Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Show Me How To Fight For Now"

Weekend with Moneypenny & his new gf, taking my cats to live with him.  Visited with friends of my uncle's,  ppl I grew up with.  Cried on the way back to Moneypenny's house from the suburb I grew up in, knowing it would never be home again.  I can't even drive by gram 's old house.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, this brokenness inside me might start healing. Out here it's like I'm someone else, I thought that maybe I could find myself. If I could just come in, I swear I'll leave, won't take nothing but a memory from the house that built me.

But going back only tells me part of the story.  An important part but still only part. The part that is who I was and where I come from.  The part that with each mile under my wheels I'm getting farther and farther away from as I get closer to who I will be, to who I am becoming.  In many ways the person I thought I would be someday, the person I couldn't figure out why I wasn't yet when I was in my 20's. I didn't know then that what I needed was more pain, real pain not just suffering. And time. And hard work. So much more hard work. Hard work that I have to remind myself to do everyday if I can ever hope to get what I want. Well, all that and a little bit of luck.  

I also never knew that the pain would change the color of whatever joy would come. Or that all that "being an adult" that I always wanted would be so hard.  You know it's funny how freedom can make us feel contained when the muscles in our legs aren't used to all the walkin'.

But this weekend, spending time with my bestfriend and his new girl and having an amazing time, feeling that joy for him, for them, something I'm sure neither of us thought I'd ever be able to do as his ex, and thinking about Ginger and the Professor and how lucky I was to have them and how I wanted to work harder on being a better partner brought so much joy to me as I was driving home, when I heard this:

'Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there's no place we couldn't go
Just put your hand on the glass, I'm here trying to pull you through
You just gotta be strong

'Cause I don't wanna lose you now
I'm looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you're home
Show me how to fight for now
And I'll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back here to you once I figured it out
You were right here all along

It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making two reflections into one
'Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me.

I just want to hold on to that joy and hope to reflect it back to the people I love.

"House that built me" Miranda Lambert
"Waste" Foster the People
"Mirror" Justin Timberlake

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Bringing My Best With Me, Nothing to Conceal"

For as much as I like to think I act with purpose and guide my own life, I often find that my feelings about something have changed while I wasn't looking. In my life in the last few years, I've had to do a great deal of moving on and letting go. While I often think I'm doing this consciously and with purpose, I often find that the biggest changes are those I don't realize while they are happening, but only see in retrospect, when comparing "how I felt then" to "how I feel now."

I had another one of those moments tonight. So there's this band that Moneypenny and I have seen an embarassing amount of times. He saw them when they first started out, before we ever met. I had heard their national singles on the radio and liked them, but hadn't had any of their music. After we started dating, we went to most of those shows together. In the last few years they've been playing again locally and we've gone to most of those shows. When we first started dating, when we were both very much working on ourselves and that was a path we were sharing, he played this song for me, because it really summed up how he felt then.

Closer-The Urge
Not too much I have to steal
Bringing my best with me
Nothing to conceal
Thought of the renovation
Made sure that I'm showing my appreciation
The future's wide open
Wide open
Wide open

Not much left to be revealed
She made this poor man rich
the freshness that she gives
This is something new
Does she feel the same way too
Future's wide open
Wide open
Wide open

She brings me
A little bit closer
A little bit closer to heaven
She brings me
A little bit closer
A little bit closer to heaven

So for over a decade, every time we've heard that song at a show, it's reminded me of that time. I couldn't imagine hearing it and not thinking about him. I couldn't imagine a time when that song wasn't special and about us. Or at least about those people we were then.

Moneypenny finally has a girlfriend who is cool with me. She's gone out of her way to be gracious and accomodating. She's bent over backwards to be friendly and to meet me and get to know me. And she's really nice and sweet, but in a way that doesn't make you want to gag. The last time I was in town visiting, I came to go to the Urge show with Moneypenny. While most of our previous Urge outings had been just us, I said that he should see if she wanted to go with us. Though they weren't really her kind of band, she'd never been and wanted to get to share this thing he was into as well as hang out with me. I knew that the time had come, the time when he'd have someone that those songs would now be about that wasn't me. I knew that it would probably be a little difficult for me, but I also felt like it was something I had to confront head on.

