Summer Rain

To set the mood: it’s a arid, rainy night, the rain sloughing off the humidity. Lightning flashes silently, its applause so far off I can’t hear it. Listening to something I recently discovered thanks to Spotify.

Life moves on. It keeps rolling with no intention of stopping, neither for the good nor the bad. Life continues.

For me, it has meant a lot. I’ve graduated. It doesn’t feel like it yet, but maybe it’ll hit me in August when I’m not packing up to go anywhere. My grandparents are still in the hospital, and I am adjusting to life back home.

Exciting things happen! Last weekend my sister got engaged! It was a beautiful, magical moment, and we both cried tears of joy. I think for her it seemed like the end of a long battle between her heart and her anxiety. For me it was a mix. I was so happy for her, but some part of me felt like I was losing my sister. I know it’s not true, I’m really just gaining a brother who is pretty much me in male form.

There were also times that I felt a little hollow during the celebration. My family was saying “Oh you’re next!” And the smile just couldn’t reach my eyes. How can I even entertain that idea when I don’t have anyone? The only person I was interested in clearly was not interested in me. I had a few small flashes of loneliness, but they were quickly swallowed by my happiness for my sister and her now-fiance. He’s a great man, and I’m happy to welcome him to the family.

As it turns out, things may have stirred somewhere else, a friend of my new soon-to-be brother-in-law. But I’ll wait to delve into that until there’s more to talk about.

I have noticed I am more open this time around. Recently, my social anxiety has gotten the best of any semblance of love interests. It scared me whenever they were flirty or wanted to see me. I felt awkward when they showed any emotion, and I refused to show any back. I’m not sure what it meant, whether it was my intuition protecting me or just succumbing to social anxiety, but either way this time is a little different. My emotions are still dulled at this point. I wish I remembered what it felt like to wholeheartedly be excited at the start of a new romance, but it’s been a while, and I’m scared of overwhelming anything. Both because it may scare off the other person and it may hurt me in the end. But I hold on to the hope that this one may be different, and that in itself is something I haven’t felt in a while.

So we’ll see how things play out. Until then, I will be working and hiking (drinking).

Love

 

 

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Drink Your Poison

Noise overstimulation has become a big problem lately. I’m not sure if I had would have more patience if I wasn’t surrounded by blaring sirens and the honking horns of pissed off drivers, but I can hope. It’s gotten so bad that sometimes it’s unbearable to listen to my roommates’ mundane and polite conversations.

Yoga usually helps clear my head. Alex and I chuckle side by side as we pick apart our yoga videos online. It’s probably the brighter side of most of my days, just social enough while also allowing me to retreat into my mind shortly afterward. Plus, when you feel limber you feel good.

Today we watched Boyhood, a movie that follows a boy and his family over approximately 12-13 years of his life, from age 5ish to his first day at college. We all kind of criticized it; the mother for her horrible choice in men, the father for his immature parenting style, the daughter for her boring and sassy attitude, the boy for his gloomy speeches about existential crises.

As much as we criticized, it was interesting to watch, and in ways it was very relatable. You grew to connect to certain characters and their fucked up life stories. I definitely related to Mason on not wanting everyone breathing down my neck about what to do with my life, something I’m sure many people our age experience. Even following the petty high school break up experience. There was something so quietly entertaining about watching these events unfold, partially because there wasn’t really any action – kind of like real life. There weren’t many dramatic scenes, no thickening movie plot. Just life and how it moves, changes, unfolds. How people develop, for better or worse. How life just goes on.

It’s an incredible juxtaposition to the other show I (and the rest of America) have been watching: 13 Reasons Why. That is quite the dramatic show. With some terrible acting and cheesy one-liners, but that’s what sold in middle school, when I first read the book that the series is based off of.

It seems to glorify suicide in a vengeful way, something that I can’t get behind showing to the vulnerable young-adult public viewers. It makes me mad. This girl is so dramatic. The things she faces in life are by no means easy to go through, but I think they are things she could get over without taking her own life. Granted, I didn’t have the mental stability I like to claim I have now when I was back in high school, so she probably doesn’t either. Hindsight, I guess.

Regardless, the thought of vengeful suicide angers me. It’s such a final, definitive move. But in the same vein, it’s not final. Hannah commits suicide and supposedly her pain is over. Except her pain lives on through other people. It’s not a final move, just the next one. A transfer of that energy. A selfish act. It hurts me most when they show the parents as they struggle to find out what went wrong, why their daughter was capable, why she felt this was her only option. This girl had a support system – two loving parents. They weren’t drug addicts, she wasn’t neglected. They cared about her. I can’t imagine doing that to my mother. I can’t imagine someone doing that to me.

