Friday, October 29, 2010

Still, my rocket has no brakes.

I have been thinking a little more about this concept, and I think it also has a lot to do not only with fear, but what you do with that fear. Fear can paralyze you, and you can either stay paralyzed and become stagnant, and satisfied with "enough".

Or you can take that fear, really feel it, internalize it, make it yours (own it, really), and move the hell on with it.

I battle fear every day. My job doesn't pay anything but the bills. For 8 months, I didn't have a job to speak of, and my credit score dropped two hundred points. I am incredibly ashamed of that, but it was either eat or pay a bill.

My credit score was a point of pride; my parents didn't do a great job of keeping their scores in check due to a number of issues. My issue was that I lost my job. For a good few months, the inertia paralyzed me. My mind kept spinning, but I was terrified to do anything about it. I stopped moving, slamming on the brakes because I was scared to make the wrong move. For the first time in my life, I learned what real fear is, and how it can stop you dead in your tracks. I also (theoretically) knew things would change, get better. I knew that I had a choice.

Here's the part where you either have a rocket or you don't: you either wake up one morning, and set NEW goals, change and adjust - work your ass off and get out of that rut you're in, or you don't. And if you don't - if you wallow in the inertia, lose yourself in it and never crawl out of that black hole, then what do you have?

Paralysis. Lack of movement, lack of growth. Atrophy, both mental and emotional.

People who have rockets, and especially rockets without brakes can't possibly sit in an inert state for long. I'm not sure what pushes us on.

Conversely, I'm not sure what makes someone want to stay and marinate in that paralyzing fear forever. It just doesn't sound appealing to me.

I need to check to be sure my rocket has enough fuel, because it sure as hell doesn't have brakes.

A Rocket With No Brakes

(Thank you Heather for that amazing term. I hope you don't mind that I am borrowing it - I just think it suits us both nicely!)

Today, a friend said that neither of our rockets have brakes. Let that mental picture take shape, and I'll tell you what my imagination shows: Me, with those old-school goggles and a leather helmet, dark curls flying back behind me while I jet down a sidewalk screaming in delight and terror! That's what life should be like for those brave enough to say 'fuck you' to brakes. I've never been a firm believer in them, because most people life life with one foot on the pedal.

But you know what's great? I had no idea that that was who I was, until someone else pointed it out.

I'm rootless, always looking for the next step and wondering what amazing thing is around the corner. I've never looked around and said 'this is enough, and I will pursue no more'. Sometimes I get so frustrated about it, though.

Why can't I just be satisfied? Why can't I just settle on one thing and be happy with what I have? And the picture came slightly more into focus with Heather's simple statement. Some people have no rocket; my rocket has no brakes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Even with climbing shoes, I'm not gripping the terrain

I can't get into a routine. I started working at Backwoods Equipment Co. on August 2, and since then my world keeps performing somersaults, leaving me to just grip the sides with my knees, and hold on while it tumbles. Not unlike riding that damn mechanical bull in New Orleans - damn you, Jack Daniel!

I have experienced so many changes over the past weeks, and I really want a routine. Something like this would be great: Work out, go to work, have lunch, go home, play with Foster, read, go to bed.

Rinse. Repeat.

But it hasn't been that way, and I am still very hopeful that it will happen. I feel like I'm merely riding out an unending storm, hunkered down while the wind and rain howl and beat at my back. Like the Irish proverb says, I'm really hoping to have a gentle wind at my back, and the sun on my face soon. However, I have guests in town the next two weeks, and after dropping this past weekend's guest off at the airport, my apartment is still a mess (not his fault). I haven't finished moving in yet, and it's really bugging me. Pictures are still unhung; clothes are still not put away; it still smells like an empty apartment, even though I filled a few candle orders last weekend. (My other other other job, lol).

But, if you know me at all you know that I never really settle in/down/for anything. Sooo . . . we'll see how long I feel like I'm slipping, until I feel like I'm gripping and climbing. I have the feeling that this won't last forever - it never does for me. While I'm still gripping the world with clenched knees and fists, riding out the never-ending storm, I'm still trying to decide whether always being unsettled is a good thing or not.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Help! I'm Slipping!

I made a mistake this morning - one I knew was coming for a few days, and I'm powerless to stop myself. My motto has always been this:

"I'd rather look back and think 'I can't believe I did that' as opposed to 'Gee, I wonder what would have happened if . . .'".

But sometimes it's so ridiculous to just jump in and do whatever you want, willy nilly. I used to have no regard for the consequences, and it seems like all I'm facing these days are consequences of seeminly innocuous past happenings.