Of course, it didn't go exactly how I had thought it would. It was a little difficult for me but while I was lost in my own thoughts that night, while I was thinking about how this song was now about their relationship and about how excited they were to be exploring changes in their lives that they wanted to make together, it hit me what those changes where and the beliefs behind those changes and how just the sheer fact that I could never be the kind of person that he wants to be with in that sense. When we were first dating and this song was about us, we thought that the changes we wanted to make would bring us closer to the kinds of people that anyone would want to be with, not just that the other person would want to be with. But I know, hell I knew then, that he wouldn't have dated me if I wasn't on that path of self-betterment. He would have been my friend, but he wouldn't have been my boyfriend. And so I ended up twisting my path to better fit what I thought he wanted, which meant denying so much of who I really am. I feel like I'm still walking that path of self-betterment, if at a slower pace than I wanted to back then, but it will never make me the kind of person that he would want to be in a long-term romantic relationship with, even if it makes me better and a better person, because it will never magically make me a person that is better suited to him when I wasn't already. I remember thinking that night that if it wasn't for our shared history, I'm not sure we'd even be friends, our beliefs are so different. But from what I know of her, she does seem very well-suited to him. At the time, it was very bittersweet, but it helped knowing that I could never be what he was looking for, and also knowing that the reverse was true, that he could never be what I was looking for. I had just started getting serious with The Professor and Ginger and I knew that the things I had finally found in them I would never find in him. But I was ok with that and I knew it was a big step in the right direction, if one a long time coming.

Tonight, several months after those thoughts, Moneypenny, his wonderful girlfriend, and I went to another Urge show. When they played this song, I had a different reaction. Tonight, the song became about someone else for me. Or rather someones. This week has been incredibly difficult for me, much of it revolving around the pressure of this trip and bringing my cats to live with Moneypenny. (Short of it is that I'd like to stay as much as possible with Ginger and the Professor, both just to get to be with them and as a trial run for moving in together but The Professor is allergic to cats and I can't bring them with me while we're in the same smaller space.) Ginger, the Professor and I have all been having issues with our crazy, which makes it harder for any of us to know how to or be able to help either of the others. So this week when my stress level shot up largely as a result of something I was trying to do to be with them more during a time when I had a hard time seeing that they wanted me to be there, it made things even more difficult. But when I heard this song, I felt my attitude do a 180. I know that they've already proven time and again that they accept who I am, that I don't have to conceal anything or be other than who I am. I just need to find a way to run with that instead of letting my insecurities and my past experiences run the show. I've already had so many experiences that I had just straight up given up on and I know that when they are doing better they are completely invested in helping me explore the things that I want to do, try, experience, just as I am for them. Even when they aren't doing so great, they are still as supportive as they have it in them to be, which is still pretty amazing. But I need to keep turning my mind to how the future is wide open for me, not the ways in which it might be closed off, whether those are permanent or temporary, which is often something I don't know. I have to be reasonable with my goals, know that I can't make everything happen tomorrow, but that doesn't mean that it won't happen. And maybe with one fewer person in the hole, things will be easier and it will be easier for them to get out of their own holes.

Writing about this now, it doesn't seem to be such a big deal, but it made me so happy to know that this one song, a song I love and have loved for over a decade, has gone from an almost bitter reminder of unrealized hopes to a call to me to pull myself up, to make those changes to make my life better both for myself and those I loved, which is something that I never could have forced to happen.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Making Up for the Lag Time

Lag Time
There's really no hope for me
And that three second rule
Somethin gets dropped
And still I'm the slowest damn fool
Slow to realize what's really going on
Slow to know in a moment
Who or what has gone wrong

I wanna tighten down on the lag time

Your consonants were buzzing
Around your head like flies
Your true colors were showing
And your shape and your size
You were drinking your way though it
I was shrinking right there inside of my clothes
My eventual twenty/twenty
Arms crossed
Tapping her toe

