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Rainy Day Thoughts

Sitting outside tonight amongst the lush fauna, listening to the rain pour onto the cedar deck.

So this is fall…

I can hear raindrops falling hard into a plastic bucket in some obscure spot in the distance.  It hits loudly, frantically and my heart beats with it anxiously.

I feel sad today.  Maybe it’s this weather, maybe it’s because I overslept or maybe it’s because work hasn’t been great, but I feel bummed and on the verge of tears.  I’m sick of working so hard, I’m sick of busting my ass.  The good news is I’m nearly at my savings goal.  The bad news is I’m fairly miserable.  Thank God I have New Zealand in my near future to look forward to.
I have so much in my life to be grateful for (where do I even begin?) I need to focus on these positive aspects of my life.

Last night I had a bit of a panic attack… On my blog stats I noticed that my posts were getting a lot of views, but very few visitors meaning those who were viewing my blog were doing so several times a day.  This horrible image popped into my head of people who knew me laughing at my blog and showing their friends.  I write under a pseudonym so that I can speak honestly and openly about my personal life without fear of embarrassing my family or losing a potential job over it, but that being said if someone in this town were to read my blog it’d be pretty obvious who I am and where I live.  I don’t want my identity to be an absolute secret, I just want to protect my friends and, to an extent, my reputation.  What scares me is the thought of ridicule.  It’s a fear that’s held me back in the past with writing and it continues to haunt me.  I love keeping this blog.  It’s a means for me to express myself and if a few people read it (and who knows, maybe even like it) then that’s just a bonus.  Maybe I’m not where I’d like to be career wise, maybe I don’t have a portfolio like those that I graduated with, but I’ve finally started writing again and thats a huge step for me.  Then I thought:
So what if someone reads this and laughs at me or thinks I’m crazy or weird.  Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.  

I’ll never stop being me and if someone doesn’t like it, then adios bitches!  I’m out of here in 62 days.

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I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Do you believe in love?

I’m talking romantic love, the “real thing,” the kind of love that makes you weak at the knees.

I’m not sure that I do anymore.

I used to be one of those hopeless romantics, but lately I’ve been thinking back to my past relationships.  Never have I been with someone who was as stoked on me as I was on them.  There was always this unevenness:
If I was crazy about them, they’d want nothing to do with me
If they were totally in love with me, I felt lukewarm towards them.
Is that always how it has to be in relationships?  One person cares less and since they hold the power to end the relationship they hold all the cards.  Is it possible for two people to have the same amount of love for each other?

A while ago, someone asked me if I’d ever been in love.  I stopped, thought about it and answered truthfully: “No, I have never been in love.”  I’ve told someone that I loved them, in fact, I’ve said it to a few people.  But they were just words; a tool to move the relationship forward; the obvious next step when you’ve been dating someone for a significant amount of time.  I’ve never actually felt the emotion, or at least what I think it must feel like.

When I was describing my horrific dream the other night I mentioned how vulnerable I felt. This is true about most dreams I have, I feel really strong emotions.  I’ve felt love before in a dream and it was completely different from anything I’ve ever experienced in real life.  I think in this dream I was in college, living in a dorm, the details are sketchy at best but I was dating this guy, again, not a “real person” with a name or a face, but more of a presence.  In this dream I felt love so strong for this person that it engulfed my entire body and mind, it radiated out of me.  I knew that this man was the one, for once in my life I was entirely certain.  When I awoke I felt sad and guilty.  Sad that it was just a dream and guilty because I was in a relationship with a real life man and didn’t feel a shred of those emotions towards him.

I want to believe love does exist and that it will happen to me.  I’d like to think that one day (once I’ve found myself) that I could meet a man and we would both look at each other and know.  No hassle, no bullshit, no games, no drama.  Just two people, love at first sight.  Maybe that won’t happen and since I’m through settling for passionless relationships and eager to travel and see the world and since I am creeping up on my 30s there is a good chance that I may become that cat-loving-spinster I’m always joking about and that’s okay, I’d rather have a life than be someones wife.  But I have to admit, if only to myself, that love and marriage and children is still something I’d like to have in my life… one day.

