Today I Am Still

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Today I am still.  My phone works, tomorrow is payday, and Saturday I get to spend some time with a friend of almost 35 years.  My car works, I have caffeine in my Yeti, and I have been listening to encouraging music while working.  I am still.  Content in this moment.  I would say that very few emotions are swirling or whirling.  I simply am.

Last night it was not so.  Last night, had I had the energy to get up and dig out my laptop to write, I would have filled the page with raw emotion that may or may not have been cohesive. In fact, I composed on imaginary paper in my head, and filled it with my innermost feels, and hopes, and hurts, and longings with fairly eloquent words, given that they were not actually written down anywhere.

Now, though, I cannot recall them.  I recall the theme.  I recall that there were tears in my eyes, and I was silently crying out as I pretended to write.  I know there were things I wanted and hoped for and felt like giving up on and regretted and couldn’t let go of.  But trying to pull them out from under the calmness of today seems tiring.  Or maybe it seems perilous.

The days, you see, are very full.  I have a career, a family, a life, stresses, duties, pursuits.  They all fill that thing that needs to be filled.  And there is music or television or – Lord help us all – Pokemon Go (smile).  But at night…. well, at night when there is nothing engaging on television, and sleep won’t come, and the brain begins to think….

But never mind that.  Today I am still.

“Mom, you’re such a control freak”

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My oldest teased me about this recently.  She thinks it is funny that I am so nice and yet I internally freak out when I know I have zero say or control over something.  It’s why I have been a bad passenger at times when my children drive.  I mean, I tailgate too, but when I do it my foot is on the gas/break.

I don’t like the way I tend to respond to helplessness.  I don’t like the way it makes me cry at inopportune times or have this weird, someone just punched the breath out of me, feeling, or how I have to count when I inhale and exhale at night (in-2-3-4-, out-2-3-4) to keep that tingly chest, spot in my eyes feeling at bay.

My first boyfriend was named Bryan.  He was a funny, somewhat shy, but very kind 16-year-old who took me on my first real car date.  We dated for several months.  Then I broke up with him over something silly and stupid and adolescent.  I wanted him back, he told his friend who was dating my friend who told me that he felt the same way.  It was football season.  It was busy.

Then the day after Thanksgiving he and a friend were coming back from somewhere, and a drunk driver ran a stop sign.  The car flipped, his seatbelt wasn’t working…..you probably know what happened.  5 days later school let out early for anyone who wanted to attend his funeral. I remember the days he was in ICU, probably already gone.  I prayed, I wanted to tell him how I felt but he couldn’t hear me.  It was completely out of my hands.  My chance to get “ready” for anything was ripped from my grasp, if it was ever there to begin with.

The same thing happened when I lost a job.  I knew things weren’t going well.  I was not well and trying to hold things together.  I hadn’t really let anyone know because I wanted to have a chance to come to grips with it all first.  Be prepared.  Then boom!  The job was gone.  I could finish out the contract or take severance and go.  For reasons I will never understand I finished the contract.  Some weird sense of obligation?  Or maybe because I knew just not having a job to go to that next Monday morning would have been too much of a shock to my system.

I hate helplessness.  I hate situations where there is no recourse, nowhere to go for answers, where the rug just….yank.  I hate the questions and wondering and distrust that comes with it.  I hate the way it makes me feel powerless, invisible, unimportant, like huge parts of my life are or were a lie.  And I hate that it makes me feel selfish.

When the rug is pulled and you go home rugless and someone is waiting there with open arms and an ear and a warmth next to you in the bed……it sucks, but it’s different  When a part of your life is sucked away and it is just gone, and there are no arms or ears or warm spots in the bed……and all you want to know is if it’s the real goodbye….

I hate knowing the truth….I am and always was disposable.

I hate being helpless.  I hate seeing the truth of what I am not when I haven’t gotten ready for it.

The ceiling

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The ceiling in my bedroom is a “trayed ceiling.”  I’m not sure if I spelled that correctly.  The first level is bordered in the same gold/yellow color as the walls. The second level is bordered with a rich brown.  The ceiling itself – in the middle – is an almost white.  It has the same almost white molding to accent each level.  In the middle of the ceiling is a light/fan with glossy, mahogany-colored blades.  They need dusting.  The fixture has four light bulbs, and one of them started flickering a bit last night; I’ll probably need to change it soon.  The outer corner of the ceiling has a cobweb I need to bat down with a broom. I’m glad it’s a smooth, painted ceiling instead of a popcorn ceiling.  I’m not a fan of popcorn ceilings.

These were the things I noticed when I couldn’t sleep last night.

Sex, Passion, Intimacy, Love: A “Maslow” Hierarchy of Connection

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Sex….sex is biological, an appetite, a physical connection.  If the biology connects just right, there is release, a moment or moments of bliss, gratification, enjoyment.  But in the end…sex is sex.  An act.

Passion.  With passion, the connection extends, grows, enlarges, enhances.  Passion inspired feeling, bonding, abandon.  Passion goes beyond sex…but it is rooted in it.  Passion is a deeper connection, borne out of chemicals and desire.

Intimacy…ah, now we’re getting somewhere. And when joined with sex and passion, intimacy is deeply felt.  Desire is deep, connection is deep.  It is more than fleeting.  it is vulnerable, compassionate, honest, real.  Intimacy is irreplaceable by any mere shallow tryst.

But love….love can be wrapped up in all of the above.  But – at its core – love that is real is love that is chosen.  Love is action.  Love is decision.  Love is commitment.  It’s easy to mistake a lot of things for love.  But usually….all you have to do is wait.  And if it fades, if it gets inconvenient, if it slips away and falls by the wayside, it wasn’t love.

I like sex.  I revel in passion.  I crave intimacy.

I dream of love.