Thursday, December 24, 2009

Who knows? It might all turn out wonderful in the end.

Project brother feelings is failing miserably too. As a good friend already predicted/suspected. I'm not sure what else I should or can say about that. Except that I know this could come to some kind of horrible end, but I can't make myself spend any less time or attention. I don't want to. Spending time with him is my favorite thing to do. Even if he could never feel for me the way I feel for him. Even if he never wants to be anything more than my best friend. I love him and I don't want anything less than everything he is willing to give me. It could turn out so, so bad. But I can't stop the part of my mind that builds these invisible futures where everything happens the way I want it to. But I remember how much crushed hopes hurt. So I try not to let them grow. And I'm not even willing to spell them out here. Better not to want anything at all, than to want things you can never, ever have.

I was doing a good job there for awhile. But then he says little things that chip away at the wall I was trying to put up. He looks at me a certain way and I start wondering if it means something more. He touches me casually and my heart starts racing. And I know in my mind that I want someone who lets me know that they want me too, without question or hesitation or games. But then I'm in the room with him and I don't care what I thought I wanted before. He is my favorite person and I like it when I don't know what that look means or what he is going to do now that he has my foot between his hands. It makes me nervous and confused and... happy.

And sometimes I wonder if he is doing it on purpose and then telling Billy how easy I am to manipulate and then they both have a good laugh at my expense. And think that I'm ridiculous and sad. Pathetic.

But I'm not.

I just love openly and honestly. Even when I know it might hurt me later. If this is going to hurt later, I don't ever, ever want to get to later. But there is nothing I am currently willing to do to stop now. Pathetic.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's funny how you say all the right things and then do something completely different. Okay, when I say "funny" I mean frustrating and disappointing. But not really surprising.

And what can I say? I've done exactly the same thing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The way you keep saying the same nice thing over and over again, it makes me believe you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's not so bad if I focus on the good.

I miss the bike rides and the hikes. Just you and me. The smell of sweat and sunscreen. I miss the sun on my skin and the feeling of my heart racing as we climbed the hills. I miss having to keep up with you. Always just a bit behind. I miss exertion. Knowing that the further we went, the longer I got to keep you with me. I miss the feeling of satisfaction when I got to be healthy and be with you at the same time. I miss silly tank-top tan lines. Even the gnats stuck to the spray-on sunscreen on my arms and across my collarbones. Adventures when we go off trail and just talking and talking and talking. The push and pull of my muscles climbing up over rocks and roots, pedaling along curves and up inclines. The freedom of a coast downhill. The cool relief of the shower afterwards, racing to get clean so I could get back to you faster. I miss knowing what we would do. Having the activity to keep our bodies and eyes occupied. Filling up the time. I miss feeling strong and knowing I can keep going and going. I miss the hot air. Hair stuck to my face and matted to my scalp and circles of moisture around the neck of my shirts and under my arms. I miss wearing less clothes. I miss summertime.

I like huddling under the blanket and stealing the warmth radiating from your right side. I like making dinner together and playing board games in the dining room. I like getting hugs when I don't have my coat on. I like cute socks and flannel sheets. I like my parka and pajama parties. The bite of still, icy air and those little frost flowers on my windshield. I like getting up early to sit at the coffee shop and cradle a hot drink between my hands. I like Thursday nights and laying my head on your shoulder and leaning against each other and holding your hand. I like the way the stars always seem clearer to me when I have to look at them through my own misty breath. I like the heat in the car to be just on my feet. Showers so hot it burns a little. Hooded sweatshirts and warm chapstick. Candy canes. The smell of wood burning. I like waking up to text messages and nearly falling asleep on the couch. Baking and sharing the hours darkness so it doesn't seem so dark. I like winter too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I talk about boys all the freakin time. Wonder when I'll have one of my own?

I know I'm oblivious to a lot of things most people notice. I don't see the details. Okay, I even miss MAJOR details. But I would like to think it is because I'm focusing on other things. Maybe things other people miss or take for granted. Maybe everyone else sees them and I'm just paying more attention. But at any rate, I think about things too much. Over analyze and try to figure out what everything means and how it fits into what I already know. I think my blog is a whole lot of this. Just me trying to figure out what it means. And how it works.

And I just want to be heard too.

Today I spent the day with my best guy friend, Mr. Jeremy. Something terribly embarrassing happened to me during that time. Girl stuff, you know. So I come out of the bathroom and get my coat and I inform Mr. Jeremy that I have to go home but I'll come back, if he wants me to. And he was all concern, wondering what was wrong because we had just gotten back to the house and he had gone downstairs and I had gone to the bathroom. He guessed pretty quickly what was the matter and let me go. And when I returned, he told me embarrassing stories and moved on. And then later asked me what had happened. And I don't know if he did it on purpose or not but he left the couch and sat at the computer and messed around on the screen as I attempted to tell him.

I'm telling you all of this because I'm so impressed with him right now. First, because I assume most guys don't want to know what horrible thing happened in the bathroom to make a girl want to leave immediately. I thought I would come back and we would both pretend it didn't happen. But more than that, he shared a story with me before asking me to tell mine. To make me feel more comfortable. And then he moved so that he wasn't watching me while I explained what happened and that made it easier too. I'm not used to talking with people about my menstrual cycle. Especially not a guy. I don't like talking about my bodily functions. But this was okay. It wasn't awful.

The other day I told him he should get his hair cut soon because it was interfering with my ability to see his eyes. Today we looked through magazines until he decided on a haircut and then carried out the decision. He does look better now. And I can see his eyes. Not that he doesn't always look handsome, of course.

I came home thinking about how relationships change. I was so tangled up in liking him before. You know the feelings. They are fun, of course, but not really when you're feeling them alone. It was like I cared too much, but for the wrong reasons. And everything seemed bigger than it was, like getting knocked around by a slight breeze. Too much.

Oh I thought of another metaphor. When I went snorkeling for the first and last time, the water was choppy and the waves kept washing over my snorkel and I got mouthfuls of sea water. I would lift my head from the water to empty the snorkel and get hit in the face by waves. It was overwhelming. I was so glad to actually be in the ocean and the fish that swam near enough were beautiful. It was an amazing experience. But the water was too much for me and I had to swim back to the boat.

It used to be like that. I felt like I was trying my best to keep up. To breathe. Because I really was doing it alone.

But now.

Now it's different. Now I've got a handle. Maybe now I'm on the boat and I can still see the fish and feel the water rocking me, still feel the sun warming my skin and smell the sea, but there is no danger of drowning. No taste of salt in my mouth. No feeling of being powerless.

I still care too much, but now at least I think I've got the right reasons. He is my best friend and I love him. I think it's more each time I see him. But I don't hope for things that aren't there and I don't want anything other than more of his time.

I just started a list of things I like about him. Thats ridiculous. You don't care.

I was just trying to say something I haven't found words for yet. I don't want to say that it is easier to be around him now, because it has always been easy. Too easy. My favorite thing to do. I think I mean that it is easier to be without him now. Easier to not think of him so much. Not wonder what he is doing and how he is feeling and blah blah blah. He'll tell me when I see him. And he'll want to see me. So I don't have to worry.

Maybe that's it. It is easier not to worry now. And I'm not worried about all kinds of things.

And for all that, I love him even more.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I don't like Christmas.

I don't like Christmas. I don't like ridiculous trees that get all tangled up in a box in the basement all year and then covered with finally-un-knotted lights and pieces of things on wire hooks. I don't understand the reason. I don't like things that sit around and serve no purpose. And I certainly don't like the process of turning it into something pretty when it starts out so ugly.

I don't like gift-giving. Not at Christmas time or birthdays. I hate the idea that we give things to one another because we have to. I would much rather give something to a person unexpectedly. The pressure of deciding what on earth you could get that person. Trying to make sure you have enough money. And who do you buy for? What if this person gets you a gift and you didn't get one for them? What if they don't like what you got them? And I am so not sentimental. How long am I supposed to keep this card? It has a long note written in it, so awhile, right? And what about this lotion I don't want? I always get about 15 bottles of lotion every Christmas. I don't want to smell like eggnog. Lets not do this part. I hate it so much. Can we skip that part? Lets do.

And honestly I'm not into celebrating the whole birth of Jesus thing. I am not religious anymore. I'm not that person. It is a holiday for a religion that I don't share.

And it reminds me of the Christmas we didn't have running water and I stayed all night with my aunt in protest and then somehow it became a tradition for me to stay all night with her and my cousins on Christmas Eve though it reminds me of horrible, horrible times. People asking what I got for Christmas and me thinking about how much bigger concerns I had at the time. Gifts? I can't even sleep in my own house.

But everyone assumes that everyone else likes Christmas. Are you ready for it? Did you get all your shopping done? Are you excited? Merry Christmas! And I know they mean the best. And I don't really want to explain how much I hate it. So I smile and say, "No!" and they agree with me.

I'm just doing my best to pretend it isn't happening. I can't wait until it is over.

Is it summertime yet?

Friday, December 11, 2009

So this is why we have rules.

