Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Like I'm Losing My Mind

I'm driving myself crazy.

I want to be skinny. Pass me that cookie. I love him. I love him not. I want to be married. I want to be single. I'm going to be alone forever. Leave me the fuck alone.

But  isn't that what people do? Make choices, choose this instead of that? A downtown studio for suburban single family? Trading autonomous whirlwinds of one's twenties for security in one's thirties? Metro cards for car keys? Friday night cocktail flirtations for Sunday morning coffee?

The bottom line, Eli is great. He CAN be great. But our entire relationship, I feel like he's dragging me along while I play catch up learning how to communicate, how to incorporate someone into my life, how to strike a balance, how to not hate existence when I'm out in suburban Maryland and wanting so desperately to disolve into the anonymous, bustling sidewalks of Dupont. How do I not feel like something is missing?

And then ten minutes after I wrote this, he called and I couldn't wait to be back by his side.Thus resetting the spin cycle of my indecision.

So THIS is how it feels to be losing your mind.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

True Love: A Letter

I have things to say, I have people/men/A man to bitch about, but I'm taking the high road (until next week anyway). 

I'm ending Valentine's week, 2012, sharing a letter I've had memorized since childhood (the product of having an historian for a father coupled with a love of Ken Burns soundtracks should suffice for an explanation as to why).  And so I share this letter with you, my Dear Reader, because I've always found its undoubtedly poetic prose and hauntingly romantic sentiment have the ability to help me transcend my own petty existence.  I hope whatever discomforts the week brought for you, it may do the same. 

It is a letter of love and farewell, written in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War, by Sullivan Ballou, a 32 year old lawyer serving in the Union Army. A week after he wrote this letter, he was killed in the Battle of Bull Run. The letter was delivered, posthumously, to his widow, Sarah, who was then 24. 

She never remarried. 

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July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah,

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days – perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Our movements may be of a few days’ duration and full of pleasure – and it may be of some conflict and death to me. "Not my will, but thine, O God be done." If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my Country, I am ready.

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing – perfectly willing – to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and burns unresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me – perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar – that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortunes of this world to shield you and your children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the Spirit-land and hover near you, while you buffet the storm, with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights, advised to your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours, always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys – they will grow up as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the deep memories of childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their character, and feel that God will bless you in your holy work.

Tell my two Mothers I call God's blessing upon them. O! Sarah. I wait for you there; come to me and lead thither my children.


Monday, February 13, 2012

The Good, The Bad, the Fucked up & the Frustrated

The Good
Putting clean sheets on my bed and realizing I didn’t go over my weight watcher points yesterday.

The Bad
The feeling that I’ve lost myself and can’t get it back with the person I’m supposed to love. Did he suck it out of me? Did I give myself away willingly? Was it a combination f the two? All I know is that I can’t be myself, I don’t feel loved and I don’t feel whole enough to stand on my own right now. Which leaves me a bit…nowhere.

The Fucked Up
Walking out abruptly on my friends at a restaurant because I didn’t want Eli* to know I was out with friends eating and drinking. I am not going to pretend that this wasn’t fucked up on a great many levels.

The Frustrating
I am currently my own worst enemy. I don’t want to lay down, I don’t want to stand up, I don’t want to talk about my feelings, I don’t want to FEEL my feelings, I don’t want to work, I don’t want to take care of myself, I don’t want to do the things I KNOW will make me feel better. I’m not acting like myself. I’m not treating myself or those around me with respect. I want to feel loved in my relationship, but I don’t feel safety, acceptance or support – so how can I open myself to love? But how can I bear I start all over? I just want to curl up in my mother’s arms and cry. I want my dad to tell me what to do. I want someone to give me some answers. Because frankly, at this moment I have nothing but doubt and dread. 

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*My boyfriend of 9 months