Two dimes and a nickel.

Today is my twenty-fifth birthday.  Quarter of a century.  Twenty-five seems so young still, until you begin to look at the numbers and the fractions and how it fits into a grand scheme of things.  Such as, quarter of a century old today.  It’s still a small number, but I am one-fourth of a hundred.  When I was with Jonathan, every birthday we would look at the numbers and figure out how long we had been significant others compared to our age.  At twenty-four, Jonathan and I had been together for one-fourth of my life.  Again, the actual numbers are relatively small, but the idea is monumental.  But here I am, twenty-five and single again.  In my small amount of time on earth I have found love in the truest form, gotten engaged, and have broken up.  And I am not lamenting it.  Every day brings new thoughts and understandings on the events of the last year and a half, and the biggest is this: I am growing as a person and I don’t think I would have this understanding, these new ideas and emotions and thoughts, had I not gone through what I have.  For the first time since we broke up, Jonathan feels like a friend.  I am comfortable talking with him and running through ideas of him seeing other people, experiencing what he needs and wants out of life.  I have settled into that love and friendship that live between two exes.  It finally feels right.  I know there are still plenty of bridges to cross, and there will be some time before I can move on to the next step of seeing him or having a face-to-face dinner or lunch, but now, I am in a good place.  It is a relief.

One of my favorite things is to get dolled up and enjoy a night out with friends.  For past birthday’s this has been a priority, however, this year I feel like to just have a relaxing day where no obligations hound me would be the best present.  If I end up going out to eat, or seeing a movie, or enjoying a drink with my friends, good, but if nothing comes to fruition and the day passes and I just feel like it would benefit me to lounge with no plans, then I am just as happy.  I do know, however, that I want a coffee, some time to read a book, and possibly my choice of any meal, like CPK soup or pesto or whatever my taste buds fancy.  Maybe this absolutely non-committal attitude today is a result of getting older.  Either way, it feels right.  It’s like my muscles are relaxing.  The day feels like one massive breath of fresh air, deep and calming.  There are moments of realization that in the end release the building tension you didn’t know was there.  I feel like the dichotomy between Jonathan and I hit a new stride… one of the best messages I received today was from him.  It simply said: “Happy Birthday.”  It said a lot.  It said that he was working towards us being friends, too.  And that may have been the best present he has ever gotten me.  Two simple words and an idea.


Men, here is how we speak on Venus.

She wants to feel wanted.  Desired.  Appreciated.  Suck it up, swallow your ego, and fucking tell her how much you miss her.  How much you want to see her.  How come men do not understand this concept?  And if you don’t miss her, don’t want her, don’t appreciate her, then suck it up, swallow your libido and cut her loose so she’s not wasting precious moments wondering what the fuck she did wrong.  Or why she is undesirable.  You fucking kill self-image when you play these games… men and women do.  If there is seriously confusion, then let the other person know there is confusion.  Let them know that the next step is scary and uncertain and that it is outside the realm of current understanding.  Don’t fuck with the person.

Too many people are breaking up.  While at the same time all of my close friends are getting engaged and married.  Amazing that I was the first among them to take the leap, wear the ring, and now I am the single one while all of them are sporting diamonds.  There is a part of me that aches, while there is another part of me, the stronger part, the more cynical part that keeps thinking: “I am NEVER going to get married.  Ever.”  I told Jonathan that I did not see myself ever marrying someone after we broke up.  And I still think that.  It doesn’t mean I won’t find someone to date or fall in love with, it just means that now I am not sure I can ever appreciate matrimony.  There were so many things that I thought of while dating Jonathan that made marriage seem so sweet and precious, and since we broke up the idea sickens me.  Literally, I get nauseated and get a blinding headache when I think of walking down the aisle.  Maybe there is only one person that can make those thoughts pop into your head; I am not sure that necessarily means it’s always the right person.

When you’re burned once, it’s hard to be convinced to go close to a flame again.  The metaphor is so true when it comes to relationships.  The idea of dating, seeing people and talking with them and getting to know them is desirable.  The idea of a relationship makes me want to run screaming to the hills.  The term girlfriend, the name, the ideas and thoughts and associations behind it frighten me now.  Do I want to feel desirable?  Yes.  Do I want to feel wanted?  Yes.  Do I want someone to remind me that I am a good person, that I do have many positives among the negatives, and that I can make someone happy or smile?  Yes.  Do I want a relationship?  Hell fucking no.  The obligations inferred by that word cannot happen right now.  I need to have the freedom to pursue dreams and thoughts and desires of my own.  I put my life goals aside for someone else, and I really do not want to make the mistake again.

