Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Archive for the ‘learning to trust again’ Tag
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I thought it was a feeling. I thought it felt like love. But what did I know about love? The feeling I had been so unfamiliar, completely raw and bittersweet, so I thought it was felt like love…based on what other people described it as feeling like. I really believed that I loved him; however, I sit here now wondering if I only thought that what I felt for him was love. Seven years of thinking I loved him when all it may have been was 2,557 days of misinterpreted thoughts? Oi Vey! Tell me, how would that make you feel?
How do you know, I mean really know, that it’s a feeling and not just a thought? How do you know…that you’re in love? How do you know that the feeling that you feel is L.O.V.E. and not only a concept that you think about enough to make yourself feel some thing misconceived as love? How do you know? How do you really know?
As I shared in my last post, I took myself to see Blue Valentine on Saturday, which is a movie that I definitely recommend. You can read the ‘professional’ reviews for yourself, but just go. That’s my review/ recommendation. Don’t just take other’s input as your own, see it for yourself. Whether you’re in a relationship; have ever been in a relationship; desire to one day be in a relationship; and/or find yourself curious as to what this whole relationship thing is really about (like me)… go see Blue Valentine. And may I add that I highly recommend seeing it by yourself- whether you do that type of thing or not. Give it a try. Take yourself to this movie; and if you do, then I’ll even be generous and lend you my boyfriend, Ryan Gosling, to be your date. You just have to return him afterwards.
I cannot stop thinking about this movie, and not only due to my beloved Ryan and his should-be-nominated Oscar performance as Dean. I, myself, is one whom may not be in a relationship at this time (besides Ryan, of course), but has been in a relationship (once upon a time); some days has the desire to be in a relationship; and always questions what it’s really like to be in a relationship. Case in point, last night I found myself completely distracted by the PDA couple sitting in front of me on the bus and I wondered, What’s their relationship like? And why do they have to keep kissing? Anyways…this movie really struck a chord with me and some of the lines- which I share below- are on my mind two days later.
“I just got a feeling about her. You know when a song comes on and you just gotta dance.” (Dean, Blue Valentine)
The song cries out, Listen to your heart. His eyes appear to say, I want to make you feel beautiful. Your heartbeats seem to instruct, Don’t stop believing. But when it comes to feelings, potential relationships, and, especially, true love, how do you distinguish real feelings from those you hope to be real?
So I’m neither talking about love at first sight nor soulmates necessarily here, which may very well fall under the overarching idea of feelings, but I don’t want to begin an argument about whether or not those concepts exist. Instead of talking about that gut instinct that the object of your affection likes you too. Those darlin’ little butterflies that flutter around in your stomach at the mere thought of him/her. And even going ‘weak in the knees’, which this girl may or may not have happened to her about a month ago.
You hear people say it all the time, “It just feels so right.” Sometimes ‘that feeling’ only lasts a few weeks; and other times it’s gone the next morning along with the One Night Stand, only to be replaced by another ‘feeling’ , (another girl) the next night at the bar. But what about ‘that feeling’ that doesn’t disappear when one sobers up the next afternoon? What about ‘that feeling’ that leads to a proposal…a wedding… a 25th anniversary? What does that feeling feel like? All I can tell you, and myself as well, is to Embrace the butterflies. For they are the true indication that something, or, more appropriately here, someone, is important to you.
We’re all guilty of asking others to tell us what our feelings mean. Like they should just know exactly how we feel. Sure you’re confused. Nervous. Looking for reassurance that you’re not crazy. You want someone to tell you what to do. Anyone. But here’s the thing: No one can know how you feel. No one except Y.O.U.
“I feel like men are more romantic than women. When we get married we marry, like, one girl, ’cause we’re resistant the whole way until we meet one girl and we think I’d be an idiot if I didn’t marry this girl she’s so great.” (Dean)
I love boys. I really do. And one of the main reasons I love them is finding out how guys feel about girls…well, sometimes. Okay, let me reinstate that and say that I love hearing about how boys feel about the girls they like; and I especially love hearing about the girls they’re in love with. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given my little tipsy fetish of hearing love stories at bars; though my true admiration comes from hearing about the girls my guy friends find themselves in like/love with.
I was startled when Ryan Gosling’s character spoke these words in the movie. “I feel like men are more romantic than women…” he said and I immediately wondered where he could possibly be going, and in a matter of seconds I knew: “… until we meet one girl and we think I’d be an idiot if I didn’t marry this girl she’s so great.” So is that how guys think? I know it’s a line from a movie, but in all seriousness, is that how it works?
