Saturday, March 23, 2013

Once Cosas (That's Spanish, y'all. Read it as such - "Own-Say Co-Sahs" )

I must admit that in relation to the rest of the blogging world, I'm kind of a bad blogger. I never post giveaways for my imaginary blog readers, I only legitimately follow 2 blogs even though I consistently creep at least 3-4 others, and I pretty much never promote that I even have a blog. (It's not that I care whether people read it, I just can't help but feel like promoting my blog is a promise that what I say will be worth their while when I don't know that it is.)

That being said, I don't know many bloggers. At least, bloggers who I discuss blogging with bloggers. But in an attempt to promote blogger interconnectedness, I'm going to partake in this exercise that my dear real-life friend and blogger friend, Ashley, asked me to do.

It's a series of 11 things (or once cosas - Boom! Get it? You know Spanish now.*)

11 Random Things About Me:

1. I was voted "Most Polite" in high school alongside my oldest guy friend.
2. I don't think I could ever speak a language other than English or Spanish without feeling like I was sounding pretentious and people were judging me.
3. I keep my movies in alphabetical order and have them cataloged for tracking purposes.
4. I don't go a day without singing and movie quoting. If I do, it means something is really wrong.
5. I tell people that my favorite food is lasagna or carne guisada, but it actually might be pickles.
6. I have "tells" for when I'm upset or something is bothering me, but I didn't know them until college when a friend took it upon himself to point them out.
7. I've never had so much as a sip of alcohol and have never tried drugs, but I sometimes wonder what "Drunk and/or Druggie Tabitha" would be like. (Pretty sure she's like Low blood sugar Tabitha - that girl's cray)
8.The other night I had a dream that I bought a bunch of oranges and one of them was moldy. Since then, I've been questioning whether there's symbolism in that.
9. I'm pretty sure grapefruit is the devil.
10. I'm an almost high sensation seeker. From an assessment I once took where I fell right at the HSS line, it pretty much means I like thrills, risk, and being scared, but I don't drink like a fish or have random sex with strangers. 
11. I'm a sucker for conspiracy theories. I love them. And I still say they killed Marilyn. 

Ashley's 11 Questions:

1. What kitchen appliance could you not live without?
I'm not at all surprised that this is one of Ashley's first questions. And I hate to burst her bubble, but I've done without a lot of appliances for a long time, so I'm pretty sure I have a good chance for survival. But I have recently become quite attached to my Crock-Pot. There are certain recipes I will only make in that.

2. What is your favorite TV series of all time?
I love a lot of television shows. I go through spurts of addiction with shows like Psych, Supernatural, Sex and the City, HIMYM, Designing Women, and tons of others (we won't even get into cartoons!), but one constant is "The Golden Girls." I've seen every episode. I know pretty much every punchline and can quote a lot of the episodes verbatim.

3. What three wishes would you use if you had a magic genie?
I'm not above giving the "I wish for more wishes" thing a try. Not because I'm greedy, but because loopholes interest me. And I guess I would ask for some kind of monetary favor. I'd like to be able to financially take care of people I care about. And some kind of answer to world problems. I guess that's technically three.

4. What is the best part of a sunny day?
Getting a chance to spend it outside with someone you care about. Either swinging at the park, feeding ducks (especially feeding ducks!), or playing frisbee. Oh, and if the sunny day comes with a nice breeze?? Bonus!!

5. What is your favorite condiment?
I'm a ketchup girl. I'm not a fan of ranch. I only recently learned to slightly be okay with mustard, and mayonnaise is right for some foods, but throw me some Whataburger ketchup and I'm a happy lady.

6. What decade do you feel like you really should have been born in?
I don't know. I've managed pretty well in this time. I do love the dress and manners of certain days gone by, but then I remember that I'm Hispanic. That uh, wouldn't have gone over so well for me in some places...

7. What is your biggest vice or guilty pleasure?
It's probably staying up late and sleeping in. I'm terrible about that. I indulge in sleep when given the opportunity.

