No matter how many years pass, lovers lost or friendships forgotten, my heart still breaks a little when I realize it’s simply not meant to be. In the flash of a minute it can go from laughter to tears, and then a heavy silence fills the room and words can never explain how it all faded away. It’s overwhelming to know things will never be the same again and what made sense yesterday – the normal – is already gone. I never feel quite ready to find my new normal. There are far too many people in my life that I used to know and even more words left unsaid.
Imagine driving through a thunderstorm, a symphony of rain beating down around you. And as the winding road takes you underneath a bridge, for a brief moment it’s silent and you can see the road again. It’s fleeting and before you know it, you’re back in the thick of it.
That brief moment of serenity, when the world was quiet and you could see everything so clearly? That’s the feeling I get when I see you, that’s the calm you bring me in a chaotic world. And even if it only breaks through for a minute, if I get no further reprieve… I can stand a millennium of pain to feel that way with you.
“you and me and never us: a complicated series of almost interactions,”
I can’t get over the sadness this quote brings me. It’s one thing to find love and lose it… it’s another altogether to never have it. Can you imagine finding the love of your life and knowing it’s the wrong place, the wrong time? Knowing it’ll never be, but it so easily could be? I ache for anyone who has learned this truth, I mourn that lost love. I wish it on no one.
I’ve been struggling lately with the words I want to say and what actually appears on paper. Was riding the metro home last night after happy hour and just started writing. Reading it today I’m pleasantly surprised, albeit it a couple changes here and there. Ernest Hemingway got it right: write drunk; edit sober. Let’s see if I can finish my novel now…
Sometimes I forget just how big the world is… and how small my own world can feel. Every so often I’m given the chance to fly – a rare glimpse into another life. I am so incredibly awed by it and so completely terrified of it. It makes me question every decision I’ve ever made, every path I’ve chosen. When staring off into this vast, endless world, I can’t help wonder will I ever touch the horizon? Do we ever get it right? Do we ever truly belong to ourselves? Are we simply conditioned to always want more? I’d like to think I have exactly what I need in life, so why this longing? I’m fighting this insane urge to just jump in my car and drive, chasing down the horizon. I’m desperate to see the other side and so petrified it’s not everything I hope it is. I just can’t tell if it’s giving up on this life or bravely embracing a new one.
What is a best friend? Someone who is genuine, and accepts and respects you without judgement… someone who is trustworthy and forgiving… A best friend is basically someone who loves you for you, with all those awesome flaws. My best friend, my anam cara, truly gets me. She listens (even when I don’t say anything) and will call me out on my shit. She gives the best advice or simply lets me talk through it on my own – give that woman a trophy for all that she has to listen to. But most importantly she supports me in almost everything. My insanely thoughtful best friend gave me just the slightest little push the other day for Christmas and reminded me that I’M A FUCKING WRITER, so I better write something already 🙂
Life throws us curveballs and responsibility and people to love and care for… life gives us every excuse we can ever need to NOT do something. And I let work, family, friends, and even more work overpower my passion and I rationalized I simply do not have time to write anything. When I finally do sit down I realize I have no clue what to even write anymore. I stare at my ideas book, pages from two very unfinished novels, my mixed media art projects and the time just ticks by. I’m so exhausted that I don’t even know what to write. I’m stuck, I’m literally just staring – I’m officially inflicted with the writer’s block… dreadful, awful writer’s block. the kind of writer’s block when everything you write seems like a steaming pile of…. yea, that kind of writer’s block.
Well, the bestie isn’t having it. No, not at all. So instead of saying it outright, she gave me presents. And boy, do I love presents with an “s”. She got me magnetic poetry, 642 Things To Write About, a waterproof pad (because who doesn’t have the best ideas in the shower?), and The Writer’s Toolbox. Okay, okay – I hear you lady!! With these gifts, I give in to my new mantra: “Death to writer’s block!”
I’m a New Yorker, born and raised. I LOVE my home town and am extremely proud of my roots. No matter how far I stray, I’ll always come home. I’ll always be a New Yorker. I currently live in Westchester and commute to work in lower Manhattan (because I simply couldn’t stay away).
Lately this daily commute and aimless wandering of the streets has opened my eyes to some ANNOYING behaviors. I seriously stop in my tracks to stare at people. But it’s not so much the annoying that bothers me… it’s the RUDE that grinds me. People act like they don’t have home training. (You know your mama would whoop that…)
So I put together a 3 or 4 part list (it just keeps growing) of SO rude behaviors. Seriously, #SOrude . I would like to point out though that my travels have proven these behaviors are NOT at all exclusive to New Yorkers – we get a bad wrap sometimes. Maybe it’s all the tourists? Keeping that in mind, this list goes in no particular order, just a random clutter of thoughts that go off on a tangent (much like my usual everyday rambling):
- Not tipping. You’re paying someone to do something you either don’t know how to do or are too lazy to do yourself. This is how they make a living, so set aside the extra cash or stay home. Waiters, cabbies, valet, salon staff, bartenders, etc. You don’t really need me to name them all.
- Upstreamers. Don’t act uncivilized and pretend you don’t see me hailing this taxi or this neat, uniform line that formed along the sidewalk. You just wait your turn, sir.
