Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blogger's Folly

I think I have writer's block.

Although, I don't know that I'd ever really call myself a "writer", so I'm not sure if that's the appropriate term.

I guess I have blogger's block.

Is that a thing? I'm gonna make it a thing.

Though, I'm probably not the first person to ever use the term, so maybe it's already a thing.

Still...I've never heard of it.

Maybe people have used it before but failed to make it "a thing." In which case, I could make it a thing.

If I'm even qualified to do so.

What if it is a thing, but I'm just really behind the times?

I'm fairly new to blogging and to be honest, I'm never exactly on top of new trends. It's not in my nature to hop on bandwagons, so I've still got some room to learn.

Well, you know? Half of that was a lie. I'm not exactly new to blogging. I used to blog a long time ago. I had a shared blog with some friends. When we were like 12. Oh my goodness, that was over ten years ago. Sheesh.

Does my "fairly" work as a qualifier for that situation? If it does, I didn't really have to explain. If someone ever called me out on it, that "fairly" could be my safety net.

Though, the chances of my being called out are slim considering only 3 other people know about that blog, and none of them read this blog.

I worry too much. Those girls wouldn't even call me out on it if they read this.

...You know what else? I am kind of on top of new trends. I'm often aware of them, but I need some prodding to take part in them.


Has any one ever called it "Blogger's folly"? I like the way that sounds.

Okay, I just googled it. No one has ever used that term. At least not on the first results page.

I'm okay with using that term. It works for me.

So then, dear imaginary blog readers, I have blogger's folly.

This means I have thoughts and feelings and ideas and emotions and all the things that make up a blog, but I can't find the right words to express them.

And since I can't find my own words, I am left with two options:

1. Borrow words from others.
2. Post silly pictures.

Today, I choose option number two.

That worked. I only needed a few. Hopefully that will hold you over until I start to make better with the words and stuff.


P.S. Please feel free to contact me for an address if you care to send flowers or cards while I try to recover from my blogger's folly.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sometimes you gotta say what pops into your head

I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener,
That is what I truly wish to be,
Cause if I were an Oscar Meyer wiener,
Everyone would be in love with me.

I don't really want to be an Oscar Meyer wiener. And I don't need everyone to be in love with me. But I would very much like to have someone new in my life. I feel like I've done a good amount of subtracting lately without having done any adding, and some days it just makes me feel so off-balanced. I get lonely sometimes, and I want back some of what I'm missing. I have a lot of great people in my life, but for the most part they're all hours away. I need someone who can be here now. That's what I really want. That's what I really wish. If I only get one, we can forget I ever said anything about being an Oscar Meyer wiener.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

When did I get old enough to have 20-year-old keepsakes?

Last week my mother and I spent some time looking through a tote filled with 20-year-old pictures and papers. My older sister has been wanting to get a lot of her stuff together into scrapbooks, so we were separating some of her elementary school memorabilia from mine. It actually wasn't too hard, seeing as the majority of the things we found belonged to her.

My memories from that particular tote consisted mainly of priceless artwork. This included the finest collection of traced-hand art this side of the Mississippi, a bear covered in coffee (texture is an important artistic element), a tissue-paper bluebonnet or two, and a lovely laminated silhouette of my 4-year-old self on yellow construction paper that I've tacked above the fireplace and have refused to let my parents remove. (As if they would even want to!)

My sister's collection had artwork, but also a bit more variety. The tote contained some of my pre-k papers, but seemed to have things of hers from about first through second grade. This meant progress reports, some certificates, typing ventures, and stories. One piece of paper stuck out to me in particular. It was a poorly spelled Christmas letter to Santa from my six-year-old sister.

We've already put it away, and I don't exactly remember it verbatim, but I do remember some highlights. My sister asserted that she had been good that year and wanted some little things like barrettes and a doll. And then she asked for another doll, for me. She said could she please have a doll for her sister, Tabitha, who was two. And could he please make it a plastic one so that her sister would not rip out the arms and legs. (I guess I was a fairly destructive two-year-old.) She went on to ask for a GoGo My Walking Pup, but the twin ones so that her sister, Tabitha, could have one two.

