Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On the cruiser.

The shuttle bus that goes around campus is referred to as the cruiser.

So I went to the bookstore this morning to buy birthday cards; I caught the 9:18 cruiser heading downtown and was hoping to choose and buy the cards in time for the 9:30 shuttle back uphill.

There were no other students on the cruiser downtown, so the cruiser driver and I had a conversation. I told her why I was going downtown.

"Oh," she exclaimed. "My husband's birthday is coming up soon! On the twenty-seventh. I haven't gotten him anything yet."

She then went on to say that they had been married for fifty-four years, that they had dated for two and a half years before getting married, and that they met on Saint Patrick's Day.

"We met when I was sixteen years, three months and eleven days old," she said, so fondly.

As I sat there and realised that the youthful-looking cruiser driver was about seventy-four (are there laws that prohibit driving when above a certain age?) she continued, "It's really nice that we got to grow up together. My parents were married sixty-one years, and Nick's parents were married for sixty-eight."

"Wow. That's amazing," I said.

"There were times when if Nick walked into a room, I'd walk out. But I still loved him," she said. "Things are different now though. I think people give up too easily nowadays."

She turned around and smiled at me. That moment was the first time I had questioned my decision to break up with my boyfriend over a week ago. Had I given up too easily? I wondered whether she would judge my actions as such if I told her why I did so. The moment was also profound because I consider myself someone who doesn't give up easily on these things. I know that my decision has come as a surprise to some others and that I have given up a really good thing in my life. I still don't regret what I have done, but this conversation left me wondering what she would consider to be acceptable circumstances to give up under. I have been working through a bunch of emotions this past week; guilt for breaking up, guilt for not being guilty enough, and to a tiny extent, terror. I consider finding a serious significant other one of the most important things in life, and to give up being with someone who has been so wonderful to me creates greater uncertainty that I may not find this. But the weird thing is...I think I'm okay.

The cruiser stopped in front of the main street traffic lights, by the village green. I said bye to the cruiser driver. Of course, her husband's birthday falls on the same day as my ex-boyfriend's.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The grownup with the green glass heart?

My life is not the same as it was when I first started writing this blog.

That statement is probably obvious (a lot of change usually happens within three years of teenage-hood) and doesn't really need saying, but I just did anyway because this may help explain why I haven't been posting often here. Being busy does not cut as a good excuse for only being able to write an average of one post a month. It took me unreasonably long to realise that the bulk of my posts here came from two themes - feeling like I don't fit in/asserting my uniqueness, and being hopelessly smitten about somebody that I can't have. Writing here helped me feel empowered, and I think I am able to be very open about sharing my experiences today because of this.

However, I don't really feel anything towards either of these themes anymore and haven't for quite a while. Being at Colgate and being un-single has changed what I channel my thoughts towards. While I wouldn't say that I'm completely homogenous to the others here (I'm not white, I'm an international student, and I still have yet to drink at college) I have been accepted and welcomed into every group I've encountered. The characteristics I don't necessarily share with others are just...characteristics. We connect over what matters instead and honestly, I still have to occasionally convince myself that all this is real life - I did indeed wake up in my bed, I'm really here with such wonderful people and no, this is not a dream which will end and I won't be waking up to the world of high school all over again. I fit in well at college, and I feel so silly for having felt guilty about it at the beginning, as if my "uniqueness" was being compromised in some way. I now think that saying you are different from others in itself is not useful - it creates a sense of self-superiority, and acknowledging the difference itself does not explain what makes you special. Do we even need to explain why we are, and if so, what makes us, special? I don't need to assert this to myself because I feel comfortable with who I am, even if I am not very interesting, and I don't need to assert this to you (okay, maybe I do if I am writing an application of some sort) because I'd like for my actions or concrete examples to show you who I am. This feels more natural and less showy. I think I tried to assert my character a lot of times here, to the point that I felt like I needed to stay "consistent", because wasn't this who I so proudly was? People can change, and even the rate of change or the existence of change itself is not guaranteed as a constant. I think that maybe this is the way the world works. I've learned to stop worrying about this and just ENJOY the fact that I'm fitting in without needing to do much. My middle and high school life probably happened to remind me to be more compassionate towards others, but being able to fit in is probably not inherently wrong. I can't believe it took me so long to realise this.

