Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is it ever gonna happen now?

Sometimes I think, this is what you get for starting to believe that someone could want you around forever. Silly robot, for thinking it could ever happen to you. It seems that the only one who's always going to be there for me is me. It's ok I guess. I have been very lucky and somehow managed to build a good life for myself. But I feel like nothing I do matters if I don't have anyone to share it with. If there's one thing I've learned it's that good company is the main ingredient in a happy life.

But no sense wallowing. Sad things happen to everyone. I just have to keep going and never lose my sense of love or optimism. Every obstacle can make me stronger, every loss can make me more grateful for what I still have and every struggle can make me more compassionate and empathetic.

Still, what I wouldn't give for a movie scene moment, to be on the receiving end of a grand gesture or epic declaration. Not likely, but maybe someday.

Lyric of the moment: "When the night falls on you, you don't know what to do, nothing you confess could make me love you less. I'll stand by you. Won't let nobody hurt you. Take me in, into your darkest hour. And I'll never desert you. I'll stand by you..." (because this is what I want love to feel like.)


Monday, July 30, 2012

I want so badly to believe...

So here I am at a crossroads and I have a choice to make.

Instinct tells me to close up, shut everyone out, run away, hide, become so small that I am invisible, never let anyone get close, never depend on anyone except myself.

But I don't want to make that choice. I want to choose love over fear and an open heart over a closed one. I want to trust that one thing ends so that a better thing can begin.

I find it hard to believe that right now, but I'm still hoping that it's true.

Lyric of the moment: "never let your fear decide your fate..."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And so it goes

This week I bought my first new car and had a new roof put on my house and went through another breakup. So it goes. I used to think I was an easy going person who was easy to get along with, but I guess I was wrong. I know lately I have been depressed about my ankle and unhappy with myself, and I'm probably no fun to be around. I haven't wanted to be around people because I don't feel like I have anything to offer them right now. I just thought...I don't know...that love means loving someone even when they're at their worst, not being upset with them when they're down. But what do I know? And why is it that the times I need people the most are the same times I feel most like being alone?

So now I have a hotel reservation in Cape Cod for the end of August and no one to go with. I don't want to cancel it because I could really use a vacation. But I don't want to go alone either.

All I really want out of life is to have meaningful relationships, to have people with whom to laugh and talk and travel and explore and hug. I don't want to be a robot.  But I don't know how to do this people stuff.

Lyric of the moment: "This is how it works. You peer inside yourself. You take the things you like. And try to love the things you took. And then you take that love you made. And stick it into some, someone else's heart pumping someone else's blood. And walking arm in arm, you hope it don't get harmed. But even if it does, you'll just do it all again..."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vehicle for adventure

Conversation I had with an 11 year old:

Where's your punch bug?
I don't have it anymore. It was old and it died.
(sad face)
But a man in Buffalo bought it and is going to put a new engine in it.
And then he's going to give it back to you?
That would be nice, but no.
You should get another punch bug.

Update: Bug is getting a second life! As a Turbo Beetle! Evidently the guy my dad sold Bug to has a turbo VW Beetle diesel engine that he wants to put in Bug's body. I don't know how he can put a diesel engine into a car that doesn't run on diesel fuel, but that's his plan. Where can I get a new engine and become a Turbo Jen?

I thought about buying another Beetle. It's my favorite car and, after driving around in a bubble for the past 5 years, it's going to be an adjustment to drive anything else. And I will definitely miss the flower. But I'm leaning towards a more reliable car that will take me on adventures, not be the adventure. Plus I don't like VW's redesign for the 2012 Beetle. It's just not as cool.

To some extent I still think a car is a money pit. After all, it is a depreciating asset. But it's also a vehicle for vacation and exploration. Once I started thinking of it that way, the car hunting process became more fun. Though I want to dig as shallow of a money pit as possible.

So I've narrowed it down to two options. Either pay cash for a used 2-3 year old car with low mileage or buy a new car from a dealer offering 0% interest loans. Must be relatively small, a hatchback and blue.

