Of the Heart and of the Mind. Three point one four one five nine.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Okay, I keep saying I am going to write this, and I keep meaning to, before I start forgetting (though I probably already have) and forget too much. So here we go.
Last Thursday turned out uneventful after my last post.
Friday was okay, I went into Boston with Mom, saw her office and met a few co-workers, then headed over to the convention my friends were at. Got myself all settled in for working in one of the hotel rooms, then left to go say hi to people 'cause I just didn't want to wait. Roleplayed in a game with many of them because work was kindof boring and then after helping one of my Managers with a site she said to just do whatever I wanted, it was okay, that no one was really doing much 'cause of the mood. I was really glad to not be in the office that day. Instead I got to roleplay with friends, then hang out with a few of them too (Jim, Donna, their daughter Gabby, and Charlotte), and went to Chinatown for dinner and bought two Really Great dresses there, and roleplay a great session that night. Friday was a good and fun day.
Saturday started out Eh. Not because of previous issues, but because the morning roleplay game was just not fun. Though before the game I did get to spend not quite an hour hanging out and talking to and catching up with my former good friend Jen G., only former because since I've moved we've hardly been able to talk. That was cool. The game towards the end picked up and got fun, but otherwise I pretty much knew I wasn't going to be a part of it and so walked around a bunch. I did get my picture taken by two people for being in such a cool looking Asian dress (it was an Anime convention), which made me feel a bit better. Then after the game I hung out with the same four people from Friday in Chinatown for a bit, we went CVS hunting. After that things got... um well Jim and Donna were both stressed for different reasons and they just needed some family time so Charlotte and I bailed. Which turned out cool 'cause I got to get to know her, my new good friend. :) Then she and I went to get dinner and found a bunch of my other friends, so we hung out with them and I got to talk a lot, did what I have since termed "My Three Michigan Rants". It was fun, much goodness.
Then came time for people to go back to gaming and me to head to Mom's for the weekend. I did my rounds of seeing and saying good-bye to people, I was kindof putzing on that 'cause I really didn't want to leave. But I had told Mom I would be home that evening, so I was working on getting going. Said my good-byes to everyone and decided I couldn't wait any longer to see Jen G. and Pat to say good-bye to them, so I told Missa to give them both a hug for me and then added to give one to Kevin for me too since he ended up not being at the con and so I wouldn't be able to see him at all. She told me she would, and that the reason he wasn't at the con is 'cause he was sick. Okay, I didn't know that, and it IS kindof important because Kevin's a good friend, and my safety. Missa said Erica would know more about what was wrong with him so I sought out Erica, who told me Kevin was SICK, as in so sick he was actually following what the Doctor told him to do, and that he was on heavy meds, the kind they give as the stepping stone to the SARS cure, and that they were worried his diabetes were interfering with treatment....
She said I should call him, I said I would, and thanks for the info. And I went to leave. I didn't make it five steps before things started to crash. I took a few deep slow breaths trying to dam back the tears and emotions, and then tried to take stock to see if I could just go on home or if I needed help. I decided help would probably be better, eventhough I could probably get through this on my own, especially since I was currently surrounded by all but one of my current good to best friends. Figured I might as well take advantage of them while I had the opportunity, for goodness knows I am rarely around them anymore. Then the decision was, who to go to? Narrowing to two choices came quickly: Jim or Todd. Jim was running a game, Todd was only helping with one. Jim is my new close friend for support, Todd is... Todd, my Todd, so much different from me yet someone once told me (two people maybe?) that it was like Todd is my soul mate, other half, but not in the romantic/couple sense. I decided on Todd, mostly because I so rarely get to see him, and I knew he'd want to help me if he was around and I was hurting. I made the right choice.
As soon as he was out of the room, I couldn't even get a word out to explain why I had called him away from his game, I just broke down. It was so quick, right in front of Erica and whomever else from the con was in the hall, which is unusual for me. The more people there are around me the harder it is for me to give into tears and breaking down. I was crying pretty hard. He held me. He asked me what was wrong and I managed to say that Bryan, a friend at work, had died and I found out Thursday morning, and then I just heard about Kevin, and it was all too much.