I made the mistake of looking at Bob's photo today. At first it was a passing glance as I was going to delete some old files. Then I stopped and looked; then I fell, like Alice in a nightmarish wonderland, wondering what on earth happened, falling down the rabbit hole and into the Sepia-toned past. Searching around, I realized that the brutality of the ending is what has kept this wound open.

I need a reason, and that will give me closure. And looking into my heart right now, I see that it doesn't know time. It knows beats and moments, moments which correlate with my memories of those great moments that I'm now bleeding over. It knows when to speed up, and when to even out into a smooth cadence. It knows when it's hurt, and when to just let go for a moment.

My heart knows all these things, but doesn't know why it doesn't feel these radical impulses and glowing feelings anymore. It probably wonders why it hasn't pounded in delight recently.

For my heart, I'm sorry. I have no answers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pfft! Was that you or me?

You've farted yourself awake. I know you have. Sometimes it's funny; sometimes it's shocking; other times it's terrifying. Think of the repercussions!

1.) You've been married or with a partner for a while, or you're shameless. You not only wake yourself up, but if by some small miracle your partner manages to sleep through it - you throw them an elbow and in a stage whisper, ask "Did you HEAR that?"

2.) You're sleeping alone, and it jerks you awake. You think it was just a dream, but feel oddly relieved. You nestle your head back into the pillow, feeling lighter, and fall back into peaceful slumber.

3.) Oh, and there's that other time . . . absolute terror. It's happened to me twice in my life (that I can recall). The first time happened when I was dating a guy named Mark who lived downtown in a gorgeous apartment. He had a huge, comfy bed, and apparently I was super relaxed. I jerked awake and watched him intently for a couple of seconds, checking for signs of false slumber. There were none. I was safe.

The second time was with a more recent relationship, and again he slept through it, but I was mortified, thinking all sorts of things ranging from "Omigod I think I shook the bed" to "How on earth did he sleep through that?!" to "Oh God, I hope it was just gas . . . "

Now that you've had your chuckles, consider this: Bob farted himself awake. Now, go with me on this as we review the facts together:

He gave me his garage door opener, saying "I want you to feel like this is your home".

He asked me to spend every night with him, NOT the other way around (though of course I said yes - duh).

He said very serious things, such as "We have all the time in the world", and other things that still remain between us. Though I don't know why I feel the allegiance, and need to keep it that way.

He made me coffee in the morning.

His parents knew my name; I spoke with his dad on the phone; I had a candle making date with his dad.

I won't go on, because it's even making me uncomfortable, but the point is this: I wasn't the only one who fell hard and fell fast. But whereas I told myself 'Jess, you are always guarded - just push those walls down and jump in!', he did all those things and my theory is that he (metaphorically) farted himself awake.

He looked around, caught himself, but maybe he checked and there was more there than he had hoped for. Gents, here's a hint: If you fart yourself awake, just go with it still. You'll be marked, regardless.

I know when to shut up & listen

Believe it or not, I know when to shut up. And when to listen to people wiser than myself. Today I got an earful from one of those wonderful people, and what she had to say was both exciting and terrifying.

And I don't know what to do with it. But I did hear her, and internalize her thoughts and her advice. Now, what do I do with it?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ooh, and another thing!

The whole point of my earlier blog got lost in my ramblings. As I was talking to Emali about the whole ugly episode, she said something that struck serious gold, and I'd like to share it with you now.

So many times in the past, I hear people blather on and on, and on again about "I'm going to do things for myself" and "really work on me". Well what the hell does that mean, anyway?

Seriously. Take time off from what? Who on earth means that much to someone that they need to "take time off" from dating afterward in order to get themselves "right" again?

Okay, I've been humbled. I had said those things before, those things that people say when they feel the need to work on themselves. I was lying every time. But do you know what I realized just about 10 days ago?

I'm taking time away from having a relationship. I fell too fast. What's missing, that that happened so quickly, and hurt me so much?

I'm taking time off. And I'm rediscovering what I love about myself; dusting off the things that make me happy. I didn't say I'm taking time off from dating, though. I think an integral part of discovering myself is meeting new people, and seeing what new friends have to offer.

But I'm not expecting anything, and not planning for anything, except where I am going and what I want from life. "Life" is such a big word. What do I want for tonight? Or tomorrow?

There's real beauty in that, and I guess I feel a little freedom - for as long as it lasts because after all, I'm human, and I'm fallible.

Humor & The Sad Thing

I finally did it! I looked back on Bob's odd behavior, and tried to diagnose it with Emali, and I actually laughed at it! I laughed out loud, a lot. It really was the oddest "dump" I've ever had ( I know that sounds gross, but you know what I mean. POO)

But looking back at it, whatever happened wasn't my fault, and while there's a major tender spot there, some of it was downright funny. Such as?

