Life is Fleeting, Learn to Love It

After losing my father to his battle with cancer I felt; Anger, sadness, and denial. Even now I can be struck with any of these feelings at random. It’s little reminders like pictures, or notes or just passing memories.

My father wouldn’t want me to feel this way. There it is, the reality of the situation. This thought struck me with an immediate weight lift. It surprised me that I felt that way.

One of my last conversations with him he said “You’ll be alright, I know you will”. I was crying when he told me this. It was then that I knew that he really was dying. This new normal was a hard fact to swallow, and I didn’t for one second believe that I would be alright without my father in my life.

It’s very hard to be sitting with a person that you thought was invincible. Maybe you even tricked yourself into thinking that he or she was immortal, and realize that it’s not true. Death is not a thing that could happen to them.

Death is not a lesson you want to learn about, but it is inevitable. My father dying was my first real blow in how tangible and fragile life can be. So of course I let myself fall into depression and anger. It was easier to be there then it was to feel happy. I evolved into a different person.

There’s no time line on mourning but now I realize that I want to live my life the way he would have wanted me to. He would want me to wake up each day with the belief that it will be a good day. He would want me to go to bed after a truly horrible day, and say “It is what it is, but there’s always a new day tomorrow.”

He would want me to be happy whenever I remembered anything about him. He would want me to cry happy tears, because the memories were fleeting thoughts that put a smile on my face. He would not want me to be sad.

He would want me to be less angry. He’d want me to notice the little things in life that make it all worth it. The little things that make you wake up each day and say “Yes this life is worth living,”

He’d want me to love the people I still have in my life, and to reach out to them. To do little things for them every single day to show I care. He’d want me to teach my son independence, and good morals. He’d also probably want me to teach my son about cars, and be a good handyman but that last one is going to fall upon others shoulders.

He’d want me to love Zack fiercely every single day, to be thankful for him every single day. I believe my father knew I was going to be OK because of the people that I was led to in my life, the family and friends I have. He knew was I going to be OK way before i knew it myself.

Now when I think of him or am reminded of him I will strive to be happy for the time that was given to me with him, and not angry about the time that I lost.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us..” – Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)

 

 

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The Role of Unrequited Love

I once had a friendship that turned into one of those unrequited love things.

It was a love that picked me up and swept me away in stolen drunken kisses. I remember sitting outside his friend’s apartment and he fell into me. He wrapped his arms around me, and breathed in my hair, and said “your hair always smells good”. It was from that point on that I always made sure to spritz a heavy spray of Victoria’s Secret body spray in my hair from then on when I knew I would see him.

Strange, things a teenage girl will do.

As evidence from the following poem that I wrote during this time in my life, the “relationship” was doomed;

Sitting on the steps,
Between now & forever.
Watching the stars,
get carried away by the storm.

Drenched in opportunity,
You and I sat alone.
(strangers in the night)

I think I’m falling into you.
This feeling is so new.
An illusion of love,
I thought it felt real,
but maybe it was just my mind reeling,
on an intoxication level.

Wish the night had lasted forever,
But you like to move on to someone new.
I am for the time being,
Still I may be falling for you.

(Fun fact this poem was written using Senior prom themes I found out of a book at my best friend’s house.)

This love lasted for years on my part. I was 23 when I finally told myself it was time to let go, and I had to let that friendship go too. It was one of the hardest things I had to do at that point. He was never going to love me the way I loved him. I was never going to be able to fix him, because at the time he didn’t want to fix himself.

He broke my heart so many times, and for whatever reason I just stuck around. I kept hoping he’d suddenly open his eyes and see what was standing there in front of him all along. This was a lesson I had to learn, not everyone is always going to love you back.

It’s not that my friendship to him wasn’t important, because it was. He called me his best friend, which is maybe why I kept so much hope stored away. I know I played a role in his life, but it wasn’t the one I wanted. Looking back on this stage in my life I like to refer to Garth Brooks’s wise words “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”

In the long run he would never have made me happy. He would not have given me the comfort of home the way I needed it. When I was a teenager I didn’t understand that. I was so swept up in the wildness of it. The late cold nights spent just talking with him by desert bonfires. I stole a shirt from him, and refused to give it back. I kept that shirt for years. I had loved that boy with every fiber of my being, but I had finally gotten over him. It took me a few years to actually get closure with him, but the day I met my husband I got rid of that shirt.

Everything had changed.

Serial Dating

I had never had a real serious relationship. I mean I had a high school boyfriend who insisted we were going to get married, and said I love you in less than a month. I had that unrequited love situation too. I had never had a good relationship though, built on trust, love and friendship. It didn’t exist for me, and I liked being stuck in the fear of actually letting go, and letting someone in. I have always had a vivid imagination, and it was easier to live in that then anything else especially after the “unrequited love” relationship I had had. That love swept me up, and encompassed me in the unhealthiest manner, and when it was over I felt like I had to learn to breathe again. It wasn’t easy.

When I was 25 I had a quarter life crises. I was stuck in a desk job I didn’t particularly love, and I was barely making $15,000 a year. I couldn’t move out of my parent’s house, and I was still driving the same car I got when I was 18 shortly after graduation. I poured all my depression into watching hours upon hours of TV on DVD, this was before Netflix so I had to buy them when they were on sale. Target always had some of the best sales on these. I bought vampires and demons with Buffy and Angel. I lived vicariously through the richness of The OC, and solved crimes with Veronica Mars. I found best friends in the Gilmore Girls, and rode along in the impala with the Winchesters. Lastly, I fell in love with the relationship of Nathan and Hailey from One Tree Hill. I desperately wanted the love that those two had, but I was scared. It meant I had to let go of all my insecurities, and learn to let someone love me for them.

The first major life decision I made though, was to go back to college. I didn’t do it because I thought I’d get a better job. I did it because I wanted to stop floating along, and actually find myself. I wanted to stretch and grow, and become a newer and better version of myself. It was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. I grew up, and I grew independent of all the things that were bogging down. I actually became me, Christa, and not someone’s best friend, daughter, sister, and cousin. I was finally learning to put myself out there, and so at 27 I was finally ready to look for the relationship I always wanted. I wish I could say it was easy for me to find it, but it wasn’t.

I knew I wasn’t likely to find someone in college because I was so much older than a lot of the students, and so I followed the theory of Must Love Dogs, and signed up for an internet dating website. At first I was just dabbling, and having fun. I liked just talking to the guys I was meeting, and some were better than others. There was the pharmacist who stopped talking to me, and then a month later emailed me out of the blue saying he had a hot tub and I should come over and enjoy that. There was the man of little words; seriously all his emails were generally one or two words. There was the Starbucks date where I was assaulted with questions like “But if you know you’re going to be a bad mother shouldn’t you get an abortion?”

Who says I’m going to be a bad mother? I went on a second date with that guy just because I figured maybe it was a bad night for him. I said “good bye” to him though when he said I shouldn’t use up my free time to watch my best friends baby, who at the time was in desperate need of it. F that sir, I will do anything for my friends.

It was like having a blind date after blind date, and I finally decided maybe I should just have a break from all this serial dating. I wasn’t having fun, because what I really wanted was to find a relationship that was secure, and would end in a white wedding dress. So I put in to end my membership for a while at the end of the month. At the end of the month I was still searching matches, and I found this boy that had a profile that I really clicked with. He liked reading, movies, and was helping his sister get through nursing school. He had a good job, and he was cute in the fuzzy teddy bear sort of way. His name was future husband, well ok that’s not his real name but for privacy sake I won’t write it in this story. I did really like his name though, and so I winked at him.  I guess the rest you could say is history.

I guess the rest is for another time.