Believin’

Everyone has moments in their lives that when you hear a certain song, you’re brought back to a place.  Most of the time, this is pretty solid for me.  I hear Piano Man, I think of my friends from college.  I hear the Beatles and I think of my senior year of college.  I hear something by Rusted Root and suddenly I’m painting in art class again.

All those songs have one moment.  They have one flash in my mind of why I like them.

As I was driving home from Cape Cod on Tuesday night (HI I GOT TOO MUCH SUN AND MY SKIN HURTS), I was scanning all of the radio stations.  Mostly because I could and I was bored and I needed something to do on my 4 hour drive.  I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I knew I would find something.

And Don’t Stop Believin’ came on.  Steve Perry was belting it out with so much heart and soul.  So I belted it out too.  I screamed it at the top of my lungs.  I rocked out hardcore on I-195 because I could.

The more I thought about that song, the more I realized that it doesn’t have just ONE moment in my life.  It has many moments.  I don’t know if that’s due to how popular it is, or just what sort of radio stations I listen to, but there’s so many things that came flying back to me at that moment:

– Driving home late one night with my friends and my brother after seeing Red Eye.  We heard this song, all rolled down our windows and sang it like that was what we were put on the earth to do.
– My cousin Kit’s wedding, where I danced so much with my grandma that she couldn’t walk the next day.
– Being in Vermont with 21.  We had just said goodbye to Tessa and Aaron and were walking back to the couch.  The song came on.  21 went over to the radio, cranked it up as high as it could go and we sang it to each other and danced around.  When the song was over, we went back to our lives
– Singing it out at Mike and Casey’s wedding, while dancing around with Gilmore and feeling so alive
– Glee. Because of course.
– Being on a cruise with Karen and Pam (although I don’t think we sung this song, it just reminds me of that moment)

It’s weird to think that just one song brings up so much in my life. But it’s THAT song. The song that has carried me through years of my life. It’s too bad that it has to be a bad 80s song, but at least it has a new message – Don’t Stop Believin’

Soon to be 66% done with weddings for the year. Hopefully

This weekend is my friend Tessa’s wedding. It’s really hard to believe that she’s getting married. It feels like yesterday that she was getting engaged. I was so thrilled when she did get engaged because she is so in love. It’s adorable. Even at Cashelle’s wedding, they were both so in love. And for people that love each other in the way that those two do, you want them to have the greatest wedding ever. I’ve seen a lot of people that are madly in love get married recently and it warms my cold heart.

I also find it hard to believe that it’s time for Tessa’s wedding because of where I am. When I went to Vermont with 21 back in March, we talked about going to Tessa’s wedding. He met both Tessa and Aaron and liked them. He said that he was looking forward to going to their wedding. With me. In July. On our drive home from the house, we talked about having an extended weekend and doing fun stuff up in Vermont. It seemed like a reality at that point. It never crossed my mind that we wouldn’t be together then, because things were going SO well and we had such a stable relationship. But as we all know – apparently not.

Now that time is here. Everything has changed so much. Now I’m going to a wedding with a boy that thinks the world of me. He’s excited to meet my friends and tells me how lovely I will look when I’m all done up. But it’s still weird. Because this isn’t how I imagined it would be going.

When I say that, it sounds bad. It sounds like I don’t want to go with Gilmore. I DO though. It’s just – I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. But when you imagine something one way and it turns out another way, sometimes the first way still lingers. I didn’t think I would ever be saying the things I say to Gilmore. I didn’t think I would feel like I do about him. But I do. It’s hard to explain how things are between us. Because the last time I felt like this, it was probably unjustified. And then Gilmore came into my life. He makes me feel like I’m the only person that exists that matters. He tells me the nicest things about myself. He’s supportive and kind and he listens to what I have to say. He’s thoughtful. He cares about things. He’s just…normal. He’s a normal person, with all the normal person things that come along with it. he’s got faults, like we all do. Yet, I’m not holding him to that same standard that I held 21 too (see? LEARNING. Learning from my mistakes). I always had this nagging feeling in the back of my brain that 21 was too good for me. That’s a bad thought to have and I shouldn’t have had that. I don’t feel like that with Gilmore. I feel like we’re equals.