Today I had a customer that made me feel a little uncomfortable, but also a little flattered. First, he asked if Melanie and I were related because we both had pretty red hair and gorgeous freckles. And then a little later he says, leaning towards me, that a pretty girl like me makes him wish he was young again. He was probably in his forties but he was handsome and articulate in a way that kept him out of the creepy-old-man category in my head. The way he leaned forward and looked into my eyes kind of made me feel like he was used to talking to women that way and having it work. Like he wasn’t just looking at me, but looking into my eyes and seeing things there. I wasn’t sure what reaction he was hoping for but all I could do was smile politely while my face turned red and inform him that he could take a seat, it would be a minute or so before his license was ready. Then I gave it to him when it came out and told him to check it for errors and I walked away. Before he left he walked over to the counter where I was and said, “You really are gorgeous.” with that penetrating look and then left.

And yesterday a cute young man told me he would buy me a drink and teach me how to play pool if I went to the pub that night.

I’m not used to this. I’m not used to being noticed. I mean, people notice me all the time, sure, but as the happy girl or the nice girl or the smiling girl. Not really with interest.

I like it.

To be fair, Jeremy tells me nice things all the time. He tells me I’m pretty or beautiful or attractive. He compliments my eyes or the way a shirt contrasts nicely with my hair or any number of positive observations about my appearance. But I suppose it feels different.

I was going to say it was different because I don’t believe him, but that’s not it exactly. Part of me does think that he would just say these things because he is a wonderful friend that knows I’m terribly insecure about my appearance and therefore says nice things to help me, but I know that’s not true. He wouldn’t lie to me. It would be better to not say anything at all than to lie. The frequency of his compliments helps me believe there is at least some truth to it.

But still, it is different. It is like when my girl friends tell me that I’m pretty or I look nice or something. I certainly believe that they believe it is true. And maybe I DO feel pretty or beautiful or whatever. But they, my girl friends and Jeremy, they say these things out of kindness. They don’t want anything from me. There is no goal in mind.

I want someone to want something from me. I want someone to be attracted to me. To want to get closer. To want to touch and share and be touched. And they way that man spoke to me and looked at me today, it was the first time I felt like someone did want something from me. Like I could have said something like, “You aren’t that old” and kept him there longer. Like he wanted me to say something like that. Now I absolutely didn’t want to spend any more time with that man and I certainly didn’t want him touching me, but he gave me something no one else yet has: He made me feel attractive. He made me feel desirable.

And I realized that all those times I thought I wanted to feel pretty, I thought I wanted to feel beautiful, this is what I actually wanted.

Because I’ve known what it feels like to look in the mirror and be pleased with what I’m seeing. To think that yes, I am pretty. Yes, I can be beautiful. But not until today did I ever think that maybe a man might be attracted to me one day.

I want to feel that way again. I want to see that look in the eyes of a man I’m attracted to.

(While keeping in mind Mr. Jeremy’s sixth month rule, of course.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

If I had thought. . .

If I had thought that was going to be my last night with you, I would have done so many things. I would have hugged you for so long. A hug that felt awkward in its length if it didn't mean goodbye. I would have said so many things. Told you how much I love you. How wonderful you really are. Because you can't see it. And I would have let you know, finally, what it meant to me to lose you. Because if I never get to tell you I love you again, you should see the hole you'll leave behind. You should see just how big you are to me. Because you can't possibly know.

If I had thought that it would never be the same between us again, I might have seen the signs earlier. Might have seen all the things you weren't telling me. Might have had enough time to hide some small space in my heart that would be left undamaged by your departure.

If I had thought that you knew all night long that this was going to be the last one we spent together, I might have stayed home alone instead. I might have kept a memory more pure for our last day together. Or I might have kept you with me all night long.

If I had thought you were lying to me while I told you all my truths, I might have kept some things to myself. I might have hidden part of myself away from you the way you were doing the whole time.

But I never thought any of those things. Not even once.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Someday though, it will all be okay.

I don't know how to care about you any less than I do now. I don't know how to be anyone other than who I am and who I am loves you a ridiculous amount. Who I am is able to forgive you over and over again. Who I am is getting better and better at not letting you see how much you hurt me because I know that it would hurt you to see it.

As a human being, I get to reinvent myself with every rising sun. Or more frequently than that. Every breath we get to choose who we want to be. Usually we just keep being the familiar thing we are used to. It is easier. It is safer. Every once in a while something comes along that knocks us off our present path. Or maybe it is a subtle wind that causes us to bear ever-so-slightly to the right until eventually we are someplace we never planned to go.

I think you were a subtle wind for me. And then you just plowed me right off the path. I don't think I'll ever be the same again.

And I love you. Oh, how I love you. I don't think telling you with words is working well enough. I don't think my free time and attention and care are making a bold enough statement. Or maybe they are and I just look ridiculous to you. Because you don't care for me so much. You couldn't. You don't.

So despite how much I love you, I have decided it would be best for me if I created some space between us. I don't think you'll notice, so it won't hurt for you. But I have this problem: I don't know how to care for you less. I don't know how to think of you less often or not worry about you so much. I don't know how to reign in my stray thoughts so that they don't wander your direction.

Because when I don't see you it weighs heavier on my heart than when I get to see you several times a week. And when I don't text you I'm just wondering if maybe you'll want to text me this time. And when I DO see you, despite my best efforts, I fall easily into that person that absolutely loves you. No matter what.

My conclusion:

I'm not going to ever be able to tell you goodbye. The very thought of that makes me hurt in ways I haven't learned the words for. I'm going to keep reaching out to you even if/when it becomes obvious that I should maybe stop trying. So if you don't want my love and time and attention, you are going to have to be the one to walk away. And I really hope you don't, because that would be something to survive, not something to get over.

I know all of this might come off as sort of desperate and pathetic. Think of me that way if you must. But I'm trying to be the one that will always be there. I'm trying to be that unconditional love I keep hoping to find somewhere. I'm trying to be as forgiving and accepting as I need someone to be for me.

I know you love me. And I know you love me less than the things pulling you away from me. I'm just saying that I can't love you less for that, even if I should.

Patience is a virtue I am lacking.

Every time I see a secret on postsecret that speaks to me, I save it. Tonight I started going through them to read them all again. I only got to "S" in alphabetical order before I had to stop. Too many things going through my head.

First, I think someone could learn quite a bit about me based upon the secrets I chose to keep. They speak to me for a reason.

Second, it made me believe that maybe we aren't all that different after all. My deepest fears and greatest hopes do not belong to me alone. Over and over again other people found more beautiful ways to say these things:

I feel not good enough.
I can't wait to fall in love.
I don't think I'll ever recover from being fat.
I think you are amazing, and you can't even see it.
I'm so completely happy with me and life and everything. One day at a time.
Just because I survived it, doesn't mean it was ever okay.
Being imperfect is part of the beauty.
Every bad thing in life would be worth it, if it led me to you.

Over and over again. The same feeling with different words. The same meaning with different pictures.

I'm ugly and flawed and broken and I'll never be okay. You should love me anyway. I think you are more amazing than you would ever believe. If I could tell you, maybe you would fall in love with me. I think we could build something beautiful beyond words.

I'm surprised again at how often we can feel the same things. Me and a stranger. Us. All of us together.

If there are all these people out there waiting for their person, than I'm sure my person is out there waiting for me. And no matter how flawed and broken I think I am, he is going to think I'm all kinds of good things. And I'm going to see the good in him, even if he can't figure out why I keep seeing it. And together we will make each other happier and stumble along through the years just holding each others hands, no matter how rough the path becomes.

I'm feeling impatient. It is just getting worse.
I feel like I can bring any subject back around to this one.
I'm lonely in a way I don't understand. Hanging out with friends every day doesn't make it any better.

So, so impatient. Where are you?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I really like the way this feels. Holding hands with my favorite, favorite man (mostly so I would stop poking him and pinching his nose and rubbing his chin hair and messing with his hair) and feeling only the kind of affection I feel for any of my friends. Friend-feelings. I sure love that man, and now I've learned the right way to do it. My heart feels full. And whole. And happy.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I'm going to write though I have nothing particular planned to say. Just this awareness that my blogging lately has sucked. Okay, everything in my life lately has kind of suffered from my lack of attention.

I could talk about work, because I've been at one place or another at least 70 hours a week. But I've been living for those few hours between work and sleep. Let me talk about those.

So I had a crush on my best guy friend. I think these things probably happen a lot between men and women. And then he told me he liked my other friend. Well that sucked. More than I thought it would. And not in a oh-no-he-doesn't-like-me kind of way because I already knew that part. It was the excitement in his face when he talked about her and the horrifying realization that no one has ever, ever looked like that for me. And the wonder if anyone ever, ever will.

Well, and, it DOES suck to not have feelings reciprocated. I'm not going to lie about that one.

After I got over that particular event and all the associated feelings, I decided that he needed to be moved quickly and permanently to the "brother" category. For my sanity. For our relationship. For the good of everyone involved.

Yeah, so thats easier said than done.
Totally working on it.

I can't tell you how much better this feels. Now it feels much more okay to tell him how I love him. Maybe I feel less misinterpreted. But I do love him in a similar way that I love my brother. Maybe less because I know my brother better and longer and we have so much in common and so many good memories. Maybe more because I see my best guy friend more often and he disappoints me much, much less and he is a brother I choose to have.

And it feels more permanent to me. Like when he starts dating someone I'll definitely see less of him because he will, of course, want to see her as often as possible. But that won't mean that our relationship is over. It is a forever thing. Elastic enough to absorb the changes.

