Saturday, April 30, 2011
Another Brick In The Wall... Part Three
When I decided to leave California and come to Las Vegas, it was not because I actually wanted to live here. My family was here and having a support system was very important to me at the time. After all, I had just spent eight years seeing my family very little and trying to do all of my growing up as fast as possible. Part of me was relieved to be feeling a little on the dependent side. I guess you could say that I needed my mommy and daddy again.
My plan, however, was to come out here, get back on my feet financially, spend some time with my family and then make my next move. Chicago was on my mind... but I wasn’t sure exactly where I would end up. I even considered moving back to Colorado.
That was almost seven years ago. What can I say? I dig this city. I challenge someone to show me another city in the states that has this kind of energy. It’s not for everyone, this I know... but it’s definitely for me.
Another nice part about coming to Las Vegas all those years ago was that I already had a couple of friends out here. At the time, they were just friends of friends, but it was nice to know anyone at all. In fact, I remember meeting Erin for lunch one day at McMullan’s Irish Pub which was the bar that would eventually become one of my favorite places to hang out in Vegas.
I knew Erin through a couple of friends I had in Long Beach. I had only met her once or twice, but she was so sweet and had the greatest sense of humor. She was easy to be around and even easier to talk to. I was even more thrilled when I realized she was a package deal - she and her brother, Dan, were basically inseparable and the two of them became some of my favorite people in the world.
A few months after moving to Las Vegas, Dan and Erin asked if I would be interested in renting a house with them. I hadn’t yet decided if I wanted to stay in Las Vegas, but after eight years on my own in California, living with Mom and Dad again became a little more crowded than I had imagined. So, I jumped at the chance to get out and get my own little spot. Even if it was just a room in someone else’s house.
Moving in with Dan and Erin turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We were good roomies. We were respectful of each other’s space, we were great company for each other and I even adored their three cats. The house was very nice and in a good part of town. I settled in quite nicely and we made it a lovely little home.
The following few years, however, became quite tumultuous for me. I was very involved in that leadership program and in my attempt to save the world, I was constantly changing jobs, getting in and out of relationships and bouncing from house to house trying to find some source of stability.
I did end up moving back in with Dan and Erin for a little while, but they had decided to move to California to pursue careers in voice-acting. We still stay in touch very regularly to this day and I am very happy to have a spot on my wall for both of them as well as Erin’s super cool boyfriend, Brian.
Deciding where I was going to live next was when I made one of the worst decisions in my life.
I was back working at Chili’s and was dating another server. He had actually been staying with me at Dan and Erin’s for a while so we decided maybe we would just get a place together. Two other servers at work thought it would be a great idea for the four of us to get a house together. Now, I have always considered myself to have a pretty good head on my shoulders. However, even I have “what the fuck?!” moments every now and then. This was one of those moments.
The four of us (three boys and me) found a fabulous house on the southeast side of town. My boyfriend and I got the master bedroom, the other boys each had their own room and there were still two rooms leftover. We turned the downstairs into a beer pong studio and just like that, I was living in a frat house. I’m still not sure how I ever thought this move would be in my best interest.
However, I have discovered time and time again why things happen the way they do. Retrospect can be pretty enlightening.
I broke up with my boyfriend very shortly after we moved into the house and so he moved out. The other two boys and I decided to rent out the room downstairs so we wouldn’t have to increase our share of rent.
During a pool day, I asked some of my roommate’s friends if they knew of anyone that might be interested in renting a room. As it turned out, they did. They gave me her number, we made plans to meet and a few days later, she rented the room. Life is so funny... I don’t remember the names of my roommate’s friends nor did I ever see them again. It was like the Universe put them in front of me that afternoon by the pool for one specific reason.
I liked her the minute I opened the door. Not only was she completely adorable and friendly, she had a unique spirit and intriguing energy. She was intelligent and an absolute pleasure to talk to. I think she felt the click with me instantly as well.
