you relied on to ease you for so long suddenly disappear from your life tends to be one of the most difficult aspects of breaking up. But I haven’t felt that urge…

I guess my friends are just that good!

THANK YOU ladies!!

It Could Be Worse…

1 Jul

The July theme for NaBloPoMo is SAVED. It seemed appropriate that I actually post this, instead of deliberating over the draft like I have been for the past few days.

Sometimes something occurs during your day that opens a door. It could be a wide open doorway that promises big rewards. Or it could just open a crack offering nothing but the opportunity to see what’s on the other side. And if you’re not in the right mindframe, you may not even notice the ray of light. But when you are, it’s hard to avoid.

As I just explained in an entry to win a free registration to the BlogHer ’10, I began this blog to share myself anonymously. For me, anonymous means candid honesty… so buckle up folks:

I followed an unusual path of links to come to www.postsecret.com — one of my favorite books but a website I’ve never before explored. It’s a book of mixed feelings for me. Post after post I find myself well up with emotion — sadness, pity, admiration, disappointment. And the website proves to have the same effect.

As I scrolled down, I stumbled on this: The Mirror

I stopped short in my tracks finger-scrolling as I became overwhelmed with pride. It was a sense of pride for the writer — for her disclosure — and for myself — for being able to completely relate.

The jagged scars that run up and down my thighs used to reflect pain. The were symbol of an unmanageable and undefinable form of agony that few — luckily — ever endure. They are in sets of two, three, four — each representing an occasion that left me at a loss for words or actions, and in a hole to which I saw no way out.

There was only one person I was outright honest with my cutting about. He was the only person who I couldn’t hide it from at the time. Yet, in retrospect, whether I couldn’t hide it, or I subconsciously opened that door for him in an attempt to band-aid the deeper wounds between us, I’m not sure. But on numerous occasions he saw the aftermath before my brain had surrendered to damage control — tissues, showers and boxes of band-aids.

I started with my arms — if you look closely, you can still see the faded criss-cross scars. These cuts took place before the change of view — when I still saw my depression as atypical and my happiness as my true self. At that point, I could still imagine a sense of regret over ruining the smooth, toned skin of my upper arms. It wasn’t long after that I began to see the sad me as the new norm. But by then I had switched canvases. My thighs were easier to hide from the public. So starting as high as I could, I decorated them in bright red slits. I’d cover them until they’d stop bleeding, and then I’d spend days picking the scars making sure they were on permanent display. I didn’t want to forget the pain and the focus it took to slice through my skin over and over, deeper and deeper. It required a level of determination that I, up until that point, had applied to few other places in my life.

Over the years, a few people have questioned me without knowing their cause. A few more I informed outright to avoid facing their surprise when they stumbled across my artwork. And then there were a couple of people intuitive enough to understand without questions — and  still brave enough to ask. They were the ones I was most impressed with: Although they had never shared in my past-time activity, it was clear they had an understanding of what it took. It’s been years since I wore shorts in public.

The entry that followed “The Mirror” said (it was sent in to the site by email):

As a psychiatric nurse, I struggled for months about whether to wear short-sleeved shirts or risk exposure of my past cutting… Most people stare…but last week I had a patient tentatively reach out and touch my scars. She looked at me and said, “I thought I was the only one.” I think it helped me more than it helped her.

And this explained my reaction to the entry above. It described my feelings every time I read about someone else’s experience with cutting. And it made me smile and well up all at the same time. The most empathetic personality can’t understand the state of mind that allows a person to slice their skin up like Thanksgiving turkey, unless they’ve been there themself. It the same as alcoholism or any other form of addiction. It’s a coping mechanism that only those who use it, can get it.

I’ve stopped — years ago. Yet the scars will be there always. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. As time went by and I learned new ways of managing and transforming my pain into happiness, they also transformed. They turned into an icon of personal perseverance. They remind me, every time I face an obstacle, that “it could be worse!” They scream, as the postsecret poster said, “I survived!”

…they also look kinda bad ass!!! (Bring it!)

On The Road Again…

29 Mar

What is it about road trips that’s so fulfilling. You’re packed out in a car, can’t see out the back, no foot room, singing at the top of your lungs and occasionally swerving when trying to re-enact a Madonna move.

Or at least that’s how my road trips play out.

What is it that makes them so exciting? Is it the idea that you are going somewhere? You are going somewhere but in the meantime have nothing to do but connect with those around you and just enjoy life?