And part of it is just…me feeling awkward and weird. Because I feel like every time I’ve seen Tessa and Cashelle in the past year or so, I’ve been with some other guy. Then I introduce this guy to two girls that mean the world to me…only to have him not stick around. And there they are, being married to lovely, lovely men. I just feel like I’m still a child while they are adults. I don’t know where this idea comes from, but there is it. Staring me in the face.

Writing this down (or typing, as it might be) is going to help me push this idea out of my head. What happened, happened. I know this. I don’t want to change what’s happened to me in the past few months because it’s been wonderful. I’ve had some nasty things come my way, but I haven’t let them hold me down. I’ve stumbled and had Super Sad Sarah Moments, but I’m getting around them. Every dumb thing I’ve done has led me to this person, this moment, this feeling. I can’t complain about that.

So I’m going to a wedding this weekend. A wedding of two people that love each other more than I could imagine anyone could love anyone else. A wedding where I will get to see two of my close friends from college and we’ll all be together again. A wedding where I can say “This is Gilmore. I think he’s going to sticking around for a while”

While I didn’t think this is where I would be… I’m happy with where I am.

Lesson Learned

This weekend (I feel like I start every post this way because I do nothing interesting during the week and all my fun goes down after 5 PM on Friday), I went back to the house in Vermont. The house in Vermont that I last visited with 21. The house that has been in my family for years.

This house is more than special to me. My grandpa and my uncles built this house. I’ve been going up to this house since before I can even remember. We’ve had so many weekends at the house. So many vacations. Summer, winter, spring – doesn’t matter. We’ve been there. I’ve watched the house grow from a tiny little cabin that we could all just barely fit into with one room upstairs filled with bunk beds to a house with a basement. It now has 4 bedrooms and a loft. There’s two bathrooms (THANK GOD) and a huge kitchen. The house is meant for us to be there. It’s meant for fun. You hang out there and play Trouble and Sorry all day long. You sit on the deck and drink coffee in the mornings. You stand upstairs in the giant picture window and just take it all in.

Every time I’m there, memories of my grandpa come back. He built the house. It’s a memorial to him in a way.

I’ve always been selective about who I bring up to the house. I’ve brought up some of my friends (Karen, you’re next), but only my close ones. I spent a wonderful weekend there with my Alfred girls and their mens. The people that I’ve brought are the ones that I want to share this place with. It’s beyond words. The second we start driving up the driveway, I feel different. I feel like it’s all good as long as I’m there.

So I brought 21 there. He was (at the time) important to me and the house always is important to me. I figured I should let him in on what I consider to be the best place I’ve ever been. I took him to the local diner we love. I drove him around Castleton. We laughed at all the books on the shelves. We slept in my favorite room in the house.

Then he had to go and decide to not date me anymore. Because that’s how he wanted to be. He left me crying in the driveway. Since then, I don’t cry about him anymore. I really barely even think about him. But that was before this weekend.  That was until I saw the last entry in the guestbook was 21 thanking my family for letting us use the house and saying that he hoped he could come up again sometime. I then struggled with where I should sleep that night. Did I sleep in my favorite room because it’s MY favorite room? Or do I sleep somewhere else, so I don’t get upset that the last time I was in that bed was with 21?

I slept in my bed in my favorite room. I tried not to think of him. I woke up the next morning and went to the diner with my family. I tried not to think of him. Every little stupid moment that brought 21 back to me, I tried to ignore. It was hard. It was difficult to ignore how I felt. I’ve always associated that house with good feelings. But to go back and feel like crying because of it all? That was unfair.

But after all that, I realized something. I’m not bringing just any boy to that house anymore. It’s just too special to me. The house, the room, the nonsense shit on the walls – all of it means too much to me to share with anyone I’m not totally crazy for. I know that now. And while I wish I could take back our visit to the HPL, I can’t. I’m kicking myself for bringing 21 up there in the first place, but how was I to know what would happen less than 2 weeks later? I’ve learned now. I know. 21 has now ruined it for every other guy that I will date. Until I know that the guy I’m bring up there is just as crazy for me as I am for him? He’s not invited. It’s girls only at the HPL.