I do feel bad for having brought her in to such a ridiculous environment, though. Both boys were remarkably immature and inconsiderate to us as roommates. The parties were endless, the mess was intolerable and every once in a while, some of our personal items would just... disappear. I had a major falling out with one of the guys and eventually couldn’t handle being there. It was at this time that I moved back home with mom and dad for the third time.
Have I mentioned how much I love my apartment?
I hated leaving Whitney in that house with those idiots. But, she was a trooper and made it work until she just couldn’t anymore and finally got out of the house herself. Except for an overall lack of sleep, we actually got out of the situation relatively unscathed.
She and I made good efforts to stay connected and even got together occasionally to shoot the intellectual shit. I think one of the things I like so much about Whitney is that we can get together and discuss all the drama going on in each other’s lives for hours on end, yet never find any drama between us to worry about. It just seems like we... get each other. We are on a level where we seem to understand where the other one is at all times - and in the moments where we aren’t sure, we are really good at giving the space that is required.
I’ve never once been annoyed with, angry at or frustrated with Whitney. At times, I choose not to share space with her for the sole reason that I can’t bullshit in her company. So, when I don’t feel like being open or vulnerable, I just wait. Because inauthentic behavior doesn’t seem to work with us.
She started dating my friend Justin shortly after he and I stopped seeing each other. We were trying to have a friendship but I was very annoyed with, angry at and frustrated with him. At that time, I didn’t see a relationship of any kind for me and Justin. So, I stopped talking to him. Unfortunately, this meant that I didn’t see or talk to Whitney anymore either.
Luckily, time apart was good for me and Justin and eventually, we found our way back to each other. When he and Whitney broke up, I found myself hanging out with both of them again, individually. As I discussed in one of my earlier posts, we have all gotten to the point where we can be together and enjoy each other’s company. This is a good thing as they both mean a tremendous amount to me.
The relationship I have with Whitney has grown into something very meaningful. She is also a writer but much more technical and advanced than me. Therefore, she is actively engaged in every word I type. When I do start putting this into some sort of book form, she is going to have a very important role in helping me build my story. This makes for a unique friendship that I just don’t have with anyone else.
We also do a mean karaoke duet to Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics. Just saying..
We have recently started having writing dates (like today) where we sit across from each other with our laptops open, our headphones on and we just start typing. Our collective creative energy helps me focus. Plus, it’s just nice to set aside time to commit to our passion. It’s neat to have someone to share something like this with. She’s sitting right across from me, typing away, and has no idea how grateful I am to have her in my life. My wall is lucky to have her.
She reminds me that it’s okay to sulk. In fact, sometimes it’s necessary. Because unless we remember what it feels like to be sad, it’s more difficult to embrace the times that we feel genuinely happy.
She challenges me without being challenging and I always part with her feeling more satisfied than I did when I showed up. We don’t fight, we don’t poke and we don’t try and hide our emotions. We just... are.
It makes me wonder why I can’t have this kind of relationship with everyone. Then again, if I did, I guess it wouldn’t make our relationship so special.
Just before I started writing today, she and I were catching up on what was currently going on in our lives. I told her that I have had a really nice time writing this particular series of “friend blogs” because it is a good reminder of how many solid people I have in my life. Breakups have that uncanny way of making me feel lonely all the time. However, as I told Whitney today, I feel the most lonely when I’m making a very conscious effort to be alone.
Taking the time this week to work on my wall and reflect on the good people I’ve brought into my life has been great for my head and my heart. I choose to do a lot of things on my own - it’s just my way - but I hope that I can continue to find ways to share my gratitude with those in my life that mean the most to me.
To all of my friends: your kindness and compassion does not go unnoticed. Every relationship I have is different from the next and it makes my bouquet of friends absolutely brilliant. Thank you for being on this journey with me. I do not take our friendship lightly.
I’m going to need a lot more frames...
Posted by Tina V at 4:46 PM