8. What do you love most about your current job?
Some days the kids I work with drive me nuts, but when they come up to me wanting to share about something going on in their lives, it makes my heart happy. They like to tell me about awards they get, how they do at their athletic meets and tournaments, when they do well on a test, about their weekend plans or activities with friends or family, and even when they've exhibited good judgement by not acting out in a negative manner (trust me, that's a biggie for some of them!). I like that they want to share with me. I also like when they get excited that I'm the one running a certain program (even if I sometimes feel it's a lesser of two evils excitement).

9. Given the opportunity, would you travel to space for a weekend vacation?
Heck yes! In a heart beat! I'd love to see the earth looking like a giant blueberry and go looking for that man on the moon.

10. What is your favorite dessert?
I gotta go with cheesecake. And not even like, rich, decadent, super expensive cheesecake, either. I mean, go to H-E-B and buy me the plain or strawberry cheesecake for $7 and I am a happy person. Very close second is apple pie, though. That's when I want a hot dessert.

11. If you could buy any single item in the world, regardless of price, what would you buy?
Maybe a smart house. I'd like to give living like the Jetsons a go!

This is where I'm supposed to tag people...

My 11 Questions Even Though I'm Not Tagging Anyone (Bad Blogger, Remember?) Maybe you could answer a few in the comments if you feel so inclined?

1. What's one thing the world could do without?
2. Water park or amusement park?
3. Do you have a favorite product that's been taken off the market and sent to wait for you in Heaven? What was it?
4. Do you have a personal mantra or motto?
5. What's the nicest thing someone has ever said to you?
6. Favorite childhood memory?
7. Do you have any secret talents or hobbies that you don't normally advertise?
8. Cooking or baking? Do you have a preference, or are all your ingredients at the restaurant?
9. Do you believe in regret?
10. What's your favorite holiday and why?
11. Have you ever had something you consider to be a defining moment?

*You don't really know Spanish now. You just know two words. Please don't list that you are bilingual on a resume based on this knowledge alone.

P.S. I feel like I've just filled out a myspace survey. Remember those?? Yeah, those were the days!! lol

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Things Real Friends Mean

This weekend I had an emotional break-through. I'll share details about that in another soon-to-come post, but I felt like what I'm about to say now is more important. It needs to come first.

I had a very cathartic experience and I have a very good friend to thank for it. A friend who listened and reacted and tried his best to help me. And did help me. And as I drove home from my visit with him, I thought about everything that happened. I thought about what he did for me and it was beautiful. But something made it more beautiful still, and it's this: He's not the only one who would have done it.

I have, in my life, some amazing people. Some amazing people who love me and want what is best for me. I've alluded to that before, but I rarely celebrate them here in a way in which they deserve.

The intricacies of my relationships with these wonderful individuals I call my best and dearest friends are many. I cannot begin to explain every lovable quirk, connection, and moment shared between us, and I could never fully express all the beautiful things they are. I can only hope that I am successful in demonstrating my gratitude for their love and all the love I have for them in return.

I was thinking about the things real friends mean. I came to more than one conclusion, but if I could share a few, I think I would start with these:

