Friday, June 22, 2012

Musing: And So I Told Her...

She said "I want a love like you and he have. I want to be in love like that," and I laughed in my head before dropping to her, in short form, the knowledge I'm about to drop on you.

Everybody wants to be loved, but while we young girls are wishing it up, we aren't wishing for a love of our own. Romantic comedies, Disney, and R&B songs tell us we should all love roses, we should all want to have sex all night...all women should desire this same kind of love. How untrue that is, and how sad that so few of us realize that from the jump.

You never know what goes on in someone else's relationship. While they're holding hands and kissing in public, he could beat her once they get home, she could be cheating on him and we, the world, don't see that. We're focused on the front that it's all good, that they're happy all the time, instead of the realities of a relationship. Even if it's not as extreme as that example above, we the people never get to see the work that goes into that happiness, or the lack of work that goes into it's demise.

Love is only the first step is what I told her, and it's true. You have to love yourself first, and as cliche'd and "not what I wanna hear" as that statement is, it's the truth. I'd been waiting to fall in love since I was thirteen years old. I'm twenty-one and for the first time fell head over heels for someone only after starting to learn how to love myself. By taking time to figure out who I am and what I like, instead of what I was told I should like, I knew what it was I genuinely was interested in in myself so could I seek that in someone else.

After loving yourself, I told her, the next thing is finding someone who's willing to love you for who you are right at this minute, not someone who loves you for who you will one day be. If they can see the good in you right now as you are (as well as the bad) and still love you anyway? They deserve the greatness that you will one day be.

The final thing I told her is that it's work. The love is the easy part; it comes in and fills all the spaces between you two. The work is maintaining that, making sure that the love is enough. That can be anything you deem it to be, whether it's making time for each other, learning how to communicate effectively or just not being as much a bitch as you usually are, anything towards your progress not only as a couple but as individuals. If you're not willing to work hard on yourself, how can you be expected, or know how to put in the work, with and for someone else?

I'm not sure if I got through to her; the love I have isn't for the faint of heart. The love I have took time, patience, and getting into those parts of being a human that are tough for a lot of people, getting into those true emotions and facing who you are and who you want to be. A lot of times we're so afraid of being honest with ourselves, of being contrary to what "society" tells us we should be that we miss out on the true beauty of life, which is living it and exploring it for ourselves.

Remember that when pining after or coveting someone's relationship. You don't know what they're really like or going through, you don't know anything but what they present. Under all that though, who are they really? Who is he, who is she, who are they together? In your own relationship, don't try to define who you are by who he (or she) is, and don't define that other person at all: just know who you are, and where you're going, and (with some work) hope that that other person will be along for the ride.

Musing: Where Is Up Really?

My growth becomes evident with every new thing I have to face as a woman, as an adult, and even when I'm in the throes of it, the knowledge of that makes it all worth it.

I'm not sure if you guys follow me on Twitter, but my boyfriend and I are a very...(vocal? open?) visible couple. So if it goes by that you follow him and I and we're debating or sending lyrics and whatnot back and forth, it's just a normal day. No tweets? Not a normal day, not at all.

A few weeks ago I wrote about being abandoned and how that sits in my soul. It hurts, because a lot of times in my life I felt abandoned by the people I love and care about; the thing about me is that once I'm open to you, I'm a sitting duck. You can hurt me as easily as you can crack an egg if I'm completely "there" with you, and not too many people know that because I'm not there with more than a handful of people.

So it happens that Tarzan likes to disappear on me at times. Every time, it hurts somewhere deeper than I thought my love could go. I don't think he realizes how I value him; more than just some dope dude, he's one of my best and closest friends, more than a lover I share pieces of my soul with him. Isn't it odd, how the people we love, have the easiest route to hurt us? Isn't it strange that we all know this and still love them with all we have anyway?

