Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Coin With Too Many Sides

How do people make decisions? When I was young, sometimes I would pray really hard and flip a coin. Seriously. Not that I made any major decisions back then, but I always felt like God would control fate if I just prayed hard enough.

I think that God expects us to make our own decisions. As well He should. It's just so dang hard. Though I don't have any major life-altering decision to make right now, right this second, I feel one coming soon. Do I want to go back to school? I think yes.

But then I spend a weekend in New York and wonder why I don't live there anymore. That always happens when I go back to that city, and I wonder if it always will. I had so much fun there. I would be broker than broke, of course, if I ever moved back. But that reality rarely surfaces when I fantasize about moving back. In those fantasies, I'm well-paid, well-dressed and I'm the fun, saavy city girl I feel like on the inside. I forget so quickly what it was like not to have a closet or a washing machine or even a dishwasher. I had terrible apartments when I lived there, and I tell myself that if I lived in Williamsburg or even Hoboken, it would be better. But do I really have the energy for all that again?

And what about school? I've been thinking for a couple years now about going back and teaching. I think I'd be a good teacher, and since I graduated, I miss learning. I read textbooks just for fun now. But after my preliminary search, it seems that the most best matches for me are back in Georgia. Do I really want to move back there again? Athens I could do, but Atlanta, well, I still have a beef with that city. And I barely have friends left there. The closest friend I have in Atlanta has been trying to move up to DC for months. Is that really the best way to make a decision, though? Based upon the vibe I get from a city and whether or not I have enough close friends there? Especially when I should really be focusing on what SCHOOL is best, not what city.

But I really do looove DC. I love my job, my friends, my life up here is good. I'm happy. Do I really want to tempt fate and move back to that land of unhappy memories? Or tempt fate in any way by changing what's already working out so well? But the job won't last forever. And friends sometimes move. A few are already talking about it. My closest friends are with me no matter where I go, and the others sometimes feel like activities. That's a terrible thing to say, but I guess I mean that a lot of friends are just fun-friends, right? People that we hang out with and drink with maybe and laugh with? But not friends who know your soul. I'm getting off my point here.

How do you make decisions? How do I convince yourself that time is on my side with this one? I guess that in some ways, even when it's not true, I feel like I'm running out of time. Or that I'm playing against it. I think that the reason you can't flip a coin to make a decision when you're adult is that adult decisions just have too many sides.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Time for DC to Get A Makeover

Ok, people of DC, get it together. Watch a little of the Style Network or E! during the CNN or MSNBC commercial breaks. Read a fashion magazine every few months to keep up with the times. At least visit New York or Frace or Italy. Take a vacation to sunny California. I mean, I get that you're really busy and focused on saving the world, but can't you save it while lookin' good?

For example...

Don't wear white socks with your dress shoes or boots.
Throw away those nasty clogs - they went out of style in the 90's!
Don't wear hose with sandals.
Stop wearing pants that come up to your belly button.
Baggy clothes - yuck.
The same hairstyle for the past ten or twenty years? Yuck!
Suits come in more colors than blue.

I saw a woman today wearing a shirt with big huge bright blue and purple flowers. I felt like I was in Florida. And I'm really tired of seeing men with cell phones clipped to their belt. And women showing off their muffin tops. Ew.

And seriously, people, have you ever heard of a shoe store? Walk in one once a year, why don't ya?

Have a little fun, Capital! All those dudes back in the day knew how to cut loose. And I bet their big white wigs and goofy ass tights were all the rage. Some may think that those old guys were just portrayed in paintings wearing the fashions of the day, but were really on the hit list of the fashion police.

We may never know the truth, but I give them the benefit of the doubt. They spruced up this swamp and made a kickass city out of it so I think they had to be chic and stylish to give a wetland an extreme home makeover. Hollaback to our fashionable founding fathers, and go buy a balloon skirt, some leggings and knee boots. At least so I can have something more pleasing to the eyes on the Metro.

I Ain't 'Fraid of No Ghost!

I feel as if I've been haunted lately. I spent a weekend in Athens and Atlanta. Then this past weekend, I was in New York. So many memories. Whenever I visit one of those cities (oh and add Knoxville to the list), I feel like I've traveled back in a time machine to observe the past. Everything is just as I remember it. Though sadly, some things have changed. Chelsea Espresso Bar is no longer, but the awning is still there.

