Your friends are mistaken. When we are children we possess the most wonderful ability to believe in things we cannot see but as we grow older we adopt the cynical views that most of the world possesses. NWC, I want to assure you there is in fact a Santa Claus. He is as real as the wind that moves the branches on a tree, or the rays of sun that warm your face, neither of which you can physically touch but still believe exist. He is as real as the love you have in your heart or the devotion you have to your child. Santa exists in the hearts and minds of those brave enough to have faith, brave enough to trust in themselves. Instead of feeling chastised for believing in Santa, pity those that don't. Those that cannot believe are the same folk who never make wishes on stars. How dull would our night sky be if stars were only flecks of light instead of tiny bits of hope? NWC, this world we live in needs something to believe in. If we rely only on what we can hold in our hand or behold with our eyes, we become one dimensional human beings who will lose the ability to believe in anything at all. Remember my darling, the most real things in this world are those we cannot see.
Believe my dear NWC, believe that Santa exists, that fairies light the night, that wishes on stars do in fact come true. Believe in fairy tales and happily ever afters because if you stop having faith in the existence of these things, you become one of the small minded creatures that inhabit this earth.
NWC, there is a Santa. Believe.
I'm 30 something and I was told there is no Santa Claus. I need to know if my friends are right, is there a Santa? I really want to believe.
(response to letter follows tomorrow)
I'm so tired. I've worked through the holiday weekend and my spirits are just about broken. It's hard you know, being a grown up. Part of me wants to jump up and down, stomp my feet, scream "life isn't fair" at the top of my lungs, but I won't - because I'm a grown up. When we are grown ups we're expected to hold emotion inside and become great 'pretenders'. Why? When my daughter is upset she cries, I pick her up, I hug her, she feels safe, she stops crying. I want someone to pick me up and make me feel safe. Why does that stop, the comforting? Who made the rule that it's ok to express frustration when we're children but by the time we've matured, we're expected to contain our emotions. If we're angry we must discuss it in a sensible fashion, why? How about if I'm pissed off I run outside and kick my feet in the dirt, run ten circles around the house, lock myself in my room - until I've cooled off? God I'd love to lock myself in my room! It may not be productive but it would sure make me feel a hell of a lot better. Who the hell has to be productive 100% of their life? We do, grown ups. If we're not productive we're labeled - loser. We are forced to fit into this compartmentalized version of a human being. Stuff the bad feelings down, turn the other cheek, treat others as you would want them to treat you, and deal with life. Most times I can play a pretty good grown up but today, I've decided I need a break. After I'm done typing I'm going to hide under my desk with my flashlight and my book and pretend there is no outside world. When I decide to play a grown up again, I'm bringing my teddy bear with me, damn it.
I'm still working...and have been all through the holidays. I didn't realize how much I'm addicted to my 'blog thing' until it was so selfishly snatched from my grasp the past few days. I can't wait to get back to normal. Anyway, I have about 5 mins.to say something meaningful which is really hard because I like to contemplate things...I'm strange like that. So without much time I'd just like to wish you all Happy Holidays. It's the season you know...Santa is making his list and checking it twice so it's time to be nice little boys and girls. Any special toys you'd like Santa to bring this year? I know I've got a few on my list.
All week I've been posting bits of my history, things that have changed me, things I am thankful for. Today as I sit here typing it's hard to be thankful because I'm actually working. Part of me is bitter. I've educated myself, worked extremely hard to excel at my career, yet here I sit on Thanksgiving Day while the rest of my friends and family get ready to celebrate and give thanks for the things in their life. I must dig deep within myself to overcome this anger - because being angry is the easy way out. So in an effort to remind myself that I am very lucky and there are many things in my life to be thankful for - here's my list:
I'm thankful for my sweet baby girl. She's the light that leads me through the darkness.
I'm thankful for my sig other, he loves me even though I'm a pain in the ass.
I'm thankful for my family, they love me without limits, without expectation, without consequence.
I'm thankful for my friends, they have helped me endure the heartache, the broken wings, life.
I'm thankful for my blog readers, they read my words, listen to my pain, help me realize that I do have something to say - worth listening to.
I'm thankful I have a job so that I can provide for my family.
I'm thankful I have been able to overcome the many obstacles in my life and come out the other side a better person.
Happy HNT and Thanksgiving everyone. Eat and be merry.
