Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm Number One!

I'm starting to think that everything I thought I knew about other people and the way they think is completely wrong and honestly...it scares the crap out of me.

I'm the kind of person who thinks a pretty good way to go through life is to be dependable. I believe that friendships and relationships (the ones worth keeping, anyway) are about being there for each other, being generous to one another, and being able to tell each other anything without fear of baseless degradation. That's just who I am; I think nothing of buying a small gift to cheer someone up or giving heartfelt words of encouragement to those who need it. And in return all I expect is that the person receiving my attention will be so kind as to communicate clearly with me and treat me the same way I treat him or her. I'm not asking for the world; I'd just like a little consideration thrown my way.

I just assumed that's how people are supposed to act when they're good friends, or interested in each other, or what have you. I thought it was just basic human nature that, as long as there's supposedly an open channel of communication, you get what you give because that's how life works. Or is supposed to work, anyway.

I have found out recently that the way I think about life is overwhelmingly wrong, and it's eating away at me.

I feel like I'm in an emotional crisis and I'm not even sure why. I think that deep down it's not like I didn't know that the world isn't fair; bad things happen to people who don't deserve them and selfish people go unpunished. It's apparently the way of the world and I simply chose to either ignore it or hope against hope that if I tried hard enough to be attentive to peoples' needs and not play any of the horseshit games that go on every damn day of everyone's lives that my life would be infinitely enriched.

I guess I'm more mad at myself than anything because, even now, a small part of me still feels that if I just keep at it: take people at their word, be of help to my friends and family, keep taking the position that open and honest communication begets the same from others, that everything will eventually go the way I'd like it to go.

As if sharing myself with people will make them fall over themselves to help me. Or like me. Or love me. Or be honest with me. I'd take a little honesty at this point.

So, where does this leave me? If my realization is correct, that there's no good, justifiable reason on the whole to put myself out there for the benefit of others at the complete expense of myself, then what the hell is the point of being dependable? Decent? Trustworthy? Honest?

Has it really come down to this? For years now I've preached nothing but open communication between people. I've thumped my chest and stood on my pulpit and argued passionately that the vast majority of interpersonal problems that ordinary people face would be eradicated if only those people would be honest to themselves and to others. Hell, it's pretty much been my calling card for the past few years, like the unmistakable sound of a train in the distance with its smoke trail and it's rhythmic chug-chug-chug along the landscape. It's who I am; who I've chosen to be over a huge and monumentally important stretch of my life and everybody who knows me knows that. And now I'm not even certain that it's not all bullshit.

Show me nine other people who think like I do and I'm starting to think that you'd be showing me nine unhappy suckers who can't see the forest for the trees.

I don't want to be a selfish person. I hate the very idea of it. I hate other selfish people with a passion. It seems I'm meeting more and more of them these days; people so self-involved that they don't even have the common goddamn decency to tell you what's on their minds for fear that if they hurt you they'll "look bad". God forbid you risk looking like a real, fallible human being; then you might actually have to (gasp!) acknowledge your feelings and face the kind of person you might actually be.

But you know what's funny? Those people don't have to deal with as much introspection. Those people are the types who see the flaws of other people but never themselves. And while they may pay for it dearly later in life, by the time they reach that stage they probably won't care because they'll have lived their blissfully ignorant years during the prime of their lives while the rest of us with real souls suffer until we come to the realization (albeit too late, most likely) that no one is looking out for us except us. The more I worry about others, the less they worry about me. That way, they get my attention and their own. Seems like a pretty sweet deal, and one I'm less and less willing to push away.

So I'm going to go my own way for a while. I'm worried that looking out for me and me alone will have pretty horrendous consequences, not the least of which will be the realization that I've been wasting years giving a shit about others that I could have spent only giving a shit about me and being happy that way.

But hey, it doesn't seem to bother other people; maybe ignorance has its advantages. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Are you an idiot?" "No sir, I'm a dreamer."

