Friday, November 28, 2008

January Can't Come Fast Enough

The holidays, they're going to be a bitch this year. Forget the whole "lost the man I love," "marriage + Tere = FAIL," "I'm a loser" thing for a minute. The holidays always make me melancholy, always leave me feeling blue. I've never been able to pin down exactly why: I think it's a combination of feeling pain for all the sadness and hunger and injustice in the world, coupled with my own depressive nature, coupled with the anticlimactic feeling of it all.

So, I was going to feel kinda shitty no matter what; it's just super-sized with sadness this year.

I've been thinking all week of the things I should be thankful for. I feel that I am, generally speaking, a pretty grateful person, always aware of my blessings and feeling thankful for those. But this year, it's been a real challenge for me to really feel thankful. I know I should; I know that despite everything I have SO much to be thankful for, and I am. It's just really hard to bring that gratitude to the forefront when other feelings are so much stronger.

I've been struggling with feeling really, truly thankful because I am, during my worst days, mired in self-pity. I know that's not a pretty trait - Lord knows I abhor self-pity - but man, some days I can't help it. I always used to believe that when you really put your effort into something, when your heart and soul were completely in it, despite all your mistakes and failures, you were sure to have that which you fought so hard for. On the very bad days, I am stuck right in-between self-pity and this feeling of complete incredulity, like, "are you fucking kidding me?" I am amazed at how ardently I apparently believed - in my marriage, in Ben, in the sheer force of my commitment. Seriously, I drank my own Kool-Aid and didn't even know it.

So the cycle is this: I start out surprised, like, "damn, I messed up a lot, but I fought hard - I can't believe I felt this way, and felt it so strongly;" then I move on to feeling both incredulous and angry at the whole thing: "What the fuck, man? Are you fucking kidding me?;" then I slip into self-pity: "OMG - all this work and love and trying and crying and fighting and risking and trusting -- to end up here? Like this? Then what the hell does the future hold??"

By now, there's always some point in the cycle where I have to stop and laugh at myself, because this is just too comical for me. However, because this is where I'm at right now, processing everything in this way, it's really hard to be all, "Oh, I'm so thankful for everything." Because while I am keenly aware that I have this awesome son who is my absolute everything, and I have a great family that has been incredibly supportive, and I have friends who rock, and I have a job I really like during these tough times, and I know that despite everything God is by my side, pushing me to the edge but not throwing me over - there is still a void. A gigantic, gaping, soul-crushing hole right where my husband, my family, and the life I felt was within our reach should be.

And when you're staring into the abyss, wondering how you're even going to begin trying to patch a hole that seems so vast and deep, feeling deeply, satisfyingly grateful is so, so, so damn hard. Clearing through all this to get to the heart of the season feels like an impossible task, almost like asking too much of me.

Turkey and pork and pie and coldish weather and good company are nice, but I can't bring myself to really feel it this year.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/28/2008   | | | links to this post

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Don't Know Much, But I Know How To Shop

The fact that I'm broke is not much of a deterrent for me. When Tere wants to shop, she shops.

I find a way, usually by researching the product of my lust (and sometimes need, for there are actual things that I need every now and then), until I find the best deal out there. In the days before motherhood, when I had plenty of time to waste, this involved a combination of window shopping, catalogs and Internet once that became the norm. Motherhood, though, has a way of killing the joy of Saturday-morning shopping sprees.

It was around the time of my pregnancy that I began to shop online pretty much exclusively ("leisure" shopping; I still do groceries and Target runs). There was just no way around it - it was easier, more convenient, and frankly, a much more competitive field. The shoes that locally could not be found for less than $60 magically appeared for half that on teh Interwebs. It was amazing. I'm at a point where I don't shop for anything without first scouring the Internet for it.

So, in the spirit of the holidays, I'm going to reveal one of my big shopping secrets - because I love you like that: I use SHOP.COM.*

Shop.com, for those of you just joining the party, is one of those sites where you can comparison shop (from my understanding, it's something like 2,000 merchants and 20 million products). What I like is that no matter what store you buy from, it all goes into one shopping cart. So you can buy everything at once. Sweet!

