Make new friends but keep the old…

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A few days ago now, I received quite a surprise… A voicemail that just said “Emily…” it was three seconds of pure confusion for me. I didn’t recognize the phone number or the voice from one word. When I called back to discover it was an individual I hadn’t spoken to in nearly five years… Whoa… Out of nowhere. Talk about overwhelming? Surprising? Ridiculous? Absurd? Startling? A bit mind-blowing? Pick your descriptor, any of these would work.. I was completely blown away.

A quick back story? Five years ago my Mom died, ok, nearly five years ago. When my Mom died, my life essentially fell apart, we’re talking zombie mode here. When your life falls apart, you call your closest friends, right? Your support system. I told him and he blew me off. The call lasted just a few seconds and he never called me back. We went from talking nearly daily, at least every 2-3 days, to this. So, even more reason to be blown away.

Now, my life right now is really focused on love and forgiveness. Love is something I’ve always had an abundance of and I’ve always given more than generously. I’ll happily love anyone that needs it or proves to be remotely worth it. The part I struggle with is forgiveness. I don’t hold grudges, per se, I just don’t tend to forget very easily. So, when I was pushed away at a moment when I needed this friend the most, it was hard for me to forget. Maybe I’ll never forget but I’ve certainly forgiven. There was never any doubt that I would.  I always knew that the moment we connected and spoke for a few moments I would forgive him. C’mon if you knew this guy, he’s easy to forgive.

I tend to write a lot about getting older and how it is affecting my viewpoints. This is because I am absolutely mystified over how I am turning 30 this year. Now you’re all probably thinking that it’s just a number, you’re only as old as you think/act, and therefore you’re *obviously* not 30… yet. However, chronologically I have graced this earth with my presence for nearly 3 decades and in that time, I should have acquired the necessary grace and poise to handle difficult situations. Grace and poise, you know, those pesky things that keep you from crying and yelling at someone you barely know anymore.

I got really lucky, I threw grace and poise out the window (that is if I ever actually acquired either) and made this person understand how badly he hurt me. By crying and yelling. Opps. Somehow, instead of being really defensive and getting mad, the typical human reaction, he took my words, felt bad, and comforted me. Apologized profusely even. We then spent an absurd amount of time catching up. Talking about everything, right down to what our hair is doing these days. I’m obviously an open person but it was refreshing to be THAT open. This is someone who has always known pretty much everything about me since I met him. A 5 year absence? Yeah, I felt that.

I’m very joyful that he reached out and wanted me back in his life. I am definitely very lucky for that. Old friendships are very important, so are the new, but these classics are the ones that know us best. They are the ones that know how to comfort us best and know just which words will hug us just the right way when they physically cannot.

(The best part? We’ve shared texts and phone calls since I started writing this, so, it looks like he’s really back. 🙂 I couldn’t be happier!)

((And my apologies for all the typos in my original posts… I have since proofread and made many corrections.  Yikes, I’ll never post anything that was obviously not ready to be posted again.  I promise!))

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Little Green Army Men…. <3

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Maturity is a scary thing.  It changes our views from, “Oh no! That can never, ever happen!”  To, “Oh, ok.  I get why that might need to happen sometimes.”  Or, at least it has for me.  Or even the opposite in some situations.  I have gone from staunchly supporting something to understanding why it is definitely not the best decision for me (Skanky Whore, I’ve always admired this view point on a certain touchy subject).  The most amazing part is that these were viewpoints that were never, ever going to change.  That were always going to stay the same for me.

Now for people that have known me since I became old enough to form opinions, I am about to shock you, at least a little bit.  For people who have known me, I have always been vehemently anti-war.  Pretty much that stance has always been about being anti-violence, anti-death, and pretty much all around anti-assholeism.  No, we shouldn’t be taking over other countries, even if we don’t agree with the way they are being run or otherwise behaving.  We can lend a hand, some advice, or a bit of training but completely take over?  That’s not cool.  Although I am grateful everyday to be living in this amazing locale, did we really need to kill and destroy the lifestyles of an entire race of peoples?  I mean, Lake Tahoe is my backyard, how much luckier could I be??  Oh yeah, in the summers, Yosemite is my backyard.  My life is ridiculous but how many people died so that I could live this life?  Or so that places like Long Island can be covered in strip malls?

To sum it up?  I’ve always been vehemently anti-war.  I despise the early Americans, even if I am a direct descendent of them, for their actions in “claiming” the land that we now “own.”

