Elastic Warriors of the Universe

There’s something to be said about not being the victim anymore.

For the longest time, I knew my baggage was “my first boyfriend cheated on me, therefore I am teeming with trust issues so you should be empathetic when I’m crazy.” It’s not a fun place to be, and I thought I would be that way forever.

But something happened about a year ago, and I just stopped.

I didn’t want to be labeled as “the girl that got cheated on”, I didn’t want to carry that baggage with me into every new relationship I had. I didn’t want to be crazy about the trust issues, constantly wondering where my new boyfriend was at all times, worrying over who he was with, if he was lying to me about something. I noticed all of those tendencies slip into my second relationship. Slowly, my trust issues receded, which was such a big relief for me.

Eventually the trust issues came back full force, but that’s what happens when you date sleazy guys that are down for any attention girls throw at them (no matter how much love and attention you give them).

It took a long time to get over labeling myself as a victim. I felt I had an explanation, a justification for my overly anxious attitudes, that whoever I dated next would have to be okay with me being worried about them all the time.

One day I realized I just didn’t want to think that way anymore. I didn’t want to have to worry every minute of the day. I didn’t want to have to check up on someone all the time and then not believe him anyway because I was lied to in my first two relationships. Relationships are built on trust and friendship, and I couldn’t have a good one if I could only promise half of those characteristics.

I can’t even explain how liberating it was to finally let it go. I didn’t want to be the victim anymore. I didn’t have to keep lugging around this heavy, anxious weight all the time. Maybe it’s naive, maybe it’s resilience, but I decided I needed to trust people wholeheartedly again if I was ever going to find a relationship that gave that trust back to me.

I know I have a big heart, and sometimes that’s why I get screwed over. But I try not to let it make me bitter. I know that there is so much good in the world just waiting to be unlocked, that there is so much love being shared out there. I know that if I put love out in the universe, it will come back to me somehow. Maybe I can show others how to love, maybe someone will surprise me by showing me that I can love more.

I’m still not perfect, I still see the trust issues creep in every once in a while. But I see the progress I have made, and I’m usually pretty proud of it. I believe that one day someone will prove to me that trust is real and true, that loyalty and commitment are not too much to ask for in this modern dating world. Until then, I will be working on myself, perfecting how to breathe, let go, and let myself be vulnerable to others in the hopes that they prove their trustworthiness.

The point is, you don’t always have to be the victim. Heroes don’t have easy histories. It’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up.

Bartops, Grief, and Good Karma

All I want is to be at the Main Cup tomorrow night for jazz night. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Joe Bonamassa, and it just makes me want to go sit in on some live music that doesn’t require jumping, headbanging, or trying to impress anyone with my dancing. I just want to drink a beer and chat with people while listening to good music. And, funny enough, as much as I hated working jazz nights before, some of my more profound, appreciative-of-life moments happen on jazz nights as the music settles down.

Imagine this: you’re finally off your feet after a few hours of non-stop going, you slide into that tall chair, slough the bag off your shoulder, and one of your coworkers gives you your drink for free. The bartenders are very appreciative of the work you do, they give you a smile, try to make sure you’re okay and not exhausted, even though they still have another hour or so of work ahead of them. You have a sip of your drink, pull out your phone, and start to relax. In the background, the guitar is vibing to the constant rhythm of the drums, and you find yourself absentmindedly tapping your feet against the bar’s footrest. You look up, glance around at the buzz around you, the old regulars laughing, most of them already drunk, none of them paying attention to you (and you prefer it that way most of the time). The lights are a soothing yellow, Christmas lights still dangling from the beams. It’s cold outside, but you don’t have to worry about that yet. You wait for your coworkers to get off so they can join you, and you know they will. You don’t know what you’ll do tonight, if anything, but something almost always happens, be it heading to Bower’s or to another bar. You’re on the younger side of those who will join you, a fresh 21, but your coworkers don’t care. They include you on invitations to continue the party at their houses, tucked into the mountains 15 minutes away. Some of your favorite coworkers are in their thirties and have children, but they make time for you, they enjoy talking to you, and you can open up to them. They’re like mentors, not parents, but also friends. The whole scene is blissful.

That’s what I get to look forward to when I’m home. I like to romanticize, sure, but I think it helps me to be an appreciative person, to take in the little things, to notice and love them. I think that’s why I’ve been having such a good bout of karma recently, and I find it easier to smile at the sky, like my arms are so light I just want to reach to the clouds in celebration of being alive, of basking in a humid, cloudy day in March. I wouldn’t say I’ve found a vigor for life, but I’ve found an appreciation.

