Saturday, April 30, 2011

Do We Need Closure?

Over yummy burgers and brew with a girlfriend of mine this week (OK, you caught me - a sandwich and water for me!), we talked about reconnecting with ex-boyfriends. She'd recently gone to dinner with one of hers after not seeing him for several years, and given that she's married, this wasn't any sort of rekindling extravaganza.

Funny that she should bring this up because one of my exes reached out to me recently, saying he may be in town this weekend and would love to take me to lunch. I haven't seen his black ass in 3-1/2 years (before you think I'm racist, keep in mind I'm using that as an expression. This dude is as white as they come...although he does have gangsta qualities).

Basically, our saga was that we dated in college on and off, and after I graduated, I tried getting back together with him - even going so far as to express my undying love in a letter - only to be ignored and eventually made aware of his new relationship via MySpace. Cue the ensuing months of dark depression - bouts of crying, listening to sad songs constantly, feeling inconsolable, not wanting to get out of bed. It was a dark time for me, and I lived through all of it again when I recently re-read my journal from that era. I was quite pathetic, and I'm happy to report that I'll never be like that again.

No guy is worth that - especially not this guy! I'd forgotten (or maybe just suppressed) all of the horrible things he said to me. He told me he would never miss me and that I'd probably miss him more. At one point, he told me I was dirty and easy (umm, what?!?) and he made frequent criticisms of my hair and appearance. Oh, not to mention all of the lies he told me throughout the course of our relationship, like his hidden marijuana habit and fake hook ups with other girls that he'd masterminded in order to make me jealous. Oh, and how can I forget that he read my private journal - twice! Real gem and a half.

My friend that met up with her ex said she felt great about it - she was able to get a lot off of her chest, and he even apologized to her for some of the things he'd done. She said it felt like great closure.

So that got me thinking about my ex - is there any closure there that I need?

I realized that no, there are no loose ends there that need tying up. I don't walk around carrying bitterness (because truly - who does that benefit?), but just because all of that stuff happened years ago when we were younger, I don't forget. He's still with that girl he left me for, and while that's great for him, I'm not going to put on some show just to prove how "over it" I am. Being over it to me means that I'm indifferent to him - I don't need to figure anything out with him because all that was needed to figure out was, well, me.

I figured out how to recognize when someone is bad for you. While I don't think he's a bad person, I do believe he wasn't right for me in too many ways to make the relationship worth it. There wasn't even a strong enough foundation there for me to even try to test out a friendship with him. He served his purpose in my life, and now that ship has sailed. It's in the past and no dredging up of old stuff is ever going to benefit me.

So needless to say, I'm not meeting up with him, as tempting as it is, given how great I'm doing! There is that immature part of me that wants to flaunt around how awesome I am, but there's simply no point. I'm sure he knows that I'm a good person and recognizes what he did to me, otherwise he wouldn't be trying to be buddy-buddy with me. My friend asked me if I'd ever want him to apologize to me. You know what? I really don't think I need that. I don't care if he's sorry or not. I've moved on with my life, and I don't need past heartbreak to rock that boat.

So here's to gaining closure on my own! It's such a remarkable feeling, and I'm proud of myself for how far I've come. Honestly, if it weren't for my ex, I might have been just as inconsolable over the next breakup I had with someone. But my skin was thick enough to where I didn't really cry or lament that loss too much. I picked myself up off the ground and closed the door myself!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Comfort vs. Chaos

One of my 3 readers, my friend Chelsea, gave me some good advice in a post comment recently. She said, "Paying bills and going to bed at a decent hour is all well and good, but you could stand to be a little more irresponsible at times."

SO true! This has been one of the many things nagging at me when it comes to figuring my life out. I worry about making enough money, working at a job that allows me to make time for zumba, living in an apartment that has a washer & dryer and offers ample parking. All of these things I have right now. And you know what? I'm bored.

Comfort is a funny thing - it makes you feel at ease, but at the same time, it makes you (or at least, me) restless. I have my life all in order, so why am I anxious about everything?