Ok.  Ready for the shocking part?  Recently, I’ve started to understand why war can be so necessary.  I still despise violence, death, and assholeism but I get why sometimes we need to fight for our country’s safety.  Keyword: safety.  I would much prefer if we could just talk it out, followed by hugging it out, but this seems to be something the human race is incapable of.  We all have mommy and daddy issues coupled with chemical imbalances which lead us to having anger issues so we solve our problems with violence.  AKA tradition.  It’s how we’ve always done it so why change it now?

I didn’t intend this to be a statement of my beliefs about war and the military, so much as I meant this to be about how time alters our beliefs.  I feel like I had to outline my beliefs because I had to show how they had changed over time.  And then defend them a little.  As we grow older, we learn about life and the world and this teaches us what we need to know to understand why we need some of these things.  Maybe when I was younger and so adamantly against war, I just couldn’t see the whole picture and I couldn’t understand or accept that if we’re over here acting peaceful and trying to avoid war, we may be setting ourselves up for attack.  In no way am I condoning war, I still think that it is morally reprehensible, I am just beginning to understand why it may be necessary sometimes.  Incredibly awful, inexcusable actions are taken in the name of war: rape, torture, deprival of food, bombings, etc etc etc…  So, obviously I am still very anti-war but with a very different understanding.

During my undergrad there was this kid.  We hung out a lot but he was, like, a gazillion years younger than me.  Or at least it felt like it.  In reality, he’s probably only 3-5 years younger than me.  I remember sitting on my bed talking with him and thinking that he needed to quit smoking and grow up.  Now?  He’s in the army, has been for a long time, and does crazy computer stuff.  I don’t know if he’s quit smoking but it’s been several years and he’s grown up quite a bit (kinda).  We’ve recently begun talking again and I’m impressed with how much he’s grown up.  I’m sure that’s not all the work of the army but I’m guessing it hasn’t hurt.

It was a bit odd to realize that this change had occurred.  I realized it a few months ago pretty randomly when I was watching the news.  I believe they were doing a story about how a handful of locals had come home from Iraq, showing the families being reunited at the airport, interviews with excited kids, lots of kisses, etc etc etc…  I was touched as I had never been before.  Since then, I’ve noticed other changes in my various points of view that I never thought would change.  Not about inconsequential things such as how I should wear my hair (I’ll be 50 and still rocking pigtails) but important things like abortion and religion.  I’m proud that I’m turning 30 and still growing up.  I hope I make it to 75 and I’m still growing up (and rocking pigtails).

Why did this topic come up today?  The revival of a friendship and this puppy picture:  http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/animals-i-love-funny-0.jpg

Friends, helping friends, and cat toy smorgasbords…

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Do you ever wake up really early, like 5:30am, bright-eyed, bushy tailed, ready to go?  This happened to me the other day but because I am required to get as much sleep as possible every night, as sleep deprival causes seizures for me, I forced myself to go back to sleep until my alarm was set to go off.  This created the groggy, cranky Emily monster when I finally woke up and then by 1pm, I was exhausted and falling asleep again.  If I had actually started my day when I woke up, by 1pm I would’ve been the picture of productivity and still off running some absurd marathon of hyperactivity.  I hate that.

I’ve made a few friends since I’ve moved to Tahoe and I adore all of them.  Absolutely all of them.  In fact, I have several that I think of as family, I’ve posted about that.  These people are pretty amazing.  I am so lucky to have them.  I spent the weekend with Steph, laying low and catching up on sleep because last week was a whirlwind of friends.  I spent a lot of time helping friends.  And you know what?  I’m pretty sure that’s the ultimate reward in life.  Sandi came over with the kids so that the eldest, of these three at least, could type a paper using my computer and print it out.  This always turns into a movie and snack marathon for the middle.  And an exploration adventure and cat toy smorgasbord for the baby.  Apparently cat toys are really baby toys in disguise, no matter how many times they’ve been dragged across the floor.  And the cats?  They really don’t mind being smacked in the face with the toy as long as the bell is ringing.  Although, it did take a day or two for them to really believe the household was really back to normal and behaviors to return to normal.  And suspiciously?  All of SunnyGirl’s favorite pink stick toys have magically disappeared.  As these are irresistible to her and these are the ones the little one kept hitting the cats in the face with, I don’t think they’ll show up for awhile.  I try to provide non-TV oriented activities for the kids but it can be difficult because this is also Sandi and I’s catch-up time.  I know that they don’t watch a significant amount of TV at home, so I let Netflix babysit.  Opps.  Anyway, Sandi and the kids wound up staying for dinner.  Sandi is vegan and we were able to manipulate some lentils into a very delicious soup.  With quinoa.  Who knew quinoa could be so tasty!