I will say, that bar held a couple important nights for me. Obviously, my first shift drink for turning 21. It’s where I “snuck” beer from Cliff during the Christmas party in an attempt to stay drunk (succeeded), it’s where I’ve made some of my closest friends, where I’ve networked many of my relationships. It’s where I’ve gained confidence in myself, in my communication skills. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about my coworkers, all around that bar.

I don’t mean for this to turn sad, but there’s something I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately that I feel I need to share, but I don’t know who to turn to. I know that whoever I told would be sad and sympathetic without knowing what to say, which is fine, that’s all I could ask of them. I just want to express it so someone will understand.

Another few important moments that happened at Main Cup included my cats. When we had to put my first cat down, on Thursday, October 2, 2014, I had to work almost immediately after – not a smart move on my end. I remember holding my little boy against my chest and just sobbing while my dad dug the grave. I have never cried this way in my life – not during movies, not when my sister left for college, not when I was cheated on. It was just bone-shakingly sad.

After we buried him, I went to work, trying not to cry. It was the first death I’d ever really had to deal with, and it was the cat I’d had since as long as I could remember (I was only a few months old when we got him), and he was mine. We bonded, he always slept with me, it was so sweet. My coworkers were nothing but sympathetic, and I think my being teary-eyed freaked them out a little because I never show that much emotion, or if I do it’s always happy. It was hard to go through, and I think part of me will always be with him, but it was nice to have my Main Cup family there.

This past September, my other cat passed away fairly unexpectedly. She was old, I think she got bit by something, and it was a long, painstaking ride for her. She seemed like she might pull through, but her meows were just haunting. I was headed home from college that Thursday to work and see her, help her if I could, be there if she passed.

Mom called me on my way home to tell me that she had passed the night before. It was such a dagger to the heart. She couldn’t have waited another day for me to be there. For me, it wasn’t selfishness; I was beside myself with the grief that I hadn’t been able to be with her when she went, as I was for my first cat. It still upsets me that she died alone, that I couldn’t be there.

So I went to work, plastered a smile on my face, tried not to think about it, tried not to cry when my coworkers gave me their sympathy hugs. It worked better than the first time. At the end of the shift, I sat at the bar and tried to put some of my feelings into a Facebook post, I think I may have also written about it on here somewhere, but I also didn’t want to be sobbing at the bar by myself while I waited for everyone else. My friends came and sat with me, and I forgot about it for a little while. They wanted to go out, and I just couldn’t put it off any longer – I needed to see my little girl.

I went home, tired from the shift, from the week, from crying in the car. The house was dark and quiet. I hung up my things, kicked off my shoes, and made my descent into the basement, where Mom told me she had wrapped the little one up in a blanket. I flicked on the lights, caught between feeling anxious and at peace (strangely enough). I think I was scared of seeing her.

I peeled back the blanket, and there she was, my best little girl, 16 years old. And I just sobbed again, silently this time. I couldn’t pick her up yet, so I just petted her, her body already cold and stiff. Cursing myself for not being able to be there for her in her final moments. I needed her to know she was loved. That I would miss her sleeping on my outstretched arms as her awkward sign of affection. It was nice to have that private moment. I found it beautiful and meaningful, no matter how much grief filled the air.

Now, with no pets, I feel like my Main Cup family is what I really have to look forward to when I return home. I’m blessed to have them in my life, to have their love and support.

Thank you for sharing such a personal moment with me. It’s cathartic for me to talk about it, to acknowledge the beauty. And this is just a casual reminder that if you are going to put your pets down, please for the love of god stay with them and let them know how much you love them.

Emanating love

 

Sleep on the Floor

It’s almost midnight, I’m drunk, and I’m thankful. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I’m finally on break. I’ve come home too often for this to feel like anything more than an ordinary weekend, but I think it will be much more spectacular than the last few visits.

With the weather getting colder, I’m starting to compare myself last year to my current self. I really find it astonishing just how much has changed, be it my situation or myself in general. There are some good and bad memories, and what strikes me as odd is that my… *ring ring*

*  *   *

I started writing that last night, but was interrupted by a phone call, had some business to tend to, and forgot until this morning. I wish I knew where I was going with that last sentence, but whatever. I’m sure it’ll come back to me tonight when I’m drunk again. Something about memories clinging to different mental states.

