Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pride is a nasty thing.

I should know. I wouldn’t admit it to you yesterday, but I pride myself on my listening skills. I listen to what my loved ones are saying, and I make the appropriate responses. They’re heartfelt, don’t get me wrong. But I pride myself on really understanding them.

I just had a phone call that really blew me away. Someone very special to me had to repeat something she’s been telling me for a long time, something I always “heard” before. But this time she spelled it out, and I really understood. And I felt like a jackass, because all this time I thought I was such a good listener and I just couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Maybe the problem is that I don’t actually hear what people are saying to me. I know I do this with Wife all the time. I don’t tell her things, because I’ve already told BFF or other friends, and I just assume I’ve told her. I know this really bugs her, but I’ve never actually done anything proactive about it.

Well you know what? I’m starting over. I’m going to start listening—really listening. Take notes if I have to. Because pride really does go before a fall, and I just fell really hard. And if I want to pick myself back up again, I need to pay some serious attention to what people are saying to me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Dream of You, You Know

I dream of you, you know
I dream of your eyes
I dream of the skies
You'll see when you play in the snow

I dream of the things we'll do
I dream of your laughs
I dream of the paths
We'll explore and create some brand new

I dream of your little hands
I dream of your nose
I dream of your toes
Oh I've got so many plans

I dream of the day you'll be here
I dream of your face
I dream of the place
It's becoming ever so clear

I dream of you daily, my sweet
I dream of my child
So wild and beguiled
The darling I can't wait to meet

Monday, July 25, 2011

All You Need Is Love

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. [John 13:35]

I know some people believe it to be impossible, that a woman in a lesbian relationship could consider herself a Christian, but I do.

I don't follow every single rule in Leviticus--in fact, find me someone who does, and I will give you $25 (I was going to say $100 but I really can't afford that, on the off chance someone knows a real stickler for Old Testament rules). There is one rule professed throughout the Bible, though, that I do take to heart.

Love one another.


What is love? "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." [I Corinthians 13: 4-8]

This is my rule--the one I live by. Love one another. Many people think that this passage only applies to the love between a couple, read at their wedding, but it doesn't. It applies to every moment of your life. It applies to the person in front of you blocking your view at the movie theater, it applies to the parent with a screaming child two aisles over, it applies to the scruffy-looking "delinquent" teenager on the street in the city.

This isn't something that only applies to Christianity. I know many other religions practice love and forgiveness as a main component of their belief, and many people who do not practice any sort of religion act with much love, forgiveness, and kindness in their lives. I'm just saying that I myself am a Christian, and that is my inspiration for my life.

If you ever wonder why I find it difficult to immediately suspect someone of malice, this is why. If you ever wonder why I am always say things like, "Well maybe they were trying to do this, and it came across wrong.." it is because I am trying to see things from their point of view. I am trying to protect, trust, and hope. If you ever wonder why I find it ridiculously difficult to choose sides in an argument between my friends, this is why. Because it breaks my heart. I want forgiveness to prevail. I want happiness and love to abound. But most of all, I love them, and to cut that love off once it has been given is like cutting out a piece of my soul.

Don't get me wrong. There are people in my life that I really can't stand. There are people who drive me crazy, and I am NO saint. There is one woman in particular who has hurt me enough that I'm fairly certain I will never be able to forgive her, and when I hear that bad things have happened to her, I can't stop myself from feeling a sense of smugness. I am a sinner, just like everyone else, and that is just one of my many faults. Everyone has their own faults, their own sins. Everyone struggles with something or another, but I can't help thinking that with just a little bit more love in the world, how much kinder the world would be.

I read an interesting quote this morning:
"Forgiveness is the scent that the rose leaves on the heel that crushes it." - John Arnott

I think that pretty much sums up how I feel about life. People will hurt us, consciously or unwittingly, every day. People say things, do things, or perhaps ignore us completely in an effort to be hurtful. Sometimes they do it without even knowing how upsetting their words or actions are. Who you are is determined by how you respond to the situation once it has been catalyzed.

One of the things I am most ashamed of, is a friendship that was ignored for too long. We both said things we may or may not have meant at the time, and in between many hurtful things were said and written. I am pleased to say that we are friends again, but in the end it wasn't me who made the first step toward reconciliation. I will always be ashamed of that. She will always remain the bigger person to me, the one with the bigger heart. She was the one who embodied the Word of God, the Lord's commandment to love one another. She doesn't know it, but every time I speak to her I think of how much I admire her for that, and my heart warms knowing that we are finally in contact again.

So, Christine, this post is dedicated to you. Thank you for showing me that forgiveness and love is a way of life, not something we pick and choose on whom to bestow. I love you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time Travel and Me

We've been having a Doctor Who marathon this last couple weeks. For those of you who don't know what that television show is about, it's a British sci-fi series about a time traveler from another planet (who looks surprisingly human) who has human friends, and he can travel anywhere in time and space. They go on great adventures together, and in fact rarely go anywhere without having a great adventure--some more fun than others.

One of the problems that The Doctor's human companions have to deal with is "life after The Doctor." They become accustomed to traveling universes all over time, and to live back among humans who have no idea that there is life on other planets is their idea of a monotonous hell. To plod along living life one day at a time, with many days being mundane--how could anyone live like that? They don't understand how to readjust.

