Monday, October 25, 2010

Every once in a while, you just have to pray.

I know I'm not the most spiritual person in the world, but I do have faith in something much bigger than me. It's days that start off like this that make me really dig down and hope for something more. So I pray and ask for things to get better.

I was on time for work this morning. I had just taken some more cold medicine (since I've been fighting "The Ick" all weekend) and was on my way to work. I didn't pay attention because of the OTC med induced haze and was speeding. Yeah, I got a ticket. I hadn't had one in 8 years. I started crying, but I knew it was pretty well my fault. I just hate the thought of going to court and all.

Late to work. Confusing training. Backwards, weirdly stapled powerpoint. Meh.

I get to class. I got an A on my poetry assignment. Writing for that class is like pulling teeth. It's a creative writing class where I am forced to write a certain way every time. At least I can follow the creative formula well enough and the stuff that I write always seems to be A worthy. I don't get it. Maybe the teacher has low expectations.

Spanish class produced a surprise A on an exam that I panicked over and didn't feel like I studied enough for.

English class forced me to once again hate Victorian England for all it's bassackwards-ness. Here's the lesson kids: Yay! Penis. Boo! Vagina. Women are evil because they have feelings. God is all there is until Darwin then everyone is confused. Church is everything. Yay! Jesus. Boo! Logic and reason and free thought.

Work brings me to where I am. I paid bills. I prayed for nice clients. Then this lady called in. Julie, I think. She was the sweetest most disconnected lady I had spoke to in ages. She sounded like she was utterly confused, but willing to learn and listen. I wasn't really thinking about what I was doing. I was just doing my job. I was figuring out that she was on an exchange server and she couldn't email out of the software. She broke through what I was saying...

"Thank you. I like you."

I was caught off guard. I responded in kind and said, "Thank you. I like you too."

"No, I mean I like you. You actually sound like you care about me understanding."

"Yes ma'am. I do care. I want you to understand how to use the software and feel comfortable with it."

The conversation went back and forth like that. Apparently, she emailed my boss all happy about the work I did and will be calling back to ask for me. It sort of makes me feel nice to know that I have people that are total strangers that like me that much and want to talk to me again.

Needless to say, whenever I get worried or bothered by the stuff in life that I cannot affect, I pray.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Life for Sale

Boxes of our old life
scattered on the lawn.
Strangers rifling through memories.
Their crumpled dollar bills
exchange for my pain.
I watch them pack you up
and haul you away.
A little past daylight,
my pocket full of singles
and my heart empty of you.

This came from the yard sale I had a few weeks ago with a friend. Some of the ex's stuff went. Shirts, a few other insignificant things. In the end, I was so happy to know I had less stuff. That I was no longer weighed down by all these things I wouldn't use. Sometimes, you have to really let go of everything physical and sell it all or give it away to someone else. I thought about some of those things when wrote that and realized, I didn't give a damn about him anymore.

I miss his dog, though.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A breath of hope.

I've been dating Tim now for what will be 6 official months today. Recently, I have had several people come up to me and tell me that they are thrilled to see me so happy. One person said, "I have know you for years, Alicia. I have seen your heart broken by some absolute trash and to see you smile now. Well, I've never seen you smile like that. I'm happy for you from the bottom of my heart."

Then, the fear creeps in. It's long fingers close around my throat and I am choked by it. I guess a part of me still lives in the past. That terrified part of me that believes all I will get is pain back for the love I gave out. Deep down, I'm a little scared of getting to know his friends for fear I will lose them the way I have lost friends before.

There's actually a part of me that is scared of making friends anyway. Fear of getting close, trusting people, letting people see me as I am inside. I have made so many friends only to have them fade away like scars. Then, I make new friends and they fade away. Eventually all that is left is the light pain from where they were when my thoughts graze the scar of memory. Some scars are still too fresh and tears fill my eyes.

When I arrived at work today, I walked in with Tim as he was coming in from his break. We spoke briefly of our little anniversary and smiled over it. I'm lucky to have someone like him that remembers what some people would consider so insignificant. Someone that brings me a diet soda without me asking for one when he goes on break. Someone that sees me despite my efforts to keep up a wall of protection from the world. Someone like him.

So even though the fingers of fear reach out to choke me from time to time, I still manage to keep a breath of hope within me. Somehow, I'll survive.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The fury and the sadness

The people that have gotten to know me, really gotten to know me, know that I can be a very furious person. I wear my aggression (passive as it may be) like a coat at all times. I find myself balling up my fists and biting my lips till they bleed some days. I get so angry that I cry.

In my Tuesday couch trips, I talk about this anger and how it stems for a sadness within me that I am finally coming to terms with. It's a pain I have hidden for years. Sadly, I have known it almost as long as I can remember. I first felt this way when I realized I was different from all the other little kids my own age. I was in kindergarten and they were going around the room asking what our parents did for a living. I knew my mother was a secretary for a judge, but I had no idea what my father did at the time as I only saw him a few times a year.(My parents had been divorced since I was 2)  As I got frustrated to the point of crying because I didn't know the answer, the other children laughed and pointed and taunted me. "Alicia doesn't know what her daddy does!" I felt like I would never belong because I knew my family was broken and part of me probably was too. That's a horrible revelation for a child to come to at 5.

