Tag Archives: love

A new year- thoughts on the future

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dark-winter-night-image,1366x768,54916I picked up a book that I had started reading a few months ago and put down and this is the quote that jumped out at me:

 

“So whatever you do, just do it, without expecting anyone’s help. Don’t spoil your effort by seeking for shelter. Protect your-self and grow upright to the sky; that is all.” Shunryu Suzuki- Not always so

 

It was like slap in the face…the good kind. After I got over the hurt from two years ago, I wanted to escape and after that I wanted someone to fill the hole in my heart. I have been on the spiritual path and through enough therapy to know that this is my work to do but the illusion that another person could help and heal that emptiness is so seductive.

I was certain that I was leaving this town as soon as I could. That this place was nothing more than a lay over to heal my wounds and then move on to the promised land…wherever that might be. But it didn’t happen that way, not because there were not opportunities or because I didn’t try (tip to Portland) but my heart would not buy it.

Then I embarked on the dating distraction. This was highly entertaining but there came a moment when I realized that  I was not willing to risk anything so I stopped pretending. And then I met someone. Of course being me it had to be the most complicated and impossible person to be with. I came to realize slowing that was a large part of the attraction. Don’t get me wrong he had lots of other wonderful qualities but the nature of the whole situation suited my melancholy nature far too well. And in the end it proved to be the impossible situation I was seeking. Minus two points for walking into fire knowingly.

I know your thinking (she’s at it again rambling about god knows what again) but when I read that quote this morning and it was like something broke loose inside me. All this time I have wanted to survive, over come, forget, start over but I never loved myself enough to protect myself.  I put up walls and shut people out but that was only to avoid pain it was not to protect myself.

When I think about how I would begin to do that it seems hard. I am in danger from no one but myself and in many ways it is harder to counter than someone hitting me. My boss complimented me the other day and I shifted the credit to my team and she said “Amanda, take a little credit for your work.” It is so engrained to see myself as pass-able at best that I’m not sure where to begin pause the voices in my head, to protect myself from me.

But…I am going to try. Try to love my life because its mine, just the way it is. This holiday season was particularly hard, mostly because I didn’t make the effort to lie for other people’s comfort. When they asked if I was alone I said yes. When they asked if I was seeing my family I said no. When they asked if I was okay/ happy I mostly told the truth and said I didn’t know. If I had lied they would have gone on their blissful holiday way for the most part. But by telling the truth it gave me the opportunity to look at my feelings and choices. It hurt but it was honest.

As I go forward into this new year, I hope to be kinder and more forgiving to myself. I think it is a lesson I will be learning my whole life: how to love me.

 

 

Sitting on my swing- poem

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  1. Sitting on my swing:

    I had wings once,

    Stubby little things with no feathers,

    But they grew, a little stunted.

    I stretched and flapped, refusing to be flightless.

     

    For a time I knew the sun, the wind

    But I never trusted those wings.

    I feared they would falter,

    And somehow bring me back to earth.

     

    Surprisingly, it was not my wings but the sun.

    I forgot  it can blind you.

    I hit a wall, repeatedly until I had no strength to try again.

     

    For a long time I was content to be broken,

    To suffer and forget about the sky.

    Part of me believed this was the inevitable price of dreaming

    Dreams I was never meant to have.

     

    Now, I sit in my cadge and people call me a survivor and inspiring.

    They think I have persevered beyond my handicaps, limitations and self-inflicted harm

    But they are wrong.

     

    If they only knew how it hurts to breathe, remembering.

    How the sweet voices encouraging me to raise my twisted wings

    Only serve to remind me of the carelessness that got me here.

     

    How long will I stay safe in my cadge?

    My heart still remembers, still longs to fly.

    But I do not have the will to believe in second chances.

    And my heart curses me for such a selfish betrayal.

     

    AC Nov 2012

perspective: changing sides of me

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Have you ever looked at yourself and been unsure of the person looking back at you? I find myself in such a state, it’s not bad parse but it is very different from the rest of my life.

I am a person who doesn’t really do labels of most kinds but I realize that this rule -like so many others- was only applied to the people outside of my head. For a long time I wanted to be the “good daughter” I’m not sure I even realized how far that one went until I didn’t want to do that any more. I wanted to be a “good student,” in HS and college. I never sassed my teachers and always did my homework.

I have tried and will continue to be a “good friend” though I know I get too caught up in my own stuff sometimes. When I was married  I desperately wanted to be a “good wife.” And I became another person to try to pull it off. I knew that I was a “good teacher, bad writer and someone who loved to sing and make art.”

But now precious few of these way of identifying myself feel real or wanted. And the terms I find myself thinking in feel different; sometimes comforting and others threatening. So many of the labels I had hurt to try to retain. I know there is something taking that space but I don’t know what it is. There are so many things I could do and I could be. And I know that the “you must have a purpose” part of me would love to just latch on to anything to keep from being a void. But that is where I am.

