Sunday, August 30, 2009

Random Thoughts by Cindy

Whenever I see cars that are clearly weighed down in the back, I wonder what's in the trunk, and how many bodies it would take to make it so heavy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Wrong Vacation

As the Fallout reached its peak and ever so slowly began to wane, the Wedding Date loomed closer and closer. Out of nowhere, my mother decided to take action, to employ some evasive maneuvers, as it were. ("Out of nowhere" is not likely accurate. I was in my own little world of pajamas and pop and Sex and the City. EVERYthing was out of nowhere.) She suggested we go on a family vacation.

I was...unenthused with the prospect. My mother can drive me crazy sometimes, and I had, in fact, already made plans for myself for The Day, and they included much wallowing alone. I planned to disappear that day, drive aimlessly, go to the church and cry. The thought of a family vacation instead didn't exactly thrill me.

But mom was adamant, and kept suggesting destinations. None of them seemed especially appealing, until she hit upon Disney World. See, we never really took annual vacations as kids, probably because we lived in Texas and road-tripped to Minnesota for Christmas every year. That was enough of a vacation for our parents to have to deal with us on, so we never went places like Disney World. I did go to Disney World senior year of high school with orchestra, but it seems like a family vacation kind of destination. At her mention of it, my eyes lit up just a little, and I said, "hmm." That was all she needed.

I could produce no valid reason why we shouldn't go ("well, I really wanted to sit alone and cry that day" just didn't seem like it was going to cut it), so she planned and compared and clicked and booked, just as I had been doing for the previous 16 months, and suddenly there were definite plans in my future. The first definite plans since all my plans had been thrown out the window. Which, by the way, I just realized as I was typing it. I'm sure someday I'll figure out what the implications of that are.

Anyway, so I suddenly had these plans and I had to get off the couch and pack. So I did. And we were off to Orlando.

I can't tell you what the dates of our vacation were. I can't tell you which park we went to on which day. I can't tell you everything we ate, or did, or saw.

I know that in Epcot's Japan, we bought oysters that were opened in front of us and had necklaces made of the resulting pearl. I got a greenish-goldish colored pearl, in a much larger than average size. My sister, mom, and myself all had our pearls set in the same necklace setting. I was slightly jealous of my sister's blueish pearl; I love blue.

I know that I wore black on The Day, as a symbolic gesture for myself.

I know that all four of us stuffed ourselves into one teacup. And now I know that that is not a good idea!

I know that we convinced our parents to ride the Aerosmith roller coaster, and the resulting picture was so awesome that we bought it. I know also that we road DINOSAUR, and also bought that hilarious picture. (Did you know that I'm afraid of dinosaurs?)

I know we had fish and chips in "England," and we took a picture of me kissing a camel at the Aladdin ride. I know I bought a souvenir, a frame, that I haven't even unwrapped; it's hiding in the back of my closet. I know that we met up with some distant family members who live in Orlando, and Pam and I love our aunt-ish-lady who we never knew. I know that I bought a pair of red suede Kenneth Cole pumps that are to die for, but impossible to walk in.

I know that, when we flew home, our flight attendant was a bit surly, and I thought to myself, "Psh, I could do a better job than that."

I know that I did not have a single drop of alcohol or, as far as I remember, cry a single tear.

I also know, now, that this was the wrong vacation to take.

Most of the trip was spent in a depressed daze. I tried to pretend that wasn't true, I tried to be normal, but I'm not sure how good of a job I did. Clearly, there's not a whole lot of details I can give you about my vacation, though maybe that's normal after a year no matter the circumstances. I commented one day to my sister that Disney World wasn't really as fun and exciting as it seems like it should be, and maybe you just have to be younger to enjoy it.... or maybe, I realized after a short pause, you just have to not be me, right now, in the mental state I was in.

I will admit, however, that it got me off the couch. It got me outside. It got me smiling and laughing and eating and moving and breathing. It was the first tiny baby step that got me moving again, moving toward where I am now. In a sense, then, it was right, because clearly something had to give.

But, good or bad, right or wrong, perhaps most importantly, we all managed to make it through a multi-day stretch in Orlando without getting sunburned.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Irrational fear #16:

Getting rear-ended.

It's not such an irrational fear anymore, I guess, seeing as I did recently get rear-ended.

Oh, I didn't tell you about that? Right.

It was late at night, and I was driving home from my sister's house. The light I was driving toward turned yellow, and though I could have made it through, I decided to be responsible and stop. So I'm stopped at the light, there's no cars around, and I'm just waiting, when all of a sudden there's a noise and I'm jolted forward and there's a windshield in my rear-view mirror. I swore, put on my blinker, and pulled to the side of the side road.

