Something I’ve Never Been

Well, I got my down-time, in an unexpected way.

I ended up with pneumonia, & had to stay home for a couple of days. 

Not exactly what I was going for, but then again, is it ever?

I have, however, had a lot of time to think. Which could be good or bad, considering who’s doing the thinking, since I tend to overthink every-fucking-thing. 

I’m tired of being alone all the time. I’m tired of my days consisting of nothing more than work, working out, & working on the book & house. 

And while I adore my Beloved Nephew, having my only real adult conversations be on the phone with someone hundreds of miles away…well, sometimes it lacks a little something.

Ok, I’ll come right out and say it. 

I want to date again. I want to feel desirable and wanted, and I want someone to look in my eyes and see me again. I want someone to hold my hand, to push my hair back behind my ear as they lean in for a kiss, and to cuddle with me on cold evenings.

I want to walk through the park in the brisk fall air, crunching the leaves beneath my boots & breathing in the autumn scents. I want to sit & listen to another person talk about their day, tell me all about it. 

I want to feel them lying next to me in bed, heartbeat under my hand…falling asleep together, and waking up the next day to tangled limbs & avoiding each other’s morning breath.

I want the disagreements, because they’re fucking normal, and to be able to work through them and talk them out like the grownups we are, even if we both have to throw mini hissy-fits first. 

I want the long days where it seems like nothing’s gone right, and the long nights that you never want to end. I want the passion and the friendship and the affection and the laughter and the tears, yes, even the tears, as long as we can overcome them. 

I want to be normal, and be like those couples I see out at restaurants & in stores, laughing with each other, telling inside jokes – I want to have inside jokes with someone again. 

I want all of these things, but then…my heart stutters, my eyes well up, & I remember that everyone leaves me.

I don’t get to have normal.

I don’t know why…

But it’s something I’ve never been.

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Heartbeat

This evening was beautiful.

I spent some time outside, knowing it was probably going to be one of the few, really nice days left of the fall weather.

I mowed, & planted my lily bulbs for next spring.

I got back in touch with the heartbeat of the earth, and with my own.

And while I was working my hands in the dirt…I was thinking about “Things”.

How many “things” I have.

How many I care about.

Whether I care about “things” at all.

And I came to a conclusion.

The only things I truly Care about…

All have a heartbeat.

My family, chosen and blood, my friends, my 2 cats.

Everything else can be replaced.

But not the heartbeats.

Those are finite.

I’ve lost a few of those over the years, and a handful just within the last couple of years. They are irreplaceable. Gone forever, they exist now only in my memories, and in the memories of the others whose lives they touched.

And, sometimes it hurts, knowing that the only way I can connect to the heartbeats I love so much is through the phone.

This is why I’ve thought about moving closer to my Beloved Nephew.

At least being there, I know I’d be near someone who truly wanted me to be there. Someone who values my heartbeat as much as I value his. As Chosen Family, and my best friend, our friendship is one of those irreplaceable things I cherish.

And here… Well, after everything that’s happened here, I do have a couple of good friends, but no romantic life… and pretty much only painful reminders of heartbreak and rejection. Not exactly a rousing endorsement to stay.

So, I’m going to pack my heartbeat up in cotton, and pad it against breakage for the coming cold months. I’ll work on savoring the moments I get to have with those I cherish, even if it’s only over the phone, and get rid of a few “things” I no longer need.

There’s plenty I can do without.

I Wear My Scars

I wear my scars in words

Draped casually over my wrists like bracelets

Lashed fiercely around my waist

Slashed along my lips

Dripping from every pore of my soul

I wear my heart in my eyes

So I keep them down, most of the time

Look away, or be burned

Or drowned

Or saved

Bathed in blue, they’ll tell you the truth

Never lie

But I don’t wear my love at all

I fling it, give it away, pass it to the Chosen like candy, 

Like a child bringing you dandelions in summer

Gathered so Excitedly — FREE FLOWERS?!?

YES! 

Sweaty, heaping handfuls of love passed over, watching your face for acceptance…

Appreciation…

Approbation..

Affection….

Reciprocation…

I wear my scars with words.

And lay them before you in humility.

9/21/17

My Love

There are so many ways to love, it staggers the imagination to even contemplate.

I’ve learned, over the years, to never take any scrap of it for granted.

Too many loves lost.

A sister of the heart, taken too soon by cancer.

Lovers, who left me reeling in the wake of their departures.

Ex-husbands who withdrew their affections, leaving their own scars on my soul as they were cut from my heart and life.

Friends, whose deaths were painful reminders that you have to LIVE each moment you have with them, so that you can be the remaining living testament and monument of their life.

This is why I don’t hide my love for others.

This is why I tell the people that I care about, that I love them. 

Because we all need to know.

We need to know that someone loves us.

Without limitation, without obligation, unconditionally, loves us.

When I talk to my Beloved Nephew, my kids, my parents… I always end the call with “I love you”.

Always.

Because I want them to know.

If something were to happen, I want them to remember that our last conversation ended that way.

With Love.

With other friends, it’s more difficult… Awkward, because, some get it tangled up with the sentiment of being “in love”.

The two are not the same.

I am not “in love” with anyone right now, because that has to be reciprocal. It involves knowing someone else well enough to know that that other person has you in their heart the same way you have them in yours. It involves passion as well as compassion. It involves the desire to remain with that one person as a partner.