I have met a lot of interesting people lately that have caused me to think of myself in different lights and for that I am grateful. I have a strong inclination that the person I used to be is fading away. I am uncertain of the person I am becoming but I trust change. Some seeds take fire to sprout.

 

Ponderings: the moment between

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It has been a while. In fact I have seriously contemplated taking down my blog b/c of lack of motivation to write about anything of real substance or meaning. Not that those things are not happening but I know that when I do not write-journals or anything- I am avoiding my thoughts and feelings.

I find something interesting and flashy: a project, new dedication to my job ect and intentionally forget about the rest. It is hard for me to define what it is that I am running from other than failure in general.  I am a person who perseveres, who survives but I wonder often, “at the cost of what?” What I mean is that for every choice we make we say yes or no to something. And I have the increasing feeling that the more I “survive” the less I really live. To live one has to be willing to fail, to try and inevitably lose sometimes. To survive one must only breath and keep going. I know that this is a mellow-dramatic and perhaps overly dark assessment of things but it is how my heart feels.

My latest distraction has been “trying” to date. Please pause for a moment while I laugh at myself. Though I did learn a few interesting things about myself, my nature and dating in your 30’s; most of what I learned was that my heart is not in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an adrenalin and pheromone junkie like everyone else on that planet but the moment that I was at risk, I had to give anything, I shut it down. And that is just unfair to good people with different intentions.

So here I am smack in the middle of self assessment again. There is a part of me that feels like I should go back to counseling. There is a part of me that will not do that and there is another part of me that wonders when I will love/believe in myself enough to know I can make it and cut myself a break. But that feels very hard.

It is hard to look at the people I love in and out of my family and wonder if I only get the chance I lost. If I really don’t want kids or if I’m so scared they’ll be like me that I will not do that to my nonexistent spawn. I am so sick of listening to the same stories in my head but I don’t know how to change them. I’m so tired of being Alice giving very good advice and seldom following it.

What is the point to this self-pity rant you ask? That is if you are still reading. I’m in the moment between breaths. My old life is finally out of my lungs and I am happy for that. But I have no idea what the intake of new air will bring. So I hold my breath foolishly like a child, knowing that my body will make me breathe again, just like it made me live again.

I wish I were wiser and less afraid. I wish I had more compassion for my heart and what if feels. I wish I could accept that if I never fall in love again, get a “better” job or leave the state of Georgia that I will be fine, that I could even be happy, but I don’t believe it.

There is some deep place in me that keeps shouting it’s not good enough, it’s not safe enough and I am running out of time. The perspective part of me knows that most of what I just wrote is total BS. I have done amazing things and will do more and those accomplishments are mine. Many of them I did without the benefit of the life experiences that I have now and make me even better than before. But my heart doesn’t hear any of that. It only hurts when I don’t expect it, like tonight.

I know that my life will work itself out and I will be okay with it again. But it feels like it has been a long time since I felt that way. In January I will have lived here for two years and been divorced for one. It feels like such little progress, though I know the precious ground I have earned. I fear the first real steps on my own, I only see land mines hidden beneath the flowers of possibility.

What happens in the moment

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I went to a dance party at the studio where I take Latin classes tonight. I always get a little anxious beforehand, mostly b/c it is my nature to be so. Tonight there was a small group, all people I knew from my classes. I did not expect to find how warm and funny everyone was. I don’t mean to imply that they are not that way usually but I am not usually open to letting that in.

I have noticed over the past month or so that in my own small ways I am seeking out opportunities to let people back into my life. And not in a passive, they come they go kind of way, but in a way that asks me to offer something in return- vulnerability.

When I first came to Valdosta almost two years ago my life as a knew it had just fallen to pieces at my feet. It took the better part of that first year to remember how to breathe and live again. Once I was on the path of  rejoining the living I knew I had to start doing things for my own happiness,  to maintain my grip on the now. So I took up dance.

Never having danced before I walked into the studio across the street and decided that I would learn something new. It was difficult for a long time to feel like I was making progress and not handicapping my partners. But with the encouragement of my classmates and teachers I stuck with it even when I wanted to just give up and cry. I know that may sound a bit childish or over the top but I’m not sure you can understand how hard it is to re-start your life unless you have had to go through it. After that pain is gone you are left with questions about yourself and the choices you made, the things that happened to you. It makes everything a raw patch, so what would normally be nothing on an average day feels like you are being stabbed. And then if your me, you wonder things like ” why the h*** did you put yourself out there in the fist place?”

But I digress b/c I didn’t give up and tonight I could see it. I know that I am easily flustered but I didn’t care. I kept the apologizing to a shocking minimum and laughed a lot. In fact my teacher said “you are so fun.” I like that the light I feel in my life is finally starting to show through.  I know that I have done a lot of work to get here and there is still much to be done. But I would be remiss if I did not mention these interesting, generous group of people who have helped me to remember that my life is wonderful, silly and still going forward.