I have seriously digressed.  The point being.  Sandi was here with the kids and I really enjoyed it.  It was originally supposed to be just a couple of hours and they were here until nearly 10pm.  They came again the next morning and then I got to emergency babysit in the afternoon!  All because I was getting to make Sandi’s life easier in some way.  Her youngin’ using the computer, she was doing laundry, she was actually getting to relax a bit, etc etc etc… Tomorrow, I’m going to spend the day tutoring a friend in math.  I have been helping him for some time and I have helped him with a few other projects as well.  I’m lucky enough to have become fairly close to this person through this time spent together.  He is a very sweet person and I know that if I ever need anything, he would be more than willing to do whatever is in his power to do it.

Long Island was never like this.  No one ever asked for help or maybe I wasn’t as open to giving it?  I’m not sure but I am so excited to be able to give this help.  I’ve also extended help in a variety of other ways to other people that surround me.  Once this winter I even offered to shovel the driveway of an elderly woman as I walked by, despite the condition of my knee.  Maybe Tahoe just offers more opportunities to give it or I’ve finally slowed down enough to see these opportunities?  Either way, I like it.

I’m not writing this because I’m looking for any kind of recognition or anything like that.  I’ve just been reflecting on the love in my life, where it is coming from, and how it has become so strong in such a short period of time.  I’ve blogged in the past on the state of my biological family as compared to the families that I’ve built and been built into amongst my friends.  I think these families are stronger because we learn to rely on each other in different ways and for different things.  Yeah, maybe my view on the traditional family is a little skewed because the closeness was never there emotionally or physically.  We are all spread out – New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, New Jersey, Australia, and now California.  Even if we were all on Long Island, nice, close, and within driving distance, we wouldn’t have been close.  My family just didn’t like each other.  Point being, I’ve always looked to my friends first.  I’ve heard of friends looking towards aunts and uncles.  This seems like such an alien concept to me.

 

What are your opinions?  Who do you look to first?  Ohhh… I’ve never asked for opinions before.  How exciting!

No I would not give you false hope on this strange and mournful day….

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Mother’s Day.  Ugh….  The thing is.  I’m honestly trying to really care about Mother’s Day because I know so many really fabulous mothers.  I have even been blessed to be given another mother that does girl stuff with me and helps me pick out dresses when I need to.  As great as Steph’s Mom is, that really doesn’t make Mother’s Day any easier.  Steph and I each bought her a card and I called her today.  I love her but today I was still horribly lonely.

I got through most of the day without crying.  That’s a huge accomplishment.  I cried a little in church, a sermon about love and mothers?  How could I not cry?  My brain’s reaction?  Apparently it decided that I needed to be gifted with a seizure.  Happy Mother’s Day, here’s a seizure to top it all off for everything you do for your furry babies.  Steph suspects that it was because I was too emotional (too excited).

After church, Steph took me to get sandwiches from Beach Hut.  We lounged in the yard, in the sun.  It was gorgeous out.  I got my first sunburn of the season.  It was beautiful.  We fed peanuts to the squirrels and Stellar’s Jays.  It was incredibly relaxing.  Just hanging out, chatting, snacking, and basking in the sun.

Despite how beautiful and relaxing the afternoon was, my Mom was still on my mind.  All day I have been surrounded by loving Mother-Child relationships.  These are beautiful relationships that I am overwhelmingly jealous of.  I despise that my Mom was taken away from me so soon.  I know that there are life plans and you have to trust in them.  It’s so hard to trust in life’s plan for you when it involves the loss of someone so important at such a young age.  It doesn’t make sense or seem fair.  My Mom was an amazing person.  I’m so frustrated because she could have controlled her illness.  I could still have her, if she could have quit smoking.  In reality, I guess my frustration comes not only from having lost my Mom but at my Mom as well.  She could have prolonged her life.  When I was 12ish, she had just about quit, if not for some evil words from my grandmother.  My grandmother told her to go smoke a cigarette when she couldn’t cope with the crankiness that comes with quitting.  How do you say that to your own daughter?  That undid all the work my Mom had done towards quitting.  Maybe my anger towards Mother’s Day is a triple threat.  Life’s Plan, My Mom, and my grandmother.  Really?  Can’t be more honest than that.

