Tag Archives: relationships

Coffee.

My house smells of coffee in the mornings now. It never did growing up. In one of the small sacrifices I can see now, my dad didn’t drink it because my mom didn’t like the smell. He would buy a coffee or get some at the office instead, never complaining. She eventually bought him a k-cup when the conversation came up of how much money he was spending on coffees, though she insisted on taking it when they separated a few years ago. It sits in a cupboard in the apartment he pays for, just like the elliptical she demanded to keep, which is buried beneath boxes and knickknacks in her study. It wasn’t the hill he wanted to die on though, so he obliged, not the last of his many sacrifices.

It took me a long time to warm up to coffee and I am still not a habitual drinker, though there is a pot made every morning and it’s aroma fills the whole house. It reminds me of my grandparents house, my mom’s parents. Their house always smelled like coffee in the morning. I don’t understand where the disconnect is between them and her, but there is one.

It isn’t just about the coffee.

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Late night farewells.

room.jpgI have lived in this shared one bedroom apartment with my craigslist roommate for close to three years. I have stared out at the dirt and mildew stained walls outside my window thousand of times thinking about my life and existence and the future. I keep feeling like I will be sad when I leave on Saturday, but I suddenly realized that this place has never really been my home.

In my transient young adulthood, this is the longest that I’ve ever stayed in one place, but the yellow tiled bathroom and beige walls don’t belong to me. No matter what efforts I put in to making this place mine, the calendar on the wall, or chalk boards with my to-do lists, it never really felt quite right. It was always a shared place, not fully my own. I think about all the memories I’ve made here, all the ways that I’ve really come into my own and become a person I am happy to be, and built relationships here and a life, but that isn’t about the place itself.

Sure, I will miss the memories, and maybe a little bit of the freedom I had in this ~300sq ft room, but this place was never really my home. Now I have the chance to make a real one for myself, if I am ready to give up the idea of myself as a transient youth and move forward into a real life with someone. It’s scary and overwhelming, but I’m ready to say goodbye to this non home and move forward into a real house with plants and dogs and friends and a man who loves me.

So goodbye, mildew stained paneled wall. I don’t think I’ll miss you.

I know you’ve been reading this.

I decided today that I like myself. This happens from time to time. It is not necessarily an all day, everyday kind of thing, but today I really felt it. I went to school and the gym and for dinner with a classmate. I felt tired and hungry and annoyed and sad and happy and lonely and excited all at once. And I was okay with it. That’s the thing about how you make me feel. You make me feel like, no matter what, I am okay. You never look at me with judgement in your eyes; you are always ready to accept where I’m at, no matter what. No matter my fears and doubts, I am always grateful for that. I love you. Always.

Rosé.

Sometimes I drink a bit too much wine and listen to romantic songs and daydream about all my loves. Lately I have’t been thinking about you anymore, and I don’t think that’s a good sign. I think about the handsome bearded guy from the sushi place, who couldn’t stop smiling at me. I think about the fella on the bus who sat beside me and smelled like sandalwood. I think about the smart, well dressed gentleman from my class, and I dream about a tomorrow where I am sipping wine and telling them my story.

I tell him about how I tried my very best with you, but that it just wasn’t enough. At the end of the day you lacked empathy, and I couldn’t teach you how to do that, no matter how bad I wanted to. I talk about how it was the hardest decision I ever made, because it probably will be, because I was choosing between what I wanted (you), and what I knew I actually needed (more). I sit, and I daydream about it. But instead of action, I just take another swig of wine and smile when you enter the room. You don’t even notice my red eyes and tear stained cheeks.

I don’t know what to do.

On Friendship.

uteruses

I think about your smile and flowers grow in the darkest parts of me. I imagine folding you into a big hug, breathing in your earthy scent, feeling your little wisps of hair against my cheek. There is something so reassuring about knowing that you exist in the world.

When I’m sad I sometimes like to picture you happy. I imagine you clutching your stomach and tipping your head back, eyes closed, in laughter. I picture the goofy little face you make when you know you said something funny. I imagine you making yourself soup and drinking a fresh cup of coffee. I just like thinking about the life you live, with or without me; I’m happy when you’re happy.

This isn’t romance, my darling, but it could be. Our love for one another is the type of love they talk about in fairytales, a no matter what kind of love. It’s friendship. Uteruses before duderuses. It is everything.

Romanticizing Romance.

Dearest,

We only met once at a party. I remember you introduced yourself to me in the perfect gap in a conversation. I was complaining about how I didn’t need a boy, I needed a man, and you walked over and shook my hand. If this was a indie romance, we would have kissed in the snow, under the light of a streetlight, that very night. But it isn’t, I was already in a relationship; you did give my friend and I a ride back to our car on the other side of the city at 2 o’clock in the morning, a true gentleman.

