Sunday, April 22, 2012

Struggles: Abandonment & Faith

"Why do you always think you do something wrong?" W asked. And I truly didn't have an answer at that moment, just a deep, guilty, wrong feeling that somehow I've done something to force me into this position.

After my parents split, I didn't cry. Not publicly at least. Instead, in the dark, mellow music playing, I'd sob uncontrollably, gasping for a breath of understanding in between each teardrop, wondering what I'd done wrong to make my father divorce me and my mother. I cried so intense I was tired after every round, but so silently that nobody ever found out. But even in my dreams I would ask "What did I do wrong? Why?"

They say the more things change the more they stay the same...

I was once in love with someone who could never love me back. I asked him why; why did he have me grow attached and fall if he never had the intention to catch me? Why build my trust to just abandon me with my own vicious thoughts? Why? He never had an answer, just a world of apologies in his eyes to match the world of hurt in mine. And even in knowing it wasn't my fault, that there was nothing I could've done better, I still questioned it; what could I have done better to make him love me, what did I do to make him not love me?

I have a strong reaction to abandonment, whether imagined or otherwise. It hurts physically, like drowning in oxygen, like a firm palm pressing right over your heart and lungs, taking the air from them. It tastes salty and bitter, like tears and iron. And still, no matter how grown up I am or think I am, I revert back to that little girl who's daddy left and wonder why? What could I have done? What did I do wrong? The adult in me assures me that, logically, I've done nothing, nothing is wrong, reminds me to breathe, to eat, to not get so bogged down in that emotion from so long ago that I don't live.

There aren't many people I fear losing. A good four or five. And so when I think I've lost them? I revert. For moments, the jubilant, normal me will shine through, trying to convince them that I'm fine, or that it doesn't hurt. But if they know me, they know. The worse thing you could do to me is leave me by myself in a relationship. If I'm in a friendship with you and you just up and go? I blame myself, deeply, and can never explain to myself what I've done wrong to make you go. You make me love you? And it's ten times worse, because in addition to all that weight is added the feeling of stupidity; how dumb was I to think I could be someone's someone? How foolish and naive to think I deserved love.

I write about it today because I almost let that feeling take me over. I forget sometimes that it's not me that's the problem; sometimes that other person has their own weight to carry before they can share it with someone else, or become free of it and can truly focus on everything else around them. I'm reminded of it today after talking to my father, not talking to my certain someone, and receiving a message from that one I've never been able to truly forgive.

I've never trusted either of my parents after the divorce. I never forgot that guy who made me love him only to leave me alone in love. I never forgot the friends who walked out. And each of them share some of the dark stitches on my heart. I've learned from them to be the one to walk, to not be the one left behind, and when you're so ready to jet when things get tough, what does that really say about the value you place on these people?

I had to trust my judgement and my heart from scratch. I had to learn to put the doubts and fears, that nit-picking force in the very back. I had to learn to have faith in people, faith in my choosing these people. The hardest of all, I had to un-learn walking away; the best way to show someone you value them is to simply be there. I learned that from years of feeling so much less than valued by all those people who were never there for long, never there as I needed them to be.  And I've been a better person for it. So even if I don't understand now, I won't walk away, and I won't jump to conclusions, asking myself over and over what it was that was wrong with me. No, from now on I'll stand my ground; I'll choose faith, choose hope and choose trust.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vulnerability Isn't A Liability

"Do you think about me?"

The tweet passed my timeline but I just kept coming back to it. I'd always been the person who, while in infatuation, in romantical tangles, in whatever we chose to call those things that make us want to be in love, but aren't love...I'm always the person that seems to want it more. I'm always the person asking that question, because, so often, the answer isn't clear, or worse, isn't what I wanted to hear.

I had a hard day today. I woke up feeling terribly insecure and didn't know where or how to place that feeling. I've been confident in myself and in my world for awhile now so for the feeling to hit me so hard was jolting. What was missing? What was wrong?

And then my someone wonderful comes into the picture. And boy, did I unload all my insecurities on him today. I'm wary of this thing he and I are in because it leaves me feeling like I'm asking too much, or am too jealous, or too nagging or any of the other myriads of things I think that get me down. I'm wary of these feelings, these unprovoked (or mildly, depending on your perception) jealousies and worries; feelings, and people, change constantly, and I, for all intents and purposes, am a rock. I may shift, I may chip, I may be polished, but ultimately I am the same. Today though, I was not a rock. And for that reason, I kinda lost my sh*t.

