A bad day turns good

I felt horrible when I left for work, and I felt horrible all morning. It was one of those moods where I would get near tears if I thought too much about any of the things that were bothering me, and when I was in danger of thinking things like “Why do I even bother trying to write? I am so terrible and there are plenty of people who are better and I’m not even writing anything important anyway.”

But I focused on work, work I enjoy, and then at lunch I ate with three coworkers and we talked about everything: kids, travel, relationships, anger, food, the ethics of eating meat. It was actually a pretty deep conversation, and it was so nice to talk and to listen. The meal was nourishing, too, roast chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. After lunch I returned to my desk feeling cheerful, and even though a huge problem arose at 4:45 my mood wasn’t dampened.

Sean texted me shortly before I left work to ask if I’d paid the rent—I had plans to do so on my way home—and to ask me out to dinner. I happily agreed, and when I got home we went to Aspens Signature Steaks, our fancy date restaurant. You don’t have to dress up to eat there, but sometimes we do. Today, though, we just wore jeans. We shared some blue point oysters, then I had the surf and turf, a beef medallion with a lobster tail and a side of mashed sweet potato, and Sean had a strip steak with a lobster tail and grilled mushrooms. We finished the meal with the white chocolate raspberry mousse cake that is our go-to dessert; Sean also had coffee, which he said was really good. We talked the whole time, about all sorts of things. We talked all the way home, too.

It was so wonderful to have that feeling of connection, both with my friends at work and of course with my husband. I think that after a weekend of being sort of secluded, locked away to myself, I needed that.

Sometimes it’s good to turn back

Sean and I had a sweet moment this morning when I left for work. I’d just finished blogging about how low I felt yesterday. I was heading out the door, and Sean’s alarm went off. He stirred on the couch, sat up, and said, “Have a good day, baby.”

“You too, sweetheart,” I responded.

He said something else, and I think it was “I love you,” but it was very quiet. I went out the door and shut it and went to lock it behind me.

And then I stopped, and opened it again, and went back into the apartment. I crossed the dark room and sat next to Sean and snuggled into him. He murmured contentedly and I kissed his neck.

“Sorry for being depressed yesterday,” I said.

“It’s okay,” he said, in a tone that made it apparent he didn’t think depression was something to apologize for.

I squeezed him tight and talked about yesterday, going through the things I’d blogged about, and then talked about today, and how I’d belatedly realized that tickets to the Welcome to Night Vale spring live shows were going on sale while I would be in the basement of my workplace for a team event.

“I’m tired,” I said.

“I can relate,” he replied.

We snuggled and kissed and then I had to go. I was very glad I’d turned back. I felt lighter, freer, as I stepped out into the cleansing rain.

(And as for the tickets, I ended up getting them just fine.)

Categorized as Diary Tagged ,

Outgrowing Usagi and Mamoru

Watching Sailor Moon Crystal episodes 12 and 13 yesterday, I came fully to the sad realization that Usagi and Mamoru just don’t do it for me the way they used to.

Usagi and Mamoru were my favorite couple for many years. I loved their story, loved the idea of destiny and a connection that would find itself again incarnation after incarnation. It all seemed so romantic and magical.

The thing about magical, destined things, though, is that you can’t aspire to them. They either come to you or they don’t. Your actions have no impact. You are reactor, not actor.

Usagi's murder/suicideAnd indeed, in these episodes, it felt like the characters were doing a lot of waiting and hoping. The actions they took often seemed pointless, a stall for time if nothing else. And it wasn’t long before, in despair, Usagi chose murder/suicide as her solution–because “We’ll find each other again the next time we’re reincarnated.”

How awful.

I can’t identify with this anymore. I can’t identify with making decisions based on things that might happen in a future life. I can’t identify with love that just is, that requires no struggle, no sacrifice, no commitment.

I can’t identify with giving up on what you have so easily.

And that’s not even taking into account everything else Usagi is giving up on: her friends, her family, the world. The idea that she can just get a do-over allows her to deny her responsibility to save everyone. This is not a hero. This is a teenager, blinded by selfish emotion.