It really struck a nerve because my friend’s dad committed suicide in December, and that was its own transfer of pain. But the cases were different. Scott had a mental illness that he couldn’t beat, and it took him. It took him from his wife. It took him from his three kids, the youngest of whom is only about ten. It took him from his friends, his church, his community. It left a scar so deep we don’t talk about it. People ask me how my friend is doing and all I can say is “good” because how am I supposed to delve into that kind of pain with my friend? How am I supposed to ask him how he’s holding up since the man he looked up to from day one decided he couldn’t take it anymore? It’s created a barrier between him and his friends, the wound we never touch, and one that will never heal.

But no, Hannah Baker gets groped by some jerk, nasty rumors spread around her, a stalker taking her pictures. And that’s all it takes to push her over the edge. (I’m not finished with the series. Maybe it gets worse and makes more sense, but for now I’m just angry). And the show seems to glorify suicide as the final, vengeful act, this girl only caring about how to end her pain than think about who her death with destroy. At the very least, the number to the suicide hotline should accompany each episode.

*   *   *

One episode brought me plummeting right back to you. You know how indie shows now use indie songs by unheard of artists just to seem cool? Yeah, well, I recognized Lord Huron in there. A beautiful song shared between Hannah and Clay. But I couldn’t pay attention to the show once that song came on. I just thought of you.

I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you.

A heaviness hit my chest. I don’t think that song was even out by the time we ended things. Maybe it was. Did you listen to it? The summer that Lord Huron was your muse? The medicine that also broke your heart, that album on repeat as I danced my cares away with a boyfriend that shouldn’t have been more than a rebound? Did you torture yourself with one of my favorite bands as a way to expel your thoughts, your sins? You deserved this, you thought, to wallow in pity and despair. You did that whenever you messed up.

I broke away from you, turned my back and ran. That was when you finally listened to all the songs I had been suggesting for months, the movies I’d wanted you to watch for years. I just wanted to share them with you, appreciate them and analyze them with you. We were insightful, emotional.

My favorite memories with you aren’t even memories. We would lay in your bed, ready for sleep, wrapped around each other, talking. Just talking. We would have those insightful conversations, ones that I wouldn’t remember in the morning. We would talk until we couldn’t move our lips anymore, couldn’t form the sounds. Sometimes we talked about how much we loved each other. When things got bad, we talked about what we were sorry for. How we could work on things. And sometimes we just talked about our thoughts. The world. The universe. We were in love. We were present in that moment, our energies floating through the universe, anchored by a warm blanket and each other’s presence.

I think back, and I miss those moments. Will you always be one step ahead of me? Would I feel the same as I did back then? Or would I be afraid, as I am so often now. Of letting you in, of being hurt, of committing to loving so wholly again. I know it is brave to love. But it is also tiring.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that you are my first love. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know if I’d believe romantic love existed at all. I’d think romance was all just a game. That connections were impossible to keep for more than two months. That boys were all liars that just wanted to fuck. Thankfully you showed me that that isn’t the case. You showed me love, intelligence, emotional and intellectual intimacy, and I am truly lucky to have found that in my first boyfriend. And this time it’s me who fucked up. But it’s all about how gracefully you let go, right? You were water.

Thank you.

Nightmares

So I usually go through about a week of nightmares after not having them for a long time, and this week has been nightmare week. I typically get pretty freaked out by my nightmares, especially if I wake up and it’s still dark. I’d love to know what happens to my brain when I have these nightmares because they are always so emotionally charged, be it paralyzing fear or heart-wrenching sadness.

So, I’m kind of obsessed with Game of Thrones (after rejecting the fad for so many years), and earlier this week I had a nightmare that was GoT-esque but it also involved my family. I was fighting beside my cousin and Jon Snow, and my sister was fighting in the same battle elsewhere. In the battle, Jon and my sister both died and I was consumed by this overwhelming sadness. I woke up in tears for only the second time in my life (that I can remember, anyway. The first time was after my first cat passed away and I dreamed that he was still alive and I remember crying in the dream because I was so happy, and I woke up crying in my then-boyfriend’s bed. He didn’t do anything to comfort me, by the way. Similarly, he did nothing when I cried over that cat dying… I should have known then, right?).

The most recent nightmare was a little more plot-heavy. The government was infecting people with this zombie-like virus that was killing people off very quickly, it seemed very end-of-the-world. But we knew that the government was responsible for it, so to combat it, people were essentially suicide-bombing government buildings or else sacrificing themselves in other ways (hoping I don’t get flagged by the CIA or FBI here). I was kind of trapped in this room while most of it was going on, but when I was finally let out into the newly desolate world, I found out that just about everyone I cared about died trying to take down the government. My sister, her boyfriend, my best friends, my coworkers, all gone. And in that moment I was fighting back tears. I knew that they did it so that I – and other survivors – could live and be happy, but I suddenly didn’t want any of that without them. I think my parents were even still alive, but the thought of having to tell them that my sister was dead was dreadful. I didn’t want to live in a world without these people. I woke up, thankfully not in full-on tears this time.

