School’s out. Forever.

School’s out…forever.

If you’re like me, graduation was more about photo opps and saying affectionate and believable goodbyes to people I knew I’d probably never see again. But the whole event is so archaic. I mean, pomp and circumstance, really? Why?

Anyway, congrats on graduating. Enjoy the photo session and the boring commencement speeches. Sadly, this is as good as it gets!

First of all, no one cares about college. No, really. It’s an experience, sure. But as far as true academia goes, it doesn’t have much value. In fact, it doesn’t teach you much that you can apply to the real world. I’ll even go so far as to say that the four years you spend in undergrad is merely a money-maker for your school. But don’t say that too loud or we’ll scare away the incoming class of 2016. Sounds eerie, no?

Sure, your parents probably dished out about $80 grand for you to go school. And of course, it’s all you ever hoped for during the formative years of your life. Really, it’s what you looked forward to achieving and becoming. The first real goal you ever set for yourself. You did it! Yay! Most people can’t and don’t. But even though you did, it doesn’t really matter. Cuz let’s face it, you don’t really know anything. Well, at least not yet.

If you’re not off to grad school, then…good luck finding a job. The market is oversaturated. Whether you’re en engineer or a social worker, you’re pretty much screwed. Sure, you sat at commencement, in your cap and gown, and listened to some stuffy alum from your school–someone famous, like the one guy who made it big from your school–tell you that the world is your oyster, the future of the country lies within your hands, and that you and your fellow graduates will be at the forefront of all the positive changes that the world will see in the coming years…

Enjoy it. Because…this is the last time anyone will ever really tell you that. (And actually make you believe it). Once you get that diploma cover (‘cuz you won’t get your actual diploma till July or August…and by then, you’ll be over it…) and hear your name mispronounced on loudspeaker, you’ll just be a kid, with no experience, competing for an entry-level job, that really doesn’t pay enough for you to be able to move out, eat, shop, go out, buy stuff, AND travel.

You’ll go to work. No one will really care where you graduated from (unless it was the top school in your state, an Ivy league, or a well-known school with an amazing football team). You’ll be a glorified paper pusher for a solid 10 years. Maybe 20…before someone actually trusts you enough to make real decisions. It’s just the way of the world. Your 9 to 5 will make you miserable…and if you hate your 9 to 5, you’ll probably hate your life. But that’s all life is for some. A routine of 9 to 5’s…stops at the grocery store, and weekends to run errands and be lazy. Welcome to being a “grown up”…

Post-Grad Playground

You’ll hear people complain endlessly about their jobs. But no one will do anything about it. They’ll keep working and looking forward to the weekend, a vacation, retirement, heck…even death! And it’s not that these people are lame, boring, dumb, or crazy…they just get stuck in something for a solid 43 years. They’ll be so busy paying bills, organizing their kids carpool, buying anniversary gifts for their spouses, that they’ll actually “forget” that life doesn’t always have to suck.

You’re still young though so you’ll feel a little sorry for them. Unlike them, you’ll attempt to save a portion of your paycheck but you’ll blow the rest on new technology, Netflix bills, and shoes you probably can’t afford. Most of your disposable income will go toward eating and out and buying overpriced alcohol when you meet with your friends to escape the drone of nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five…

You’ll get stuck because well, “If I lose my job, I won’t make rent….” Or “I have a mortgage, I simply can’t quit.” Mind you, each and every one of these financial commitments…even a spouse or kids, just keeps your feet planted at the “company” even firmer. It’s sad. It is. I’ll be the first to admit it. It’s like an addiction…one you can’t escape.

So you’ll stay stuck in a world of unfulfilling days, annoying co-workers (who don’t know when to shut up), and bosses who will terminate you the second they realize you’re no longer profitable. Yup, even the good ones.

This is when the true learning will start. This is when you’ll search in your heart, mind, and soul to discover your passion. Like those people you took classes “about”, you’ll philosophize. You’ll attempt to figure out what gives your life meaning, and how you want to make your mark on the world. This will be your education. And frankly, you’ll learn more—on your couch—web-surfing on your iPad, than you ever did in College.

You’ll eventually come to a place where writing a mere blog entry will be more meaningful than an entire legal brief that could make a big win for your client. And that’s ok. Because you’ll realize that relating to people, and making your voice heard, means more than the words “magna cum laude” on a piece of paper ever could.

If your academic life was where you shined brightly…then work will always be lackluster in comparison.

As for me…I know where my interests and my passions lie. I’m learning what my talents and my strengths are. Someday, I’ll have the courage to toss aside my diploma and focus on reading, learning, and thinking…way more than I ever did in “school”. Cuz’ the truth of the matter is, even though I always knew where I was going, I still don’t know where I’ll end up.

©2012, Leegal Deeva. All rights reserved.

One of the guys

Peggy Olson:  I know what men think of you: That you’re looking for a husband, and you’re fun. And not in that order.
Joan Holloway: Peggy, this isn’t China. There’s no money in virginity.

I’ll never be one of the guys.

Why?

Do I even want to be?

I dunno.

It’s odd though.  I hear it from my guy friends all the time.  When they think a girl, possibly a friend, or the girlfriend of one of their buddies, is super cool…they say “she’s one of the guys.”

I guess that’s not even remotely close to what I’d want to “be” to any one of them. Or is it? After all, girls who are “one of the guys” never seem to have a problem attracting guys.  But still.  Here I am, past three decades of life, and I’ve realized…I’ll never be “one of the guys.”

It might be because I don’t have brothers and don’t know how to have a completely, 100% platonic friendship with a guy.  Ok, that’s huge.  And maybe something that’s a better topic to share with a close friend or a therapist.  But I dunno.  It’s weird when every guy you ever meet is a potential boyfriend, husband, lover.  I’ve never really known any that couldn’t be.  Besides male relatives of course.  But, I haven’t hung out with them enough to perfect the art.

