December 4th, 2000

Fortitude in Snow

Banging my head on that brick wall.... yet again.... (Caution: Whining Ahead)

Apparently, I am acquiring a bad habit, and some of this morning’s events confirmed it. I tried asking a cute guy out, only to find that he’s married. Arrgh!! This is so frustrating; especially since I felt like I had to limp out of there with my tail between my legs, and my pride dragging in shreds on the ground.

But the event indicates a bad habit in me: I’m falling for guys that are *not* on the market. First Jesse, then Cuteboy, then PrettyBlueEyes, and now, Eli (cutie… I hope his wife realizes how lucky she is). Do I know how to pick 'em or what?

What is it about me, lately, that I am being attracted to guys that are not available? Do I really like having my heart shredded *that much*?? Or do I secretly crave disappointment? I dunno; I want to ask if I have the word “goofy shmuck” written on my forehead, but I know better (and most of my friends would attempt to kick me).


It’s just…. frustrating. And I know what the answer is, know it thoroughly even as I get dragged kicking and screaming through it. "Wait." "It isn’t time yet." "This isn’t the right person." "When the heart is ready, the teacher will come."

And I’ve never really been good at patience. Never.

And I’ll also let you in on another little secret: I *still* have a hard time when I don’t get what I want. Yes, still. Even now, at 32. Yes. It’s a full temper tantrum inside, with the pouting, and the tears, the stomping of feet…the works. It’s still a huge inner struggle, one that I should have learned to get over years ago. I *ought* to be able to face it, now, that sometimes I am NOT going to get what I want. And sometimes, I *will* be disappointed. And no, I cannot change it, no matter how big a temper tantrum I throw.

But somehow, I still think that I can have my way and get what I want. And that’s just not the way life is.

So, my head is sore from pounding it against this brick wall. And I hope someday soon to say that I’ve learned this lesson, but judging from my reaction this morning, I can’t see that happening any time in the near future.

Which sucks.

In other news… I got creative last night. I made a mix tape, trying to paint a picture of where I am now in my life. It’s mostly women and mostly newer songs. I called “Pollyanna’s Revenge: A portrait of the artist at 32” because it’s almost drippingly sweet with upbeat, encouraging songs at its outset. Nothing too smarmy, just some really positive “don’t give up” stuff. I feel like the eternal optimist who takes up residence in my soul a good part of the time decided to make this tape; hence, the “Pollyanna” bit. (She’s a facet of who I am, and most of the time I like her, even if she’s annoyingly naïve at times).

It’s a group of songs that I wanted to use to describe me, here and now. Because, despite the frustration in the romance department (and my apparent inability to stop being an emotional two-year-old), my life really *is* stuffed full of love and joy. I’ve had the privilege recently of working long, hard hours with people I really care about, doing something that matters. That means worlds to me, and I’m grateful for it. That kind of work feeds my soul, and I need it, and really do cherish it.

And, in spite of the recent frustrations, I continue to be blessed with the opportunity to participate in stuff like that. So, it helps, even when other areas are not as I’d like them. It helps temper me and keep me on an even keel. And most important, it teaches me the patience I so desperately need to learn. Funny that, someone wanting desperately to learn how not to be desperate. Patience, right now! (How ironic! :-)

I got a call from Chris last night, who was generous with an ear as I verbally disgorged…pouring out my frustrations and general pissy mood at things not going as they ought, and having to watch another suffer needlessly under it. Chris listened (compassionate, sweet friend that he is), and offered only a few points of clarity (he's a deft hand with a cluebrick, although he *is* gentle sometimes, bless his feline soul).

I talked and he listened. And I appreciated it, as I spouted. And I think the cathartic spewing did me some good.

More than that, I realized something important: I finally got that I was mad because I could not control things. I had to watch, powerless, as a person I care about is straining under a weight too big for one person to bear. I could clearly see the stress on his face, and knew what toll it would take on him. And I was POWERLESS to do anything about it.

*That* was a hard one to swallow. No matter what, I was powerless to control the situation, no matter how good my intentions were.

Hello, my name is Deb and I’m a control freak. (Chorus: Hello Deb.)

But, um.... yeah. *pause*

I think this might be at the heart (or root?) of the temper tantrum thing. I don’t get what I want, and I can’t control the outcome. And it doesn’t matter how good I am, or how good I want to be, or even how good I want other things to be, it’s still out of my control. And I get frustrated with something that is clear and immutable.

And I get so busy trying to control the outcome (and then getting upset that I cannot make things into what I want them to be) that I forget that I’m supposed to enjoy the ride. I forget that I’m supposed to enjoy the process, and my purpose is to grow. In my quest to make things good, I forget the most important stuff (and it isn't stuff).

Damn. The hardest to learn is the least complicated.

That’s about it for today, at least for now. I gotta go chew on this stuff.

More later,

-- Deb
Brown-eyed Stare

Problem averted, and I tell a story

Yes, this is post #2 in one day. And no, I'm not sick. Some of the major stress I had from yesterday has disappeared, so I feel a lot better. And I read Misha's glowing report of my recent trip to Seattle. *grin* I want to be her roomie. I do, I do! Thanks to her for cheering me up, earlier.

And now the second half of my afternoon post. This has to do with an event that really happened, just as I told it to Idat, and just as I'm telling it to you now. It was a defining moment for me. Thanks, Vwad.

Purgatory QuickX to Idat
It's strange... one of my good friends, Vwadek, taught me something important about trust, a few years ago. We were all sitting around a table out at The Farm (Seekers & Sought).... drinking wine, and hanging out....talking history, and just... talking the way our group was apt to do.... Vwad was a Humanities professor who held office hours at the bar, and we'd usually end up back at the Farm, continuing the conversations we'd begun earlier.

We'd listen to jazz out in the studio, and talk about *everything*. It was great. And I remember being *very* deep in thought.... and the conversation was swirling around us.... Vwadek was asking me about when I'd been raped, and what'd happened.... and I'd said it was hard to trust after that. I fell silent, I guess, lost in my own thoughts and rememberings.... and I recall looking up at Vwadek, who was staring at me, not unkindly but intensely. I just met his gaze, and held it for a while.

The conversation continued uninterrupted around us, and after awhile, we broke the gaze. Not long after, I found myself admiring an old sword he had hanging on the wall behind him. He turned, leaned over, took the sword off its hanging pegs, and reversed it and handed it (properly) to me, hilt-first. Looking closely at it, I became mesmerized with the designs on the hilt. I examined them in detail as they were in my hand, while Vwad still held the tip of the sword. It was a minute or two before I realized *where* the tip was, and how he was holding it.

He'd placed the tip of this still-sharp sword in the small hollow at the base of his throat, letting it rest there, while my hands held the hilt.

So, when I looked up, my eyes followed the sword down to the point, which was balanced there in the hollow of his throat. My gaze met his, and found him looking directly at me, with the same intensity as before. It was as if I could hear him saying "I trust *you* with my life.... you can trust me." And with those vivid-blue piercing eyes staring at me, not harshly, but with an odd luminous intensity, the same as before. I suddenly felt a little scared at the immense power I'd just been granted, and I found myself withdrawing the sword, and placing it on the floor beside me.

It wasn't my lack of trust in *him* that I feared, it was my lack of trust in *me*.... that, and the enormity of the power he'd gifted to me, in that instant. It was as if he'd said "You could run me through right now; I trust that you won’t. I put my life in your hands; I trust you completely." And the enormity of that floored me.

Ever since then, it's been a little easier for me to trust, but I *do* need practice.

*sigh* He's a good friend, and I miss him.