Do I need to tell you why this makes sense? I will anyway: because it's easy and convenient! And since there are also coupons and special offers, it's also good for the wallet! Seriously, haven't you ever wanted a bunch of things from different places, and you get frustrated, trying to figure out how to do it in the fastest/easiest way possible? Because that happens to me a lot, and sometimes, an option like this site is the best solution.

O.k., so now you know one of my shopping tricks, and I won't at all be offended if you stop reading this right now and go see for yourself.






* -- This is one of those times where I've been asked to help spread the word about SHOP.COM's fabulousness, but in keeping with my "I only promote things I actually use or have been wanting to try" rule, I really do use this site and am happy to vouch for it.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/24/2008   | | | links to this post

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Glimpse of Things to Come

Well now, not to be all official about it, but there's to be some changes 'round here, and I figured the least I could do was say something about it, so as to perhaps prevent y'all from thinking I'm bipolar or something.

I will shortly clarify some more on my state of mind, but for now, the simplest way to say it is that all my thinking and analyzing has led me to a new, hopefully better, place, and I want to move away from my doom and gloom writing to more varied things.

So! I'm kicking it off this coming week with my favorite topic: shopping! W00t! And from there, I have something in the wings about dating and Catholicism and how the two may or may not go hand in hand. And from there? Who knows? I'm sure I'll return every now and then to the deeper stuff, and oh yeah, there is that little monkey of mine. Overall, I'm trying to get back to normal.

Consider yourself warned.

Posted by Tere @ 11/22/2008   | | | links to this post

Friday, November 21, 2008

This Morning's Unexpected Flashback

When I was a little girl, my school lunch choices were limited to about five (perhaps odd) options. This was mainly because I was a picky eater and didn't like standard lunch fare like tuna and peanut butter. We could not afford the school's hot lunch, so my mom or dad would pack my lunch in the morning.

The three items that stick out in my mind as my most beloved lunches were Chef Boyardee, vienna sausage sandwich and butter & jelly sandwich.

The Chef Boyardee - that was for me the height of luxury. Only a certain amount of cans could be purchased per gorcery trip, and these were rationed out until the next shopping trip. So to open my lunch box and see my beige and blue thermos - I knew. Inside would be some still-somewhat-warm yuminess of either beefaroni or ravioli or - my favorite - ABCs & 123s. By then, after a few hours of being tightly packed into a small thermos, the pasta would be squishy, congealed. It was awesome.

The key to a stand-out vienna sausage sandwich, in my opinion, is the mayo. You have to have enough to add flavor, but not too much, or it will overpower the sandwich. My mom would make this by slathering the mayo onto some hotdog bread, slicing some sausages lengthwise, and cramming them in. So simple and delicious.

The butter & jelly sandwich came about because I did not (do not) like peanut butter. But I loved regular butter. And jelly. So my mom just put the two together on toasted sandwich bread (the bread has to be toasted or it's just not the same), and voila! Perfection.

It was this last sandwich that so vividly brought all this back to me this morning. I opened the fridge at work, ready to prepare some toast with cream cheese and strawberry preserves, when I realized I was out of cream cheese. At this point, I'm starving and in need of some food. I'm also craving that strawberry preserves pretty badly, but don't like it solo on bread. So, what to do? Out of the corner of my eye I see it: butter. Oh man, a butter & jelly sandwich! Yes!

I toasted that bread and laid on the butter & preserves. Sitting at my desk, devouring that simple meal, I was a little girl again, sitting in that big cafeteria, eating a sandwich that was weird to many but so delicious and satisfying to me.

I think I need some more butter & jelly in my life.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/21/2008   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Insert Something Mildly Interesting Here

Oh man. I was wishing I'd start writing and funny, insightful words would pour out of me. I'm one sentence in, and I can assure you, it ain't gonna happen.

I am, emotionally speaking - hmm, how do I put this? A raging mess. On the bright side, I have a sense of humor about it. On the other side (what is that? the dark side?), I am feeling so miserable that all I want to do is curl up in bed and make it all go away.

