So, not to get all sappy and sad, but over the weekend I went to a surprise party for a family friend—put together by her kids who are my age—and was privy to some observations.
First of all, seeing someone truly and utterly surprised by a Surprise Party is emotionally overwhelming. Literally have to hold back your own tears because you just feel the shock and appreciation on their face. It’s a rare thing as it’s a mixture of astonishment and gratitude all at the same time.
Second of all, the father of the birthday woman has currently been trying to keep his own life going as he’s well into his 80s and is wheelchair bound since he lost his leg from Diabetes. Meanwhile, his wife of 50+ years is currently suffering through Alzheimer's Disease and is rapidly becoming a stranger to her family (and vice versa.) Not only can he no longer walk but, the the love of his life--who takes care of him--barely remembers him or anyone. It just got me to thinking how one day we will all grow old and if we’re lucky to find someone to spend forever with, that there’s a chance that one of us will have Dementia or Alzheimer's and everything we know as “normal” will become forgotten and either them or me will be a stranger to this life. Everything we shared between us will fade away, while the other struggles to be the constant reminder.
And I couldn’t help but think…”Is this all there is? To live to forget or be forgotten…but mostly both”?
You know that storyline in the movie Michael with John Travolta where Dorothy Winters (Andie MacDowell) keeps trying to randomly sing on a whim but Michael keeps saying, “Not you, not yet” until they get to the bar with the best pies in the world and then he says, “Sing Dorothy, NOW.”
Well I think that’s sort of where I’m at in my life right now.
Andie Macdowell in the pie bar finally ready to sing her song.
"For 30 years I've been doing this. It starts to feel hard to love your job when no one else seems to like you for doing it"
The story of a regular guy just looking for some recognition.
So here it is, the movie that showcases the fact that so many of us go through the motions of every day, doing what's expected of us, and sometimes it's god damn tiring--especially when no one seems to appreciate or give you the recognition you deserve.
Her stomach swirled with knots as she listened to his voice on the other end.
He cheerily recounted the events of his day, oblivious of her nervousness on the other end.
She found it hard to pay attention when her mind was running rampant with mixed feelings. She tried to hold back interrupting him and blurting out how she really felt and everything she needed to see.
It's almost not worth the fight.
He sounded pleased with himself as he wrapped up his story. She had barely heard a word he said.
I need to tell him. I need to tell him that I'm losing it, that I feel like it's almost gone already. Things are different now.
But what was different? Was it her personal issues? Was it his personal issues?
All she was certain of was that she lost it.
It was the fear of losing someone. The realization that you've figured out how to live without that person.
What was there really if you didn't think you needed them in the same way? If you knew you could wake up on your own and it would still be okay?
Could you ever get it back? Was it the same as completely falling out of love?
Something had changed at some point. It was no longer the fear of losing, but the fear of the truth.
But until then, I'm looking to catch the following tours when they come to town:
4/17/12: An Intimate Night with Neon Trees @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC
4/25/12: Good Old War @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC
5/8/12: Neon Trees @ Starland Ballroom, NJ
5/9/12: A Day To Remember@ Starland Ballroom, NJ
So other than that, what other tours should I check out and what are you guys going to go see?
Have you guys had the chance to check out the newest album from Good Old War?
On a scale of of 1 to Charlie Simpson, I'm going to say that these is heavily teetering towards Album of the Year for me--Definitely their best release yet. Don't get me wrong, their Self-Titled is very enjoyable, as is Only Way to Be Alone, but I think it's the themes that really register. The songs are just beautiful, even if they are about the conflicts between staying or walking away from someone that you've loved. And the music is just comfortable.
I'm not going to divulge into music technicalities, frankly because I have no business in doing so and probably would botch it up. Anyway, here's a couple of links to preview/hear the album and some of my favorite tracks so you can give your ears a treat and form your own opinion.
I'm staring at my bank account and trying to calculate my future.
Today my mom picked me up from work. I stepped into the car to see that she was in hysterics.
She claims she screwed up my deferment for my student loans because she's been so busy pretty much taking care of every other aspect of her life and our family. She just messed it all up.
My loans are about $20,000 and it might be time for me to start paying them. The loans are an amount because I basically took out every possible loan be able to attend college. This money doesn't even include the other loan I was paying off myself, which was about $1600. Right now if I put away $200 a month, it would take me about 8 years to pay it off. I'll be 35 years old.