No one wants me in that way.

But there are plenty of people I love.

If I could tell them…

And while I might not say the exact words out loud…there are other ways to express it.

A teasing text, a “drive safe”, a “sleep well”, a concerned question as to their well-being… All of this and more are ways to show them I love them.

I just wish they’d let me say the words without freaking out. If I could explain, maybe, and yet…I know it’ll end up the same as always. And I’ll be left with the shadow of them disappearing into the distance again.

Because my love seems to be frightening in its intensity, even though it really isn’t. It is given unconditionally, with no expectation of reciprocity. Whether they love me back or not…doesn’t really matter.

I’d still be here for them.

Because that’s who I am.

It kills me over and over, but I die willingly each time. Because love is worth the pain.

I’ve seen both sides.

Love is so worth it.

In talking to the Beloved Nephew tonight, we discussed this post, and I came out with something I had to add.

Unconditional love, by my definition, means that you love someone enough to want only the best for the person you care about – even if that does not involve you.

It might be painful, but that’s not the point. The point is, that the person you love, gets what they need, and that you are happy for them because this means they’ll be better for it. And if that means their life moves away from yours…it doesn’t mean you love them any less…it means you love them enough to give them up. 

To watch someone attain their heart’s desire, their goal, their next step in life, whatever it us – and to cheer them on in their endeavor, this is love. To support them emotionally as they strive for their goal, this is love.

To step back – if they need you to – to walk away – if they need you to – this too is love. Even when it burns.

Babies are born inherently selfish. They have to be in order to survive. They have to reach out and demand everything from those around them just to live and thrive.

Unconditional love is not something we’re born with.

It is something we learn.

It is something we have to be given, in order to give it away.

And, I’ve found, that those I’ve met who understand the true meaning of unconditional love, don’t always come from conventional upbringings.

They don’t always come from the perfect 2 parent households.

But – they always come from a life where someone, somewhere in their life, gave them unconditional love.

They were taught how to love that way.

So, they know how to love that way.

I was taught by many throughout my life. Family, friends, children, lovers…they all showed me in different ways about different facets of love.

So many ways to love.

So many people I love.

I just wish they all understood my love.

To Dream or Not…

I hate to sleep anymore.

And yet, I crave the black, unconscious depths.

The problem is… The dreaming.

I can’t stand the dreams.

Falling into slumber, I dream of happy times, with someone to love, someone who cares for me, and revels in being with me. 

You’d think this would make me happy, right?

But, it doesn’t.

Because…I wake, knowing it’s false.

And I have to go through my day, knowing it’s fake, only imaginary, and the crushing reality of that aches in my chest, drags in my bones, and clogs my throat with tears I can’t allow to pass.

Love passes me by in the night, teasing, mocking, showing me what I long for, but can never grasp.

So, I force myself to exhaustion each night, punishing my body and mind, pushing myself to my limits of endurance, hoping that by the time I hit the bed, I’ll be too worn to dream, too tired to see those visions behind my eyelids.

I walk on my treadmill each night till my legs scream & sweat rolls down my face. Shower, eat the bare minimum to tide myself over til morning, then read til my eyes cross & I can no longer focus on the page.

The last two nights I’ve sat up til 2am…just to push myself to that brink where I knew I would tip over the edge into the abyss, falling into black unconsciousness…not dreaming, just existing in a dreamless hover until the alarm rang 5 hours later.

I don’t remember my dreams from those nights…what a blessing.

I don’t know how long I’ll have to continue this cycle…

But I can’t let myself dream.

I can’t continue to be tormented with things I will never have…

They Always Leave

I feel as though I will spend the rest of my life mostly alone, with scattered moments of companionship, only to have it broken when they leave.

Because they always do.

I get tired of trying.

It seems as though every time I get anywhere near a relationship with someone, some switch gets flipped in their head that sets off a fear response in them, and they bolt.

Me? I’m just over here being myself. Trying to be a good person, a decent girlfriend, not knowing what the hell is going on when they break for the gate.

I’m not psycho, not clingy, I don’t insist that they only spend time with me, or that they ignore their friends while we’re dating. I try to be supportive, considerate, compassionate, understanding, & patient (although that’s not really one of my assets, I am working on it).

In talking to my friends, they seem to be as baffled as I am when these guys have broken things off, because things seemed to be going so well…then – nothing.

Fear – seems to be the leading culprit, but I don’t know why.

What’s so terrifying about being in a monogamous relationship? 

You get to have someone there, who has your best interests at heart, someone who will have your back when you’re against the wall. Someone who will help you up when you’re down, & will be with you when you’re lonely. Or, conversely, will leave you alone when you need your space – at least – if they know you at all, & know that’s what you need.

You’d have someone who would rub your feet after a long, difficult day, & would laugh with you over the silly, stupid stuff. Also, they’d get mad for you over the times you felt mistreated by others. 

You’d have someone who would take care of you, who you could care for in return…

What’s so awful about that?

What’s so frightening, that men feel the need to run from it at speeds that defy definition?

Geezus, it’s not like I ever got down on bended knee and asked any of them to marry me, or even asked any of them to profess their undying love for me.

I told them how I felt, and left it at that, because I don’t fucking play games, and I’ve lost too many people in my life to not tell those I care about how I feel about them.

I guess, if growing old alone is their idea of happiness, then I’m better off away from them.

But, I just wish I could find one out there that isn’t a coward.