The last few days, with my grandmother's passing, her funeral, mass and burial, have been extremely emotional for me. The thing is, feeling this sadness and working my way through it has brought up a boatload of things for me, and it's all assaulting me at the same time. I am hating life right now, hating this sadness and sense of hopelessness and the waves of loss and rejection that are drowning me.

Loss and rejection. Those are my themes now. Putting together all the pieces to definitively conclude (as opposed to just feeling it) that I lost my husband not simply because his/mine/our issues were killing us but more because his feelings for me changed (uh, died), has packed quite a wallop. It's kicked me square in the gut. I feel like I/we never stood a chance; I feel like a loser; I feel like death.

I'm also startled by the realization that I have all along operated under the assumption that a marriage's ending has nothing to do with loss of feelings, just with problems that couldn't be worked out. Or rather, that my marriage ended because of these problems, but not at all because of loss of feelings. I feel silly now. Stupid. I put on him what was true of me, and I was wrong to do that. In my defense, I believed in us more deeply and completely than anyone could have ever really known, and I was sure we were akin to some great love affair where the two people massively adore each other, regardless of all the b.s., and that love would conquer all in the end. So cut me some slack, you know? To step back now and see the level of my delusion - well damn, it sucks.

But well... now what? This is life, right? I'm not the first person to be so devastated, nor will I be the last. I suppose it'd be more worrisome if I wasn't much affected or completely over it and moved on at this point.

And I, I have the awful habit of being über aware (or constantly striving to be über aware) of my thoughts and emotions, and it just doesn't help. I'm begging my brain to give me a break, to just help me focus on accomplishing the zillion tasks that have to get done and then leaving me alone, but yeah, it's not listening. It's actually laughing at me. And facing this one particular thing is really just one part of a larger morass of crapitude. Seriously, you don't want to be me right now. You probably would be better off avoiding me like the plague.

Woe, for I am the plague.

I feel like I can do nothing except ride it out. Ride it out and continue praying. There is nothing else.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/19/2008   | | | links to this post

Monday, November 17, 2008

Miami, Right Now I Don't Dislike You So Much

My love-hate relationship with Miami is no secret. Having been born and raised here, having never lived anywhere else, makes it so that Miami and I have too much history. And I suppose that as it is with any long term relationship, much of it is good, and a lot of it is bad.

There have been periods in my life where I have hated Miami, hated the people here, the way of life here - the closemindedness; the b.s.; the rudeness; the lack of compassion; the haughty, self-indulgent, self-important attitude so many people here seem to have. I have hated the extreme importance placed here on status and status symbols; the way it seems like the laziest, most manipulative, most incompetent people rise to the top and control the fate of the community, in all sectors; I have hated so much about Miami.

And you know, I still hate all those things.

But I love Miami, too, love it intensely. Home is home, as family is family, and to really love and live with something, you accept it, flaws and all, and make it work somehow. I decided a while back that if I was to remain in Miami for the foreseeable future (a choice made for reasons I both can and cannot control), then I had to get over it and make the best of it. If this was to be where I lived my life, then I could make it as good or as miserable as I wanted to.

I decided to aim for "good."

To that end, I am always looking for ways to see Miami with new eyes. That may mean discovering a new restaurant, trying a new activity, exploring some place I hadn't previously been to. Sometimes, it is just me, my own attitude - and I find that with a different, better attitude, something old, or known, looks marvelous again.

It was with this frame of mind that I recently took my own three-hour adventure around Miami. I played tourist for an afternoon, and took the staff of Miami Tour Company up on an offer to try their city tour.

There is much about this tour that I loved, both as a resident and as someone critical of all things touristy. For one, the tour was written by local writers - people with a skill for storytelling who also know the city. This isn't some impersonal, by-the-book narrative about Miami. You can't imagine how much better it is to hear the story of Miami through the interpretation of locals until you try it. There's stuff on this tour that no other tour company will tell you about!