I have not always been a strong person. Eight years ago I moved to Chicago for a man. I know some of you are already shaking your head in disapproval. I was divorced, dating a lot, and searching for the next love of my life. Unfortunately I thought I met him while on a brief weekend get-a-way. We met coincidentally at a small sandwich shop in the neighborhood my friend lived in. He was actually wiping the tables down when we walked in. I thought he was cute...but I liked to date men with a bit more ambition careerwise. We sat down and he brought us a couple of menus. He smiled at me and said, "this one's on the house." I thought he was sweet but he was probably going to get fired for giving out free food. My friend saw me giving him the once over, "so you like what you see eh NWC?" "I do, he's cute, but he's a bus boy or something." Yes I know that sounded completely snobby. "No NWC, he owns this place," she replied. Oh, the potential became clear. We ended up exchanging phone numbers and went on a couple of dates before I headed home which was 3 hours away. Instantly we had this connection. We talked about all the things that are supposed to be taboo on a date, politics, religion, sex. He said he'd never met a woman so intent on speaking her mind. I was flattered. We tried to do the long distance thing but it was hard. When you only see someone on the weekends you tend to be on your best behavior so you never really get the 'feel' of a real relationship. He decided it was just too hard to keep seeing each other so he told me it was over. I was devastated but I knew I'd survive. It had only been a month, how serious could we actually be? One night about two weeks later, I'm sitting at home and the phone rings, it's him. He tells me he misses me and asks me if I'd ever consider moving to Chicago. I thought about it for exactly 30 seconds before I responded, "Maybe." Two weeks later I had found a new job, quit my old job, found an apartment, packed my things and headed to the windy city. We became the super couple. Everyone in the neighborhood knew me...I was dating the sandwich guy. I immersed myself in his life, gave up my free nights to help him out in the restaurant, let him practically live in my apartment, did his laundry, cooked his meals, loved him with all my heart. I loved him so much that my heart ached for him when we were apart. I didn't care that my life lost most of it's originality to become a shade of gray in his world. I was happy. We dated for one year and the day before our anniversary I came home from work and his dog was at my apartment but he wasn't. No note, no voice mail, just a dog and an empty apartment. I paced the room, I called his friends, his restaurant, his cell phone - no one had heard from him. Dog and I sat on the couch looking at each other with eyes full of confusion, neither of us seemed to know what was going to happen next. Three hours later he came through the door with a bewildered look on his face. He sat down next to me and proceeded to break my heart. He didn't want to get married, he was confused, he wanted to do so many things he hadn't yet accomplished and all his time was spent with me, he just couldn't be with me anymore - but, he still loved me.
I'd like to say the rest of the memory is a blur but I can't. It's burned into my brain, every moment that it took me to get over him. No matter how hard I tried to forget him, I couldn't. We lived so close to each other, 1/2 block to be exact. I'd see him walking his dog, driving past my apartment, working at his restaurant. He was there in my life, yet he wasn't. I tried dating other men but I was labeled, the woman who used to date 'sandwich guy'. I had no idea how to live my life because for a whole year my life - was his life. My friends were his friends, my hobbies were his hobbies, my hang outs were the places we used to go 'together'. I absolutely could not see myself separate from him. It's a dangerous place to be, that place where you can't see any purpose to your existence. The friends who did choose me over him, tried to help me, comfort me, make me see that it was his loss not mine. I was blind, I was deaf, I was dumb. I stumbled through the days making myself think that one day I'd wake up and it would all be over. I'd be happy again, I'd be able to walk down the street and see him and smile and not cry and not feel - broken. It didn't get easier because I started spiraling out of control. My love for him began to border on obsessive. A friend of mine who had a loft apartment right next door to his restaurant decided to move, she let me take over her lease. I became suicide bomber except the target was my own life. If it was hard to get over him before, it was near impossible now. I would see him several times a day, I'd hear his voice when he'd walk out of the restaurant, I could see his car from my front window, I could see him - and that was almost enough to pretend he was still a part of my life. It sounds crazy doesn't it? But when you wrap yourself in so much pain, it's very hard to see anything outside of the pain. You don't think rationally, hell, you don't think at all - you feel. That August there was a street festival in our neighborhood. I tried to immerse myself in the festivities. When we saw each other we tried to be friendly, but as much as I wanted him, I did force myself to keep my distance. He wasn't innocent through all of this, he often still called me, still asked me to have a beer, still gave me tidbits of his life - most likely to keep me hooked like a bass with a lure through its' mouth. There were men, lots of them actually, trying to get my attention. They bought me drinks, fed my desire to numb myself, showed me how to masquerade as the someone I used to be. And then it happened. I saw this woman hanging on his arm, she was rubbing his back, playing with his hair, she was - what I used to be. Anger came rushing up through my chest, I wanted to scream at him, yell how much of a liar he was, punish him for leaving me. I wanted him to hurt as much as I did. He walked by me, I grabbed his arm, he turned to look at me, I cried. Looking back at that moment I can imagine that I must have looked pretty pathetic. His reaction, "NWC you need to get a life." "A life, you mean one like the life I used to have before you," I screamed. "You took me, took my love, took my time, took everything I had to give, and then you left, never once looking back to see the path of destruction laying at your feet," I yelled. He walked away. My friends took me back upstairs to my place, they comforted me, they told me love sucks - and this I knew was true. They stayed as long as they could but they knew there were no tools powerful enough to heal me. I laid their crying for what seemed like days. I pushed every memory of him through my brain and forced myself to relive each one second by second. When the sun came up I dragged myself into the bathroom to splash cold water on my face and when I saw the reflection staring back at me, I stopped crying. I did not recognize this face, those eyes - they did not belong to me.