How is it that you can find someone you can just be with, talk to, enjoy the company and presence of.  The person manages to make you laugh and smile and forget about all the other chaos in your life.  But at the moment, there is no way you are on the same page.  There is no way to convey to them without hurting their feelings, without getting angry over useless shit, that now, this instant, there is no future.  Everything feels right, but the combination feels like trying to fit a square peg into a circular hole.  (Get it?  Rough around the edges… I know.)  And yet, you still want that “whatever” (I was going to write relationship, but… ).  You don’t want to stop talking with that person.  You want to be reminded that he wants you.  That he appreciates your presence.  That activities aren’t the same without you.

I was thinking about maturity levels the other day.  I was thinking about how women are more mature than men, and I said I believed they were on the same page.  I still believe that.  But I am going to change my view slightly.  I also believe that women have a way of talking about things, and in their mind what they are saying is simple.  But the guy never gets it.  They sit there and hear only a part of the conversation.  I remember one time when I was arguing with Jonathan I gave some metaphor and halfway through it he stopped me and he said, “You know why I never understand your “point” – it’s because of shit like this.  I am a literal guy, Stephanie.  I don’t understand half of what you say.  Just fucking say it.”  And it’s true.  Maybe I do veil my meaning.  Maybe I hide it within stories thinking that somehow it will be easy to break and decipher.  I also believe that some of it has to do with not wanting to come out and be a bitch.  No one loves the bitch.

So I guess here it is:  GUYS, when your girl is upset with you there are usually some very simple explanations, though they can stem from any number of reasons or actions.  The simplest explanation is this: YOU ARE NOT SHOWING HER ENOUGH ATTENTION.  She wants to know that you want her, like being around her, like talking to her.  She wants to know that her presence is important to you.  She wants to know that when your freedom comes and you have every option in the world that she is your first thought, even if you end up hanging out with someone else or do something else.  AT LEAST CALL HER or TEXT HER to let her know you thought about her.  Independence in a relationship is nothing but a fancy way of saying selfish.  That doesn’t mean you have to become co-dependent, or forget who you are, it means that you have to take the five seconds to think about and contact your woman before you do your own thing.  That’s the simplest way I can put it.

And guys, don’t break your girls trust (same with you girls…) because though trust rebuilds, it leaves a scar so deep that it often takes years to heal.  Too many of my girlfriends have been hurt lately.  Don’t fuck with them.  Or you fuck with me.

Mad About Shoe./”Kiss me, but no tongue. Ugggh…”

Have you ever…?

I have seen this game advertised as a drinking game (hell, it is even sold at Barnes and Noble and depicts a bunch of people around a bar table with cocktails in hand), and oftentimes it centers around sexual deviance.  You have one too many sips of a Cosmopolitan or beer and before you know it you are telling your most outrageous fantasies and describing the oddest circumstances involving coitus.  It’s also a leading question that can indicate a persons intentions.  Or inadvertently describe a misstep or misdeed without meaning to divulge the information.  It’s also the perfect way to begin a conversation soliciting advice.  Have you ever… let something slip and then regret it?  Wishing you could gobble the words back up before anyone else hears?  I have this image of someone running around, chasing a floating bubble, hastily jumping over things to grab hold of the words and destroy them before others catch on to the chaos they caused.  It then leads to many more questions… what brought on the comment?  Did they mean it?  Are they regretful as much as you are?  Holy crap, what’s the next step?  Should this have happened?

This has been a common occurrence with me for as long as I can remember.  I do let my emotions take hold of me and have never been good at pulling myself back out from the haze of anger or sadness or lust.  I open my mouth, let the word vomit spatter across the room, and then instantaneously feel better having retched up the thoughts, but regretful that I managed to destroy a situation.  There are some times it is good to speak, but then there are others where it benefits no one.  It’s amazing how when I should speak, I am too afraid, but when I should just hold the words in, I end up spewing them out à la The Exorcist.  That, and I over think things.  I fit the typical female stereotype with that behavior.  Obsessing over the nuances and implications.  As stated in an earlier post, I pay attention to word choice.  The specificity of a word can either make or break a conversation.  It’s something not a lot of people think of, unless you are an English major or someone who enjoys linguistics.  When I converse with my fellow liberal arts intellects it is obvious in the way they write and talk that they hold words to a higher esteem than most (I am not sure this is consciously done or not).  I am not sure they actively search for the right word, however, they have the right word at hand based on previous conscious effort to express themselves.  That’s why it always amazes me that when my vomit comes, for someone as respectful of words and meaning as I am, that I manage to forego intelligence and spit out the wrong things.  Always.