You see, the way I'm used to it happening is this: I fall, they don't. They lead me on, and I stupidly follow. They drop me, and I bruise. I move on, and they miss me. They ask me do I still think about them, do I miss them? So many of my ex-somethings seem to still have my number. Seem to want to follow me on Twitter. Keep friending me on Facebook. My answer is in the response that they get: none.

I am weary of always being someone's "What if" or someone's "second place." I am weary of putting everything I've got into this love thing and never getting much back. And I'm tired of dudes from friendtationships past hitting me up on some Ne-Yo "Do You?" type sh*t because no, I don't. For a week or two after? Definitely. But someone's got me now who I don't worry about dropping me, as even if he does, I've know doubt he'd help me back up. Someone's got me now who tries to assuage my fears rather than feed them. Someone's got me now who cares about me where all others have failed. And if you didn't bring that to the table to begin with so long ago, I'd be a fool to miss you, much less think about you, now.

As for the me in the present? I won't lie and say I'm a secure girlfriend. At this distance? Insecurity chews me up inside some days. I try to stay cool, calm and collected, not letting it all get to me, and most days, I succeed. But days like today? Everything has me hypercritical, nit-picking, not at him or our situation but at me, and the myriad of things I could be doing better. I could be stronger, and more secure. I could be thinner and wear my hair differently. All these internalized things, because I simply don't know how to ask him "Do you think about me?" without feeling clingy, needy or naggy.

I forget sometimes that my vulnerability isn't a liability but rather the thing that makes me human. Vulnerability makes me nervous. It makes me feel weak and dumb and like I'm making a fool of myself constantly. If I'm vulnerable with you, please, be patient with me. I'll ramble like an idiot. I might cry a little. But if you handle me right, I come back stronger, better and ultimately more comfortable and confident, if not in myself, than in where I stand with you. In such case, you won't have to answer the question, because at that point, I'll no longer be asking it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Keys Revisited Revisited:

All this time I was searching (and then not searching) for my keys, I only just recently realized that I was someone else's set.

There's someone out there that, when he writes for me (hell, when he talks to, texts, Tweets, or sends me smoke signals), it melts my heart, and softens it in ways  and in places I didn't know it was calloused and hard. When I'm having a tough go at it, he is that thing that reminds me that it won't always be so tough or so hard. In short, I've found my keys, the thing, the person, that motivates and moves me along on this journey, the person helping me to unlock all these doors that have been standing in my way.

The thing is, once you've found your keys, and you start noticing how doors seem to open easier, that you're able to start your mode of transport and go, you don't want to lose them. And that is a sentiment that Tarzan seems to struggle with

I wish I had new words to tell him how "there" I am withim. With anything new, there's fears of the unknown of it, the things you can't predict or plan for. Like, love. I for one wasn't looking to fall in love, at least not anymore. I was content learning and leaning on myself, finding out the things that make me who I am, and how to incorporate that into all aspects of my life. And then here he goes, like that part of a dream you're holding onto in that place between awake and asleep, that thing that makes the whole day glow and feel brighter and better than any other day. 

Yes, I'm in love, and I paint the world in pastel shades as of late, but I'd be a liar if I said I didn't have my fears of love. Suchorrible things have been said and done to and by me in the name of "love" or things that masquerade as love. I've seen love turn into discontent and lose it's luster. I've seen people lose all God-given sense and their will to move forward due to love, but those aren't the things I fear.

I fear I won't be enough. I fear I'll be too much. I fear he won't like how I look, or will shut himself off once we start really learning each other. What I do not fear, though, is losing him. I don't fear that so much as I know it's always a possibility; rather I use it to my advantage to remind me to be the best chick I can be for him. I'm of the belief though, that when a heart is given to you and you treat it well, you never lose it. Can things change? Can feelings shift? Yes, but once a person has your heart, they'll always have a piece of it; even if we don't work out (which I sincerely hope we take this as far as we possibly can) I already know he's got a large piece of me.

You can't unlock a person like me, a person with trust issues and insecurities that seem to be taller than she is, and not know how amazing that is. But it seems that he doesn't realize the talent he has in that area. When things are bothering me, he's become the person I think of telling first - not so he can coddle or encourage me, but so that I can genuinely get his input and feel that calm and clarity that his voice and presence brings me.  And for that reason, among many others, is the reason he can't lose me. 