Maybe that’s who she’s supposed to be, but I find myself longing for the Tsukino Usagi of the live action Sailor Moon. The girl who saw the selfish teenager in Princess Serenity and rejected her. The girl who did what it took to save the world, regardless of personal sacrifice. The girl who struggled. The girl who kept going.

Drowning in a torrent of memory

I knew that I had once fallen in love while already in love with someone else. But today I realized that it actually happened twice. I remember the second time best because I had to actively fight it. The first time was easy to forget. Distance did most of the work for me.

I wouldn’t even really remember it now, except slightly vaguely, if I hadn’t written a story about it a few months after it happened. I definitely wouldn’t have remembered how it felt. A dull ache, twisted, suffused with desperation.

It’s been so long. I had pushed it all away. I had forgotten. But I read that story today, and it all came back.

A theory of love

This morning I got up at around 6:44. Of course, Sean and his houseguest William were still asleep, Sean on the couch (as is his wont when he stays up late) and William in the office where my computer is set up. I went and got the Lenovo from the living room and a protein shake from the kitchen, then secluded myself in the master bedroom, listening to and looking up fanart for Welcome to Night Vale, my latest obsession.

Around 9 or so it was time for second breakfast. Sean and William were naturally still asleep. I decided to go to McDonald’s. I also decided not to get them anything, and this was my logic: After eating this meal, I would probably be hungry again at around lunchtime. Sean and William would likely only be getting up at that time. So they would eat whatever I’d brought back from McD’s, and I’d have to go find something else for myself. It seemed logical, therefore, to just have myself a snack, and then eat lunch with Sean and William later.

Back in the bedroom, I was eating a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and fangirling like you wouldn’t believe when the door opened and Sean slipped in, making puppy dog eyes at my food. “You didn’t get me any?” he said pathetically. I tried to explain my logic. He lay down on the bed on his stomach, arms straight at his sides, pouting. “Do you want some bites of mine?” I asked. “No,” he said. “So you’re just going to pout, then?” I asked. “Yes,” he said.

I started to talk about something else, and he literally got up to leave the room! What a guy :D

“Do you want me to go get you some?” I asked.

The answer was obviously yes, but Sean just stood frozen at the door as if lost in thought.

“I don’t mind,” I said. “Do you want me to?”

It became apparent at his continued silence that he could not bring himself to ask it of me.

“Okay,” I said, “I’m going to get you some.”

“Okay,” he said, obviously relieved beyond measure.

And I went and got him some, and some for William too, who was up by the time I got back.

It occurs to me that my marriage would be far unhappier if I didn’t find this sort of thing adorable. If my reaction to Sean moping around was to take it as emotional blackmail and seethe in resentment. Actually, I’m sure there was a point where I did stuff like that, but I’ve learned from watching good relationships that your attitude toward your partner is everything. If you are constantly thinking about what you don’t like about your partner, of course you will “fall out of love.” And if you instead constantly think about how cute and adorable and smart and attractive and funny your partner is, and how much you want to be with them and make them happy, then staying in love is just natural.

March 21, 1994, 9:20pm (15 years old)

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

I am not a man.

Therefore, I still cling to a few of the precepts I clung to in my youth. For example,

“When you wish upon a star,

“Makes no difference who you are;

“Anything your heart desires

“Will come to you.”

I have been thinking about wishing on stars lately. I used to wish on a star when I was a kid. I would wish that me and my brothers could turn into cartoon characters and live in a parallel universe whenever we wanted to. Guess what? It never happened.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Like guys. Especially MP.

It’s weird, but we never seem to like each other at the same time. He liked me in Middle School, I like him when I was a freshman, he liked me at the beginning of this year but then started liking J. I kind of like him now. The trouble is, he still likes J. Says he loves her.

He called me yesterday to talk, and we were on the phone for over an hour. I don’t know how long really. But we talked a lot. I’ve never had a guy call me before, and so it was kind of interesting. I take that back…M called me a couple of times when we were going out (back when I was young and silly), but we never had anything to talk about.

Anyway, P and I had a lot to say, and so we talked forever. I talked about DF, and how I’m getting over him, and he talked about the pain he’s experiencing now with J.

