Friday, February 23, 2018

Vulner-puke-ability

If you know me at all in a deep way, you know how hard that is.  You know I’m not one to share my feelings, or cry, or show vulnerability.  Or if I do any of those things, it’s in a very controlled environment, in which I only show you exactly what I want you to see.  I guess those who’ve known me the longest and best have seen me vulnerable at one time or another, like when my dad died, but I’d bet they could count on one hand the times they’ve seen me “lose it.”  I’m a very rational person.  I do things with and for reason, and while I pretend to not care what people think about me, I’m in fact thinking about that all the time.  I want people to think certain things of me.  I want them to think I’m intelligent, put-together, responsible, self-sufficient, strong.  I panic inside and endlessly obsess when I perceive someone might think otherwise.  I don’t get embarrassed by spilling coffee on a white shirt, toilet paper on my shoe, or tripping over my own two feet.  But I can.not.handle.it when I misspeak, misinform, or appear weak in any shape or form.  (Except physically…I’m super weak physically, and not at all interested in the gym.)  
I made a sort of “new years resolution” (after the fact) to show more vulnerability.  I want to be ok with not being perfect.  Not just saying, “I know I’m far from perfect!” because that’s my way of controlling the situation.  Letting you know I know I’m not perfect is “strong.”  It doesn’t leave me vulnerable, because it shows I’m wise and together enough to know my own shortcomings.  But it’s not real.  In my heart and in my head I need you to think I’m pretty near perfect.  But I think I’m getting exhausted.  And lonely.  Who really knows me?  Like knows me.   My mom does.  She knows I’m emotional, even moody quite often.  She’s seen me at my worst and my best, and she thinks I’m wonderful (???).  But even her I tend to protect from my weaknesses.  Not as much because I need her to think I’m perfect, but because I feel like I have to be strong for her.  She needs me to support her with some things in her life that bring her down on a regular basis.  I’m 34…I don’t need my mom to keep taking care of me…it’s my turn.  So I don’t break down on her, ‘cause she doesn’t need that.  
What I really want is a husband.  I want someone to come home to, someone to cry to when it becomes beyond what I can hold in.  But how the EFF does a girl like me get involved with someone, when I can’t even “reveal” myself (be vulnerable) with my very best friends?  How do I ever become the kind of person who can share her life with someone?  I guess that’s why I’m trying to be more vulnerable this year.  Trying to cry when I’m really sad, trying to call someone when I really need to hear a human voice.  I’m trying to say what I think and ask questions, even when I’m afraid I’m going to look or sound dumb.  I’m trying not to attempt to control what people think of me, and trying not to let what they might think consume me.  Instead of being strong and independent and pretending like being alone is exactly what I want, I’m trying to just be real and honest and open.  
This is not an easy transition.  I guess changing who you are, or who you’ve maybe been your whole life never is.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel worth it.  Sometimes I just long and pray and hope that Home is right around the corner.  Sometimes it just feels like it’s too hard.  I think that’s why I like being an ICU nurse…the people I see on a daily basis have real, tangible problems.  They’re sick, sometimes close to death, sometimes they even die, and it distracts me from all the inside stuff that doesn’t have a quick-fix.  It distracts me from me.   

I never know how to end these things.  So I guess I’ll go back to the old elementary school formula.  “In conclusion,” I’m working toward vulnerability.  The lack of it is the root of most of my problems in life.  I thank God for revealing this to me at some point recently, because I’m 34 and finally kind of know what I’m working with.  I probably need counseling to build some tools for being able to talk about my feelings, so if you’re the praying kind and you’re reading this, pray that in ultimate vulnerable fashion I would find myself some kind of therapist.  And thanks…cause if you’re reading this, you maybe read those old posts and you probably know me better than most, which makes me feel a lot less alone.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dad and life and almost 30