It was just very odd, very eye-opening. First, I wonder why I keep dreaming that my sister dies. Then, I marvel in the fact that it was so easy for me to consider suicide or martyrdom without these people in my life. I have never admitted to having any kind of suicidal thoughts (other than the dramatic what would people do when I’m goneteenage bullshit), so it was interesting to see that my own motivation for living just depleted when I learned that these people died. It was just strange to me.

Corri asked me if I had anything on my mind, anything unusual stressing me out. Nothing out of the ordinary, honestly. I think this is the least stressed I’ve ever been about school (senioritis!), I’ve been taking care of my mind and body, I haven’t fought with any of my friends lately, and it’s the same old with my love interest. I haven’t been eating or drinking before bed. The only thing I can think of is that I was recently sick and maybe this is an aftermath of my weird fever dreams.

Or maybe I’m just overdue for some kind of mental/emotional breakdown. I’ve been telling just about everyone for two weeks that I’m overdue, which I guess is true even though I don’t have mental breakdowns that often. Sometimes you need a good cry – one that doesn’t involve your closest friends and family members dying.

Anyways, it’s late, I’m tired. I started a new book the other day, one I wasn’t totally sure about, but it’s gotten pretty good lately. Slade House, for anyone who’s interested. Also, if anyone knows anything about dream interpretation and can help me out, that’d be cool, comments are welcome.

Goodnight, blogging family!

 

Australian Kisses and Tequila Ramblings

I wonder how many posts I have written without some kind of alcohol in me, be it from 10 seconds ago or as I’m sweating it out from the night before. I guess I see how Hemingway could get in the moment through alcohol to write his beautiful thoughts. There’s something about alcohol that just releases them all.

Anyways, what a trying and beautiful time in my life! I’m a senior, and there are plenty of changes going on in my life, but that’s to be expected. Lives that don’t change are just boring. Firsthand experience: I never have any idea what to say to/ask Cliff or Zac because their lives just remain the same. No offense to them at all, I think part of it is that I don’t like to seem fake and ask questions to which I already know the answer, but for the most part their lives are so stagnant that they have no news to share and I have not questions to ask.

I’m discovering more and more about myself. I think this summer will be incredibly trying both to my physical body and my mental spirit. I don’t want to jinx anything (because I’ve never been more excited for anything in my life), but I’m planning to go backpacking in Wyoming with one of my friends in July. Now, I’ve never even been camping, let alone backpacking, so I’m both terrified but also incredibly excited. I know I will be tested, and I think it will be a life-changing experience.

***

Interesting moment today. For my intercultural communication class, I learned that I tend to lean more towards Eastern Asian tendencies moreso than my own US American culture. It’s something as simple as what we focus on when looking at a picture and evaluating a problem, but it was interesting to think that I could be more connected to an Eastern sense of beliefs and culture than my own. It’s a collectivistic culture, which I think makes sense as to who I am. I focus on the whole picture instead of the main character (though I will not pretend that I haven’t been primed as a US American to notice certain things over others.

***

Sometimes I think I’ve forgotten you. Those moments make me happy, because I’ve thought about you for far too long.

But lately, in the early morning hours, and when I have a good taste of liquor in my mouth, you’re there, again. And I fight you with every ounce of my being. But something in my heart just can’t stay mad, can’t force you from my mind. Somehow I did a better job of keeping sugar cookies out of my mouth today than keeping you off my mind… At least I’m developing willpower where it counts?

You need to go away. Or at least make a fucking decision.

***

I think I’ve been single for so long that I don’t know where to start anymore. I’ve developed a social anxiety for hanging out with people that might be interested in me. For the most part I just turn them down, sometimes because I genuinely don’t have an interest, sometimes because I think it’s just too nerve-wracking. How can it be?

I feel as though I’ll be single for a while (which is fine, I enjoy being single and not having much to worry about, but as always it gets lonely every once in a while). But I wonder if later I will see I had made mistakes, that I should have taken chances with certain people over others.

I often wonder how different my life would be if I had made a different decision. I try not to dwell on it because I can’t change anything and I would never torture myself in such a way. However, what if I hadn’t broken up with you? What if I had stayed at Frostburg? Would I ever have connected with you? Would it have been better timing at that point? Would we have worked out in the long run? Would I be better now?