Though I look at Joan Holloway…Joanie to Richard [Sterling]…you know, from Mad Men?  Now, if I were into girls…she’d be my #1 crush.  She’s sexy hot, curvy, feminine, but she dishes it out…just like the men.  She’s the only girl in the boardroom.  Seriously…even Peggy only goes in when she’s making a pitch to a client.  She’s not afraid of speaking her mind.  She knows how to put people in their place…matter of factly.  Perhaps I watch a lot of Mad Men…it’s true. I’m obsessed with their 1960s’ complexities.  How women are only secretaries.  Yet even in this world, I call places and people assume I’m the secretary.  Still!

But if I could be a Joan…I’d be thrilled.  That’s not to say she’s got it all figured out. She obviously married the wrong guy.  Well, he was the first good one to ask.  She makes mistakes, falls back in to old habits, but never truly exposes her vulnerabilities.  Is that what makes her the type of guyish girl I’d want to be? Because I relate?

But Joan…she relates to Marilyn Monroe.   I mean, remember when she was laying on Roger’s couch, dabbing her eyes?  Roger had to assure her that she wouldn’t end up alone and in despair…like Marilyn had.  Yes.  Like Marilyn had.  Marilyn…one of the sexiest, most feminine, admired women of our pop culture history.  She’d ended up alone, and in despair.

Yet what did Joan want most out of life? To be a well-off housewife.  The ultimate goal of her existence.  And she was pained to think she could possibly be bored, lonely, and miserable as one. Is that the sad fate of a femme fatale? Someone sassy and bold…who never stops being a woman?  Does she end up bored, lonely…in misery?

But I’m not even close to being as strong as Joan.  Unlike her, I have a way of looking at guys, with these puppy dog eyes, a way that makes them feel like they’re more to me than they really are.  It’s not intentional.  But it’s real. A guy once told me, “Don’t look at me with those eyes…” and I thought “What eyes?” No really.  He was accusing me of flirting with my eyes.  I wasn’t.  Honestly.  I didn’t have feelings for him.  Though, I have to admit, the first time we met, I thought maybe I could.  How telling….

Let’s break it down…I read chick lit.  I smell like vanilla.  I don’t wear baseball caps.  I don’t give “thumbs ups”.  I’m scared of the dumbest things. I have a way of whining, that only girls can perfect.  I am sensitive.  Emotional.  I cry…not enough, but I do.  I like having colorful fingernails, long hair, carrying clutches and wearing cute earrings.  I don’t watch sports.  And I don’t really care about them (unless a boy I like does).

I’m educated, independent, and successful.  Yet, I’m not a feminist.

But let’s explore some more.  I’m dramatic.  “Boys” aren’t.  I try too hard.  “Guys” don’t.  I’m not elusive.  And if, for some reason, I’m hard to pin down…it’s probably cuz I’m holding out.  I don’t drink like a fish. No, seriously.  One or two drinks and I’m good.  Better than good.  I seem high maintenance…(I’m totally not…but I’m perceived that way….).  Apparently, guys don’t like that.   I seem like I’d get grossed out easily…but I don’t. I swear.

So what is it that makes a girl “one of the guys” and that makes me the girl who can’t be there “without being there”…? I stand out…as a girl? I speak up…like a girl? It also doesn’t help that have the voice of a little girl.

But it’s important to note that I lose all my wit and intelligence around boys [I like].  I get flustered.  Really.  I forget how astute, calculated, and bright I can be.  Bottom line, I stop acting like myself.  And that makes me a girl.  A girly girl.  A girl’s girl.

My bestie once told a guy I was dating that he was a girl’s man.  Ya know…the opposite of a man’s man.  Sure he smoked cigars, drank stiff cocktails, and wore suits every day.  But he opened doors, ordered for me at restaurants, served me off communal plates, walked on the traffic side of the street, didn’t care a lick about athletics, and enjoyed drama.  Maybe that’s why I liked him.  The way manly men like girls who are “one of the guys.”

And that’s ok.  Like Katy Perry said…”I wanna be one of the girls…pretty in pearls, and not one of the boys.”

 

Photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/19/christina-hendricks-joan-_n_879910.html

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

“you and me” (in parallel universes)

I read once about this philosopher from the 1800s named William James, and he came up with this theory about “the multiverse”.  Basically, in the multiverse, there’s a set of multiple universes comprising just about everything that can possibly exist at the same time.

So…the entirety of space, time, matter and energy is all happening at once in different timelines.  Parallel universes.  Sorta like the final season of LOST.

Get it?

Ok! So, let’s pretend the multiverse is real.

Well then, maybe somewhere in those infinite universes is one, or several, where you love me.  Maybe I’m not just your friend.  Maybe we hold hands when we walk out in public.  And maybe, we still say “I love you” before we hang up the phone.

Maybe in one of these universes, we’ve been married for 10 years.  We have a daughter, she’s 5.  And a son who’s 2.  Maybe I cook dinner for you every night.  I pick up your dry cleaning.  You wear a suit, and you go to work.  We send people Christmas cards that have our pictures on them.  We smile.  We introduce one another to people as “my husband” and “my wife”…we go to bed together every night, in our house.  The one I decorated.  I think it’s too traditional.  You are upset with me because you think that it’s too contemporary.  But as I look over at you, laying there, looking at me, we share a small peck on the lips and “good night.” Maybe that’s us.