I've been thinking about what Chelsea said, and she's right on. I've really been taking the easy way out for pretty much my entire life, never wanting to put in that extra umph to make life more fulfilling. Some examples:

  • I commute 10 minutes to work and come home for lunch, which plays a big factor in me not pursuing work downtown because of the 30+ min. drive each way.
  • My apartment is nice and has all of the amenities I've looked for, but this is the suburbs for crying out loud. I'm sick of families and white people. I need me some culture!
  • I leave work and come home, very rarely thinking about work once 4:30 rolls around. Sounds blissful right? Well, I could stand to be a little more stressed out about it, as crazy as that sounds.
  • All of my bills get paid, and I'm pretty stable financially. Yet all I do is fantasize about a big trip to Italy. Why haven't I planned it already?

I think it's high time I make some changes and start incorporating some irresponsibility into my life. Instead of my strict 10 or 10:30 p.m. bedtime every night, why don't I stay up until midnight writing a short story or watching a favorite movie? And would it really hurt me to get into work early once in awhile to get things done before everyone shows up? It's like I try so hard to avoid stress that in doing so, I drive myself crazy - and even worse, I don't challenge myself. I stick to my comfort zone, which is fine if you're 40, but 25 is the time to put myself out there.

I'm going to start working on this, although I'm not expecting changes overnight. I do still love my early bedtimes and making it to all my workout classes every week. But maybe I can loosen up the britches every now and again, and get irresponsible!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bluesday Tuesday

One of the things I look forward to every week is when I check out the latest Sacramento News & Review on Thursdays. No, not for all of the deals on medical marijuana or the questionable underage Asian "masseuse" ads. My favorite is the advice column. It always features a "Meditation of the Week," and last week's was especially poignant. It was a quote from someone: "Be the chess player, not the chess piece."

That really hit home because the last couple weeks (hell, the last couple years), I've been feeling crippled with indecision. I'm never quite sure about what to do or where to go in life - what's my next career move? Do I want to still live in the suburbs?

That quote was a good reminder that my life is my own - I shouldn't just let things happen to me. I need to make them happen. I have full control!

That doesn't mean I won't have my down days. I've dubbed Tuesdays as "Bluesdays" because for some reason, I've been feeling down on those days. Last week, I had a volunteer meeting for my Sexual Assault Response Team and then a networking event I'd RSVP'd to. I ditched both, went home and barely left my couch. I don't know what it was - I just felt pretty blah.

Today I felt that same down feeling. I'm thinking I'm not busy enough - when that happens, I have too much time to think. Thankfully, my day is ending pretty well. I may be sitting on my bum on the couch now, but I did Zumba earlier, cooked my newest veggie tofu stir fry for dinner, and watched reruns of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." And my precious kitty is curled up next to me. So things are pretty good.

And now for an abrupt subject change...

A couple weeks ago, I spent a much-needed weekend in Nevada with the fam. First on the list - a family dinner that consisted of my parents meeting my sister's boyfriend for the first time. I chatted with the happy couple before we met up with my parents. I offered one bit of advice to them: absolutely, positively NO touching whatsoever.

I said this coming from experience. About 2 1/2 years ago, my parents met my new boyfriend at the time. It was a big moment for me because, well, frankly I thought that this would be the last guy I'd have to introduce to my parents.

It started off in traditional Dad fashion - he walked up to us on the street in front of the restaurant and pretended to be a homeless person. He walked with a limp and asked for spare change. Seriously.

I should have known the relationship was doomed.

But anyway - during lunch, my then-boyfriend nonchalantly kept his hand on my knee. Such a sweet, caring gesture, right? WRONG. To my parents, this was tantamount to fornicating over our sandwiches. They didn't appear surprised by it at the time, but my mom later informed me that my dad had been horrified by the guy touching me. On my knee. While I was wearing pants. In front of my parents. At a public place. Oh, the horror! It was literally like that scene in "Father of the Bride" when Steve Martin can't listen to a word his daughter's fiance is saying because he notices him rubbing her leg.