You see, J broke up with him. She said they were becoming “co-dependent”. Isn’t that what a relationship is? But anyway, J seems to be scared off by anything that she enjoys. I don’t understand that about her. Why can’t she just pray about it and find her answers?

She wasn’t at school today, or last Friday, so I called her house and asked her mom to have her call me back. I don’t know if she will or not, but I hope she will, because we need to talk. P was supposed to call me tonight, but I guess he never found the time.

I like this font, so I’ll stick with it.

Anyway, I’ll go into how I got over DF.

I’m still physically attracted to him, but I find no interest in him personally. That’s no problem, I’m physically attracted to several guys and it doesn’t mess me up. I still admire DF for his dedication to his workouts and stuff, and for how he’s in track and everything, but I really don’t like him much anymore. He makes crude jokes and acts like a jerk sometimes.

P informed me that he makes crude jokes a lot and I still talk to him. I guess my answer for that is that he likes me, and likes to talk to me, and that’s why I still talk to him. Besides, he’s getting better. But that still doesn’t explain DS. Who knows why I stopped liking him. But I did. Maybe it was the way he leapt into it. He shouldn’t have gone so fast. He also embarrassed me. That must be what it was. He should have taken it slow, and then I might have started liking him. But you see, he liked J this year and now he likes someone named Jennifer L (I think).

My mom’s a sweetie. She just brought me down a Diet Dr Pepper. I love them. The boys are watching “Strange Brew”. How annoying. I like the movie, but I don’t know how they can stand to watch it so often.

I wore a black dress today, and Stephen W comes up and says “Whose funeral is it?” I replied, “Yours.”

Anyway, I don’t like DF anymore. I’m not obsessed with impressing him, or showing him what an awesome person I am, or anything, so I think I’m over him. Wouldn’t it be funny if he started liking me now. Doubtful, but it would be ironic.

Mom’s breathing down my neck now. She wants me to get off the computer so SHE can use it. I just read those sentences to her and she made her little cute face, then decided to read a WinFax book. She’s trying to figure out how to talk over the terminal with Aunt Carol, who just got an IBM. They’ve been faxing each other stuff like crazy. Dad’s fax machine is awesome, by the way. I wonder if Noelle has a fax. We could send each other stuff for like 14 cents. That would be cool!

I feel kind of empty, not having a crush on anybody, and yet I feel free. I’m single, and glad to be! I think I’d like to get to know Noah K, because he seems like a nice guy, but he’s shy. But I still have these silly feelings about P. That’s not good, because if I somehow got him interested in me again, it would hurt J. Plus, I might get hurt in the process. So I’m going to stay away from that territory. It’s very strange that P liked me, because I never thought anyone would like me. But he did. I wonder if he ever will again.

My goal for my weight remains the same: to be able to wear biker shorts and a sports bra and look good. That would be so awesome. I would never wear them in public, but when I was working out I could and then I’d feel great. But it seems like I’ll never reach my goal. Today Mom came home with a lot of chips and some French onion dip (my favorite). I didn’t totally mess up, but I did enough damage to where I won’t be losing any more weight. Yuk.

Anyway. Enough about that. I think Mom’s going to be reading everything I write from now on. She’s silly.

Oh guess what! We are trying to fax Aunt Carol a little certificate that says: “Gift Certificate from the office of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, M.D. Good for one visit only.” Isn’t that hilarious? I love it! I want to copy it and give it to people. I should give one to DF, but he might get the wrong idea. I’ll give one to P. He’ll appreciate it.

Well, I think I’ll stop now, because I really don’t have much more to say. Until whenever I write again…


Time to ramble

This is my last week of school. Finals week is next week, but I have no finals, only papers. I should be able to get everything done fairly easily. What’s on my mind right now is the short story revision due tomorrow; I haven’t quite started on that yet ;> I had a group presentation today, and that seemed to go pretty well. Other than that, I don’t have anything pressing until next week. I think.

I do need to do some observations of a non-academic teaching English as a second language class…I’m not sure how I’m going to get that done. I went last week with Katie from TESL class, and that sort of went badly. She got really offended about the way the group proctors kept making derogatory jokes. They invoked stereotypes and things like that to get the foreign students to open up. I personally didn’t really see a problem with it; humor is usually the best way to break the ice in a situation. I thought it could have been pretty fun, but Katie was so adamant that it was stupid and degrading that I would have felt like a traitor to stay longer. Well, that, and they were going to a bar, and I’m not really a bar person.