I have my iPod plugged into the iHome.  It’s balanaced precariously on the largest television ever.  And when I say television, I do not mean one of those sleek flat screens.  I am talking about one from the nineties, massive hulking thing that it is.  It used to belong to an ex-boyfriend of mine.  When I was growing up I was never allowed a television in my room.  Neither was my sister.  By the time we were old enough to get jobs, though, Andrea saved her money and bought one with a VCR and hooked it up.  I remember some nights hearing the television through the wall connecting our room and growing so jealous.  When I got a job rather than saving the money and spending it on my own television, I saved the money and funneled it into music, books, and clothing.  I have always had a soft spot for books over movies.  I find the images in my head as I read much more enjoyable than whatever director may conceive in a Hollywood movie.  I have always been one to enjoy psychologically based movies, dialogue centric films; Quentin Tarantino scripts are by far some of my favorite.  This passion for words has weaved itself into my music as well.  Lyrically stimulating songs are the ones I listen to.  I love instrumental, don’t get me wrong, because I believe the notes are words unto themselves, but when you have artists like Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, and Simon and Garfunkel that combine the poetry of their lyrics with the beauty of the music, you create an unstoppable force for me.  That elevated admiration for the correct words is something that I believe most people get exasperated with when they talk with me.  I have always been a firm believer in word choice.  As a child I was always scolded for the way I talked.  I swear like a sailor, but I also had the habit of having a sarcastic intonation and poor word choice to boot.  I think because of these comments I began to appreciate the subtle nuances in writing, in speaking, in conversing.  My mom studied communication, and as a result she has improved her speaking skills considerably, and passed on this esteem to her children.  But what does this have to do with the iPod and television?  It just reminds me that my comments to people, the long conversations and the small quips, have meaning behind them.  I am beginning to hate the taste of leather because my foot goes in my mouth more times than it should.

I keep circling around the thought of age and maturity.  It is relatively common knowledge (albeit probably from the study of “women are from venus and men are from mars” notoriety) that men are more immature than women.  But I truly wonder at the validity.  Maybe women have more maturity when it comes to containing reckless behaviors, like bar fights and fart jokes, but I believe that men and women are on the same level and they just don’t know how, or do not want, to divulge that.  Think about it.  How many times has a significant other courteously held a door for you?  Held you at night when you didn’t ask?  Began rubbing your back or feet?  Decided to come with you on some obnoxious hunt for something you just had to have although there were so many more interesting, for him, things to do?  And he did this all without asking?  There is kindness, and then there is the understanding of relationships and that the small things will forever outweigh the grand gestures.  At least they will for me.  What is more is that this surpasses strictly gestures, but words as well.

I believe there is a difference between saying someone is beautiful versus sexy versus pretty versus cute.  All of these descriptions have the overall theme of indicating a thought on someone’s physicality and attractiveness.  But when described as beautiful, I feel like it encompasses something outside the features, but also maintains a compliment for personality and character as well.  It is the greatest compliment, in my book, to be called beautiful above all else.  Sexy implies an objective attractiveness and the level of sensuality.  It can also comment on a singular personality trait of being confident and powerful, not just in mood or activity, but in presentation.  Pretty and cute are the worst.  Cute is the poor man’s pretty, and pretty is the poor man’s beautiful.  It is the simplest way of telling a woman you find her physically attractive without commenting on or including a measure of thought to personality.  Cute is like a slap in the face when in reference to physical attractiveness.  If something you did was cute, like wiggling a pinky finger in someone’s face and describing how it’s your favorite feature, that is different.  A cute personality is still a poor man’s way of talking, but at least it comes across as being a positive compliment.  And what was the purpose of this dialogue?  I honestly do not know other than maybe an example of my whirling mind and the constant thrum of thought pulsing through it.

Oh man.  This makes me want to read people’s minds.  The point of this entry?  Have you ever?  Have you ever said something you regret?  Have you ever stuck your foot in your mouth?  Have you ever wished to forego that moment where you feel totally moronic for saying something when you aren’t even sure what it means?  And now there’s worry about all the doors you swung open and all the reactions spewing forth?  Damn word vomit.  Damn damn damn.

A healthy bit of rain.

I went out shopping with my friend yesterday.  I feel like it was exactly what I needed.  We looked at dresses, long skirts, sweaters (my Achilles heel, especially my new favorite designer, Vince), and shoes.  I came away with a few bags and a beautiful beginning to a summer/fall wardrobe.  When I was trying on the different outfits I had this singular impression that I was dressing up a new me.  Or, really, an old me that I tucked away.  It made me wonder why people begin changing.  It also made me wonder at the nature of change.  Do we actually mutate into a new self, or do we just perpetually hide portions of ourselves?  Is there always some form of manipulation occurring?  And if there is, how come there will be times when months, nay years, pass and you do not realize how much you put on the shelf for your significant other until one day you wake up, look in the mirror and question who the hell you are.  But then I have just started down another path of existential thought… do we ever know who we are?

