Sunday, July 11, 2010

I can't like someone who thought they're the only one that mattered

I grew up as the oldest kid in my family. Looking back, I now realize that I was a guinea pig of sorts. My parents, as wonderful as I know them to be now, never really gave me a road map for life. Not that it was really their responsibility to do so. They worked hard to provide for us, and gave us freedom to make our own choices. Not that we didn't have rules to follow. I was pretty much scared shitless to do any of the following: smoke, drink, take drugs, have sex, or miss church.

The things I learned about myself and life are few, yet true. I always thought that if I was a mostly good person and I did what I was supposed to do, that good things would happen to me. Good things such as ending up with a decent job, great friends, and a wonderful family of my own (with a terrific husband and kids). Also, I thought I would be happy.

With everything in the past, I now know I must make things happen for myself. Sadly, doing what your parents teach you does nothing to guarantee ultimate happiness. It does, however, ensure that you will know what it means to be driven, and to be happy with your life in the current moment.

Where I am in this current moment is driving towards a future. Which future is uncertain. If I take one exit off this highway, I'm heading towards a man who loves me and will love me forever, possibly children, and definitive domesticity. Otherwise, driving past this exit lays the entire world. No one knows what's out there, but we all dream. I envision extremes. One is certain loneliness. But the other is an existence I have envisioned in my heart from four years old.

Trying to figure out where it all went wrong seems viable. I dated, but no one worth mentioning. One took my love freely, because I gave it in the same way. It ended badly, as it always does with first loves. This, in turn, prepared me for my other high school boyfriend. Recklessly, we pretended to love, experimented with sex, and regretted it all in the end.

When I met Heath, I had already decided several things about him. First, that he was going to be my boyfriend. Next, that he would be the reason I forgot all the pain I was still in from Seth. And last, that is would all be on my terms, but I'd make sure he thought this was all his idea...

June 3, 1998

"Are you sure you're ok with this?" my mom asked.

Before turning, I answered, "yes, I suppose so." I had to fight the tears by keeping my eyes closed longer than usual, and grinding my teeth to the point of pain. I love my family, but moving at 16 to a new town for my last year of high school was almost too much to bear. My little sister Bailey, 14, was completely rebelling. Mom and Dad were so desperate to soothe her about the move that they allowed her to spend the summer traveling with friends and our old church youth group. There wasn't a whole lot of patience left for me. As the oldest I knew I had to set the best example. And really, it was a lot easier to say I was fine with everything, push down the tears and sadness, and move away from my friends that reminded me of Seth, than it was to say I was hurt, devastated, and deal with the pain.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I still have your yellow Hurley cap

It is easy to fall in love. No? You think it is hard? You're dead wrong. It is easy to fall in love. It is hard to get someone to reciprocate. Any little thing can make you fall in love with someone else. It sneaks up on you when you're not looking, Macy Schaefer. A look. A kind gesture. A night of conversation. Big things can make you fall in love with someone. A rescue from a bad situation. A night of drinking ending with holding that person over the toilet. A time when that person just takes your word for it. An all-encompassing hold of love and understanding when all you can do is cry. A place when that person has your back without question.

It would be hard to remember when I fell in love with Corey Sepulveda. The first kiss was the best first kiss I've ever had. Vividly seared in my mind is that kiss: downstairs in the sorority house, wearing my favorite J. Crew tank and jeans, after the bar closed, we traded ball caps earlier in the night and never traded back. In my heart also, is the night we broke up.

Looking back it was stupid. Foolish. Young and immature. In the moment, it was the right thing to do.

February 2005
"So you're going out tonight?" Corey asks angrily.

With an irritated sigh I patronizingly reply, "Yes, Corey. I had class all morning, worked all afternoon and evening, and all I want to do is unwind with a few beers and my co-workers. You're welcome to come." I said it, even though I knew he wouldn't. Or, truthfully, couldn't because of his age and his stubborn refusal to obtain a fake I.D. He's 20, I'm 23. And that's just how it goes with us. I push and he resists; he asks and I reject.

In the interest of not looking for a fight, I take a risk. "Look, just don't be here when I get home."

"And what should I take that to mean? That you're bringing someone home with you?"

"Are you serious right now?" I ask, almost laughing at that horrific prospect. "I love you, but you are straight getting on my nerves. Just pack a back and stay at your own place for once. We can be apart for one night, Corey."

And that was the end of it. Literally. Instead of working on a relationship that we both thought was "the one," we irritated each other into a break up. We went from being MacyandCoreyalldayeveryday to nothing. How did we get here?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Advice when you aren't even looking for it

Macy's story is a part of me. I hope to get to tell Macy's story in a complete setting one day, but I look forward to sharing part of her with you here.

First, I'm not Macy, but I have been some places she has. She's not me, but I wish I'd met some of the people she knows. Next, I'm protective over her, but I'm working on loosening my hold. She still believes in love, even though I maybe don't. I struggle to let her make her own mistakes, because I don't want her to make mine. Last, I worry for her because I'm unsure she will have a happy ending. It won't be a tragic ending, don't get me wrong. But an ending, tied neatly with a bow, may not be in the cards for me. Or her.

Fear and faith dominate the life of Macy. She will always care for others until they turn away, and then care a little bit more after they are gone. Her parents raised her right, despite what she does in some instances. I was lucky enough for Macy and some of her friends and family to come to me in a dream. Tonight I was reminded of why my own parents are wonderful: they introduced me to music of all kinds. I grew up listening to Billy Joel, The Eagles, Al Jarreau, and more. By the time I was 10 I knew all the lyrics to the musical, The Phantom of the Opera (although I didn't know it was scary at the time). Les Miserables is one musical I only recently discovered. While spending time with my mom tonight, "I Dreamed a Dream" played. And despite feeling sad, the lyrics inspired me to share Macy with you-

There was a time when men were kind,
And their voices were soft,
And their words inviting.
There was a time when love was blind,
And the world was a song,
And the song was exciting.
There was a time when it all went wrong...

I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
When hope was high and life, worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid,
And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid,
No song unsung, no wine, untasted.

But the tigers come at night,
With their voices soft as thunder,
As they tear your hope apart,
And they turn your dream to shame.

He slept a summer by my side,
He filled my days with endless wonder...
He took my childhood in his stride,
But he was gone when autumn came!

And still I dream he'll come to me,
That we will live the years together,
But there are dreams that cannot be,
And there are storms we cannot weather!

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living,
So different now from what it seemed...
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed...

The advice given to me was to be unafraid to tell Macy's story. I heard it a while back, and it is now reverberating in my hollow heart. I tell her story for me. But mostly, I tell her story for you.