He helped me move my super heavy, solid oak furniture in the pitch darkness. He put up my refugee dog and myself. He said, often "We have all the time in the world". (That one still hurts - I believed him.) He bent over backwards. He had a couple interesting slips of the tongue. I thought all of it was adorable, and took very little of it seriously.

But why do all these things to then dump me by silent treatment?! Oh well. I got a coffee mug out of it.

It's a pimpy coffee mug, too. And if he wants it back, he knows where to get it - with the cost of an explanation, while I sit, bemused like the Godfather. I may even stuff some cotton balls in my cheeks for effect - don't put it past me, my friends.

Even though it's now laughable, and I've gotten to the "big picture" of it all, I flipped through my e mail today, and there was a photo of him, wearing a tie I love. It hurt. And the sad thing is, my door really is open still. I'm not sure what the ratio of curiosity is to the fact that I care a lot about him - but I'm willing to rip off the band-aid in order to let him in again.

Meh. It is what it is.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I've been feeling very homesick these past few days. And I swear, this is the last time I'll mention it - it's because I got dumped.

Ok, to clarify: it wasn't a "boyfriend/girlfriend" relationship, but it was headed that way in my opinion. So I guess it's the abrupt end to the beautiful possibilities that has my head spun around so hard. Regardless, suddenly being lonely has friends & family coming out of the woodwork to comfort and entertain me. Problem is, they're mostly back home in Indiana.

This morning I was so homesick, tears kept threatening. But I swear I'm tired of crying. I need to connect with this city, and make it an anchor. I can't keep idealizing "home" as this 22-hour away place. I mean to say, it will always be home, but God I'm so wistful about it when I'm stressed.

I have resolved to connect more with Austin, and the people in it. The Long Center has some sort of writers' workshop; I have a membership to a kick-ass gym; I work downtown. What the hell am I crying about? (Don't worry, I won't re-cap for you).

I need to buck up, go out and meet people. While a large part of me wants to say that, and charge back to my apartment, I am going to meet a new friend at Town Lake for some dog walking and coffee. It's a brave new day for our little soldier. ;) Who even cares about tomorrow?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Not So, Monotony.

I planned for a monotonous, chill day today. I planned to sleep in, lie around in my jammies, drink coffee, then drink Jack (maybe), make some candles to fill a few orders, and maybe finally organize my new pad.

I drugged myself to sleep at 8 p.m. last night - though the body needed rest, the mind wasn't willing. Sigh. An old friend called his mind "the hampster on the wheel" and mine has been more and more like that lately. Hence, NyQuil. And the mixed berry flavor was delightful as well :)

I woke up, feeling as though I had slept the day away at 9:30 a.m. Nine-fucking-thirty. I used to sail right through that hour, and sleep until noon, but not the case now - and to be honest, I dig it. I like the morning, and its simplicitous beauty.

Moving forward, I coffeed, I candled, I chilled. I felt like I accomplished nothing. I was bored. I watched some t.v. Made some more candles. Made lunch, such as it was, and still felt the burning need to get up and do something. My thought was, how did I do this all day? The act of nothing.

The truth is: I worked on my small business website; I filled a couple of orders from paying customers, who may tell their friends about me. I did some laundry, which goes a long way in seeing the floor of my apartment. I started some grad school applications, and considered my alma mater as well. I experiemented with scent and color, all in a shapely glass palette with my name on it. I thought of a business venture between my sister and myself, and mentally laid out some plans. In my jammies. On the couch. But whatever :)

I've realized that monotony like this is, in the end, very profitable - if not monetarily, then spiritually and mentally. It was a quiet day, but I did a lot. The fact that this is what I call boredom or monotony is a fact worth looking into and exploring. In short, retrospect has made me very accomplished today, even if I was accomplished in my jammies.
The thing about me is I'm resilient. A dear family friend says that I'm the most resilient person she's ever known. And I didn't believe her until . . . right about now. And there's even some self-doubt still, but I'm starting to believe that.

I don't know why I let this guy hurt me so much, and there will come a point when I'll stop to think about it; to learn from it. And the next experience will be better. God I hope the next experience will be better.

See, the problem is that I know what I want. And for a short time, he gave it to me, no strings attached. Should I have been leery? I don't know. I don't want to be one of those people who never lets anything in for fear of being hurt. I've been that person, and I don't want to go back.

My ex (who is still a wonderful friend) told me just to let the pain in, and work itself back out again. The thing about heart pain like that, is that even though it hurts while it's happening, it leaves smears of wisdom and care that you take with you to the next experience.

What have I learned so far? I will never just leave a person hanging, wondering what happened. I'll have the decency to tell them it's not working. And I'll do my best to be up front. In short, I won't be the asshole Bob turned out to be. It's just baffling how well he hid it.