It’s raining outside.  It has been insanely hot and humid the past two days, almost to the point of oppressive.  Actually, I would have to consider today as having oppressive heat.  The skyline began to darken around 4:00 PM until thunder and lightning filled the sky.  It has that greenish tint that you often see when a massive cell is moving towards you and rotation has every potential of happening and turning vertical.  My mom panics in this weather.  She has a deep fear of lightning.  I remember when I was younger I had similar anxiety, but as I grew older I would look at my dad in the face of a storm, hands behind his back and whistling, taking in the sights and sounds and smells that go with severe weather.  He would smile, staring up at the darkening clouds, and remind my sister, my mother, and I that fear is what we make it.  I began to appreciate the ominous beauty that storms have.  So many poems use the image of rolling clouds to mirror internal strife and struggle, and as clichéd as that image is, there is a reason that it is a frequent in amateur writing.  What vivid emotions occur when you hear thunder or see bright flashes of lightning?  There is turmoil, but also a sense of excitement.

When I was younger (okay, okay, I still love this movie) I used to watch Twister to the point of warping the VHS copy I had of it.  I could quote the movie to you, and there have been times when I have been almost passed out asleep and I can recall, in exact detail, what is going on in the movie (it’s been tested, people).  When I begin to ponder the metaphor of facing the storm, or attempting to derive a new image for looking into the eye of the storm, I always come back to this moment from the movie where they are describing why Bill Paxton’s character has the nickname “the Extreme.”  He faces the storm, throwing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s into the swirling funnel.  I want to have that bravado.  I want to define myself and I do not want to put my thoughts and my feelings and my emotions on the shelf.

I do not blame anyone for my transformation.  The reality is that we are the masters of our fate.  We can either consciously or unconsciously make decisions that affect how we are to people and where we are going on the path.  It’s just sad, for me, that I let so much change come.  Whenever someone asks me about the lessons I have learned from the past six years my first inclination is to say that I learned that I cannot mold myself into someone I am not.  There are behaviors that I do not want to define me, but obviously there is evidence of them existing.  One thing Jonathan used to say was that he did not WANT to do something, and I would get so mad at him because I would respond with, “If you do not WANT to, THEN DON’T DO IT!”  But the truth was that I did not want to be saying or acting or feeling certain things, but I couldn’t just stop.  There has always been a sense of compulsion in my behavior (anyone who has seen me on a french fry binge can attest to this) and though I believe that was part of the reason, I also believe that things had just snapped.  My mind no longer wanted to hide certain feelings and I was losing the strength and willingness to face them.  In the end, rather than talking about them and resolving them, I let them blow up.  In the weeks before our break-up I had more questions about WHO I was and how it related to WHERE I was versus any other thought.

I have watched Lost recently, and there is this moment where the character of John Locke is sitting in the first rain on the island.  I remember thinking how symbolic it was, being born again.  Water is often times used as a way to show metaphorical cleansing, as well as rebirth into a new life.  Maybe this tyrant of a storm is my moment to sit in the rain?  The dark clouds billowing about and echoing the chaos within, but when the rain comes down and washes me clean, there is the dewy, sweet smell of a new life.  Spring is a perfect time to rediscover.  Many animals and plants are budding and fighting to escape the confines winter brought on.  Maybe my hibernation is up.  I know it is.  The more I read, the more I write, the more I work through these mental blocks, the more I realize the type of person I want to become, the person I was, and the vast gulf I have to cover to reach the end destination.  I am just lucky to have found supports in some of the most unlikely places, as well as truly open arms.  Some times there is nothing better than to know you have someone, even if you don’t want to really talk.  It’s like finding peace in the quiet.  You know there is something in the relationship and friendship where you can just be with someone without clouding the moments with superficial dialogue.

Discussing discussions.