As I continued through school, I was always separated by teachers because of my intelligence and behavior. Other children were special because they were smart. I was...different. Part of me grew to hate that word.

It didn't really help that I was the only child of a woman that fought every man that stood in her way. Her anger and distaste for the way men treated her in the past rubbed off on me. Even now, I have a hard time trusting men. (Also when you consider my horrendous track record with some of the "winners" I have dated over the past 5 years, it sort of makes sense.) Still, I have a flicker of hope within me.

For 23 years, I have dealt with an anger and sadness that I have never known how to let go of. Sometimes, I wonder if I will always be this way. During my last couch trip, I looked over at my fellow voyager and said, "I think we're going to be doing this for the next two years." I want to get rid of this. I really do. I want to one day be something other than angry.

I want to be happy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Me within me

I spent a lot of time fighting myself when I was with someone from my past. I warred with myself to be someone that I wasn't. I tried to squeeze myself in a mold and into a size 8. I'm not that person. I can't be bent that way anymore. I damn near broke in two when I tried. I have learned that if someone does not accept you as you are when they first get to know you, you will never be happy with them. My happiness from that time was a farce and a show. I know that now and it's taken me a year to come to terms with the lies I told myself.

Now, just about every weekend for the past four months I have spent time with Tim. We talk about a little of everything and a good bit of nothing. I find myself sitting across the table from him or on the couch and I lose all track of thought. I start noticing the slope of the bridge of his nose or the way his eyebrows curve or the peony shade of his lower lip or how his mustache is a lighter shade of brown than the rest of his beard. I then have to force myself to listen to his words again because I found myself lost in the finest details of him. In those moments, I feel like I am experiencing a high school crush all over again. I am not after him for his looks, mind you. I rarely date people that I am physically attracted to. I find his heart and his mind most attractive.

We sit together, and even if we are not touching, I feel him there. I have been around people that I can be in a room with for hours and not feel their presence. It's comforting to feel someone's presence again. Without that sensation, a cold creeps into your soul that takes far too long to get out. That part of me had only started to thaw when I started to let Tim in. Now, when I sit with him, there is a warmth and a glow in my heart that I honestly cannot remember.

I think I once told Tim, "I forgot what joy was." The truth is, I never knew it. Not with the others. I spent so many years living for someone else's happiness, someone else's whims. I tried to be the woman they could love at the sacrifice of being able to love myself.

Then there was Tim. Someone I found myself being myself around and I scared myself by doing so. I found myself laughing, singing, living...being. Being me. I found myself being a person I had forgotten existed. It was hard at first because I was scared of myself and what Tim would think about me being me. He didn't realize I was still feeling my way in this new, but old, skin. The more I am with him the more I get in touch with myself. I don't want to let the feeling slip away.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meeting someone like me.

Have you ever not known someone at all and been so jealous of them for no real good reason? No? Maybe it's just me. This person was a total stranger to me. I felt for them and wanted to keep them from harm deep down. Part of me hated myself for wanting what they had. Looking back, it was so stupid.

Yeah, I know, I'm being ambiguous again. So sue me. I'm allowed.

Anyway, back when I was still working through all my hate and anger for my ex, I blogged about the relationship and downfall. Well, crap, you know that, you've been reading. Some people read and got mad. Some people read and were disturbed. Some people read and felt sorry for me. I never thought for a second that the one person I originally wanted to help would be reading.Christy, his girlfriend at the time, had been reading my blog. She had been learning about me and learning about who she was dating. I was just writing to clear my heart and mind of all that had been weighing it down.

When I saw that F's relationship status had changed, I didn't think, "Hey, I have a chance," or "It serves him right; I hope she left him." I thought, "She is probably hurting. I wish she wasn't." After all my jealousy over her, I felt myself crying for a stranger because I knew how alone she felt. I have been told I was wrong for reaching out to Christy after their break-up. I knew in my heart that I would probably lose friends or have people turn on me for it. I didn't think about how it would affect me. I thought about her. I wrote her and told her I was sorry about everything and that if she needed to talk, I was there.

I didn't think for a moment that I would hear anything. I thought I would be called crazy by this stranger that I felt a certain sadness for. She responded and I was stunned. She was stunned I cared. We messaged back and forth that day, and we both happy to have a like mind and heart to talk things though. We spoke that night on the phone at length. We talked about how we were treated behind closed doors. We talked about how we felt. I felt like I had finally found someone that understood what I had dealt with. I was relieved and utterly thankful.

In our own ways, we both believe that God had a reason for us to speak. For us to become friends. Our interests are far apart and varied, but deep down we are very much the same person. We said we would like to meet up one day.

