Posts Tagged ‘loss’

Told myself I’d stop writing here but here I am – I have discipline issues.

Writing’s cathartic and I find myself overly zealous about it especially when I’m on emotional turmoil. Did I suddenly become free of all life’s mess that I wasn’t compelled to write at all? I daresay not. But I did fall in love. Was in a real exclusive monogamous relationship for quite some time there with the very person I’ve come to fill these pages about. It was like a fairytale and “shit did become magical.” You’ve all probably heard/read about it from so and so’s sister’s cousin’s friend, like an urban legend of sorts. Girl meets boy in NYC, sparks fly, became FWB then best friends with benefits, blurred lines, unrequited crap, boy relocates, lines get blurrier (more blurry?), girl gets heart smashed, blocks boy outta her life, boy comes back, they go to coachella, romance ignites, boy proposes love, girl accepts, they coupled up and lived happily ever after. BZZZZT. Wrong ending, try again.

Truth is, it was some sort of a twisted modern fairytale as far as twisted modern fairytales go. I was involved in an intense long distance relationship with my best friend over the course of six months. Although the sitch clearly wasn’t ideal, we were that in love with each other – like all other LDR couples are I assume – to surrender to our ideals and naivete and vowed to break all the notions that LDR’s do not work. And I guess, in retrospect, we really kinda did. Yes, distance was ultimately in my opinion the main killer but only because we let it. Rather, I let it. I let it eat me up to the point that I lost who I was and who I wanted to be for him, for our relationship, for myself. I got eaten up, ate it right back, and vomited all over the beauty of it all. I subconsciously succumbed to the negativity and the hardships rather than the positivy and the benefits and in turn, contributed greatly to our untimely demise. Beauty gone Beast.

I can’t even bare to muster how much of a monster I have been for the last two months of our relationship. I never understood the degree of hurt and frustration I put this person through, this person who I love with all my heart and soul and has done nothing but love me in the same intensity or even greater in spite of myself. D sure had his flaws and I have to admit that as minor as they are, they still played their role effectively in waking up this darkness in me. This darkness that I didn’t even know existed – insecurities, immaturities, unreasonable expectations and demands… Basically your age-old recipe for disaster. I knew it affected him, of course. He was always completely honest about it. I just failed to see how horrible I’ve gotten to the point that what could’ve been salvageable had I been a better girl friend/better person the last couple of months became the final straw for him. He told me he was already expecting it, that it really didn’t surprise him, that he kind of knew I would go crazy again despite multiple promises to be otherwise, despite his highest hopes that I wouldn’t… But I did. I so did. And he did what he had to do.

Even so, it came like a shocking blow to me when I finally slapped myself awake from the haze of my own selfishness and saw what I’ve done. I singlehandedly managed to lose the one person I never wanted to lose. I managed to destroy the one thing I’ve been anticipating and manifesting and praying for for close to 4 years now. I guess I wanted to be with him so bad, I put myself in all kinds of pressure to keep him that I managed to overlook one vital thing: he loved me exactly for me.

It’s been a day since that make or break week in Mexico. Four days since we broke up. If you would think being in a foreign, virtually non-english speaking country with your ex-bf whom you still love with the unwavering intensity, spending every waking moment with him, sharing the same hotel room in a paradise beach resort, sleeping in the same bed, sharing meals and countless tequila-infused drinks, knowing it’s over when you could’ve easily prevented it, aching to touch him and be that close to him again when you were exactly doing just that mere days ago or even hours ago, aching to the point that you just clutch your chest as if preventing your heart’s broken pieces from puncturing your skin, to the point of shaking yourself awake from the nightmarish situation you doomed yourselves in, bending your mind so that somehow you can turn back the time and say “Okay” when he said “Please babe let’s not fight about this” and just hugging him and telling him sorry and that you love him… If you think that’s torture, bet your bottom dollar it was. It truly was. That kind of ongoing regret when you know you could’ve easily turned it all around by the things you could’ve said or did but somehow chose not to makes you question why you’re regretting it when your actions obviously proved that you wanted that to happen. I can never fully grasp the power of one’s subconscious but mine was obviously powerful enough to compel me to walk away when I know and was fully aware that I could’ve just let it go and stayed.

I wanted to be with him, 100%. I still do. I love him without question. I know he’s that person for me. I know the last thing I want is to lose him again but I managed to do that anyway. Deep inner issues are obviously at hand and I know now I have to deal with them myself independent of him. He knew this. And though I know it’s some sort of relief for him to be without me, I do believe that he sincerely would’ve preferred otherwise. He stayed with me the entire time, had really in depth conversations about my deep-seated issues and why they sprung up. And though I know it killed him every second he was with me (because it killed me too), I saw and experienced for the first time in my mess of a life what it’s like to be truly loved and cared for in that way, you know, when “I really love/care for you” are just not empty words… That kind of self-sacrifice became such a beacon of light for me enough to believe that maybe I’m not that bad after all; that despite my unbelievable fuck-ups, I must’ve done something right. You don’t just get that unconditional kind of love/care from another person out of nowhere… I must’ve done something right.

