Monday, April 30, 2012

T - Minus Two Months

It started as a chance meeting at a party.  No big thing.  Just another guy at another party. 

Except it was different with this guy.  There was an immediate connection of some sort - it was so easy to talk to him and to laugh with him.  Laughing, back then, was at quite a premium.

On a whim, she gave him her cell number.  Not that she hadn't done that a million times before, but this one didn't ask for it.  This one seemed perfectly content to have met her and had a few laughs and that was OK.  No need to spoil it with anything more.

And crazily enough, he called.  And the talked some more and they laughed some more.  And they told each other they liked each other and that they should stay in touch. And they did.

At first it was some random phone calls, some random texts, emails and chats.  They met a few more times, at mutual friends or random meetings.  And there were always random calls and texts and emails. 

Turns out, he was a great ear.  He listened, which most males do not have the capacity to do. He even had good, rational advice.  Occasionally he had the ability to just be there even when there was nothing to say.  Just two arms to hug and a warm body to press against. A shirt to absorb tears.

She told him her secrets, rarely held anything back - like a boxer in the last round, losing the fight, letting go with everything he has.  But he took ever single blow and never staggered, never made her feel like she was an abominable character, no matter how much she may have felt that way herself.

And it was to every one's surprise when she eventually screwed up enough courage to tell him how she felt.  And when she did, it was like the sun breaking through the clouds.  And, after, no matter how many times she pelted him with her doubts and her self loathing - with her fears and issues - he still refused to stagger under her weight. 

Instead, he made her a better person.  And he still does.  And on a beautiful Miami evening, he asked her to spend her life with him.

And now, here we are, T-minus two months and counting.  Two months to the total and complete fulfillment of my absolute greatest dream becoming a reality.  Two months until the man who made me a better person can start working on me every day.  And yes, I'm not shy - two months until the most spirited tennis match of all time (I'm thinking this one is going to be a marathon classic!).

I'm counting the days.  Soon I'll be counting the minutes, then seconds - like we all used to do in that last month of school - desperate for the freedom of summer.

David is my summer.  And I long for him to be mine forever.

Friday, April 27, 2012

BLAST From The Past

I received an email this morning.

I slept over at David's apartment last night - we went to the Rangers game (GAME 7!!!) last night and I spent the night (separately) at his place.  He went to work this morning and I slept in (the only place in the world where I can sleep).  When I woke up I just stayed in his bed (he slept on the couch people!!) and hung out, truly enjoying the moment. 

And then the email came in.

Some email from some screen name giving me no clues as to the sender.  Doesn't matter what was in the mail.  What the attachments were.  Not even who the sender was. 

All that matters is, on a morning where I was truly enjoying my current life, I was slapped in the face by my former one.

I have made my peace with the past.  I have cut myself off from all the people from my former life.  I have done what is in my control to do.

But that's the funny thing about life.  Not everything in it is in our control. 

 I once saw a tv commercial where a guy sent an email to everyone in his office by accident - and he ran around all over town stealing every one's computers and smart phones. 

But the truth is, we cannot sanitize our past.  There is no way to run around town erasing people's memories or stealing their computers with all the damning evidence.  What's done, so to speak, is done. 

This isn't a plea to all you young-uns to be careful with your actions.  Rather, it's me trying to make peace with this unwanted reminder.

Now I'm still in David's apartment, waiting for him to come home from work so we can go to his parents' for shabbos.  I've thought it through, ran through all the worst case scenario's and decided I'll be ok from this. 

But still, I hate that I have to go through the machinations.

I can't change my past and I don't plan on spending more time regretting it.  That girl is gone.  She doesn't exist anymore.  There's no need for me to spend time being sad for her or bitter.  No one has to pity her.  She is no more.  And the one who replaced her is doing great.  And she won't let that first girl derail what she's worked so hard to accomplish.

So I'll delete that email and move forward.

I hope.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A New Anthem

"And the wise men say 'I don’t want to hear your voice.'
And the thin men say 'I don’t want to hear your voice.'
And they’re cursing me, and they won’t let me be.
And there’s nothing to say, and there’s nothing to do.

Stop whispering, start shouting,
stop whispering, start shouting.

And my mother say 'We spit on your son some more.'
And the buildings say 'We spit on your face some more.'
And the feeling is that there’s something wrong,
’cause I can’t find the words, and I can’t find the songs.

Stop whispering, start shouting,
stop whispering, start shouting.