It's as though I've lived different lives. And when I travel to one of those cities where I lived one of those past lives, I have to revisit those memories. I was so happy when I lived in Athens and when I lived in New York. Going back to one of those cities makes me happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I remember all the good times. And sad because my life seems so different now. I'm very happy here in DC too, though, which is good. Sometimes I'm very aware of the fact that I will not always be here. Someday, I will leave, and I will feel then about DC the way I feel now about Athens and New York.

Atlanta is a whole other story. I don't like the person I was when I lived there. That wasn't me. I've never been that person before that time, and I pray I never will be again. It was a bad time for me. So although I did have a lot of fun when I lived there, I find myself only able to feel the bad memories and a bad feeling overtakes me whenever I visit again.

The past is so funny. We have the power to recreate it. Our minds work in such subjective ways that we can manipulate the past, sometimes without even meaning to, and it takes over us and changes our reality. I had bad times in Athens surely and definitely bad times in New York, but both of those were such positive, life-changing and life-affirming times for me that I can't seem to see them for the-good-and-the-bad that they were. The past not only has the power to alter the truth, but it has the power to change our present.

But it really only has the power that we give it. I told a friend last weekend that he is never happy with what he has. I believe that's because he is afraid of the future, afraid of who he is in the present and always imagines that things in the past were better.

I can sometimes get lost in how good things were in the past also and have to remind myself of all the blessings in my present life. But for me, I think my real struggle is with the future. I see so many endless possibilities and opportunities and choices. I want so much to find in the future something better than the past and the present that it often makes me a little fickle. I think that's part of the reason I've moved around so much. I don't want to miss out on anything great. And I love the thrill of the adventure and the optimism that I feel when I facilitate change. Sometimes, when I'm dating someone, I think about the other guys out there. And I have even not commited to a relationship because I wondered if there was something better out there for me and didn't want to limit myself. That's awful, isn't it?

In the past year, I've done different things to stay focused on the present. It's challenging at times, but I think that because the previous year was so difficult, it's easier to realize what I have now. And I'm trying to channel that longing and curiosity for the future into a desire to improve myself in the present. We do learn a little along the way.

So I guess there's nothing wrong with nostalgia or ghosts. As long as we use them as fuel and don't let them derail us from the joy and magic of the present moment.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I had to write something to get this all out of me, but I don't know...I wanted to bury it. Maybe in a few weeks or months, I'll resurrect this post, but as for now, I'd rather it be one that people didn't see. It's too personal, too mucky.

I have bad days and good days. Today is a bad day. I've cried a few times today. I cried once on Sunday. Once last Tuesday at a gas station actually. I even choked up in class last Monday night. I'm not used to this whole crying thing. But it's been pretty hard to control, and I don't know...I don't even want to. I do just want to feel it and let myself feel it.

I hate it when people ask me if I'm okay. I know they're trying to be nice, they're showing they care, I know it comes from a good place, but I can still hate it. No. I'm not okay. I don't know when I will be okay, but I really hate repeating over and over again that I am not okay. I hurt. A lot. And it really seems like that should just be common sense. I lost my favorite person. I will never hug him or talk to him again or hear him laugh or hear him call me "precious." Never again. And I am not okay.

I'm afraid to sleep. I can't sleep. I toss and turn and stress all night. I think it makes me feel alone. So I surround myself with pillows and stuffed animals. I let my dog sleep with me. I try to trick myself into feeling safe and protected enough to sleep.

Every week, I go out of town. I have to surround myself with the people that love me. I have to see them and hug them and be around them. And all that makes me feel safe and loved. I have to be reminded that I'm not as alone as I feel, I guess that's part of it. I want to distract myself too. And I want to feel good and alive.

But then I leave and I go back to this little apartment I've been neglecting for weeks. I go back to this pain, and I go back to being alone. I am alone in this. I am loved and blessed and there is no end to the people that I could call, but at the end of the day, I am alone. I sleep alone. I eat alone. I cry alone. And I cannot help but feel like this is something I cannot handle alone.

In movies where someone dies, movies about hope and healing, the person grieving always finds love. They deal with their pain and their tragedy, but there's usually someone there with them to help them get through it all. Yes, I know life is not a movie. But sometimes I think it would be nice if it were.

I could really use you right now. I feel like you miss out on a lot of fun, fun weddings and parties, fun nights out on the town. You're missing all the big moments and the little ones too. But I hate that you're missing this. I need you now. I need hugs and love and affection. I need to know I am not alone.

I have to admit that I am a little shocked about how candid and open I'm being right now, but I take comfort in knowing this will be buried somewhere. I feel a little buried myself actually. It just helps to be honest and say what is hard to say.

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