Maybe it’s the crappy weather that has put me in this self-reflective funk.  Or maybe it’s that I’ve been smoking too much weed and sleeping 12 hours a night.  Or maybe it’s the fact that the first guy I slept with in nearly 4 months fled the town (and the island) immediately after.  It’s probably a lot of things but it’s got me thinking…

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Strange Dreams

I’ve been having strange dreams lately…

The other day I awoke to sunlight streaming through my window.  I sat up slowly and stretched out, thinking to myself I think I just had an intense dream, but I can’t remember what it was about.  I struggled to remember for a few minutes and then suddenly it all came flooding into my mind at once, overwhelming all my senses and causing me to yell out, “OH MY GOD!”
This is what I remembered:

I was at my house with my roommate Shannon and a bunch of her girlfriends, hanging out and having some drinks.  I was sitting outside having a smoke when this guy climbed up onto my back deck and emerged from the thick shrubbery.  He introduced himself casually and said he lived in the neighbourhood and could hear us partying so he thought he would come by and check it out.  At the time it didn’t occur to me to think it odd that he just climbed onto our deck as I live in a friendly neighbourhood where everyone knows everyone, no one locks their doors and people just enter each others homes uninvited and without knocking.  This mysterious man had no distinguishable features, no name, he was a faceless figure, and was more so a presence than a person.  As I began talking to him, I realized that he was a person of interest in the disappearance of an Aboriginal woman in the community as he was seen with her before she went missing.  Although there was no evidence to tie him to any crime, many people in town believed that he had murdered her.  I felt very uneasy around him as he continued to say some very strange and disturbing things to me (the whole interaction was very reminiscent of the time I met “Alex” in my post Negative Nancy.)  My roommate stuck her head out the deck door to tell me that she and her friends were headed out and they would see me later, completely unaware of the fact that my companion was a possible murder suspect.  Horrified at the idea of this man knowing that I was going to be home alone, I told him: “I think I’m going to go join the girls.  Have a good night.”  He remained seated and made no effort to leave so I closed and locked every single sliding glass door and drew all the curtains tightly shut.  I turned off every light in the house to create the appearance that I had left and then locked myself in my bedroom, too scared to actually leave the now empty house in fear that he might attack me.  The remainder of my dream is kind of a blur, but basically it was a bunch of scenarios in which I would go back in forth between believing he was guilty of heinous crimes and believing he was an innocent (albeit really strange and socially awkward) dude. At one point in my dream I was with both of my managers and begging them to let me stay over at their house (they’re roommates in real life) so that I could avoid this person who seemed to be following me everywhere I went.  I was actually dating my one manager and I can distinctly remember this overwhelming feeling of vulnerability that lessened slightly when I was in his arms.  The dream ended with me walking past a hotel and looking up to one of the very top floors and there was this man just staring down at me, completely unmoving and I screamed at the top of my lungs and woke up.

When the dream came back to me, I sat in bed recalling all the details in absolute horror.  Why did I dream about being stalked by a scary guy?  What could it mean?  Was it some sort of warning?  I thought about the night with “Alex” and shuddered.  The whole dating my boss thing, what did that mean?  Was I secretly in love with him or something?  I’ve always felt he harboured a little crush on me, was my subconscious telling me to try viewing him in another light?  I felt overwhelmed and sauntered upstairs in the hopes that someone else was home that I might confide in.  I made coffee in an effort to calm my nerves and sat sipping it while still reflecting on my nightmare.  Shannon came upstairs at one point and I began to relay my dream to her, still at an utter loss on what it might mean.

I continued to think about it all day and all night.  When I got home from work, I smoked a bowl and contemplated it some more.  I thought about what Martha Beck says about dreams in her book Steering by Starlight (I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book changed my life so I refer back to her advice on a daily basis.)  Beck says that in order to understand your dreams you must see the dream through the viewpoint of the symbols.  It seems silly, but it actually involves narrating the dream as the symbol.  So in my case I said: “I’m scary and ominous, I look over your every move and cause you anxiety and fear to the point of paralysis.”  But as I continued this exercise I was still at a loss on what this man represented.  I climbed into bed and began to forget about it as I started to drift off.  As I was on the verge of sleep, the answer came into my head.  It was so loud and clear it was like an explosion and it was one word: Doubt.