I gotta tighten down on the lag time

Survivors are part turtle
We are part potato bug
We know enough to go fetal
'Til it's still up above
And you gotta crawl through the desert
Between when you hear it
And when you can play it with your hands
Just to rendezvous with whoever you are
When you finally understand

I gotta tighten down on the lag time
I wanna tighten down on the lag time
Gotta tighten down on the lag time

I was never as quick as others with a comeback. I've spent my whole lifetime in my head re-doing conversations with what I should have said. So of course it should come as no surprise that I would be no match for a lawyer. But that lawyer was a friend, so I didn't expect the "bitching about my home life" that I was doing, that I do with most of my friends, to turn into Matlock unraveling the alibi witness on the stand. And I'm stupid enough to have let it happen twice. After both conversations, I went over and over what I wish I had said, but I was afraid it would all just sound like me trying to justify myself after the fact. So I've spent three weeks having this conversation in my head. I finally figured that I needed to get it out, no matter how it sounds to anyone. I don't need to defend my life, but I do need to stand up for the people that I love, which I failed at doing at the time. 

One of the assertions was that I deserve better than The Professor. But if I deserve better than so does he. When he is in "the hole," I see my own depression, the months I've spent on the couch just staring at the tv, the endless hours of Law & Order and House episodes, with no sleep schedule to speak of, being both bored but too disinterested to actually get up to do anything. I know what it is like to be the ghost that others live with. I know what it is like to let everything happen around me, even if that means that it falls apart, because I'm too depressed to do anything about it and not yet ready to get help. And I know how hard it can be to take the leap of getting any help or making any changes because you are so used to life the way it is and there is no guarantee that changing or getting help will make things better. So when it's asserted that I deserve better than him, it's like saying that I deserve better than...myself? But questions of what we deserve often come up short because we can all be shitty, deserving nothing, and we can all be amazing, deserving better than whatever we could possibly find. We don't deserve to be treated poorly on purpose, but no one will always be able to treat us like the royalty we are at our best. 

In the same vein, my lawyer made the claim that if he was working and his partner was not, he would expect that the house be spotless all the time, meals be cooked, and sex be on demand. In the weeks since, I've often thought to myself that sounds more like he would expect a maid/cook/hooker combo. It's true that I don't have that, but, as Ginger says when people she knows try to argue the same point, no one knows what he does for me. The thing is, I can make my own money and clean my own house. Though I can't make any gourmet meal, I can cook my own food. I also don't think I could be Dommed by a man who gave me sex when I demanded it. What he does for me isn't something I can do for myself, or that I've been able to find anyone to do for me, for that matter. He can make me feel safe and loved even when doing things that would make most people run away screaming. He knows the exact right time to switch it up, before it goes farther than I can handle. He makes me feel loved not in spite of all the awful stuff in my head and in my heart, but because of it. He has never doubted that my place with him and Ginger, or if did, he never let it show. But it's not all serious Dom and relationship stuff. We can sit around watching Babylon 5 and bullshitting for hours. And even though he is on a different sleep schedule, he comes into my room just before my alarm goes off, to cuddle with me, to make my day happier when I wake up. He makes me breakfast because he wants to make sure that I have at least one decent meal during the day. He worried about me, but never tells me not to do things. All the rules I have were developed together, to help me. On my roughest week of class, he took the time out to say how proud he was of me. Ok, look, this isn't an all inclusive list here because I don't have the greatest memory and could never remember the cool little things he does for me that make me so happy. He's far from perfect but I never wanted that. He's screwed up in just the right way for me and we both think we're lucky to have found each other. I suspect that to the lawyer, this sounds like too little too late, but at least maybe I'll stop having this conversation in my head and I hope that the Professor reads this and knows that I know how hard he does try and how happy he makes me. I hope this makes up for the lag time I've demonstrated all around. 

(Yes, I know that I've said nothing about Ginger and all the awesome things that she does. But that wasn't the point of contention in the conversation. I'm sure I'll write posts about her too.)