Or maybe, in another universe, we have a torrid love affair.  You spend the night in my bed almost every night.  We spend entire days together, entire nights, our fingers are intertwined, our legs are tangled up, and there is no space between us when we lay beside each other.  We are so consumed by one another that it’s like a thirst that can’t be quenched, a fire that can’t be quelled.  We live with and in each other.  Endlessly.  And no one knows us.   At least not the real us.  We don’t know how we survive.  No one does.  All that matters is you and me, together. Maybe that’s us, too.

Maybe in another universe, I’m living in Japan.  I’m a corporate attorney for the Lexus division of the Toyota Motor Corp.  Maybe I wear a skirt suit every day, and stilettos.  Maybe my hair dries straight, and I’m skinny.  I speak Japanese fluently and I see you twice a year when I visit “home.”  Maybe you live in Los Angeles.  Maybe you aimlessly date.  You haven’t found the “one”.  You’re discontent.  Maybe I am, too.  But I don’t admit it.  Maybe I call you when I get off the bullet train.  Or maybe I sit on my pallet bed and we Skype, as I hold a cup of green tea in my hands.  We laugh.  We never flirt.  We’re friends.  We encourage each other.  Listen to frustrations.  Give advice.  You visit me.  You try to convince me to move back home.  I laugh it off knowing I’d never be happy in LA.  You miss having me as a friend in the same city.  But I know it would never make a difference where I was.  We’d still be the same. Hey, maybe that’s really us.

Or…maybe in another universe, we’re 25.  We take a vacation to Europe.  We pose for pictures on the beach.  I’m in a neon bathing suit, you’re wearing swim trunks.  We’re so tan.  There’s sand–glistening like gold–on my shoulders and my hair is dripping wet.  We kiss as you hold up the camera to capture it.  Our friends think we’re great together.  But we realize we’re better apart.  And maybe we break up, maybe we stay friends, and maybe we attend one another’s weddings.  Or maybe we just pretend we are acquaintances.  And that’s ok.  Because we aren’t co-dependent.  We don’t talk every day.  We don’t ever admit that we miss each other. Sure, we remember the past…but we don’t live in it.  And maybe that’s cool, cuz it’s healthy.  Maybe, that could be us.

Or maybe, I’m 37.  And we make a mistake.  One crazy, random, strange hookup and I find myself having your baby.   You’re shocked.  We’re confused.  We don’t know what to do.  But still, you manage to be there…in that room, as I scream in pain.  Bittersweet.  ‘Cuz I had to do this.  I mean, maybe I’ll never have another chance to be a “Mom”.  And though you don’t want to be my husband, maybe you’ll be her Dad, anyway.  You bring a teddy bear, a giant one.  There are flowers.  Impeccable flower arrangements.  You hold my hand. You kiss my forehead.  I cry.   I’ve always wanted her.  But not like this.  And there you are.  With me.  But we’re not together.  Is that us?

Image

Maybe I’m 19 and you’re 20.  You love me.  You do nice things for me.  You send me care packages at school.  You fly out to see me.  We kiss.  We cuddle.  We go to fancy dinners.  You buy me gifts.  I am undecided about you.  You’re too nice.  And frankly, I’m not sure if you’re the type of guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I begin to resent you.   You’re too sweet.  You’re too good to me.  And, I’m just not used to it.  I begin to think I really don’t deserve you.  It’s so sad.  I know.  I break up with you.  You never really recover.  Although I can’t do better than you, I’m relieved to be single, to be on the search for someone else.  Someone who’ll roughen me up a little.  And maybe he and I won’t have as many things in common; maybe he won’t know my heart like you do. Maybe he and I will never talk like you and I did.  But maybe that’s what I need.  And so I break your heart.  Maybe that’s me (and you).

Or maybe we’re 70.  And we have five grandchildren.  We sit on our swing and have tea in the mornings.  I enjoy gardening.  You read newspapers and invest in the stock market.  We wear walking shoes and go to farmers’ markets.  We’ve had a happy life.  We never run out of things to say to each other.  You’re my best friend and I’m yours.  I put my head on your shoulder as we watch the sunset together.  Though you hold my wrinkled hand, it’s still beautiful to you because you’ve held it for 50 years.  And there’s nothing more that we could ever want.  The thought that one of us could ever live in this universe without the other is unimaginable. That’s us.

Maybe in another universe, you really loved me the way I wished you would.  Just not in this one.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

bff

Thank you for being my best friend.

No, really.  I know I say it all the time but I really truly don’t know what I would do without you.  The 500 iMessages/day, the morning conference calls, the good night messages, sharing dreams (luscious ones or scary ones), having the same alma mater, exchanging frustrations over our identical career choices, Sunday mornings– in bed– watching the same show or movie when we’re hundreds of miles away…these are what make up my life.

You make me feel like I’m not alone.  You make me feel like I have something to look forward to when we celebrate Thanksgiving 2015 together.  You’re my family.  The family I chose. The family I will have some day.  Through you, I realize that I have a true friend.  One who won’t leave me out of her wedding party…no matter how much of a monster her mother in law is.  One who’ll tell me she’s pregnant as soon as she pees on a stick, or even better, the minute she realizes she’s late.  One who I’d gladly wake up at 5 a.m. for, get on a plane for, cross the Bay Bridge for, so I could be in the same city as her, sitting on an Ikea couch, watching the Golden Girls at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning.   These things seem lame, stupid, inconsequential…but not to us, not to you, and only cuz we know how much they mean to one another.

Other people, they change cities, careers, schools, friends, lifestyles, hair color, last names, and they move on and move apart.  We just laugh at ourselves and remember where we come from, even down to the street corner…and how a change in zip code will never equal a change in heart.

It’s magical, having a best friend, not just one for photo opps on Saturday nights when the music is blaring and the champagne is pouring, but one who sits on the couch with you on a Sunday morning, who shares lazy Sundays where the only thing you can manage doing is eating and working out, maybe grocery shopping, too.  Few are the friends who really stick with you through the thick and thin (literally and figuratively), the pounds, the jobs, the boys, the crushes, the crashes, and the happy, fleeting moments of euphoria…as well as the months of sadness.  Ones who won’t judge you for crying over the same thing, seven months after you should have stopped.

More than anything, I am grateful for the magic of smiling, even when I’m feeling sad, scared, or overwhelmed.  Just dialing your number puts me in a different place.  I love the stupid things we laugh about…and how they suspend time, and snap us out of reality.

I don’t know how I could ever live without your advice…bull sh*t spared, the stuff you teach me and tell me to do that I wish you would sometimes just do for yourself.  It is really the best therapy that money can’t buy.

And when all is said and done…I love that we share a history of achieving, accomplishing, moving onward and forward…which is why, right now, we realize that we can spend a couple of extra hours in bed…because isn’t that our version of Disneyland anyway?  And hell, the world can wait.  Really.  It can.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

Dear Hideous…

Dear Hideous,

I didn’t think you were ugly.  I really didn’t.  They all tried to convince me that you are.  But you looked happy, decent, put together.  Then I got the photo.  A photo of you two…a reflection.  And it was you…sour looking face, old-lady teeth.  There it was.  Objectively.  You are ugly.  I don’t want you to be ugly.  I’m sure you’re nice.  But you are non-cute.  Sad.  Despite that, I couldn’t help but wonder what is going through his mind.  Why you?  Why did he pick you?

It’ll be a few months before he confides in someone (it won’t be me!)…about how he thought you were ugly, but didn’t care ‘cuz you’re “funny as hell” and a total sweetheart (maybe you are!! The girls after me were self-proclaimed “bitches”)…what was I, you ask? 90% sweetheart.  Easily.  10% passive aggressive trying to always [cheerfully] keep it together ‘cuz he’s sensitive as HELL.  Anyway, he didn’t appreciate that, remember? I did TOO MUCH.  Mother effer.  He’s a lost cause.  Regardless, this isn’t about me…it’s about you.

So, let’s get down to it.  You met.  You liked him ‘cuz he was in the spotlight.  You secretly willed the pursuit and he reciprocated.  You liked it.  A couple of encounters (he’s the master of long distance relationships)…and you’re happy as HECK!  He texts you constantly.  That’s what you do.  You guys are in constant communication.  He gives you butterflies.  He puts a little bounce in your step.  Gives you something to smile about.  You exchange daily stories.  You send each other pics (all.day.long). I know how all this goes (remember, I WAS THERE, TOO!).  He basically takes over your life in a pleasant way that makes you feel super-connected, content, happy, in touch, giggly, excited, loved.

He’s attentive.  But only in an inversely reciprocal way.   It’s cuz HE wants attention.  To the point of it being bad.  I mean, HELLO! Have you seen his Facebook? Attention wh*re!! Anyway, back to what he sees in you…

What do you have? I mean, what do you have that he wants? What does he want to zap out of you that can compensate for something he, himself, feels insecure about?

It’s always something.  With one it was money and beauty.  With another it was intelligence, a solid family, loving, interested parents.  Another? A secret perspective into the “other side”…ambition, class, femininity.  Me? Aside from obsessing over my public, professional biography…it was my “Popularity”.  Apparent popularity, recognition, status.  Or so he claimed! I mean, he said it.  Not I.  ‘Cuz obviously, I was willing to throw it all to the wayside to devote myself to him completely.  That’s just who I am.  Ride or die.  Bonnie and Clyde.  As in, flashback to 2003… the Beyonce to his Jay Z.  As in, his thoroughest girl…his soldier…keepin’ him focused.  (That was obviously OUR song!) Doin’ his homework for that second degree he decided to get.  I can go on…ok, then came…the bitchy, slutty girl from 1999 who’d broken his heart but wanted to give him a second chance.  That was odd, short lived.  And then there was my replacement.   She was like a dude.  Almost masculine.  Spoke ghetto.  Despite being raised in the lap of luxury.  She had the career he wished he had.  She had money.  The ever present Dad to guide her and steer her toward success.  Financial and professional success.  He was jealous of her.  He wanted to be her.  He claimed she flaunted her success in his face.   Doubtful.  But despite that…he still wanted her.  He wanted to be her.  For her Dad to be his replacement Dad.  Sad.  I still don’t get why she ended it.  But she did.   That put him out of the game. For a while.  Maybe? I dunno.  I don’t keep up with his day to day.

Then came YOU.  Where was I going with this? Oh.  Ok…so I wanted to give you the run down, a so-called orientation.  Right now, it’s exhilarating.  Beautiful.  Happy.  But sooner or later, you’ll see that he lacks the capacity to empathize.  It’s all about him.  Right now you feel like you’re in “love” or the early stages of it.  He’s laying it on thick.  The reason why you two are so connected is because he wants to make sure that you don’t have an interest in life…not a single one, other than him.  He commands all of your attention.   He’s inflating you.  So you can confirm, for him, what he so deeply desires to think…that he’s “special”.  You are the perfect mirror. You stroke his ego.  You give perfect responses.   Careful to never injure or insult him.  He’ll isolate himself if you do (watch out!).

Once he’s charmed you, he’ll devalue you.   Remember how he told you he wants a 50’s housewife initially?  So you laid off your career a bit…started setting your accomplishments off to the side.   Suddenly he’ll say he wants someone ambitious, successful, a regular bread-winning, working woman.   This will frustrate you.  Don’t worry, it frustrates him, too.

It’s not about you.  It’s him.  He’s been criticized (by his mom, his boss, whomever).  He’s not performing to his expectations (or yours) and he’s trying to ignore the gloom of inability that is plaguing his heart and mind.  So he’ll fall into heavy drinking, smoking, driving fast.  Harmful behaviors.  You’ll feel helpless.  But you’ll continue to work harder to make him happier.  He’ll tell you he’s no good for you.  You’ll jump to his defense.  You’ll continue to lose yourself more and more in the relationship.  You’ll lose sight of your best characteristics and take on some of his worst.  It sucks.  It’s ugly. I know.

There will be an “end”.  But you’ll kinda miss his presence (the loss of excitement, an addiction to adrenaline…basically, highs and lows that he brought to your life).   You won’t get closure.  You won’t get any answers.  You won’t be able to put a lid on it.  He’s not going to worry about you.  Remember? He can’t empathize.  Even your pain will be about him.  How it annoys him. He hasn’t done a thing wrong (or so he thinks).  But don’t beat yourself up about it! In order to stay with him through this, you’ve either got to be a complete Saint, a Therapist, or a shallow dipsh*t…like the rest of his friends.  And you’re not.  I know.

You used to be on a pedestal.  Now you’re an object of disdain.  I’m sorry.  It sucks.  But that’s him.  He is the master of the short-term, intense relationship…and that’s just what you’ll have.  Welcome to the club, girly!

Sincerely,

Been there, done that

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

hate mail

….As Janis Joplin said…freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. I write this now because I’m free.  I write this now because you have freed me from the necessity of walking on egg shells when it comes to you and my relationship with you.  I write this now because I can finally express myself without fear that you will retaliate against me.  Perhaps you’ve employed mignons to report to you. Knowing that there is no one on earth who has any loyalty to you, reporting is unlikely.  But if anyone does, and I certainly hope they do, I hope they’ll report to you verbatim and not with the flourishes and deletions which may reflect their inability to full grasp the intensity of my words.

So here it is….
You are a boy.  A child.  A mere child who changes with the seasons.  Not one expression from your lips has ever ever been in line with another.  Contradictions. Lies.  Why?
I used to hurt for you.  I used to feel sorry for you.  I used to worry.  When I came to terms with the fact that you’d never experienced love….not even from the ones you loved…when I full understood that concept, I felt bad.  I wanted to love you like you’d never been loved.  I wanted to shower you with affection and expression.  I wanted to drown you in my love….
But, because you have never been loved, you cannot love.  You do not know how to love.  You cannot love…in all truth, you cannot love anything that is not you, yourself.  You only love yourself.  You selfish prick.  Prick…ahh.  What an appropriate adjective to describe you.
Ahh…so your fault lay in your inability to accept love.  Inability, yes. For you do not know what true love is.  You have never been loved and so you are incapable of loving.  Your capacity for it is shallow.  Your level of comprehension for it, flat.
And there it is.  You are one of the most insecure people that has ever lived.  Insecurity seeps through your pores.  You are nearly identical to that parent which you so despise.  You are a carbon copy.  The vindictiveness.  The insecurity.  The inability to be present without being in the spotlight.  The inability to interact with comfort, disguised as withdrawn snobbism.  The offensive attitude. The inability to maintain relationships, even with the people you are directly related to.  Ironic, huh? The one person who is inconsistent, unpredictable, with whom you share the most volatile relationship…you are most like.

How could anyone expect you to be different?
It’s no surprise to me.  I should have caught on earlier.  I knew I shouldn’t give you the time of day when I saw you in that god-awful shiny t-shirt and matching hat that you paid useless money for.  I should have known.  I should have known when all you could talk about was your UGLY (yes, it’s ugly because of its color) “coupe” and cocktails. I should have known.  But I let you in.  I let you tear me down. There were days I didn’t want you to have my phone number.  I was afraid.  Afraid you’d harass me with your annoying (yes annoying) conversation topics.  I hesitated! That moment when I left you stranded in LA because I had no desire to spend time with you for fear that you had feelings for me that went deeper than I’d ever feel for you…that was the moment I should have embraced.

But it was you who told me to believe.  It was you who begged me to understand. I loved you against my better judgment.  I held back.  But no…you promised me a fairy tale.  You told me to trust you.  You assured me.  You said this was the real deal.  And…I surrendered.  Perhaps I was bored.  Perhaps I was vulnerable.

Perhaps I wanted to care.  Sometimes, I wonder if I ever really did.

You didn’t deserve it though.  You didn’t deserve my sentiment.  You didn’t deserve even a smidgen of my emotions.  I poured it on you.  Like lines that are rehearsed in anticipation for a big show.  And, so…I delivered.  You claimed I’d done too much.  And I had.  When I confronted my own demons in trying to discover why I had gone beyond what you deserved, I discovered I was literally trying to fool myself.  Not you.  But myself.  I was trying to fool myself into thinking I cared more than I did.  Why else would I overcompensate so extremely?
Classic overcompensation.

But have no fear.  I felt it the moment I lost you.  I felt it the moment your eyes caught sight of her.  You called her a slut.  You said she’d broken your heart.  You said she was a gold-digger.  But you truly deserve nothing more.  And so…you gave in.  How did she end things with you? I’ll never know.  I do know your version of the story.  But that version is, by default, false.  So, I’ll never really know.  And that’s alright…

I shouldn’t care.  The bottom line is…everyone who feigns emotion for you ultimately expresses their emotions to another…and by this, I mean they have no loyalty to you.  They are not faithful to you.  Me, being loyal—beyond loyal—to most…even I was in the arms of another the night you broke my heart.  But in being with you, that moment of surrender to another had not been the first.
Sometimes I still wonder why people put up with your idle chatter and your deceptive ways…then I realize, everyone loves to stop and watch a train wreck.