I was sitting on my couch tonight, just relaxing in silence. No lights, no television, no music, no commitments; just me and my thoughts. There are times when that precious little slice of peace is the best part of my day or week. Other times, it's torture. I guess it all depends on where my mind wanders.

Sometimes, the two sides get mixed up. Something that at first seems horrific leads to a little bit of clarity and perspective. Sometimes, something that sounds so good in theory can end up snowballing into feelings I don't want. This time, I'm not sure which is which.

On the surface, I'm feeling incredibly vulnerable. Typically, this is not a feeling most people want to have. Feeling vulnerable, either physically or mentally, has so many side effects and associated stigmas. People equate vulnerable to waiting for the other shoe to drop: for them to be hurt, for them to be forgotten, for them to be deemed part of the problem and not the solution.

But I believe that there are two types of vulnerability, and I believe that sometime it can be a good thing.

Inside that good vulnerability lies hope.

Everyone is vulnerable. Everyone feels lost sometimes, or forgotten, or hurt. There's a connection that every person has to each other: people want to feel fulfilled and safe, and they find that security through each other. So maybe vulnerability isn't necessarily a bad thing if within the correct context. Maybe our vulnerability is what leads us to open ourselves up more than we ever thought possible, and maybe it's that same unshielded part of us that acts as a beacon for those who can and want to mend that insecurity. Who can make us feel alive. Invincible.

I want to feel invincible. Safe.

I want someone to see my vulnerability and then make the effort to look deeper, like I do for others.

I want for someone to see me for who I am: yearning for attention, busting at the seams to find someone to give my absolute unwavering love, aware that I have so much to offer and yet so much to learn from other people.

I want someone to open themselves up enough to show me their fears, their hopes, their goals. And I want to be able to help them be the best person they can be while they help me do the same.

Maybe that's possible, and maybe it's not. I have no idea. I can only keep putting myself out there on display for the world to see and hope for the best.

Hope is all I've got.

I just want that to be enough.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting to be that time...

I'll be home in less than two weeks. My original plan was to write in here more often, plotting my course along my brain as I moved 3,000 miles across the country and lived on my own, albeit temporarily, for the first time in my life. Alas, it seems I was too busy living said life to update this blog. I'd actually written something one night when I was pretty drunk, posted it, and then took it down out of respect to the subject of the rant and partially because of remorse for the language I used.

It's been an up-and-down trip, I'm not going to lie; I really did expect this whole experience to go differently than it has. Girl-wise, work-wise, adventure-wise...it all seemed to unravel pretty quickly. Sure, I've had some good times and met some great people (even some from Boston who will be back in the area when I am! I'm so excited for that!) but there were some things I wanted to do that won't get done:

1) I will not have found the woman of my dreams. I thought I had her but it was a mirage and I am that much more beaten down because of it, sad to say.

2) I won't get to see Los Angeles. Weekends have been uber-filled and I don't think it's going to happen this time around. Funny enough, though, a trip from Boston to LA no longer seems like a long-distance ordeal now that I've lived here.

3) I won't get to take a short, one-hour flight to Vegas. Thankfully I went in June so I'm not heartbroken; plus, I went to Reno and it's just like Vegas...only filthier.

4) I expected to come to work and be a conquering hero to this group. That is difficult when I wasn't given access to their systems, they don't know any of mine (even though we had training classes to teach them since WE bought THEM), and I'm caught up in the red tape of an IT group that just doesn't "get it" and a VP whose one love in life seems to be burying his staff in unnecessary paperwork and screen prints which diverts them from, oh, actually doing their jobs.

Anyway, I'll be home in less than two weeks. It'll be an adjustment to the cold, the time difference, and the expenses. I can't tell you how cool it is to not only have zero expenses out here but also get paid extra money just for being in California. It's pretty badass; I've been able to pay off a chunk of my student loans and the plan is now to stick around Wakefield until the spring and then find an apartment close to work. I'm sick of paying for parking on top of the T fares. I've also been losing weight by living on my own and therefore cooking for myself; I'd like to keep doing that.