It’s not a total wash though.  Like I said.  There is so much beauty surrounding me.  In these Mother-Child relationships I’m surrounded by.  Or by these women that I’m surrounded by that are still raising their children or are already finished raising their children.  Or by these women that are just starting to help raise children again because they now have grandchildren.  This is the beauty I need to start focusing on every Mother’s Day.

Yes, I may have lost my own Mother-Child relationship, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t ever experience one again.

(And yes, if you recognize the subject, it’s Paul Simon.  I couldn’t resist.)

I’m a little nervous…

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I had started a different blog for today but I want a redo.  I’ll post that other one some other time.  That one was about friends and friendship.  Another topic very close to my heart that I feel is constantly evolving but Steph very much touched me twice today, touched me to tears.  So, this one is for her.

“You know this blog is completely about inspiration, right?”  That’s what I just said to her cuz I think by the time I finish writing this it’s going to be very personal.  Very scary.  Very emotional.  Again.  Sorry guys, it’s just how I roll.  I follow the inspiration as it comes to me.  It’s amazing how things can touch your life.

Forever is a long time.  A really long time.  A scary long time.  I guess I’m the definition of commitment issue.  I thought I wanted it all.  The big frou-frou wedding.  The white picket fence.  The 2.5 kids.  The apron while I cook dinner.  The forever.  Then it all showed up at my door, on accident, in this tiny Asian package.  Not only did I never want to date a girl, but I was already dating someone.  Opps.  One giant miscommunication lead to Steph coming in and changing my whole view on my life.  I’ve never been so happy that I spoke my mind and it was totally misinterpreted.  

A couple of years ago I made the hugest mistake in the entire world and yet I am still sitting here gazing across the room at Steph.  Her patience can be astounding.  I’m a lucky girl on that front.  Even if forever is scary, I’ve found love.

Today, my day started with one of those little moments that are the epitome of the romance that can be lost in the rush of day to day life.  I was finishing in the shower, with the door open, and our towels hang on one of those over the door towel racks.  Have I ever mentioned that Steph modified our door so it opens outwards?  Usually I move my towel closer so it’s not incredibly far away when I have the door open.  As I was finishing in the shower, I could hear Steph downstairs finishing getting dressed for class.  When you live with four cats, black pants are always put on as you’re leaving, especially when you work with food in some way.  She called upstairs to say goodbye and when she heard disappointment in my voice, asked why, and then came all the way upstairs to not just hand me my towel but *wrap* me in my towel.  With smiles, hugs, kisses, and taking her time.  It was amazing.  And brought tears to my eyes because it was such an amazing and happy way to start my day.

Then a few minutes ago, I was sitting at the desk instead of next to her on the couch as usual.  Just because that’s where my computer landed, a friend had come to use it and print something.  I thought it might be fun to blog from the desk, that’s what desks are for, right?  She looked over like she missed me so I asked her if she wanted me to come over to her.  Her response?  She asked me if the desk was making me happy and in some silly way, yes it does.  I don’t sit here often at all, it is kind of fun.  So, she told me to stay.  I know, it’s so simple and silly.  We are such creatures of habit.  I make dinner, we sit together on the couch and eat, then we sit together on the couch and watch TV/play silly games.  That’s pretty much it for us.  We’re low-key on our wildest night….

So, it sounds silly for those to be two such huge moments even though they’re such small gestures but they’re steps out of the routine.  Steps out of the routine are romantic, no matter how small they are.  These tiny gestures fill my heart with a ridiculous amount of love and affection.  They make me realize how lucky I am to be cherished by someone so special.

So, Steph.  This is it.  It’s time.  I’m going upstairs to get it.  I love you so much.  I’m ready for forever and I’m not scared anymore.  Sorry it’s taken some ridiculous mistakes and seven years.

 

Will you marry me?  

To be, or not to be…

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I suppose it’s time to redeem myself after that last ridiculously emotional response to life.  In my last post, I sorta lied in my subject line.  I said I hadn’t felt like writing but I have.  I suppose I just haven’t really felt… Inspired.  For a lot of my posts, I’ve started off about something that I’ve felt is rather silly and wound up launching into a subject that has… taken hold of me, often completely unrelated to what I started with.  More recently I haven’t even been feeling inspired or motivated by a “something silly.”  Part of the issue is all I’ve been wanting to write about is my Mom.  Who wants to read a zillion depressing posts about how much I miss my Mom?  Maybe I can get away with one or two posts but not a week or two’s worth of posts.  No worries, this isn’t going to be my Mom post, I’m waiting a bit on that.  Hoping it won’t come out or when it does it’s going to be extremely cathartic.  It’s been five years after all.