I am falling into insanity at this point.
I'm trying not to panic. Not to cry.
This entire night has sent me on a search to see what other bills need to be paid.
I found the cable bill and the utilities bill. I'm setting up a place for them in my bank account so I can submit a bit of money each month to help my parents out.
I made a promise to myself to really pay my bills on time and to save money. I want a laptop and a new phone. I don't even know how any of this is possible anymore. Most of my money has to go to loans at this point. I'll see the money go, but barely any of it saved.
I'm saddened. I can't even say it enough.
I guess this is why people bet and they gamble. Why they go crazy.
Am I too young for this or is this normal?
I've been on a roller coaster of emotions the past month or so because of issues with work. It seems as though, even with 3 years put into a job, you're still considered replaceable. Whether or not things were said in the heat of the moment, it makes for an uncomfortable work environment for sure. With this recent development, it makes it pretty hard to get up in the mornings to go to a place that makes you feel so unwanted. I need to find the right direction for myself, but I'm not sure how to do it.
Other than that, there were some hard times dealing with a boyfriend on tour and the different time zones and coming second to the band he works for, but I was thankful to see him for 3 nights during that period of time and then a week together during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Long distance relationships aren't a cake walk, but they can work if both people are clear and vocal with their wants and needs and respectful towards those things. You have to take each day at a time.
With that being said, I had an amazing week with my boyfriend and wouldn't trade those moments and memories for anything in the world. This week reminded me of how grateful I am for this relationship and having him in my life. Of course there are ups and downs, but you have to know how and when to compromise. Pick your battles. Cherish the little things. Always be creative and willing to try new things. Be considerate. Be yourself.
With that being said, it's unbelievably hard to wake up alone after spending a week waking up in someone else's arms. Maybe one day I won't have to wake up alone anymore.
Until then, I have my friends, and technology to keep in contact and keep me busy...not to mention this bottle of champagne at my desk.
Even in my 20's I feel nudged by my inner insecurities to engulf and educate myself on things that I don't care about just to fit in or generally just assist in a conversation.
This Google Fan concept isn't anything new. I've seen girls do it to seem relevant and intelligent. To impress current prospect or current boyfriends or ex-boyfriends, whatever it takes.
I'm the mildest sports fan possible. My parents never raised me on sports or enrolled me in community sports. I wish they had, but that's not where the cards fell. Three of my closest and oldest friends (they are siblings) come from a sports oriented family. I've gone to their basketball, soccer, field hockey, pop warner football, regular football, softball, and baseball games. They've done it all. Even they are mild pro-sports fans. But they at least know the games.
I was a swimmer growing up. It's one of the few things I truly enjoy and makes me feel free. So I watch swimming in not only the Olympics, but in the off-season. I have the players I know and root for. I even pay attention to some of the stats. Swimming is great because it's fast and intense. Sometimes it's a photo-finish, especially when Phelps is involved.
I love Men's Snowboarding and Surfing. I love those alt sports that keeps the Fuel channel alive.
I enjoy hockey because it's fast and exciting, demanding my constant attention between following the puck and the fights. It's entertaining. I'm a Devils fan supporting the one team my state has left (Thanks Jay-Z!)
And then this brings us to Football and the Fantasy Phenomena. My father played football in high school yet he could care less about watching the games. My sister somehow taught herself the game and has her teams that she supports on the reg.
I have The League...teaching my about the ins and outs of Fantasy Sports. I've watched my friends draft and my guy friends argue about players, and teams, and trades. I learn here and there so I'm not a complete idiot and the show in general is just awesome in general.
This brings me to my main point of the entire snobbery of Fantasy Football and how you either know it and are in it or you don't belong.
Today a friend was discussing last night's episode of The League with me and when I mentioned he hadn't seen it yet he replied, "it's a good one, tho idk how much you'll appreciate it. you'll find it funny but it's heavy on fantasy jokes." Cool bro. Thank you for insulting me. Same thing goes for my boyfriend who was helping a girl we know set up her FF team and when I asked him about the process and the support he was providing I was answered with, "Yea, the day YOU ever play Fantasy Football."
It's pure snobbery.
So what do I do? Do I Google research a sport and pretend to become some big, "knowledgeable" fan on a specific team just so I'm not berated and insulted amongst my peers? But wouldn't that make me a fraud?