Friday night overthinking

I’ve been doing a whole lot of thinking lately. Mostly because now I have a whole lot of time. And there’s something that I really wasn’t ready to admit to myself or anyone else until tonight. I was talking with Lilo (as I do often) and she mentioned something. I was saying how sad I was about 21 – because I am still sad. It’s hard not to be sad when something that’s great ends. She then said that she knew that I always liked 21 and that was never in question. But she said that I never loved him.

And she’s right. I didn’t. The more that I think about it, I don’t know if that passion was there. He was wonderful. He was kind and polite and lovely. I was crazy for him and for a while, he was really crazy for me. But, I don’t think the spark was there for us to fall in love. I was waiting for some sign – any sign – that he was the one.

It never happened. He’s not the one. I’m okay with that – or I will be.

I think when I went to Vermont with 21, I was waiting for that moment. I was waiting for the moment when we’d look at each other and I would feel that feeling. Because every time I kissed 21, while it was great? It wasn’t like kissing the guy that I loved. It was just nice. But there weren’t butterflies. There was excitement. There were hiney tingles. But never did I think that it was the most perfect kiss in the history of everything.

I had to admit that. Out loud. Or on my blog. Whatever. I needed to say in some way or another that I did not love 21. And I’m not even sure that’s something I could of done. That’s no fault of my own or of his. He was great. He really was. But he didn’t have everything that I needed. I know that.

It was little things. I don’t think that he could have dealt with my family. I don’t know that he would have been as tolerant of Jamie as I would like. He was a little in the dark about how people deal with being depressed.

Maybe those last 2 hit me the most. The idea of someone that I cared for really deeply and could see myself with not treating Jamie well tore me apart. It was a passing fear, but I had it. I was seriously worried that while this guy would open doors for me when we went out and make me epic Saturday morning breakfasts, he would treat Jamie like a lesser person. I was scared of that. 21 wasn’t exposed to the same things I was. Hell, I would even go as far to say that he had it easy growing up (not that I didn’t, but you know, he kind of had everything handed to him) and I just don’t think he knows how to deal with things. Jamie being one of those things. Him being a dick to Jamie is enough to get him cut out of my life completely. I wouldn’t even think twice about it.

When we were up in Vermont, we were watching SNL and they were talking about Charlie Sheen. 21 made a comment that Charlie Sheen is probably bipolar, then said something along the lines of the fact that it’s not that hard to treat people that are bipolar. He looked at me and asked me if I knew anyone that was bipolar and I just stared at him. I didn’t know what to say because telling him about me would have changed things, I think. Telling him about how depressed I was for most of high school and college. Telling him that I dated a guy that treated me like absolute garbage just because I was at such a low point in my life that I didn’t get out. Telling him that I used to be unable to get out of bed in the morning because that was too much for me. That I had so much issues in high school that I don’t even remember half of what I did. Just the idea of telling him that I need a few pills just to keep me from toppling over some edge that I might not see? I couldn’t do that. And if I couldn’t admit to him the things that I’ve faced that make me that person I am today? How could I tell him anything?

Granted, who I was in high school isn’t who I am now. I’ve changed. I’ve grown. But that person made me who I am now. I am how I am because of what I’ve done and seen and said. To not share that closes off a piece of myself. If I can’t share myself entirely with him, what else would I hide?

There were pieces of myself that I kept hidden. There were things I didn’t say because the timing wasn’t right. Now I wonder if the timing would have ever been right for me to say what I had to. For me to tell him things about myself that I don’t talk about on the internet.