It was the kind of thing that made me laugh, but also kind of made my heart jump up into my throat a little bit. I looked at that letter and thought about someone who has been selflessly loving me and thinking of me my whole life. Someone has been loving me before I was probably really even old enough to understand the concept. Maybe my sister's age was the best time to understand love. And I'm really lucky and really blessed that that love has only grown. There really just isn't a love comparable to a sister's love.

I don't think I have a traditional "close" relationship with my sister. Or at least what I've picked up or interpreted from others. We never dished about boys or complained about our parents, and I don't ever really confide in her. Although, honestly, I don't really confide in a lot of people. I keep to myself a lot. Or have traditionally. But I know that my sister is always there when I need her. And I know that she is one of the few people who understands most of the crazy things that come out of my mouth. She is someone who can interpret the smallest movement or single word as a movie reference. She remembers with me. She believes in me. She brags about me. She loves me in spite of all my flaws, but never seems to recognize that I have them. I may not have a lot of experience with older sisters, but I'll venture to say she understands the job better than most. I know she's better at it than I am to our younger sister. It's probably a good thing that she can pick up my slack in that department.

Everyone should be so lucky as to have a sister. I was probably thinking about this tonight because I saw a sidebar ad for a GoGo My Walking pup, and it is becoming clear to me that I have to buy one for her. Maybe it's coming 21 years late, but I figure if your sister loves you enough to ask grab Santa's ear on your behalf when you have less than stellar communication skills, she pretty much deserves to get what she asks for.

I showed a picture of this to my dad and he told me that he didn't understand the appeal. I promptly reminded him that when my sister wanted it, she was six. I still don't think he got it. Of course, he was never a six-year-old girl.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You Don't Have To Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here

I throw pretty good parties. It sounds like something to be proud of because the ability to throw a good party is something to be desired.

Of course, if we're laying all our cards on the table and being honest, the type of party I'm really good at throwing is a pity party. And the ability to throw a good pity party doesn't quite fit under that umbrella of desire.

I was just sitting here watching the Golden Globes when I recognized that an emotion I hate and very much dislike admitting to had reared its ugly head. It was sitting right next to me poking and prodding to try and get my attention. I hated it. Cue the music. Get out the streamers and the balloons. It's about to go down.

I think that it's okay to be sad about some things sometimes, but I always manage to connect those allowable things to other things that I am not letting myself be sad about. This is what makes me such a great pity party planner. I can feel all kinds of bad feelings at once. I don't forget to book every conceivable emotion as entertainment and all painful memories are welcome.

There are some things I've promised myself I would not cry over anymore. So in remembering those promises, I began scolding myself and trying to get my emotions in check. And I think I did. I'm pretty sure I shut that party down and I'm good now.

These parties are few and far between, but I don't enjoy throwing them when I do. I guess my one saving grace is also my flaw when it comes to throwing pity parties: I'm terrible with the invitations.

I don't ever really invite people to share in my misery. Not when it's something I know better than to be delving into. And because I consider pity parties to be shallow and unnecessary, this is even more true. There is a difference between true grief and suffering and a pity party. I'll occasionally let people share in my grief, but I will not bog them down with pettiness.

I've been avoiding some things for the sake of my sanity. I considered whether or not this was going against my resolution to be brave. I thought I should be able to just take everything back and face everything all at once and be done with it, but I realized that it's not that easy. As long as it happens, it's fine. I don't have to have myself together overnight.

I'm ready for memories to just be good. I'm ready to just look at some things and smile. I'm ready to listen to songs I love and watch movies I enjoy without feeling a wave of negative emotion. But I'm not going to be discouraged and I'm not going to worry about it if it doesn't happen right away. Poco a poco. Little by little and day by day.