This audio tour uses GPS technology, which is really cool. As the bus (the comfy, not-smelly, clean bus!) approaches each tour spot, the narrator comes on and shares a story. In-between, music plays so you can just sit and relax. It's almost like magic, because you're sitting there, looking around, and just as you're asking yourself, "Wonder what that is?", this soothing voice comes on and tell you. I like tours that can read my mind.

The city tour (and MTC offers other tours - the Everglades, boat tours, Key West and Orlando tours, as well as a few combinations of these) starts in South Beach, makes it way to the mainland - into the Grove, to the Gables, Little Havana and back to the beach. There are your more typical must-sees (none of which I will reveal here), but the tour also takes you to some out-of-the-way spots, which was what I liked the most. I suppose a tourist would want to catch as much of what makes Miami "Miami," but as a local, I loved winding through the Grove and into downtown Coral Gables. There was a span there where I saw a couple of gems and shared some of what I knew with the others (all tourists) on the bus, and I got a total kick out of it. I'm assuming they, too, liked it, since we were all friendly after that.

This adventure was the kind of thing I needed to re-appreciate my hometown. A tourist would find it a good use of time, a way of seeing as much as possible, with the bonus of not having to endure any of the cheesiness of other tours. (Bonus, the tour comes in five languages - English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian.) But locals - man, you guys, you will love it, too. Between discovering something new or rediscovering something you'd forgotten about, you'll end up with a renewed appreciation for the Magic City.

I'm already thinking that on the next rainy, nothing-to-do day, I might just haul Max onto that bus and make an afternoon of it. And I'm probably not above taking some friends and doing some funky kind of tour party thing.

Miami, right now, you and I are cool. You are beautiful to me even as I remain aware of your flaws. But I'm glad I did this and came out loving you some more. I needed it. I really did.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/17/2008   | | | links to this post

Friday, November 14, 2008

TIRED (and those caps don't even begin to capture it!)

You know, "tired" is a wimpy word. It has no real meat to it. "Exhausted" is a little stronger, but ultimately, more on the wimpy side than not. Really, they're both inadequate. I've concluded that there is no word to describe the extreme tiredness I feel so very deep in my bones. None. Not even in Spanish (although the phrase, "Estoy muerta" comes close).

Everything has all of a sudden smacked me all at once - stressful work, failed marriage, single motherhood, deceased grandmother - and I feel this crushing sense of extreme, extreme, overwhelming exhaustion.

I feel like I can't concentrate on anything, like my mind can't do more than go from this moment to the next. I am forgetful, unable to string sentences together, rambling more than usual. I feel alone and a bit scared and more impatient and irritated than usual. I am, in short, the perfect candidate for some hardcore brain pills.

I think - if I may suggest this without getting laughed at right in the face - that I am doing a decent job of keeping it all together. You know, the child gets cleaned and fed and hugged and kissed within an inch of his life; I don't stink too much and my hair is not any more disheveled than usual. My clothes match and I remember to eat at least once a day, sometimes twice; I try not to wallow too much.

But. BUT. Man, I'm just so effing tired. Not depressed or despaired: exhausted. Exhausted so intensely that I am seriously considering spending money I don't even have to get away for a weekend so I can be completely alone and sleep and not be compelled to deal with anyone or anything. It's so, so, so tempting.

I wish I could snap my fingers and find myself in a place where I don't feel like I'm scrambling, or putting out fires, or struggling to complete one seemingly simple task. I go from saying, "it's been a long-ass day," to, "it's been one hell of a week," to, "these last months have been effing crazy," to, "oh sweet Baby Jesus, seriously?? How much more? How much longer? Please stop pooping on me, ok?"

Oh, I know, I know. Magic phrase: it will pass. It will all pass and everything will come together and in no time I'll be laughing my butt off about all this. That's all well and good. I'll be happy when I'm there.

For now, though, I'M JUST SO TIRED.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/14/2008   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sunset

Until this year, when it seemed like her 93 years finally caught up to her, she always looked the same to me: old, birdlike, but strong and sturdy. She has, overall, looked the same as she did the day I met her in 1982. Doesn't that happen with some people? They are old in your childhood because they have some wrinkles and gray/white hair, and that is how they forever remain in your mind.