I feel like I have more power. Or more ground. Like I don't need to worry so much over not making him mad or not letting him see me grumpy or ugly or unhappy. He doesn't need to be attracted to me, he just needs to love me for who I am and accept the ugly parts too.

I'm not so preoccupied with his physical self. How near he is or how often he touches me or how often he looks at me. These things still matter, of course. Especially hugs. Hugs are IMPORTANT. But I don't feel like he is a second source of gravity and my attention keeps falling into orbit around him.

And I love him all the more for it. For the things he has taught me; the things he meant and the things I think he never planned and doesn't even know about. And now that I'm learning to slowly erase all the stupid extra stuff floating around in my head, I can see even more details of who he is. My favorite man.

Sometimes he makes me smile all goofy because of a text message. Sometimes he disappoints me. Sometimes I feel like the only safe place left in the world in right next to him. Sometimes I think he has no idea that he is hurting me. But I like nearly all of his moods and can accept the ones I don't care for so much. He listens and shares. He smiles and laughs and gets quiet and sings and rants and raves and dances. He is consistent and inconsistent. Sometimes I understand parts of him and then later I'm baffled. He challenges and affirms me. He pushes me to the edge of my comfort zone. Sometimes he makes me mad. He makes me want to listen to every story and somehow be for him as many wonderful things as he is for me. I want so many things for him. Things that will make him happy and healthy and whole and so, so, so, happy.

And I miss him. This is what working so much has affected the most. Less time for him. I've seen my girl-friends a lot. But I miss this one. My favorite man.

On another note, I just realized that I worked out today in a sleeveless shirt and there is black lint from my previous shirt stuck to my deodorant. Kind of looks like I have black armpit hair growing in little patches. I wonder what ladies at the gym thought? They probably didn't even notice me. Thats what I'll say.

Goodness I'm tired!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I bought the new Relient K album.

I don't really have time to write lately and I can feel the words building up inside of me. They might run out of room and die. Like little plants with no room to root. Terminal rot.

I'm tired of going to my second job. I don't want to do it anymore. I'm so, so tired. I don't know if I'll keep going the next four weeks. I'm going to do it one day at a time. One day. Like today.

And I wish I could stop worrying so much. Worry doesn't fix a thing. Doesn't change the outcome. Its hard to remember that.

Time for work. I hate this so much. It is all my fault I have to do this. Stupid, stupid me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I think I can finally speak.

I remember how it feels to feel good about me. And how it feels to put up that safety wall around my heart. And how it feels to realize that I've gotten way too involved and attached to another person. And how it feels to take that first step back.

Apparently I'm initially too trusting. Too willing to go all in. And then, once hurt or disappointed, I am difficult to coax closer again. I think this is true. I don't want to get hurt, but I hope I'm not hurting you either. But I'm not willing to let you make me feel the way you made me feel ever again. Even if you didn't do it on purpose. Even if you didn't know you did it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Someone make it feel better. Please?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My mouth is all full of the words I’m not saying. I think I keep accidently swallowing them. That’s probably why I feel so sick to my stomach. Thats probably why I keep biting my tongue. But it will be okay. They will just fall into the hole inside my chest and freeze into ice crystals in the coldness there and no one will ever know what I never, ever said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I put frozen spoons on my eyes. It was a good kind of pain.

I've moved away from the "there is something horribly wrong with me" theory. I have a new one: there is something really important missing. I don't even know what shape the piece would be or what color it is or where it goes to begin looking for it.

And how many times in my life are you going to say, "Sarah Jo, this is not going to end well. Be careful. Just take a step back. Pay attention. Wait a minute. Slow down. You're going to get hurt." And then I merrily ignore you and it all comes true? And you never say, "I TOLD you this was going to happen." It's more like, "I'm so sorry, Sarah Jo. This is what you need to do to make it feel better. This is how long its going to take to heal. This is how you make sure you don't do this again."

I don't know what magic there is that after 11 years now you are still here. That we are completely different people than we were when we met and still we love each other.

I am thoroughly convinced that most people I know don't ever actually see me as a real, live human being with feelings and bad days and character flaws and needs. They don't see it when I'm not okay and they don't know what to do when they do see it. But you see. Since that very first phone call you've driven right past the bubbly outside to the real person underneath. Sometimes it's uncomfortable and frustrating that I can't just gloss over my feelings and move on when talking you to. You won't let me. But you're teaching me that ignoring all the bad things won't make them go away. And pretending I'm not hurt won't make it true. And I'm truly, truly grateful for you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I write poetry sometimes. Its never very good, but it sure makes me feel better.

One Breath

One breath at a time. Concentrate on the rhythm of the inhale and exhale against the thrumming of my heart. It’s a sound I recognize. Reassurance that I’m still alive.

It doesn’t matter about the change of pace. From a slow walk to a death race. My breath, in time with my heart, kicks up a pace. We work together.

My mind isn’t needed for this dance. My lungs and heart have their own romance. Like a couple matching stride. Reassurance that I’m still, still alive.

But oh, what is this that steals my breath? Stops my heart right in my chest? It puts a dizzy spin to my vision. Black stars and weak knees. And oh please please please

One breath. And then another. I don’t know how many moments like this I can survive. But the kick-start of my broken heart is reassurance that I’m still, still, still alive.

Stupid feelings.

I have a lot of things going on in my heart right now. Or my mind. Maybe they are the same thing and we just use two different words to describe the rational and irrational parts of ourselves. The part that makes sense and the part that doesn't care about what is logical and just goes flying off in whatever direction feels best. I think I have a lot of things going on in both parts.

I dreamed about going to the tattoo shop and just getting a tattoo. One I never even planned. Just stopping by one night on my way home from work and talking with an artist I had never met. And in my dream this artist got more and more worrisome. I told him I wanted a square tattooed on the inside of my left arm and I wanted it turned so that it looked like a diamond. He drew up a picture of a gravestone with strawberries growing up over it. The dream continued with me saying clearly exactly what I wanted and him trying to give me something completely different.

And my waking self realizes that I keep saying exactly what I want and I keep getting something completely different.

I hate it that sometimes my mind knows exactly how I should feel and my heart just doesn't care. I've already decided that everything is okay. Just fine. Just like everything has always been. Nothing is different than before. Just my perspective. But I still feel like someone put a rock in my lungs and I can't quite breathe right around its sharp edges and heavy weight.

Stupid feelings.

But now I've got bigger things to worry about. Worry. Worry. Worry.
Talking usually makes me feel better. I don't feel all that much better. I feel better about some things. But its like both my feet are bruised and I can't decide which one to lean on. Because the things it might seem that I am upset about don't upset me at all. And I don't want people to think that. But how do I explain what really hurts? They won't believe me. They just wont.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I don't know if my writing clearly reflects just how happy I usually am.

So I know I've talked about crying quite a bit recently, but this is my blog and I'll cry if I want to! Ha.

Normally when I say crying I mean that tears were coming out of my eyes and trickling down my cheeks. But today it was the kind with not only the tears, but those awful noises and the red face and the runny nose and the curling in on myself until I couldn't anymore.

Johnna came over and we talked about stuff. Feelings. You know. And eventually we got to a point that I write about but I never actually talk about to anyone. I'll write about it again today.

I feel like there is something terribly wrong with me. Something everyone else can see and I can't see it. This thing makes it easy for people to just completely stop talking to me and spending time with me and generally caring about me in any way whatsoever. They just disappear. And it's so easy for them because there is something about me that makes me not worth anything. And this thing that is wrong with me is also the reason no one wants to date me. No one. Not one person yet.

And people don't want to hurt my feelings and let me know what this horrible thing is, so they say things like: No, you're a great person Sarah Jo, they are all just stupid. One day it will happen and you'll see it was worth the wait. I don't know what's wrong with the boys, you are amazing and beautiful.
They say nice, nice things.

But experience has taught me the truth. There is something terribly, terribly wrong with me and no one will tell me what it is. I keep trying to fix things. What else can I do? I changed my whole life! I'm a stranger to myself sometimes and I keep working on being better. I want to be the best version of Sarah Jo I can possibly be. But it isn't good enough. I'm missing something. I'm broken. I'm flawed. I'm not worth loving.

Where is this one that is supposed to see the good in me? Where is he that will want me and only me forever? Where is the one that is strong and kind and smart and bold and silly enough to make me happy?

I said all of this with tissues pressed against my eyes, sitting with my legs folded on my bed, trying my best to bend into myself until I disappeared and it stopped hurting so much.

And I think it's ridiculous that I can survive living with drug addicts. I can handle not having electricity or running water. I've heard the violent screaming and things crashing against the walls. I once lived in a motel. I bailed my dad out of jail. I've seen my mother taken away in handcuffs. They steal from me. I got bolt locks on my bedroom door. I was morbidly obese and I lost over a hundred pounds by myself. I've lived with empty cabinets and roaches and mice and lice and trailers with no carpet. I know all the different people my parents can be depending on which drug they are on or what they are going without. I've hidden in my room in fear. I've screamed into my pillows in anger. All of it I did with a real and honest joy for life, everyday. So real that I felt it must seep out my pores in tangible waves and infect other people. So real that it felt like another presence inside my chest nearly lifting me from the ground.

And I think it's ridiculous that after all of that, loneliness is going to be the thing that finally breaks me.