When you’re a girl in your twenties- and from my perspective, more so if you’re a single girl in your twenties- you tend to believe that guys think with their penis. Or, better yet, that they just don’t think at all. Again, this is totally a generalization. But take it from this girl, based on her own experience and witnessing others’, we have absolutely no clue what goes on in a guy’s mind when it’s a guy you like. I stress this because, here I am, The Queen of Intuition, but I will openly admit that when it comes to a guy that I like- no matter how much or how little- I never have any idea how he feels about me unless he tells me how he feels. I can honestly analyze every other situation, reassuring people how the other feels about them, but when it comes to my own (dare I call it a) personal life…nothing. I know nothing. So that, my friends, is why I believe that all you can do is be honest. Be honest with yourself and with him/her about what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling. And if they don’t feel the same, at least you know you put yourself out there.
I am always baffled by people who can go from one relationship to another. How someone can really, truly love someone and then feel exactly the same way about someone else a few weeks, even days, later? Don’t even waste your time trying to explain it to me. I won’t believe you. But this is also me, the girl who hung onto to a mere belief (that she thought felt a lot like love) for far too long…so what do I know anyways?
They say, whoever ‘they’ are, “Tis better to have loved and loved than to never had loved at all.” Okay, apparently ‘they’ was a ‘he’ and this he was Alfred Lord Tennyson. Now I could let my broken heart talk here and dispute this theory, but even it knows that he speaks the truth. Even though a broken heart is a possible outcome, the risk is always worth the reward. Love is always worth any risk. Your scars may hold you back for while, but when you’re ready…really ready…you’ll find it again. Or it will find you. Always trust that it will show up when you’re ready for it.
But what about when you have love? How do you know that it isn’t going to leave? The truth is…you don’t know. Though if you feel strongly about what you have, then all you can do is give everything you can and trust that if it’s meant to be, it will be. And if it doesn’t last forever, then at least you know you went down swinging.
The secret is this: My mind has been spinning in circles. My heart has been hurting as I’ve written this post. I won’t indulge you with the reasons why, but will say that they’ve caused me to do too much thinking and consequently too much feeling. But I’m doing my best to ignore the thinking; actually trying to stop the thinking altogether. And instead, I’m focusing more on what I”m feeling. Because as the line above says, “Yes, I do trust. I trust myself.”
It has taken me a long time to feel this way, and I have about an entire year’s worth of blog posts as evidence. But some of the thoughts that have run around in my mind have been there before- in many different shapes, sizes, and forms. They’ve laughed at me. They’ve haunted me. They’ve kept me up at night; and they’ve awoken me with panic attacks some mornings.
But tonight is much different. Tonight I am composed of more grace and compassion than I ever thought imaginable for this particular matter. I remember those late nights and early mornings and smile in recognition of how far I’ve come since then. How much more power I have over my thoughts. How I can understand the feelings that I am indeed feeling.
I have no more answers than I did before, but I have much more trust in myself. I trust that I will continue to handle such situations, whatever they may be, with composure, acceptance, and gratitude. I’ll let myself think less and feel more. I will trust my feelings and let them be my guide.
I may have never loved him, but I feel like I did. He may have never loved me back, but again I feel like he did. But that was then and all I have is now. All I can do right now is let myself move away from all of the doubts; the questions; and the pain. Right now I just have to let myself trust again, and trust myself that when I’m ready…really, really ready… the feeling will guide me again. I trust that it will.
My Couch & Me: The perfect way to end a Moan-day. Along with my new favorite OU tee-shirt, leggings, pigtail braids, and a blanket wrapped around me and my cold-inflicted body. (Blah.) And even better, I got to enjoy a new episode of my guilty pleasure, Gossip Girl, and in particular, one particular story line between Blair, Serena & Dan that included this communication exchange:
Serena: I would say I’m sorry about today, but in my head that just sounds inadequate.
Dan: Ah, you don’t need to apologize. It’s not your fault that I seem to drop everything just to make myself available to you.
Serena: I don’t mean to take you for granted. It’s just, if we’re being completely honest…
Dan: We are.
Serena: I think that maybe sometimes I test you. You know, I keep thinking that if things get too hard you’ll give up on me. But you never do.
Dan: And I never will. If you really need me—ever—I am there.
Earlier in the episode, Blair captured my attention when she disciplined Serena with these words (an innuendo to Dan): “… Some of them stay good. No matter how they’re treated.”