The next day I called a therapist. I remember trying to make every excuse I could to cancel my appointment but by the grace of God, I didn't. It was hard, sitting there telling a total stranger about my obsessive, destructive, behavior. She held my hand, she told me I'd done the right thing coming to her. It took months to feel better, but eventually the tears fell less, the pain in my heart took up only portions of my day instead of consuming them whole. I was able to hea his voice outside and not run to the window to catch a glimpse of him. I was healing. One morning I stepped outside my front door and ran smack into him. He looked at me and smiled. I said hello, he asked how I was, I said 'good' and I actually meant it. He asked me if I wanted to get a drink later, I said 'no thanks'. He looked surprised but I think he saw it, the strength in me. I walked away from him that day without regret, without a stabbing pain in my chest, without wanting to run after him and change my answer. Later that night while sitting on my couch watching Ally McBeal, tears started streaming down my face and I couldn't stop them. The pain I felt was different this time, it was the kind of pain you feel when you realize that you are visiting a place for the very last time. It's the pain you feel when you say goodbye to something that has kept you company for so long,even if that company was your pain. Pain can wrap itself around you and become more of a friend than an enemy, I was saying goodbye to a friend. I climbed out of that pit I'd thrown myself into. I clawed, I sweat, I scraped my knees, but I hoisted my broken spirit through the darkness and came out the other side a better person. I tell myself now when I think of that journey I took to this city for a man, I came to this place for him, but I stayed for me. I'm thankful for that.
When I was in 2nd grade Sister Leona pulled my braids. She thought I was talking during class when actually it was the girl behind me. "Ow, that hurt," I exclaimed as she grabbed a hold of my nicely woven braid. "NWC you need to pay attention," she screamed. I think she was having a bad day because typically she only slapped your hands with a ruler, she never resorted to the hair pulling tactic. I couldn't quite remember that it was better to keep my mouth shut then to respond, "You need glasses because it wasn't me talking." She didn't like my response so she pulled my other braid. "I said that hurt, are you deaf too," I yelled. "Go to the principal's office right now," she ordered. Sister Mary Ann, the principal, was actually a friend of my dad's. My dad was the president of the School Board so I was treated a little different than the other kids. I guess they knew if they pissed my dad off, he could really make life hell for them. So anyway, I march my tiny cheeks (Sister Leona's words - not mine) down to the principal's office. "NWC, what did you do now," Sister Mary Ann asked? "I didn't do anything, that crazy Leona pulled my hair because she thought I was talking in class but it wasn't me, it was the girl behind me," I answered. "Well NWC you must have done something or you wouldn't be sitting her in my office," she responded. "Well, I just told her it wasn't me, oh and I asked her if she was deaf too," I whispered. "NWC you need to learn not to talk back to your elders," she said. "Children should be seen and not heard," she reminded me. "So why did God give me a mouth and a tongue for if I'm not suppose to say anything," I asked. I think I stumped her because she didn't answer me. "NWC, please don't talk back to Sister Leona anymore, you need to be kind to her," she said. "Why do I need to be kind to her," I asked? "Because being kind to someone even when we think they are not using their brain, is the right thing to do," she said. I went back to class and settled in my chair. Sister Leona marched over to my desk and pulled my braid again. "What was that for," I yelled. "It was for that smart mouth of yours," she yelled. I reached out and patted her on the hand. "What was that for," she asked. "That was for your stupid brain."
I didn't wear my hair in braids for the rest of the year.
When I was in 2nd grade I learned to be kind to people even if I thought they were stupid. I practice that lesson a lot....and I'm thankful for that.
In a few days it will be Thanksgiving. I decided that I need to share some of the things I'm thankful for.
I ran away from home once because my mom told me that I couldn't see my 24 year old boyfriend any longer. I was 15. She constantly preached to me that there was only one thing a 24 year old man wanted from a 15 year old girl, and it wasn't a relationship. He wanted sex, she was right. I met him while cruising on main street, it's what teenagers in the Midwest did on Friday nights. He had a cool car, a hugger orange '69 Camaro with white rally stripes down the hood. God I loved that car. He was just out of the Army and he was cute and he was older - which made the offer to ride with him even more appealing. He told me I had a pretty smile, I pretended to be shy and told him thank you. He told me he wanted me to be his girl, it sounded romantic so I said ok. We actually dated - had sex, for almost 8 months until my mom found out and threatened to call the police. She said it was rape, I was a minor, he was a pervert. I cried, she didn't know him, he loved me, I'd run away. It was summer, my mom was at work, my brother was in the Navy, I was alone. I packed my bags and headed down the highway, literally. I hitched a ride to the next town over and walked about 20 miles after that. You have a lot of time to think when you are walking through corn fields and dimly lit side streets. I thought about how tired I was and how much I loved Billy, even though he didn't come after me when I left. After a day on the run, I decided I wasn't cut out for the 'run away' life, I stopped at a farm house and politely told the couple I needed to use their phone - I'd run away from home and now I needed to go home. They were so nice, they let me use their phone and fed me. I waited for a couple of hours and then a police cruiser showed up to take me back to my mom. I swear that was the longest ride of my life. It was actually a sheriff that showed up to take me home, I lived in a small town and the sheriff was actually my best friend's dad. At first, he said nothing, but the void of words soon got to me so I felt the need to fill it up with something. I asked him if my mom was ok, he said, "you don't get to know that." "Why," I asked. "Because when you run away from something, you give up the right to love it anymore." "That's not true," I cried. "Yes darlin, it is true." "If you love someone, you stay - even when staying seems the hardest thing to do." "But what if staying means you lose someone you love," I responded. "Staying isn't what makes you lose the person you love, leaving does," he said. When I finally made it home my mom ran out to meet us and she held me so tight that I almost couldn't breathe. I thought I was in for a long lecture but instead my mom told me I needed to get some sleep. She tucked me in bed, something she hadn't done since I was six. She didn't ground me, she didn't yell at me, she held me. It was then that I realized I didn't have all the answers. I thought I knew what love was, I didn't know anything.
It's been so long since that warm summer night when I tried to run away from home. I say 'try' because it was then that I learned that you really can't run away, you can leave, you can put one foot in front of the other and never look back, but you can't leave it behind. Whatever you left, it's always there waiting for you. I learned to be grateful for that.
I want to be selfish
I've worked 12 days in a row without a day off
I'm cold and it's spitting snow outside
I hate Winter
I'm glad it's Friday
I have too much to do at work - so I'm going to do nothing
a man on the subway asked me for money so I turned up my music
my ears are cold because I forgot my hat
my head hurts because I think too much
my daughter kissed me and said "Alice loves mommy"
my sig other asked me to hug him
I remembered - not to be selfish
I'm really getting good with Photoshop. This pic is actually taken when I was pregnant...can't tell can you? Happy HNT.
Some of you may remember a post I wrote awhile back about my niece who was being pressured by her boyfriend to have sex. She asked me for my advice and I was honest, I told her that giving up such an important piece of yourself for someone else, would affect her for the rest of her life. She listened to me, surprisingly, and her boyfriend stayed. I wasn't really surprised when her boyfriend stuck around because I remember that even at that tender age boys and girls, can be very manipulative. They know if they stick around long enough, apply enough pressure, the will most likely get what they want. My sweet niece, is no longer a virgin.
Her heart is now broken and she asks me why love hurts so much. I cannot answer. She asks me when it will stop hurting, I say nothing because sometimes it never stops hurting. Sometimes you just get so used to the pain that you don't notice it anymore. She wants to know if I still remember my first broken heart, I say yes because I do remember. She wants to know if hearts really do mend, I say 'sometimes'. She wants to know if loving someone will always hurt this much, I say yes, love knows no other way. She wants to know if love gets easier when you grow up, I say no, it gets harder. She wants to know why we keep falling in love if we know that it hurts, I say because falling in love doesn't hurt - at first. She wants to know if love can last, I say yes -sometimes. She wants to know how you'll know when you are loving the right person, I say when you can look in the mirror - and not be afraid of who you see staring back at you. She wants to know if it's ok to cry, I don't answer, instead I cry with her.
I've got a story, although it's not really mine to tell, but I will because I have the words.
She looked across the table at him, he was holding her hand. He was silent, she knew this was a bad sign so she tried to fill the space with words. For weeks she felt the distance growing between them and regardless of how close she remembered them being, there was a gap that she could not bridge. She smiled and squeezed his hand hoping that somehow he'd realize she loved him and sometimes that could be enough. His lips began to move but she could not bring herself to listen to what he was saying, maybe if she didn't hear him, he wouldn't have to leave - she wouldn't have to let him. "Are you listening to me," he asked. "Sorry, I was somewhere else just now," she answered. "I need you to hear me," he said. She knew she should be listening but the words were so difficult to hear, words can be so painful when they are not the ones you want to hear. "I'm listening, " she said. "We can't go on like this, we need to make things right," he told her. She knew the difference between right and wrong but choosing between them was more than she had the strength to endure. Choices, sometimes we're offered so many, sometimes - too few. What if she decided not to choose, would the choice be made for her? So many times in her life the power of choice had been taken from her and sometimes - she was glad. She admired the way his lips curved around each word, she didn't realize that breaking someone's heart could look so beautiful. "I cannot do this. My life is too complicated," he said. She thought about that word, what did it mean, was it something people said to explain their lack of willingness to accept or understand? He pulled his hand from hers, she felt the gap grow wider. Why couldn't she speak, tell him how she felt, say something, anything. She sat there, tongue twisted around the words she longed to say. Could she make him stay, did she want to? If he stayed, would she question why he never left? For the rest of her life would she contemplate this moment and wonder 'what if'? She felt his stare and for a moment, she was scared. She'd been told by many that she was strong, did she believe that was true? A plan had been laid out, mapped for quickest route to success, and now - everything had changed. He started to stand up and she knew her last chance was about to walk out of her life forever. She grabbed his hand, she pulled him back to her, she held on even when he tried to pull away. "I know myself," she said. "What does that have to do with anything," he answered. "Because knowing myself, makes me sure that if I walk away from this, I'll live to regret it the rest of my life," she told him. "I can be strong enough for the both of us, at least for a little while," she offered. "Tell me why I should stay," he asked. "Because even if you leave, a part of you will remain, right here with me, always," she answered. "You'll walk through your life forgetting what you left behind, maybe you'll succeed for awhile, but one day you'll be greeted by a version of yourself, a self you left here - with me." "You'll know that self belongs to you, because they will have your eyes." She knew he might still leave, but she'd be here because that version of his self, would have her heart and her courage. "I'll try," he said. Then he stayed.
This is not my story to tell because it actually belongs to my daughter. I'm not sure I'll ever tell her that her that daddy almost left. I think a better story, is how he stayed.
How often do you look at yourself in the mirror? I'm not talking about the glance (or stare for some of us) into the mirror each morning or the occasional 'primp' we take while taking a restroom break, instead I'm talking about a real looksey at who you are. Strip away the face you paste on each day for the outside world to see, take off the hat you've somehow been designated to wear - and look at yourself. For a long time I'd run when I saw that bare naked self but lately my feet have stayed planted firmly in place. The strange thing about self discovery is that along with the realization of who you are, you inevitably begin to see who the people you've surrounded yourself are too. Maybe it's because when we don't really know ourselves we tend to invite people into our lives that fit the self we think we are. I'm not saying everyone in your life won't fit after you take a good long look at yourself, I'm saying the reasons you needed them there - in your life, may change.
