Tag Archives: relationships

Those Crazy Nomads

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What It Means To Be Nomadic

I’m so tired of excuses. Everyone has them; everyone uses them as a means to an end. It’s kind of pathetic. Stop blaming your fears on your made-up, self-diagnosed bullshit. Placebo effect gone wrong—if you tell yourself that the justification is true, it becomes true in your mind.

The latest and greatest from someone who I really thought cared about me: “I’m nomadic, I can’t grow roots anywhere.”

You’re kidding me, right? Just because you’ve moved around a few times in your life? You think this makes you nomadic? Get over yourself, we’ve all moved around! I hardly know anyone who’s stayed in one place their whole life. Do you think you’re nomadic because you plan on leaving this island as soon as you can? GUESS WHAT, SO DOES THE MAJORITY OF OAHU. That doesn’t make you nomadic. That doesn’t mean you can’t grow a root or two. That doesn’t mean you can’t feel or start something real. Stop blaming your fear of tough conversations, raw emotions, and commitment on some fabricated inability to settle down.

I’ll live in a thousand more cities before I die. I live in every city I visit, because I love it and I soak it in and I carry my whole heart to that new place and I breathe it in with both lungs. But I want nothing more than a shared happiness. And I will never treat any part of my life like a temporary fix or short-term comfort, because you never know when something great is going to jump out and scare the shit out of you (some people call this love).

Anyway, this wasn’t meant to be a rant about one person, but more of a message for anyone riding the tails of an excuse—grow up. I hope that everyone finds someone who is worth being scared for, you know? Worth knocking down protective walls and having hard conversations, worth the assurances and fights and honesty. Finding someone who’s worth all those things and more—that’s kind of the point, right?

Options

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This is that beautiful early step in the wrong direction. This is that can’t-get-enough, giddy, breathless, silly phase. This is the good part, when it doesn’t seem possible for it to ever be any other way.

I take another sip of my “Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte Thank You Have The Best Day!” (She said that to every single customer and it got pretty annoying. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone actually had the BEST day…but surely, on one of your best days ever, you wouldn’t be at Starbucks in the middle of the afternoon. I sure wouldn’t be.)

I try to think back to when this part of a relationship usually ends. I don’t remember, it’s been too long since I was sucked into dating someone really. For the past couple of years, I’ve been in and out of short bursts of flings and things. Who knows what you could even call them. But they definitely haven’t lasted this long, AKA long enough for me to start worrying about liking someone too much, getting attached, getting hurt, blah blah blah, etc. etc. It’s a little frightening how much we have to worry about these things, now that we’re at this stage in our lives. Some people still see themselves as young and invincible, but I’m definitely feeling a bit worn down. I don’t think anyone should have to have their heart ripped out more than once, that’s just not fair. Therefore, I will not be signing myself up for a second go-around, and I think that’s most people’s sentiment. So what do we do when we start getting that sickening irking in our gut that’s saying, “Hey you! You’re about to fall face first you idiot! Get outta there!”? Do we listen, and run like little chicken shits? It’s an option.

Option #2: Let the pieces fall. Take the risk. Put my heart on the chopping block right when it’s finally become whole again. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION. Obviously.

So that brings us to Option #3. Don’t run like a little bitch, and don’t put all my eggs in one basket either. The blissful in-between. The gray area that, for most, is impossible to stay in for too long. Well fuck that—I’m going to stay in it for as long as I damn well please. Maybe this means we can stay in the “beautiful early step in the wrong direction” for the entirety of whatever this is. No fighting, no boredom, no strings. Is this even possible? Challenge accepted!

 

It took about a day after that to realize that I was fighting for an impossible, unrealistic dream. Sure, I can keep it up for a little while longer. Hide the emotions, play it cool, pretend not to care. But I’m not built to bottle things up. So this is what the options change to for those of us who aren’t very in control…

Option #1 becomes running after you can’t take it anymore—after you’ve lived out the blissful in-between, squeezed it for every last drop, and now you must GTFO before you pull your hair out or fall in love or something like that. Option #2 stays the same—jump off, leap into the abyss.

Why are these our only options? Shouldn’t there be multiple ways to protect ourselves from all the bitter blues of breakups? Think about it—there are multiple ways of protection for almost anything. Birth control: condoms, pills, shots, patches, and more. Burglary: house alarm, sensor light, surveillance, Dad’s shotgun. UV rays: sunscreen (spray or lotion), wear more clothes, sit in the shade.

And then we come to our hearts, our feelings: never get in too deep, run away from anything real, and never look back OR…oh wait, nope, that’s it. That’s the only way to ensure a pain-free experience.

It’s 2012. I have options for every single decision I make, every day. Except this. C’est la vie, right?

Poop in one hand…

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After receiving a few random comments, suggestions, lectures, rants, drunken statements, serious girl talks, life stories, and in-a-nutshells—all on the same questions (How do you know it’s a date? How do you know you’re dating someone? When should it be official?)—I decided to record some of these nuggets of wisdom. People my age, older people, younger people, and yes, my 7th grade students, have given me their opinion (some prompted, some not). Read on if you’d like some clarity (or more confusion) on all your love life wonderings.

  • Friends:

“Your dress only has one sleeve. It’s a date.”

“If you don’t order a cab, or in some cases the bus, for the person to leave at the end of the night, it’s a date. When your landlord asks for your date’s rent check, it should be official.”

“I would consider it dating when a guy tells you he wants to buy you a horse.” Smartass.

“When I go home and wait for them to call. When we text all day.”

“It’s a date if he pays, kisses you, or tries to feel you up. At least one of the three.”