Don’t fret though.  You wear that look well.  The look of sadness…eyes wet with tears, feeling the raw sting of your fears.  It will always be your turn to feel the burn.  To wake up to a world that is ugly, to wonder and to worry…

You are on a crack-induced high now.  And by “crack”, I mean…#######.  (So what if you look like a million bucks? Even a million dollars is pretty much green and shriveled up.)  At the end of the day, you are hollow.  You choose to live in the world of the superficial.  And so, I know you probably won’t even read this all the way through.  You’ll merely use it as a bit of juice to get you through the next tough hurdle.  And that’s ok.  Use it.   It wouldn’t be the first time that I gave you the best of me.  Interestingly, you brought out the worst in me.  But thankfully, you are no longer mine.  My fickle friend.  No longer mine.  Resentment is the inheritance I bequeath to you, and you alone.

In my life…I have loved.  I have lost.  I have experienced ego-crushing, heart-shattering, soul-wrenching pain.  I have experienced envy and fear.  I have experienced appreciation and adoration.  I have endured life-changing affection and calm.  I have been stretched mentally.  I have been dug at—-emotionally.  I am chiseled, yet imperfect.  I know what I am capable of at my best.  I know how wretched I can be at my worst.

But you…you do not deserve the limitlessness of my emotion.  You are an error of my heart.  You are a glitch…in my reality.  You are beneath me.  These words, even at their simplest, are beyond what you can comprehend.

The pain you caused me is no longer raw.  My ability to soar and conquer is ripe again.  I bid you adieu. You overgrown child.  You miserable, soulless creep.  Good riddance.  Fare.thee.well.

the one who knows me best…

He throws out a piece of advice, on the heels of a casual “As the person who knows you best…” and I can’t help but be offended, not by his advice, but by his nonchalantness. The person who knows me best? As if it’s that simple, that uncomplicated. As if it’s an easy feat to accomplish. And I put up no defense. Why? Why defend yourself against the truth? How would you even begin?

If I am an onion, with skin, and layers, that go all the way down to the bulb, would I not be better recognized by the one who took the time to peel it all away…layer by layer? Until I was exposed? Complications being tossed to and fro. And what about the ones who come, take a knife at you, cut you down the middle and peer at all the layers that lay beneath you, in absolute symmetry. Do they see you for who you are? Perhaps. But do they recognize the reasons why, and where it stems from? Do they possess the ability to take that bulb, and plant it beneath the soil? To take you apart only to plant you on fertile ground, and watch you blossom, and grow….into a better, more beautiful, more refined, more flavorful ‘onion’…?
Ahh.

Perhaps not..

So why is it, I wonder, that the ones who know you best have seen you at your worst. Not once, not twice, not just “over the years”…but repeatedly, day in and day out. The ones who are exposed to every fiber of an existence that cannot be exposed or held out so readily to the masses of the world. Funny. Funny how hard we are on ourselves when we are in a constant pursuit of evolution, self-improvement, betterment. It’s amazing how hard we can be on ourselves. But the true value of that experience lies in knowing that we fully appreciate our abilities, embrace our faults, and accept that we can evolve past them. At least that is what inspires us to take a noble stance on it.

And so they say…they say that half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb about. Interesting. Right? There’s a rare sophistication in realizing that the more you know, the less you need to show. It’s a rare art, to admit the things we suck at… So when he looks at me and prefaces his solid, resonating advice with “As the one who knows you best…” I want to walk away. I want to say “you don’t”. And no matter how many times we’ve argued the point, it is impossible to deny that this is why he is such a meaningful variable in the process of my evolution. This is the reason why he and I possess the experience of more than a decade of admitting what we don’t know and the wealth of sharing what we have understood. This is what allows us to see the world from multiple perspectives.

Our opinions collide and complement one another on the truest of virtues. Ethics, morality… But then come the why’s. The details about the why’s of attitudes, behavior, habits. And the debates escalate. But all it does, in the end, is allow us to be less ‘myopic’…less narrow-minded. It hurts sometimes to expand our way of thinking, to account for objectivity and subjectivity from the people who observe us, analyze us, and know us well…or in this case, “the best”…

So does it terrify me that he says it so casually? Does it bother me that he says it so nonchalantly? He’s the one who possesses the burden of knowing my heart and mind in a way he claims others cannot. The weight is his to carry…
Not mine.

When all is said and done, he’s challenged me to be the person I was meant to become. The person I’m still becoming. And who better to do that…than “the one who knows you best”?