He's got me. There's no two ways about it that, as long as he wants me, I'll be there.  When I read and hear how I've already had a bit of an influence on him, that he uses my slang, or how he feels about me... There's nothing in the world quite like that. And for that very unique reason, he'll never lose this pair...this set rather, of really flattered, humbled and happy keys. 

Trust Issues: A Family Affair

have trust issues no Drake. I didn't know they were as deep or as encompassing as I've recently found them to be, but they are truly there and I'm wondering why it took me so long to notice them.

Yesterday at my job was hard; back-to-back calls, brand new rules and even more unnecessary pressure. I spend a majority of my day fighting; I fight my car, I fight my customers, my managers, the last thing I want to do is come home and fight. But sometimes what you want isn't what you get.

It wasn't necessarily a fight, but more of a calling to the carpet, yet again. I don't mind those, they let me know what I need to work on, but when I'm already doing the best I know how to do, and people are constantly telling me I'm not doing good enough when I know and feel that I am? It not only hurts, but it makes me close myself off even further back than I am in myself. And that is where I learned of my trust issues.

haven't truly trusted my parents in a really long time; the last call to the carpet forced me to come head-on with that realization. I love them both, very dearly, but I don't believe in them the same as I used to. I have this settled feeling in my heart that they have, and will continue to drop me, leave me, or let me down just like they seem to have the settled feeling that life is going to f*ck me up and over, and that I will continue to let it and thus, let them down

It's been that way since the divorce. I always thought I'd gotten over that so long ago but as it turns out, it's just solidified in me a distrustful nature of my family. Instead, I pick my family as I go along - W is the sister, Soul Brotha is the brother that I've always needed and wanted. In my mind, I am my own mother, nagging and pushing, but encouraging and hopeful. I am my own father, firm and determined, constantly reminding me of my worth and that I deserve the best. My parents, their amazing qualities, are instilled in me already to make me push myself further; I just wish they knew they hadn't failed, which I feel they sometimes think they have. 

I am not the college student they raised me to be. I am not a doctor, or a lawyer, not yet a teacher not yet even on my own. But I am a great person. I am smart, I am kind, I am stead-fast and hard-headed with my goals. If that isn't enough for them for now, then I suppose it's time I stopped wanting to please them so much. 

Not to say I will stop honoring them, not to say I will stop listening to and learning from them, but my heart is hard against them, defensive, and I don't really know where to start chipping away at it in that respect. I'm not sure if I'm ready to or know how, but I know that my love for them is going to push me, I'm just apprehensive about if it's pushing me closer or further.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Musing: Keys Revisited

I remember a few months ago writing about lost keys. How no matter how hard you seemed to look for that one thing that eluded you, as long as you kept searching so doggedly for it, you rarely find it. I promised myself to stop looking, to stop putting myself through the let down of hearing that familiar jingle only to find it was just pocket change or hair pins. I stopped stressing so much about the keys, and lo and behold, they ended up coming to me.

I could tell you about all the times I thought I was in love, only to find it was just infatuation mixed with a bitter, large dose of desperation. I could tell you about all the times my kind heart was taken advantage of in the name of lust masquerading as love. I could tell you about the guy who broke my heart and kick started this whole inner peace journey that I find myself steadfastly and easily walking. Or I could tell you about now, the time where love snuck up on me.

Those guys in the past put me in que to be who and how I am, and so I don't regret them, or what they've taught me. I don't regret the heartache, I don't regret the headache, as they've lead me to now, where I can show and tell how much I appreciate and admire the guy in my life. 

I'll be honest and say that I don't really know what this kind of love is. I love my parents. I love W and Soul Brotha. I love sitting in the sun with my iPod blasting Dwele G and a sketch pad. But this? I've never felt this before. It's a calmness injected with an underlying giddiness. A closeness that doesn't need to smother to be intimate. A playfulness that I've never really let anyone see in me. It's all these little things about me, not him, that have changed that make me think this is the real deal.