Our family is a unique combination of scientific and artistic intellect.  Whenever we have discussions we manage to devolve into arguments, tears, and raised voices.  There is a stubborn streak in each of our personalities that clash drastically when we discuss, nay argue, about things.  We are so immobile in our beliefs that we manage to not even be able to agree to disagree.  When we are all together, we act like a bunch of idiots, making jokes and discussing some of the most bubble-gum of topics, however, we also have these discussions that go in-depth into each of our scientific, metaphysical, religious, artistic, and political thoughts.  It is very similar to how discussion sections in college were.  Throw out an argument and then defend it until the last breath with evidence.  These discussions not only round out our intellect, but they allow us to refine our ability to have healthy debate.  However, we always have the issue of how we actually talk.
As an English major I learned how important word choice is.  Making the decision to use  “blue” as an adjective versus “lapis lazuli” can have implications beyond the basic understanding of the color.  For example, “lapis lazuli” has biblical symbolism so it can have a greater connotation within the context of a story or subject.  As a result, I pay attention to words within arguments, discussions, suggestions, and written work.  To the scientific mind, or the relatively non-artistic individual, this is not something that is actively done.  And therefore, their understanding versus my understanding divides.  I see implication, I see symbolism, I see connotation, I see verbal discrepancy, and what it may mean in an overarching theme within the discussion.  It provides for some interesting conversation, and it also provides for some very loudly expressed opinions and premature tears.  And though we are all smart (you should seriously listen to us, it’s like a college course with theoretical discussion and practical application), we always manage to run into walls.  We always manage to insult one another.  And we always, always, always manage to leave the conversation fuming about this, that, and the other.
When my dad and I drove back from Davis, California at the beginning of April, we stopped in Ames, Iowa to visit my sister.  We came in on a Saturday night and left on a Sunday morning.  In the morning we went to Village Inn for breakfast.  The restaurant was insanely busy and we sat there waiting for our food for forty or so minutes.  We each were downing cups of coffee and discussing various subjects ranging from government to politics to public policy to school districts to novels and literature to movies.  It was one of the most enlightening conversations I had in a long time.  It felt like my mind had come alive again.  I have had more of these moments in the past six weeks than I had in the previous few years.  It felt like intellectualism had died and miraculously been brought back to life à la Lazarus.  I viewed this moment as a positive affirmation of my return to the Midwest.  I chose to look at it as a sign.  A good sign.

I have issues with anyone who treats faith as a burden instead of a blessing. You people don’t celebrate your faith; you mourn it.

I now have so many thoughts swirling through my head.  It is hard to separate the important things from the ones that emotion have twisted.  It is always easiest to let the negativity consume you.  I always wonder why that is.  It takes more muscles in the face to frown than to smile, and yet, for the most part, you see more people frowning than smiling.  How come we, as human, always go to the negative and not the positive?

Lately I have watched How I Met Your Mother.  I find the show fascinating and very funny.  However, watching a sitcom (situational comedy, for those who do not know what the abbreviation stands for) brings up so many questions for me.  They are relatively straightforward in their presentation of situations, and they highlight the humor in them.  I guess my interest comes from the “why” we watch them.  Are people’s lives really like a sitcom?  Are there truly successive situations that rise, crest, and fall like a plot line?  I know the introductions, problems, there are climaxes and twist endings, along with resolution, but are there really these neatly packaged situations.  I am not asking for comedies sake, and I know that life is not like a movie or a book or television show, but how come we all cling so tightly to these projected images of life?  To these situational comedies that always seem to end on a high note?  I think that is why I enjoy Scrubs so much.  It is one of the first television shows that was a dramatic comedy.  It showed the irony and humor in life, but also made a concrete effort to show the difficulties, the realities of life and death and the honest-to-God emotion associated with them.  There are a handful (well, probably more than a handful) of episodes where I cried, and hard.

When I continue in this thought, the next logical step would be to wonder why we cling to entertainment at all.  We advocate living our life, going out and doing and not sitting and waiting.  Well, if this is what we truly want, why are there so many successful shows?  How come there are countless movies?  How is it that next to sleeping, one of the most time-consuming things people do in the world is watch T.V.?  And it doesn’t stop there.  I read.  Television does not suck me in, but I do allow for entertainment in the form of books and music to consume me.  And one of my goals is to live off of providing entertainment for others (writing, people, writing).  Escapism, a fascinating concept, and ultimately kind of sad.  Why do we crave escape?  Is life really that horrible, or is it an internal thing, are we running from our own thoughts?  One of the things I have run through in my mind is the idea of our thoughts creating our world.  I know I have mentioned this before, but I have no problem repeating it: if my thoughts create my world, then my thoughts will fuck me over.  I am a bona-fide pessimist.  I try, I do, at being optimistic, but my natural inclination is to think negatively.  Cynicism and me have a long-standing relationship and it is one that is not easily broken.  I call it realism and smirk, but then I sit and watch comedies for some healthy dose of humor, which I have every potential to bring into my life but don’t.  I see friends laugh and joke and smile and have genuinely good times, and when it comes my time to share, I pick the negative things to focus on.  There is potential for change, anyone can do it, if they want to, right?  Then how come I am still such a pessimist?  I do want to change, but my coached thought is disillusionment in a commercialized society where I question reality in every pure emotion I have.  I wrapped myself in the belief that love was true, that we all have the potential to find that one person and be happy, and that belief failed me.  Is it me?  Am I just the fucked up one who cannot move forward and willingly trust that good is out there?  Or is it honest to believe that everything is shit?  Is happiness real, or is happiness what we make it or define it?  Metaphysical talk and existential disillusionment.  You’d think I would be dressed in black with beret on my head and a mug of coffee at my finger tips sucking down a hand rolled cigarette.  I am just one of the many pathetic people out there trying to make sense of the ups and downs that come from the ending of a significant relationship.  Oh my God, I am one of THOSE girls.