There's few things that cut to the core of me than a person insinuating that I'm incapable of doing something. I don't want to have to pretend just to fit in, but I also don't want to be ruled out. Aren't these typical feelings and worries of teenagers?
Then how have we come to still behaving and feeling this way as adults?
Forget your problems
Lay it down, they start up
The innocence of what you are is what I want
I've ran my colors dripped down and drained out
Tried a million things, but my heart's been shot
Well I hope you try to find me, I'm all spun and pacing
I know what you want to say here, so say it
Forget the words speaking
Just want to rearrange so I'll just say it
I really miss you, miss you, say
Smile at the chance just to see you again
I really miss you miss you say
Yeah Yeah Yeah - "Miss you" | Foster the People
"What if I was actually secretly a millionaire and I had houses all over the place and a yacht and you had no idea...and I haven't told you because I wanted to see if you really liked me for the right reasons and you weren't in it for the money." He asked playfully.
I swerved my chair back and forth in thought before replying, "...I think I'd be pretty pissed at you."
"What!" He explained not receiving the answer he was looking for. "Why??"
"Well because...given the amount of time we spend apart because of money...why would you make me suffer like that?"
"Ohhhh, you think you're the ONLY one who suffers?" He questioned, not at all amused.
I fell silent and shifted anxiously in my seat.
He continued with a mixture of frustration and confidence, "Because I wish I could wake up next to you EVERY day."
I felt a smile twitch at the corner of my lips and whispered, "I want that too."
It was all I needed to hear. I could feel my heart swell and ache. I wished that he was more than a phone call away and just right in front of me because in the moment I would have wrapped my arms around him and not let go.
Sometimes on rainy nights I curl up with my pillow and squeeze my eyes shut in hope that, when I open them, you will be next to me.
It sounds overly emotional and perhaps typical of any female, but it's the truth.
For a long time I feared serious commitment. I couldn't comprehend the appeal of waking up and sleeping next to the same person, day in and day out.
This all changed the day I didn't wake up next to you.
Your are my morning and nightly smile.
I truly miss you when you're not here.
Until then, I'm counting down the days until when I open my eyes and you're actually staring back at me.
We're gonna live, we're gonna live, we're gonna live
Like the rest.
the other night I drove past my grandparent's house and saw two cars in the driveway--my grandfather's large truck and the Cadillac my Nonna owned while she was alive.
I thought back to when my mom, with a quivering lip, told me that my grandfather officially had to take the keys away from my Nonna. She was getting too old to drive and he had a clear enough head to make that decision for her. She would never drive herself anywhere again.
My grandfather is approaching his mid-80's, but he only just retired this year for medical practice. He's pretty self capable between tending to his giant garden or taking care of his dog or going hunting or sailing his boat. However, it was was my Nonna who started to slip first. She worked up until a certain point, but with six kids spread out over 15 years, she eventually became the doctor's housewife. She volunteered around town and was the famous local artist in the area, constantly in the newspaper for her talents. Eventually smoking got the best of her and let Emphysema take her lungs and old age take her mind. Trips to the hair dresser or the food store or to the shore became difficult for her. She started to travel with a friend and then she eventually was escorted by family members.
I think about that day a lot. The day when someone had to make a life changing decision for her. She probably barely noticed. At that point she was having normal days and flighty days. She'd either be very aware or childlike, not really focused on things going on around her.
I think was saddens me the most is that one day that might happen for me--The day that I may no longer remember how to do some simple things as driving or using the phone or making dinner. There will come a time when our kids will get the best of us. We stop remembering how well we played the game. They'll whisper to their friends, "They won't know the difference" or perhaps, "They have no clue what's going on." And maybe we won't. Rationality eventually gets the best of us and soon imagination drifts away as fast as our youth did. We'll have grandkids and mix up their names, possibly with out own kid's names. They'll stamp their feet in frustration or just roll their eyes and not bother to correct us.
Isn't it strange how with age we are supposed to become smarter, wiser but it lasts only briefly until we return to a childlike state? I fear it. I fear aging and loss of imagination. Of growing up and forgetting the tricks and ideas of youth. Of the desire to be better than those who came before me. I want to hold on to it and keep it forever. But we can't. Time is always passing.