Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"And You Know, He's Got Emotional Problems, Man." "You Mean... Beyond Pacifism?"

We sat in the park on an unusually chilly May day in Las Vegas and watched as my nephew did all he could to hold himself up on his own. We took turns laughing as he slowly fell backwards, to the side and forward, all the while flailing his arms about and desperately reaching for more food. 

I know most people say that the baby in their family is the cutest but in my case, it’s absolutely true. 

It had been a while since my mom and I had hung out and had lunch. On this particular day, we decided to ditch the restaurant scene and do a picnic near the house. I was having one of those days where I just needed my mommy. As always, she was happy to oblige. 

My energy was exceptionally low following a rather strange weekend. Things were a little abnormal on Friday when I went to karaoke to hang out with some friends. I was a little nervous about bringing Brandon around because I knew Steven and many of our mutual friends were going to be there that night. However, even before Brandon showed up, I was catching an unusual vibe from people. I can’t really put my finger on it... but the warm and fuzzy feeling I used to get from hanging out with this particular group of friends was missing that night. 

I figured it was because of everything that had happened between me and Steven combined with my most recent blog. There is a good chance it was in my head, but I definitely felt that things were different. I tried to shake it off and just have a good time. 

It’s always difficult when a relationship ends and one person moves on just a bit faster than the other. While it’s not always the case, typically I’m the one in that fast lane. Especially if I was the one who initiated the breakup to begin with. 

Last week, things seemed to be moving in a really positive direction between me and Steven. He had started a blog and his first three entries were really interesting. His jobs were going well and he even had some financial success at video poker. His energy seemed high and our interactions were moving beyond cordial into... nice. It was a good feeling. 

Friday night started out being more of the same. He told me he was anxious to meet Brandon and we were enjoying pleasant conversation. In retrospect, I should’ve made a bigger effort to keep the chatter on a friendly level without allowing it to venture into places of questioning and introspection. But... I’ve never been very good at small talk. 

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but I’m not the best at receiving feedback. Certain environments and settings make me even less open to what someone might have to say that I would consider... less than favorable. 

Steven wanted to know why, when I blog, I always include what other people do and say without outlining the parts I play in certain arguments, disagreements, situations, etc. I think he thought I try to make myself out to look like a hero while pointing out what everyone else is doing to fuck things up. At least, this is how I took it. 

Things just started to unravel from there. The subject of me moving on to another relationship so quickly was mentioned and my wall started to go up. I began to get defensive and upset, especially upon hearing that Justin had tried to reassure Steven by telling him that I was a “serial dater” and jumping from relationship to relationship is just what I do. 

“Am I wrong?” 
“No, you’re not wrong --” 
“Am I wrong?” 
“You’re not wrong, Walter... you’re just an asshole” 
“... okay then.” 
~ Walter and The Dude, The Big Lebowski 

“This sounds like a conversation that you need to have with Tina. She’s been this way as long as I’ve known her and it’s just how she chooses to live her life. If you have issues with it, talk to her about it.” ~ The imaginary Justin in my head. 

The real Justin just isn’t that passive. When I confronted him and asked him why he couldn’t be in my corner, he said that I shouldn’t ask him to take sides. Maybe I should’ve been the one buying him beers that night. 

So, now I’m righteous and “bat shit crazy”. Sigh... should friendship really be this hard? 

For the record, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time. For all I know, this blog could be a mistake. I say the wrong things and don’t always approach subjects in the best way possible. I can be aggressive and closed off all at the same time. But in each moment, I do what I feel is the appropriate thing for me to do. It doesn’t make me right... it makes me committed to my intention. 

My intentions with this blog and the actions that I take on a daily basis have a bigger purpose. I don’t write what I write to spread dirt or hurt people’s feelings. I think a lot of people out there go through the same trials that I do and I try to create a place that people can go and relate to the everyday things that pop up in our lives. I ask for feedback and invite conversation about other people’s experiences in similar situations. Ironically enough, my ultimate goal is to create connection. Perhaps I’m just on the scenic route... 

With heavy and burdensome energy, I shared most of this with my mom as we sat and entertained (and were entertained by) my adorable nephew. She told me I have to remember that I don’t do things the way a lot of people do. It’s always been my way to go down a different road. She reminded me that people probably don’t like being read about, especially if it’s in an unfavorable light. She suggested I think about making more name changes in the future just to keep things from getting too personal. 

And then we took my nephew to the playground and pushed him on the swing. Such a simple and mellow afternoon with no pressure, no judgment and a reminder of the big picture. 

“Next to [Jim], you are the second most mentally tough person I know. You just have to get a little tougher. You have to continue being as supportive as you are without enabling people. And you have to keep writing.”  ~ Jeremy 

I know I worry too much. I know I say things that people don’t like. I know I do things that people question. I know I’m different. 

I also know that these are the things I love about myself. If we can’t embrace all of the positive AND negative things that make up our personality, we end up becoming either delusional or depressed. 

Besides... I can’t be right ALL the time. That would just be boring.

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