Hopefully sometime soon I'll no longer feel the occasional need to throw pity parties and learn to only partake in Amy Adams/Miss Piggy-Muppet-Movie-empowered-woman type parties if I feel oh so inclined to throw a one-woman emotional celebration. Those are so much better than the alternative.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Today is the two year anniversary of the first time my heart ever really broke. And I want to be hopeful and I want to be patient and I want to be okay because I know I will see him again and I know that he is always with me, but I miss him. I miss the him that is tangible and physical. Who gave me hugs and told me he loved me every day after class. Who sang with me. Who quoted movies with me. Who sought me out in a crowd to say hello. Who loved me with a look.

And I know better, but I don't know better. I know better than to be sad because he would never want that for me, but I don't know how to not be sad. I don't know how to feel. Or maybe I think I know how I should feel I just don't know how to get there.

I am just so stuck.

I know there is a reason, and that alone should be a comfort. And I know that we loved each other and that is a comfort. But it still hurts.

That day started an avalanche of hurt. And I know there is so much more than that and I know that there was so much good, and that he would have gladly accepted that he was to sacrifice his life had he known it was coming - for the good. He would have for the good. But my heart just hurts.

And I will maybe go about the rest of the day feeling normal, but I don't really know what that is. Maybe some kind of normal that I am learning to carve out for myself for this day. Maybe the normal that I have lived with for the past two years.

This day will never stop coming. I wonder if I'll always just pretend to be well adjusted about it. Or maybe some day I will be. But I will never know for sure.

We open ourselves up to so much when we love. And I love that I had him to love, but I hate how much more it hurts to miss him because of how much I love him. Or loved him. But I still love him.

I know it was worth it. I know it is worth it. Somewhere deep down I know it's worth it. On days when I can think of him and smile and laugh, I know it is worth it. Love is so much stronger than the pain. On another day I will know that better. I will have more clarity.

But damn this memory of mine that still remembers all the hard and painful things. The phone call that broke me. The disbelief. That sick feeling of my heart dropping down into my stomach. The phone calls I had to make. The strength I had to find or pretend to have. Trying to deal with something I knew nothing about. Feeling confused. Being angry because the world didn't stop. When the world should have stopped and how dare it not stop?! Because there was no conceivable way for it to keep going. Being alone. Feeling more alone than ever.

This heart that allows me to love so deeply also feels absence so strongly.

I know he is in Heaven. I know he is not really gone. And I think about what Shelby promised me. That when he goes, he will find Taylor up in Heaven. And they will find a bench somewhere and sit and talk and when Taylor is ready to leave, he will tell him no, that they are waiting for me. And they will. And I'll be with him again, and I'll be with Shelby. And we will be happy and love each other and be the people we used to be when we were here together.

So I will wait for that, and I will try not to hurt but on days like today I can make no promises. On this day I can make no promises.

And I am so sorry because I promised to be more brave this year, and I know that this is a time when I should be brave and he would want me to be brave. I will try to focus on the love and the good and the happy memories and play the right songs and say the right things and be the right person. But I can make no promises. I really wish I could. You have no idea how much I wish I could.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sing Together

"Sing Together"

If I go before I say to everyone in my ballet
Let me take this chance to thank you for the dance
If I run out of songs to sing to take your mind off everything
Just smile, sit a while with the

Sun on your face and remember the place we met
Take a breath and soon I bet you'll see
Without you I would never be me
You are the leaves of my family tree

Sing together
If you knew me from the very start,
Or we met last week at the grocery mart
Just sing together
It's the least that I can do
My final gift to you

When I'm past the pearly gate, I will find some real estate
Where we can settle down and watch the world go round
We'll send down all the love we got and let them know we got a spot
For them to be and it's all free,

The sun on your face and remember the place we met
Take a breath and soon I bet you'll see
Without you I would never be me
You are the leaves of my family tree

Sing together
If you knew me from the very start,
Or not at all you're still a part, just
Sing together
It's the least that I can do
My final gift to you

I fell in love with this song the first time I ever heard it. I have a lot of thoughts that rush through my head when hearing it, but this I know for sure: I want it played at my funeral. Which, God willing, is a really long time away.