Yesterday I finally addressed the elephant in the (blog) room and declared, Yes I have trust issues, though I failed to state that I also have fantastic people in my life (right now)- whom make it impossible for me not to trust them. However, that wasn’t always the case. Looking back on my adolescent days, most of my ‘friendships’ were burdensome as I felt indebted (as their friend) to free their Mean Girl world of all its ‘problems’. I mistakenly thought that this was how friendship worked…but friendship isn’t a one-way street. Friends don’t give you ultimatums or make excuses if you ever (dare to) ask them for a returned favor.
The same goes for relationships. One of the most disheartening things for me is to witness someone taking advantage of their significant other. I especially hate when I see girls walking all over their loyal boyfriends and cannot help but want to go right up to the guy and ask, “Seriously?!! What could you possibly see in her?” and then set him up with one of my amazing single ladies.
Back to Mr. Dan Humphrey and his loyalty… why do people take advantage of the nice guy? What is it that makes this eligible bachelor come across as a doormat? Okay, Serena claims that she ‘tests him’, and I actually do believe that it happens in non-TV show life too, but why do we make things more complicated? We say we all want a good guy, but when we find one why do we tend to take advantage of his rare kind instead of showing our appreciation? And maybe more importantly, why do these rare finds think that these ungrateful girls are deserving of them?
Walking home last night, with yesterday’s post in the foreground, my mind started to wander around. Shocking, right? Why do we overcomplicate things in the World of Boys & Girls? Why do we question everything and overanaylze anything we can pick apart? Why can’t it be as simple as Michella’s theory: Two good, ‘soft’ people will just be together? Why do we long for the good guy, but when he arrives we try so hard to find something wrong with him so he’s not The One? Why does it scare us to know that if you really need him- ever- he’ll always be there?
This moment contains all moments. (C.S. Lewis) Today I recall the moment in 4th grade during our annual St. Mary’s Kennywood Day, when I learned firsthand that when a boy tries spitting on you from the swings it’s not because he doesn’t like you but that he does. That summer day in June 1994 may be responsible for my lack of understanding in the World of Boys, or perhaps rather it painted the picture a little too clearly: Girls will never-ever be able to fully understand boys. As a 10-year old girl in overalls and a crooked ponytail, I had no idea what lay ahead of me. All that mattered was what was happening in the moment. Nothing else.
This moment contains all moments. If asked how many times I’ve been in love, I’d probably mistakenly say, “Once”… overlooking a possible in love situation back during my high school days. After all, doesn’t everyone typically have their first love (and first heartbreak) in high school? Okay, let’s just say I was in love with him; or at least very much in like. A best friend for years, I found myself as a senior disheartened by the fear of the unknown of life after high school and therefore, clinging to the comfort of his familiarity. Although he had liked me for years before, he didn’t feel the same then. Worried with the moments that lay ahead, without him by my side, my first heartbreak set in. Remembering the pain of that time convinces me that I was in love…in an 18-year old kinda-way. It was then that I forgot to enjoy the moment at hand and instead focused more on what the future could hold.
This moment contains all moments. Like clockwork, every Friday evening in the winter of 2009, typically around 7 pm when I got home from the gym, I found myself battling a panic attack. In my new 1 bedroom apartment in my nearly friendless new city, Chicago. As I tried to catch my breath, I found myself getting more worked up as I wished I was joining friends at Happy Hour in Columbus. Why did my gut instinct tell me to come to Chicago? What am I doing here? But two years later, I look back on those moments with clarity and appreciation. For those weak moments have helped define who I am today.
This moment… right now… contains all moments. Each adventure and every lesson is with me today, in this very moment. This realization came over me yesterday, twice in fact, as I engaged in individual conversations with my friends, Stef and Michelle. As we bonded over shared experiences and overwhelming insecurities, and I found comfort in knowing I’m not the only one, I realized how far I’ve come. That I am who I am; I know what I know; and I feel what I feel because of everything I’ve been through. Those guiding moments are always with me- whether always aware or not.
We go through life questioning why things happen and then trying to figure out what they mean. Most of the time the answers are not as easy to find; and in other cases, we may not find them until we stop trying so hard to make sense of it all. Instead we Live in the Moment. Accept that the Past Guided us to the Present Moment. Let All Those Moments Take Us Towards the Next Moment…
This moment right now does contain all moments, but this moment will also be included in all moments that are to come. And in this very moment there’s something important that I want to say. (Attention: The walls are coming down.)
I don’t feel as though I’ve been clear about my writing on this blog. To put it best, this blog is like a journal to me. At the end of a long day, I turn to it for reflection. When stressed at work, I take a break to seek its comfort. And when I have questions or unfamiliar life experiences, I turn to it for guidance. So for these reasons, the main person my blog is for is me. Everything I write in it, all of the reflection, comfort, and guidance is for me. For me to remember all my moments and how tomorrow holds all of yesterday’s moments as well as today’s. For me to remember that I am the product of my good days & bad days; my strengths & weaknesses; my loves & heartbreaks; the confusion & clarity; and yesterdays, todays & tomorrows.