I have more to write, but I want to take this time to type out something I wrote last night in bed. "The girl who was but isn't" stayed over here last night (she does that on occasion and there's nothing romantic or physical about it, much to my chagrin) and the futility of the whole thing hit me like a tidal wave. I am constantly fighting for the things that I want, even if they aren't what is best for me. I bend over backward for this girl who doesn't want me; I argue with a VP who only sees his way; I am loyal to a myriad of people who leave me to be the sole cheerleader on my behalf. So I got up, scribbled a bunch of stuff into my notebook (I only do free-writes; otherwise I manage to neuter the entire piece during the editing process), and went back to bed; I was still sad but at least my brain had quieted.

So here it is. I call it Uppercut.


I am always fighting
for what I love
for what I believe in
and for those who believe in me.

I am always fighting
against what I know to be true
when I don't want to believe it
because believing means admitting you've failed
admitting you're just not worth it
if not to yourself, then to others

I am always fighting
to spend less time in my head
too much time in there
dissecting every piece
tearing everything apart
soaking them with tears and self-pity
pity for my own damaged thinking
and the pity she feels for me
that part, I'm certainly NOT imagining

I am always fighting
my instincts
hoping it can be different
praying it will be different
from an atheist to a zealot
in one easy step
And with the next step, off the ledge

I am always fighting
to hold on to my sanity
in a world that is always trying to take it
a world where the time is never right
the pieces never fit
I've either missed the train
or I've been hit head on by it
two objects, full of steam
the steam of power, sweat, blood
against that of delusion and misplaced hope

I am always fighting
not to have it end
like it always does
picking up the puzzle
straining out my heart
from the pathetic pool at my feet

I am always fighting
to convince myself of my worth
that I'm more than I think I am
but in the battle between brain and pity
it's me against the world
deep down, it is as it has always been
not good enough
never good enough

I am tired
the constant struggle to pick myself up
to be my only support
has left me as fragile as an eggshell
and twice as disposable
how many rounds
before I see I'm past my prime
still too scared to throw in the towel
some misguided optimism, perhaps

Battered, bloody, bruised
but not yet defeated
dizzy, struggling
but not yet knocked out

I can't watch anymore
stay down! stay down!
why bother propping yourself up
just in time to take one in the teeth?

Please, stay down
do it for my sake
let me be at peace

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No, they really call it "Sac".

For the first time in two months, I'm nervous about this trip.

Maybe it's the turbulence we've been experiencing for the past thirty minutes. Maybe it's just my annoyance toward the kid in front of me who, in between playing with loud apps on his iPhone, has continuously rocked his seat back and forth trying to get comfortable, hitting my netbook with each back-and-forth motion. Or maybe this trip was never truly real to me until I realized that there's no turning back now. Not that I want to head back to Boston but it's such a radical shift, even if it's been anticipated for months.

More turbulence. This is getting ridiculous, almost as bad as the lightning storm on the way back from Vegas. I say almost because I'm not quite at the required level of near-pants-shitting fear that was reached in early June.

Anyway, I think it's the turbulence and not the fact that for the first time I'm going to be living out of state for more than a couple of weeks. Certainly the first time I'll have lived by myself...well, ever. There's a new assignment waiting for me, clouded in mystery and borderline befuddlement in respects to my role in the conversion, I've connected with a woman from Boston who is working in Sacramento until March and I'm meeting her for the first time when she picks me up from the airport. I'm super nervous about that; she's gorgeous and certainly out of my league though she insists she's not. She says she loves the way I talk, and she likes the way I treat her. That's a great feeling, except that I've heard that before and then in the next breath there's a sigh and a break-up, or a denial of a third or fourth date. I know how it works in the end; it's either physical attraction or bust. Them's the breaks.

I'm nervous about the size of my studio apartment. I've never lived in a studio. I'm the type of person who loves having people over to my place for drinks or to watch a game. That's nigh to impossible now unless it's one person and we still haven't gotten out of bed yet. I don't even know if there will be a couch in the place.