“You’re dating if you’re not sleeping with other people. No wait, that’s if it’s official. No wait, what?”

“Facebook, it’s all about the Facebook relationship status. Ohhh, you guys aren’t even friends on Facebook? Ouch. That’s not dating. That’s not even friendship.”

  • Student quotes:

“Well, I mean, if she lets you hold her hand all week, everywhere you go.”

“When the whole school knows, so it’s like, really known or whatever.”

“It’s like when I let her wear my hat and she lets me wear her silly bands. That’s like, not something you do for just anybody.”

“When Ms. Mendez even knows you’re going out, and she’s all ‘Tell your boyfriend to do his poetry packet!’ it’s like DANG, you’re really going out, ya’ know?”

Mom: “A date is when the guy calls you and asks you out and he pays the check. It was just a date if you didn’t have fun, laugh, talk, and laugh some more. When you have enough in common to want to see the same person again, and again, and again, this is dating but can be done with more than one person. Exclusive dating is when two people realize they’re not seeing anyone else and don’t want to see anyone else. It’s ‘official’ when you realize it’s exclusive and it’s unspoken that it’s exclusive—there is no timeline on this. Could take a month, could take six months. It’s seriously ‘official’ when it is spoken that you are exclusive. Love finds you when you least expect it. Always be smiling, and always wear earrings when you leave the house—you never know who your audience is!”

Dad: “Poop in one hand and wish in the other. See which one fills up first.” I feel like this is actually pretty helpful. Think about it. If you’re having to wish for something to be a date, or dating, or “official,” that probably means something isn’t quite right. You shouldn’t have to really wish that hard, if both people want the same things, are on the same page. No one wants poop in their hand.

Ironically, Dad gave me another piece of dating advice one time that had to do with feces. He said, “You better get out of the shit before your shoes get dirty.” It was very profound at the time. Shit and love life seem to go together nicely, metaphorically speaking that is.

If this doesn’t make things more clear, I don’t know how to help you. My dad or I could probably come up with a new poop expression to better fit your needs though. All you have to do is ask.

How to Be “Pleasantly Surprised By Everything”

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I’ve officially learned the hard way how true a good friend’s words were recently:

“Never get excited about anything, and then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by everything” (or something like that).

HOW TRUE IS THAT?! How sad, but true is that? When she first said it, I thought it was hilarious of course, as are most things that come out of her mouth, but I didn’t take it seriously. After all, getting excited about things is…well, fun. Getting excited means smiling and laughing and butterflies and anticipation. How boring would life be without excitement?

But then again…the quote is 100% true. Our lives would be simpler and easier if we never allowed ourselves to get excited about anything. Think about it. You’d never have ANY expectations, no unrealistic fantasies, zero delusions about experiences that family or friends or media have hammered into your minds since birth…

Let’s take a few examples from my life:

1.       Life After College. Oh my lord, I thought immediately after I was handed that diploma that my life would basically start exploding into fireworks of adventure, fortune, and happiness. I built up life after college SO much—not only in the four years at Texas State, but also in high school, and probably before that too. This is the supreme example of how getting excited about something screwed me over. I realized pretty quickly that Oh, wait…I didn’t find the perfect husband in college. Oh, wait…I don’t have a fabulous dream job lined up. Oh wait, I’m still living in a shitty apartment selling clothes for a horrendous hourly wage? If I hadn’t been so excited, maybe this time in my life would’ve been seen as relaxing and full of possibilities instead of hopeless and a huge, huge disappointment.

2.       Moving To Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii was my first choice when I applied for TFA. The rest of my top ten cities were big and bustling, most of which I had never even been to. Why? Because this was going to be THE BEST TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE! This experience was going to be LEGEN-wait for it-DARY! Oh, I got my first choice city? Of course I did, because these two years were going to be filled with getting a tan, travelling between islands, being a kickass teacher, finishing grad school like a boss, and meeting  beautiful surfers (one of whom would become my boyfriend, of course). It’s a little ridiculous how excited I was about moving here. And c’mon, I had great reason—this is paradise, this is one of the top honeymoon spots, this place has no real winter! BUT (there’s always a but when you get too excited), this has of course been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. This is the most I’ve ever complained, stressed, lacked sleep, had migraines that are out of this world…and I can’t help but wonder…would it be this challenging if I hadn’t built it up so much in my head, convincing myself that it was going to be PERFECTION?

3.       Relationships. If you haven’t read my blog “Dating on an Island,” go read it…If you’ve read it, then I really don’t need to say anything else right now. You get it. Dating sucks, people suck, having high expectations sucks, getting disappointed time after time sucks. But hey, if I don’t like it, I should just stop getting excited about relationships, right? Cutting out this aspect leaves us heartbreak free. If we don’t get excited, we therefore won’t get crushed. Plus, no matter what sleazy or slimy or downright disturbing words or actions someone directs toward you, you won’t be fazed! Because you weren’t excited anyway! Ahh, the liberation.

The problem is, none of this is actually possible. We’re wired a little differently than that, unfortunately. No matter how much my friend can say “Never get excited about anything, and then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by everything,” she’ll never actually, truly be able to live by it, nor will I or you or anyone.

We’re programmed to get excited, to get our hopes up, to anticipate the best, and to be severely disappointed when again, something is, instead, the worst.

But who the hell cares. I’m one of those idiots who gets excited about EVERYTHING and everyone. And you know what? I’ve had plenty of pleasant surprises in my life, thank you very much! Then again, have I had more disappointments because of my over-eagerness? Shit, probably. Point moot. Whatever, dream big or go home.