When I was weak, I needed someone stronger than me
When I was scared I needed someone braver than I
When I was lonely, I needed someone that could fill up the space around me
When I was confused, I needed someone with all the answers
When I was angry, I needed someone to blame
When I was happy, I needed someone to remind me - happiness isn't forever
When I was in pain, I needed someone who had deeper scars than I did
When I wanted to be needed, I found someone that was broken
When I had no hope, I stopped having expectations
When the scars began to heal, I needed someone to notice
When I grew strong, I needed someone to let me - be strong
When I became my own best company, I needed someone that didn't take up my space
When I grew wise, I needed someone to let me have the answers
When I stopped being angry, I needed to stop blaming myself
When I remembered how to be happy, I needed to let myself be happy
When the pain lessened, I needed to be reminded I was strong enough to handle it
When I found hope, I needed to believe in hope - then raise my expectations
I read on someone's blog not so long ago that when they think about who they are and who they wanted to be, the two self's are very far apart. There's only one way to bring the two closer, look in the mirror more than once in your lifetime, in fact - look often.
Can you believe I'm expected to walk the floors and ask people if they need help? Can you believe the people I'm asking actually ask me for help? So far this morning I've moved 5 monitors, crawled under a desk to move a computer, fiddled with 4 overhead lights that wouldn't light up, moved 3 printers because they were in the wrong location, got someone coffee - because they didn't know where the kitchen was....I've been demoted for a day. Forget the years at college that I spent actually educating myself so that one day - someone else would crawl under my desk, forget the years I spent working hard, being on time, being 'dependable' - I'm now a low man on the totem pole. It's not that I think I'm too good for jobs like this, it's that I've already done my share of grunt work, it's not my turn anymore.
Yes I'm spoiled. I sit at my desk every morning drinking my coffee, reading my favorite blogs and now today they actually expect me to 'socialize'. I get exactly 10 minutes to write a blog entry...so here it is, a whining session. After this weekend of working I've decided two things: One - slackers profit much more than us ambitious people, Two - I'm old and my body hurts from crawling around on the floor. I swear, if I'm going to get rug burns on my knees....I at least should be getting satisfied in the process.
Tomorrow I promise, I'll be better.
My office is moving to a brand new building. It's tall, shiny, has pretty lights, and cool artwork and I don't care about any of it. This building, is a place I go to work. I go there to do my job so I can take a paycheck home, so I can feed my daughter and put a roof over her head and that's it. I have to work this weekend to make sure all the servers work and that each desk has connectivity, sometimes I hate being depended on. When I was younger I wanted to be important, to know things, to be relied upon. Now, I've changed my mind. Knowing things can really be more of a hindrance than an asset. When you know things, people ask you questions - and expect you to have the answers. When you are the type of person that's dependable, people lean on you and expect you to have the strength to withstand it. Dependable, knowledgeable, ambitious people - get screwed. I've gotten a few perks from doing a job well done but no perk is worth the time and effort I've put in. This weekend instead of spending time with my daughter and my sig other, I get to come to work and be - dependable, knowledgeable, reliable, and pissed off. How's that for a perk?
I'd say I'm sorry for the rant, but really I'm not because the other thing I am - is honest. Life is fair - people are not.
I remembered last night how to get my way.
I remember the first time I heard about oral sex. I overheard my brother and his friend talking about how their girlfriends 'tongued their candy' and I thought they were talking about sucking on life savers. It did seem strange to me that they'd get so excited watching someone put their tongue through a little candy hole, but I was eleven, what the hell did I know. I remember the first time I realized it wasn't the traditional type candy they were speaking of, disgust was what filled my mind. Those things were so ugly, who would want to put one in their mouth? Then, when I was 15 a boy tried to get me to 'suck his candy'. He was so smooth in his approach. "Hey nwc why don't you kneel down there and give me a little head," he whispered. "Give you a little head, why, a big one doesn't suit you," I responded? Even back then I was quite the smart arse. I never did give him head, there was something about his 'approach' that left me pretty turned off. Luckily I wasn't that into him or I'm sure I would have done anything to please him. Later in my teenage years,I did fall for a boy and did what I could to please him. I guess it was then I developed quite a technique, one that would give me power I never imagined possible. Honestly I was pretty grossed out by the whole act but I was turned on by watching a boy come completely under my control. Men really are simple to please when it comes to their 'candy'. I learned to pretend that I was actually sucking on my favorite flavored lolly pop, savoring every curve, my tongue wetting the path for my hand to follow. I can't even count how many times I've been told that 'it's the best they've ever had'. I guess I used to take that as a compliment, now I know - men are easy. I suppose you can give someone a bad bj, grab on too tight, slobber too much, spit out what they hope you'll swallow, but it seemed I was able to use my tongue for more than speaking this language I've learned to master. I used my talent to get what I wanted, men are more willing to give you what you want if you know how to jolly their lolly. Long, slow, pleasure that they can't resist and won't forget. It makes them weak, it makes them ripe - for the picking. I'm bad aren't I? I may be older and not so single anymore but talents like that don't seem to fade and they always come in handy. I want what I want and I want you to give it to me. Yes, sometimes us women have to resort to some pretty low tactics to get what we want. It's funny though, I've never had complaints when a man decides to oblige me.