One of the first things I thought when my relationship dissolved was that I did not feel like I could trust men (and I still feel this way).  I could not, and cannot, trust myself, either.  I felt like I had found that lofty thing called love, and I believe I did.  I had it in its pure form, but at the same time, it was unknown to me.  I think I failed to see that love is what we make it.  We give it the characteristics we find most important.  It is abstract and it can mean several of things to any number of people, so why should we try to mold it?  Why did I look at it and think there was an obligation to a perfect frame around it?  And when the frame began falling apart and was a different color than what I thought society deemed it, why didn’t I just snap out of it and realize that love is whatever the hell my ex-fiance and I wanted it to be?  It is malleable.  This is where relationship philosophy takes a massive turn.  There are people who believe in the social norms of what a relationship is and how they should define it.  And why?  We are each different as snowflakes (yes, an overused, often melodramatic metaphor, but true nonetheless) so how come we all mold our thoughts to agree with a singular idea?  Why can’t two men or two women marry?  How come people look down on gender roles of man and woman and complain when couples reverse them because it feels right?  How come we turn our noses up to younger women and older men or vice versa?  Is it because we shy away from what we do not know?  And if so, wouldn’t the answer then be to promote knowledge and understanding and not shunning and living forever in the dark?  Luminaries are the people who have, through the ages, enlightened us.  Why do we choose the dark then?  And this goes back to why people are attracted to the negative.  Shouldn’t we be like moths and fly towards the light (in all it’s truth and ubiquitousness)?

I never believed in romantic love, and therefore never believed in romance.  Or marriage.  I thought it was possible for two people to live with and respect (and in respect, love) each other for extended time, but marriage itself was a pointless institution.  Why should you bind yourself to someone when we promote and strive for independence and uniqueness.  How come two people had to bind in such a permanent and possessive way in order for it to be heralded by the masses as true and everlasting?  How come two people cannot just define themselves as individuals and live with one another without causing a stir?  It bugs me to hear all those celebrity couple nicknames, like Brangelina.  It takes away the ability for the two people to believe that they are just that: TWO PEOPLE.  But then I met Jonathan.  I had only known him for three months and in those three months there was this untouched part of me that bloomed to life.  It helped me acknowledge all the romance in living and being with someone.  He didn’t need to buy me roses or take me to dinners, as long as I was with him.  There was romance in the way he smiled or how he would begrudgingly watch Sex and the City with me because he knew I loved it.  I knew after three months that I wanted to memorialize that, I wanted to stand up in front of my friends and my family and announce to the world that I loved this man and that he was perfect in all of his flaws.  I wanted to commit myself to him, and only him, because I was a person who could see the beauty of his big, crooked teeth, in his freckles, with this obsession with snakes and The Simpsons.  He once gave me a card for Valentines Day that was priceless and potent, and it made me cry.  It said “I used to be a lonely weirdo before I met you,” and then when you opened it, it read, “And now I am a happy weirdo.”  What the fuck happened?  What the fuck happened to me, to him, to us?  When did I begin picking at the seams and unraveling the bonds I had with him?  When did I begin conforming to outside ideas and definitions of life and love?  And not just outside ideas, I began throwing aside my beliefs and my goals and my thoughts in general to mold myself into something I wasn’t to prop up my relationship.  It is so truthful that if two people are unhealthy and unhappy, there is no way they can have a happy and healthy relationship.  Two parts come together equally to create “the whole.”  I feel like at the end it was one-fourth to three-fourths.  Each of us was independent and yet wholly dependent.  That isn’t healthy.  That is anything but healthy.