I'm nervous about my parents fending for themselves this fall, and especially this winter if my contract gets extended. My parents are not young and the driveway isn't going to clear itself, That reminds me, I'll have to call around Wakefield when I land and see if I can pay a plow to clear out the snow for my parents. I can't imagine it will cost much. My sister is moving to Beverly so she will not be around the house much. She's moving in with her boyfriend and I'm a little nervous for her as well, just from personal experience vis-a-vis leasing a place with a significant other and the complete and utter failure that came with it.

All of this nervousness is just leaking out of me, dying to escape so that maybe I'll be too scared to go through with it. But my nerves don't understand that it's having the opposite effect; by the time I land it will be completely drained and will have dissipated completely. That's my hope, anyway. There's so much to look forward to once I arrive in Sacramento: a new job, a possible love interest, new streets and areas to explore, 10am Patriots games (complete with brunch and booze), and a much-needed change of scenery. I feel like I've been stuck in second gear for almost a year and I am ready to speed up. I want to feel the rush of knowing that I am on my own, creating new memories and new friendships, learning and growing as a person as I traipse through the next chapter of my life,

It's scary and I'm nervous. I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way when they get to this juncture. If you haven't, then go out and scare the shit out of yourself. You'll be surprised what you learn about yourself. The petty shit that used to be so goddamn frustrating and heavy no longer seem all that important, They've been put back into their small places with the rest of the insignificance that attaches itself to people. I can't imagine an experience like this will be anything but beneficial to me and the people I love who want to see me soar and who will reap the rewards of my tiny, corporate vision quest.

And away we go.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Where no one notices the contrast of white on white...

A great weekend, but one that scared the crap out of me.

It was GORGEOUS out this entire weekend; the sun was out, it was warm, no wind or significant rain in sight. I grilled. :-) I also feel like I gained a lot of insight and managed to stress myself out at the same time. I think a lot of the time those two go hand in hand, insight and panic.

I learned that there is no way my parents survive up here in New England if I ever leave. I mean, I love Boston but I've always wanted to see what California would be like for six months. I don't think that's a possibility if they stay up here; there's just too much upkeep with the lawn and garden. Collecting and splitting firewood for the stove has become a three-season process. My parents are old; my dad limps on a bum ankle and has smoked cigarettes for almost fifty years. My mom is great from a domestic point of view but can't turn on a computer or do any heavy yardwork or lifting. My sister helps at times but she's got her own life to live; she'd rather be at the beach or out with her boyfriend/girlfriends than to ask "what can I do to help?" So it gets stuck on me.

Not that I'm not grateful for everything my parents have given me: I live rent-free at home, they paid for two years of college, and I've never been significantly let down by them. But I'm starting to wonder when I'm going to be able to make the choices I truly want to make without having to factor in other people. Maybe I never will; hell, maybe the people I think are making choices for themselves really aren't. Maybe the ones that truly are independent are a whole lot more miserable than me.

A choice I am trying to make for myself is whether or not to buy a house this year. There are plenty of reasons to buy now: the prices are low, the rates are great, there's a huge tax credit provided to first-time home buyers. But I came to a realization tonight that scares the shit out of me.

I was sitting on my porch with a beer, just lounging around in the warm air. It's a great feeling, being completely at peace. But as I sat there I started to feel loneliness creeping in around the edges. The truth is, I started getting bored sitting out on the deck by myself. Not bored in the sense of "I should be out in a bar or at someone else's house enjoying this" but more in the sense that I wish I had someone else with me at my place. There was an emptiness there I just couldn't shake.

That's what scares the shit out of me. If I buy a place for all the reasons I listed above, I'm going to be alone. Sure, people can visit and hang out but at the end of the day I'm going to be alone in some big house. I'm going to be talking to no one when I get home from work. I'll be lying in bed wishing more than anything that there were someone next to me to talk to; the gentle murmuring between two people as they fade off into sleep holding each other. Do I really want that? Do I really want to feel even more isolated and alone than I feel now? But can I really give up the opportunity to buy now and lose out on all the great reasons to purchase a home?

