ser·en·dip·i·tous

It’s crazy how quickly people can come into your life. Without warning, or obstacles, someone can ease into your life in the strangest of ways. You could meet someone that you connect with at the grocery store, or pumping gas, or at a restaurant on a Friday night after work.

The way it happens sometimes…It makes me think of that Michael Buble song, “Haven’t Met You Yet.” It’s a weird thing to wrap your mind around if you really think about it. How people are going about their business and living their own lives, until one day, they meet you…and everything changes.

You really never know when it might happen or just how meaningful that person may actually become. I guess life’s just interesting in that way.

I never saw him coming. I had taken a long hiatus from the dating world to focus on my studies, and really, I’d only just started to date again when I met him. To be honest, I wasn’t too thrilled to even start dating. It’s a tough thing, and stressful, and so often leaves you disillusioned and disappointed.

I’ve never been the type to fall quickly, or easily for that matter, so opening up to a new heartbreak wasn’t exactly high on my to-do list.  But now, just a few months into it, I surprise myself at every corner. It’s that I suddenly lack barriers or deeply embedded walls, but it’s the fact that for the first time, I wish I did. I want to let him in, to show him my scars and tell him all my stories. The good ones, the funny ones, the bad stories, and all about the things that I never thought I’d recover from.

It seems that somewhere within my short time in his presence, love stopped being this scary thing that ended in destruction and became a happy possibility.

Don’t get me wrong, the cynic in me is still very much alive and kicking, and points out how this could all end. But for once, a part of me wonders what if. A part of me hopes that the love and affection that so warmly gazes at me though his hazel eyes is real, and true. Hopes that the safety I feel within his tight embrace will always be around, and prays that the damaged parts of me won’t be too much for his gentle heart to bear.

It’s a different part of me, one that I didn’t know I had. Maybe it’s the way he looks at me, or maybe it’s something else. I guess life’s just interesting in that way.

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I accidentally taught my little brother the word slut

I have a complex relationship with the word, because I hate that it’s used to demean women and I like that there’s an entire movement about reclaiming the word, but sometimes it just slips out as a negative thing. Like this time. We were looking at Halloween costumes, and I remembered the topic in class about how the female comic book characters are always dressed in these frilly little dresses and tutus, when though the actual comic book versions of them DO NOT look like that. So as I was flipping through the Party City catalog, I commented kind of to myself, how annoying it is that the only available girl version of the ninja turtles if a “slutty dress.” Anthony asked me what that meant, and I just said that they put the girl in a short little dress that extra tight and really does nothing to stay true to the actual character. Like the girl costume for Donatello, the only ninja turtle available in girl costume because he wears a purple mask. Really? That’s the determining factor? So anyways, I gave him the explanation and then thought damn, I maybe should not have said that.  That word is just much more complicated than that, but he’s only 11 and it was bad enough I added it to his vocabulary.

Sure enough, when my mom came home that night he gave her a speech about how ridiculous men are and that he refused to buy a costume at Party City because they think women can only be slutty super heroes and not real ones. He went on to say that he didn’t understand what their problem was but that they just needed to get over it because girls can be super heroes too. Since then, I’ve heard him give the speech to his dad, our other brother and God knows who else in school. I’m expecting a call from his teacher any day now on the topic.

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Some goodbyes are harder than others

Some happen in the heat of a moment, others in the midst of tears. Some happen in public places, most happen in doorways and cars. But some goodbyes happen long after that person has left your life. Sometimes the sad realization that a story has reached its end takes time to sink in. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, sometimes it takes a few months, and in some cases, it takes a few years.

Sometimes the actual goodbye is as simple as letting go of hope. Letting go of that last little bit of hope, deep inside your soul, that maybe your story just hit a road bump. An intermission. A break in time for the characters to develop and make their way back around to each other. It’s the kind of hope you don’t talk about or even acknowledge, but you always know that it’s there. Waiting. Loving. And always hoping.

Maybe you reach that moment on your own, in your own time, or maybe you reach that moment when you finally meet someone that reminds you of what it feels like to be part of an “us” again. Someone who wants to stand tall by your side and experience new things with you. Either way, the feelings that this moment entails are the same. It’s a deep rooted sadness. It’s the realization of a truth that you always knew. An ending that you tried to avoid. The ending that you couldn’t bring yourself to face.

It’s almost like realizing you’d been living your life in denial, in limbo, in a pause. Or maybe you weren’t living your life at all. You went through the motions, accomplished great things, checked off places to see on your bucket list, but through all of it your heart was closed. It was on hiatus. It was taking a long break, not by choice, but in order to survive because coming alive meant facing the end.

It’s like being there at the time of death, but skipping the funeral. At some point, you’ve got to visit that grave. You’ll find yourself looking for the tombstone and as the rain pours down, you fall to your knees in front of that place. The place where your hope died, all those years ago.

It’s an ending, but a bittersweet one because what allowed you to let that old hope go, has replaced it with a new hope. A new future. The possibility of love and happiness, after so much rain.

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Kids + Media

My little brother made a comment the other day that really made me think about what children are learning and taking away from the media they consume. He was talking to my mom about some song by Nirvana, a band that he’s recently become obsessed with, and she told him that she didn’t really know their music because she was never a fan. To this he said “Of course not mom, girls don’t have good taste in music. Don’t worry its cause you just don’t know.” My mom laughed it off like a joke and walked away, but I was so shocked with the comment that I went off on a long lesson about gender roles and stereotypes.