You added me on facebook, but we haven’t seen each other since then. I moved to the coast and you’re still living in that small town where we first met. You’re in a cool band and you grew your hair out. Sometimes I listen to your music and think about your warm car, the sleeping city buzzing past us. I remember we talked the whole way home, but I don’t remember what about. You left enough of an impression on me, though. I partake in the self indulgent fantasy from time to time that you and I may end up together. Though I am, again, already in a relationship.

So the question for me, then becomes, should we expect one person to be everything?

Or better yet- can one person actually be everything you need them to be? Maybe that’s my problem and maybe that’s why my past relationships have failed, because I expect my partner to be able to fulfill my every need. That’s not very fair, is it? They are only one person, after all. So at the end of the day my dissatisfaction is not a reflection on them, but rather on my compulsive need to be perfect.

I want to be the quiet girl, that you just have to get to know. I want to be the exuberant one in the center of the room, that is intoxicating in her story-telling. I want to be smart, and funny, and sexy, and clever, and cute. I want to be a girl who can cook like your mom, and play video games and drink with the boys. I want to be sensitive and insightful, but also tough and independent. I want to be everything. I sometimes wonder who I could’ve been with you.

No one person can be everything though. Instead, I sit and write my self-indulgent bullshit, wondering when I will stop wondering about all the what-might-have-beens in my life.

What do you think, dearest?

Warm regards,

A friend of a friend, from the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party of ’10

Excerpt 1.

Ugh, Facebook does that thing now where it shows you pictures from previous years asking you if you want to share them (I do not). Today I woke up to one from eight years ago of me and my first serious boyfriend. I stared at it for a long time, noticing how thin and youthful my face was. I don’t necessarily look any happier then than I do now. That’s the thing about pictures; they aren’t a real representation of what things were like. I stared at the picture for probably ten minutes, feeling a real ache inside of me that I couldn’t quite shake off; it was a kind of growing anxiety. I stared at our young naive faces and thought about how he lingered on in my memory like a stain. Nobody else could notice his mark, unless I pointed it out, but I always know it’s there. No matter how hard I try to scrub it away, there it is. There he is.

I remember he asked me once what my biggest fear was. I smiled and told him I was afraid of the ocean, it’s deep caverns and unexplored abysses; I worried about what was lurking beneath its surface. He smiled and kissed my lips gently. I can’t remember now what his biggest fear was, probably something like failure or heights. I do remember how later that night I stood in the shower, thinking about him, tracing my soapy hands along the lines of my curves, imagining it was his hands instead. I suddenly felt a boiling panic rising inside of me, a sort of deep seated anxiety. I was really afraid of losing him, but more than that, I was afraid of not being happy. The ocean was a metaphor for me; I was afraid of what was lurking beneath my surface, an unhappiness and melancholy that had been there since childhood. I pushed the thought away then though, and smiled again. He was mine, nothing was going to change that.

I was wrong of course, and I think about that from time to time- how wrong I have been so many times, about so many different things. When I look back at my life even a year ago, it feels like the girl in those pictures isn’t even me. Her life was so different. There was so much hiding inside of her, waiting to make it to the surface. So much would fall apart and come together and then fall apart again in this year. And that’s the thing about it, no matter how much you think you know about yourself, like the ocean, there are always new strange things lurking in the deep. These things have been there all along, but have existed undiscovered. So how then, can we expect to know another person entirely when we don’t even fully know ourselves? Continue reading Excerpt 1.

10 Things That Could’ve Been Said at the Beginning or the End of a Relationship

1. I don’t think I can do this again.

2. The thought of someone like you would normally make me want to jump in front of a train.

3. I cannot decide if I’m actually happy or if I just want to be happy so bad that I’m making myself into this person.

4. At the end of the day we just have to be honest with ourselves; relationships suck.

5. There aren’t many things in this world that make me happy, but you…

6. When I used to imagine the person I would end up with it was basically the exact opposite of you.

7. There aren’t a lot of reasons for us to be together, it honestly doesn’t really even make any sense why I’m attracted to you, but I can’t help it. You’re like a drug that I can’t get enough of. I’m addicted to you.

8. I don’t remember the last time I was actually happy.

9. I feel so lucky to have met you.

10. I don’t know what I did to deserve this.

Reasonings.

These are the things I want to say to you- the things that I think it might be important for you to know.

I am afraid that I have let the world harden and jade me. I used to be a romantic. I used to be able to see the good in everyone and love without fear. Now I tell myself that I was naive and childish, and maybe that’s true but I am afraid that I have let the best parts of myself slip away. I wonder who I would be now if I didn’t feel the need to protect myself all the time. Every single feeling I have is felt with a tinge of anxiety, always erring on the side of caution. I’ve convinced myself that it’s instinct, but I worry that it’s these so called “instincts” that are causing my problems, like self fulfilling prophesies.

When I look at you I want to feel all the butterflies and magic that I can acknowledge are there, but a voice somewhere tells me to relax, to be cool, to be reasonable. So I smile coyly, a master of the game I’m playing against myself.

Really, I’m just afraid of losing you. Really, I’m just afraid of everything.