So I would like to take this small moment to thank them: Hanna- it is a blessing to have someone who has walked in your shoes,  Alvero- for not letting me give up, Chester- for making me practice one more time to know that I can do it, Will- for making me look you in the eyes, Tiffany- for a big heart so generously given, Ananda- for your smile and conversations, Gloriana- for you patience and sweetness. Thank you all so much. Weather you knew it or not you helped me to find my way back to me and for that I am so grateful.

Trust: poem

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When did I first learn not to trust you?

Was it an unanswered cry in infancy?

A tearful, childish night I was sent back to bed without a hand to hold?

Or was it the nights I listened to stories yelled through the walls,

Shattering my illusions of home?

Was it the first time you doubted my judgment?

Pointed out how my “methods” needed improvement,

How different I am from you?

Or was it when you decided I wasn’t worth the sacrifice of anything to be in your life?

Was it when I realized that little girl still lived inside me?

That I had not managed to kill her with my rationals and coping mechanisms?

When you still loved those that failed to take care of you?

When you loved someone who could not love you in return?

I don’t remember. I only know that I want to try again.

Amanda C 2012

Don’t be afraid: subtitles are fun!

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I don’t think that I had ever watched a subtitled movie until I saw “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.” I was so drawn in by the story that I for got that I was reading everything. I know fora lot of people the idea of “reading” while watching a movie is off-putting but I must say for a little extra effort you are missing so much! Here are a few (very different) subtitled movies that I enjoyed. They range from family to adult in subject latter. I hope that something makes you want to give a foreign file another look.

crouching tiger hidden dragon -Chinese

PG 13      This is an epic story with fantasy/ magical elements. If you like things like “the Lord of the rings or the Chronicles of Narnia” this would be right up you ally. Please keep in mind though it is from an Eastern point of view, if you are looking for uber happy this is not what you will find. However you will find truly honorable heroes, people who take honor to its furthest limits and love that spans all obstacles.

Amilie-french

R- (I would not give it this rating) This is a wonderfully sweet and adventuresome story about a girl who wants to make her father’s life better and  solve a mystery of the everyday find while finding love. When I think about this movie I see Madeline as if she were a real person. It is funny and light-hearted.

I do: how to get married and stay single- french

NA, Like most French comedies this is about a slice of life. The family is ridiculous and the main character is hounded simply because he is happy as a bachelor. It’s you typical romantic comedy.

Heartbreaker- french

NR- This could have been a simple they break people up scam kind of movie but what I liked about it is they only break up people who are not good for the other person in the relationship. They don’t destroy happy lives because they get paid to. It follows a typical: character though one thing but was wrong and now has a different point of view.

Diary of a Nymphomaniac-french

NR (R) Though this might seem like something it’s not, I actually enjoyed this film. Yes there is a lot of sex but not in an exploitative way. It is the story of a woman who struggles to understand her sexuality on her own terms and not as society deems she should. I found it heart breaking at moments and uplifting at the end. If the subject matter doesn’t bother you this is a very interesting film.

Bread and Tulips-french

PG 13- This was  a sweet story about finding what makes you happy in life instead of settling for something else. The wife is very doormat-ish in the  beginning but finds herself along the way.  If you like movies like “under the Tuscan sun and Fried green tomatoes” you would probably like this too.

 

A french gigolo- french

NR (R) I wasn’t sure I was going to like this one at first but the story kept me interested. The gigolo takes on his profession as a side job to make money. He is not terribly attractive but is kind to women. The twist being that he is engaged and eventually she finds out about it. This was surprisingly sweet and sad in places.

The girl with the dragon tattoo- Swedish (also English)

(R) Violent and has disturbing sexual violence- I only watched the version in Swedish and loved it so much I refused to watch the American one. If you like a good mystery/thriller and can take violence this is for you. I loved Lisbeth’s character, she was so brilliantly written and acted I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like her before. The story she unravels has many twists and turns, in the end I had to watch the next two to see what happened to her.

The girl who played with fire

The girl who kicked the hornets nest

Departures-Japanese

PG13- This was a surprisingly sweet movie about a person finding their true calling in life. The main character goes from being a Cellist  to a person who prepares the dead for burial. It is quiet moving to watch him learn to really care about his clients (though they are dead) and see the impact that his work has on the lives that he touches. If you are a fan of understated movies, this is one for you.

The Syrian Bride– Arabic

NR- It is hard to list all the things I love about this movie. It will break you heart. The whole movie revolves around a wedding but because she is a Golan Heights resident once  she crosses into Syria she will never be allowed to come back and see her family. The love shown by her family an their determination to see her settled in the best life possible is so moving. The bride’s determination to follow through no matter the cost is inspiring. This movie feels more like a documentary then a feature file. If you like that style or like inside into different cultures this would be one for you.