guy friends

Guy friends are cool.  They offer a different perspective.  They keep it real.  They give you raw, real advice that your girlfriends might otherwise sugarcoat, overanalyze, or fail to be sincere about. Bottom line, guy friends are good friends to have…
They tell you what a guy is thinking (more often, NOT thinking).  They explain game plans.  They break it down for you into bite-size pieces.  They strip our perspective on fresh love and relationships of the idealism and self-serving twist we put on it.  THIS IS ULTRA-VALUABLE.  If they think highly of you, they tell you not to worry and that the awesomest guy will never make you doubt him.  If they’re into you, they’ll talk you out of being with him, with hopes that you’ll fall for them.
But every so often, I fall into a danger zone with my male buds.  This danger zone manifests when they feel so ultra-comfortable with you, so real, so genuine, that they talk to you as though you were another dude.  It’s danger zone b/c this comfort allows them to express things, that as a girl…you may not want to know.  Correction, you shouldn’t know.
Example…they tell you about a guy’s “rotation”.  How he dates numerous girls, and when it’s your turn, you get the call, you get the text, you get the chill-session.  They tell you about their own infidelities…my least fave.  They make it seem so common, so casual, so natural, that you wonder whether Mr. Awesome will even be immune to this.  They take our most romantic pursuits, our most cherished desires to feel secure, nurtured, loved and they transform it into an animalistic desire, on the part of men, and they leave us thinking that men only want “one thing”…
It’s annoying.
They tell you how little guys care about feelings or reputation.  They tell you how low they can be, how they can go after your friends, how they can disappoint you, how they can forget about you…and how they can never multi-task which makes it easy for them to just “act” like they don’t care (cuz they often DON’T or can’t).
But every so often, they show you parts of their emotional nature, a little piece of their feminine side.  This is where it all gets confusing.  This is where I look at my guy friends and think: “Awww…what a sweetheart…”  This is where they become like a girlfriend and make me doubt all the dumb, emotionless ways they paint other men.  This is where they give you a glimpse into their psyche…their truest emotions.  This is where we fall and think, wow, they have feelings.  Wow, they care.  Wow, they notice.  Wow, they are just like usss.
Hmm.
Is this good? I dunno.  Is it realistic?  I dunno.  Is this who they really are? I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know…
Maybe they are more complicated than they admit? Maybe they do have feelings and they do care…they do wonder and worry and plan and scheme and over-analyze.  Or maybe…I’m just being a girl and hoping they do.

i never thought you could break my heart

I never thought you would break my heart. You were the sweetest, the funniest, the most sincere….

You made loving you—easy. No one had ever been so noble. No one had ever been so self assured. The only ones that had words so perfectly tailored, were the players. [The ones good girls, like me, didn’t bother with.]

Then, you came along. Out of “nowhere”…but it felt “perfect”…just as my prayer requests had specified. And so, you started with the boyish charms, the raw statements…you recognized and valued the very things I wanted to be known for. It all fell into place. My head told me, “Go!” and my heart had no room to object.

Speculation, imagination, dreams…the true manifestation, in the flesh, of the very thing my sad, tipsy, sappy mind had called out in that brief email, penned out on a BlackBerry, in dead winter, in the middle of a crowded San Francisco club—the very night I’d met you.

What did I want? A boy…to cuddle with, to have sushi dates with, to fall asleep on the phone with, to be appreciated by, to admire, to have a consistent, solid connection to.

You sailed in. Effortlessly, almost on queue. You weren’t an ill-fated demi-god like the @$$holes before you. You were “wonderful”…And boy…did I fight it.

“Words, words, words…” I told myself. Mere words. Were you a flirt? Were you messing with me? Why couldn’t I trust this perfect feeling? What was making me feel so adamantly “no bueno” about every beautiful word that you muttered?

Was I effed up?

Yes.

By bozo’s who didn’t appreciate me?

Yes.

Was I making the biggest mistake of my life by not giving you the chance to sweep me off my feet?

Yes…yes…YES!

And you never let me forget it.

I gave up the control I desperately maintained over my thoughts (it’s really all I had) and my heart lit up and took control. Euphoria. “Meant to be…” Dream come true.

Which is why, from that moment on, my intuition, my heart, my mind, my body, my soul…never doubted you. Not for a minute. Not even for a second.

I could never hurt you…precious one. I would never let you down…dearest one. You lit up my heart. You made it easy to love you. And true love…

unlike all other things that pass…

true love…

it never dies.

gotta let it do what it do

How often have you heard the story about boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes guy back, guy leaves girl, girl cries and suffers and pines, girl gets over him, guy wants her back?
More than 5-6 years ago, I remember asking an older, way more experienced guy-friend about this. He said, “Look at it this way, a girl gets dumped, what does she do…? She goes to her friends, cries, complains, gets mad…she stays at home on Saturday nights, refuses dates, eats a sh*t-ton of ice cream, watches sad movies, listens to sad love songs, writes about it, cries about it some more, and sooner or later, she’s cried all her tears and she’s out in the world, she has a new hairstyle, she’s back at the gym, and she’s ready to meet someone new…”
I said, “Uh huh, ok…so?”
He said, “And what does a guy do?”
I had no idea.
He went on, “He goes out with his buddies, they drink, they toast to single-dom, they toast to freedom, he meets new girls, he messes around, he enjoys his free time, he takes weekend trips, meets more girls, drinks some more, parties some more…”
I nodded…”ok?” All the while, I was thinking, “Lucky bastard.”
He interrupted my thoughts, “By the time his ex is moving on, he feels that there’s a void, conscious or not he realizes he never properly mourned his lost relationship, he realizes he didn’t give it to the attention it deserved, he realizes he’s made a mistake and he sends her an ambiguous text message…makes an effort to re-connect…”
I said, “Uh huh?”
“And so starts the cycle…he left her, she had no choice but to get over him, he didn’t even try, he didn’t even care, and finally, finally…he recognizes he let a good thing go and he’s scrambling to get it back…”
Eh, it makes a bit of sense. But I’m still not convinced.
[Sidenote: That guy broke his girl’s heart, let the cycle run as it should, he always said “Gotta let it do what it do”…and now they are happily married with three beautiful little girls…]
Gotta let it do what it do.
Then, my girlfriend, as innocent and mildly experienced as I am, came about and filled me in on a diagram her older brother expressed to her. She said, “So it starts like this…”
BOY —–> —–> GIRL [Boy chasing/pursuing girl]
“You reciprocate the feeling and you’re here…”
BOY —–> <—– GIRL [Girl falls]
“Suddenly, you find yourself…”
BOY <—– <—– <—– GIRL [Girl overcompensates…Boy is running the other way]
::LIGHTBULB MOMENT::
“So,” she continued, the goal is to turn it all around to when he was chasing you…”
And so, I reflected on this. I wrote about it. Amazingly, although I’d seen it work in past relationships, it’s always hard to apply it to a current fling, or a recent experience. You’re often left feeling so deflated, insecure, disappointed, and let down that you buy the negative “self talk” and you actually fail to recognize your value (unless of course you’re a floozy, a wh*re, an immature drama queen, or a useless dumb girl…in that case, I’m pretty sure you’re not reading this…!).