In the past the deep parts of where my pain is remained a mystery, not only to me but to those around me. I realized it was a problem about six or seven months ago when I started medicating with copious amount of alcohol. I would get into the low parts, not know what was going on or why it was hurting so bad, and pick up a bottle from my friendly local gas station, or from my fully stocked mini-fridge, and drink it all away, sometimes into the early morning; I still managed to go to work, act like it was all okay until I could get back to my bed, where all the bottles were lined like soldiers. Just because I was aware of the problem didn't mean I stopped. Nope, I didn't stop drinking heavily until I started dating Tarzan.

He doesn't drink, and I didn't want him to have an alcoholic girlfriend so I stopped cold turkey. And about the time I wrote that abandonment blog, he went missing on me. Because I'd made that vow to him in my head to not drink to soothe my pain, I didn't know what to do. What do you do when your reason not to is suddenly the reason to? What I did was plow through it.

I cried like my life was over. W couldn't console me. My mother couldn't coax me out. And it happened that one night in the middle of it all the house was quiet and I had the thought to just get in my car and find a liquor store. It hurt so bad and in such a new way I didn't know where to go with it. But at that time I found this song by Wiz Khalifa, and instead of getting in the car, I sat very still in the dark and let the feelings lead me where they wanted.

It wasn't a pretty place, it wasn't a happy place, but it was a place I needed to go. It was a place where I was confronted with all that pain I'd been pushing down, all that resentment and anger, all the fear. And it hurt even worse going through it than standing at it's door. That place reminds me of all my short-comings, all my doubts, all the things I try to deny to myself that I am; it's where all my negative, human emotions are.

I relate that place to this song because, for a few months there, all I did was drink; it was my high to keep me away from the real me and the real problems I was facing. Wiz's song is the anthem for that phase, reminding me with it's mournful beat and "high" lyrics where to not go. Even when it hurts, even when it's dark, that temporary high? It always drops you, and you have to have more and more of whatever it is that's keeping you afloat until your remedy becomes the problem.

So it happened that Tarzan shut me out, even in knowing where that pushes me, and instead of drinking I found a quiet place and reminded myself that yes, it hurts like hell, but the alternative, that false sense of control I used to get from drinking didn't compare to what I have with him, good day or bad day. He's no longer the reason I don't drink to soothe; I am. And it all came full circle when, my all knowing iPod, brought  it to the forefront and followed "Up" with Jill Scott's "He Loves Me." I won't lie, that hurt is still there, and I probably won't talk about it for a long while yet, but...I'm a woman, a fully functioning, loved and respected woman who, through sheer will, found her way out of painful places.

Even in your sorrows, even in those places where it hurts for you to go, even in your anger, remember who you are in relation with who you were and who you want to be. If you find yourself soothing with all the wrong things, backsliding, know that you're not alone. All of us have those moments where we can pick up keys and go get what will make us temporarily forget, all of us face those moments where it would be easier to forget than forgive. That moment, that small decision, makes up who you are in this moment and may make up who you are. Don't let it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened In Podunk, Texas

So a funny thing happened in Podunk, Texas.

I'm not sure if you've been reading for awhile, but I've been in love with this guy from New Jersey for a couple months. It was one of those intangible sort of things where I was in love with his spirit, his heart and the way he formed thoughts. I was in love with major pieces of him, but this past week, I got to love all of him at once. Shockingly enough, I think he may have loved all of me right back. Even more shocking, I wasn't second guessing it, wasn't doubting it; I finally felt like I deserved something, that I deserved him.

The feeling isn't...I can't even put into words what it means to me. It's like cruising down the highway with the perfect song playing and wind in your hair. When trying to explain it to him I use Camp Lo's "Luchini" - we're a musical couple, and he totally gets what I meant by it, but I'll try to use words...