- Thank you notes. Did I attend your wedding? Buy that gorgeous baby of yours a birthday gift? Write you a recommendation? Introduce you to the love of your life? (that may or may not end in divorce, I make no guarantees on that one) Well! Please acknowledge me. It’s the polite thing to do. Even my 10 year old hand writes thank you notes…
- Umbrella thief! It’s raining you say? And you dread the awful water? Well I checked the weather this morning and planned accordingly. Your failure to think ahead should not lead me to a wet head.
- “How much do you pay?” Stop right there my good sir! You know damn well what it costs. If we’re not at a garage sale or flea market, don’t haggle me
- Being broke. Don’t misunderstand me here – after bills are paid I’m as broke as the next New Yorker, so I feel your pain. Damn it, I grew up in the Bronx, so trust me, I feel your pain. BUT don’t agree to dinner, drinks, a concert or vacation and then ask me to cover something. I can barely afford my vices without having to pay for yours too.
- Hello, good morning/afternoon/evening…
- Thank you…
- You’re Welcome…
- Bless you… Enough said…
Tune in next week 🙂
Recent conversations with friends has me pondering the concept of personal change – if it’s possible, how it comes about, when it should happen, if it even should happen, etc. I’m constantly bombarded with people complaining (me included!) about the habits and behaviors of others: “Why does he have to be this way?” “Why can’t she grow up already?” “It’s not that hard to quit!” “Why can’t you just do it the way I said?”
I realized the problem isn’t solely the bad habits and vices of others but the expectation that the behavior has to be corrected in the first place and then done so within a set time frame. You’re approaching it the wrong way from the beginning and setting unrealistic expectations on others. I think before you start to demand change, you should consider the following first:
- Have you looked in the mirror lately? Ever stop to think if the problem is you? No, you’re perfect beings and the whole world is wacky? Sure…. Just don’t project your imperfections onto others as a smoke screen and figure out if your own life needs fixing first. You know, glass houses and stones and all that.
- People are who they are. Either accept them as is or choose to separate yourself from them. People don’t have to bend and twist at your say so. Social chameleons exist, but it’s an art form, my dear. Simply put, you can choose to not associate in the first place.
- Love me even at my worst. If you accepted someone with all their flaws and scars when you first met, who are you to say suddenly it’s not enough? Because if you love them, you must love all of them – even the darkest parts. Because maybe, just maybe that love is all they need. You can be the one to save them, but not everyone wants to be saved (nor are they ready)
- More importantly, not everyone needs to even be saved! That alone could be the root of the problem – thinking you’re some knight on a mission. Maybe I know the road I need to take and it’s a path I must walk alone. Sure, pace behind me a few steps if you really want, but I really need to make this journey on my own.
- You can’t just change a person on a whim, nor should you expect them to change FOR YOU. It took me 30 years to become the person I am and I’m still evolving. I have my fair share of vices – some I’ve overcome (5 years smoke free!) and some I still battle with. But at the end of the day, I’m still me. And I LOVE me! (You should too). That should be enough. I obviously cannot become someone else over night just because you wish I would. And you shouldn’t want me to – that’s a lot of awesomeness to dull.
- Change must come from within and with a desire to do so. Otherwise, old habits and vices find their way home again. This is why I’m against forced rehab and believe relapse is more likely in those cases. Someone needs to recognize their flaws, realize it’s destructive and believe they can modify or overcome it. These are tall mountains to climb here.
- Accept that eventually you may have to let a person go. Not everyone will fit into your life the way you want them to. After walking down that road with them for a while, you just might have to stop walking altogether. Let them go – wish them well and let them go.
- Changes you should make: workout routine, undergarments, sheets, negative attitude, that dated hairstyle (yes, yes I know the poof on the top of my head needs to go!! I’m working on it!), what is considered music these days, that guy who you’ve been “dating on and off for years”.
I had a moment of clarity – this incandescent realization that soothed me to my core. It was right around the time when the sun kissed the horizon and set everything on fire. Nothing felt impossible, the world opened wide and every fear was pulled away with the current. The daily chatter and small mindedness melted into the background and nothing else existed. Nothing and everything melded together actually, but it faded into this white noise, carried away by the wind. I want to live there forever. It’s not too much I think to just want to sit in the moonlight and watch it all slow down, especially when you know it’s evanescent. But it’s arresting and rare, so people want to tear it away. It’s imprinted on me though, deeply and securely. It was enough for now.
How can I begin to explain how even though the last 10 years of my life have been filled with my greatest heartaches, that they were still the best years of my life? The only way to answer that is simply: Aimee.
Being her mother has been my unparalleled privilege and joy. I sincerely do not believe that I knew true, conditional love until she was placed in my arms. And in that moment everything made sense, and nothing else mattered.
It’s amazing to me to see the young lady she has become and how her light touches so many lives. To be around her is to experience exhilaration. I am humbled by her and strive to be the best version of myself for her. When I count my blessings, I count her twice.
Aimee is an old soul and wise beyond her years. With her passion for reading, she’s a little girl constantly after my heart. She’s curious, compassionate, immensely intelligent, creative, wildly talented, artistic, brave, funny, thoughtful, kind and quite quirky – again, a little girl after my heart. There are times that even as her mother, I forget her age – because how can someone so astonishing only be a child?
But today, my baby girl has hit double digits and is a baby no more. So HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY Aimee! I love you more than words can ever express, but I’ll spend a lifetime showing you. I wish the rest of you can experience an ounce of her awesomeness, but I’m quite selfish and I don’t like to share.