There are lyrics galore about a lost love returning and the singer saying they don’t want them anymore…and I always wonder, how does it feel to be wanted again by someone who hurt you? In my experience, I generally “knew better”…the second, sometimes third (or fourth), in one memorable experience, the 10,000th time around. Bottom line, by the end of a cyclical, god-awful relationship, I knew it was bad for me to fall that last time and I held back, but had I given in before?

Certainly.
Peaches and Herb sang it best with “Reunited”…:
Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited ’cause we understood
There’s one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
‘Cause we’re reunited, hey, hey…
Cher and Peter Cetera told us:
After all the stops and starts
We keep coming back to these two hearts
Two angels who’ve been rescued from the fall
And after all that we’ve been through
It all comes down to me and you
I guess it’s meant to be
Forever you and me
After all
My most favorite song on the topic, Elvis came back and let us know that we were always on his mind:

 

Maybe I didn’t love you quite as good as I should have,
Maybe I didn’t hold you quite as often as I could have,
Little things I should have said and done,
I just never took the time.

 

 

Maybe I didn’t hold you all those lonely, lonely times,
And I guess I never told you, I’m so happy that you’re mine,
If I made you feel second best,
I’m sorry, I was blind.

 

 

Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died,
Give me, give me one more chance to keep you satisfied,
If I made you feel second best,
I’m sorry, I was blind.

 

 

You were always on my mind,
You were always on my mind.

 

Everyone’s favorite, a classic: “I will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor:
At first I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
Without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
Thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
And so you’re back
From outer space
I just walked in to find you here
With that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I’ve have known for just one second
You’d be back to bother me
One I re-discovered yesterday, “Karma” by Alicia Keyes:
Weren’t you the one who said that you don’t want me anymore?
And how you need your space and give the keys back to your door?
And how I cried and tried and tried to make you stay with me
And still you said your love was gone and that I had to leave…
Now you’re Talking bout a family
Now you’re saying I complete your dreams
Oh
Now you’re sayin I’m your everything
You’re confusing me
What you saying to me, don’t play wit me, don’t play wit me!
And the one that feels super-close to my heart:
Phil Collins’ “Separate Lives”:
Well you have no right to ask me how I feel
You have no right to speak to me so kind
Some day I might (I might) find myself looking in your eyes
But for now, we’ll go on living separate lives
Yes for now, we’ll go on living separate lives
Separate lives
Countless times, I’ve stood by Bob Seger who so simply said:
We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?
We’ve got tonight babe
Why don’ you stay?
And I’ve definitely taken the Juice Newton route, referring to myself as the “Angel of the Morning”:
There’ll be no strings to bind your hands
Not if my love can’t bind your heart
And there’s no need to take a stand
For it was I who chose to start
There’s no need to take me home
I’m old enough to face the dawn
Just call me angel of the morning, angel
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby
Just call me angel of the morning, angel
Then slowly turn away from me
Maybe the sun’s light will be dim
And it won’t matter anyhow
If morning’s echo says we’ve sinned
Well, it was what I wanted, now
And if we’re the victims of the night
I won’t be blinded by the light
After experiencing every one of these feelings, I still stand by what I felt and knew when I was 20. TRUE LOVE NEVER DIES. Regardless of what happens, who walks away, if fate will turn it all around and lead you back to the arms of the one who pushed you away, so be it. It will. There is nothing you can do, say, think, express, feel that will make it happen or NOT happen. TRrrRRrrrrrust me.
Aaliyah said she’s never comin’ back:
I gave you all of my love, all to you
and you don’t appriciate the things that i do (things that i do)
I gave you all of my time cause you blew my mind
I let you do me wrong cause your love had me so blind ( i was blind)
But we may never know what she decided.
Does love really blind us? Nah. It makes us a little cross-eyed. We reflect but we don’t absorb. We ignore the things that make us feel uncomfortable. Then they explode in our faces and we can’t help but take notice.
Lookin’ at my BFF Carrie, who suffered 6 long years with Mr. Big, took a 4 year hiatus from us all (where we assume they were happily living toward a long-term union), then allowed us to watch that grueling year of torturous heartache that he put her through AGAIN, I learned lots of lessons. I was so over Big through that movie. Completely over him. He did it to her AGAIN. When people show you who they are…”believe them”…(remember that?). But he did it to her again. She put up with it, again. And then what? The beautiful wedding at the MET became a wedding at the downtown Courthouse (the way she wanted it to begin with)…and soon enough, we’ll see what’s happened to them. Yet again. Has he become a good guy? Is he finally a stand up guy who’s not gonna leave her? I hope so!! She deserves it. Once and for all…but even she, years ago, when they were talking about reincarnation…expressed:
Mr. Big: What would you come back as?
Carrie: Someone who knows better.
Ahh, did she? Has she? Not as far as I’m concerned. Have I? Am I? Rationally, yes. Life-experience wise, yes. Emotionally, no. Why? B/c love doesn’t change. Feelings don’t die, they just transform. Good or bad. I hope that my dying breaths express the same sentiments as I feel now…TRUE LOVE NEVER DIES. TRUE FAITH NEVER FADES. And so…just like Carrie and Big, we gotta stay tuned. They’re shooting movie #2. I’ll keep you posted on mine.