Saturday, September 26, 2009

A New Commitment

Its amazing to me how quickly life spins you into different phases of your life. Lately, I have hardly had time to stop and breathe let alone stop and think about all the things that are happening right now in my life.

I was thinking the other day of how this looks to people on the outside. When I look at it, its hard for even me to discern the catalyst of the past few weeks.

I am getting married.

I am getting married??

Crazy. Insane. Nothing I would ever have predicted a year ago, six months ago, three months ago. This past year and a half has been... indescribable. Its zoomed past me, almost totally on its own. And now, its halted, at this major event and then after? Will it be a slow and peaceful life? Will it be fast paced and full of adventure with my new husband? Will it be hard? Will it be easy? Will we make it?

Those questions have been swirling in my head and all I can come up with is YES. YES. It will be slow and peaceful at times. YES, it'll be filled with new adventures. Yes, it'll be hard at times and easy at times. Will we make it? YES.

Bryan and I have loved each other since I was 14 years old. Fourteen. Years. Old. Of that time we have spent about three years apart. Including the last year and a half. We clicked in a remarkable way when we met in Lemoore so many years ago. We have spent hours upon hours on the phone talking about life, love, family, God - and all of the other run of the mill topics. We have been linked in such a profound way that I am not really all that surprised by this.

But I know some of you are. Which I suppose is a reason for this post.

Three months ago I was dating Michael. I'm sure you remember him. I would usually refer to him as Mike B. but that was 86'd when the other Michael exited from my life (and blog!). So, Michael was amazing. He was a tad bit younger than me, but was unlike anyone I had ever met. I just reread that sentence and I have to amend - Michael IS amazing. He is going to be a catch for a really lucky girl. And I hope that she makes him so happy that he can barely stand it. He deserves it much more than he thinks he does.

Things started to fall apart between us, and in July, some really awful things were happening to me. Personally, professionally, I was taking a hit. It was one thing after another. A rough slope and my body was just bouncing on each event harder and fast than the one before. I couldn't keep up. Things between Michael and I continued to deteriorate and we both just checked out.

Fast forward to August. Bryan moved back from L.A. where he had been attending The Musicians Institute. We hung out one day - purely as friends - to catch up on each others lives. I told him about everything that was going on with me and he filled me in on everything that was going on with him. I told him about how I was involved with the Young Republicans club and how I had been elected to be Chair of the Formal Committee and how Andy saved my life by signing up to be my co-chair. He started to ask questions about my involvement and the things we did as a group. He was interested in the people I had met through the club.

I told him that I had already met so many great people and I hoped that our club would continue to grow and be active. He asked if there were any guys there that I thought were cute. Of COURSE there were guys in there that was cute. And I mentioned one in particular that I had enjoyed conversing with. Then I was quick to amend, "but he doesn't look at me that way." This spiraled a whole bunch of different conversation that on my end, isn't too important to the story.

I had enjoyed talking to Bryan, so we continued to hang out here and there as friends. One night, Bryan mentioned that our relationship had been an either - just commit to it and ride it through, or get away from it completely. Which I agreed with. Because we are So. Incredibly. Different. we are very passionate people about opposite things which in some cases, is an awesome and amazing thing. In other instances, it can be the sources of fighting over stupid things and being controlling over certain situations.

Things started to calm down (in some aspects) of my life and I was getting a handle on things. Michael and I were over completely by now which is something that is hard to adapt to. The end of any relationship fills you with this... What do I do with myself now? complex. I was already SO busy, but it was the nights that were hard...and the weekends. Michael and I hung out so much that there were blocks of time that I'd just be what now? So, luckily, I had projects to stretch out in that time and I had Denise and Anna who filled up the rest.

Then, slowly but surely, Bryan and I spent more time together. As our time together grew, our conversations with each other went to a deeper and more complex place. A while later, I realized that my feelings for Bryan had resurfaced with a vengeance. When I asked him, how did this happen?! He look at me and said, "Well, the first time we hung out made me scared that I was going to lose you forever. That you were going to meet some guy in YR that could sweep you off your feet. So I just waited. I hung out with you more and more. Then at some point I started wooing you and you let me. I couldn't believe you were letting me! And now we're here."