That one day was last Friday. I was in Sumter after a gift for Tim, and I  figured I had a good chance of getting to meet the person that had helped push me over the last few hurdles of getting over F. We agreed to meet at a bar behind the mall.

Honestly, I was terrified. I felt fatter than holy Hell and knew I looked like shit. She wasn't alone. She was with her mother and a friend. My social paranoia set in and held me in it's grips. I'm not a very easy going person around people I don't know and especially other people's parents. I had to keep myself from slipping into nerd mode.

Somehow, my veil of fright slipped as we started talking about our least favorite person. I let myself be catty as all Hell, and it was fun. I remember how he used to admonish me for being catty with Becca. At that moment, as I was taking verbal stabs at him, I felt liberated. I felt like I was with a new friend, and we were enjoying a conversation about something we both agreed on. We experienced a lot of the same troubles, and we found solace in each other's jokes. We were healed by laughter and lifted up by each other's hopeful words.

We have spoken about other things other that F. We have talked about our lives and where our hearts are going. If we are seeing someone. How we are dealing with our emotions now. We talk things out and we listen to each other. We know in small ways how the other one is feeling or how they are thinking. Let me tell you, talking to someone that has experienced a similar relationship with the same partner gives you a whole new insight. Even though we still don't know each other that well, it's almost like we understand each other without really having to change how we look at things with our heart.

I regret nothing. The people that don't speak to me anymore; we weren't really that close. I've made my peace with that. The people that think I am wrong; they are allowed to think what they want. I prayed about it and I did what I felt was right at the time. I got my heart and my mind right and clear. I also gained something out of it that I never thought possible. I gained friendship from a total stranger. I will forever be thankful to Christy for helping me. She and I have helped each other in ways I don't expect people to fully understand.

I know that our situation was weird. That girls don't become friends after getting hurt by the same guy. Not normally. She and I aren't normal young women. We're made of stronger stuff. Somehow, we were meant to get to this point and become friends.

 In a stupid way, I almost thank F for leaving me because I am better off without him. I have found myself and I am happier without him around. In a way, I have a new friend because of him too. Let's not give him any of the credit though.

God works in mysterious ways. He gives us what we need and takes away what we don't. He let me make a new friend and she helped me get rid of my pain.

I don't know where this will all go next, but I know I'm right where I should be.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

With fingers interlaced.

I always was one of those people that thought hand holding was sort of sweet at times. To see a couple holding hands. Young or old. It's one of the simplest displays of affection and in my opinion, it's one we truly take for granted.

I always knew a relationship was done for when I couldn't get the person I was with to hold my hand. Frank was never one for that with me to begin with. I once made a comment about my fingers being longer than his and ever since then, he wouldn't hold my hand for anything. I hated that I said that, but most of the time, he only touched me when he wanted something. Anyway, I have been with people who I couldn't stand to hold their hand. Scaly hands, wet fish hands. Ugh.

I never realized how much I liked that smallest sign of affection until Tim and I were watching IronMan 2 a couple of weekends ago with Chris and Becca. We were sitting there in the dark and I felt his hand wrap around mine at first. Then, our fingers interlaced. Them, I forgot to pay attention to the movie.

For almost 30 minutes, I sat there, completely bemused and concentrated on our hands. The way he would open his fingers and run his fingers along the sides of mine. The way he'd let just the tips of his fingers dance across my palm and the back of my hand. The act was so innocent and so sexual at the same time. I truly couldn't remember the last time I held hands with someone and felt them there. Sometimes, you hold someone's hand and it's like holding anyone else's hand. This was different. I knew it was Tim holding my hand.

I almost burst into tears at this. There was something so amazing and tender about him just touching my hand and holding it. I was so caught up in that moment that until something on the screen exploded and startled me I forgot I was supposed to be watching a movie.

I started thinking, "Why is this so fascinating to me? We're just holding hands. This is so ordinary." I was standing in the shower the next morning and I was struck with the thought, "It was anything but ordinary." I got out of the shower and watched Tim doze as I towel dried and brushed my hair. I sat down on the bed and he stirred. He looked up at me and touched the side of my face with his slightly rough hand. He took my hand in his and kissed my knuckles. Every time he does that, my heart is a little more healed than it was the time before.

Looking back on past relationships, one in particular as always, I don't remember those actions, that tenderness. I don't remember being shown affection for affection sake. I remember being smothered, held down, forced and ignored. Tim does none of that.

I keep telling myself to live in the moment and to not have any expectations. I really don't. I mean, hell, I haven't even really changed my all important relationship status on Facebook. As if that were the all important barometer of how true and real the relationship really is. We spend Friday and/or Saturday night together. Sometimes we see each other during the week.

We keep it simple. We tell each other, "I like you." We make each other happy by doing something most people don't remember to do in a relationship: we are OURSELVES. I have found more joy within myself by being who I am when I am with him than I ever found by trying to be the thing that my exes tried forcing into molds. I like Tim very much, and that isn't going to change anytime soon. I like who I am, and that isn't going to change either.

I never thought I'd get to say that.

I like who I am.

Is this what true happiness is?