I’m still sad about 21. I will continue to be for a while because it was good. It was good when we were crazy for each other and couldn’t wait to see each other again. It was wonderful when he used to call me the sweetest names ever and smile when he saw me in the morning. It was fabulous when he used to come and surprise me at work and take me out to lunch just because he wanted to see me in the middle of the day. Those things won’t stop being great. But it’s not my reality. I’m not going to think about them anymore. I’m not going to hate them either. I’m going to file them away for when I need a good moment. When I feel low and shitty, I’m going to remember all the good that came from the past 6 months.

The more important thing to remember is that things didn’t work out with 21 for a reason. We’re not together for a reason. I know that the parts of the relationship that needed to be there for us to make it last were missing. That’s okay. It’s okay because this isn’t the end of my story at all. He’s just a small happy chapter – and I’ll be okay with that soon.

Ways not to start a vacation

As I type this, I’m in Manhattan, waiting for my best friend to come back from her run so that we can start our week long vacation.  We’re leaving for New Orleans today and from there, leaving for a cruise to Mexico on Monday.

But this week was not as wonderful as a pre-vacation week should be.  There were a few high points…but otherwise, it was not a good week.  I woke up on Sunday (after the Dog Prom) and I had the mother of all hangovers.  I should have known that I would have a monster hangover when I drank a straight glass of vodka.  But I don’t think that way.  So when I woke up on Sunday morning, even 21 could see that I was hurting.

Monday night I went over to 21’s house where he made us a really nice dinner and we watched a movie.  It was very relaxing and just the sort of day that I wanted.

Wednesday afternoon, I started feeling a little under the weather.  But I didn’t think that much of it.  I assumed I had just talked too much and my throat was hurting because of that.  WRONG.  I woke up on Thursday morning with a full blown cold.  Stuffy nose, sore throat, the whole 9 yards.  And the last thing you want to have before you go on a tropical vacation is a cold.  So I was less than pleased.  I’ve pumped myself full of all sorts of zinc and vitamin C in order to fix it…but no, not so much.  I felt terrible on Thursday night, which meant that I was unable to see 21 before I left.  Not that it’s a big deal – but I was looking foward to seeing him.

Friday should have been a good day.  Fancy Marketing Company always lets people out at 3 PM the day before the start of a 3 day weekend.  It’s very nice of them, actually.  So I knew I had to get everything done before 3 PM.  My department is finally back up to being fully staffed, so it wasn’t as big of a deal that I am going to be out next week.

I got so many things completed yesterday morning, a really sweet email from 21 and I was starting to feel a little bit better.  Until about 1:30.

My brother called me from the emergency vet.  One of our dogs (Jake) had been hit by a car.  He was breathing really heavily and they thought that maybe there was internal bleeding.  As Will was talking to me, they were bringing him in for an ultrasound.  I was upset, but I knew that they were going to take care of him.  So I kept on working.  Will called back a little while later.  Jake’s injuries were too great and he was going to have to be put to sleep.

I started crying at my desk.  It’s not something that I am proud of, but this is our dog.  Thankfully I work with a bunch of dog lovers and they were like “go – see the dog.  GO!”

As I was packing up all my stuff, my brother called and said that they were putting him down right that moment.  There was talk of bringing him to our normal vet so that he could put Jake down, but we decided the stress of that situation would be too much for him.  So they did it at the emergency vet.  I was crushed.  The last exchange that I had with Jake was me pointing at him and saying “you are a dumb-dumb”

So I drove home to see him one last time.  My dad and my brother were both there and they were both crying.  Sometimes it;s hard to imagine that a dog could mean so much.  But he has been ours since he was a puppy.  He was ours – even though he was dumb at times.  He was the best dog that he knew how to be.  Even if they had been able to save him, his quality of life would have been terrible.

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon crying over that loss.  I know it’s kind of ridiculous to be that upset over the death of a dog.  But he was family.  Losing a member of the family, no matter how small, is hard.  And as one of my friends said, this was totally unexpected.  It would have been one thing if Jake was old and sick and we knew it was coming.  But he was young-ish – about 11.  And it wasn’t how I thought my weekend would play out.

And poor 21 had a bunch of messages on his phone like “my dog is at the emergency vet” and “my brother is being a real shithead” and “now they are putting the dog to sleep”.  He’s in Boston for the weekend and wasn’t even around to answer my messages.  Not that it’s his fault.