This girl gets out of her car looking so terrified that, even though I was the one who got hit, the first thing I said was, "Are you alright?" She was young (I realize I'm young, too. I mean, she was clearly high school-ish age. I think.), and we determined that it was the first accident for either of us. We exchanged names, numbers, insurance information. We surveyed the cars and I was admittedly a little happy to note that hers appeared to have more damage than mine. Nicely done, car, way to be awesome. (My car still needs a name. Something fierce, because she has battle scars now. My dad suggested Elektra. Maude (Mod? Heh.) is also on the list. Any suggestions?)

I looked at my car again in the morning and saw that there was indeed some damage, but nothing really noticeable, and certainly nothing to file a claim over. So, incident forgotten, my car, her battle scars, and I have moved on.

Only now I'm paranoid. Even more so than I always sort of have been. I leave extra space between me and the car in front of me at lights, and I keep one eye in my rear-view mirror almost constantly. I yell at people who tailgate me on highways, and just am nervous in general.

I'm still a speeder, though. I never used to speed as much as I do lately, because I never used to have to drive during rush hour.

I think it's changed me, for the faster.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dating is hard.

I've never done much of it, myself. Maybe that's why I find it so hard now. Or is it so hard because I've never really done it? Ah, paradox.

I've dated boys, kind of. Flirted, gone to dinner, called boys my "boyfriend." Or, sometimes, my "non-boyfriend." That one stuck around for a long time. But none of these things were ever real relationships, you know? There was always something off about them.

And then. Oooh, and then. When you find the man you plan on spending the rest of your life with, it's... I can't even tell you. It's the most incredible feeling.

You start planning things. Your wedding, your life. You see things unfolding before you in such a glorious way. You're secure. You know where you're going, where your life is going. You're happy. Happy.

But then. When, in the space of five minutes, your entire world gets turned upside down and ripped apart and the love of your life has broken you, it's... I can't even tell you. It's the most devastating thing.

You sit on your sister's couch and cry for weeks. You shower, occasionally, and then put your pajamas back on. You eat, when you feel you must. You stare, sometimes at the television, sometimes at nothing in particular, sometimes at words, empty words on a computer screen.

It changes you. So deeply, so completely.

You start to get over it. You put on real clothes and go outside. You go on a vacation (the wrong vacation, as it turns out - more on that later). You get cards and words of support and comfort. You put on a smile. You get a job, you move out of your high school bedroom (and into the basement, alas), and you just... try. You try to move on, to get on with things, to keep living.

I've done pretty well, I think. I love my job (most of the time), I've become even better friends with some fantastic people, I've realized how strong I can be, or apparently was all along. In some ways, I've really come into my own.

In a lot of ways, though, it's like I'm starting back from the beginning. I'm learning how to breathe, how to walk, how to move through life successfully.

Dating is not something I really excelled at in the first place, and now, now it terrifies me. Not that I've had a whole lot of opportunity to be actively afraid, until recently. I rebounded, I tried to put myself out there, kind of. With a safety net. A big huge safety net, and really no worries about my emotions at all. Things were going to happen, or they weren't, and either way, I was okay with it. Was I really just that laid-back about it, though, or had I sheltered myself? Have I built an insurmountable wall?

I met someone. Kind of. A passenger on my plane, who I had some really great conversation with. He waited for me to get off the plane at the end of the flight. We walked together. He asked for my number, and I gave it to him with a smile. As we walked away, he called out to me, "I promise I'll call!" And he did, within 12 hours. He left a very sweet message. I did not call him back. Yesterday, my phone rang. I picked it up to see who it was, and dropped it like a hot potato when I saw it was him.

Why am I so fucked up? Why can't I just take this opportunity and see what happens? Why can't I even let myself try to be happy?

I'm already finding things wrong with him, wrong with the situation, and I don't even know him. I don't even know him, it hasn't even started, and it's ruined in my head. I want to call him. Or, at the very least, I'm aware that I should want to call him. But the thought of picking up that phone... it sends me into a mild panic attack. So what do I do?

So far, nothing. I just do nothing. Because I'm paralyzed with fear, and doubt, and an inability to open myself to any possibility of good things because of the possibility of being hurt again. I cannot be hurt again. Not yet.

There are things that I want. Things I long for. But I think that I only let myself want things that, really, I know I can't have (or, deep down, don't really want, in the end). There's no fear of getting hurt that way.

I need some momentum. To break down these walls, that I've built around myself.