Guest Blogger – 1foot: QUITTER

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

A wise soul told me that “Women all around the world have been giving up things they love since forever in order to protect themselves and their hearts.” What makes me any different?

I’ve been in the process of  starting a nonprofit with ___ and some good friends for about two years. I love it, and I love our mission, and I love the people I was working with, but… I didn’t love the fact that I saw him all the dang time. Or that anytime I got free time, I was spending it working on bylaws, or going to meetings, or planning events, and I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I wanted to. Also, there happen to be a lot of new things cropping up in my life that I would rather devote my attention to.

So I decided to quit.

It was an incredibly difficult decision. I don’t like quitting things, and I tend to stick with something until it makes me really unhappy, or dies away. I decided to preempt some of that.

I met with our Chair and spoke to him in person about my decision and my reasoning, and he agreed, and it went really smoothly. When I got home, I emailed the group (including ___) a concise explanation of my decision and how much I would miss the group.

Cue relief, and a movie for relaxation.

Only… 1.5 hours later…

I get a phone call. Guess who.

“I just got your email. I just wanted to say… I mean I understand your reasons, and I’m happy for you, I guess I just wanted to call because, well, this group is kind of the only thing that’s been keeping us in contact, and it feels like without it, we won’t be seeing each other for a while, and I just didn’t think we should leave it at an email between us. I’m not really sure why I’m calling. I guess I just hope that the reasons you listed in your email are true. I mean, I know they’re true, but I just feel like I’m part of your reasons for quitting, and I’ve been thinking of quitting too, but I just want to make sure that you’re actually going on to better things, and that I just, I hope I didn’t make things too hard on you. And I want to know what you’re doing, I want to know what your new plans are. I just hope that you’re doing okay. You know you don’t give me enough credit for how much I care about you. ”

It went on like that for about 5 minutes before he paused to let me respond. It ended up being about a 30 minute conversation. For brevity’s sake, I’ll just say that in the end, I was able to get a few things off my chest that I had been wanting to for a long time. And I was able to end the conversation by telling him that I didn’t want to see him, or have him contact me, or work with him. Not for forever, just until I can get into a frame of mind that doesn’t involve me thinking about him every day.

It felt like a post-breakup breakup, and it felt like I had finally taken the power in my life and made a concrete decision that has helped me get into a better frame of mind. I finally took a positive step in the direction of my own goals and dreams, and it feels really, really good.

And in the end, quitting wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. It was hard, but I don’t feel like people are judging me for stepping down. I actually feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can really focus on learning new things and not being held back by others’ perceptions.

byebye,

1foot

Guest Blogger – 1foot: Go Fuck Yourself/I Forgive You

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

How long am I supposed to hold onto this anger? I’m mad at ___, and I know that’s healthy, but… yesterday I had a realization. I may be angry at him, and rightfully so, but he’s more than likely just living his life, without me even on his radar. Well, except for the sporadic, passive-aggressive text messages he’ll send right when I’m not thinking about him.

How long will I let the anger be a crutch? It has really helped me lately, because my feelings toward him have lessened dramatically in the past few months. But, being angry at him also just means that I’m still thinking about him. Be it positive or negative, he’s still on my mind.

Time, time, they say. Time. I know. And it’s true, time will (and already has) made things better. But in the interim, it’s idiotic to not try and find a way to cope.

Last night, on my way home from work, I saw a falling star and wished for the first thing that came to my mind – peace and forgiveness. It’s the first time I’ve made a wish, a true wish, that didn’t involve ___ changing dramatically and wanting to get back together.

I realize now that there’s a choice to make –  thus the title of this post.

I could tell him either of those things, at this point. Or neither.

Mostly I just want to move on. To be done with him. To be done with thinking about him.

It’s pretty clear to me what I need to do. The how eludes me.

byebye,

1foot

Guest Blogger – 1foot: The Freewheelin’

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

It’s bad enough going through one breakup, but to go through two? At once? Yeesh. No, I wasn’t dating two people at the same time, but when my most recent boyfriend broke up with me, I also had to break up with Bob Dylan. And who wants to do that?

REWIND.

Bob Dylan pictureIn high school, I met Bob. We clicked, and I thought it couldn’t hurt to learn more about him. He was older than me, but I’ve always gotten along better with older people. We were both poets. We both liked complicated sentences and topsy-turvy lyrical creations. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan became my go-to album. Then I discovered Blonde on Blonde. And Highway 61 Revisited. And Nashville Skyline. And Bringing It All Back Home (and oh, I brought it). And on. And on. I. Was. In. Love. A guy who had a crush on me during high school burned me a bunch of mixed Bob CDs. I blew it off then because I was flighty and 17, and it ain’t me, but I still have those CDs and I still treasure them and the sentiment. But me and Bob, we were just a duo that couldn’t be beat. I found myself in his lyrics, and I was transported time and again from a dingy, smoky basement bar to a misty forest, to a dusty Depression Era farm, and back again. I had long, dizzying discussions with friends who just couldn’t understand why he was so famous, why people couldn’t stop talking about him, and writing about him, when his singing voice was… rough, to say the least. And his lyrics, for them, were impenetrable. They just didn’t see in him what I saw in him. But Bob and I just got each other. His words untangled my dreams. And his oeuvre – well. There are plenty of books written on that subject. I can say a lot about him, but the main point is, Robert Allen Zimmerman and I were in it for the long haul. When I was bouncing around musically in college, Bob was my one constant. I saw him perform once, at Drillers Stadium in Tulsa, and I sneakily worked my way up to the front row on the field. From there, I could see in glorious detail the sweaty, wild hair, the slightly puffy face, and his cheeks as they bellowed in and out. He was lackluster that night, and I really couldn’t understand what he was saying at any given moment, but it didn’t matter. That is a night that lives in my memory as happy. When I went to Russia and lived there for a year, Bob came with me. He stayed up with me on Sunday nights when I couldn’t sleep, his words swirling around my brain, letting me know it was okay to be awake now, we were part of the night, together. I got his music for Christmas and birthdays. People came to me to get CDs burned of his albums. I wondered, at first, if I would ever get sick of him. But as time passed, I stopped worrying about ever losing him, and just began to enjoy the moment. I never, ever thought that anyone or anything could come between me and Bob.

And then I met ___. In September of 2008. Immediately, we clicked, and of course, he loved Bob too. How could he not? It was meant, it was destined. We took a road trip together in January of 2009, and he had just bought the Bootleg Series V. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue. We probably listened to that entire album no fewer than 15 times that trip. It was serious. There was this part in the album when he would lip sync one of Bob’s songs for me, and I loved it. It made me so giddy. And then came my birthday, and he bought me some Bob stuff. And then my next birthday, and more Bob stuff. And basically, we three were happy together. Until we weren’t anymore.

When ___ broke up with me last August, I thought I would turn to Bob for comfort. Like usual. I tried to listen to him, to get him to speak to me again, but he just looked at me sadly, and spoke only dust. My favorite songs had become mournful dirges. And this had become a song linked directly to me.

Beyond here lies nothin’

The lyrics that used to wrap up my troubled mind turned to dry leaves and crumbled under my feet. I reached out, but Bob had turned away.

Go lightly from the ledge babe. Go lightly from the ground. I’m not the one you want babe. I’ll only let you down.

I always thought he was warning me against falling too hard, too fast. I didn’t realize that he was foreseeing our own breakup, envisioning the time when I would turn to him, when I would need him most, and he wouldn’t be there. He wouldn’t be enough.

You say you’re lookin’ for someone, who’ll promise never to part. Someone to close his eyes for you. Someone to close his heart. A lover for your life and nothing more… but it ain’t me, babe. No, no, no it ain’t me, babe. It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

I know Bobby D’s still there. I know what I really need is to “rememorize”, as 25swf puts it, some of his songs. But he’s been gone from my life for almost 8 months now, and I can feel the void. I can’t wait to reclaim him for my own, to move past the mark that ___ put on him. To really follow him down, and to be okay with what I find there. I know that when I find Bob again, he won’t be completely without ___’s residue. We were all too close to ever really be separated. But I want to have faith that when Bob and I rekindle our flame, he will have grown with me, and his lyrics will resonate in new, more meaningful ways.