It is different this year. Somehow, it seems the years have run together, and I forget how long ago certain memories are. I usually tie my memories to people, and maybe that’s where they blur.

This time last year, I was very needy and very lonely. I liked to be overtly appreciated, for someone to kiss the ground I walked on, because that somehow proved that he loved me. Things have changed, I’m happy to say. I would like to think I’m no longer so needy. I’ve recently discovered that I moreso appreciate the compliments I feel I deserve, not ones that are handed out at the drop of a hat. It’s a different type of cherishing, and it feels much more honest and genuine. Almost like I’ve earned it. Those kinds of compliments make me much happier, make me feel more accomplished.

Also, last night, I remember appreciating all of the beauty around me. There’s just something about a cold November night, the skies so clear you can accurately identify constellations. It always fills my heart, fills me with awe, but I’m not sure how to capture it, how to relive it. Camera phones never can capture what you’re seeing, what you’re feeling, especially when it comes to a beautiful night sky. It’s too beautiful for words, my only weapons against forgetting. I’m not sure if I want to just sit in awe and experience it, or if I want to be able to turn to someone to share that inspiration.

Last weekend, I also had an overpowering sense of appreciation while at the cup (shocking, I know). Recently, coming back to work has felt mundane. There are a few mixed emotions between the place and the people, walls that weren’t there before, both for my own protection and for his. And yet, twice in a few short days the walls came down with ease, no chipping. And, separately, as I walked through the cold alley, clutching an unknown coworkers’ flannel closer to me, I was overwhelmed again with that appreciation. For where I am, for who I have. To know that I’m not alone and that I have people who genuinely love me, regardless of how often they see me. It’s so comforting.

It’s also scary. Why would I ever want to leave this place, where all of these loves reside, in search of new people, new adventure? Would it be a mistake to sacrifice sharing my 20s with some of the best people I have met? I’ve always said that I like to have a home base, but I love to travel outside of it. I just want to always have one place to call home. And shouldn’t that be Middletown? Or am I cheating myself out of more adventures, more beautiful people, by staying where I’m most comfortable? These choices won’t be easy to make, but thankfully I don’t have to make them yet.

Recently, the subject of the power of thoughts and “vibes” has come up a lot. A friend’s mom read a book about how you get out of this world what you put into it, so for example if you are a positive force, a happy energy, similar forces will seek you out. In the same vein, if you are an anxious mess, similar anxious forces will pervade your life. I’m not sure just how much I believe that, although I guess it is very similar to the karma concept. But I wanted to say that, over the years, I have started to really put more of an effort into being appreciative (if you couldn’t tell). I don’t see a whole lot of appreciative forces seeking me out (though there have definitely been some thankful people for which I am grateful), but I do see some kind of payoff. Mostly in my mind. Being appreciative of everything, all the little things, from my car starting in cold weather to hitting a lot of green lights on the way home from class, I just feel so much lighter. Positivity is quite the pervasive force.

So, thank you for listening and allowing me to share my thoughts. It’s therapeutic, even when I don’t really need it. It lets me share those sentimental moments I hold dear.

And with that, it’s time to get ready for drinksgiving with my best friends and favorite people!

Cheers!

 

Karmic Rabbits

I definitely have some kind of karmic energy around me, even if it doesn’t always work out for me. Although, that’s not surprising is it? Karma doesn’t bend at my will.

It pervades my love life in a cynical, almost sinister way. My only “official” boyfriends were each paid visits. What goes around comes around, and the lesson is bittersweet — I still wish the best for at least one of them (hi Chad!).

I’m concerned with what this could mean for a future relationship that’s been on my mind lately, someone I’d never before considered, someone I’d be devastated to lose. My impatience is getting the best of me, but hopefully my fear will help me be more apprehensive.

We still have some growing to do. I think it’s good that I can admit that to myself right? I still have some oats to sow, be it traveling, moving, self-exploration, etc. I can’t put a time stamp on it, which is a blessing and a curse. I always want to peek into the future and figure out what the hell is going to work out. But I’m learning to trust my intuition, which may or may not be good for the situation.

Unfortunately I have too much homework to really sit and reflect on it.

For now I’m just extremely grateful for the life I’m living. It’s not perfect, and there’s a lot going on. I just find it interesting that even on days I feel a cloud hanging over me, I can reflect on karmic events around me.

Thank you for listening to my ramblings. I admit I have felt a little alone lately, but alone time is good. It helps me concentrate in this busy time.

Now it’s time to unwind with Game of Thrones and a glass of wine.

Cheers!