Oh well, I have a date tonight. ;) And while I have exactly ZERO expectations, it'll be nice just to have a drink, a drink at face value.

Friday, October 15, 2010

In the interest of my sanity

I went out for drinks last night. After I left work (90 minutes after quitting time), I decided to take Foster for a walk down Congress Avenue, to enjoy the night, and of course do some people watching. Watching all the life flicker around myself and my beloved pup, I realized people weave in and out. And just when I needed it the most, the warm presence of an old friend wove its way back in.

I thought to myself, what am I going to do to occupy my time after this? And like a lame ass, I tossed all my grand plans aside and snuggled with Foster. The top of his sleek, furry head has been a little too damp with my tears lately, and though I wanted to give him a break, I wanted the comfort.

Like I said, this is an unusual situation for me. Foster is not used to watching his mommy cry, and I'm sure as hell not used to this. Yuck! Normally, I'm a dating prizefighter with one of those big, gaudy "gold" belts. I'm the fucking dating champion! Never been knocked out. Until now.

Regardless, I found myself doing the WORST thing I could do, and I'll now divulge today's crazy: I re-read his texts. At first, looking for signs of trouble, then basking in the bittersweet glow of how it was.

LOL, I know! I know! LAME. I want to shake myself! I can laugh at it today, and I was fully aware of my complete lameness as it was happening. The only thing I can say is that most of us have been there before, and I have finally been dragged into joining the melodramatic ranks. Sigh.

Anyway, just as the tears were knocking on the door, I got a text from a good friend who I haven't seen in a while. We ended up meeting for drinks, and he's been recently dumped (though in a more genteel way: she actually SAID something to him. How nice!) so we had some common ground. There's something in the way we laughed and talked easily that made me feel much better. No pretense (he knew I was a mess); no attempt on his part to be Rico Suave. It's so nice to hang out with a sexy male friend without fear.

And guess what? After we had drinks, he made me coffee too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy is on a break.

Shayla, ma'am, I'm writing on this blog first because I know you're going through withdrawals. :)

That said, I'm on a fucking break. I give! I'm throwing my hands into the air, and shaking angry fists at ye gods above! "I defy you, stars!" Somewhat dramatic? Of course. What else would you expect? But all Montague quoting aside, I've come to a painful conclusion.

I'm done dating for a while. Yes, I always have the best stories, and yes they are all (sadly) true. And yes, generally I am the one to dance away, whistling, better off for the experiences, tucking them away for a time when I could use the wisdom and truths again. But times are changing. I'm growing up, learning, coming to learn the pleasure of sharing myself with someone special - someone who takes my breath away. Had I ever had that before? I have come close a couple of times in the past.

This time? Ugh, this time was different.

Jess fell. That shit hurts, and I'm bruised and sore now, sitting on the ground, taking stock of my sore body, rubbing at the bruises and wondering how on earth I got here. I have always kept a pretty tough dating exterior, ensuring that the select few I let in were let go before they could slice and scratch at my heart. Little known fact about the Jess: her heart has had enough pain and trauma in her young life to choke a horse. And though usually entertaining for other people, she runs for sheer protection. I try to keep the Jess's heart wrapped up in a protective cocoon, to save her from situations like this. (I'm sure you see the meta aspect of all this?)

Details! You clamor for details! Ok, fine. It's simple, I guess.

I met a boy. I opened up to said boy; we'll call the boy Bob. Bob's a fine name. I met Bob. I pushed down my personal walls, and opened my whole self to Bob. I fell HARD for Bob. Bob (I thought) fell hard for me. He said so anyway. Bob opened doors; Bob opened his home during one of the toughest two-week spans in recent history, and Bob made me coffee in the morning. He gave me his garage door opener. Bob had book cases full of well-thumbed volumes. You see where I'm going with this?

In an absolutely stunning span of time, I fell like a tree in a hurricane. I'm not ashamed to admit it now; it doesn't ever hurt anything to admit you're human; fallible, and to the point of love-able. Kids, I was right there, standing on the edge of a precipice, peering over the side and thinking (for once) "You know what? I can do this. And I can love it!" I closed my eyes, stepped off, and dove. Fuck it. Just jump Jess.

And just like that, he was gone. No calls, no texts, no nada. So here I am, on the ground, wiping away dirt-smudged tears, taking stock of myself and my bruised heart and mind. And make no mistake, this is a different hurt than I've probably ever felt, though I haven't given myself permission to really delve deeply into my psyche to find out. But it feels different. I'm mourning something that, in its short tenure, was a dream. I had, for a short time, grasped the mirage of my dreams.

And like all mirages, I'm left feeling emptier, clutching at nothing but air and a broken heart.