Warning! This post contains no point whatsoever!

I woke up feeling really hungry and I was dreaming about chili so I had chili for breakfast. I've learned that working 12 hours three days in a row just standing still and packing boxes in a gray, loud, dry, windowless factory makes me not care about going to the gym or whether or not I should eat this homemade chocolate chip cookie or cleaning my room or going to the grocery store. When I get really, really tired, I cry. Did I already post that before? Maybe I did. So there I was, tears streaming down my face as I packed boxes yesterday afternoon. And then in the lunch room too. No noise or sobbing or anything, just little tears trickling down under the rim of my glasses and falling onto the sandwich bag containing my uneaten peanut butter sandwich.

I don't like not talking to anyone for hours at a time and then the only people around being the kind of people that think working in a warehouse for years on end would be a really good job. The best kind of job. They don't use the word "career" or think about what it would be like to retire after god-knows-how-many-years packing boxes and scanning merchandise.

Its time to go to work now.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The difference:

Amber: You look tired.
Me: I am. I'm very tired.
Amber: Yeah, you have bags under your eyes. Like, they are puffy right here. You still look tired even with your make-up on.
Me: Thanks so much.

Jeremy: You look tired.
Me: I am.
Jeremy: Your eyes have that watery, trying-not-to-cry look. Are you okay?
Me: *nod*
Jeremy: Do you want some caffeine?

I don't know if you can see it, but to me, there is a world of difference in those two conversations from tonight. She pointed out what was wrong with me even after I did my best to fix it. She made me feel even worse. He noticed the details (I cry when I get really tired), was concerned, and then offered a solution (that worked.)

But I really am tired. So goodnight.

When I get really, really tired, I just cry.

So instead of going to the grocery and doing my laundry yesterday, I just laid on my bed and cried. Then I put my pajamas on and went to sleep. My mother took pity on me and did my laundry for me.

This sucks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

People have started adding "And you can bring whoever you want!" to invitations. I wonder what that means?

So the trained us for 3 hours on how to pack a box.

I would write about my new job, except that I don't have time. If I go to bed at 10 I get about 6 hours sleep. I need to do my laundry. I need to go to the grocery. I need to spend some time where when I close my eyes I don't see conveyor belts and cardboard boxes. I dreamed of tape guns and scanners and stupid, stupid people. Okay, I guess I told you about my new job.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I've said this before but, I wish life was a book that I could just flip to the last page. If I could just find out that in the end, everything turns out okay, it would be much easier to handle the confusing parts.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

So anyway...

I republished those posts I drafted. I may not have said it in so many words, but everyone already knows anyway. Mostly.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Other happy stuff happened too, but who wants to read about that?

My brother just told me I look tired. I said, "I'm tired all the time! Like, every night!" It wasn't until he laughed at me that I realized just how stupid that statement was.

But I am tired. My ears are ringing from the concert I went to tonight and my hair smells like cigar smoke and other parts of me are uncomfortable. So physically, I'm uncomfortable in general. I'm telling you this so you know where I am coming from.

Someone left a comment on my blog about my drafted posts and I have to say I am continuously surprised when someone actually takes the time to read what I write. Who am I that anyone should listen? I say the same things over and over and barely make any progress. I whine and worry quite a bit and my life is completely lacking in any kind of adventure or, you know, specialness. And yet someone listens. It makes me feel good to know that.

In the car ride home Jeremy asked if I was okay. I said I was. He didn't believe me. I said I was okay. He said I could just say I didn't want to talk about it. I said I didn't want to talk about it. That was, I think, the first time I ever said that to him.

My brain doesn't always work in a pattern that makes immediate sense to the outside observer, but the following thoughts are connected and make sense to me.

Drafted posts and the car ride home.

I drafted those posts because I felt like I had things to say and then, having said them, worried about how people would respond if they read them. Even people I'm almost entirely sure don't actually read this anyway. Just in case. But part of me did want to be heard and by those same people or I wouldn't have written and posted those things in the first place.

And in the car ride home from the concert I was trying to make sure Jeremy didn't notice that anything was wrong with me but my hands gave me away as I worried my jacket belt between my fingers. I've managed to hide being not-okay around him a couple of times before but I don't know if that was because we were in a group setting and he had more to focus on, or if maybe this time I wasn't trying hard enough in the first place. Because part of me did want to talk about it, but I knew we didn't have enough time. I don't want there to be things I can't talk about with him, but it wasn't stuff that could be covered in the distance between the coffee shop and my house. And he was going to Billy's house afterwards and now I worry that he thinks I'm upset with him for going to Billy's house afterwards. I worry too damn much.

I'll tell you some of the things that were on my mind in the car. If you don't want to know, um, you could always stop reading?

The main thing was that I actually usually hate concerts and shows. (Jeremy says in surprised tone, "I didn't know you don't like concerts.") I don't like being places that require me to be around other people but not actually talk to them. You have to do the awkward yell-into-each-others-ears thing. I hate that. I can't read lips. And I always want to talk. And also, my favorite part about music is the lyrics and in concerts I just don't understand the words if I don't already know the music. And even then I like the more intimate, quite settings. I don't like shows. So nearly the whole time I felt this general pull to walk out of the concert part and into the coffee shop part and talk to people. I wanted to leave, leave, leave.

And then there were all these people there that I barely know and they are the kind of people that say "Hi!" really enthusiastically when they see me but don't actually know anything about who I am and don't really want to talk to me long enough to find out at all. It seems like a waste to me. Its like fake-nice.

And Travis was there and I actually did want to talk to him but I couldn't and that made me a little sad.

And three other things I don't want to write about because then I would probably draft the post later.

Part of it was feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Part of it was feeling worried and jealous. Part of it was feeling unsure and hesitant. I don't think I can say more.

And I don't want to get too personal but I hurt and just wanted to sit down somewhere and hug a pillow. But I was standing still in a crowd.

And I felt pretty today and it was dark and loud and hot and I couldn't talk to anyone so they could see too.

And then there was at least part of that I had already decided that I should never, ever talk to Jeremy about and that I must hide it from my face and my person as much as I could.

All of these things were going through my head in the car ride home. And maybe more that I've already forgotten. Jeremy says you can only hold 7 things in your mind at a time. And if we add the cigar and the jacket-belt and the music and the moon and the ever-shorting distance and the worry over upsetting Jeremy by accidentally making him think I was upset with him, well, that is A LOT more than 7 things to think about. They just circled around my head like a carousel on fast forward until I could barely keep up with the conversation we were having.

I am tired. Thanks for listening.

One of those days when three little things make one big, upsetting thing.

I like plans. Not detailed plans, but at least a general idea of what I will be doing over the next several days. It can be as vague as Friday = work, gym, Johnna. Which was what the plan was for yesterday. Not too specific. I didn't know how long the gym part would take me or what I would do with Johnna, but I knew that I wasn't going to be spending the night at home watching Netflix and wondering where everyone was.

Things did not go according to plan. I really liked that they didn't.

It started off with a grumpy morning that was really a continuation of a grumpy night before. But by the time lunch was over, the grumpy morning had turned into a full-blown horrible, horrible day.

I won't really talk about that very much here, but I do want to say something. Since I've become friends with Jeremy, I have had several friendships either dissolve completely or turn into something less than what they were. But I've only gotten closer to him during that time. I spend at least a couple nights a week hanging out with him. He has become an important part of my life. He is my friend.

But I feel like I can't talk about him with my other friends and it frustrates me to no end. And for each friend there is a different reason. But it really sucks feeling uncomfortable talking about a part of my life that I enjoy. A part that is healthy and safe and stable when everything else feels so scary sometimes. And on those days when I'm upset about something he might have said or done or maybe I'm worried about something having to do with him or I just want to tell someone else how much fun we had doing this or that or how awesome I think he is or muse over what it meant when he said this or did that, who do I call? I can tell them about work. I can tell them about my family. I can tell them about weight loss and loneliness and debt and other friendships. But not this.

I realize that its frustrating and confusing when I seem so attached to someone I've known for so little time. I realize some of my friends are worried because they don't understand his character or they think I might get hurt. And some of my friends are upset that I turn to him for things when they would be there for me too except that I never ask them. I can't say I'm being logical. I can't say I'm being fair.

I am an emotional being. It usually takes me a long, long time to trust people. To let them in. To even let them see who I am when I'm not happy. And then even when I get there, I am repulsed by the idea of needing people. The people in my life that I am supposed to be able to need, my parents, have hurt me more than anyone. It has taught me that it is better not to need anyone. I can do this on my own. I'm strong. I can make it. So I tell people what is going on sometimes, but usually it is just so they understand the change in my behavior. I don't want anything from them. I don't need anything.

But Jeremy snuck up on me somehow. It happened in slow degrees I can't measure. Even in the beginning, he seemed to know that I was upset when no one else in the room noticed. He was persistent enough to pull it out of me. Slowly I learned that he would always listen, even if it was him I was upset with. I started to trust him for reasons I can't figure out. It has become a trust that scares me because it is more than I give to most people. The safe distance I keep between myself and other people is getting shorter between Jeremy and I.

But he does make me feel safe. And heard. And understood.