A long time ago, many years in fact, I suffered a deep, suffocating, all-consuming writer's block.  I wanted to write, but I couldn't.  I stared at my computer screen, mind empty of every and all ability to formulate pretty little sentences in order to "express myself."  In those days, writing was important to me...I assume because I had just graduated college with a degree in creative writing...or because I thought that's who I was, a writer...or because my dad died and I thought I was supposed to write all the time instead of keeping my feelings all bottled up.
A year and some months have passed since I wrote on this blog the last time, and I find, instead of a writer's block this go-'round, I have more of a writer's apathy.  I feel kind of "meh" about writing these days. When I start, like right now, I enjoy it reasonably well, but getting to a point when I'm willing to sit down in front of my computer, or even with a pen and paper, takes a lot of energy I find I just don't have.  Life is busy.  Time is precious, and every waking hour I possess already belongs to something else, even if that thing is the TV.  Whether it's because I know now writing is not part of my career path, or because I've grown generally apathetic about a lot things I used to love, writing just does not take precedent in my daily life.  Sometimes I still wish it did.  Sometimes, maybe right now, for instance, I think, "Hmm...I could still be a writer...and really enjoy it..."  But even those flashes of interest dwindle within seconds, like a flame without oxygen to keep it alive.  I'm just...too lazy, I guess.
But since I'm here...right now...for another few minutes, or however long it takes to dispel the so-called wind beneath my little writer's wings, I may as well say a couple of things.  I miss my dad.  Tremendously.  I both love and hate that sticky feeling in my throat and the bottom of my gut that turns on when I see his photographed face or think of his sweet voice.  I love it because I'm actually missing him...which I don't always do anymore, but I hate it because...well...it's not at all a nice feeling.  This ghost of sadness that passes through me ever-swiftly in those moments...it's not a nice ghost, not one I'd recommend, and yet, one I'd like to always keep around.  FIVE years have passed, and now I'm running head-first into my 30th year (or is it 31st?), and all I can think about is that I'll never be 20-something again...and I'm really an adult...and my dad's really still gone.  In the first few weeks after he died, and probably months, I had a recurring thought about this future...the one I'm in now.  I kept thinking, "Someday it's going to have been FIVE YEARS since my dad died...someday it's going to be ten, and twenty, and on and on."  The thought's unbearable, really.  Partly because the first of those monuments has come and gone, partly because the number just keeps on growing, and partly because I don't want to be one of those grown-ups always talking about my ole pops who died when I was practically just a kid, who I just barely remember, and whose memory keeps growing into more and more of a shadow.
This death thing is not at all graceful.  People act like it is...like the memory of a loved one is this sweet song, like a flute at a ballet, that just keeps playing on and on, and someday gently fades into the grey of some magical morning when you wake up and even though that person's still dead, you're all just fine.  I suppose maybe one day I will feel differently about the whole ordeal...I'll be peaceful and wistful and talk about my dad like I would talk about the best ice cream cone I ever had back when I was 10.  Or maybe I never will, and maybe it's because I've got a lot more "dark" in me than normal people, or maybe it's because he really was the best dad/human in the world, or maybe I'm just dramatic and selfish and a touch of crazy.
If you're thinking, "Geez, is she still on that whole dad thing?"  You ought to never read my blog again, because when I do write, once a year, or every year and a half or so, I can almost guarantee it'll be about that whole dad thing.  I knew within days after his death that I would never really be "over it," though lots of folks tried to tell me it would only be a matter of time.  I'll never really be "okay" with my dad's death and absence, but generally speaking, I am okay, of course.  I just really, truly, whole-heartedly wish you knew him like I did.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Landing, of sorts