I've already decided that I don't want a condo; I don't want to pay some condo association $250 a month to take out my trash and shovel my walkway. I can't justify paying the same amount in rent that I would for a mortgage payment and having nothing to show for it. And I sure as hell won't live at my parents' house until I find the right woman and get married. Basically...I'm fucked because I want to buy a house but not be lonely inside of it. Awesome.

Speaking of being fucked (and I'm not going to an inappropriate place, don't worry) I had the pleasure of sitting next to a bunch of my ex's friends at a bridal shower today. The men of the wedding party were bribed into going with promises of free food and good-looking women. I actually had a blast though I had to duck out a little early. It was just ironic that I ended up at the same table as four women who graduated with my ex. Well, not really ironic, per se, since the bride-to-be also graduated with her. It was just a little awkward to be sitting next to a woman who doesn't really talk to my ex anymore and didn't know for sure that we'd even broken up until I talked to her (yikes); a woman I went to high school with who is fabulous in every way but is still really good friends with the ex; a woman who I've only seen when I was with my ex so I always associate her with said ex; and a woman whose wedding reception I went to in October of last year - the place at which I realized that I was no longer in love with the person my ex had become, leading to my decision to dump her three days later. Yeah, that was awesome.

So, where am I at now? I'm afraid to leave my family behind because they need me. I'm afraid to buy a house because I know I'm going to end up with a raging case of space madness from being alone all the time. I'm pretty sure the last seven years of my life are going haunt me for as long as they can. I'm afraid that I'm not going to have anyone to share my fears with other than this fucking blog and a night or two out with friends who either:

a) don't understand;
b) even worse, do understand but can't open up because we're surrounded by other people who don't understand; or
c) worst of all, think they understand but, since they don't, I could give a fuck less what their opinions are.

And people wonder why I drink so goddamn much.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

...and the living's easy.

It's funny; I didn't originally intend this blog to be some therapeutic mechanism for me. I was just hoping for some funny musings on life with just a dash of cynicism, wit, and maybe a life lesson or two mixed in. Then again, maybe deep down this was the direction I always intended to take it. I've always been the type of person who needs to get things off my chest; "introverted" is not a word usually used to describe me and I'm proud of that. Introspective, sure, but not shy. Maybe this blog was always destined to be a place where I can discuss me with...well, me.

This seems to be working for me; you know, it's ironic (on a conscious level, anyway) that I started this blog up pretty soon after I got engaged. Maybe I saw it all coming and just needed to start venting now; maybe that way I wouldn't have started a blog simply as a vehicle to explode after I became single. I'm just waiting for the day when I can mark milestones with something else besides either "since I got engaged" or "since I've been single". It's a little depressing and, to be frank, more than a little pathetic.

Alas, the blog has mutated into something that isn't going to draw people in. And maybe I'm ok with that now. Although I will tell you that I learned a few things last night at the Celtics game:

1) I think I'm pretty much done with Family Guy. Some drunk 40-something tried to chat me up about them and I realized that he's too goddamn old to be watching it. And then I realized that maybe I'm too old to be watching it. Sure it's funny sometimes, but do I really still want to spend my Sunday nights tethered to the TV watching cartoons? I'm starting to think the answer is "no", especially since the weather is going to get nicer real soon.

1a) Corollary to #1: I intend to enjoy this summer. No excessive work hours, no dealing with other peoples' self-loathing, none of that. I'm just going to enjoy being alive and being happily surrounded by my friends. In fact, if someday I wake up to realize that I'm stuck in a Groundhog's Day situation forever, I would hope that day would be an 80-degree day in June: wake up around 7:00; hit a round of golf; take a shower; pick up some quality encased meats at Karl's Sausage Kitchen; buy some Sam Summer; invite people over; and spend the day in the sunshine, grilling and eating, drinking and laughing and playing games. People would download whatever they wanted to hear off of iTunes, I'd put it on the iPod, and it would play all day through my speaker dock. Then we'd get the fire pit going once the sun went down and make s'mores until we all just fell asleep on blankets on the grass. If there were a heaven, that would be it for me.