Doubt.  It seemed so obvious and fitting.  Doubt is always in the back of my mind; doubt is what keeps me from making a decision; doubt is what makes me fearful; and doubt is what pushes me into relationships I don’t really want just so I can grasp onto some sort of buoy in the rough seas of life.  The fact that both my managers were in my dream says a lot as I feel doubtful in my current positions and doubtful of both of them as leaders.  I doubted I could ever muster up the courage and strength to travel and follow my dreams and I doubted I would ever make it overseas to teach English.  In fact, as I write this, it still seems doubtful that I’ll ever do any of the things I’ve set out to do.  It’s that doubt that stalks me and makes me paralyzed in fear.  And the whole overarching theme of: Is this man guilty or is he innocent?  It relates back to: Can I do it or will I fail?

Such a profound and life changing moment in my life.  What started off as a frightening dream has become fodder for some serious self-reflection.  I guess I really need to work on having more confidence…

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September is for Self Sabotage

Damn, I want a cigarette is all I can think right now.  As I begin to write this, I still haven’t fully processed just what the fuck has happened.

The other night there was a party at my friends’ house so my co-worker convinced me to check it out with him when we finally finished work.  Of course, I walked in the door and an extremely inebriated Dan was the first person I saw.  Of course, he hugged me and started acting all flirty while reminiscing on our past encounters.  I excused myself to do a lap, but somehow ended up talking to Dan again.  At one point, my brother literally stepped in between the two of us and started talking to me and now I realize why… because he saw something in my eyes and was doing his best to put a stop to it.  Because in that moment I really hoped something would happen between Dan and I.  If it were ever to happen again, it would be right now I rationalized, I’m drunk, he’s drunk, we’re vibing.

As I stepped outside to enjoy a smoke, he followed me and began mooching off me, as is his way.
“Seriously, you’ve smoked half of every pack I’ve ever bought, you really need to buy me a pack!  And pick up a pack for yourself since obviously you’re a smoker too.”
“I’m not a smoker anymore,” he retorted, “I smoke maybe a cigarette a week.  It’s only when I’m drunk.  Or when I’m around other people smoking.”
“I think it’s only around me because you take advantage of my good nature,” I responded, but still, I shared all of my last few cigarettes with him.
Later on, I was sitting with him on the front steps and went inside the house to use the bathroom, when I came out he was gone.  Biked home; didn’t even say goodbye.  I wasn’t all the surprised, but it still hurt, a lot.  I like the expression “heavy hearted” cause that’s exactly what it felt like: my heart had sunk to the bottom of my stomach.  Why was I doing this to myself?  Why was I letting him into my life and just throwing myself in his line of fire?  I just kept giving and giving and he kept taking and taking.  I couldn’t even stand up for myself.  Hadn’t I learned anything?

When my friend offered me a little bit of mushrooms, I gladly took them.  It was, after all, officially September, we all had reason to celebrate the end of summer.  The mushies hit me hard and I spent the remainder of the night getting followed around by one of the roommates 20-year-old brother who was visiting from out of town.  I began to seriously contemplate going for it, he may have been young but he was totally beautiful.
“Don’t forget about the staff party tomorrow,” my co-worker called as he left.
“I won’t! I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Hey, I got invited to that thing,” the 20-year-old chimed in, “My brother’s girlfriend works there.”
The two of us then decided it would be a brilliant idea to try and stay up all night and show up absolutely wrecked to a daytime party full of families with young children.  By 5 am we were passed out spooning on the futon.  Again, I seriously considered taking it further, it was, after all, September and I had lasted the whole summer like I set out to.  But he seemed so nervous and when I considered the fact that he would tell his brother, who would tell his girlfriend, who would tell everyone at work, who would tell everyone else including Dan, I decided against it, but thought that even saints deserved a good cuddle sesh.
The draught continues I thought, but I was so very wrong...