Dear Sir, I have a complaint.
Dear Sir, I have a complaint,
can’t remember what it is,
doesn’t matter anyway.
Doesn’t matter anyway."

If life has a soundtrack, mine has changed over time.  My early years were probably filled with sad, EMO songs, psychedelic drug songs, U2 ("and you give yourself away, and you give yourself away), broken heart songs, etc. 

When I was ready for change, the soundtrack changed.  I went from being an angry perpetrator/victim to being.. well just angry.  I felt wronged.  I felt cheated.  I also heard the song "Stop Whispering" by Radiohead. 

And this song is me.  In  a nutshell.  I felt it perfectly fit my whole existence up to that point.  The wise men (educators, parents, adults) said they didn't want to hear my voice.  They curse me and won't let me be.  And I'm powerless to stop it.  And yes, mother will spit on her daughter some more.  And everyone else will spit on me some more.    And yes, I have a complaint.  But no one's interested in it. 

BUT

I had to stop whispering.  And start shouting. I discovered, with the help of my therapist, that I did indeed have a voice.  I had things worth hearing.  My opinion mattered.  My feelings mattered. I mattered.Shout from the rooftops, shout from the hills.  I am woman, hear me roar.

Stop whispering.  Start shouting.

I used to listen to this song every day.  Like literally,every day.  And you know me, I'm a Floyd girl.  But this song...this song.

So I stopped whispering.  And I started shouting.

And now  - things have changed. I still love the song, occasionally it's a good reminder of who I want to be.  But it's no longer a fitting anthem.  As I move on to the Next Stage, my soundtrack has changed again.

So I'm in the market for a new anthem.  I need a new song that defines where I am right now.  Well not "defines", that's not right.  More accurately, i need the new song that's playing in the background while life cuts to a montage of me doing me things.  Like going to school, hanging with Tova, preparing for married life.

I've stopped whispering.  I've started shouting.  Been there, done that.

What's playing now?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Somebody I Used to Know

"I had tender feelings that you made hard
But it's your heart, not mine, that's scarred
So when I go home I'll be happy to go
You're just somebody that I used to know


I watched you deal in a dying day
And throw a living past away
So you can be sure that you're in control
You're just somebody that I used to know


I know you don't think you did me wrong
And I can't stay this mad for long
Keeping ahold of what you just let go
You're just somebody that I used to know"


The good news is, the world is filled with wiser people than I.  People who say smarter things than I think.  People who make me realize that I don't have all the answers.  Nor, perhaps, any of the right ones.

So while I have ranted and raved about vengeance in my heart and the bonfire of hatred I was going to keep stoking forever, wiser, braver people explained to me the error of my ways.

Talking in riddles, you say?  Allow me to explain.  I have shed my past - like a snake sheds its skin.  I have looked it in the eye, made my peace, taken a deep breath and let it go.  I know sometimes it doesn't seem that way, but for the most part I can look backwards at all the sins errors and crimes without the sense of shame ballooning in my heart and the heat flushing on the back of my neck.  It's over and done with.  It's gone into the great oblivion.  Gone.  All gone.

Except, of course, for dear old Mom. 

Mom always had a special place reserved in my hate box.  Hers, after all,  is an ongoing issue and less easily dispatched into the great unknown.  And besides, why should she get the same free pass given to ridiculous 18 year olds who did what they did (for the most part) with no malice in their minds, just lust in their hearts.

No, friends, deal old Mom gets a special, permanent, and ongoing spot of hatred, loathing and warfare.  And this special hatred would have no negative impact on the rest of the aspects of my life.  It would simply live in a world all to itself.

Or so I thought.  Or so I believed.

My therapist has been arguing with me on this point for two years.  But I refused to believe him.  I thought in this particular point he was wrong.

But someone backed him up.  Someone smarter than me.  Someone whose past experiences made my look like daily trips to the ice cream store.  You can't have hatred festering and expect that to NOT impact your relationship with your husband.  With your children. With yourself.

We didn't argue the point.  She explained to me the error of my ways.  And I studied on it. 

And you know what?  She's right.  And besides, what's the value of the hatred?  It's selfish.

So yes, I'm going to let it go. All the anger, all the hatred.  I will forgive her right after the wedding.  Right after she no longer has to be a permanent fixture in my life - planning, controlling, imposing her will.

Elliot Smith says it best.  Look at the lyrics. 

No matter the monster, we have the power to make them just somebody that we used to know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012