King’s Island

Here I am, almost at 3 weeks single, and I’m still alive. I’m still breathing, working, eating (some), sleeping, and doin ma thang. It hasn’t been easy, but life goes on. My emotions seem to be on an extended trip to King’s Island, taking full advantage of every roller coaster ride. Their favorite coaster is “Flight of Fear” (Yes, I’m aware that King’s Island has new ownership and all the names of the rides have changed, however; I will continue to call them by their original names). All it takes is a smell, a song, a memory, or a text from him, and I go from 0 to 54mph down that dark tunnel, twisting, turning, flipping, lurching. But, then it’s over, and relief is in sight.

I have friends and family to be thankful for. The people who sit next to me, behind me, in front of me on the ride. They listen, they hug, they call to see how I’m doing, and I know they pray. I know, because I feel it.

Earlier this week, when I was talking to my roommate and feeling especially low, I had an epiphany. You can have all of your friends and family around you, supporting you, but all it takes is that One Person to make you feel completely alone.

Think about it.

It’s true, isn’t it?

When you open up your heart to someone, I mean really open up, and they become your best friend/lover/confidant, and then you lose them…there is a big, empty hole.

So of course the only thing to do is fill it, right? But this is where it gets tricky, because there are soooo many things we can choose to try and fill that void with: food, alcohol, escaping into movies/books, exercising, work, social outings, shopping…you name it. None of these things are bad in themselves, and they do help in a way…but they are only temporary, only a distraction.

I bought a cute little square to hang on my wall today that reads “All you need is love.” I believe that to be true. The Bible says “Perfect love casts out all fear,” and “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. ”

There are different kinds of love.

There is the love between friends, which means the world to me. I’m not sure how I could do life without it. All it takes is a text with a funny video of Mer’s music students, or a FaceTime with Linds, or a Facebook message from Meg to lift me up. Roommates with a care package full of cute goodies to make you smile, a long-time friend to hold you when you cry…all of these are acts of love. All of these make me less empty.

There is the love of parents, which I’m so blessed to have. Calls from Dad telling me he loves me, just checking in. Texts and talks with Mom that only mothers and daughters can understand.

And of course, the love between a man and woman. I still have it, it hasn’t gone anywhere (much to my frustration) but it is no longer tangible, no longer acted out, rarely spoken. There is nothing there to hold it, or keep it, so it’s just kind of, there. Hanging out. Chillin. It no longer fills me. I don’t know what to do with it now.

I can’t help but wonder, if this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Are we, as humans, meant for our love to be misplaced? Are relationships meant to end before one passes from this life? My soul cries no! It feels so unnatural. If you’ve loved and lost, can’t you relate? When a relationship ends, and you didn’t want it to, in a way, it is like a death in the family.

I know, this all seems so dramatic, but let’s face it. Life and relationships are dramatic.

The video above is from an excellent movie. If you haven’t seen it, do. It had been years since I watched it, and when this scene came it was as if B and I had reenacted it. Literally, this conversation was had, in almost the exact same way. I was Jennifer Anniston’s character and he was Ben Affleck’s.

You never think you will end up in a place like that.

While your love for another can sometimes blind you to the truth, and leave you hurting; the love of others can warm you, open your eyes, and heal you.

I’m still learning about the kind of love the Bible talks about. I’m still trying to emulate it. It isn’t easy, but something tells me it’s worth it.

General Tso

Mondays…this one wasn’t like the usual. A lack of sleep had me waking up late, and throwing my hair up in a bun. That’s what I do when I’m on day 3 hair. Yes, I typically wash my hair every 3 days. Why? Because I’m too lazy to wash it every day. It’s thick and long and washing it is such a chore. Anyways…

I was surprisingly busy with customers this morning. Really…who likes to shop on a Monday before 12? Not I.

So that happened.

And I drank a lot of coffee because I was cold.

And then,something  absolutely crazy happened.

I had a craving for Chinese food.

If you know me, you will be just as amazed as I was.

I was standing there, talking to an associate about foods, and it hit me.

So on my way home I drove several miles out of the way to stop at a dumpy restaurant called Panda something or other, and ordered waaay too much noodles, rice, and General Tso. When the really nice cashier showed me the combination plate it was all over. I was so excited to get home and dip my fork into all that greasy, saucy, goodness, and it smelled tantalizing in the car.

I threw on my sweats, started Netflix, and dug in. Oh, it tasted amazing at first. The oriental flavors made my mouth water…

and then about halfway through the first carton, I remembered why I never eat Chinese food.

30 minutes later, I’ve  barely made a dent in all those fried carbs, I’m light headed, and my hands are shaky. After about 10 bites it all started to lose its flavor, and after about 13 I could hardly stand the smell anymore. Now it’s all sitting in my fridge…and the thought of eating it tomorrow repulses me.

Sigh…

“Why?” I ask myself. I don’t like Chinese and I never have. Where did that craving come from? I can’t tell you. Maybe my body was confused…maybe it thought it wanted Chinese when really it wanted Greek. Or, maybe it thought that Lo Mein is similar to peas…I hated them as a kid, but now enjoy them. Maybe it’s due to the monthly cycle, or my recent breakup, or the time change, or maybe it’s maybelline. I don’t know.

Now I’m going to sit here and think about what I’ve done.

Thanks for nothing, General Tso.  At least the cashier was really nice.

Iris

“I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends… you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he’ll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you’ll go somewhere new. And you’ll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade.”

– Iris, The Holiday

This has been one of my favorite quotes since I first watched The Holiday back in 2008. At that time, I found myself relating to the character Iris in such a way that it was almost healing. I would cry, and the beautiful music would soothe me. I became almost obsessive with the franchise for about 2 months — buying the soundtrack and blasting it in my car, making mom and all my friends watch it with me, and writing the quotes in my journal.

For the past two years, I had hoped that Iris would remain a part of my past, but, once again, I find her resonating with me in a profound way. I woke up with that miserable loneliness hanging over me like a hazy, grey cloud and new immediately that I would relish escaping into that movie world, yet again.

I went down into the basement to search through my unpacked boxes, and somehow it was misplaced in the move. No worries, I stopped at Target a midst my errands (as is often the case) and there it was, nestled in the $5 movie section. The film that has helped me through the grieving process of 3 broken relationships has been reduced to the price of a Big Mac Meal. Well, that’s OK, it’s easier on my wallet, but for all of you brokenhearted, newly single women out there…this movie is worth $50 for what it will do to your heart.

So, take the advise of Iris: join a gym, drink chardonnay with your girlfriends, do something that makes your feel beautiful, but most of all…give it time. Some of us have been here before, we fought the fight for our love, and we lost. Time will heal, I promise. Just breathe those roses in deep.

– Bek