So much of what we believe is based on perception. Katie believed that the students were offended by the proctors’ remarks, whereas I thought they either found them amusing, or didn’t quite understand yet. I definitely felt that an introduction to humor and slang was appropriate and useful for the students…they probably learn quite a bit about conversation from that group. I will have to talk a little about the experience tomorrow–we only stayed for about half an hour, so I hope I’m able to speak authoritatively on the subject somehow. I do think I’ll have at least a few things to say.

My short story, which doesn’t really have a title right now, is pretty good. I actually like it quite a bit, but it does need tweaking. I think I’ll hold off and put the “final version” (or at least, the final class version) on the website. People don’t really need to see the drafts. I may as well take “Mikey” down completely…I’m thoroughly disgusted with that story. It’s a load of crap :>

I seem to write the best stuff about Japan. At least lately. I suppose that’s what’s been on my mind, both subconsciously and consciously. I didn’t do a whole lot of writing about the experience while I was there, or even when I first got back. Things seem to come out better after a little time has gone by. The bad thing about that is that I can forget things…and my notes aren’t all that great :( I do know one thing, though: I love Japan and I want to live there someday.

I sometimes wish I had accomplished more in college. There are people who have done independent research projects, been active in clubs or Greek life, been activists, received scholarships and fellowships, and other things like that. Me, I just plug away at classes, then go home and do my own thing. There is a distinct lack of community there. Part of it is because I don’t live on campus, but even the year I did live on campus, back in Huntsville, I wasn’t extremely active. I was in one club, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, mainly because I liked the people in the club and had fun hanging out with them. I helped organize stuff, and I even became the Treasurer for the club, but I wasn’t intensely active like other people. I had my own hobbies, and there were times where I would just withdraw into myself.

I’ve always been like that, I suppose. I’m not necessarily a loner, because I love talking to people…but I do like having my own time, too. I don’t mind going to restaurants and movies by myself. I would prefer to have some people to go to the ballet and opera with, but right now everybody’s so broke that I can’t go anyway. Sometimes I feel like I distance myself from people who are near me, developing close bonds only to people online. I guess the online people will always (in general) be around, but the people I know in person won’t. I’ll be moving to Georgia next year, and it seems useless to get attached.

But that is pretty cynical and depressing, too.

And it’s not like I don’t have friends here. I’ve actually gotten pretty close to a woman in my TESL and Semantics classes, Mary. She has a husband named Phillip, two daughters (Lisa and Rebecca) and a son named Don. The girls are out of the house, but Don is 13 and still in school. Mary, Phillip and Don moved to Lexington from Nashville; Mary’s a natural musician and writer. She’s fantastic, really. I went to her house today and had lunch (a taco salad without the shell); it was really good. She also hosted a party last week, which was a blast. I knew most of the people there, and I skunked them at pool :D

So I can’t really say that I’m totally out of the social arena. But there is a feeling of detachment. Often I’m more comfortable on my computer than I am in a group of people.

My most comfortable place, hands down, is with Sean. Whether it be online together, on the phone together, or in person, there is no place I’d rather be. I don’t know, it is just so strange to me sometimes, to have my heart swell up and fill my chest, and this silly smile come on my face. It’s like a definite knowledge, something that no one can take away. He is the man I love. I’m going to marry him and live with him and grow old with him. And this certainty doesn’t make me feel trapped…it’s exciting. Together, we can do anything.

And really, he is the most fantastic man I have ever met. Our relationship is amazing to me sometimes. We are so comfortable with each other that we tease each other mercilessly, but we also comprehend each other on such a deep level that we know when to stop. We support each other, but we respect each other. We know each other. And damned if I’ll ever find someone as uniquely intelligent and intuitive as him. I can tell him everything, even silly things, and he’ll only love me more. I just can’t believe it sometimes. I can’t believe what I’ve found. I, to be cliché, must be the luckiest girl in the world.

I hope everyone feels this way when they find true love :)