So when the electricity got shut off, I learned through a text message while at work. I immediately put on my fake smile and went back out to wait on customers. The slow panic started to build as I planned out the next few steps. Find a place to stay. Find out how long this is gong to be. Find out how much this is going to cost me. Can I make it home before I cry? Will it be dark when I get there? Do I have to be anywhere tonight? All of this running through my head while I ask people questions and issue vehicle registrations. I didn't make it home before I cried. That was awful.

I just realized this is way more detail that I meant to share. Anyway, over the course of the five days our electricity was shut off, I realized that I couldn't do this alone this time. I spent my free time Wednesday and Thursday with Jeremy. And Friday with Jeremy and Johnna. I didn't need anything from him that he doesn't already give freely. I mean, I had to take a shower at his house which, unfortunately, is not something I haven't had to ask before. I absolutely hated asking for that, but I could have done it at the gym if I had to. What I needed from him was a safe, stable, calm place to be. A comforting presence. He is always those things for me. I don't know if it is because he seems so strong to me or because I know I couldn't pretend to be okay around him even if I wanted to.

Wow. This has gone completely in a way I didn't plan. Just like yesterday.

So anyway. Yesterday turned into complete, full-blown horrible day. Jeremy texted me to see if I wanted to come over for dinner. He remembered Johnna and I had plans. He said she should come too. And Billy would join us too. At this point, I was more than willing to cancel the gym because of the horrible, horrible day. I got to Jeremy's house before Johnna and he let me tell him about all my worries and frustrations and anger. I cried. He gave me a tissue and made me feel better. When Johnna got there we started making dinner that eventually evolved into stuffed peppers, minus a recipe.

It was so much fun cooking together. I don't know why I love doing that so very, very much. And I even like doing the dishes too. We talked and shared stories and made fun of each other and caught up and remembered and ate. Then we moved down to the basement for more of the same minus the eating. After that we went to the movies. I didn't like the movie and fell asleep on Johnna during that part of the evening.

But its strange how little words and touches and time heal. There wasn't a specific thing that made me feel better. Just being with people I care about. Little moments. Like Billy picking on me for being grumpy, even though that made me grumpier for a moment. Or Jeremy comparing me to Billy's mom, which also made me grumpier, but then he followed me to my car to make sure I wasn't actually upset. Or Johnna letting me hold her hand on the car ride home because I always wake up wanting to touch someone.

I've written things I can't post, but I think maybe I could tell someone in person now.

I'm sensitive and most people don't notice because I hide it. I'm forgiving and oblivious to many things in a relationship because I look for the good in people and keep expecting them to be better next time. But when I get to the point where I realize that they really do hurt me, it's hard for me to move on after that.

I'm going to have to re-resolve to tell people when something is upsetting me so they at least have a little warning before I completely give up. Maybe, unlike my parents, other people care about hurting me.

For now I feel much, much better.

Women who grow sleepy while staring at the men who stare at goats.

I realized something amazing tonight.

You know that feeling you get when you are about to fall asleep but you aren't allowed to because you are at work or driving or in church or some such other situation that strictly prohibits sleep? Your eyelids suddenly become boulders that require incredible strength to lift and your mind cannot possibly focus on any other task besides keeping your chin from hitting your chest. Its terrible.

But, if that feeling happens at the movies with friends, you can totally let it happen. You paid for the movie, right? And your sleeping is not going to detract from their movie-going-experience unless perhaps one of them becomes a pillow and you happen to drool. If you aren't enjoying the movie, then you probably wouldn't be participating in the post-movie re-quote and laugh session anyway. So figure out which friend has the squishiest shoulders (and would be okay with being leaned on) and just take advantage of the non-verbal friend agreement that you can lean on one another. Literally.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Tell me something good:

First of all, I keep writing posts, posting them, and then saving them as drafts when I change my mind. Its awful. Its like I have things to say but then I decide not to. All these words are floating around inside my head.

I'm having a needy morning. I just wish I could talk to someone about all the things that are making me less happy and then it would feel better. Just to have someone listen and know.

But I'm alone this morning and I think everyone is still asleep or at work already.

I got a second job. Soon I'll work seven days a week. Orientation is tomorrow. I'll have a lot less free time but then maybe the burden of my debt will be proportionally lighter?

I'm going to go find something happy to watch.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Things I didn't say to anyone today:

Yesterday Jeremy and I drank for the police academy. I was really nervous when we walked in and there were all those guys stranding around in their uniform things, but they quickly took us to a classroom and closed the door. I was drinking 7-up and whiskey and eventually I lost count. I got to the point where it was hard to walk right and I was sending incomprehensible texts to Johnna. Then they led us into a big room full of those guys (and one girl that I noticed) and separated us one drunk for every three cadets. I was tested over and over and over again. I almost fell down a lot. People kept catching me though. After a few walk and turn and standing on one foot tests, they decided that I should just stay in a chair and follow the light with my eyes. It was fun but I'm sure they were more amused at me than I realized. I get even friendlier and happier when I drink.

After all the testing Billy took us back to Jeremy's house. By that point I had a headache and the feeling that I would throw up very, very soon. I discovered that it stopped hurting if I stopped moving so Jeremy watched a couple movies while I sat next to him on the couch hiding my face in his shoulder and clinging to his arm. I kept having the impulse to say things I knew I shouldn't so I focused on breathing and twitching my fingers instead. I was so cold. I felt like if I could just sit close enough, Jeremy's body heat would chase away the cold. I felt terrible every time I moved even the slightest bit, but I was perfectly content where I was anyway.

At some point the nausea subsided enough for us to eat dinner. While the stew warmed up in the microwave, Jeremy grabbed me and started dancing with me there in the middle of the kitchen. I've never danced like that before and I'm sure I was still at least mildly intoxicated as I nearly fell over a few times, but it was nice. He spun me and dipped me and I can't believe he didn't let me fall over. He picked me up when he hugged me but I think that was earlier and at some point we fake-fought very briefly before he had me in a position I had no hope of escaping.

So by the time we finished eating our stew later, I thought I had reached a new level of comfortable with touching. It took a lot for me to lean over and lay my head on his shoulder. It took even more courage to claim his arm. But I did that. I was happy with myself for not getting all weird about touching my friend. Progress. But then he touched my face.

I don't remember the words that came out of my mouth or exactly what I did with my hands but I think the general message was that he should stop. Right now.

What I do remember is that it felt very much like a moment from a dream I had and I didn't like the similarity at all because I was afraid somehow the hands on my face would absorb the memory of the dream and he would know. My heart started racing immediately because those hands were warmer and closer and more real than the dream hands and I liked that too much. So I wanted it to stop. Because it hurts too much to want something I can't have. I mean, it sucks.

I can feel friend feelings when I lean on his shoulder. I can feel friend feelings when we dance in the kitchen and when we hug and when he knocks me to the ground. But I lose the battle when he puts it hands on my face. When he is so close I can feel the warmth from his breath. When his hand is suddenly on my knee. Maybe he likes giving me palpitations. Maybe he can feel my heart racing through his fingertips.

But this is harder than I thought it would be. And who do I talk to about it? He is the one I tell things to when I have things to tell. The one that makes it better when I'm upset and the one that offers a new perspective when I can't see it right. But I stutter and get inarticulate and unclear when I try to talk about how I feel about him with him.

And I feel like so many other relationships are going wrong right now. And I'm horrible at dealing with disharmony. It makes me want to withdraw instead of fix it.

So I'll tell you all the things I didn't tell anyone else today:

I got the second job I was trying to get. Now I'll have two of them. Every day of the week. And my biggest worry is that I won't see Jeremy enough.

I don't really feel like a supervisor very much at work. Its like I'm only a supervisor when everyone else is busy or unavailable. I'm sure it will just take time for people to start thinking of me that way.

Jeremy and Johnna shared heartbreak stories last night. They talked about how much it hurts. I didn't have a story to tell and I wanted so much to tell them how awful it is knowing that no one ever wanted me, not even long enough to break my heart. How awful it is to wonder if I'll ever get to experience what it is to date. I wanted to tell them how willing I was to experience the tears if only I could feel the high that comes first. I would have cried too.

They think they can tell me which is better: being alone or risking heartbreak. They think they know both feelings. But how can they know the deep, deep assurance that after 23 years no one has ever loved me like that. They know what it is to be loved and dismissed, but no one ever gave me the opportunity in the first place. No one ever gave me the time and attention.

But I didn't tell them. I didn't cry. I didn't let them see what it's doing to me. And they told me I didn't want it. Told me not to fall in love.

I honestly, honestly am running out of patience. I wasn't made to be alone.

And sometimes, for brief moments of time, I can step outside of myself and see a person worth loving. Why hasn't anyone else seen this girl yet?

I'm getting sleepy and leaving out words. I think I'm grumpy because I slept terribly and woke up with a headache from the drinking and haven't had enough social interaction today. Maybe I'll write something happy tomorrow.

I hope I don't dream about touching anymore.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

It was me, and I remember every detail.

Last night I dreamed that someone kissed me.

I dream often. Ridiculous things like the other day I dreamed I had a baby and I was taking care of it. I dream about being in another dimension or running from one thing or another or exploring a new environment or being someone different. Ridiculous things.

But last night I dreamed that someone kissed me. And nearly everything else was normal. And I suppose it bothers me so much because it was me being kissed when normally I'm some other person in my dreams and the world I'm in is so vastly different that I'm not reminded of my dreams later, in the waking world.