But over the last year, she has aged very rapidly. Minor health issues, age, the loss of siblings - who can ever guess the reasons why? And in these last months, it isn't that she has simply aged or shown signs of faltering. It is that she is dying. It is that we have all watched the illnesses get worse and worse until this exact moment, when the doctors have confirmed that her entire body is being ravaged by cancer. Hospice arrangements are being made, and, seeing the physical pain she is in, we are all hoping she passes quickly.

We can ask no more of her - she has given 93 years, and in that time played the role of wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, matriarch, family historian and caregiver to her dying husband. I don't know much about her relationship with my grandfather, only that she cared for him - her slight body feeding him, helping him first from the rocking chair to his bed and eventually bathing him and turning him in his bed - until death came for him. We buried him 22 years ago, and she still dresses in mourning for him.

I am normally someone who is too busy soldiering through something to allow herself to feel anything. I had suspected that the tears would come and the sadness would strike me hardest after she passed and we'd laid her to rest with my grandfather. But seeing her today, so fragile and tiny in her bed, her eyes unfocused, barely able to speak - yet still asking after my son - the tears flowed. I left her room and joined my relatives in the Florida room, expressing my disbelief that we're losing her, and losing her in this way.

And then I think of my father, and how it must feel for him to watch his mother die. She is now a ghost of herself, and I know he is preparing himself for what lies ahead. Still, I suspect that no matter how prepared he feels, her death will devastate him.

My grandmother will pass soon - I can't imagine her lasting past a couple of weeks. All I can hope that we are able to make her comfortable and lessen her pain, and that she leaves this world knowing how very loved she is.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/12/2008   | | | links to this post

Monday, November 10, 2008

What if Everything We Have Adds Up to Nothing?

I am trying to remember what it felt like before. I think to when I wrote this, this, and this. I think about what I felt - because I remember very clearly all that was flowing through me as I wrote those words - and I try to remember life before everything definitively changed.

I thought that 10 years was something close to magical, if not miraculous. I clung to that number, to all we had overcome and achieved, and took it all as a sign that we were safe. I remember believing with all I had that we were a done deal, set in stone forever. There was no question for me: I was in it, and in it deeply and completely. There was nothing we couldn't overcome. We could feel good about the things in our life that were working, and we could be stupid and hurt each other at other times because inevitably, we'd be back to good again. Every challenge met, every problem solved, every moment where we were in sync and in a good place just further solidified that feeling. I felt like everything we had worked so hard for could finally be appreciated. Our life was ours to finally enjoy, to cherish, to be moved by.

That is where I was. I don't know where he was; I can't even begin to guess. But as the clocked ticked towards the ending, it was clear that we were not in the same place.

And that clock, it was ticking. Even as I repeatedly tried to ignore it; even as I stressed over how to do things differently, how to better understand, how to make myself understood, how to be better, period. Then the clock stopped, and there was a shift.

And where I was then, where I remain if allow myself space and time to dwell on it, is here: I just wanted him to be happy. And he wasn't happy with me. There was no way to deny that: it was obvious in every facial expression, in every gesture of anger and frustration, in every fight even when there was nothing to fight about, in every silence. I felt every day as his love for me died.

And on the night when everything shifted, when I stood crying in the kitchen, begging for answers, begging him to believe in me, begging him to please be happy, I knew we were too far gone. I could not reach him. It was done.

But all I wanted was for him to be happy. Even if it was not with me. Clearly, it could not be with me. I knew that night that the times I'd hurt him, the times I'd shut down, the times I'd allowed my own damage to take control - all those times had led us here. I knew I myself was not happy, but I believed then and believe still that we each had very different reasons for this.

For me, 10 years meant that certain things - love, commitment, faith - were past being questioned. I did not think that love could die, that everything that bound us could not be enough, that I would ever be anything except his everything. I did not think we would ever end.

And I was so convinced of this one thing that the night I finally admitted to myself that he no longer loved me, everything gave way from under me. Everything was gone; everything was lost. Everything I believed in was shattered.

I decided in the weeks after that night that I had to let him go. For his own good. For my own.