(Walls breaks down further.) Several moments of my distant past caused me to lose trust (in others) and even myself. But so many moments since those adolescent days have me trusting again. This moment contains all moments, and is allowing me to be stronger, braver, and wiser than any other yesterday. Those moments have made me and that’s all the clarity I really need…and for people continue to help me overcome my trust issues.
Days turn to night, Night turns to whatever we want. We’re young enough to say, “Oh, this has gotta be the good life. This really could be a good life.”
Song of the Moment: Good Life by One Republic
I’m sorry. There I was, a few days ago, saying that I use this blog as an open & honest format to help others in similar circumstances realize that they aren’t the only one… but I haven’t been being honest about what I’ve been going through lately. Mostly it’s because I haven’t had too much time on my hands, but instead of writing about my bed bug stresses I could have very well been sharing some of the thoughts stirring around in my mind & the feelings fluttering around in my stomach. Again, I’m sorry.
These last two nights I’ve found myself walking home slooooowly, despite the chilly winter air and snow-covered streets. Why? I just felt at peace in the moment…like I was able to check in with myself for the first time in a while. I could have walked those streets forever, especially tonight. After a rejuvenating run & spin class, I felt like enjoying the company of my endorphin-high self for a while longer before I got back to my apartment and contemplated what had to be done before bed.
After responding to a few emails, I opted to reflect on what’s been going on with me lately and not worry about neither what I could be doing nor who I should be helping. And then a thought came over me, or rather, I recalled something that I read a few days ago, by someone that I’ve really begun to admire. I’ve been reluctant to share this, but my gut feeling tells me that he’d be okay with it especially knowing that it will most likely impact someone(s) as much as it did me. These wise words of his brought clarity to my run-down body, heart, and soul and I hope it has the same effect on you:
When was the last time you did something for yourself? I’m not promoting selfishness but look, sometimes you gotta do what’s best for you. When you live your life solely for others, you begin to lose sight of who you are. In a way, you replace a tiny part of yourself with those around you until you are no longer you. But when you take that time for yourself, you solidify that part of you that is uniquely you.
Can I admit to you that I hate taking care of myself? I do. I really, really do. One of the most challenging things about moving to Chicago two years ago was being forced to look after myself. But in coming to Chicago and not knowing more than a handful of people, I didn’t have a choice. Sure I tried to still take care of the friends I left in Columbus as well as the others scattered around in the post-college world, but it wasn’t as easy and time wasn’t as plentiful as it used to be. But while it proved to be difficult in the beginning, time has helped me understand the notion that to take care of others, you have to first take care of yourself.
This past year has been incredible but also quite exhausting. We laugh when discussing how I’m always traveling (mostly back to Ohio via the lovely Megabus) and how many bridal showers, Bachelorette parties, and weddings I’ve attended. And while I could sit here and defend all of (travel) choices and say that I feel most like “me” when doing all this stuff- when helping others- I think it’s best to recognize that I need to start refocusing on myself again. Or maybe let someone look after me for awhile. Now in putting that crazy idea out on the table, I’ll bluntly state that I am horrible at letting others do anything for me. You can call me ‘guarded’, say I have trust issues, or that I’m afraid of being betrayed (again). Whatever the case may be, I think I need to make that the challenge of 2011. While it’s important to take care of yourself, I think it’s equally important to allow others look after you too…others that want to be there for you.
Okay, so that’s what I’ll do. I’ll do my best to let the walls and shields tumble down to allow others in. To let others give me the strength when I’m feeling weak, or at least hold my hand when walking down the street on a cold winter night with my thoughts.
I used to think that the way to be strong, was to be tough. I used to think that to be independent, was to not need anyone. But she’s taught me that the more vulnerable you and the softer you are, and the more you allow more people into your life and into your heart, the happier you are and the more valuable you are to other people.
Portia de Rossi on Ellen Degeneres
drop everything now…meet me in the pouring rain…kiss me on the sidewalk…take the pain away. Leave a comment
Standing on the platform in Evanston waiting for the Purple Line last night after work, a chill came over me. All I wanted was someone to put their arm around me. Is that asking too much? I tell you this because after having that thought, I immediately had another thought: That’s not typical for me.
Sure I would have loved for that someone to be a cute, single guy that likes me best in grey sweatpants and no makeup, but honestly I would have taken the arm of one of my girlfriends, lovely gay boyfriends, or family members. Someone’s arm around my shoulder, letting me know that everything is going to be okay. Or perhaps, just showing me that someone is there beside me.