He pulled me into a more private area, though was upset he couldn't find an empty room for us to use - it's pretty funny thinking about him doing that scene now - and we talked, and he hugged me as needed. We got a bit into how my problem was also that I have barely any friends here.... After I'd calmed some he asked me if I'd be okay, and I said would be, and he finished my statement for me: "Because you have to." he said, and he's right. I've known that too, for a long time, and I say it ever so often to people who get overly concerned. I will be fine, either "because I have to be" or " I don't have a choice". To which he said "I am always here for you." and my starting to be teary reply was "Yes, but you're HERE." as in Massachusetts. He looked me in the eyes and said "Hey, I've lived here all my life. No one's made me even consider leaving."
Todd and Erin have talked a lot about moving out to Michigan once she graduated college, it got to the point a couple months ago it seemed they were really seriously planning they might/would. But then I heard no more. Now I really think he will move out here, for me. I remember thinking while they were talking about it, do I really want them to? It would make me feel like I had to spend time with them, even when I might not want to. I'd feel responsible if they hated it, or things went bad. I didn't want that. I know they have another friend out here in Jim, and neither have family holding them in Mass. But they would be moving for ME. That's INTENSE. And yet, when Todd told me that last Saturday, and then gave me a really tight hug, something inside of me was... soothed... it felt like a wound was healed - an old, skinned/scared over so it doesn't bleed yet still open, probably *deep*, and well protected, wound was simply brushed over and was gone, perfectly whole and healthy and unmarked skin in its place.
He asked me if I was going to be okay, and I said I was okay, as in at that moment. And I really was, but he gave me the "Uh huh, yeah right" look, eventhough I assured him I was. He wasn't buying it, but I was telling the truth. I know it seemed like I was covering, because normally changes in people don't happen that suddenly, but this one had. Still, I'm glad he made me sit in the hall and wait for him to finish his scene so he could take me home. I liked getting to spend some extra time with him, even if we didn't get to talk about the other stuff that was still on my mind. Turns out eventhough the part of me that had been hurt for so long was healed, I still had other issues. Of course, 'cause it turns out the part he healed had very little if nothing to do with my current issues.
Which was driven home to me on Monday.
Sunday, first, had another important impact. It was Easter. And I remember feeling Easter this year, and thinking about how interesting that was, because Easter isn't a big deal to me, really hasn't been since the Easter Egg hunts stopped, and that this last year Christmas really hadn't... I really hadn't felt Christmas this past year, even on Christmas morning I only partially felt it, and usually Christmas is one of my two biggest personal holidays. I felt Easter this year like I usually feel Christmas, it was weird. And then, I got it. I Understood, and Easter had impact, and I GOT it this year. Do you have any idea how great that is?!
And how... I want to say Not Good, but it Is Good in one respect, it's just caused a WHOLE lot of other problems.
So Sunday night I'm falling asleep, thinking about everything, Easter, the Empty Cross, Todd, such and such and such, and my future as it's tentatively laid out, and I think "No, I won't settle, My Guy is out there somewhere." !!! That's HUGE. I realized several years ago that I would Never fall in Love. That that part of life just wasn't meant for me. With that realization does come sadness, but all comes a lot of not having to stress or worry in looking for "the one", being able to plan and move on with my life. I was fine, and being the eternal optimist part of me is, I didn't actually stop looking, I just didn't actively look much, and it meant I got to say if someone Did come along I wouldn't ever settle, the person would have to be Perfect - as in perfect for me. And then suddenly I am certain there IS someone out there for me? My Mr. Right? And I was certain and comfortable in that knowledge. I was also surprised after a moment. Then I started thinking, daydreaming really, about how we might meet, how I'd know almost right away: "Oh. It's you," said matter-of-factly. And he would... well I fell asleep then.
So you can imagine how Monday was a *Heck* of a slap. First I'm driving in from the airport to work, and I have this feeling of... detachment. Not in a bad way, but like I am floating above... life, I guess. Not an out of body experience, just a "higher" experience. And I realized I not longer knew... anything. What to do with my life, not that I knew that before, but now it was important. All the details of life were unimportant, they really didn't matter. Being practical, doesn't matter. Why did I, all this time? But I didn't even consider the alternative as a better way to have been, it was just a "what was the point of doing what I did, of being so into details of life?" And I didn't know who I was supposed to be. So I asked God, who did God want me to be? And, of course, God replied that I should be me. BIG help - NOT. I still know what the Purpose of my life is, I've known that for years, but I still don't know How to achieve that. And, as usual, God isn't giving "Specifically This" answers. So here I am driving, thinking how insignificant whatever I had had planned in life was, both as in plans over the next few days and in long reaching plans, that Life is what needs to be focused on and I can't just keep going through my life on cruise control, tending to the little things and just doing stuff 'cause I might want to or because some company would react negatively, while ever so often thinking about how I might achieve my purpose. Thinking how unimportant all the little things that we let take over our lives and our minds and drive us to frustration actually are. We run around, stress ourselves sometimes past the breaking point, for the stupidest and little details in life. The busy work. And we let the big and important stuff just go by without the thought or attention it deserves, half the time don't notice when it's slipping away, most of the time taking it for granted. Such as Family and Friends and... well that's pretty much it, though I think I'll add Spirituality to the short list of *Important* things in life.
Then I get to work, and find Bryan's wake is That Day. I am so not prepared for this. And his funeral is the next day. So Monday and Tuesday I spend between
A) "What IS the point?" and "I used to have goals, know half of what I wanted to do with my life, but now it all seems so unimportant. I don't even know what my goals were. Well, I do remember, but not WHY they were my goals." and feeling like I'm just floating around in some kind of material limbo.
2) The crisis of having to face death. Wanting to go to one service or the other, but not feeling I can do it alone. Decide to ask Jim if he'll come to the funeral with me, as that would give him almost a day heads up. While he goes off to figure if he can swing it, I flake and decide I really Would prefer to go to the wake with Jim, as a funeral is just a church service and I can handle that alone, I've even done them before, though not alone. But I've (literally) only been to five wakes: 1) Highschool teacher, which was Relly hard and one of my BEST friends at the time Sara had to really help me through. 2) In college the first member of my high school class died, and Amy (SomH) and I went, I wouldn't go alone eventhough I didn't know the girl all that well. 3) Amy's grandmother... first time I've seen a dead body... huh, guess that makes this #2 and the high school classmate #3... anyways that was REALLY hard as I was trying to be supportive and help her while also having to face down my own greatest fear. 4) My Great-Grandmother's, lots of family and I wasn't *that* close to her. 5) My Nana's... which was more of a gathering/semi-party than a wake. I've missed two wakes I would have liked to have gone to, one elementary school teacher and one high school dean.
Anyways, so I ask Jim if he'd come with me to the wake after work instead, and he says he can't. At which point I run the gambit of emotions from feeling like the WORST person in the world, the most insensitive prick, for I was not going to be going to the wake for such a Great Guy who deserved to have every friend there, and how people the next day at work would think I was awful and uncaring for not being there, and how I wouldn't be able to defend myself because they would be right, and so forth (and see this is where I'm starting to forget things :p). Oh, and that I couldn't count on Jim like I needed to be able to, which was really only my own fault because I was the one who hadn't been going out and making friends, and so had asked to step up his and my friendship to a stronger level eventhough we really weren't even close to there because I needed a close friend here in Michigan, and so it wasn't really fair to expect him to be able to fulfill that role I was demanding when he was being so nice about trying to be as good a friend to me as I needed without knowing me so long. So I had to drop him back down in my categorizations of friendship levels, and again found myself somewhat alone out here in MI. My own fault. I finally come to terms with it all and make some semblance of peace with my being a crummy person because of the way I am and will just have to suck it up and bear it. 'cause it's ALL my own fault anyway. Jim gets online and probably notices I'm being cold, which is how my outlook on everything was then, after I tell him to forget coming to the funeral the next day, and he ends up changing his plans to accompany me to the wake. But by that point I was past needing to go and felt kindof odd after having done ALL that emotion for however long. But we went, and I'm glad, eventhough it felt a bit weird for many reasons talked about somewhere above. We also then had some good conversation afterwards at dinner and on the drive home. Good stuff, and Jim did manage to show up for me, so I didn't write him off as a dependable friend. I still did drop him back one level from where we had artificially put each other, and I think now that will actually be a working fit.
Tuesday morning I wake up, and start doing some of the little things, realizing eventhough they aren't Important they are necessary in some cases (like food and cleaning) and they have a point in other cases (like managing finances) even if the point is to just fill time making sure while you're off doing the Important stuff life isn't falling out beneath your feet. And I begin the journey of avoidance/understanding of my current emotions and the decision if I am actually going to go to the funeral. About the time it's time to go I feel stable enough and so I go, and this time am definitely glad I do. I don't go to the graveyard with everyone, deciding that's pushing things a bit too much, but just as they are loading the hearse I am able to say Good-bye to Bryan and feel closure about it all and with him to some extent. I do go to the restaurant to meet everyone afterwards and we spend hours there talking. All good decent stuff, and I go home okay and having made peace with everything.