My job consists of many different little tasks, but the majority of time I spend copying and pasting information between programs. The end result is a fantastic conversion of important paper documents to the Internet for your viewing pleasure, so it's definitely all worth it--just boring at times. Today I was walking out of work after a particularly mind-blowingly boring afternoon, and had the sudden thought that I wished The Doctor would come sweep me away from this life and whisk me off to various new worlds. It's a time machine, right? I could come back to this exact moment?

Then I thought about the movie Click. It's an Adam Sandler movie about a man who gets a remote control that controls his life instead of his television. He realizes he can skip past all the dull parts of his life, and thinks he's won the lottery. But after a while, the remote control begins to learn his habits, and overrides his choices and soon his whole life is over and he has missed out on all the best things.

Would I really want that? Sure, it would be nice to visit another time and another place. Heck, I'd love to just visit next week and get some lottery numbers. But I know I wouldn't want to give it up, all that traveling. I'd keep going until I was too old to go anymore, and then come back to what? My family would have all grown old without me, my friends would be gone, my pets would be long gone, and I'd be all alone in the end. And I would have missed out on all of life's small joys, like finally realizing the fun and beauty of planting a flower bulb, or sitting on the porch listening to a soft thunderstorm and the rain patter. Sure, I'd love to skip past the snowy months, but then I'd miss out on the crystallized patterns on the windows.

So, I think, ultimately.... yes. Vacations can be wonderful, but in the end the best part of life is being at home with your loved ones, living each mundane little day as it comes. One. Day. At. A. Time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Defeatist

I am one of those people who analyzes everything, and more often than not my analyzing borders more on over-analyzing than anything normal. If you're still with me, thanks. So today is one of those days when I should feel happy and chilled out. The sun is out, it's not too hot and not TOO cold. My wife has put down the computer and taken up the landscaping job I started over the last few weeks. We actually have progress in the area, and have put in two little bushes. It's her mom's birthday. And I don't want to do anything. I don't want to be productive, I don't want to go in public, I don't want to talk to anyone, and I feel like a fat, lazy, ugly, slob. My face keeps breaking out and I've gained weight.

I know what to do to stop it--to reverse it (well, the weight thing. The acne thing is 9/10 a mystery), but I can't bring myself to do it. I don't. Want. To move. I'm tired, I'm convinced people hate me because of things I've said or done, and I can't find any clothes to wear. I just want to go back to the bedroom, lie in bed for a week watching television and speaking to no one, and when I come out it will be wonderful spring/summer weather outside, I'll be rested and have magically dropped thirty pounds, my friends will all be clamoring to speak to me, and my face will no longer resemble a twelve-year-old's. And I'll have a British accent. I think that might make me feel better, too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Today Was a Bad Day

I just got home from the store. I sat in the car and considered spending the night there. It seemed like a good idea, especially since I couldn't get the key out of the ignition. Oh, I could take the key out, but I most definitely didn't have the emotional strength to do it. And then I thought of the Butterfinger ice cream I just bought. It motivated me to get out of the car and climb in the snow drifts surrounding my driveway (I'm parked at the way back since there are three cars ahead of me in the driveway this week) and get into the backseat for the few bags of groceries. The first bag I picked up contained the orange juice, which was 50% of the reason I was even at the store to begin with (since after the Super Bowl I picked a fight with Julie and left the OJ on the kitchen table all night instead of putting it away). The bag sliced open and the juice dropped out. I almost shut the door and left everything in there. But no... the ice cream. Also, Heather is on her way over in a few minutes, and then I'd look like a jackass because she'd insist on helping me with the groceries once I told her where they were. But I didn't. I brought everything in. And now it's waiting on the kitchen floor for me to put it away, which I won't do until Heather gets here and sees that I haven't done it and I feel guilty enough to do it. I fed the cats, because I can't look at their poor meowy faces too long when I know Julie won't come home and do it.

I had a breakdown today. A complete and total sob session within full view of a lot of people. Heather offered to come over to be with me so I won't be alone tonight. I can't do this anymore. I can't do it. I can't feel like this. I can't let every little thing hit me like an emotional mack truck and let it run me over. Repeatedly. I'm not excited about anything. And then I am, totally gleeful. And then I'm not again. It's been going on for a while, and I've been trying to be "me," the me I'm supposed to be. But this is a me no one wants to be. And people are beginning to notice. I suppose this says it best, this excerpt from an email I wrote tonight. In order to understand it, you should know that I've been slowly attempting to wean myself off my medication because... well I guess I'm stupid and thought I could. I thought that, in a controlled way, not just cold turkey, I could "be like normal people." There was another, more significant reason, but I'm not ready to discuss it. Here's the excerpt, minus a few personal remarks:

"I'm going to see the doctor. The more I think about this situation, I think a lot of it has to deal with me being chemically imbalanced. That doesn't go away, like regular depression, and I've been fooling myself thinking I was just plain depressed, when I knew the doctor said (in 2003) I had a chemical imbalance. I need to find out if I can continue taking my medication... Up until I find out, I'm going back to doing the dose I've been on for a year. I've been sitting here having some seriously dark thoughts like being just fine with not waking up tomorrow, and all of the sudden I thought, "wait... wait... I remember this conversation with myself... the last time I had it, I was in college and having horrible life problems like... not making good choices, saying stupid things and regretting them, hurting friends, and crying at everything. EVERYTHING. Well, except for when I was fighting with people. Oh........ JUST LIKE NOW." is ridiculously unhealthy to attempt to live like this."

So here I go to the cabinet, to give myself a dose of anti-depressant, and to the kitchen floor, to get out my Butterfinger ice cream. Because I deserve it, damnit.