I had to let him go. To undo everything. To watch my life - the one I had and the one I thought I'd have - disappear. That life, it turned out, had not really been mine for some time.

All that I thought was mine, all that was my everything - it added up to nothing.

And where do you go from nothing?

************************************************

No comments today. It's not that I don't want to hear what you have to say, it's that this is not something I want to have a conversation about. This post was a struggle for me to get through, but is a necessary part of the process. There are some words here that I needed to see written to help me move on. October was a particularly brutal month for me on the emotional front, but it helped me realize that the fact that he no longer loved me was the thing that everything had hinged on for me and still, to an extent, held me hostage.

But this is what it is. Just as I can't fault him for what he couldn't help feel, I can't continue torturing myself with the sense of worthlessness and failure that I've been carrying for so long now. With this, I hope it is done. I hope the catharsis of getting the words out of me works now as it always does.

Ultimately, the choice to end it was mine, and that was a choice I made after a lot of agonizing and a lot of prayer. It was not an easy choice; it was not something I took lightly. But given all that I knew, all that I was living through, all that I felt, that was the choice I made.

October for me culminated on the night our nation made a choice that I believe will get the USA back on track. We chose change, we chose hope. I made that same choice on a personal level, and feeling as I did that we had all been granted a chance to start new and fresh, with the opportunity to fix all that is broken, I realized that I, too, had been granted a chance to start fresh and new, with an opportunity to fix all that is broken.

And that is where I am now. From my nothing I will make something again.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/10/2008   | | | links to this post

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Girl and her Chocolate are not to be Messed With

I am one for whom chocolate does indeed work wonders. A bad day is temporarily improved with just one bite of a Hershey bar or Milky Way or perfectly blissful See's. When I'm dining out, rarely do I pick a dessert that is not chocolatey in some way. The only milk I drink is chocolate milk.

You get my point, right? Just in case, here it is: I AM A CHOCOLATE FREAK.

So you get a girl like me, a girl who loves her chocolate, and you add in the kind of month I've just lived through (a sucky one), and you combine that with a chance to sample a new chocolate line* from Ghirardelli called LUXE, and you what you get is this: HELLS YEAH.

And by that I mean, give me the chocolate, and no one gets hurt. Yeah, sure, I'll tell you what I think about the chocolate, but just hand it over. Quietly, now. Yes, that's it. Give it here. Now go away and let me soothe myself with bite after bite of perfect goodness.

Seriously, people, I received brand-new chocolate bars from Ghirardelli, and I sat down and ate them. Just like that.

O.k., no, I did not actually sit and scarf down five whole chocolate bars. I merely sat there and nibbled at each one, all delicate and lady-like, letting my finely tuned palate determine if these were worthy chocolates or not.

And the verdict is -- they are. They're yummy. Yummy in that velvety kind of way. Velvety. That's the word for these bars. Honestly, they're big bars, the kind I can't possibly eat in one sitting but will graze over for weeks until they're gone.

This LUXE line is all milk chocolate (my favorite kind!) and comes in the following flavors: LUXE MILK Solid. LUXE MILK Hazelnut, LUXE MILK Almond, LUXE MILK Crisp and LUXE MILK Duet (a mix of milk and dark chocolate). The almond one is the only one I took a pass on, because I seriously dislike nuts in my chocolate (except hazelnut, which made the hazelnut one o.k. to try).

So, yeah. I've been an emotional mess this week, so the chocolate? Came at a perfect time.

Now go away, get your own Ghirardelli, and leave me here to cry chocolatey tears over my sad, loserly self.





* When I wrote this post, I was referring to just this - this is the exact type of product that is beyond perfect for me to try and review.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/07/2008   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Ways in Which We Fall

La enamorada.

That is what I've always been known as in my family. It is a title I cannot deny; for years, I was indeed la enamorada, one who fell in love madly and intensely - and quickly - only to have the fancy pass within weeks; and only to go through the whole thing all over again weeks or months later. Lather, rinse, repeat.