In the morning it was pissing rain, so I got a ride with my bike and we all stopped for breakfast sandwiches.  The guys were discussing getting stoned on the couch and watching movies all day and I felt incredibly jealous.  I didn’t want to spend my only day off at this event; I didn’t want to ride into town, go on a boat, and be out in the rain surrounded by families and happy couples; I didn’t want to socialize and make small talk with my relatively new co-workers.  I. Just. Didn’t. Want. To.  I wanted to take a hungover day for myself and I wanted to start by having a nap.  My co-workers texted trying to convince me to come, but I relented.  I (wrongfully) assumed that I wouldn’t be missed at the 100+ event.  To this day, I’m not sure what it was that changed.  I had every intention to go to this thing up until that moment.  Maybe it was my own insecurities or just plain laziness, but what I did that day was very entertaining indeed…

“John? John?”  I heard my roommates name being shouted down the hall.
I stuck my head out my open door to see his best friend Jess.
“John went to the staff party with Carlie,” I told him, “How’re you doing?  Long time no see.”
He began to tell me about how he was going through some hard times and feeling rather depressed about his recent breakup.  I climbed back in my bed and invited him to sit down in my room. I listened to him talk and tried to offer advice and encouraging words and then gave him a huge hug.
“Would it be strange if we cuddled?” he asked me.
“I was actually kind of thinking the same thing.”
We started spooning and at one point in our cuddle session he began sort of massaging me.
Okay where is this going?
Then his hand grazed my braless breasts and I gasped, he continued to massage around them while playing with the waist of my pj pants.
I should probably stop this… but maybe not just yet
He continued to explore and I didn’t stop it, it just felt too good.
It wasn’t long before we were both naked and I was digging around in my dresser in search for condoms.  The two of us got down and dirty and the weirdest part was that not once in our entire encounter did we kiss.  There was no intimacy involved whatsoever, just straight animalistic sex and it was pretty hot.  I came twice and we both collapsed on the bed.
“How the fuck did this happen?” I gasped.
“I have no idea,” he replied.
And with that we both passed out, still cuddling unit I woke up again at 4 in the afternoon.
I had a missed call, voicemail and text from my manager saying that they’d all like to see me present at the staff party.
Shit I thought.  I looked over at a naked Jess, shit shit shit!

We started talking, trying to comprehend what had taken place between us.
“I always thought you were hot,” he admitted, “and thought about asking you on a date.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“I thought you were seeing someone at the time.”
“I guess I was,” i said, thinking back on how I was smitten with Dan when I first met Jess and then he had gotten a girlfriend shortly after.  I’d always thought Jess was cute, but thought nothing more of it since he was John’s best friend.  He was also close with my girlfriend Sally and I had encouraged her to go for him when he became newly single, but she always saw him in the friendship light.
As if reading my thoughts, he said, “You know, Sally’s going through some stuff right now too.  She and I are good friends and we’ve only ever been friends, but I don’t know if she can handle this… maybe we shouldn’t tell her.”
“You know her better than me.  If that’s how you feel…” I had no problem keeping our indiscretion quiet, but the first person I thought of telling was her.
“So, I think you’re really cool and I’m not seeing anyone right now at all, so I think…”
“I’m leaving soon,” I told him, “I wanna keep things casual, but I would like to spend some time with you, get to know you, just take it day by day you know?”
“Yeah okay, sounds good.  Maybe we could hang out tonight?  After I have dinner at Sally’s?  I gotta go teach a surf lesson now.”
We exchanged numbers, hugged, but still, not a single kiss, not even a peck.

That night, after texting back and forth, he came over when everyone else was asleep and we threw down again like we had earlier and passed out in each others arms.  Having the satisfaction of sex and the warmth of a man next to me was incredible.

