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An optimist, a pessimist and a realist walk into a bar…

19 Jan

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I’m not exactly sure how the conversation started. This very young, cute-sy, twenty something year old tells me how optimism is really the cure for all things painful. That’s not exactly what he said, but that is what I heard. My eyes narrowed to slits, I took in his perfectly coifed hair do, not a single black strand out of place. His slim blue suit was on point… He could have just stepped out of a magazine spread. Legit. I wish I would have taken his picture just to show you. No doubt, his broad smile had opened a few doors, and likely even more zippers. No, no he isn’t at all my type, even if I were single (which I’m not.  I’m WAAAYYY married, like 22 years of marriage – married.) That’s not where this story is going, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give you the background.

I stood there taking him in (judging this book by the cover) and wondered if he really believed what he was saying. Could optimism really be the cure for all things? Could bad things cease to exist by simply not acknowledging them? Had he been successful with this concept?

My response, “hmmm… I’m not sure about that. I’m more of a realist. Neither believing all things are good, or bad. But allowing space for both.”

He sputtered a bit and I continued to stare. I do that sometimes when I’m thinking. I stare …and blink….and remain uncomfortably quiet. Wanting to be cynical and ask him for the resume of loved lost, evaporated dreams, crushed opportunities….and yet willing myself to not go there. For one, I didn’t want to have to share my list (if asked)….and I honestly found it hard to believe that he had experienced enough to hold the conversation. I stared until I noticed him blushing and then said “do you really believe that?”

Yes, of course he did.

Would he in ten years? In twenty? I don’t know.

I know that I’ve learned that life is not all good or all bad. That bad things DO happen to good people. Positivity is such an endearing quality and I really do try to “look on the bright side”. I start each day fresh.  I forgive (even when I don’t want to.) I believe the energy you put out in the world is the energy you get back. Some call it karma, some say it’s biblical “you reap what you sow”.

I also allow space for heartache. For disappointment. On those days I don’t simply suck it up and power my way through.

I feed it Chick-Fila….and chocolate. Sometimes vodka …I smother my self with blankets and wallow in the sorrow of it all. I take the time to be there, to breathe in the heaviness, and to grieve. I allow myself to cry. Nothing feels more lonely to a  person experiencing sadness than suggesting they barrel through to the land of sunshine and roses powered only on fumes and a fake smile.

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No. No, it is ok to be sad too. Some where along the way I think we’ve forgotten that.

The trick is, not staying there for to long. At some point, you have to bid it farewell. Pack it’s lunch and send it on its way. It’s even okay to offer a warm goodbye hug or two. He will be back….sadness, disappointment, heartache… They always return at some point, knocking the dust from their boots as the come through the threshold. They find their way to your table and ask for coffee. While it brews, you wonder how you got here, again….We can only pray the visits are few and far between…maybe that’s just my realistic world view. Maybe it’s not the same for everyone.

The ebb and flow of life. It’s hard to appreciate triumph if you have not experienced defeat. It’s hard to know true love without first knowing heartache. Sometimes the two are intertwined and inseparable.

A realist searching for balance –  believing that to far to the left or to the right…is just to far.

What lens do you use to view the world?

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#Epic.FAIL….

5 Apr

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SOooooo, I was being just a tad bit nosy last week…cyber stalking a former friend’s page….a little Face Book voyeurism, if you will…
Don’t judge! You know you’ve done it too!
Truth is, I miss her.  She is hysterically funny, loyal and just fun to be around.
She is also pushy, controlling and demanding.
We ALL have our issues, don’t we?
However,  for the latter reasons, and the seeping of such into my world, I decided to end our friendship.  
We broke up.
Truth is, I changed. She didn’t.
Don’t get it twisted though, she didn’t need to change.
She is perfect just the way she is.  Just not a perfect fit into my life.
Through a painful period of self analysis, I realized boundaries were lacking in many of my relationships.  Internally, was bleeding….carving myself up every time I fed the need to please addiction raging under the surface.
Something…had…to…change.
I HAD to change.
Truth is, I needed some time to focus on me….on my marriage….on the boundary lines that had eroded over decades until I no longer recognized myself when I looked in the mirror…only the pencil outline remained of a  perfect mom, of a perfect wife….striving to be even more perfect with every breath.
Truth is, I only had room for one other human on my tattered, old boat. It was setting sail…Pushing away from the dock, I wasn’t even sure it would float with the additional weight. It was already taking on water, puddling and pruning my toes. In the days that followed, we fought for ground through ragging  storms, through silent nights….at times our arms flailing wildly, threatening to capsize the boat.
There were days that I thought we’d die on the water…someone would find our boat floating, empty and lifeless.  Would they even know we were there?  Would our bones remain with the memories? Would they say a prayer for a marriage lost?
Motor less, we had to learn to paddle in sync to make it to shore…. slowly at first… Then suddenly, the water calmed. The sun a little less harsh….we found a bit of comfort in the space…some peace…able to raise our heads and recognize beauty in the small gestures.
Soooo, when I received a notification that my former friend accepted my Facebook friend request…I was stunned. I hadn’t sent it…or at least I didn’t MEAN to send it….
Epic.F-A-I-L.
 
I fessed up through email …acknowledging my nosiness…

A spade is a spade….an embarrassing spade this was, indeed…

I didn’t want to un-friend her….left it up to her to decide how to move forward. In retrospect, maybe that wasn’t fair….
I honestly didn’t want to inflict more pain….and secretly I was hoping that one day, through the slow erosion of the defensive walls we built for self protection, we would be able to find friendship again.
What followed was a bit out of a high school text book…Social media brings out the inner teenager, doesn’t it? I was mistaken to believe we could co-exist without issue. There is still to much pain…to much heartache….
Truth is, she is entitled to feel the way she does…just as I am.
These days, I try to live in a drama free zone…yet I’m finding myself stuck smack dab in the middle of this bulls-eye….
Unfortunately, yet unapologetically, this boat still only has two seats.  Thankfully, K and I are closer to land now than ever before.

Still on the journey but not lost at sea….

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