I held out for that one person I always knew I wanted. I didn’t settle for anybody who just happened to be there. I was loved for all the reasons a person could and should be loved. I’m still so amazed by his capacity to love I can only wish I expressed my appreciation enough.

From a text convo I had with my best girl friend earlier:

K: Seriously why is this love shit so hard? Is it bc we’ve evolved into such neurotics? I bet our parents were too busy surviving to deal with shit like this

Me: Seriously!!! You know how we feel so bad for them for marrying so young n missing out? Maybe that’s how it’s really supposed to be… Pick the one you want, commit, do everything in your power to make it with each other. We’ve all become so fearful n I don’t know why

K: Yeah we got it all wrong

Me: Or maybe not haha who knows really. You know what though? When D stayed with me the entire time despite being broken up n hurt, for the first time I kind of got a glimpse of how it must be like to be married. Like you just stay together no matter what

K: Yes! It’s supposed to be like that!

Me: Even if you just wanna escape, you stay. Even if being with that person in the same room kills you, you stay. And when I realized that, maybe it’s really not so bad… Now I kinda understand why marriage is so impt to a lot of people

K: We sound crazy. All understanding the idea but not actually doing it

Oh man. Still don’t know where to go from here. I’m still so broken. But I owe it to myself, to him, and to the goodness of what we had to heal. I fully intend to heal but I know i have to forgive myself first.

I couldn’t even begin to fathom how the future looks like or how I would feel if it stares me in the face tomorrow or next month, six months from now, 30 years from now. I guess I just have to have faith that no matter what it is, I will be strong and whole enough to face it and not break down. And smile. Should be enough resolution for tonight at least.

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Just a li’l feel-good something for all the ill-begotten hopefully temporarily desensitized souls… including my own.

If you live in the city / And you want it to burn / Because you think nobody could learn / The delicate demons and / Loneliest ways of a heart / Thats been broken

Say what you will / Love finds you even when / You’ve given it up

One after another / You’ve seen love affairs turn / From the glorious start / To the crash and burn / But Now that you’ve promised never again / It’s exactly when you’ll fall in

You’ve sworn off clubs and bars / Fridays with the girls / You say homes where you’ll be / But soon your own sweet love / Who needs you’ll be lying in your arms

Say what you will / Love finds you even when / You’ve given it up

Everybody deserves to be adored / Why would you settle for less / When the world gives you more?

The Hurt has you now / But soon it’ll make you strong / And your loveliness goes on and on

Say what you will / Love a heart thats been broken / Love finds you even when / You’ve given up

Say what you will / Say it again and again / Until the whole world knows about it

Love finds you even when / You’ve given up.

The real impact is specific.

And I feel like if I can get a few of these men to open up with real stories about their desires and their fears, then I can begin to get answers.

– Okay, and what is it you want answers to?

Well–

– No, I don’t need to know.

But you do.

Every man I fall for drinks his coffee black. “Love” and “hate” are tattooed on his knuckles and my name is on his back.

Every man I fall for works the graveyard shift. He kisses me softly to wake me up and takes my place in bed.

And I fall.

I live with one concern. It’s the law. Diminishing returns. It’s the law. Diminishing returns.

Every man I fall for keeps his anger on a string and holds it tight. When other men walk by blinking their eyes at me, he always pick a fight.

I go walk alone down Ocean Boulevard, peek in your windows. Tired housewives nagging at their husbands.

But is this the life you chose?

And I fall.

I live with one concern. It’s the law. Diminishing returns.

And I fall.

I live with one concern. It’s the law. Diminishing returns.

Every man I fall for, nearly every man…

Every man I fall for –

nearly every man.

***

Existence and life break people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time.

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.

And this is the big difference, you and me here. Because this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever. For you, this is just ideas.

You’ve never been there.

***

The solution is to realize that today’s woman is in an impossible situation and wants what any human being faced with two conflicting sets of responsibilities is gonna want: a way out.

An escape hatch.

A passionate male.

We want to be overwhelmed with passion.

When we say, “I am responsible for my own sexuality; “I am my own person; I don’t need a man,” what we really are telling you is what we want you to make us forget, which is–

What we’re telling you is what we want you to make us forget.

***

Well, be happy.

Because I don’t care.

I knew s/he could.

And I knew I loved.

End of story.

So, hit me with music. Brutalize me with music.

Apart from being a slut for music, I always was the novelty kinda gal. So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that I happen to still linger on the magic of a mixtape. You think it’s pointless, a waste of time, ancient school (the kinda old skool that ain’t cool) – Pssh. I’m a dork. And in my own little uncool world, the mixtape is still the ultimate love letter.

Before you start shaking your heads and muttering “you hippie” under your oh-so modernized breaths, here’s a newsflash: WE ALL STILL MAKE THEM. Yes, you. An iTunes playlist may not require the same blood, sweat, and tears that went into making a C90 or C120 mix, but the intent is still the same – expressing emotion through song.