So I knew it was necessary to share this insight with my sis and her beau. Thankfully, they heeded my advice and kept their distance. I can only imagine the sinful thoughts going through my parents' heads if the guy had put his arm around my sister...yikes!

The dinner went really well, and the next day was even better - a spa day with my mom and sister! Such a blissful day of relaxation. I had the next day off from work since I'd worked the entire previous weekend, which meant another day of sleeping in and not wearing makeup! Those 2 things are truly essential when it comes to my weekends.

Speaking of weekends, this one is a 3-day weekend for me, thanks to Good Friday. The stock market is closed that day, so my firm will be also. Whoop whoop! It should be a fun weekend of a dinner with my girlfriends, catching up on chores and then spending Easter in Chico. Can't wait!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I think this week I've eaten a nice slice of humble pie.

For the most part, I've always had pretty good self esteem. My parents have been nothing but 120% supportive of me, and I'm proud of all that I've accomplished in my life thus far.

But sometimes, amid my feeling good about myself, I fail to realize some of my downfalls. Not that I walk around thinking I'm perfect - I will be the first to admit my faults. But there are times when I assume that all of my good qualities somehow make up for my not-so-good qualities or choices. Like being nice, honest and successful is my "Get Out of Jail Free" card in the game of life.

Recently, I upset a dear friend of mine. Instead of approaching the situation with the bottom line (which was, "I'm sorry for hurting you." Period. End.), I went on a whole diatribe to try and justify my actions. Sure, maybe to some what I'd done wasn't the worst thing in the world (i.e. murder, cheating, stealing, hatefulness), but the point is that I hurt someone. And someone's hurt is always justified because I don't ever want to be the reason someone is upset.

This made me look back on myself and the way I've acted toward all of my friends, past and present. I can parade around, naming my good qualities as a friend, but that doesn't make it acceptable for me to do whatever I want when I feel like it. My actions can hurt people, and being good 98% of the time doesn't make that 2% OK.

I was raised Catholic, but I don't really believe in the idea of going to a priest to confess my sins (if anything, I can talk directly to God because he's everywhere, right?) So, here on my precious little blog, I'm going to do my Catholic-roots duty and confess some of my missteps as a friend (dating all the way back to the good ol' days of elementary school). Not that it will matter to anyone, but it's more just so I can get this off my chest and show that I do recognize my mistakes.
  • In 2nd grade, I told another girl to put my friend Diana's lunchbox in the girls' bathroom toilet. I lied to the yard duty about it and denied doing it, which technically was true, but I was the mastermind behind it.
  • I promised one friend that she would be the first one to spend the night at my house, only to rescind my offer and invite another girl. Then when the first girl's mom called to chew me out, I hung up on her (I was 10).
  • I started hanging out with a girl who was new to our 7th grade class and subsequently started ignoring another friend. That friend's mom told my mom that sometimes she wouldn't even want to come to school because she felt so abandoned. Boy, am I a bitch.
  • I stole my friend's boyfriend in 8th grade.
  • I talked A LOT of crap about my closest friend in high school. She and I were very competitive, and I wouldn't even be happy for her when good things happened to her. I would just feel jealousy and try to demean it. I'm really not proud of this stage of my life. Definitely took a page out of the "Mean Girls" book.
  • In college, I messed around with my best friend's ex-boyfriend. She knows about it, but I should have never gone there, even if it had been years since they broke up. Exes are always off limits no matter what. It took me a long time to realize that.
  • Nowadays, I'm making missteps in acknowledging my friends' feelings and where they need my support. I always lament about how hard it is to come by good friends. Maybe it's time I lead by example.
There they are - my friend failure confessions. Sure, some of them are reflections of my immaturity and young age. We all mess up and make mistakes. I just need to be more aware of how I'm affecting people and stop with this mentality that the world somehow owes me for my good behavior. Being good doesn't make me entitled to anything. I should always strive for being a good person - not because it means I'll get something at the end of it but because it's the right thing to do.