I woke up in the morning to my roommate texting me, asking if I was ready to go for breakfast.  I groaned and texted her back that I needed 20 minutes, then started laughing because obviously she knew not to enter my bedroom.
“I gotta go have breakfast,” I groggily informed him.
“I’m supposed to be having breakfast with my boss in a little bit,” he yawned.
I got ready, but he stayed in bed, “I’m just gonna sleep a little bit longer.”
I hugged him and told him I’d talk to him later.  When I returned home from breakfast, a part of me hoped he would still be in my bed, but he was gone.  I lay in bed all day and thought about the situation over and over again.  I lamented going to work in fear that everyone was mad at me and that I’d get fired for not attending.
Why didn’t I just go to my staff party?  Then none of this would have happened.  I would never have fucked Jess and my life would still be boring but uncomplicated.
Yet I didn’t regret any of my actions, in fact, given the chance I’d do it all over again.  What I really felt guilty about was my lack of remorse.  I knew I should regret getting involved with someone so mentally and emotionally unstable, it was just asking for trouble.  But I believe we both just really needed it, we sort of helped each other.

That night at work, everyone asked why I wasn’t at the party, but no one seemed mad.  I couldn’t very well admit I was busy getting laid all afternoon, so I made up a bevy of excuses: I was tired, under the weather, not feeling it, etc.
When I left, I had a text from Jess.  I wanted to see him, so I texted him back asking him about his day.  No response.  One day later and still nothing.  Finally he texted me to say he was going to the mainland for a week for work.  I asked him when he was leaving, he informed me that he was already gone.  That was the last I heard from him.

Now I’m really starting to trip out.  Do I continue this messed up relationship with him?  Do I tell my roommate John?  Would he even care?  Do I tell Sally?  If she found out would she be mad?  Or just mad that I kept it from her?  What the hell do I do?!?!  I guess I wait the week out and try to sort out my thoughts.

Apparently the theme for September is self-sabotage starting right off the bat and turning my whole world upside-down.  Shit.

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Keeping Promises to Myself

I think the Universe really wants me to keep this whole, “No Guys for a Year, or At Least for the Summer” vow…

The other weekend there was a local music festival going on.  I, of course, was stuck working doubles the entire time and didn’t make it to any of the shows.
On the Saturday night my manager, who was hosting one of the bands from Minnesota, invited me to the bonfire on the beach.  At this point it was midnight and I had to be up again at 5:30 am to work my morning job so I did the very “responsible” thing and opted to go to bed instead.  A very intoxicated Kennedy attended and phoned me the next day to tell me how fun the show had been and how she’d spent the night sucking face with the captivating lead singer.  I couldn’t help but feel the pangs of jealousy as I’ve been itching for a good make out session for weeks now.

The band ended up coming into my restaurant for dinner and I excitedly asked my manager who the lead singer was.
“Is it that blonde guy?” I questioned eyeing up an absolute babe at their table.
“No,” he responded, “he’s not with them right now.  That guy’s not even in the band he’s a photographer and friend tagging along on the tour.”
I finished work pretty late again, but by some divine miracle I didn’t have to be up for work the next morning, so when my manager suggested I come over and have a beer with the band I gladly obliged.  Besides, I was curious to see the guy that had my bestie so stoked.

When I arrived I was informed that Kennedy and this dude had disappeared together.  So I drank espresso stout and partook in flirty banter with the cute blonde hipster.  We laughed and chatted until, suddenly, it was 3 am.  The boys were headed out on their tour in a few short hours.  Everyone insisted I stay overnight and I seriously considered it, but with 8 guys and 1 girl sharing a 2 bedroom basement suite I decided instead to make the sketchy bike ride home.  I said my goodbyes and headed out, but every time I thought of the blonde haired hotty I felt jolts of excitement.  That’s when I began to reflect…
If I hadn’t been so busy working doubles (and if I hadn’t had this second job fall into my lap for that matter) I’d be at that beach fire, I’d be drunk, and I undoubtedly would have made out with this guy.  If I hadn’t met this dude a mere few hours before he was leaving town forever and if he hadn’t been sleeping in such close proximity to the band members with virtually no privacy, something would likely have happened.  My circumstances made it impossible for me to hookup with the first interesting guy I’ve met in months.  Things really happen for a reason.  But that’s not all.

My hectic work schedule has destroyed my social life and has practically forced me to save a huge sum of money.  This in turn, has lead me to a life changing decision:
Come November the beautiful Kennedy and myself will be leaving this crazy town and headed for NEW ZEALAND!  There is a divine path I am meant to follow.  It’s time to move on and New Zealand is beckoning.