You know what? I don't care anymore about the list of things I learned yesterday. Imagining the perfect day while I typed that literally made my week. I like feeling that good; it makes me hopeful that the shit going on in my head over the last week or so is only temporary, like this week-long rain storm that's going to evolve into an 80-degree Saturday.

I feel my thoughts becoming more scattered over the past couple of weeks. I think "restless" is the word I'm looking for. I both love and hate the fact that I'm single coming into the spring; I love being able to go out and meet people but I hate not being able to share with someone every great thing I'm feeling because of the weather. I used to love bringing a blanket down to the Common and just laying there with someone, reading a book and getting some sun or even just talking and laughing with a picnic lunch and wondering why everyone else was doing something other than just being there on the grass.

You know what else is great? I finally had a memory of the past seven years involving my ex that wasn't accompanied by any bitterness whatsoever. That's actually the first time that's happened "since I've been single". Wonders never cease. I feel better than I have in ages, just because of that. Well, I'll be goddamned. On that note, I'm off to bed.

Note: I apologize to anyone who actually read this whole thing and is still wondering what the hell the point was. I know it's not the most interesting read in the world because it's just an outward inner monologue at this point. But I feel great, so I'm not really sorry. If you stop reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed your stay. But I feel great. Good night!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


So I wrote something last night. I'm not sure if it's a song (because it doesn't rhyme), a poem (because I didn't follow any sort of rhythm), or a story (because it's not terrible coherent). I guess it's a jumbled mess, and it's my mess. And it's called Abundance. And now I know how you know I'm gay.


I have so much anger inside of me sometimes
that I just want to punch right through the wall.
Instead, I work out and I strain myself.
I'd like to say that it feels good,
that the pain, the sweat, the fatigue,
that they all make me feel more alive
more vital.
But that's a lie.
I do it because as shitty as I feel
as tired, sweaty, and overheated as I end up,
it's still better than how I was feeling before.
When my anger was all I could think about.
Now I'm too tired to care.
Maybe that's why people have kids.
Maybe the the constant sense of exhaustion
keeps you from going insane
keeps you from rolling over
and hating who you've become
or what you've become.
Maybe this is as good as it gets.

I have so much to offer to someone else
that gets lost in the shuffle of youth.
The packaging ain't pretty and it ain't neat;
it isn't something you run to on Christmas morning.
I'd like to say I have so much patience,
waiting for the right one to open me up
and get the the best surprise of her life.
Something genuine, something hopeful,
something else entirely.
I had that once, you know;
she opened me up and I was sparkly, shiny, warm.
And then I lost my gleam
And then I lost her.
Islanded in a stream of unlearned lessons
because people don't change
they just pretend, over and over.
I'm re-gifted to no one, tucked in a drawer
the wrong color sweater, headed for Goodwill
I'd take any good will at this point.

I have so much contempt for the world
A world that refuses to change
because change is fucking HARD.
It doesn't happen overnight
it won't make you richer
it won't make you prettier on the outside.
And if you don't get unwrapped then you don't get seen.
We all like the idea of "new and improved"
but we don't want new. Not really. Just improved.
"New" would imply having learned something,
having made a self-discovery or two
A moment of clarity
People would rather the ugly duckling turn into the swan
but continue to think like the duckling
than for the duckling to accept itself
and become the swan from the inside out.
It ain't pretty but it's worth it.

I have so much hope that someday
someday soon
I'm going to have my moment.
My moment of undiluted vision
A moment that glares so bright
no packaging will be able to hide it.
You'll be able to see it
no matter how hideous the distraction
No matter what obstacles trick the eye.
And then someone will be smart enough to open me up
It will be the greatest gift I can give
To offer everything I have in this life
And they'll love it
So Much.