Pat Monahan was tuned into my heart when he wrote it. If I never get the chance to tell everyone I love that I love them, to tell them how much they have contributed to my life, to say that even what they may consider to be the tiniest role in my existence made a bigger impact on my life than they ever imagined, I hope this song would let them know it.

I try to do my best to let people know I love them, but sometimes it's hard to because people don't always understand how I love and how much I love. Chances are that some people wouldn't think that I love them, but I do and I have. I'd want people to know how much I would want them to be happy, and to know that they mean so much more than they ever could have thought, and I would want them to sing together.

"If you knew me from the very start, or we met last week at the grocery mart." 

"...or not all all you're still a part."

"Without you I would never be me. You are the leaves of my family tree."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Blessings and Timing

I was thinking.

I know that can be dangerous sometimes, but not this time.

No, this time I was thinking about blessings, and how certain people get certain blessings because it's what they need for happiness. Nothing dangerous about that.

I know what you're thinking. "Um, yeah? Blessings are supposed to make you happy. If a blessing didn't make someone happy, that person wouldn't consider it a blessing." Yeah, I get it.

But what I think I mean is that God is really good at catering blessings to us.

Maybe that's still too vague. Or I'm just bad at explaining. Or too good at being vague. Or it just doesn't really make sense. This came to me a bit earlier today and I'm still sorting it out. To be honest, this whole post may not make a lot of sense and I may not even end up sorting it all out. My apologies.

What happened is that I was thinking about some of the blessings appearing in my friends' lives right now and I thought, "Wow, I am just so happy for them! God is really taking care of them and making them happy, and I'm so glad that life is treating them well."

And there were warm fuzzies and smiles and butterflies and all good things!

But somewhere in there came this small and unexpected moment where I thought, "I want that someday."

But it was not a jealous thought or me feeling bad about where my life is or anything like that, it was just an oddly placed thought because it was this realization of someday and what that means right in the middle of what felt like something very different. It was this realization that I am genuinely happy for them because they are getting what makes them happy, but some of the things making them happy right now are not things I need right now. Or things I want right now. To make me happy. They're not my next step.

I guess it's saying also that God is really good with the timing of blessings.

I have friends in all different places in their lives. I'm in a different place in my life. I'm not exactly sure where that is right now, but I'm working it out. But the blessings I have received lately fit into this place. And I know that as I work to get myself to the next place God will be there to bless me and offer me guidance.

Because guidance with blessings another thing God is really good with. And that's kind of a blessing in itself.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

People Let Me Tell You About My Best [Guy] Friend

He's a warm hearted person who'll love me till the end.

That's the next line of the song, but don't get me wrong, it's more than that. It's also kind of true of him.

I've felt that for awhile; that I had a secure place and we would be in each others lives. This happened as our friendship has evolved and strengthened, but this morning, I think I kind of really knew it. Or at least knew it in a different way.

It hasn't always been so easy with him. I've probably never worked so hard at a relationship as I have with him. I don't mean to say that we were ever forcing together puzzle pieces that don't fit, it's just that we struggled in some things.

We're not easy to explain. We really do get along wonderfully, but the reasons as to why aren't so tangible or clear cut. Some of our interests differ quite a bit, but we always have great conversations. We have a similar taste in movies, but at times we make sacrifices for the other in choosing what to watch. We like a lot of the same music, but we're sometimes begging for a chance to change the radio station. I'm pretty sure I bore him when I go on and on about bowl games and draft picks and college football rankings, and try as I might, I can only grasp so much when he starts talking about certain science things that he loves so much. But there's something in our personalities that just clicks. I know we have pretty much the same value system, but there's something more. Maybe a mutual weirdness. I think we drive each other crazy in the right way. That's what works.

But here's the thing that threatens us, the thing that forces us to work at our friendship: I am a giant bag of emotions, and he is not.

I can easily tell someone that I love them and really mean it. I only say it if I mean it, but I fall in love with people easily. I am open to my emotions and am okay if I have to hurt because I know that the love before the hurt or during the hurt makes everything worth it. The love always makes everything worth it. 