He made me feel as if I glowed, as if I were made from precious, irreplaceable material. As if I was the cutest, sexiest, most adorable thing he'd ever laid eyes on. I felt weightless and heavy at the same time, heady but level. It felt as though, in every moment with him, I was who I was always meant to be. I felt like a woman: classy, elegant, but not too snooty to not have fun and be chill. I felt like his woman, like everything I did (or didn't do) was understood and appreciated. It all came together like fingers twined while walking down a river walk...

When he had to go back to his life in New Jersey... It felt like I'd lost this whole world he and I had made, where everything was beautiful, fun and meaningful. I felt like I'd lost my best friend, and my love in one, full sweeping day. I can't tell you how much I cried, all I know is the first two days of it exhausted me, and I still shed a few tears the days after. Literally, this morning was the first morning without him that I didn't cry. I still can't sleep without his favorite shirt (either next to me, cuddled up with me, or on my person). I even well up in the middle of my day when thinking about certain minuscule moments, like holding hands in stores, or hearing him snore while he slept.

A lot of people who talk about my generation say we feel entitled: we deserve money, fame, love, happiness...but I've never thought that. I never thought anything should be handed to me, although when it was, it was much appreciated. No, instead I used to think "Who are you to think you deserve these nice things? What have you done to be worthy of them?" For a time in my past, I didn't deserve anything, and a little bit beyond that point I started living my life in a way that left no marks, no scars on anyone else. I was determined to live that life, not so I would one day deserve something, so that I could grow to feel good about the person that I am, the person who I was working towards being. Even in doing so, I still didn't think I deserved love.

A funny thing happened in Podunk, Texas. I realized I was capable of loving and being loved. I realized that loving someone, if it was the right person, is effortless. I'm reminded of a quote by Khalil Gibran that says something to the effect that love doesn't take from anything but love and seeks nothing in return and it's true; I didn't want anything from him but him, and he didn't want anything from me but me. The funny thing, the amazing and beautiful thing that happened is that I finally realized that I do deserve love; I deserve it because I am finally ready for it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Musing: Is it Real?

'What're you doing with him? Can't find a man in your city? Is it even a real relationship?" I've heard the questions and talking behind my back (or to my face) about my relationship for a minute but just always choose the high ground because odds are, even if I do explain coherently and concisely they still wouldn't understand; love isn't something that's easy to explain to people.

What am I doing with this guy, this guy who's thousands of miles away? Simply, I'm loving him, or rather trying to love him the best I can, in spite of the distance between us. Trying to show him how valued he is in my life. Trying to be the type of woman he can be proud of, whether we are together as a couple or as friends kicking it (although the former is what I'm aiming for more). How is that any different from any other relationship?

The distance hurts, no lie, hurts more than I originally thought it would. After his visit I wasn't right (okay, maybe "am not" would be the better phrase to use), couldn't sleep right or eat right and just felt as if I lost not only my love but my best friend in one full sweep. It's scary, realizing that you're all in. Scarier even when you haven't ever felt that feeling before and don't know how to cope. But even through that hurt, even though it still stings and will sting until I'm in his arms again, because of who he is, it's worth it.

He once said that he visited a Queen and became a King and that stuck with me somewhere deep. In my eyes he was a king before he arrived here, long before. The choices he's made in life, and his heart which is so beautiful, are what makes him so. Me? I'm just some girl from Podunk, Texas in love with him, but knowing that he sees me as a Queen, as his queen? Spins my perception, deepens this whole love thing as it shows he sees me in a light brighter than the one I view myself in, unmarred by insecurities and blemishes from past fears.

Why do I love him? I don't know, but does anybody ever really know, can anybody ever really pin point one thing that makes them love someone else? Before he got here, I was confused about a lot of things, thinking that the passion or lust or whatever ignites the physical attraction was missing. Intimacy was missing, to me, because he didn't say he loved me everyday, or he didn't text or call everyday but it's not in his nature to do so, even if it is in my nature to crave that sort of frequent validation. I was wrong: the intimacy isn't necessarily physical or lust driven. The intimacy is driven by comfort and honesty, trust and a willingness to grow together and we've got that.

