Thursday, April 24, 2008


there are things to say, but i am tired. tired of being the girl things happen to. tired of being leaned upon. tired of waiting for the break in the clouds that doesn't come. tired. and i'm hating this sixth sense of mine - knowing the answers to things before the questions have been asked, but never the right things or the happy things. nature's way of preparing me for the onslaught, i suppose. still, i find it to be a pain in the ass, in the head, in my heart.

my mother has breast cancer. it's early and the tumor is slight, but still, there are questions that beg and long, long road ahead. this makes a few generations for us, and i wonder what this means for me. is there an altered gene somewhere and if so, which one - the gene for breast cancer or for bad luck? are they one and the same?

i've spent a great deal of my life rearranging to suit others - their schedules, their whims, their burdens. it's a choice i make, sometimes out of love, sometimes out of necessity. it requires a lot of me - patience, strength, faith - and it is not always to my benefit. it is not, a friend reminds me, who i am - it is something i do, something i'd pledged to do less of. still, old habits die hard and i suspect these next few months i will behave no differently, though i wonder how much more weight a girl, even one with freakish strength, can bear.

(my mood is dark, it would seem, despite the lightness of the day. too, i have a cold, with the attending rib-rattling cough, and i can feel my pulse in my head.)

with as many difficult choices as it seems there will be ahead, i think it's a good sign that i can at least see that far. who knows? maybe this is just the way it's supposed to be right now. (lucky me!) the universe will eventually perform its magic trick and an entirely new adventure will reveal itself; until then i write with wide hope and a loose wrist and live with the fury of misfortune and delight.

and if that doesn't work - there's always ice cream.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

where i'd like to be tonight

no matter where i was today, i wanted to be someplace else.

i thought it had to do with being awake when i could have slept so much longer. i thought it had to do with driving so far to work when i'd like to live just a few minutes away. i thought it might have to do with being stuck inside the store on such a beautiful california day when i'd rather be at the beach.

at the very least, i thought i might be able to shake the feeling loose, once i made my escape and was on the way home.

i was wrong.

now that i'm here, there are a hundred other places i'd rather be:

drinking coffee and laughing -loudly- with tri
at a bar in newport beach, dancing - wild and silly and carefree - with em & m
at the jason mraz concert at the troubador in la (which sold out online before i could even log in.)
drinking hot chocolate and waiting in line for the matterhorn
hiding in a box and waiting to scare someone with amy
watching shannon sing 'goldfinger' at spotlight karaoke
anywhere with laurie t.
in a space of my own
november, 1983

in this moment, though, none of these things are possible. there are too many unknowns, too many things to say, things to settle, and it feels i'm miles away from any of the above.

how do i get there from here?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

the truth about boys and girls

em. & m. ...

sitting and talking with the two of you, whether it's whispering over cake in the kitchen or shouting over the jukebox and cold, cold beer at the huddle, well, it's just about one of my favorite things about california. more than the weather. more than disneyland, even.

in your presence, i can almost see myself through your eyes - strong and beautiful and wise - and in those moments, i actually believe i'm close to becoming the person i've always wanted to be. i will never be able to thank you fully for this particular joy, but i will do my best to help you both find your way to that same place, wherever it may be for you.

your stories on friday night, hearing the pain and doubt and fear in your voices as you told those stories, opened some old wounds. i understand the struggle because i've been where you are and here's the truth of what i've learned (it's a wisdom hard earned, i assure you):

boys are stupid.

it's a lesson i wish i could go back and teach my younger self. the girl i was way back when ... the girl with the flat stomach. and hope.)

i understand what it is to love someone who won't or can't or doesn't love you the way you want him to love you, they way you 'need' him to love you. it's awkward and soul-crushing and completely avoidable. the truth is, we don't get 'burned' by men. we burn ourselves. we know what will hurt us and we reach out for it again and again because we're used to that particular pain and it's easier to take than looking for something new.

i want better than that for you. for all of us. (there's no reason we girls must be stupid, too.) so, look for something new!

it's okay to be afraid and to feel unloved ... it will happen a lot and will never last. there is a certain wild joy that comes from simply not going under. once the soul begins to awaken, there is no stopping it. it can be resisted. it can be denied. for a while. but 'awake' holds so much potential and delicious possibility - even as it can be a fearsome sort of thing, i think. it means taking responsibility instead of letting things happen. it means letting things happen when there is nothing that can be done.

and i won't tell you that it isn't painful as hell, and scary too, nurturing a life you want to live into being. it's harder than you think it will be, happier, too. i promise you that.

and in the midst, you will make mistakes and say the wrong things and ache with the constant newness of it all. and when you're unsteady or insecure, don't be afraid to reach for something to keep your balance. but try not to make it a boy. (and reaching out for support when you truly need some, you should know, doesn't make you weak, it just makes you wise. it also makes you feel better.)

i don't know if i help at all. i hope i do. and even if i don't ... at least today is a new day.

you're ready to make all kinds of new mistakes, new friends, new flights, new enemies and new revelations as to why it's good to be alive. the most important thing to remember is to embrace everything with enthusiasm and respect. a wrong turn, a bad review, a difficult relationship ... well, it's never the end of the world. there's nothing good music, duct tape or a letter from a friend can't fix. life is good like that.

and with the two of you in mine, life is quite good, indeed.

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