I think this kind of emotion scares him. Well, at least the idea of applying it to his own life. I'm sure he sometimes worries that I play fast and loose with my heart in this way, but I think he also trusts me. One of the biggest compliments he ever gave me was about this when it's something that I don't ever really think twice about. He said he admired the way I care, and wished he could love the way I do.

I'm just not shy about my emotions. "If you love someone, you say it right then, out loud, or else the moment just passes you by." You have to say it. Straying from talking about my feelings has only ever come back to bite me. I know better than to try and downplay or hide my emotions when there's someone else involved.

But sometimes getting him to express his emotions has been like pulling teeth. I am patient because I know that words are simply not his way. Or rather, I know the gravity of words for him, and how seriously he takes his promises, and that words are his promises even if you don't think he's making one. I have never stared him in the face begging for love, I don't need it, but I used to have moments where I needed validation. I needed him to do things to make me feel that our friendship wasn't completely off-balance or one-sided.

I remember having a discussion fairly early on wherein he made a comment something along the lines of, "you know I care for you" and I swear it was painful for him to say that. That wasn't even the point of what I was talking about, but he felt it was his cue. I appreciated what he said, but at that point it was this sad reminder of what felt like an inability to trust me.

I understand his trust issues and his walls. I won't say why, but I believe he is justified in having them or at least in his reasons for first putting them up. I also believe that he needs to work on taking them down. I would never rush him, but he is working on it. Admitting is the first step and he's past that one already in some aspects. I'm inclined to believe that he will someday meet the right girl who will love him in the right way to help him. That's how I'll know she is the one.

I've told him all of this before. He knows it. I've jokingly said that I've done all I can and I hope she can appreciate how much work I've put in.

I like that we can talk like that. I always think that our conversations are funny. I think our whole relationship is funny. Really, it's weird. We pick at each other like we've been dating forever, but we've never dated at all. And I know you should never say never, but we never will. There are people who will say that guys and girls can't just be friends, but we don't have this issue. We know that we don't want each other in that way, so it's easier to let other people's comments roll off our shoulders.

People often think we are together. Usually when they hear us bickering, because we do it like old pros. I'm not afraid to make a scene. I partly do this to get a reaction out of him. I'm kind of mean to him in this way, but I know which lines to toe - as does he with me. Now, at least.

I used to get mad at him all the time for not understanding me and my feelings. For not thinking. We've had a few big blowouts for those reasons, but we only came back from them stronger. Probably because we grew from the honesty it took to work through them. Truth be told, there is only one event in our entire friendship that ever really, truly shook me. It is the hurt that proved hardest for me to overcome. Without going into detail, he wasn't there when I needed him once. When I really needed him, and when he could have been there. When he was one of the only people who could really understand what I was going through and when I wasn't asking much except to not be alone.

My hurt about this was long and hard, and even though I've forgiven him, I'm ashamed to admit that the memory still stings sometimes. It was just a really hard time in my life. That whole time still stings. But maybe to some extent, the pain he caused was worth it because he was better for having to apologize. His actions stemmed from self-preservation, so before he could apologize, he had to really confront where he was with one of his walls. I think he realized that in order to protect him, his wall had hurt me and put a strain on our friendship.

I guess the day he apologized was one of those times I realized how he felt about me. That even if he didn't flat out say he loved me, it took a lot of courage and love to use his words to apologize. To admit what was going on with his head and his heart. To let me in to that a little more. So I know he loves me, even if he doesn't say it because he shows me by letting me in.

At midnight I sent him a Happy New Year's text message. I like to make sure that people who matter to me hear from me on occasions such as this. I told him I was glad he was coming into 2013 in my life, and I said that I loved him.

I didn't really think too much about this. It did for a second run through my mind how he would respond. He would say, "thanks", or "you, too", or just "Happy New Year!", but he would ignore my sentiment. And that's okay. Because he does not use his words like that, and I am comfortable in my understanding of him and his understanding of me and know that he will take my words in without getting tripped up by them.