It was me and I remember every detail except I cannot possibly know how it would feel for a mans lips to touch mine because I only kiss children on the mouth and they are usually covered in snot, spit, or some kind of food. Its usually pretty gross.

I don't have much else to say about it except that I keep thinking about it. I wanted to be kissed before in a vague, unknowing kind of way. Now it feels different. I'm so tired of the waiting. I sure hope it's worth it.

All those years I heard your name, I never knew you were going to be my best friend.

I heard stories about you. Countless stories. Sometimes about things that made her happy and other times about things that made her mad. She was sad when you went away. She always compared the rest of them to you. But you were just a face I had seen a couple times with a trail of stories pinned up around the face in my mind. Not enough to make a whole person. Not enough to understand anything at all. My friends boyfriend.

And then towards the end it was always more irritation than happiness when she spoke of you. Miscommunication. Wrong reactions. Disagreements. And then a rocky friendship. She invited me along to a bar, a bonfire, a comedy club,a road trip with you and your best friend. Still in my mind it was she and I, her ex-boyfriend and his best friend. I always saw you through the filter of her. It was like a show watching you two misunderstand one another and have conflict after conflict. It was a mess.

All those years I heard your name, I never knew you were going to be my best friend.

In my mind it began the day you went with me to get my tattoo. The first time I was ever alone with you. And I was so nervous because I didn't understand you then. So much more unknown compared to the known.

Last night we decided it has been six months. Six whole months. Or only six. I understand you much better now and instead of nervous I feel safe and excited to be around you. Even when you are sick and we watch movies all day. Even when we fall asleep in front of the space heater. I can't wait to find out a little more about what makes you you. And you seem to be the first person I think of when I have stories to tell.

This week I couldn't go home. Before, I might have cried on the phone about it to one of my friends one time and then pretended to be okay until it was over. I would have spent as much time alone as possible because pretending to be okay is hard work. But this time my first thought was that I could tell you about it. And then seeing you, I couldn't pretend to be anything else. And that upset me more.

Because I worry that people won't like me if I'm anything other than the bubbly, happy Sarah Jo I normally am. I am afraid they can't handle it or don't want to see it or don't know what to do with me.

So I cried and you comforted me and then made me laugh.

It is not just the fun, exciting days that made you matter so much to me. The roller coasters and bonfires and silly activities will always be beautiful things in my mind. But I cherish the days when you were sick and still wanted me around. When I cried and you made me feel better. When you were upset about something and wanted to tell me. When I was upset and you noticed and listened too.

I don't just love the silly, happy, fun, smart, playful, exciting parts of you. I love the parts that are quieter and slower to show too.

Friday, October 30, 2009

So the point of failure is when you absolutely cannot lift that weight one more time.

Our electricity got shut off and I went to go stay with my aunt. Again.

This time was harder than any other time. This time I reached my breaking point. This time I felt like I would cry at any moment. And then I did cry several times.

I know I'm not the only one that knows how it feels to not be able to go home, but that doesn't make it any easier. I had absolutely no privacy. I was only alone when I was asleep or in my car. I spent a couple days with Jeremy and I just kept thinking about how I wanted to go home. It was the first time I ever spent time with him and wanted to be anywhere else. But I was thinking that I wanted to go home all day long. For days. Everywhere I was. I just wanted to go home.

I missed my bed. Mine. I missed the way my shoulders feel lighter when the bedroom door is closed. I missed knowing where everything is and where it belongs and being able to leave it out of place if I feel so inclined. I missed coming home and leaving whenever I want to. Without permission or informing anyone else. I missed having control over my surroundings. Who is in the room with me. How long they stay. What music is playing. I missed the Internet.

Mostly, I missed being able to be the me I am when no one else is around. I don't have to smile if I don't want to. I can sing ridiculous songs out loud if I want to. I can dance in front of the mirror in my underclothes. I can sit and read in the silence. I can wash my clothes and walk to the bathroom without pants on and I can cook things and eat whenever I'm hungry.

No one here reads my journal when I'm not around. They don't question my every action such as: Are you going to brush your teeth now? What did you eat for breakfast? What are you wearing today? Why did you lock the bathroom door? What's this? What's this? Can I look at the pictures on your phone? Who are you texting? What are you saying to them? What did they say back? Who is on the phone? Why are they calling you? Why are you taking a shower again today? Where did you go after work? What do you do when you work out? Why don't you watch TV? Who is Jeremy? Why do you have to text him when you get home? Are you bringing him to trick or treat? Why did you go to his house? What did you do there? Do you like him? Who is Ashley? Why is she calling you? Why does she live in Orlando? What does she do there? Who does she live with? Is she the one you visited? What did you do? Why do you have house shoes? Are your feet cold? Why did you eat chili for dinner two days in a row? Don't you like fried chicken? Are you going to get another tattoo? Will you read me a poem? Why do you keep closing the door? What time will you be home tonight? Why don't you just stay here? What do you keep writing in that book? Why do you want to write? What time are you getting up tomorrow? What are you going to have for breakfast? Are you mad at your mommy and daddy? Why do you want to go home? Are you coming for trick or treat? Are you dressing up?

I think I need a moment of silence now.

I write about myself in third person.

She holds the glass with two hands as if it might float away or fall if she isn't careful. And she smiles at strangers even when she has a dozen reasons why she should curl up and cry. Sometimes she sings and sometimes it's pretty. She doesn't know how to touch other people but she has gotten very good at telling them how much she cares. She is learning to be brave but she's always been strong and resilient. She looks in the mirror and wonders if anyone will ever love her for who she is. Will ever want her. It takes her forever to eat anything and she gets excited over silly little things. She loves hugs: the longer the better. She can't see the way other people see her and that's why she tells others exactly how they seem to her. But only the good things. Sometimes she feels beautiful. She likes to cook things and feed people. She hates being alone. She fears that her love would be too much. That is would smother instead of comfort. She is so ready to be someone's only one. She pops her knuckles. She hates making decisions. She loves the way it feels when her muscles are tired from working hard. She misses the feeling of the sun on her skin. She is so unobservant she is almost disabled and it terrible at paying attention to anything. She has recently learned a new kind of love. She thinks the worst part about crying is that she can't smile at the same time. It takes her a long time to trust people. Usually. She wishes she could dance. She is trying to be the best version of herself she can be. She sees the best in people. She hopes they see the good in her too.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Words could never adequately convey my love for you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Silly, silly me.

Oh goodness, I've started to notice something new about myself lately. I'm starting to get grumpy at night when I'm tired. It was never like that before.

Before, I was grumpy in the mornings and it took me forever to feel friendly and joyful. And then I could stay up all night long and just got happier as the hours went on. Now, I wake up all full of life and ready to tell someone how much I love them and be with people and all kinds of good things and then when I stay up too late I start getting grumpy and sensitive about stupid things and I can't figure out why on earth I'm upset in the first place. Must there be a grumpy part of the day?

Because last night I was a little grumpy about something and the more I thought about it the more upset I got and it was ridiculous because after sleeping I've decided that I shouldn't have been upset in the first place. In fact, I'm pretty happy right now. I'm lovely. I'm great.

Silly, silly me.

I am a sensitive, sensitive creature.

So anyway, I'm grumpy. Well, I'm calling it grumpy because "I'm not smiling and I don't want to talk to anyone because my feelings are hurt but my feelings shouldn't be hurt because I'm just too sensitive and it would be ridiculous to talk about" doesn't quite fit well as a mood descriptor, you know?

But I am feeling that way.

I just don't like the idea that spending time with me was anything other than absolutely amazing. Was anything other than any other positive word. Fun. Enjoyable. Relaxing. Comforting. Nice. Calming. Exciting. Great. Good. Any of those things would be a fine word choice to describe spending time with me.

Even these words would be acceptable some of the time: Fine. Okay. Familiar.

And if its not even any of those words, then why are we here together?

Because I've got plenty of voices in my head telling me all the reasons I'm not okay. And I have plenty of examples in the various forms of media and real-life for which I could compare myself and fall short. I don't have a shortage of influences encouraging a negative self-image.

But I like me. Sometimes I'm silly and loud. Sometimes I'm quiet and serious. Sometimes I smile at absolutely nothing and other times I have nothing to say. But I like me no matter what mood I'm in. And I like me no matter who I am hanging out with. Finally, finally, finally I am secure and comfortable in who I am all the time.

It's not easy to get there. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And it's not easy to stay here either. I feel like I'm constantly clawing my way back up to the top again.

I believe the negative things so easily. I am a tower of blocks. I am that game, Jenga. Is it really your job to slide out pieces and see how long I can stand? Do you want to hear the clatter when the pieces fall? Would you hang around to stack them up again?

I'm not asking you to build me up. That would feel lovely but I don't want to lean on you because I don't expect you to last forever. I'm just asking you to take caution with me. I'm not always as strong as I seem. You don't like it when other people hurt me, but honestly, you could do much, much more damage than they ever could.

But I'll say it once again: I am a sensitive, sensitive create and I shouldn't be hurt at all. Not at all. Not even a little bit. It shouldn't have even phased me. But it did.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Like when you crawl into bed and the sheets are the perfect kind of cold.