Couldn't I have found someone here to love and be with? Honestly, I'm sure I could have, but I wasn't checking for them like that (as I'm sure they weren't checking for me) and I don't think I was ready. I may have said or thought I was, but months ago when I was lamenting my love life, or lack thereof, I wasn't in the mindset of someone ready to grow with someone else, at least not for the right reasons. I'm sure I could've found someone, but no one like him.

So my question then is, is it really different, our relationship from others? When you cut down to the marrow of any relationship it's about the love, the attraction, and the willingness to work, and our relationship has those same qualities as those that are made by couples who are able to see each other everyday. I just think we're more grateful for the chance to be together, more appreciative of every glance, every touch and kiss, and it makes us want to work harder to be together.

So to those who question is it real, I counter with why wouldn't it be? Unconventional though our initial start was, it consisted of the same "getting to know you" that other relationships have, but because of the distance and so many other factors we had to learn each other with words, with talking and hearing nuances in each other that most couples don't start picking up until months in. I invite those people who say it isn't real to look at my tear stained pillow, listen to my weary voice when I speak, and tell me that what I feel isn't a real thing.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Love Expands

Hey yous guys.

I want to write something deep and prolific and yada yada about my week with my boyfriend, Tarzan but, seeing as he just left to go back home, I'm don't know if I'm good for it, but I'm definitely going to try because there's so much I want to say, but so little of him that I want to share; most of him I want just for me, but I can certainly tell you a couple things.

When he got here I was so nervous about putting my foot in my mouth or doing something stupid, especially when I saw him for the first time. He's tall, with slanted brown eyes and a lanky build, and when he smiles my whole world fills with music and peace, even that very first time. We were nervous, bumbling with his bags and hugging. No lie, for the first few hours it was a bit quiet, but then we held hands on the way to a concert, and from that point on nothing else felt forced or awkward, at least on my end.  From the first time he held my hand I don't think I went for maybe five minutes without touching him, just to be sure he was actually there, real and tangible... And just because I couldn't keep my hands off his sexy self.

What I grew to love most was the way he would look at me. In the mornings, after the sun would rise I would turn to see him looking at me with the most adoring look on his face, and for maybe ten or fifteen minutes we would just look at each other, saying everything without saying a thing. The way he looked at me...there's nothing like that, nothing in the world that could make a girl feel so big and so small at the same time. There's nothing that can make a girl forget all her insecurities, all her hang ups and the stress of the rest of the world with such simplicity and definiteness. When he looked at me I felt loved and nothing else mattered but me and him.

Giving him back to the rest of the world broke (breaks, and is breaking) my heart. I wanted to build my whole world around that weightless, heavy feeling I had with him. I wanted to build my whole world around the love I felt in my heart for him. I still do. Albeit, this week was far from everyday life, far away from the troubles of work and bills and everything else we have to face as functioning adults in the world, but even in knowing that, I have this crushing want to see him every day in a normal sort of way; I want to wash our dishes and cuddle up to watch sports or cartoons, talk about life and love and hopes and dreams. I want a life with him, and I've never thought of sharing my life with a person before.

If there was any doubt in my mind before about what I was working so hard for, or where I wanted to be, it's gone now; I just want him. I want to be near enough to see him without catching a plane, train or automobile. I want to be able to cook for him and hold his hand. I want him more now, than I ever did before which, at the time, I thought was impossible. But, as I've learned this past week, love expands, and fills up all the spaces, even the ones you weren't sure were there.

The one thing I want though is for him to know he is undoubtedly loved. He is everything I didn't think to ask for. He is the King who made a Queen out of me and no matter what, I'm forever in his debt for that. Your girl is a goner. Totally, completely and unashamedly in love with an amazing guy scary as it is, as unsure as any of our futures ever are, I can't wait to see what's in store for me and him.