It's amazing how much my life has changed and continues to change in four years.  I'm starting to realize how much of the same person I am today as I was in junior high and high school, but of course, I hope, more mature and wiser.  I'm at an age when men and women in the same bracket experience both significant change, and significant sameness.  We're building careers, families, homes, and when someone asks me, "What's new?" I hardly have an answer more profound than a shoulder shrug.  But.  I have changed, and I do change, incredibly, as I really enter into a place and age where and when I'm having greater success becoming me.  In my early twenties, I was so lost, a chronic wanderer.  That vortex seemed so endless, and I couldn't imagine a time when I would finally feel "at home" with whoever that girl is inside me.  Thankfully, I'm arriving there (here) and the two sort of "beings" who used to inhabit this blue-eyed space are reconciling with each other--child and adult meeting in the middle to form who I am.  These changes, these realizations, are the most incredible of my life, next to the moment I knew Jesus.
I often wonder where I would be (developmentally, spiritually, maturity) had my dad not died that early morning four years ago.  I don't like to speculate too much on things I have absolutely no ability to change, or to see clearly, but I wonder if I would still be out there searching so persistently for this "myself" person, had I not been shocked into reality December 6, 2007.  That's the thing about life...you can't ever really know what "would have been," unless you're George Bailey, but I believe it's a very profound thing to let a tragedy change you.  To use a phrase I hate, it's sort of like an "out of body experience," stepping away from yourself and comparing the person you are against the one you were before such an event.  I can't describe it, but, in a way, it's almost like I'm dependent on that tragedy now.  Like when people say, "No regrets!" about their pasts, I think back to four years and 24 hours ago and I don't want to be that young woman anymore.  But to not be her, to be the woman I am now, I had to lose my dad, and though I never thought I'd get here, I'm finally beginning to be okay with that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm here again. Here in the same spot I'm always in after a few months adoring someone new. I can't quite say it's over, because I've only seen four days come and go without his usual affections, but it feels familiar. It feels like all the other times Boys have turned cold, but this might be the first time during which process I can point to no single thing that's led to these tidings.
I will say that this isn't the first time he's made me feel this way. I've felt his distance times before, but never so acutely. I've known him now for four months and the way our relationship has progressed, I don't feel like he should be able to treat me this way anymore. No, he's not my boyfriend; I can make no claim on him, but don't we know each other well enough by now to be honest?
Pray for me, friends. Pray for my wisdom and discernment, but really more for my sadness. Four days and I miss him already. The pangs in my heart grow more painful with each passing moment of his absence.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I did so well in the month of November, keeping on top of my feelings and doings. But I've struggled since to write much, because I'm terribly afraid of jinxing myself. I know that's silly. I know whether I write or not has no influence on what happens around me, but still I fear. If I divulge too much, I'll have to un-divulge it when it's over. And I hate un-divulging. It just seems so...sad.
But I guess I'll say something brief. I've found a very, very special man with whom I'm currently sharing my life. We're not a couple, we're as yet close friends, but it seems to be heading in the direction of something more meaningful. (Not that there's a lot more meaningful than friendship.) I'm being very careful this time...though I think I am every time. But with him, I'm so much more interested in a sort of future. He's wonderfully sweet and kind, creative and so witty. He's tall and handsome, has some beautifully unique features, like 2/3rds of an index finger. He's so far very different from the boys I usually date and I suppose that's a good sign.
But I'm being careful. My heart is as sensitive as it is tough, and I cannot make the usual mistakes with this man. So instead of thinking so very much all the time, I'm just being me. Just living life, taking it all in stride, hoping for the best, and living one day with him at a time. Here's to hope!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I. am. so. boy-crazy. How is it that I've never been in love?! Sometimes I feel like God's protected my heart from all the silliness it seeks after...for one, by keeping me from falling in love, and for two, by keeping boys disinterested in me. That is, at least, what I tell myself. It's God's fault they don't love me. :) I guess boys aren't completely disinterested. That's half the problem. They're really interested! And then...they're just not. I don't get it, ya know? I mean, I'm the same Emily day one to the end. So why do they like me...and then just not like me?
What a life-long mystery. Moments like this, when I'm content and cheerful, and happy to wait for so-called Mr. Right, I can laugh about it. It's a silly little complication in my life, and I'm pretty sure it will all be resolved one day when I meet some sweet, wonderful, honest man who finds my quirky charm endearing.
When I struggle with this thing...this pattern I have with men (or they have with me?), I sit back and think to myself, "Self, could you (I) be happy never getting married?" And I do think I could. Especially now that Baby Chas has entered my world.
I want to get married. I want to have someone significant with whom to share my life, but it's not the thing of my life. It's just a thing. One of many things I'd like to do in a lifetime. But part of me would also like to be "Crazy Aunt Em" who lives all over the world and brings you cool souvenirs, and she's always smiling because she loves her life. And when you ask her (me) why she never got married, she just looks at you shocked and says, "Well! I still have plenty of time, young man!" (Or young woman, if I have a niece someday.)
But I am boy-crazy. I love those boys, all of'em. Perhaps one day I'll really love one of those boys and he'll love me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One...two...three Old Chubs make a girl honest. 1) I miss the way you kiss, the way you tell me I'm sexy, the way you hold me while we sleep. 2) I wish you would mean to me what I want you to mean to me. 3) I think you're just my friend, until I see you again, then I realise all I want is for you to want me.
I want love. I need love. I need that man to need me the way I know, without a doubt, I need him. But time keeps passing and still he doesn't say, and I know deep down that he doesn't feel that way. This way. The way I feel right now - ready, honest, bound. I am bound. By him, by all hims who have ever been something to me.
Say you need me. Please, dear man, dearest of all dear men, need me now.