And then there's my boyfriend. We've been together for almost a year now. Things have been going so, so well, and he's still so much more than I deserve. It's strange, we may not have had a defining "it all clicked" moment, but looking back, the past year has been many, many wonderful moments one after another without a pause for us. Long distance is supposed to be really hard and I'm always wondering whether there's going to be a hiccup or fight around the corner because things have been so smooth so far. Some of my friends said that this was not normal. I asked my boyfriend what he thought about it, and he proposed that we growl menacingly at each other so that we could tell them that we had fought. That was really nice. This relationship has been really healthy and my mind's been much more peaceful - there's way less insecurity and self-doubt and fear of being alone. If he decided to leave me today, I would be upset, but I would also know that I can go forward with a mind and heart that is more zen-like.

I've been writing about not fitting in and having "love"-related feelings for years now, and these changes have made me feel like I now have nothing to write about. And this is why I haven't been writing as much lately. Being busy is just a tiny part of my life. I actually check Blogger every day and I've longed to resume blogging regularly, like I used to do, for months now. But this checking and longing obviously doesn't translate into posts. It's silly, but I'm scared! I don't really know what else to write about. I've worried that I'm now even worse at writing, that I haven't flexed my blogging muscle in a while. I worry that this fear is causing me to get even weaker metaphorically, and this is really silly.

But I hope that articulating all these feelings changes this dynamic - I need not expect the same thoughts out of myself and I can blog things that actually matter to me now. This is awesome and unsettling and frankly, something I should have known all along. Oh, you silly child.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Coffee and Cigarettes.

he was a present, wrapped up in a Tiffany blue box,
red ribbon and a tag which said "Not You".
he was not for me to take,
not for me to dream of taking.

we made contact but there were no sparks -
only pity and the benefit of the doubt.
it was not enough for me but I had been there before
and this feeling would come back time and time again
like a quitter's cravings for nicotine.
I was proud, and not about to quit at quitting.

I drank my coffee and stayed awake for him, without him.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Reduced.

you feel lost and disoriented, you make a phone call
and you don't understand why the person on the other end is yelling
- is it really three in the morning
stop talking, she's speaking too quickly, make it stop

close your eyes; semi-consciousness

it doesn't occur to you to open your eyes again and you hear grim tones
why

the grim tones fade away
your heart rate dips down to a fraction of your age
and stillness.

there you lie; you are a yellow skeleton
they write what they think the cause of death was but really
you drowned in a river of regret and they just found your corpse

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Eye contact.

I was catching up with a friend yesterday. While we were on the subject of my boyfriend, she brought up the person I had liked before I starting dating my boyfriend.

"What did he say when he found out you were dating somebody else?"

"I don't know..."

"I bet a part of him inside died."

We laughed, and though I was bursting to speak, I did not. I wanted to tell her what had been on my mind for a while. I am pretty sure that the truth is, no part of him inside died and I am not sure how I feel about this. I wanted to tell my friend that I had been vividly replaying my first interaction with him after being back in town for winter break. 

As he came into view, I tightened my grip on my boyfriend's arm. He turned around and said, "Welcome back." His shoulders were pointed away from us - indicating a lack of interest, and there was no subsequent conversation after that. I noticed that he did not use the word "home" and that his greeting also did not have the warmth I associate with it. Could it be that he had previously rehearsed this nonchalant one line and matching body language? Going along the same vein of thought, could it be that he was hiding his feelings - if he had any - regarding the fact that I found somebody after he turned me down? Could there possibly be regret because seeing me with my boyfriend made him realise what he could have had? But this perceived indifference is probably better for me. If there was proof of anything else, it make me muse about what might have happened if I had been just a bit more persistent. I do not mean musing in the context of wishful thinking; I just think that there would be a lack of closure or there would be the feeling of unfinished business. But alas, I do not think I should project my tendency to over-analyse onto somebody else, much less somebody whom I do not even think I know that well. 

I should clarify, if it has not been made clearly enough, that this is not to say I want to be with him. I am very happy with my boyfriend, and I have never wished that I could be with this person instead of my boyfriend ever since we got together. I think that overanalysing is just my coping mechanism of making his rejection of me softer because I take rejection very badly. I am afraid to look at him for too long; I irrationally fear that we might have eye contact and he will express indifference even though I just told you that him being indifferent towards me is probably for my own good. I would rather hold on to my over-analysis of him to lessen the sting that is still there. He does a pretty good job of suggesting that nothing ever happened between us. And to be honest, nothing tangible really happened. Why does this nothingness feel like not nothing to me? Why am I over-thinking all this? It is difficult to articulate these thoughts; this is an uncomfortable admission that I have not fully achieved indifference towards him, if indifference is defined as not feeling the need to over-think. Does this make me a bad girlfriend?