Your name is safe in their mouths.
They have open invitations for you to come into their homes.
They allow you to feel as comfortable in their homes as you do in your own.
With them, the "mundane" is paradise.
They trust you with their hearts and hopes and dreams.
They're willing to let you be a support and know that helping them helps you.
They'll sing with you loudly and obnoxiously when the right song comes on.
Still, with them, silence is comfortable.
They make your cheeks hurt on a regular basis from smiling and laughing.
They share their secrets with you.
They make you feel special at times when you feel far from it.
They know when you to push you, and when to hold fast.
They step outside their comfort zones to hold you when your heart is breaking, and don't let go until well after the tears have stopped.
They love you harder and better after a rough spot.
Your friendships are only stronger after they have been tested.
They experience your emotions with you. Happy, sad, excited, hurt, angry, and all others.
You can vent to them and be understood - either immediately or because they have strived to get there.
They allow you to express your emotions in whatever way they manifest.
They forgive you when you've been foolish.
They take you back after you've been wrong.
They know that you aren't perfect, but will pretend you are when you're feeling down.
They inspire you to be a better person.
They put up with your quirks and eccentricities, and even kind of love you for them.
They embrace the things you sometimes wish were not a part of you.
They notice when you've been missing, and more so miss you when you're not there.
You are so comfortable with them that you can be at your silliest without even noticing.
They are often silly with you.
They never judge you, but are more than willing to judge with you.
You can call on them anytime.
They try to find the right words when you're in need of them.
They offer continued support, and can discern whether it need be vocal or silent.
They understand that sometimes you need to be coddled, and sometimes you need a dose of reality.
They know that they don't need to impress you, but still strive to be a great host.
They make you feel like a part of their lives, even from what feels like a million miles away.
They know what you're thinking, and don't always make you say it.
They take charge when you're at a loss, but also know when you need to stand on your own two feet.
They offer to be a sounding board as well as devil's advocate.
They ask you to be a part of important celebrations and milestones in their lives.
They consider you to be an important celebration in their lives.
They know those little one word inside joke/memory triggers, like "oranges" or "railroad" that will always make you smile.
They never make you feel excluded from the goings-on of their lives because you're in a different place in yours, but rather invite you in to experience their reality with them.
They remind you everyday, by their existence alone, that God has blessed you beyond belief.

"There's a miracle of friendship that dwells within the heart.
You don't know how it happens, or where it gets its start.
But the happiness it brings you always gives a special lift,
And you realize that friendship is God's most perfect gift."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lyrics alongside me

I had lyrics from three different songs pop into my head as I wrote my last blog, helping to express what was on my mind:

"2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song.
If I get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to."
 - Breathe, Anna Nalick

"Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together"
 - Bent, Matchbox 20

and so much of this song that I haven't listened to in a long time, and that I never wanted to feel like I could understand:

"Split Screen Sadness"

And I don't know where you went when you left me but
Says here in the water you must be gone by now
I can tell somehow
One hand on the trigger of a telephone
Wondering when the call comes
Where you say it's alright
You got your heart right

Maybe I'll sleep inside my coat
Wait on the porch 'til you come back home
Oh, right
I can't find a flight

We share the sadness
Split screen sadness

Two wrongs make it all alright tonight [4x]

"All you need is love" is a lie 'cause
We had enough but we still said goodbye
Now we're tired, battered fighters

And it stings when it's nobody's fault
'Cause there's nothing to blame at the drop of your name
It's only the air you took and the breath you left

Maybe I'll sleep inside my coat
Wait on the porch 'til you come back home
Oh, right
I can't find a flight
So I'll check the weather wherever you are
'Cause I wanna know if you can see the stars tonight
It might be my only right

We share the sadness
Split screen sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)

I called because I just
Need to feel you on the line
Don't hang up this time
And I know it was me who called it over but
I still wish you'd fought me 'til your dying day
Don't let me get away

'Cause I can't wait to figure out what's wrong with me
So I can say this is the way that I used to be
There's no substitute for time
Or for the sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Split screen sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
We share the sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Split screen sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right, it's so right...
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right, it's so right...
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right...
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right...
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
- Split Screen Sadness, John Mayer

An exercise in bravery

I have 34 blog drafts waiting to be completed and published.

To be fair, a small number of the 34 posts were never meant for anyone's eyes but my own, but those aside, there are still a lot of technically unspoken words.

I've had a few moments where I felt like I was really going to put one of those drafts out there. I  started writing and felt like I was on a roll, like the words were finally coming back to my fingers, like I was no longer stagnated by some unknown force and could really write something.

But it never quite worked out.

I've had this one thought in the back of my mind for a while about what that "unknown force" could be, but I haven't felt like giving life to it. It's not bad, really, I just don't know what it means if the unknown force causing me to have trouble expressing myself is what I think it is. It doesn't seem to be an easy fix. If I'm going to recognize something as a cause, I'd like it to have a fix.

But I said I'd be brave.

Maybe really considering and admitting to myself that this is a possibility will help me to understand if it really is what's been holding me back. Maybe doing that is brave.