I explained to him about the women’s rights movement and how very different life would be for my mom and I if things had not changed, how things were in the earlier decades of the 1900s and how hurtful it is when he makes comments like that. I told him that saying something like that is the same as someone saying he doesn’t have real feelings because he’s a boy, to which he got upset and said that was crazy especially since he’s such a sensitive kid and so attached to my mom. I also pointed out several revolutionary female musicians like Joan Jett had a rock band that was very successful, while often controversial. The odd thing was that I couldn’t figure out where he was getting these ideals from, since that’s not the example he sees at home. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the videos he watches on YouTube may not flat out SAY these things, but they certainly imply them. When they say things like “oh, what are you a girl?” to describe some less than ideal behavior or bad move in a game, they make that distinction that being a girl is a bad thing because it makes you less than a man.

Hopefully by continuing to be open with him, he’s only 11, about these things we can fix some of the damage. He gave my mom a long apology when she got back that night and promised to never assume she didn’t know something just because she was a girl.

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Let’s try this again…

The last time I decided to try online dating I ended up dating a guy who tried to move in with me faster than fast, and a few other who creeped me out more than they enticed me. But, given that I’ve spent the last year or so focusing all my energy on finishing up my degree, and adding a minor to boot, I think maybe I should try again. Plus, the last time I met a guy I actually liked and gave him my number, I ended up ignoring all his calls for a week. He eventually stopped trying, and I was so utterly terrified that I could actually like him that I panicked.

Or better yet. A few months ago I was sitting at the cafeteria by my office, skimming through a magazine while I waited for my BLT, when this guy walks in. I looked up at him and I remember thinking how beautiful I thought he was, so I smiled at him and he smiled back. The lady brought my sandwich, and he leaned next to me on the counter and asked me how my day was going. I looked at him, grabbed my stuff, and just walked out. Not a word. It was like my body reacted before my mind could. Geez all he did was make small talk and I ran for my life, basically.

I think, and this is just a guess here, but I think I slightly more emotionally damaged than I thought I was. Or maybe I’ve been too domesticated, and I need to be reintroduced into the wild…

It’s like me? Meet actual people? No. I don’t do that kind of thing anymore. I work, study, and dabble in writing short stories and screenplays. But actually getting to know new people? Why would I want to do that?

Huh. That’s actually a good question. Why would I want to do that? Oh yeah, because I can’t be all about work, and I can’t keep spending all my free time with my siblings and Netflix. What kind of life would that be? Besides, I’m running out of things to write about and I need new inspiration, and stories. I need stories, but stories that I’ve lived – cause those are the best kind.

But, eer, online dating? Then there’s these possibilities…

online-dating

onlinedatingmeme

 

At least I’m not the only one who struggles with new age dating. Here’s a great list, and hilarious too.

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No more miss nice girl

I used to believe that staying quiet when people talked about others, pointing out flaws that were more projected than real was the polite thing to do. The right thing. I thought that speaking up and getting dragged into an argument was degrading, and only allowed those people to bring you down to their level. But now, I feel like being a hypocrite and chalking it up to manners is not smart at all. In reality, the only thing that really does is allow negativity to breed in your presence. By allowing bad, or simply unpleasant, people to stay in your life all you’re doing is hurting yourself. 

I read a quote the other day that said “If it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life.” And honestly, I couldn’t agree more. My mother always told me that some people were born with a light, a capacity for kindness if you will, and others were still struggling to find their own light. And sometimes, they’re going to fight to take yours. These battles aren’t always obvious, kind of like the whole wolf in sheep’s clothing thing, and it’s your job to protect yourself.

As a kid, I thought these battles were going real battles. Like in medieval times, and I thought damn, I better learn to use a sword. But now, I realize that they’re much simpler than that, and we fight them everyday. 

Honestly, I’m just tired of being polite. Tired of having to be around people I think are just bad, and tired of having to smile. I found myself in one of those painfully awful situations today, and even though the conversation wasn’t with me, I was forced to suffer through it anyways. Instead of speaking up and really letting them know what I thought, I just left. I simply didn’t have the time for the negative free fall I was caught in, but I didn’t have the strength to speak my mind either. That’s when I realized I was being polite, I was just afraid. It seems that I had allowed people’s cruel words to bully me into silence, without me even realizing it. I know that I’ve never been a fan of confrontations, but I never wanted to be the person to afraid to speak the truth either. 

So from now on, fuck being polite. I think it’s time to get real, real honest. 

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A curious thought

How is it that everything in your life can change, almost completely, yet feelings don’t? And I mean real feelings, not fleeting sensations of anger or desire, but deep sentiments. The kind of sentiments you feel in the very core of your soul.

We seem to have this innate ability to forget wrong-doings, or the exchange of harsh words, but only when the feelings run deep. The deeper they run, the more we seem to overlook.

On the other end, when your feelings towards someone are less than loving, we can cut them out of our lives at the slightest infraction. Those people we can’t see to forgive, no matter how minor the injury.

It makes me wonder, if the things we find offensive and the words we hold against others ever truly offend us, or are we just acting offended because society expects us to?

Personally, I’ve been in situations where I was lied to and when I found out, I have to say that I forgave him the second I found out. But, I still punished him for the lie. I held it against him because I was supposed to, I mean, what kind of person doesn’t get mad when they find out they were lied to? What kind of person understands the liar’s situation and just, well, forgives them? An idiot, I thought.

Now that I’m older, and a little wiser I’d like to think, I realize that it was all an act and an unnecessary one too. But still, I know there are other actions I take that sometimes come as second nature, but I know they’re taught reactions because while they might be instant, they always feel a little off. Almost like you’re wearing someone else’s clothes, or playing a part in a play.

I mean, right?

Maybe I’m not making any sense, but it’s just a thought…a curious thought.

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