Monday, May 14, 2012

'Keep Being Awesome'

It was likely a throw away line at the end of an email from a friend but it was a much needed affirmation.

This past week was...interesting. It started out with me feeling all kick ass and take names, leveled off a bit in the middle, got really rough with gasping sobs on the couch on Saturday night and then rebounded with people finally being human on Sunday, after a couple others completely weren't.

I came to this sort of stunning realization that no one is gonna help you be better. You just have to do it. So while I was totally disappointed with others, and remain so, there was something almost freeing about this "fix it your own damn self" realization. (Saying this is a stunning realization is a bit tongue in cheek. It's kind of an obvious one but every now and then you need the universe to remind you.) That led to some nose to the grindstone behavior and feeling pretty darn productive.

Then we hit the ennui middle part of the week where the thought of writing cover letters makes me want to stab someone.

Then the Caps lost on Saturday. I was sad. I was beyond sad. I drank scotch and ended up crying, ugly ugly crying, on the couch to bad TV. Look, I can't be as stoic as my mother would like me to be who had said earlier in the week, "You are not going to cry if they lose." I think a good ugly cry is completely cathartic. It's necessary. I sort of make it happen, to get it all out.

To be clear: I wasn't hunched over gasping for breath simply because a group of guys lost a hockey game. That's obviously part of it. But it's about everything, all the emotions that I push aside and don't want to deal with on a regular basis. The petty betrayals and disappointments and fears. The only real, and awful, analogy I can come up with is that the scotch and hockey loss sadness is a bit like a bulimic sticking her finger down her throat. It's just the nudge I need to let it all out. And I have no shame about letting everyone know that the veneer that I am such a hard ass (something I'm fairly certain no longer exists to those that actually know me) falls away every now and then so that I can function in the rest of my life. It just is what it is. And I sort of feel a relief at having it all just soaked up in tissues that I can throw away and then move on. A good cry is good for you, is the point. No shame in it.

Also: don't ever doubt that when I say I'm crying that a team has lost, something that I have invested time and interest in, that I truly am. I don't feel connected to a lot of things. When I do, I know that it can hurt. And as they shave their playoff beards and head to sun drenched locales, it has a bit of sadness to it. I can only imagine how gutted they must feel, valiant effort that they gave coming up just short of advancing.

On Sunday morning I got up and got dressed for mother's day brunch with my brother, stepfather, and mother. My brother about halfway through it said to me, when I said I thought with his giant barrel chest and underneath his ubiquitous Ben Davis shirt he had his bullet proof vest on and was already at work, because I really have not even the slightest interest in what he does or when he goes to work, "Are you just naturally retarded or do you practice at it?" It was said with venom. It was said with the sort of hatred we have for each other. Which is fine. I'm not ever going to change him and don't want to. I just want to not be around him. Everyone let the comment go. My mom even laughed. I said, "I really have no idea what your schedule is, nor do I care, but it's hard to tell under your outfit wtf you're wearing." Yes, I'm the retard. The double degree holding retard. My family is a special special place. Just...leave me alone you inconsiderate jerk. I'm not DOING anything to you. I stay as far away from you and everything in your life as I possibly can anymore, don't insult me because it somehow makes you feel bigger.

My eyes were still red and itchy and I felt a little worse for the scotch and the tears. I was exhausted. Dealing with my idiot brother was not high on my list of fun but it was mother's day and this is what you do.

I have also just hit my threshold on people being really crappy to each other in general and me in particular. I don't ask for accolades or attention but I think when it comes to friendship I'm pretty good at it. For as much as I disdain people in general, I am fiercely loyal to those I count as friends. I am the kind of person who will offer to pick you up at the airport and then insist when you decline because I just think that's what I would want people to do for me and it's not a difficult task but makes someone else's life easier to deal with. I will hate your ex with the heat of a thousand suns, even when you are fool enough to take him back. I will make you ripped DVDs of movies and send you meaningful letters, actual letters, when things get rough. I'll take your 3 a.m. phone call and talk you off a ledge. Friendships to me are more difficult and more carefully cultivated than even romantic entanglements because these are the people that should be there when those fail.

The flip side of being a fiercely loyal friend is that if you cross me, that is IT. And now I'm at a point with a good friend where I have done all of the aforementioned things and when she was in town this weekend, I became an afterthought as she ran around doing...whatever it was she was doing. I'm not sure we're at "IT" yet, but we're venturing close. I have been patient with this person in the past when they've visited here, understanding that there is a lot to cram into a short amount of time. But that I, who have been pretty understanding, got the short end of the stick has me really really disappointed. If she had simply said, "I'm going to be in town but I don't think I'll have time to see you" I would have completely understood. But she dangled plans and then disappeared and somehow that's worse.

I'm now wondering what proper protocol is on how to handle this while being really annoyed that such inconsiderate people exist both in the world and in my life. It's frustrating and disappointing and that bothers me. I know people are flawed and fallible and readily admit to my own faults. I also know it's unfair to expect people to always act the way that you would act or even fail to act the way you expect them to act. Recognizing that, it's still disappointing. How to broach it is on my mind, or even if I want to. Grumble.

I was sitting at home following brunch lamenting the whole weekend when I decided that if I continued to sit around I'd just fall into a spiral of self loathing and hatred of others so I texted Chuck to see if he wanted to postmortem the Caps season while watching game 1 of the Yotes/Kings series at our usual bar. He did. And I was glad I asked him and that I left the house. Having a guy friend who is funny and charming and has actual conversations and is great to be around and makes me laugh was a nice way to end the weekend. I dropped him off back at home and had to laugh that one of my longest relationships with a guy is with a guy I have exactly zero interest in romantically. Not in a sad way laugh, but at the irony of it. (Aside: The Kings are good. And fun to watch. I just have a really hard time rooting for an L.A. team as I am SF born and bred and we have a natural aversion to anything from there. Dilemmas.)

Following that, and still feeling depleted from Saturday night, I was screwing around with iTunes when I decided to download a movie that was on sale when my computer told me it was full. Uh, what? How is that...? I emailed a tech savvy friend and through a series of emails we figured it out. You guys come through when it's clutch, ya know?

After even that, as I was just about to pass out from exhaustion, I started a chat with another friend who offered condolences on the Caps loss and other assorted advice. When my browser crashed I emailed to let him know I hadn't bailed on him but was off to bed anyways and thanks for the encouragement and good thoughts. In his reply is where I got the title for this post.

The point is: sometimes it's the little things that help restore your faith a bit. It's hockey and wings with the bestie, someone who is actually willing to help you solve a problem, and someone letting you know that what you're doing is a-okay. So thanks, all three of you very different but very wonderful guys for being fantastically who you are amidst a lot of disappointing people.

On a totally unrelated note: I'm going to separate out the sports posts into their own blog. For one: I don't think all of you care about me obsessing over hockey and college football. For another: I sometimes see blogging opportunities in sports and want to apply but don't really have an established place to link to. To send people here to read about me sobbing on the couch, or alternately drunk in North Beach amid sports writing is not what I want. The problem is this: I am terrible at naming things. I am all ears for suggestions for the name of my own silly sports blog/writing sample page. Just reply to this post or email me at a link that I am sure is somewhere on this page (if it's not, you can find me at Seriously, I need suggestions. To sweeten the pot (literally), if your suggestion leads to a name for a blog, I'll make and send you a batch of cookies. And I make excellent cookies. Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment