coffee and cigarettes, as simple as it gets

 

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I’ve written and rewritten this post about four times in the last week and I honestly can’t live with myself (not true, definitely lying) if I don’t just commit to something and present it. That was one of the pieces of my week I was trying to describe; my complete inability to commit to something – or someone- and to just play the cards I have and wait to see how the flop turns out. (BTW, I’m mildly upset with all of the bad Texas Hold’em games I’m missing out on back home). Here’s a compiled list of all of my uncertainties that I became definitely (still convincing myself) certain about in the last two weeks.

Anyways, this is my committed blog post. Currently, I am riding the 30 bus home from the Playhouse. Yesterday, for the first time, I jumped on the wrong bus only to ride it for 15 minutes in the wrong direction and then walk the rest of the way back. An hour and a half later I was back on track. More impressively, I think life is really starting to become the ‘second scratch’ for me. You know how when you get something new, you cherish it and protect and hold it so closely as to protect it from the harmful things and ways of the world? And then one day you drop it or punch it or (insert more harmful things here) whatever and it’s not quite as shiny and perfect as before? And then after a 15 minute personal/cry intervention with yourself you realize it’s still functional and you’ll be fine? Life is like that for me; everything feels like the second scratch (most things, oops, lied again). What I mean is, after a short, “Ahhh damn, this isn’t the 30, is it? Can I get off here?” I packed my things and walked the mile back (only to miss the next bus- oof). But life feels like it’s settling into that. Which is really nice.

Another cool thing is my host family. Jack and Carol. Small update, Carol had surgery on Tuesday. I’m a big believer in medical science so it was safe to say that I believed she’d get through this with the love of God and skill of the surgeons. Sure enough, Carol is doing WONDERFULLY in recovery- but the point of it is that it has been so interesting to see someone so in love with another (her husband)- after all these years- still be so deeply unsettled by the thought of his baby being left different in any negative capacity. It’s beautiful to look upon love in this way (Small shout-out to my parents, just put their 31st anniversary under their belt!).

Speaking of love, I read the most perfect excerpt yesterday from Chuck Klosterman:

“We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It’s easy.

The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven’t even met yet, probably. They all count.

But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years.

But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable.

The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins.

They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.”

This pretty much summed up my thoughts and feelings for the last two years. If you’ve known me for a few years and have been around long enough to know my high school sweetheart-relationship, you know that it wrecked me. I’ve since forgiven him, myself, the situation and alleviated a lot of tension of that sort in my life. But what I couldn’t understand is why this- thing, I don’t know what to call it- still crosses my mind in some capacity every day. I hate it and I wish it wasn’t there but it’s a shitty reality that I’ve created for myself.

But this realization has helped me in my dating recently. I was talking to a (now) good friend (was forced to like me day one, I think I’ve convinced her now) and in getting to know each other the topic of men and dating came up, naturally. I expressed to her how I just have a hard time committing to anything because I find a few deal-breakers or faults and usually just head for the hills with a handle of whiskey in tow. For whatever reason, likely the inspiration of the beach and locals never hearing of rain, I’ve decided to give it a go. The messed up part is, in being out here I’ve taken a few shots in the dark and have had some surprisingly nice dates with people I would have otherwise discarded as options. And you know what, that is refreshing. I’m actually starting to just enjoy others for their company, and I think that’s something I had neglected. An appreciation for people I haven’t exercised. I like it. I like it a lot.

SIDE NOTE- Other forced friend. This one I truly mean, she’s the granddaughter of my hosts, doesn’t get more, “please be friends with the house guest she’s around too often,” obvious than that. Her name is Addy. She is wonderful and after speaking, I had dubbed her my bad bitch spirit animal because, to be honest, if I had a patronus or something, it would probably be her. We explored some hot spots of San Diego, played with a fat cat, she made me breakfast (and others, not as romantic as I wanted it to be), and she’s one of the few people here I can just have honest conversations with. The other is Lindsay (mentioned in above paragraph). I will be very sad and disheartened to go next month. Building wonderful relationships and walking away sounds scary… But that’s one of the places I am right now.

And where I am also right now is dream-world, California USA. Every day I go to a job that I am fascinated by. Every day I meet people that are captivating and unique. Every day I fall in love with possibilities. Every day I can see the ocean from wherever I stand. Every day I ride the bus and intersect with dozens of lives and stories I will never know. Every day I test my legs by running. Every day I test my heart by giving. And every day while I am out here I am testing my ability to be selfish. 

One thing I have learned and enjoyed in La Jolla- it is not always bad to act and react selfishly. Sometimes, it is exactly what you need in order to grow and understand more of yourself and how to appreciate selfless-ness. In that fashion, I am doing a lot of whatever I want- and it feels great.

Pictures for my lovers- XOXO

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