After I said my goodbyes to Jake, I jumped a train to Manhattan.  I met up with Karen and we got mani/pedis and ordered Thai food.  It was a nice, relaxing night in and everything was good.

I’m ready for this week of relaxation to begin.  this is the worst way ever to start a week off – so it just has to get better than this.

Reverb Day 27 – Just an ordinary day

Prompt: Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

I think that many of the moments in my life are ordinary.  There’s nothing special about most of the things that I’ve done.  I think the times that mean the most to me are the times that I just feel alive.

Like waking up in the summer to the warm sun.  And reading a book and getting out of bed when I felt like it.  An iced coffee on a wickedly hot day.  The first snowfall of the year made me smile more than I thought possible.  Running around with a really dopey dog.  Smiling at someone when I feel like it might make their day better.  Hearing the perfect song at the perfect moment.  A light summer rain. 

My friends.  My brother’s accomplishments.  Meeting 21.  Being around everyone I love.  Crying my eyes out at my friend’s wedding. 

Engagements.  Baby births.

Reverb Day 21 – Past, Present and Future selves

Prompt: Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

It’s hard to imagine myself 5 years from now because I can’t even imagine myself tomorrow.  So.  here goes.

Hello Previous Self,

                It’s Future Self here.  And I know you wouldn’t expect to hear from me, but here I am.  Listen to what I have to say.  I know what’s what.

                Things may not have gone the way that you planned them, but in the end, everything will work out.  You know that you’re going to be able to settle down and have all the things you want.  You know that if you just work hard enough, you’ll have the life you imagined. 

                2011 is going to be good.  There’s no way it could be as bad as 2009 – am I right?!  You will make choices that might not be the best choices, but they will be what is best for you.  And no matter what, you’ll make it through this stuff.

                Keep your head up, previous self.  You can kick ass at whatever you want to do.  Keep on living your 25.2 dream.  Don’t forget who your friends are.  Remember to smile, even if you think you can’t.  And if all else fails, a vodka tonic will solve everything.

XOXO

Future Self

Dear 16 year old Self,

  Wow.  You are a trip.  You’re a little intense, a little weird and a lot crazy.  But here’s what you need to know – you’re going to make it.  Shit sucks now.  I know that.  You’re sad, you feel alone and you don’t know how you’re going to keep on putting one foot in front of the other.  Know this – you do.  You keep it up.  You’re going to make it through high school and through college.  And at times, you’re going to feel like you’re sinking.

In fact, you do sink.  You go under.  But you come back up for air. 

Smalltown Connecticut is going to get left behind when you go to school in Western New York.  You’re going to meet some fabulous people that you will be friends with for life.  You’re going to date some boys that are very very bad for you.  You’re going to date one that is going to come in and out of your life and destroy it every time.  It’s hard for me, as your 26 Year Old Self to allow that to happen.  But you have to.  You’ll learn from it.  You need to date and fall for this boy so that you can realize what good is.  And it’s not him. 

You’ll graduate.  You’ll work in retail.  You’ll realize that your dream of being on the radio might not work out.  But it will all be okay along the way.  You’ll make it.  You might not always take the easy path, but you bring a machete when you don’t.  You’ll fight with people you love.  You’ll spend lots of nights crying.  You’ll get sick and get better.  But you will make it to 26.

I know it doesn’t seem like it now.  I know you think that 16 is the end of the road.  But trust me, it’s really not.  Just hold on.  Keep doing it.  Keep living.  Because once you get older and things settle down, you’ll settle down.  You’ll find what you’re looking for.  You’ll find what you’re meant to do, who you’re meant to be with and how things are meant to go down.

Trust me, 16 Year Old Self.  You’ll be able to do this.  Sometimes you might not be better than okay – but you’re going to get out of this.  And in 10 years, you’ll look back and wonder how you nearly exploded and didn’t.

Just know that you do.  And you’re fabulous for it.

XOXO

26 Year Old Self

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