I didn't know he was courting me. Now that I look back, I see that he was slowly and surely moving me into that place, but at the time, I had no clue. And I was scared by my feelings. I was not ready to love Bryan again. Loving Bryan is a full-time job. I'm not trying to be mean, but it is. And I bet he'd say that loving me was a full-time job too. (Although, now I think he sees my independence - something I didn't have when we were together before.)

"...And now we're here." Where? Where EXACTLY were we? And then... In a blink of an eye, were are here. Marriage was thrown around, parents were talked to, a ring was purchased, and at my sisters house, last Friday, Bryan got down on one knee and asked the one question I always dreamed about, and the one I never thought would happen.

If I was reading this blog, I would be thinking that this blog needed to get to the good stuff. The juicy stuff. Unfortunately for anyone that might read this blog, there is no juicy part. Bryan and I have always wanted a fall wedding. Any time we EVER spoke about getting married it was always in the fall. Its our favorite season. So it was either, plan a wedding in 6 weeks or wait 12 months. Neither of us wanted to do that. Especially me. I do NOT want this long and complicated process to be drawn out. I have always wanted a small wedding, and selfishly, I knew that this would be a way to get that.

I'm not pregnant. This isn't a shotgun wedding to cover anything up. It's just a quick wedding. We've made the decision. We've committed to this. So, we've decided on October 25, 2009.

I am so happy and so blessed. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Righteous Anger

I read posts like this and I feel her anger. I feel like its justified. I believe that God understands anger. I believe that God understands frustration and helplessness. And I think that it's OK to be angry about your circumstances to a certain extent. Sometimes, in cases like Jonah, I feel like Patrice has a right to be angry that she won't be able to see her son play sports. Or to give him big bear hugs and have tickle fights. I know I would be.

I also see Patrice's strength in those posts. Even when she is at her weakest. I feel that she believes and trusts in God, that she knows he has a plan. I know she gets frustrated and upset, because she is human.

Well, I'm angry. I don't know if it is righteous anger. But I am so mad. And right now, I am torn two ways. One part of me wants to get up in God's face and talk to him, to yell and scream at him. And part of me wants to just give him the cold shoulder. I don't know which one I want to go with.

Lots of big things are going on right now in my life. And yes, I'll explain more later but this isn't the time. But, I am so gosh-darn frustrated that my Dad just checks out whenever he wants. I'm tired of him being an alcoholic. I'm tired of going through the push and pull that being an alcoholics daughter brings. I hate that he misses out on so much of my life. And I am so PISSED that I miss out on HIS. It's a two way street. When he drinks, neither of us gets to spend time with the other.

Then, on top of everything else, I remember all the things I am mad at. All the things I missed out on. My Dad's alcoholism got really bad when I was born. My entire life he's been a binge drinker, and it's effected my life the most. For an example, today I was talking to my boss, Kim, and a few other people at work. I mentioned that what I really wanted, above anything else for my birthday was a bike. They kind of looked at me like I was crazy. And when they asked if I had ever had a bike, I said no. I wasn't taught to ride a bike until I was in the 5th grade. Then, when I learned, I used my sisters old bikes. I never got that, OH-MY-GOSH moment. (Note: I had my sisters bikes, which I am grateful for, but it wasn't like it was cleaned up with new tires and given to me. I dragged it out of the garage, sprayed the spiders off of it, and did what I could with it. It wasn't a special event like it is to so many people.)

What a flashback that gave me. I remember my Dad had been drunk the week before his 40 or 40-something birthday. On Saturday morning, He grabbed a half-way decent bike, and took me over to Monroe school, where he taught me how to ride a bike. I had been begging for years, weeks to learn, but he was always drunk during the weekends or it was never a good time. Thinking about it makes me so angry. 5th grade. FIFTH GRADE. Every major event in my life my Dad has missed. I remember being so scared that he would drink before every band concert or Peach Blossom contest. I remember looking at the crowd to see if he would show up, and my Mom would just smile and shrug her shoulders at me.