My hasty, foolish ways made for many jokes among family; it got so that I grew hesitant to mention any new boy I was interested in because I knew no one would believe that I really meant it that time. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I didn't really mean it any of those times; what I was in love with was love itself, and with all the crazy, romantic notions in my head. I was yearning for something - affection, love, acceptance - that I felt I lacked in my life. I blame my overactive imagination. I blame my insecurities. I blame Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews.

The problem with being an enamorada is that you repeatedly open yourself to a level of disappointment and heartache too intense for anyone's good. Too intense for my own good, anyway.

I don't want to revisit my entire sordid enamorada history here. The important part right now is that this enamorada, she is still inside me. And I fear her.

There is a moment - on a pretty regular basis, it seems - where I feel her creeping up, pushing my common sense aside, because something - a thought, a conversation, feelings - has excited her and made her feel like she is on the cusp of something great. The moment may be fleeting, but it's enough to alarm me.

Whether it is the right or wrong thing, normal or not, I feel like this part of me can't be trusted and must be stopped. I am engaged in a war; I have to fight her and smack her around some and push her into some place deep enough inside me where she can't mess with my brain or my heart.

The enamorada doesn't quite get that I can no longer free fall, that I can't afford to be heedless, that I just can't approach things (or people) with that sense of "I'm so in looovveee! Wwhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" or, "This is so friggin' AWESOME!!!!!!!!!" I don't see how that could possibly be good for me, or more importantly, for Max.

Living through this marriage-falling-apart thing has made me cautious in a way I never expected to be. I am more protective of Max, of the choices I make and the ways I behave that could destabilize him. But I am also more protective of myself. This heart of mine that I used to give so freely, that I would sometimes force into people's hands and pretty much beg them to take care of - it's closed now. Not forever, not in some dramatic, I'm-a-broken-sparrow kind of way; it's just not readily available anymore.

I can't imagine that I would be able to dive into anything (and "anything" can be a relationship or just something new and different) like I used to; I can't imagine that I could achieve the level of trust required to let someone in to all these places inside me that I would love to share but am terrified of having destroyed or rejected.

Knowing this, I understand that for possibly the first time ever, no matter how much I might want to give, I won't be able to, and I won't want to. For possibly the first time ever, he who may want to be with me will have to bust his ass to prove himself worthy of me, my time, my love. The push-back I've always been afraid to give for fear the other would just walk away - I'm no longer afraid. I am no longer a hungry, scared child.

But that stubborn enamorada in me, she remains. She is the other side of the coin, the one who retains a tiny bit of hunger; the one who believes in wild, romantic stupidities that don't really happen or work in real life, but she refuses to accept that; the one who falls, easily, readily, with stars in her eyes and hope in her stomach; the one who wants something real and deep and warm and loving and wonderful and - cue the chirping birds and the happy ending.

She is me at my most passionate, my most intense, my most fearless. She matters to me because it is she who keeps me going when things are at their bleakest. But she has betrayed me too many times, opened the doors to levels of pain and self-doubt that sometimes feel like too much to bear. She has caused me a lot of harm.

So until I can find the right balance between la enamorada and my more pragmatic side, she is on lock-down. Because the falling, it is wonderful and thrilling and sweet - but only when you don't crash and burn.

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Posted by Tere @ 11/05/2008   | | | links to this post

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hello, Murphy's Law

An intense week of thinking, thinking, thinking. More than thinking, actually. More like, an intense week of facing a lot of things about myself and the way I've been feeling lately that I didn't want to face. Because seriously, who likes admitting, even if just to themselves, all the ways in which they are insecure and selfish and weak and all that crap?

A week of my writing ideas, thoughts, things I need to get out, feeling - more than I've felt in a few months - like a lot of things are making sense and I am finally seeing a bigger picture.

Also, a week of my working on posts for my other blogs about recent adventures I've had. I was lucky to get one post up, at least.

In other words, a week that would have made for some pretty neat blogging.

All of it rendered null and void by the annoying computer problems I've been having, problems that have made it impossible for me to even turn the damn thing on. Don't you just hate it when that happens?

On the bright side, I should be back up and running in the next day or two.

I hope.

Posted by Tere @ 11/03/2008   | | | links to this post