This does lead me to the interesting thought that I closed my last post with.  I alluded to the fact that I’m not planning to have children.  I vacillate often dependent upon the number of pregnant bellies and bratty children I’ve been in contact with or how much I’ve been enjoying my free time.  Pregnant bellies?  A vote for children, I desperately want a pregnant belly.  Bratty children and quality free time? Votes against children, for obvious reasons.  I think I’m too selfish for children.  I’m not even good at sharing the mac and cheese with Steph, it’s mine.  Overall, having children with four legs, fur, and of the feline variety are much easier.  

When we adopted the tripod, Rico Suave, he brought a cold into our household.  Rico is a treasure, he is the sweetest kitten in the world but he gave a bug to Louise.  Louise has a chronic respiratory issue and if there is the tiniest feline sniffle, he’ll catch it and turn it into a full blown cold.  The twins have since caught the cold, Winston is over it but Cooper is still nursing it.  Before you think I’m the worst cat Mama ever, everyone is still eating, drinking, and playing but they’re also sleeping and cuddling a little more.  So, by my years of cat experience, I’m guessing they can’t be toooo sick.  The other night, at bedtime, Cooper came to lay down on my chest.  He was laying under the blankets, warm, content, and purring.  It was one of the few moments in which I have had cats (that weren’t being bottle fed), that I truly felt like a Mom.  He was laying there saying, “I feel like crap but you’re making me feel good.”  He’s a cat and it was a pretty incredible feeling.  Imagine what it would’ve felt like if he was a human being?  Pretty serious reason to have a kid.

There’s more though.  Think about the world.  How overpopulated and messed up it is.  Yeah, there’s a lot of amazing in the world.  From the beauty of nature in places like Yosemite (yes, very cliche but I am SO in love with my other home) to the beauty of individuals (my Pastor who overlooks my lifestyle and loves me just because I am a human being), I would love to share all of those things with a mini-me.  I want to share all of the good things.  I don’t think I’m strong enough to protect another human being from all the bad in the world.

Someone recently called me a pessimist because we were discussing the fact that I don’t want to bring a kid into my family.  I posted about my family recently.  They suck.  Chemical imbalances, selfishness, backstabbing, etc etc etc… If I wasn’t already biologically related to them I’d do my best to avoid it.  Why would I want to subject another kid to that?  Especially when it’s my choice and responsibility?  Chemical imbalances are no joke, they make you do scary, creepy things.  That’s lurking in my DNA somewhere.  Maybe that is pessimistic but with all the yucky in the world should I really add some more?  Besides, I’m pretty sure that’s the only pessimistic thing about me.

I suppose, in other words, not having a kid is another way to avoid responsibility.  And a lot of it.  There’s nothing wrong with responsibility.  I’m just not very good at it….

Haven’t felt much like writing lately…

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Ready to really get to know me a little bit?  I PMS like a motherfucker… No joke.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit moody anyway.  When I was in my early 20’s I was diagnosed as “mild bipolar,” whatever the fuck that means.  All it has ever really meant to me is an excuse to be exceptionally moody.  I’ve worked pretty hard to control it and hide it, especially since I’ve been lucky enough to have individuals in my life who have insisted that I stop self medicating.  Acid may not have been fixing things but it was certainly a fun distraction.  At least I haven’t cut in nearly ten years or so.

To compound the PMS joy, I’ve recently lost 90 pounds.  According to friends and Google, two sources who are obviously never wrong, this probably means my hormones are in a ridiculous tizzy.  When you loose a significant amount of weight, it takes time for your body to readjust your hormone levels.  Another excuse to be a flaming bitch?  I don’t feel so much like I’ve been a bitch so much as I *constantly* cry and deal with the fluctuating moods.  I think I’ve been crying for the past 24 hours straight.  Somewhere in there we watched “We Bought a Zoo” and I’m totally screwed.  Especially this close to Mother’s Day when my Mom has already been on my mind so much.

I’ve been pretty withdrawn too.  Anyone who knows me, knows that quiet time is nearly impossible to find when I’m around.  I’m always chattering about something in my happy, perky way.  Today I’ve been nearly silent unless directly engaged.  I know it’s all this lame PMS but I hate it and I feel like shit.  I like being my chatty self.  

I would also like my skin back.  I’m not 15 years old anymore.  I don’t need all these skin issues.  Yuck.  

In summation?  To sound like 15 year old me, I hate being a girl.  Especially, since I’m not even going to make it all worth it.