Or so I think.
Wednesday morning I wake up, and can't get out of bed. It's not that I didn't want to get out of bed for any reason, nor that I physically couldn't for any reason. I just had no reason To get out of bed. I just lay there. No desire, no hindrance, no reason, no point to get out of bed or to stay in bed. It wasn't like I was depressed either, I was just... there. So I stayed there.
Eventually I got myself out of bed, and of course noting This Is A Problem, I e-mail my "big boss" to set up a meeting with him to let him know what's going on with me (mostly in case I end up doing something that might jeopardize my job like just not showing up one day) and so he/they won't worry. That's enough to get me motivated enough to get into work... but not quickly. I'm later than usual.
We talk, and the talk descends into a partially Religious discussion, as I don't Actually know what's wrong so I can only let him know what I'm feeling, and kind of why. The no longer having goals for my life, because everything just seems so insignificant, persists the day.
Memory fails slightly again here, mostly because all the days this week have blurred into one or two Long days. I don't remember if it was Wednesday or yesterday (though I think it was yesterday) that I discovered another realization within myself. Wait, first I have to say it was Tuesday when I realized I'm no longer afraid of Death. Like I said, I GOT Easter this year. And so at Bryan's funeral I was okay to some extent, knowing he was okay. But also knowing that doesn't stop the hurt of losing someone, a friend, or closer. Death will always still have that power, because the parting is permanent until your own death, and that's still a BIG hit in life.
Yesterday is when, I think, when I discovered that other realization within myself: I'm not afraid of Death. Yes I know it sounds like the same thing, but you have to understand, for ALL my live Death has been my GREATEST Fear. There is None other. So to have it taken away, that's Good! But could it also have fundamentally changed who I am? Do I fear anything anymore? I mean FEAR, not just being scared of, but outright to the core of my being beyond thought or reason FEAR anything? And without that Fear... could my Fear of Death have been the *Entire* Fundamental driving force in my life? Okay, how about taking it from this perspective, for those who know me well enough: I no longer feel the Need, Want, DESIRE to have children. Could my no longer fearing death have caused that in me to just go away? I can't think of a connection that it would, but I can't think of Any Other reason. Like I said, all that were Goals in my Life no longer seem important.
I have been leading my life to "do it right" for having children. I had a plan for my life that was Six steps which lead to providing the best for children. My deal with God has been if I was Good enough in my life my Reward would be children.
So... now what?
Well, yesterday and today I've gradually come back to my normal self. That is, normal as in the person I've been the last several months, or maybe even a year and a half. I've definitely changed from the person I was before I was laid off. But that's another writing.
But as much as I'm getting back to normal, it's like the emotional side of me is healing and returning to normal, but there's a part that is still changed from this week's events. Today I've been *acting* very normal, but it feels almost like I'm putting on a performance over what I actually am. Like the emotional side is protecting the logical one... very backwards! I don't know what to make of everything yet. I'm settling back into the routine and little stuff of life, not sure if it's out of necessity or boredom or because I'm realizing they are important or if I even care, just stuff that needs to get taken care of. And I've started having some desires for little or material stuff again. Petty, selfish, maybe, but part of me is still that. And used to be I would say you *Have* to be selfish sometimes, so I'm going to tell myself that now and see what becomes of everything. Maybe I will just end up back my old self... but having your Greatest Fear taken away... it has to change something. Should I be worried it's changed everything?
And I still have the problem of not knowing WHAT to do with my life.
I think that's enough for now. This isn't precisely how it all went, but close enough I guess.
Did I mention I build a "fort" in my bedroom Wed. night like I used to when I was young and have slept in it on the floor Wednesday and Thursday nights? Thursday night it wasn't really a compelling need, but was already there and kinda seemed like fun. Wednesday night was I felt like it, which is why I did it. Reminds me of the week I slept on the floor for no reason except I felt like it, which ended in my February-into-early-March crisis.
Today I felt like spending time this weekend with people, friends, so I put out an e-mail to those few who thinking I was upset over the death of a friend offered to lend an ear/shoulder this week should I care to use it. Definite potential good friendships there, and I really Should be working on more friendships. I don't want to be alone this weekend either, don't want to waste away more time like I have the last few nights not really doing much of anything... not that I can remember... just all blurring together. :p Waste waste waste.