Well played Universe, well played.

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The Universe Smiles Upon Me

A couple days ago, my girlfriends from my Uni days came down for a visit.  As is our nature we got super wasted the first night at a BBQ I threw in their honour.  Jane made out with a ginger all night in my bed; Sendal kept insisting people had different names and then demanding they show her their IDs; Andi was the voice of reason; and I embarrassed myself in front of a bunch of French guys by being too wasted to hold my head up and balling my eyes out at the beach.

But I digress…

The next day, completely hungover, we all lay at the beach while I spent an excessive amount of time griping to my friends about Dan.  All 4 of us are incredibly single, without prospects and going through varying draughts and therefore have nothing better to do than vent about the last men in our lives.
“I don’t know why I even like him so much,” I huffed, “He’s just so gorgeous, I wish you girls could see him and judge for yourselves.  Facebook does not do him justice.”
“We’ll be on the lookout for a cute guy on crutches,” Andi laughed.  (He’s currently on crutches… long story, not worth telling)

The next day we went to checkout some tourist spots and I asked the girls if they wanted to go on a shore pine boardwalk.  We started driving out to the junction, but after about 20 minutes we decided against it as we were pressed for time.
“Let’s go to this beach,” I insisted as we passed a sign for the upcoming turn off “I’ve actually never been out here before.”
We made our way down the many rickety stairs towards the beach and had some fun frolicking in the sand.  On the way back I saw Dan’s roommates and said hi before continuing up the stairs ahead of my friends when lo and behold, who do I see but Dan, hobbling painstakingly slowly down the steep, wooden steps.
I greeted him and he gave me that breathtaking smile that made me week at the knees. We made small talk and I introduced him to my friends as they passed him 1 by 1, they each spotted the crutches and gave him a knowing smile.
“We might have a party tonight, I’ll text you,” he said as we parted ways.

My friends could barely contain their smirks.  Back at the car they all burst out laughing.
“He’s not as hot as you made him out to be.”
“You’re a lot better looking than he is.”
“You should give yourself a little more credit, you’ve dated hotter guys than that and you can definitely do better.”
“Thanks girls,” I replied, “I think I really just need to hear that…”
Because for the first time, I actually believed what they were saying…

Imagine, out of the 14 some odd beaches in the area and at the ONE beach I had never been to, the ONE beach that has so many stairs, what are the chances that we’d both be there at the same time?  What are the chances we’d decide against our original plans last minute and end up there?  What are the chances we’d be going opposite ways on the stairs at the exact same moment?  And what are the chances my friends would each get an opportunity to pass closely by him and inspect him head to toe?  I felt that the Universe gave me this moment and was like, “Okay, this is what you wanted.  If this is what you need to feel reassured and finally move on, then here it is!”
When I think back to the moment we first met it’s like, damn, how many more signs do I need before I finally realize I shouldn’t be with him?

~~~

Another wonderful moment the Universe bestowed onto me:

While riding my bike to work a couple days later, I felt lousy.  Although this has been the greatest summer of my life, I couldn’t stop wishing that it would end.  Between working two jobs, trying to keep up with writing and school and friends and running and surfing, plus all the people I have constantly popping in from out of town, between all the tourists and crowds and noise: I’m totally worn out.
Anyway, I was thinking about all that stuff and about how much I hated my job.  I kept thinking how I’ll never receive any recognition or praise and how I’ll never experience a night that’s anything less than totally chaotic, how I’ll always have this feeling of dread in my stomach before my shift starts.

When I got to work all the day girls were in a panic and complaining how busy it was.
Great, here we go again!

But it didn’t get busy.  And it continued in this calm manner.  Then my very gruff and intense owner called me over,
“I just wanted to say, you’re doing a great job for being so new.  You’re smart and you don’t ask stupid questions.  I’m not one to just hand out compliments, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate it.”

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!  Thank you Universe!  The night was so rad and everything went so smoothly, I was on fire.  I even got to leave somewhat early and hangout with my girl Kennedy.

Sometimes life can hand you a precious gift when you least expect it.