Can I come home with you, baby can I come home with you ?
Yes I’ll do anything in this godalmighty world
If you just let me come home with you.

byebye,

1foot

Guest Blogger – 1foot: out of order

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

Five months after we broke up – We’re sitting in my living room. I’ve just given him a Christmas present. A really cool Christmas present. Why? I can’t say. I don’t know. And he’s given me nothing, except his best sad eyes. And he asks me if he can give me a hug, which of course leads to us… well, forgetting. Choosing not to remember, rather. But it doesn’t go very far at all this time before we stop, collect ourselves, and sit back down. We’re not doing this again. We’ve been here before, a few times in the past five months, and we know exactly where it leads – straight to my bedroom. And afterward, for him, straight to the door.

So instead, we sit and talk. I tell him he knows me better than anyone else. He says that he forgot that detail, during the course of our relationship. He says he also forgot that the opposite is true, that I know him better than anyone. He says maybe it’s easy to forget those things when you’ve been with another person for so long. I agree, but inside I’m thinking, I never forgot that. I won’t say it out loud though. “I never forgot that,” I hear myself say out loud. “I’ve never forgotten that.” Yes.

I tell him that I think I’ve been deluding myself into thinking maybe we were just on a break. I hold back the fact that maybe one reason I’ve thought that is the multiple times he’s come over to tell me he misses me, he loves me (but not like that), maybe things could work out, and from here, well. All roads lead to sex, ladies and gentlemen. He tells me that he doesn’t want to hurt me. (Um… too late…) I tell him, “It doesn’t matter if it hurts, as long as it’s the truth.” I say that.

He looks me straight in the eye. “That’s true.” He takes a breath. “I think about marriage, a lot. And family, a lot.  I think about that stuff, all the time, about the type of family I’m going to have, and what it’s going to be like when I’m married and have kids. And the truth is, I could just never imagine you in that scenario.”

I can’t believe I said it doesn’t matter if it hurts. This matters. This hurts. This hurts like I need to open my insides and remove those words and fold myself back together, because maybe that will hurt less. Because we were together for two years and the whole time, and even this whole time, the only person I can really see in that future with me is, of course, him. And I say to myself, but out loud, that I guess I just need to accept the fact that I’m not able to be loved by him. That for whatever reason, I don’t measure up to his standards. And I believe this. And he agrees with me.

I wish I felt differently. I used to feel differently. I used to feel like it was him who didn’t measure up, who wasn’t good enough for me. But those words, those words. They gutted me.

————————————————————————————————————-

**Update** I wrote that above part 3 weeks ago. But in terms of my current mental/emotional state, it might as well have been 3 years ago. I can’t quite say what happened, what turned the switch. But I finally got angry. Really and truly angry at him. I stopped letting my friends and family members carry the anger that I wanted to feel so badly, and I claimed it for my own. I strongly believe that the anger stage is the last stop before true emotional healing can begin. The key is letting go of that anger when the time comes. And I want to take you with me through that phase of my journey, but I don’t have all the words to describe it yet. I was broken. He broke me some more. The bubble burst, and I hated him with all my heart. Then, on a day not so long after I hated him, I stopped hating him. I’m not sure what replaced the hate, or if anything did at all. I still get angry sometimes when I think about him, but it’s… less potent.

Most of you don’t know who I am, and I’m not going to be able to give you an orderly account of my life and relationships up to this point, mainly because I’m still sorting some of it out for myself. For now, let me say that even though I’ve been through the love-wringer at the ripe old age of 23, I still stand by this fortune cookie quote I received one day after my most recent breakup:

“Time flies. Suns rise and shadows fall. Let time go by. Love is forever over all.”

bye bye,

1foot

Guest Blogger – 1foot: Ami Adjudication

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

I’m a huge tease.

I’m serious. I’ll flirt you up, down, and all around town, but as soon as you start showing interest in me, I retreat, usually. I’ve pretty much been that way my whole life, but now there’s an added edge to it. When a guy’s flirting me up, or whatever the terminology is, and I feel like maybe we’re getting close to some sort of physically intimate contact, I get terrified that everyone around me will think I’m slutty, that he’ll think I’m slutty, and the only thing that runs through my head is, what would “RM” think? RM is my roommate from freshman year. I’ll explain. Continue reading