He didn't respond, and I figured he was asleep. Which is okay. I know that he sometimes looks at and evaluates text messages before responding late at night. He knows my code if I really need him. I wish it was something fun like, "the blue squirrel flies at midnight and the cow stole the cheese", but it's not. No, he knows that if I need him I will text, "Are you awake?" and that is his cue to be awake because I need him and am about to call. This was not that text.

This morning, shortly before 6:00 came his response. I wasn't sure it was him. Another friend had sent me a text message about a half hour prior, and I thought maybe she forgot something. But no, his name flashed across my phone and I remembered that it was Tuesday. He always has to get up super early for work on Tuesdays.

So I opened the message, and the first words there were these: "Rabbit Rabbit." And the next words were these: "Love you too".

And my sleepy self was suddenly a little more awake. Because this was a huge thing. I thought, "maybe he's turned over a new leaf." There was love in each of those words. "Rabbit Rabbit" is a part of a superstition that I take part in, and I have gotten him to do the same. His telling me that was a nice reminder that he holds that tradition important to him because it's important to me.

But the second part?

I knew that he loved me, I know that he loves me, but it was the first time I ever knew it in the actual words. It may not have been in person, but this wasn't "I care about you." It was using a word that he doesn't play around with. It's a nice step for our friendship. Don't get me wrong, it's not like it's going to change anything between us. He's not going to start telling me that all the time. Honestly, that would just be weird. But it means that he has opened himself up a little more. And that feels nice. And it is good because it means growth for him. This will help him with so much more than just our relationship.

Truthfully, in the back of my head, there was this small, doubting and unbelieving part of me that thought maybe he just said that because he was supposed to call me the other day and didn't. But I know how stupid that is, I know that isn't true. Because he knows he does not need to appease me like that, and he would not cheapen his words that way.

It's nice to take something you have felt and have this kind of "hard evidence" to drive it home. Maybe it's too private to write about, and this shouldn't be on here, but he wouldn't say it unless he felt it and meant it. So it's a truth, and there is nothing wrong with talking about truths. I'm inclined to believe he wouldn't deny it if you asked him. He would explain it, and maybe trip over his words a bit in an attempt to make you understand, but he would not deny it.

I guess this hasn't really been so much of telling you about my best guy friend, but the title popped into my head, and who doesn't love an obscure reference to a late 60's/early 70's American television sitcom? And he will love me till the end. Because he doesn't say something he doesn't mean. And that was his promise.

But to talk about him like I said, just a little bit in relation to me, I would start with saying that he gets me. He puts up with a lot of my insecurities. He is patient when I go crazy. He indulges my need for things to come full circle or to keep certain traditions and rarely makes fun of my obsessive compulsive tendencies that manifest in the form of a few of weird superstitious rituals. He knows all of my tells for when something is bothering me, and he may not be an expert on me, but bless his heart for trying. I still have to take some of his opinions with a grain of salt, but I know that even when he's really wrong, he at least had good intentions. Or when he's had bad intentions, it's only because he didn't realize he was being driven by bad intentions. Like jealousy, that sort of thing, which is not a good thing, but in small doses helps you remember that you'd have to mean something for those feelings to happen.

I tend to think about lines from Toy Story's "You've Got a Friend in Me" when I think about our friendship. I've told him that. I swear, Randy Newman wrote that for us, even if we didn't even know each other when he wrote it. It just expresses how I feel about him.

"Some other folks might me a little bit smarter than I am, 
bigger and stronger, too - maybe. 
But none of them will ever love you the way I do. 
It's me and you, boy. 
And as the years go by, 
our friendship will never die. 
You're gonna see it's our destiny. 
You've got a friend in me"

And I have used that to express how I feel, and I have told him how I feel in other ways, and I have known how he felt. But there was something really nice about that text message this morning. I know some people would think I'm making too big a deal of this, but you just don't know him if you do. You just don't understand, and that's okay. You don't have to because I do. He's my best [guy] friend.