Bones Don’t Stay

The last jazz night I worked was a little different. It went much less smoothly, and I was a lot happier. I was on the verge of tears, grateful for all I had been given.

Tonight went smoothly, but so much has changed in the few weeks I have been gone. The universe keeps drowning me in whatever bad karma I have earned.

My cat died. These things come in threes though, right? That’s the hope I’m hanging onto.

Funny enough, I think the universe is telling me where I should be. Tonight the 400s room was reserved for a surprise going away party for a man named Danny. As I sit here writing this, the jazz band is calling “Danny, Danny we love you, Danny we love you.”

I’m not sure if that’s the universe telling me to go, that it’s sorry but it loves me and this is my sign to get out. It could also mean I should be here in Middletown.

I’m not sure. Maybe the universe can give me some clearer signs without anyone else dying.

Blackened Ledbetter Riffs

It’s been a crazy few days with the full moon. But today ended better than yesterday. Yesterday exploded into chaos, but today I took care of myself. It’s interesting how just a simple nighttime routine can make you feel like you have some part of your life together.

I watched Jenna Marbles/Mourey tonight, and she shared 30 life lessons she learned by her 30th birthday, and while some of it was sarcastic or funny, parts of it had really good life advice that I think I needed to hear.

“Whatever you don’t like about your body, just try to come to peace with it… Just wait because maybe the world just isn’t ready for your beauty.”

As a struggling college student, this has never been more appropriate in my life. I’ve always been skinny fat, and then I started putting on muscle and I changed my diet, and then I went to college and put on the 15, and ever since I have just been battling myself to get back to where I was. I’m not fat, I’m just not as twig skinny as I used to be. I honestly just haven’t been nice to myself. I’ve become too impatient, expecting the weight to just fall off, and I always beat myself up when I’m feeling bloated. It’s even interfering with the gym, which doesn’t make sense. So I will try to be more patient, while also sticking to a healthy diet and routine.

“Try not to use the word regret, but instead say ‘I did the best I could for myself at the time’.”

This one sunk right through to my heart. I don’t have too many regrets in my life, but I hope to never forget this advice in the future. The first thing that came to mind was an ex. But it’s true, I did the best I could for myself at that time. I needed to get away from him. Maybe I didn’t go about it the right way, but it’s done and I think I’m in a better place because of it. Things happen for a reason.

Speaking of which, karma is real and it’s kicking my ass for something, and I think I know what it is.

If you don’t know, my grandparents live with me and my mom and dad. I don’t mind Grandma (though her toy poodle can be annoying), but I do not like my grandfather. It’s the side of the family we don’t really see, and we’ve had a shaky past, so we weren’t exactly off to a great start. But he is just so expectant of my mother and of his wife. He’s not very thankful. He thinks he’s going to get better, at 80 years old. He thinks very highly of himself and very poorly of – it seems – everyone else. Some of his own kids think he’s a pain in the ass. Some of them don’t even want to see him, and I don’t blame them.

For the past two years, I have seen his health deteriorate. I have watched him go from shuffling through the house, to being wheelchair-bound, to being basically bedridden. And each time he gets worse, I just keep hoping it’s the end. It has been such a stress on my mom, the caretaker, 24/7. (Luckily, some of her siblings help out from time to time.) It has caused tension between my parents. It has shattered my sense of home.

I always feel in the way. When I come home, suddenly there’s no room in the fridge. I’ve stopped putting ice in my drinks because our ice machine is slow enough that my dad already has to go to the store at least once a week just to get an extra bag. I can’t park in my driveway anymore because it’s a shorter walk for grandma. I make breakfast and then disappear to my room so they can have the TV because Grandpa can’t move from his chair. We moved my cat’s food so the dog wouldn’t get to it. I don’t talk to my mom while she gets ready for bed anymore because I know she’s just too tired during the week. I have to dodge the chairlift, most annoyingly when I’m carrying packed bags.

It’s just not home anymore.

And maybe that’s a good thing, so I can move on. Time will tell.

But because of this whirlwind of shit, I keep wishing Grandpa will die soon. I’m not exactly proud to say it, but it’s true. And it’s just what I wish. I know I shouldn’t wish death upon anyone, but I feel no remorse.

And karma knows it. And that’s why it’s kicking my ass.

I’m not going to proclaim to be a better person. I have no plans to take it back, because I know it won’t help at this point. I also know I wouldn’t mean it. I just think it takes more to be honest in this situation.

Maybe karma will reward me for that later.