I get SO angry thinking about it. Throw something at the wall angry. So many memories were missed out on. So many birthdays and Christmases ruined. I always felt he put the bottle before me, before my sisters, before his wife.

And although he doesn't drink as often as he used to he still does. And it makes me mad. How could he? After all these years. After all that is happened. After what it does to his body. HOW CAN HE CONTINUE TO DRINK? How can he look at me, drunk as a skunk, and straight up lie to my face. How can he live his life this way?

On Monday, my Mom and I did something very important. Very exciting and important. On the way home, a song came on my iPod. A song I have listened to many times before. It was called "Sober" and it is sung by Pink. As I was singing it, at the top of my lungs, I started thinking about them. Then I started connecting things. Then I started crying. There I was, driving home from Fresno and all I could do was cry.

I thought about how my Dad doesn't even have that. He doesn't have this constant addiction. He doesn't need alcohol every day to function. He doesn't get happier when he drinks. He feels worse. And then he comes out of it, he feels nothing. He hasn't felt the presence of God in a long time. He doesn't know who he is or what to do with his life. He's just a floater.

Do you know that its nearly impossible to rehabilitate a binge drinker? They can go years - literally - YEARS without drinking. They can play the part better than any actor or actress. They can go through rehab, AA, church programs... everything without an problem.

So today, as I finish this post and get up to go work out so I can work my anger (and fat) off, I am hopeless. I won't ever have a normal relationship with my Dad. He will always be plagued by his addiction, and I will always be waiting for him to come out from the fog.

Until then, I keep going through the roller coaster. Some days I have hope, some days I want to cut off all communication, and some days I want to cry because of all the loss and heartbreak this has caused in my life, in my families life. And I will keep trying to believe that God has a plan, and His Will will be done.


PS - Sober by Pink:

PPS - I love my Dad so much.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yeah... We know.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An Open Letter: My Body

Dear Body,

You serve me well. You've always been there for me. You've stuck with me for almost 22 years. Sure, you are a little short. Granted, you have bad knees, big hips, large love-handles and are 25 pounds more chunky than you should be. Of course, I can't wear those cute little outfits they wear on TV and on the Forever 21 advertisements. Then comes the stress at work, from being uncomfortable with you around, from life in general. And, as a true, TRUE friend you shut down on me with what Doctors call a 'migraine' but I generally refer to it as 'My Bodies Betrayal."

Don't let my previous comments get you down, dear body. For I love you when I have lost all of my "water weight" and when I am swimming. I love you when I need to walk around or run errands or attend church or a birthday party. I love on you when I am cold, wrap you up in a big blanket, do what I can for you when you are in pain. I take you to the doctor when you are sick. I blow your nose and I paint your nails.

I also realize that a relationship like ours is a give and take. Probably with you doing more giving and me doing more taking. But if I didn't feed you, you would be unable to give... So it's really a wash.

So, why? WHY are you doing this to me? Why must you be in such pain when I have so much to do today? Why is it that One. Day. After. I sign up for the gym you decide to go all "time of the month" on me? And fine, if you have to, you have to. I understand. I get it. But, WHY do you HAVE to crave chocolate so BADLY? Why did I have to purchase that brownie from Panera Bread today? WHY did you make me walk into my Superintendent's office to get a Snickers out of his candy jar? I don't understand.

You are already keeping me from the gym. Do you HAVE to make me eat horrible things as well?

I'm hurt. And I'm angry. I know I'll get over it. I know you'll get over it. But I still am hurt. And I fully expect you to work really hard at the gym with me. Because we'll only be able to do this if we work together.

Until then, I'll try to be patient. And don't rush me. Right after I post this, I WILL go and get a Twix from the candy jar. Because I love you.