So quietly you lay
your power is waning
as I take you in my hand
my lips become your captor
deeply you plunge into the darkness
teasing you, I set you free
for only a moment
you fear the path you've chosen
yet you trudge willingly ahead
back and forth
we play this game
of cat and mouse
fullness fills my mouth
I cannot speak
yet you hear my words
warm and safe
your pulse quickens
sliding up and down into oblivion
and I wait
for my reward
I love words. I love to speak them, sing them, but mostly I like to write them. Sometimes people say things, things that make me think, make me want to run and get a pen so I can write them down - so I can remember them later. It amazes me the power words can possess. Words can change the way you feel about something almost in an instant. Words can evoke such emotion simply by existing. They don't have to be spoken to be heard. Sometimes writing words on paper or on a computer screen makes them that much more powerful. Sometimes we are deaf and cannot hear any words until we're forced to read them making us listen with our hearts instead of our ears. Words can harm and they can heal and sometimes they do both at the very same time. They can paint a pretty picture or color a scene ugly. It doesn't matter what language they are in, words have the same power whether their spoken with our tongues or our hands. They can inspire an audience of a thousand, or one, but both are just as significant. Sometimes words are twisted into meaning something other than their original intent but that burden lies more on the audience than the author. Words are communication whether they lay quietly on a piece of paper or slip beautifully off a tongue. Words are our salvation because without them, who would hear our pain. We shout them in anger, whisper them in love, write them in anticipation - of being understood. And sometimes we are understood and other times we keep writing, keep speaking, keep thinking - words. Words to describe how we feel, express what we want, and chase away our demons. Words make us something worth knowing. Words are power. Some handle their power gently, but some are foolish and never consider the consequences of their words. Words can be used as weapons - to harm, to maim, to tear down, the very self that some words helped build strong. Sometimes when it seems we have nothing else in life, words still remain. Love, hope, believe, strong, fail. succeed, run, hide, stand, walk, here, now, lift, heart, high, grasp, something, hold, this, never, stop, life, tomorrow, is, now.
Words - yield your power wisely.
This morning I went down to the local Caribou Coffee located in the building I work in. I love this place, when I walk in they already have my coffee (dark roast - with just enough room for cream), waiting for me at the counter. It's nice when people know how you like your coffee. Every morning I have non-probing conversations with the people that work there, sometimes I just love that type of communication, it's safe and easy. So anyway I remind the girl at the counter that this will be the last week that I'll be coming in for coffee. Our office is moving to another building - a whole block away. She said, "you'll come back, we're not that far." Well actually, I probably won't come back because walking one block really is THAT far. Now how lazy does that make me? Pretty damn lazy. But, I bet I'm not alone in my thinking. Our lives are about convenience. We shop at the closest grocery stores even if we hate them and they're more expensive because driving 3 more minutes to the one you really like, just takes too long. We eat at the restaurants in our neighborhood not because their good, but because they are 3 blocks from our home and we really don't have time to travel any further. Convenience doesn't only apply to the places we eat or shop, it spills over into our relationships. How many of you have dated or had sex with someone simply because they were 'convenient'? I know I have. It was easier to settle for the person who didn't meet all my qualifications then to go out and search for someone that did. Searching for Mr/Mrs right is a damn hard task and I'm lazy, I don't want to work that hard. We take shortcuts around everything in life and one day we wake up and realize we've shorted ourselves on some damn fine scenery.
I tell myself that I should get my arse in gear and stop doing things based on how convenient they are. Walk the block, drive the extra distance, stop settling....just put one foot in front of the other, and soon we'll be walking.....
I had sex over the weekend, and it was great. Some of you might think..so what but really when you have a kid, a full time job, a semi-social life, finding time for sex really is hard.
I was trying to remember the first time I realized that sex wasn't love. Maybe I should rephrase, I'm trying to remember when I 'accepted' the fact that sex wasn't love. It was a long time ago, I was a different person then. I almost laugh at that memory of a naive girl who thought her 'technique' could actually make a man love her, or worse - keep him from leaving. Who teaches us girls that anyway, that sex and love are intertwined with each other? Why is it that we girls grow up wanting to 'make love' and boys grow up wanting to screw. Ironically, most of the time it's the girl that ends up screwed when all is said and done. I should have learned that sex and love were separate after I lost my virginity to a boy who left me after he got what he wanted, but I didn't. I kept believing, kept convincing myself, that if I had sex with a boy/man - he must love me or soon would. That belief, caused me a lot of broken hearts. I can remember being devastated after I had sex with someone and in the morning I wasn't any more special that I was before I took off my clothes. I remember the walk back home, the walk of shame - some call it. I can almost bet that it was a guy that came up with that term. Eventually I was able to separate the two - love and sex. I was able to have sex with a man that I had absolutely no feelings for. Now that's an accomplishment isn't it? I even found some guys that fell into the same trap I'd been in, they thought because I had sex with them, it meant I actually wanted to date them. I broke some hearts, but I didn't care because when you decide that the world should pay for the injustices done to you, everyone's a casualty. So there it was, love and sex are separate and I thought that was fact. No more walk of shames for me, I walked with my head held high, at least for awhile. Then one guy, one time, told me he'd never met a woman like me. Maybe that sounds like a good thing, but it wasn't. Turns out he didn't want a woman unlike any other, he wanted one that believed sex was more than an act of pleasure. He wanted a woman like the girl I'd chased away. I was getting screwed again, only this time it didn't leave me with a smile on my face. It's hard to go back to something you ran away from, something you tried to erase because you thought it was a lie, only to find out it was the only truth worth believing in. I look back on things I've done and sometimes I'm ashamed. Ashamed that I gave up values and beliefs out of fear. Really that's what it is called when you stop believing in something just to protect yourself. Holding on to yourself, your beliefs, can be the scariest thing in the world.
So anyway, I had sex this weekend and you know what - it wasn't because I loved him but the separation of love and sex no longer exists. Now it's all wound up in each other and one part can't exist without the other. Ok, it could exist but it doesn't and the funny thing is if the sex part went away, the love part would still have a chance to remain but not vice versa. Now how's that for irony.
Maybe I told you, I play the guitar. I stopped for awhile when I was pregnant, it's pretty hard to hold a guitar close enough to strum when your stomach is out to....there. Anyway, I started playing again and it's such an outlet. Every Thursday I head out to my guitar class and sit with a bunch of hippies. Truly, that's what they are. There's the guy with ten piercings, I'm still trying to figure out ten places he'd be able to actually pierce himself. There's the girl who works in libraries playing music for children and she says f*ck every other word (note to self - do not send daughter to story hour at that library). There's the guy who works at the local coffee shop, considers himself an aspiring musician, and wears flip flops...even when it's 40 outside. There's the freaky tattooed guy who has more ink than skin showing. I like tattoos but not the ones on your forehead that say 'think', I like to think but it doesn't have to be labeled on my forehead to remind me. Probably my favorite girl is the one that smells like patchouli and tells me every week that God loves me. I suppose it's nice to be reminded that someone loves you - by someone you actually know, not some almost stranger you see once a week. The teacher, well he's a hippie too. He's a musician, a real one. He wears black almost every week, he wears big combat boots that are painted (not dyed) red. His guitar has Bush sucks carved on it which isn't really disturbing, but the pin he wears labeled "aborted fetus" kind of is ...disturbing. Generally I like hippies, hell, once I even pretended to be one complete with braids down to my arse and spliffs tucked in my bosom. Eventually though I had to take a bath and remove the contraband - it was hard to get a good job looking like Janis Joplin. Each week I get to be the little yuppie that sits in the corner, the one that sticks out like a sore thumb. But, I have the coolest guitar - because I am the only one in the class that can actually afford a 'real' guitar. I have a job. I guess being a hippie has a downside.
I cannot cry
tears seem pointless when no one sees them
screaming for attention
no ears to listen
I gave something to you
can I have it back
place it on the window sill
when you walk away
but this is place belongs to me
you said you loved me
maybe I believed you
but believing in something
doesn't make it true
I promised protection
then I laid my weapons aside
to comfort you
did you feel it
the regret growing inside my chest
but I've become good at denial
wishing for something
can leave you hopeful
that a giver will come along
and take nothing
when there's nothing left
and still I wait
for you to change
except it's me
yesterday I cried
I wasn't scared
and no one saw me
but they fell anyway
bits of failures
fragments of guilt
I can see the surface
of something new
existing for purpose
that I create
when you leave
so you remember
where you came from
Stand up for yourself will ya? Why? Because I said. So what. Hey you better listen to me, I know what I'm talking about. So what. Don't you 'so what' me young lady, I'm your conscience and I can make things really bad for you. Oh yeah like how? Well for starters I'm going to send this picture to your mother, imagine how she'll react seeing that little bit of cheek exposed for all the world to see. Well I imagine she'll be proud, after all - I got them cheeks from her. Being a hardass is inherited ya know. Thanks mom. Happy Nekkkkid Thursday.
Um yeah ok, let's teach our daughters it's ok to be stupid, as long as you know how to use your breasts. Now that's exactly what I'm going to teach my kid. Boy, we've really worked hard at changing a woman's image haven't we? So I guess what girls learn - is what we teach them. Way to go Abercrombie.
She's screaming again, my mother that is. My dad has been caught red-handed with his hussy, that's what my mom calls his girlfriends. He's begging her to forgive him, he's sorry, he won't do it again - even though this is the fourth time he's been caught. I'm hiding in my closet, I like it there because it's dark and quiet and no one knows that I cleared a space where only a 11 year old can fit. I wonder if she'll let him stay this time. She asked me where we go after he picks me up from school, it was almost like she already knew - but I lied and told her we just drive around. Yesterday he made me wait in his truck for a whole hour while he called on a 'client', he sells life insurance on the side because being a teacher doesn't pay much - that's what daddy says. Sometimes I get so tired of waiting in that truck, but I don't want to make daddy mad - so I stay. I know I'm not supposed to lie, but if I tell the truth, daddy will have to leave again. Mommy seems so angry, she cries a lot too. When I grow up I never want to fall in love, it hurts too much.