Lyric of the moment: "All there is left to do is get up, get up, get up, there's a dance floor waiting." (Because I've been rocking out to Something For Rockets while walking to work.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Once in a blue funk

Lately, I've been in sort of a blue funk. I was trying to be happy and optimistic but it just wasn't happening. And I couldn't figure out why. I mean, I was annoyed at not being able to run how I want and upset about Bug's demise (update: Bug ended up getting towed away to Buffalo by some guy who bought him for parts. I like to think that Bug is now an organ donor living on inside other Volkswagens) and having to spend money on a new car (Of course, the whole point of having a savings account is so the money is there when I need it, but I still get panicky whenever I have to spend some of it). But those aren't real problems. Then I ran up Cobb's Hill and around the reservoir a few times (It still hurts to run but I'm like an addict who needs a fix so I've been giving myself a couple of 3 mile runs a week) and I realized the cause of my malaise may be the feeling that I've lost all my means of escape.

A car is my escape from places I don't want to be. My savings account is a sort of security blanket, the option to escape from potential future situations I don't want to end up in. And running is my escape from stress, negative thoughts and everything else. So at the moment I feel a little trapped - in a body I don't like and a life that I'm failing to live to its fullest.
I don't know why I need all these exit plans. I'm not actually trying to escape from anything. I just like knowing I have options. So much of what happens in life seems sort of random and out of my control, but if I'm disciplined and in control of myself, I feel better able to ride the waves life sends my way.

So either I mope around waiting for things to get better (which is totally lame) or I let go and try to be ok with feeling a little out of control for a while.
Lyric of the moment: "All my life I've been good but now, ooohhh I'm thinking what the hell?"

And the point is to live everything

I recently read Joan Anderson's A Year By The Sea* and the first page contains the following quote from Rainer Maria Rilke:

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answers."

I get it. Be patient, be happy with what you have, embrace life, etc. But if the point is to live everything, that means embracing the sorrows and the joys, the challenges and the triumphs. The thing about those "live in the moment" people is that they're probably sitting on a beach somewhere eating ice cream. No wonder they're all "be here now." That's a pretty sweet moment to be in. I don't think a person who is, say, getting mauled by a bear, would be so into the moment. He's not sitting around thinking, I'm so in this moment right now, I mean this is living. The searing pain as that bear rips off my arm. The blood gushing everywhere. This is a totally unique experience I'm having right now.  

I know I'm being cynical, but sometimes it's hard to be happy when I'm just not feeling it. I suppose dissatisfaction can be a harbinger of change. Though I don't want to linger in those moments. I want to get past the bad stuff as quickly as possible so I can get back to the good. But I'm learning that some things can't be hurried.

If there's one thing I have, it's questions, though I'm not sure how to go about living them. I guess I'll have to keep wandering. And be grateful I'm not being mauled by a bear.

Lyric of the moment: "I'll be counting up my demons, yeah. Hoping everything's not lost..."

*My favorite part of the book is Joan's old lady friend, who calls her up and says "Hi dear, want to get into some trouble today?" That's the kind of old lady I want to be someday. Actually, that's the kind of lady I want to be now.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bug out

So Bug is dead. Apparently he is not a fan of Dave Matthews Band because, on our way home from the concert on Tuesday night, Bug started smoking and died. He needs an engine transplant, but it doesn't seem worth it to put that much money into a 13 year old car (Sorry, dude. You were an awesome car, second only to Kitt from Night Rider). I don't feel like paying thousands of dollars to fix Bug and I don't feel like buying a new car either (well, new to me. I wouldn't buy a brand new car).

Actually, I'm sort of disillusioned by the whole car thing. Having a car is definitely convenient, but it's basically a financial sinkhole. I enjoy driving and Bug was my buddy. We had many adventures getting lost and breaking down and getting into smash ups and calling AAA. But sometimes I wish I lived somewhere with better public transportation or year-round warm weather so that I wouldn't have to own a car. When Bug died, I had a moment (ok, way longer that a moment) of panic - I'm getting a new roof on my house at the end of the month and now I need a new car and even though I have more than enough savings to pay for both of those things, I still freak out whenever I have to spend a significant amount of money and automatically assume I'm going to end up destitute and living in a cardboard box. You know, because that is the most logical sequence of events.

But after I freaked out, I sort of felt relieved at the prospect of not having a car for a while. It will be like a mini vacation from buying gas and paying for car repairs and sitting in traffic and rushing everywhere just because I can. As much as it may seem like it, having a car is not in fact a necessity, at least for me. I can walk or ride my bike to work and most of the other places I go on a regular basis. I may change my mind when it gets cold, but for now I kinda want to see how long I can go without a car.

Lyric of the moment: "Let me present to you my Volkswagen blues. Ready to carry me away. A long way to reach the moon..."