I remember the first and only mixtape that I made way back when I was in 6th grade. Grunge was making headway in the music scene and a number of local bands are starting to get their 15 minutes in the spotlight. I was barely 12 and I remember being so psyched at the idea of making a nice mix of both big label bands and little local bands. I didn’t have any blank tapes on hand, so I settled for a crappy quality recycled tape I’d gotten from school, ripped off the labels, and cut out my own cassette frame from some blurry photos I found. It was an impressionistic tangle of trees in psychedelic colors, it was almost crying out for me to name the mix “A Walk Through A Sonic Forest”, in reference to the author E.E. Cummings. Don’t ask. I was a weird yet happy kid. Still am.

I knew then that this was the beginning of something momentous, so I taped an extra copy to seal the preservation of said playlist. (Interesting how in the age of CD burning, everyone is able to retain whatever playlist they’ve made up for someone else… Think of all the great playlists we made back in the real mixtape days that are now lost to us!). The great thing about the time constraint was that I had no time to actually produce an organized flow to the mix; it was spontaneous, candid, HONEST. The tape was purely about the music.

So… without further blabber, here’s the tracklist of my one and only mixtape to myself, from myself:

Side A
1. Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Would – Alice in Chains
3. Dookie – Greenday
4. New Year’s Day – U2
5. Kyrie – Glasshouse
6. In Bloom – Nirvana
7. Space Boy – The Smashing Pumpkins
8. Queer – Garbage
9. Darkness Fell – Wolfgang
10. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
11. Bring Me Down – Rivermaya
12. Live Forever – Oasis

Side B
1. Release – Pearl Jam
2. Amazing – Aerosmith
3. Little Bones – The Tragically Hip
4. No Rain – Blind Melon
5. Swimming In Your Ocean – Crash Test Dummies
6. Free To Decide – The Cranberries
7. Freedom – Rage Against The Machine
8. Rock Star – Hole
9. Tomorrow – Silverchair
10. I Can’t Face The World – The Lemon Trees

***

Fast forward. I was 17 and somehow convinced myself that I was in love. I even had a full handwritten tracklisting (with annotations and important lyrics) to go with the mix tape I was supposed to woo my first “proper” boyfriend with. Sadly, it never came into fruition – both the mix and the relationship – and I only managed to salvage page one of what must have been two. So, verbatim:

Cigarettes and Coffee -Otis Redding. Because I love the idea of being so content with someone that I don’t need anything else “I don’t want no cream or sugar, cause I’ve got you.”
The Calendar Hung Itself -Brighteyes. You might hate Brighteyes if you haven’t heard them before. They are a band of attrition who takes some listening to. But I love this song for its intensity (and bons points for wokring in ‘you are my sunshine’ in an un-trite manner) “does he know that place behind your neck that’s your favorite to be touched?”
You -Radiohead. I first heard this on some bizarre Japanese import but it completely explains the ridiculous unrequited thing that I have down so perfectly. “you… are… the sun and moon and stars”
Teenage Kicks -The Undertones. Who doesn’t love them? “I’ll have her over cos I’m all alone”
Sex and Candy -Marcy Playground. Self obsession, caffeine and a brilliant bass, I just can’t fault it. “I’ve had too much caffeine and I’m thinking about myself”
Pale Blue Eyes -The Velvet Underground. Mainly because it’s so chill… Reminds me of that lazy, all-the-time-in-the -world, lying-in-bed-with-somebody

nice feeling. “it was so good what we did yesterday, and I’d do it [a hundred times] again”
Bright and Yellow -Gin Blossoms
You Go To My Head -Billie Holiday. I adore Billie Holiday even though all her songs are so sad.. “I find you spinning round in my brain..”
Brown Eyed Girl -Van Morrison. I love this because it is so filled with private references but you still get so involved.
In Love With The World [I can’t remember who this is by]

When a relationship ends, it always seems like such a tragedy that it didn’t last forever. In hindsight, however, I see that crazy intense first loves really can’t. But this tape serves as a document of that amazing openness and exuberance of time. It reminds me of how the past begets the present – first love as the beginning of self-discovery.

***

Why that second attempt failed to materialize is now beyond me. But for all my self-absorbed “Holden Caulfield” ridiculousness, I always knew I have what it takes to make the sickest mixes. Making playlists on my iTunes may not be nearly as sexy as spending hours and hours with your cassette and CD library in front of you trying to find that perfect next song, but the practice still serves a purpose. And as long as there are slightly neurotic pop culture dorks in this world like yours truly, the mixtape will never die.

To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention, and then you’ve got to up it a notch or cool it a notch and you can’t have white music and black music together unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and…oh, there are loads of rules. Anyway… I’ve started to make a tape… in my head… for Laura. Full of stuff she likes. Full of stuff that make her happy. For the first time I can sort of see how that is done. -Rob Gordon (High Fidelity)