What about moving? Is the transition exciting? Maybe bittersweet for some?

Well, we’re on the road from Buffalo back to the city that never sleeps… and then a bit farther to bloody Long Island. Lil bro #1 is moving back from college.

I don’t know how he feels about it but the weekend of snowboarding, Niagara Falls and checking out the local cuisine was exciting for me.

Ok… as he just said, “Time for a road trip!!”

How To Breakup With Someone

28 Mar

When 2010 came around I decided I was healed enough to move on and to re-enter the dating world. Being the ambitious and dedicated individual I am, I gave it 100% effort.

But I quickly learned that not all dates were worth 100% effort.

I was telling AJ about a very bland date one day and how I blew him off after he called to see me again. My 18-year-old brother commented, “What is wrong with girls? Why did you just blow him off?”

Taken back, I responded (and defended myself), “I didn’t just blow him off actually; I texted him explaining that I didn’t feel the connection that I was looking for and wished him luck.” And then I read him verbatim what I had sent.

AJ smirked with pride and my brother replied, “That’s good. That was very nice. I wish more girls were like that.”

What a role reversal. My little brother whose diapers I used to change advising my dating habits. How cute is that. But in all honesty, I was glad he approved. He’s a guy, and he’s a guy who happens to be very in tune with people, so his opinion means something to me.

What made me think of this little tale is a Lemondrop’s First Person encounter “The Breakup Speech Every Girl Deserves To Hear” by a Special Guest Blogger.

Doesn’t everyone… girl or guy… deserve the truth?

If you aren’t able to speak your true thoughts to a stranger that you do not wish to see again, how are you going to express your feelings to someone you fall in love with?

With that thought, over and out…

“Your Life” Unplugged

19 Mar

I guess you could call it an acoustic version of your life??

Tomorrow is National Day of Unplugging. Possible? Possibly.
(I know the link doesn’t say tomorrow is National Day of Unplugging—I can’t find the damn site I just read that on…)

The days I forget my phone at home are always the most relaxing. There is something peaceful about not being in contact—maybe it’s the relief of no expectations. At the same time, this could be stressful if you are expecting to hear from someone or to be somewhere. But that’s not the point of this…

I find “disconnecting” to be relaxing, yet I can’t do it. I always have my phone on me; I check my email first thing—sometimes before I even get out of bed; and there are days that the majority of my conversations exist over IM. But I remember when I didn’t work in an office, and days would pass when I didn’t even lift the lid of my laptop. What happened? 

Tomorrow is National Day of Unplugging. Can you unplug?

I think I’m gonna give it a half-go… I mean, I can’t completely… I can’t ditch my phone. I mean, seriously, I have plans with friends… how would we organize our meet-up?

Over and out and unplugged.

Books. Stress. Ahhhh.

18 Mar

I don’t like to stress; I just don’t see a point. And while there are a lot of stressors in life you can not avoid, I like to believe you can decide if you are going to stress over them or not.

It occurred to me tonight that my biggest stress in life is my book shelf. Honestly, the only time I feel a sense of uncontrollable stress is when I pay attention to the number of books I have on my book shelf that I have yet to read.

Chelsea’s drunken antics, classics, writing guides, travel books from around the world, Paulo Coelho inspiration, Augusten’s childhood turmoil, and the most recent addition Drink, Play, Fuck — Andrew Gottlieb’s play off Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray Love — a birthday gift from K-Dawg.

Everytime I remember, or walk past, the shelf of untouched stories, I feel behind in life. I don’t know why reading affects me like this—I never feel stressed when I am behind in other aspects of my life, such as work, maintaining a clean household or keeping up to date with the ongoings of my nearest and dearest… but books… forget it. It makes me anxious to walk near the shelves.

Which is quite a shame because I have a damn cute bookshelf as well.

(Time to go pick up a book!)

Chatroulette

17 Mar

So I just recently learned about this Chatroulette website. (Oddly enough I read about it randomly on a website only to open an email from Francais Fille commenting how she had just visited the site for the first time that day… but enough about coincidences; we could start a whole blog just listing those.)

I am curious as to who really uses this site. I guess I can see how there might be a level of excitement in “meeting” new people at random. But I can’t see how connecting via webcam/chat could ever take priority over connecting with, well, real people… like the ones in your life, commonly referred to as friends and family.

I guess whatever floats your boat…

Just for fun… some Sex Advice from People on Chatroulette, courtesy of Nerve.com.