That’s the danger of wondering if the grass is always greener.

***

Have you ever had a weird thought for a lover? A large part of you wants to be with them, but then again there’s a strange part of you that wants them to find love in one of their exes? If you’re by any chance reading this, Ashley, go back to him. He needs you.

I wonder if it’s a fate thing. I haven’t decided on whether or not I believe in soulmates. Rationally, I don’t think so. I think you make it work with who you have if you are compatible and think it could work out. But on nights like tonight, when I have a strong buzz going, I think I believe it. The romantic in me wants to believe it. Believe that someone’s soul is out there searching for no one else but me. That we will fit together like pieces of a puzzle, the curtains will draw and we will be consumed in each other forever.

That’s what’s giving me hope at the moment (and also causing me anxiety as far as “Am I passing up my fate?”). Otherwise I may be doomed to pine after you forever, feeling stupid and used, dodging kisses from the Australian boy who might think more of me after one night than you have in a year.

Too Strong to Lose

I had an epiphany today. You ever have those moments where when it finally hits you, it’s like you’ve unlocked secrets within yourself? That “aha” moment where it finally makes sense? Very liberating.

Funny enough, it happened because of a video I saw on Facebook. It was about the bond and love between mother and child. Maybe it was the hangover, but it made me very emotional. I have always struggled between wanting children, but being afraid to. There are a number of reasons, for example I’m horrible with doctors, needles, and pain. I’m not that great with kids, either. Not bad, just not great.

Recently a new concern has popped into my mind: everyone always says they never knew how much they could love something until they had a child. But I know this world can be cruel. What happens when my child has her heart broken by a fool who couldn’t see what she was worth? When other children bully him for his interests and passions? Even at my current age, seeing someone I love in pain hurts me deeply. What happens when someone I created, someone I love on a level I can’t comprehend yet, gets hurt? I imagine it will break me to my core. Part of me is afraid of loving someone that much.

Over the years, I have been left heartbroken by a few people, and it has left me with this wall (to use the cliche). I struggle between being guarded and just letting myself feel freely. I have received broken promises, yet each time I am hopeful that maybe it will be different. It’s getting easier not to get my hopes up, and that’s been discouraging to me in a way.

I feel that I have to let things roll off my back and pretend they don’t hurt me, that I have to hold onto this air of not caring so that I can pretend to myself and to others that I’m not bothered. As if feeling something makes me weak.

But it doesn’t.

My epiphany: loving takes courage.

I’ve heard this before, seen it several times, and I’ve always agreed with the statement, but something in me today just clicked and it finally resonated with me.

It takes courage to make yourself so vulnerable to people. I’m not saying throw yourself headfirst into any feelings you may have, but to be open to loving someone with your whole heart, not withholding anything to protect yourself, is a brave act.

As someone who has been hurt in the past, and I’m not the only one, I have been discouraged from any kind of relationship with someone because I don’t want to feel that pain again, I don’t want to be played for a fool again, I don’t want to have my emotions toyed with again. Loving someone, being in a relationship – it’s taxing. It can be emotionally traumatic.

It’s not uncommon for a bad relationship to turn someone off to the idea of love. They feel it is better to be alone and content than give someone permission to affect their emotions. “Space is just a word made up by someone who’s afraid to get close.”

And that’s true, being alone is the safer option. Depending on your viewpoint, it may or may not be easier, but it is safer; you are responsible for your own happiness. Everyone says this as a way of saying “you’ll be okay, that breakup was rough, but you’ll be okay,” but I think it needs to be acknowledged that yes you were with someone and they made you happy and that’s okay too. I get why you’re sad, and I’m hurting for you, I know they made you happy, but you are also capable of making yourself happy. No, you don’t need a relationship to be happy, but being that close with someone, for most people, is something happy.

So for someone like me who has had some of their happiness ripped away from them by the very people that provided it, it takes courage to be willing to try again. To try and not let your past relationships interfere with a new one, to be excited over new beginnings.

(This stands true for those in platonic relationships as well as romantic ones.)

It’s okay to be afraid, “courage is not the absence of fear.” Fear is healthy. But it’s important to be willing to try again. I feel that I have a lot of love to give to my friends, my family, and my future partner, and I just want to share it with them all. Love is a beautiful thing to share.

I know that one day I will love someone deeply, and they won’t take it for granted. They will keep their promises, they will be brave enough to love me too, and I will be surprised by how much I love them. I will ache when my child is hurting because it is a genuine human emotion, and I will be courageous enough to feel love, joy, and sadness so deeply. I will be happy with myself for taking the leap, and I will be surprised by how strong I am because of it.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -Lao Tzu