In the past month I have tried to define myself.  I have tried to unravel these feelings and my actions.  More than anything I am left with more questions than answers.  The thought is that we are in tune to what we do and why we do it.  But there is a part of me that just has no fucking clue how to answer “why.”  And it is because I don’t know.  There are times when I want to say it is chasing the image of what life, what love, what relationships and friendships can be defined as, but then I stop myself and wonder why I am chasing someone else’s image.  I am standing with the canvas of life in front of me and a paint brush in hand and I have no idea how to make the first stroke of color.  Should I throw down paint and splatter my world like Pollock?  Should I follow the Dadaists thought and draw conclusions on life based off of anti-art and anti-everything, meaning life is the ultimate “anti?”  Should I follow Fauvism and support that animal instinct and wild bestiality (and no, not having sex with animals people) is what promotes action and art and life?  Do I look to Warhol to explain that art is what we make it, even if it is a repetitious picture of silk screened Campbell’s soup.  And therefore life is what we make it, even in the boring, listlessness of entirely un-unique moments?  Or do I move forward with projecting an image of self-confidence even if I don’t feel it so that one day maybe my projection will become a reality like with the self-destruction of John Ritchie and his moniker Sid Vicious?  Dub yourself as something, and you will live up to it.

I was watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother last night and fate and destiny became a theme within the twenty-some minutes of the show.  It reminded me of the movie Sliding Doors where one moment changes the fate of a character and we, as the audience, get to see how that single moment affects the character’s life.  Does it encourage regret?  Or is it something that just has to happen to learn, in order to experience?  I do not believe in pre-destiny, but I hold on to the romantic notion of being “destined in the stars.”  What I mean by that is that I like to believe that there is a rhyme and reason out there for everything, but it does not necessarily mean that there is a chosen path.  Spontaneity and surprise can still happen, and that is what makes life life.  Serendipity I always capitalize, because I like to hold her in high esteem.  She is irony and coincidence and humor.  And yes, she is a she, because I believe Serendipity is passive aggressive and that is definitely a woman’s game.

And these have been my thoughts, my musings, on life and relationships and personality.  These are thoughts that tumble through me and find me while I try to sleep in the midst of the night.  Occasionally they are thoughts that I want to escape.  The greatest questions always center around meaning: finding it, defining it, understanding it.  But maybe questioning is part of the answer.  I want to leave you with an image.  The movie Dogma has this moment where God is introduced in the form of Alanis Morrisette.  The main character, Bethany, is given the opportunity to question God, a single question, and she asks (I believe) what the meaning of life is, the purpose, and God looks at her, smiles, and touches her nose and makes a little noise.  How fucking poetic is that?  It is the closest thing I hold to an answer of understanding the universe because I think it is one of the most truthful and beautifully humorous and ironic and sensible things ever.  Thank you, Kevin Smith, for that moment.

Happily Ever After.

The combination of coffee, Sex and the City, and female driven music always creates a wish to write.  Well, usually the combination of pretty much anything and coffee and I feel like I can take on the world.  Maybe.  I have listened to Florence + the Machine quite a bit lately.  Florence Welch has an absolutely beautiful voice.  And I must say, she is one of the few women in entertainment who has made me wish I could change my hair color to a brilliant hue of red.  I am pale enough that I could pull it off.  The last time I tried dying my hair it turned out relatively orange.  No, that’s a lie.  It was not relatively orange, it was plain old orange.  Oh, the good old days of high school and attempting to define myself through drastic color changes and punk hair cuts.  What am I saying, the days of high school?  I still cut my hair short and spiky.  In fact, I went to Great Clips (yes, I am that cheap) the other day and got about two inches sheared off.  And I already have short hair.  It really is so much easier to deal with when it is this short.  That, and I actually like the way it shows off my face.  Anyone who has ever cut my hair has told me I have the face to do any length and that my hair does exactly what they tell it to do (which I wonder at, because any time I try to get it to do anything, it does not follow MY directions).  I have considered dying my hair again, as well.  In October I went blonde and I finally have grown it out enough that it is back to my mousey brown.  With Florence’s hair in my mind, I wish I could try doing red again.  Or even revert back to my high school and early college years of multidimensional hair color.  I would dye my hair at least three different colors at a time.  Occasionally it was pink or purple, but I don’t want to walk down that road.  I am way past the age of highlighting my hair magenta.  However, blonde, black, brown would be a cool idea.  But alas, no money and I do not want people to look at me as the girl with “weird hair”.