A couple of weeks ago I took a mini trip to visit my best guy friend, Cody. I was going because I had a long weekend and I missed him. I hadn't seen him since right before Thanksgiving, and that was too long a time to go without seeing his face. I needed face time. We needed face time. To catch up. To relax and be comfortable. To spill our guts.

Except I was determined to not spill my guts.

At least about one thing. Just one thing. I didn't want to talk about it. I told myself I would be doing it to protect him. Because if he gave his opinion, and it was something I didn't want to hear I might hold it against him. I told myself I was doing it to protect me. Because I didn't want to be emotional about it and go back on promises I made myself. And in a small place that I never much allowed myself to linger, in the place where the thought inspiring this post has clung to life, I believed it might be because...well, because of something that I can't really explain. Because of an indescribable feeling.

But I can't keep much from Cody. I'm sure he'd like to think that it's because he could get anything out of me or because he's so smooth, but it's not that. In this instance it's that he knows the most about that one thing. He knows details that other people don't about that one thing. And even if he didn't, it wouldn't matter. He is someone with whom I can be comfortable. His friendship is one of few that provides a sanctuary for me. He is someone I trust. So given enough time, and along the right lines of conversation, the things on my mind come out.

And that one thing came out. He said the right thing - asked the right question and it came pouring out of my mouth. Not every single detail on my heart or of the story, but some of my truths. I told him about changes in my life. About who is no longer around. About every hurt that has derived from that. I don't have, or rather I can't have, someone who played, however unknowingly, a role in my life here within this blog.

So here I am. Afraid that I can't write because the person who may have most inspired me to write isn't around anymore. What if the person I was because of that person can't exist without them? What if there's a part of me that cannot survive without that person? What if he took it with him?

And God, it sounds so whiny. And so pathetic. And I refuse to believe that I can be so defined by one individual. Because I know that I'm not.

But he was one of my people. One of those people who I can't explain. One of those people who easily worked their way into my heart. Who I loved in a moment. In an instant. Who I loved with the uttering of a few choice words. And I don't mean love in the way one would automatically assume, I mean the type of love whose confines are personal to me. That maybe only I really understand. That automatic appreciation kind of love. The immediate fondness of another kind of love. The recognition of a twin soul.

I'm tired of losing my people. Those people who say what's on my mind before it can get to my lips. Who make the same jokes. Who finish my sentences. Who can match me step for step. Who share a special part of me that I don't even really know how to explain.

I've been left with a small, dull aching sadness. It doesn't exist all the time, and it doesn't sting anymore. I think my head is protecting my heart in that way. Hurting will do me no good. But at times I feel the loss. And I'm worried that the loss has taken something more with it this time.

The last time I lost one of my people, I was left with a bunch of good memories with all the potential in the world to turn on me and a lot of inside jokes that would never again emerge. And that was hard to come to terms with. It still gets me every now and then. But aside from new memories that would never be made, nothing was taken. This time I feel like something was taken. But that's not his fault. That's hard, too. There's nothing and no one to blame. Not that I'd want to. Not that I think that would do me any good.

I just see how my writing has changed. My silliness doesn't really come out. My random thoughts that he enjoyed so much and that I so easily shared with him don't seem to come to life here. I know that I am not wallowing in sadness. I know I'm not broken. Maybe a little bent, but not broken. I guess I damaged my silly bone. I think it's connected to my heart. I didn't realize that would take so long to heal.

I know I'm happy. I know I have reason and cause to be happy and smile and enjoy life, and I am and I do. And I have hope that if losing him is what has caused me to lose what he was so good at bringing out in me, I will find it again. But does it hurt too much to feel that way without him? Am I more upset than I think, and is that causing some kind of writer's block? Or did I just need to explore the possibility that this could be what was causing it?

Maybe I'll be better in the morning, though that may be a bit much to hope for. I know I will be better eventually. I am the eternal optimist. Maybe I just needed to get this idea out. Maybe it is what was causing it and I needed to get it out, but it's still going to take time. I just feel like this was worth a shot. To say what I feel. To partake in an exercise in bravery.