I used to think my mom was the strongest person I knew. After all she endured a lot of pain from my dad and she stayed with him longer than she should have. I know now that staying is the easy thing to do, leaving is the part that makes you strong. I remember hating my mom for making my dad leave, and I told her every chance I got. I hated that she put me on the spot and asked me about his girlfriends, because she knew that my dad flaunted them in front of me. He called them 'friends' but even at 11 I somehow knew that his friends were much different than the friends I had; I doubt they skipped rope or chased butterflies. I loved my dad, so I defended him by lying to my mother. It still amazes me to this day that at such a tender age I learned to lie not only to my mom, but to myself. In our minds, people can become what we want/need them to be - not what they really are. My dad was my hero, but in reality he was the reason I have a hard time trusting people. I still remember the day he left, for good. My mom had just finished drilling me about who we see when we take these drives after school, I was weak that day, I told her daddy sees clients. I guess that's all she needed for confirmation because she marched right into the front room, turned off the tv and told him to pack his bags. He shouted at her to leave him alone, she shouted back that she knew where he went after he picked me up from school each day. Silence. I think it was the first time I'd ever seen my dad speechless. And then it happened. Daddy looked at me with the coldest eyes, the love had gone out of them. "This is your fault," he said. "When you are missing me, you remember that you did this," he shouted. I can still feel my heart breaking inside my chest. I can still feel the tears streaming down my face, they left tracks that I was never able to erase. He left ater that, and he didn't come back. Maybe that's when I started to hate myself instead of my mom.
I'm older now and more grown up. A few thousand tears and some very deep scars later, I'm learning not to hate myself and to love my dad again. It takes such a long time to forget things, and sometimes it never happens. That kid back then, that little girl who loved her dad - she believed that forgiving someone could change who that person was. I know now that forgiving someone is for you, not for them. So many lessons this girl has learned, so many more still waiting.
It's 2:55 p.m., the bell will ring shortly so I better get my stuff together. Daddy will be waiting outside, he hates it when I dilly dally. "Brrrrrrrnnnngg," sounds the bell. I race down the steps, grab my coat from my locker and run full force out the front doors. "Where is he," I say. Daddy isn't here. I look around, up and down the street, I don't see him. I perch myself on top of the last step, and I wait. It's 3:05, he'll be here, he's always here. The buses come and go, filled with kids leaving this place. It's kind of cold out - it's November. I wait a little while longer, now teachers are starting to leave, it's 3:20. My legs are kind of numb, this uniform skirt doesn't cover much. I better go wait inside. Oh no, the doors are locked. I guess I'll just wait here. This building that was filled with screaming kids only moments ago, is quiet - almost abandoned. I guess people have places to go, people to see. Maybe daddy had to stay after school late after all he is a very important professor - all the kids like to stay and chat with him, especially those girls. Mommy hates those girls, she says they are always sniffing around. It's funny, I've never seen them smell daddy. It's 3:55, still no daddy. Maybe I could walk to his school, it doesn't seem far when we drive there. No, I better just wait right here because I'm not allowed to walk on the busy streets. I have some chalk, maybe I'll draw on the sidewalk. Pretty pictures, pretty words, smiley faces - it's 4:15. I like to write my name with curly y's and dotted i's. HATE, that's what I spell. Now why did I write that, daddy said it's not nice to hate people. I have a rope, maybe I'll skip awhile. Cinderella....lost her fella...oh it's no use, I don't feel like skipping rope. Wait...someone is coming, oh it's my daddy's truck, it's 4:35. Oh I'm so happy, daddy is here - no, that's not daddy but that's his truck. Who's that driving? "Hi NWC, your daddy told us to come and pick you up because he had to stay late after his class," the young pimple faced boy called out. "No, I'm not supposed to get into cars with strangers," I reply. "It's ok NWC, your daddy sent us," he answers. Hmmm, they look harmless enough, but no, mommy said I should never get into cars with strangers. Run - as fast as you can, oh where can I hide, there's nowhere to hide. The bushes, I'll hide under the bushes. Oh these needles are scratchy, quiet, stop breathing - he'll hear you. "NWC come out, please, your daddy sent us," the boy yells out. I say nothing. He's driving away, he's leaving, ok - I'm safe. I'll just lay here until daddy comes. I'm so tired, maybe I'll just close my eyes for a little while. "NWC, where are you, come out honey, daddy is here." It's 5:30 and daddy is here to get me, finally. I'm 8 years old but people tell me I act more grown up.
Do you remember the moment that defined the rest of your existence? Maybe define isn't a good choice of word, after all many of us claim to 'redefine' ourselves through many different moments. Maybe I should say, do you remember the moment that changed the way you would live your life? I bet most of us can remember it, but never realized when it was happening that it would have so much power. The day my daddy left me waiting alone in an empty school so that he could 'give extra credit' to one of his students, was the day that I would start believing there were more important things in this life - than me.
I have more to write, but honestly, it hurts. As I type the words I can feel my heart wrenching with the very remembrance of those memories. So this is going to be a process, because that's what therapy is right - tiny steps. You can push and push and push those memories so deep inside of yourself, that you think they've gone - disappeared - loosened their grip on your soul. One day you wake up and you are angry. Angry that the sun isn't shining, angry that the guy on the train has his music too loud, angry that there are too many people on the elevator, angry - angry - angry. And then they come, the memories. It's funny really, because I thought I was past all this. Apparently, I have some things to remember - before I let them go. This is post one, and the next day - they'll be another. Until they are gone, or hurt less. Until I stop letting those memories define me.