My favorite part of the day was seeing my two friends walk into my work. And I was embarrassed at just how happy I was to see them. Or maybe it was when they demanded I come over after work. Or maybe it was when Jeremy stood up and hugged me as soon as I walked in. Or maybe it was when he hovered over me in a threatening-like pose and demanded I tell him my secrets. Or maybe it was when Krystal put her head on my shoulder. Or maybe it was every moment after that until I walked out the front door again.

Or maybe it was when the young man at the gym kept smiling at me.
Or maybe it was knowing that this weekend is going to be great. Just great.
Or maybe it was the comfort and no longer fear that I feel from touching my friends.
Or maybe it was when I looked in the mirror and felt pretty.
Or when I flexed my muscles and felt strong.
Or when I saw my friends and felt loved.
Or when he noticed the details and I felt seen.

I suppose I don't know what my favorite part was. How horrible.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am SO a words of affirmation person.

Those poor boys at Chipotle don't understand. How could they? They are only looking at me. But what they can't see is this: it's so much easier to smile when you are standing next to me.

And you can't see it either. What do you see but the version of me that is always with you? But its true. I'm happier just being around you.

I've made you lists and given you reasons why I so enjoy your company, but there is still some intangible, unnameable thing I can't quite express. Maybe it is the details. Or maybe it is the way all the parts make a greater whole.

But you make me feel like I could conquer the world. And they would all bow down and thank me for it. And then I would probably hand over the power to you and say, "I don't know what to do with this; you take it."

I don't know how long I get to keep you in my life. Friendships make me nervous in a new way now. People keep going away. People keep finding reasons not to stay. But I'm grateful for this time right now. Every day.

I'm glad I get to call you my friend. I love claiming your free time and giving you mine.

So anyway, next time we are in line and they don't listen to your order very well because they are commenting on how much I am smiling, remember: its probably all your fault somehow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I am so incredibly impatient.

Things I actually have noticed:

I don't know if I can explain this well, but I'm going to try.

Before my weight loss, people barely payed attention to me. I didn't notice it then because it was normal and I was trying to be invisible anyway. I shut myself into my own little world and hoped no one noticed me most of the time. I was still friendly and talkative to people I interacted with, of course, that's the way I am, but it was different in a way I'm having trouble describing. It was like they made less eye contact with me. They talked less. A lot of times I would see that look in peoples eyes that they had already dismissed me as unimportant in their minds. Seen. Judged. Dismissed. But again, it didn't bother me because I just thought that was how people are. I was friendly and most people weren't. The end.

But now, it's different. People keep noticing me. The remember me. They comment about me to other people. How do I say this? Like the people at Chipotle that remember me coming in. That never happened before. Or the man at the smoothie place that remembers my order and how long it has been since I last came. And now the people at the gym. First it was the trainers there that all of a sudden notice me though I've been going there for almost a year and a half. And now other people that go to the gym recognize me and talk to me.

I don't really know what to do with all of it. I can handle the women just fine, but men make me nervous. Men rarely talked to me before. And I don't know the difference between friendliness and interest. And mostly the only "interest" I've ever experienced from the opposite sex has been the creepy kind of interest. Creepy, creepy guys.

I was just thinking about this because one of the trainers at the gym was talking to me today. And last Sunday too. Now when I come in he says, "Hey Skinny" and tells me how good I look. And his eye contact kind of lingers longer than I'm used to. He watches me approach the desk to scan my card or leave the gym when normally they only look up and back down again. Notice. Register. Dismiss.

How does this all work? It's all kind of new and scary. I know so little and I feel like everyone else has years more practice in dealing with the opposite sex. I've missed all those little lessons I can't even articulate. How to flirt. How to convey and decode interest. How to approach. How to hold hands the first time. How to do that moving-closer dance that people do. How to walk away gently when it isn't right.

I'm not interested in that guy at the gym. Or the smoothie place guy. Or anyone in particular that I haven't already talked about. But when the time comes, when I see someone I'm interested in and he is interest in me, I want to date. I want to find out what this is all about. Even if it is wrong. Even if I'll get hurt in the process. Because I want to learn and experience and try. Because I'm curious and impatient. Because I don't expect my person to be the first person I date. Unless I'm some crazy kind of lucky.

Some part of me seemed to believe that I wouldn't have to worry about any of this till I reached my goal weight. I mean, I've been hoping and hoping that someone could somehow fall in love with me the way I am: overweight and all the other things. But I still believed that it wouldn't happen. That no one would possibly even look my way until I was there at the end. I've always wanted like I think many, many girls want, to find my person. To be wanted. And desired. And loved. But I thought that wouldn't happen till later. That elusive day when a switch would turn and someone would see me as attractive. And then that day I would know all those lessons I don't know. Just like magic.

I'm not saying gym guy or smoothie guy or chipotle guys find me attractive. I can't know that. But they see me when before I was invisible. And they talk to me when before they just followed to cursory script. And it makes me face the idea that maybe there won't be a day where the magical switch flips. Maybe it will happen sooner.

I've been ready for the idea of falling in love, but I haven't thought about the details. The parts that aren't clear and might hurt and might be awkward and might be surprising and fun. Just in my head there was this person that would be next to me and with me and he doesn't have a face (because I don't know what he looks like) and he doesn't touch me (because I don't know what that feels like) and now I see that one day there is going to be a face and hands and voice to my person.

I was watching a movie with Jeremy the other day and someone killed another person by hooking up electrical clamp things to her ears. And before he did that he sucked on her earlobes to get them wet. Jeremy said something like, "Now you're going to think twice before you let someone lick your ears."

And one day I confessed that I flush the toilet with my toes at home because I think the handle is just too gross to touch and he said, "What if someone wanted to suck on your toes?"

And both these situations sent my mind to this new, unfamiliar place. People do that? What would that be like? Would someone want to do that to me? Would I want to do that to someone else? I don't know the answers to all my questions but I know that when I find out I'm going to be that nervous kind of shaky where my heart races just a little too fast and my arms feel like when I lift weights too long and they start wobbling in my hands.

I'm just grateful I have this place here to write. These are things I want to talk about but I don't know how. At least I express some version of what I'm trying to say here. Even if I get no response, I feel better having said it.

Travis Flynn was playing in my dreams last night.

I started a new workout with a trainer yesterday and I'm pretty sure every muscle we worked is sore. We worked all kinds of muscles. And some things she had to make harder for me because I've been working those muscles for a long time, but other things, mostly the arms, I've been neglecting I suppose because she had to go all the way down to the little five pound weights on my reverse fly's and kickbacks. Anyway, I hurt.

And Thursday I came to the horrible realization that I am spending more money than I make and that its going to have to stop immediately. I paid the bills that were due and had ten dollars left. Ten. And I informed my friends that I would not be participating in activities that required money and nice things happened. Christine bought me Chipotle for lunch on Friday, and Robbie was just fine with not going to P.F. Changs for dinner. My aunts invited me to dinner Friday night and I took Robbie with me. Jeremy paid for my movie Friday night, and Krystal took me to the Chambers of Horror Saturday night. It was all so very, very nice.

I have also realized that I am horrible at dividing my attention properly. When Johnna and I got to Jeremy's house on Friday night I forgot to hug him. I know this sounds like a minor thing, but I am all about hugs and it makes me sad that I forgot. Its just that I was worried about Johnna being comfortable and having a good time. And I forgot to hug my best friend.

This made me think back over other nights and weeks and situations and I find that this is probably a recurring pattern. I get so wrapped up in one person that I forget to give to the others. I don't know how to fix it. I'm not good at paying attention to more than one thing at a time. I prefer one-on-one settings to group settings most of the time, but group time is fun too. And necessary.

I don't mean to hurt people. I think I keep hurting people.

It bothers me so much more when I think someone is upset with me than it ever does for me to be upset with another person. My anger or hurt is usually pretty easy to fix and doesn't last long, but it takes a long time for me to stop fretting over having hurt someone I care about. Its an awful feeling.

And if you've been my friend for any length of time, you have probably experienced this. I'm so sorry. I can't say that I won't do it again, but I'm going to try to pay more attention to who I'm paying attention to.

Time for the gym again. Sigh. I freakin hurt.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I was going to use this time and space to talk about all the things I like about you, but then I changed my mind. You must get tired of hearing that from me.
I was going to use this time and space to talk about all the things I like about you, but then I changed my mind. You must get tired of hearing that from me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm all kinds of happy. I wish I could bottle this feeling up and then use it like perfume on the days when I just don't have enough.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I wish coming home didn't suck so much.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

When you said lipstick, I was thinking flavored lotion!

I know this can't be very interesting for you, but it helps me remember later when I read back over all of this.

Yesterday I woke up to Ashley making a delicious quiche. It was the good kind of spicy. Is there a bad kind of spicy? After that we got ready to go canoeing. I had never been before and I was nervous about tipping over. Well actually, I was nervous about trying to climb back into the boat after said disaster. I wasn't actually worried about alligators swarming in to eat me or anything. Also, I am pretty creeped out by the idea of things in the water touching me. Plant or animal. Eww.

But tipping over didn't happen. It was nice to feel the pull of the water against my paddle. The rhythm of each stroke pushing us forward. The scenery was beautiful and it was so peaceful. For a few minutes it did start raining and we couldn't figure out where it was coming from because the sky was the perfect blue with puffy, white clouds. And we did see two alligators. One was hiding near the plants at the edge of the water and the other was laying on the bottom underneath the clear, clear water. I really enjoyed the feeling of the sun on my skin.