Friends of mine all over the country- mostly in and/or from Ohio- are struggling and I strongly dislike hate that I cannot be there beside them with my arm around their shoulders. Wiping their tears. Showing them that there is still beauty in this world and that our friendship is one example. Instead I am restricted to using my words through emails, Facebook postings, text messages, phone calls, and greeting cards to comfort them in during these rough and never-ending frustrating days.
Aren’t the Terrible Twenties glorious?
A message from Julie yesterday broke my heart and actually brought tears to my eyes. A few weeks ago when I visited her in Akron (for less than 48 hours), I was able to hug her worries away. But now, once again I am resulted to using my words to warm her sad, lonely, and confused heart. My heart breaks just thinking about her now. As depression seeps into her soul, I cannot physically shield her. I cannot drag her on spontaneous trips to Meijer like we used to do when we both lived in Columbus a few years ago. I cannot accompany her on a day-long hike through the middle of nowhere Ohio until she finds peace in nature. I cannot spoil her with a sushi date nor laugh hysterically while watching the ridiculousness that is Where the Wild Things Are. I just want to put my arm around her and tell her everything is going to be okay.
Adriana has been struggling lately with a laundry list of issues that I wish would disappear at the snap of my fingers. She’s only been in my life for over a year now but I honestly cannot remember life before her name. I laughed with irony when she calls me her “little human xanax/prozac”. Even though we both know that the other is there for us when she cannot be there, it just isn’t always enough. Fortunately are written exchanges can compensate during our anxiety-ridden days but there’s nothing better than curling up together in our OU sweatshirt blankets with tea/coffee/hot chocolate sharing a bag of Twizzlers. Fortunately, we get to do that soon when I venture out to Cinci next week (!), but I’m still wishing that I was there right now…forcing her to soothe her worries with my heavenly Starbucks and companionship. I’ll be there soon, A. Very, very soon!
I think of Alisha a lot, especially since her life is paralleling mine from (gasp) 6 years ago. She’s nearing the end of Fall Quarter at my alma mater, Ohio University, and is beginning to have the never-ending questions surround life after graduation exhausting her weary mind. Having worn those shoes and overcoming the struggles myself, I am honored to give her encouraging words from the lessons that I learned. However, it’s not enough for me. As her “Big Sis”, I want to be there to shield her from the negative thoughts, doubts, worries, and fears. I want to carry her when she feels too weak and too tired to spend another day questioning what’s next? I want to sit with her at Alden Library; drink coffee at Donkey; buy her a shot of liquid therapy at Red Brick and Cat’s Eye and The Pigskin. I want to take her to Libby’s and my secret bench on South Green that helped us work through our own problems and walk her around the back streets of Athens as Brandon and I did when we needed a listening ear. I want to show her that she will get through these tough times and that I’ll always be there to remind her of so.
And listening to Taylor Swift’s new song, Never Grow Up, I thought of Rebecca and her lovely little Hazel. These lyrics led me to sending the song to Rebecca, indicating that I smiled think of their mother-daughter relationship, as well as the impact Hazel has on me:
I won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart; And no one will desert you; Just try to never grow up, and never grow up
Rebecca responded with such gratitude, stating that this song put things into perspective again as she’s been run-down as the Terrible Twos continue to hit their household. I am so happy that I am actually, physically able to be there for them next week! Though as I feel with all of my friends, I want to be there for them all the time. Through words I constantly tell Rebecca how much I admire her and how she inspires me to (maybe) become a mother one day. But I want to show her through a hug, a smile, a girl’s day of pampering how much her family has impacted my life. I want to be there beside her to take away her stress and remind her to enjoy all the little joys that Hazel and George bring her life and all of ours.
Going back and thinking about yesterday when I was waiting for the train, maybe I didn’t necessarily want someone to put there arm around me. Perhaps I wanted to put my arm around someone else. Isn’t that more likely for me? Afterall I’ve been thinking about all of the people- more than just the ones mentioned above- that need my support these days. Maybe I just wanted one of them to be beside me, to put my arm around them? I don’t know. Remembering that moment, I definitely wanted an arm around me. Perhaps I’m finally ready to let someone be there for me?
Dating back to my teenage years, I’ve struggled to find people who I could trust and really open up to. All of these friends that I praise in my blog posts- the four above being included- have really helped me breathe again. They’ve showed me that not only can some people be trusted, but that I need to be able to confide in others to be by my mind; to let them put their arm around me. One day, hopefully sooner than later, that arm will belong to a cute guy that does like me for me. Flaws and all.