Jonathan once told my parents that the first thing he noticed about me was my hair.  It was unique.  He said he had never seen a girl or known a girl who had as eclectic hair as mine.  When we first met I had dark brown hair with blonde patches and a few blue-black low lights.  I had a cut that was later made famous by Posh Spice, but it was slightly longer than Mrs. Beckham’s.  The front was at least four inches longer than the back and the back had haphazard layers so that if I slept on it and walked out the door it would create this sexy bed head look.  And occasionally it would just be bed head, and there was nothing sexy about it.  There are times when I still want to break out the old looks: darker hair, misshapen cut, black skinny jeans and white studded belt, wife beater and track jacket (my favorite still being the Senses Fail one I got my senior year of high school, which still hangs in my closet).  Add on my turquoise (may they rest in peace) and black Vans, and that was how I looked until I turned twenty-one.  Apparently when I reached the age I could buy alcohol I decided it best that I not look like a high school misfit but rather someone who actually acknowledged that good first impressions were necessary.

I had a boyfriend, back in the day, who had a lip ring and an eyebrow piercing, spiky hair that he mousse up into a faux-hawk, he had gauges in his ears, and went around skanking to everything.  He thought it was cool to put on “Pop” by N’Sync (which I do love, by the way) and SKANK to it.  He would always complain about how he could not get a job, they would never tell him directly, but he claimed he knew they were being discriminatory because of his appearance.  Typically I would roll my eyes at him because the thought that would be going through my head was “no shit Sherlock”.  He failed to realize that though it is a fine goal to see a world who does not judge or discriminate, he has to have some give and take with personal style and expression when looking for a job.  If he wanted to work retail he would have fit in perfect with the Hot Topic crew, but he would be applying for office jobs and other such positions and when he would go in to the interview he would be wearing jeans, a t-shirt, eyebrow and lip piercing in, gauges punching holes in his ears, and hair spiked with so much gel if a ball landed on the end it would deflate.  What is so hard about the idea of compromise?  Give a little to get a little.  (Look at me being all preachy, but truth is some times there are situations I refuse to compromise in, like music.  That’s right, get a good laugh in.  I know you are.)

(I just had a thought: it is amazing where the mind takes you.  I had originally sat down, coffee in hand, to write about relationships a la Carrie Bradshaw, and somehow I just waxed on about “punked” out hairstyles and blasts from the past.  Yeesh.)

I am currently watching the third season of Sex and the City.  One of the Aidan seasons.  Though Carrie chooses Big in the end, I have always debated if he was the right choice.  Their relationship always seemed so traumatic.  The extreme highs and lowest lows, this emotional upheaval and always drama.  Not that there wasn’t drama with Aiden or even the Russian, but with Big it seemed masochistic.  He was emotionally unavailable and unwilling to commit and she kept diving in hoping, praying, wishing he would change.  Is it even realistic to believe someone will change?  You cannot force it to happen, it has to come from within the person.  And I guess in the end Big did change.  He was the one who realized his love for Carrie.  He realized he wanted the commitment, that he had in fact changed to become the man Carrie always wanted and needed.  It just seems so depressing, though, that the major relationship played out on the show was one where the characters did not fit when they were both themselves, and only worked out when one of them came to his senses.  What does that say about relationships and human interaction?  Are there only a certain amount of people out there who get us for who and what we are?  Or is change such a natural part of human nature that it’s perfectly reasonable to assume one or the other has to change or even will be willing to change.  But then we get into the issue of where the line for compromise exists.  If I give up a certain action that I enjoy because it annoys you, and you give up a certain action that annoys me, is this reasonable, or are we forever doomed to wonder when the compromise fails and secrecy and hiding true actions begin?

And that’s the thing, if you do behave in a way that is harmful to not only your partner, but to the relationship as a whole, is it okay to assume that it will one day stop?  Or is it too much to ask?  I guess it depends on what “it” is.  I have thought a lot lately about character flaws.  The tragic hero.  And I keep thinking that everyone is the tragic hero of their own life.  How sad is that?  How absolutely depressing that my first thought is that each and every one of us is a tragic hero, and we are doomed by character flaws to fall into darkness.  No positivity (like I have wanted to integrate into my life), no “we are the heroes,” but that we are the TRAGIC heroes.  We cheer each other on, we support and talk and encourage, but the basic truth is that our actions and our desires come from within.  The tragic hero is the one we all love and cheer for and want to finish out ahead, but he lets his demons consume him.  Facing those demons is undoubtedly strength, admitting to having them is strong, and willing to move forward is definitely strong.  But what sucks is that it takes energy, too, and it is draining.  Being so strong can make anyone feel weak.  Life’s little jokes, right?

Wow, so, excuse my diatribe on relationships.  Apparently Sex and the City turns me into a romantic philosopher and a relationship shaman.  Always interesting what comes out when I open those gates.