Eventually I remembered that I don't like sitting still. I crossed and recrossed my legs in a vain hope to relieve the urge to move them, but the desire only grew. And my shoulders started to burn from making unfamiliar demands on lazy muscles. I enjoyed canoeing very much, but I think I only needed to do that once.

After canoeing we headed over to the hiking trail for a short hike. The heat of the day and threatening clouds kept it a short hike. When we came back home, we had dinner and showered. It felt so good to get clean. Then we went to a local movie theater to see The Invention of Lying. I thought it was really funny. Ashley thought it was just okay. Back home again, I read my book while Ashley gave me updates on the Twilight characters and we internet-stalked the actors through Twitter.

This morning I woke up hungry and Ashley suggested IHOP. A VERY good suggestion. Our poor server looked so tired and there was a visible gap of time between when he heard what we said and when he actually understood what he was hearing. Still, he got everything right and was very polite.

The beach. Oh, the beach. So, I haven't been on a beach since the cruise last August when I was very fat and very out of shape. I had this memory of a cruel sun and sand that sucked at my feet and too many people. This was nothing like that at all. We found a national park that apparently no one else knows about or something. The sand was a gorgeous brown near the dunes with pieces of sea shells in varying sizes throughout the coarse grains. Then it gave way to a fine white sand that looked darker near the water. It was soft and cool beneath my feet and shells littered the beach. The ocean stretched out beyond seeing and the breeze blew in over the water in time with the lapping waves. So perfect.

We played in the sand and ran in the waves. We let the water push and pull us. We laid on our stomaches and read. We wrote messages in the sand with the shells. I took pictures of the surf and my feet and the "I love you." And we got very, very warm.

Ashley wanted to talk to a park rangers so we visited the information center. The air-conditioned information center. With a cold water fountain. Excellent. I stayed outside and hid in the shade and texted people while she probably assaulted the man with a million questions. Thats when I realized that I was hungry. Luckily, Ashley was too.

We drove around the streets until we found a cute little cafe that promised sandwiches and smoothies. They lived up to that promise, but after we ate we decided that ice cream would be much better than a smoothie. It was homemade. I mean, actually made in that little cafe. It was delicious.

On the drive back to the beach I decided I was pretty tired and Ashley gracious took us back home. It started raining the strangest kind of rain. Big, ominous clouds were above us but all around the sunshine peeked over the edges. It only rained for about twenty minutes before it became, once again, a beautiful sunny day. In Ohio, it rains all day. It rains for days. It rains all week. I could handle the rain if it was always like this. It could rain every single day.

After our showers we ran errands, during which I decided I was hungry yet again. I picked up some pineapples at Walmart and had a hard time waiting till we got to the car to eat some. Goodness do I love pineapple. I think I could live off of pineapple and peanut butter. Probably.

Oh! Did I tell you Ashley gave me a tour of two local supermarket chains? Publix and Winn-Dixie. They looked a lot like a normal grocery store. Except Publix had peanut butter made right there in the deli. Just ground peanuts. I would SO buy that. But I can only take things back in three ounce containers. No fun.

Anyway, her mom made us spaghetti for dinner and I think things just taste even more delicous when you are hungry because that spaghetti was amazing.

What is it about the sun and the heat that seem to make you so much more tired and hungry than usual? I don't understand.

So now its not even eight yet but we have to go to bed soon because I have another insanely early flight home in the morning. I LOVE getting up early!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ashley likes to turn off the lights mid-paragraph.

Did I tell you that I tried a strawberry yesterday? I think I forgot. But I picked the thing up and stared at it like it might bite me and then asked Denise what I do with it. She laughed and said I just bite into it. Well I did. And amazing just flowed into my mouth. Where have strawberries been all my life?

And then when Ashley got home we went to Downtown Disney after a long, slow ride on the highway. It had its benefits though as the guy in the big truck watched and then hooted at us. Twice. We were both pretty hungry and growing grumpy as we drove but we were still nice to each other. A testament to our friendship.

After driving around and around a couple parking lots we entered the mass of humanity wandering through the streets. Eventually we decided to try the Cuban restaurant Bongos. That was a very good choice. I tried fried plantains for the first time ever. They were interesting. I didn't like them at first but then discovered that they go very well with chicken in my mouth at the same time. Yum. I don't think I'll ever have a craving for plantains, but I love trying new things.

We wandered around for awhile after that. I enjoyed watching the two guys playing a two-necked guitar thing and, of all things, a bongo-like drum. There was also some instrument that he blew in that sounded like one of those Australian growly things. Don't you love my instrument vocabulary? I wanted to dance but no one else was and Katelyn wasn't there to shove me into the open space in the middle and start the dancing. One day, I WILL do that. I need to find the nerve.

Eventually we went to this wonderful place involving Ghirardelli sundaes which were horrible for us but I decided that sometimes is good to make "bad" decisions. Somehow, something about sundaes and a giant moon and the rippling water makes it easier to pour your heart and then offend one another. It was enlightening and amusing. After that, my feet hurt and we were parked far away so we left. I did dance on the way in and out of a bathroom, though this time there was no gathered crowd.

Sleepiness happened on the drive home but we actually saw another driver JERK AWAKE on the highway. Ashley kept a close eye and safe distance from that one. When we got home, we both read and lounged on the bed. I remember thinking that it would be great to read and be together with people. We did that.

And then it was time for bed. I liked that part too.

Friday, October 09, 2009

So its 91 degrees here.

Yesterday started at 4am. That part sucked but then I was pleased by a well-timed text message from Jeremy. Chris and Amber rode with me to the airport and Amber drove my car home. I had printed off my boarding pass online the night before and managed to cram all of my stuff into a carry-on so all I really had to do was go through security and find my gate. It was the first time I had ever flown alone. I liked it.

The woman sitting next to me on the plane clearly didn't understand all the don't-talk-to-me messages I was sending out such as the headphones and the feigned sleeping. Eventually though, when I stopped responding to her, she stopped making observations in my general direction. All I'm saying is, I only have to be nice to people in the morning when I love them or I'm getting paid to do it. Neither of these situations applied to this woman.

The next few hours were filled with the hurry up and wait of travel. And I was alone. It was okay because I had several books and my ipod, but I still generally prefer to have people I love around me. So I kept wishing someone was with me.

When I got to Orlando, Ashley's mom, Denise, was waiting for me. She bought me lunch at the airport Chili's and we wandered around the shops there. She was convinced that the server was trying to flirt with me but I just don't notice guys like that, so I didn't see it. He seemed like a person people would call attractive but he didn't smile very much. Thats not attractive at all.

Most of the afternoon was spent wasting time running errands while we waited for Ashley to get home from work. I was so tired that I couldn't even pretend to be excited about anything. Then I had a mountain dew. Things changed after that! They made cajun fries and hamburgers for dinner which were both much tastier than I imagined they would be.

Ashley and I went for a bike ride after dinner and then took her dog for a walk. She laughed at me as I reacted to foreign things like Spanish moss, palm trees, and all kinds of other plants. We ended up going to bed early because I was tired and she had to go to work this morning.

I just love the feeling of the sun on my skin and the vastness of a blue sky with puffy white clouds. I revel in the freedom of lighter clothes and getting to be active outside. It made me miss the summer biking and hiking days with my Ohio friends.

When she left for work I made myself breakfast and then went on a walk with her mom. After that I went on a bike ride by myself. After a shower, I went to a town called Sanford with Denise to wander through the antique stores there. Turns out there is a motorcycle festival thing going on down there. We went through all the tents of motorcycle-people jewelry and crafts and such. None of it appealed to me except for these necklaces made from guitar picks. Those were pretty. Oh, and one of the guys working in a tent said he had a desirable urge to count my freckles. And he kind of leaned forward when he said it and his hand came towards me before he stopped. That was creepy.

After wandering around a bit we stopped and at a little German cafe. I didn't order anything very German. I got chicken salad and fruit. It was so good. Pineapple was involved. Yum. Then we went into a million different antique stores. Now we are back home until Ashley gets here.

I have to tell you that not texting people is harder than I thought it would be. I don't actually even text very much when I'm at home, but I'm usually more occupied by things like work and the gym and cooking and cleaning and reading. But I've had more idle time in the last two days and it makes me want to talk to my friends. Texting is the fastest, most convenient way to do that and I keep reaching for my purse and staying my hand.

I just miss you. I wish I could take you everywhere with me. But I suppose then I wouldn't have any stories to tell you. I wouldn't appreciate it so much when I did see you.

Its so nice here. I miss the sun and I missed Ashley. But I also miss things about home. And I don't like leaving the people I love. I need to think about this in regards to joining the air force. I won't just be leaving for the weekend then. And I can't take you with me. Which one do I want more? Because nothing is permanent. Which one do I get to keep the longest amount of time?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sometimes writing doesn't fix it at all.

I feel better now. I mean, not healed. Thats going to take time, of course. But my friends that are still here made sure I knew it well. It sucks. I'll probably cry several more times. Sometimes in front of other people. Sometimes by myself. But it won't be like that one night again.

I hate that feeling.

It just makes me not want to let anyone close enough to do that. Makes me not want to care about anyone so much that it hurts like that when they leave.

But that won't work.

I feel better now. But I don't like the way this feels.