The main change I think is that I feel like a woman no Shania. I forget what exactly he'd said but after he said it the thought that made me smile and raise my eyebrow was "Oh, he's gonna be the man..." Not to say I've never felt like a woman before but I've always felt like a woman among dudes, guys, and boys, never a woman to a man. I've never been evenly yoked with the guys who were interested in me, or vice versa. There never seemed to be this even flowing of energy where, my energy so easily complimented theirs. I was always the one putting in work, always the one being there for them, always on a grown woman stance while they could never really be the man I needed. 

The feeling that I'm in now is shaking me to my core. I've always hoped but never really thought I would find a person who saw me as I am and not who I pretended to be, not who they wanted me to be. He knows about my insecurities and hang-ups, he knows some of the annoying things I tend to do or say, and here he goes, coming to see me and sh*t. I guess the truth is nobody ever proved to me I was worth that much; I was worth weak game, a trip to the dollar theater (that I had to pay for), but never worth getting to know really. And whereas I'm the one who emotes and expresses more with my words what and how I feel, he tends to want to show more than tell, and man is he showing me.

I suppose the reason I'm so shook is a mixture of not knowing really what being in love with a person is like as most of my tentative relationships with guys, dudes and boys tended to be one-sided. I'm shook because he's proving that he wants ME, not me in a couple months, not me in a couple years, but me right now, as I am. I'm shook because falling has never felt so right before. I'm shook because I'm entirely into this person and would really rather not mess everything up with being so high-strung. 

I can't really explain how I know this man is the one who's worth it. I can't really explain how I fell in love so quickly and easily after guarding my heart with such vicious seriousness. And the truth is, I don't have or want to explain it. I don't want to rationalize and suck the fun out of finding out if, indeed, it goes as deep as I think it does. I've found my keys, and no doubt I have a destination in mind, but who's to say it can't be fun getting there? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Musing: Breaks

There have been few times in my life where I have taken a break; most of those "breaks" were mental as I would function just enough to live and get by before coming back into the tangled labyrinth that had become my thoughts and emotions. I remember it happening two or three times, and the breaks were never pleasant. They always hurt in the way that a healing burn hurts. The sting of past inadequacies and tribulations, short-comings and hang-ups keeping me locked in this glass jail cell, letting me see the life I wanted to live, but keeping me from doing it. I always found my way back, and always went through it and found my way out of it alone.

I've taken breaks from work and felt rejuvenated by just three days away, three days to color, draw, write and read, three days to be myself, with and by myself. I've never really let people into the part of me that goes on these breaks, the tough and the easy ones. No one has seen me that sad, and no one has seen me that happy. I'm always in the middle once I return back from "vacation," always leveled out and mellow.

But this isn't about me...Not really. Tarzan (you guys, if you follow me on Twitter know all about him) has booked his tickets for June . And I'm stoked, nervous but above all, I'm curious. You see, I'm very open about the fact I don't believe my own hype; I don't know what makes me special, I just know somewhere deep and true that I am. And so I asked him, why now, why with me, does he chose to do this seemingly out of character, impetuous thing?

I think I annoy him; my constant need to understand why and why me can get a little tiresome. I knew it was a matter of time before he'd develop a pet peeve (and it kind of makes me laugh a bit)...Digress; his answer was that he needed a break. And given my above mentioned history with breaks, I can kind of understand, but it doesn't answer the question below the question, why with me?

Is it a need to see me, live and in color to be sure I am who I say I am? Is it a feeling of trust or understanding that goes so deep without saying? Is it the need for some exotic, Southern "strange?" In my analytic mind it all seems possible, while my caught up heart is just nervous and excited, finally allowing itself to believe that this, he and I, is a real thing.

Do I understand a break? Definitely. Do I understand the need for a break now, with me? No. Maybe I'm an excuse, a diversion from the real need to get away. Maybe I'm just some girl who's in love with some guy and willing to meet half-way (kinda...). Maybe all of these things and none of them are true at the same time.

All I know is that he's coming. And I'm excited, and can't wait to take a break with him, let him see that free, wild and silly thing that I hide from most other people. I can't wait to test our dynamic of yin and yang, see how far that goes, if it cycles and morphs as we do. I can't wait to play chess with him, hold his hand while we roller skate. I can't wait to learn him. The motive may be cloudy, but the main thing, the great thing, is that even in an interlude, even in a break, we learn who we are. We grow, we find new things out, we work through the things that need our undivided attention. And the fact he's willing to share that with me? That's enough...for now.