Sunday, November 29, 2009

The truth about love

For the past year or so I have tried to learn as much about the concept of love as I can (as a single woman who has never been in love). I figured, before I can find it, I should know what to look for, right? Well along the way I have discovered plenty, but the most recent revelation is this: Love is not 50/50 -- it is no give-and-take relationship -- it is all about the giving. Pretty basic concept, one would think, but this hit home for me while watching "Wolverine" (oh yes, total chick-flick).

Don't ask me how romantic lovey-dovey nonsense fits into this action-flick. However, in the scene where Logan and Kayla are canoodling in their Canadian mountain home I realized that when it comes to relationships, you're not in it for yourself -- you're in it for the other person. Sure, it gives you great joy to be with that special someone, but first and foremost you strive to do all you can do make the other person happy. That is where self-joy comes into play. It really is a never-ending cycle that might be too complicated to try to explain; but the point is that you have to be willing to give all of you to see to the happiness of the other person. You have to be willing to put your needs aside, your pride aside, and be vulnerable in order to find true fulfillment in love.
That love is shown to the other person in the selfless act, in the willingness to show the true self and stand the risk of rejection, in giving up control, and in saying, "I can't do this on my own; I need you." I've never experienced any of this, but I am pretty sure it will be the single most terrifying thing I will ever do in my lifetime. So terrifying, in fact, that I don't know if I can go through with it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I scratch your back, you scratch mine?

I can't stand it. I really can't. My shoulders have been so twisted up in knots, I think the only way to loosen them is to cut the ties completely and let them unravel themselves. Right now, sitting in a comfy recliner, I can't even lift my hands. They weigh ten pounds each at least -- maybe twenty the way I'm feeling right now. It's one of those pains that has built up over time (I'm thinking the last four days or so) so now my body doesn't even have the will to resist. I'll sit here for the rest of the night letting my poor head flop on my shoulders that are too stiff to really provide proper support. No aid for my neck, just shoulders that won't move even if you paid them -- not that I would ever advocate for giving money to my shoulders. If you were to give money to anyone/thing, then it might as well be to me. It's not like I get paid for working a full time job with thankless adolescents.
Back to the subject at hand....will someone PLEASE massage these knots out? Right now I have lost the will to live because these things are so stiff. I would love it if all the tension was rubbed out of my shoulders so that I wouldn't even care about this life of mine because I would be in such a state of relaxation.
Please? Any takers?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

God spoke to me

He does from time to time, you know; only this time, it was in the form of a dream. I woke up a couple hours ago with the distinct impression that God was not too pleased with my earlier post concerning my favor of dogs over babies and small children. I dreamt that I had my own tiny baby. She was so beautiful and small. I knew the baby was my own and not someone else's because I had an overwhelming feeling of protectiveness over her that I can only assume comes with being a mother. I have no idea who the father was (eek!), but it somehow didn't matter to me. I distinctly recall the baby being blue-eyed with faint wisps of blonde hair ( this a premonition for the future?). I wish I could remember her name, but alas, that was the one thing that slipped from memory the moment I awoke. She had to be only a couple months old, but for some reason she was able to sit up on her own. She had no teeth yet, but loved gumming a small, light-blue and gray teething ring. I remember taking her everywhere with me -- to school to teach, around the house, running errands -- in my arms in front of me (even in one of those baby carriers where she just hangs in front of me in a sling). Her soft head had the succulent baby smell, and I breathed in greedily, knowing it would not last forever.
The only odd thing was that the child never once cried. She was the ideal child, not a realistic one. She smiled and laughed and looked at me in adoration. I want this child.

I need this child.
She is mine; I know that. I just can't wait to meet her now.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It doesn't take much to entertain or outwit some of the people I hang out with. So why do I choose to spend time with such "dull" folks, you ask? Simple: it doesn't take much to entertain or outwit them. There is this little ego-boost that comes with being admired by people -- no matter how less-than-up-to-par the audience is with personal standards. Queen of wit among peasants is better than average-wit among all-stars. Therefore, I choose to entertain a select circle with easy banter and humorous fictional escapades. It works. They are entertained, and I get my occasional ego-boost. Win-win situation, no?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kids aren't like dogs

No matter what they tell you, owning a pet is nothing like having a kid -- not that I have experience in either one. But I think if I had the choice, I would prefer a dog over a baby; however, not for the reasons you may think. Dogs love unconditionally. They may crave attention all the time, but they don't need it. Babies, on the other hand, crave attention constantly and need it even more often. You have to pay careful attention to them and love them openly, otherwise they will not reciprocate. Dogs, however, will always love you, always be eager to be with you -- even though you don't show them any attention. In order not to expend exuberant amounts of energy for the sake of receiving any love in return, I would rather have a dog around the house to love me than a baby. Besides, they're less maintenance.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Question of the day

"Miss Scott, do you go to college parties?"
"Western doesn't have college parties, idiot." Another student chimed in.
"I agree with him, Western doesn't have parties," I smiled dismissively.
"So does that mean you don't go to parties?"
"Nah, I don't do parties."
"See, I told you she was boring," a girl whispered to her neighbor.

You heard it hear first, folks: I am boring. You know, I would rather students think I am as boring as a bump on a log than a raging party animal. Who can respect a woman like that -- especially since they already don't respect me since I don't "look like a teacher". I guess there goes my reputation as a "fun" teacher -- not that I ever was a fun teacher. Alas, I will ever be known as a boring twenty-something who never took advantage of her college years. My loss.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You snooze, you lose

Everyday at 1:21pm the bell rings to announce the beginning of 6th period sophomore English. And everyday at 1:21pm I secretly hope students will skip my class. Great attitude for an inspiring teacher, right? This particular English class, however, stresses me enough to cause premature graying on my otherwise luscious brown head. The reason for this fantastic attitude is because students let me know early on that they had no intention of learning anything from me and certainly did not want me to force English on them. I've been assailed with insults ranging from "You're not even a real teacher," to "Are you pregnant?". And let's not forget the wads of paper balls, and stick drawings of me as a witch. Oh yes, this class is my pride and joy. But the way I see it, if they are unwilling to learn, then I will be just as unwilling to pass them.

And yet students still skip my class -- whether from my secret wishings or because they made the choice on their own -- it doesn't matter. In the end, not a single one asks to make up the work, but then act so surprised when they see their progress report and are FAILING. Surprised? They shouldn't be. Show up to class, do the work, and turn it in on time -- that's all that is required to pass my class. I don't make it difficult. In fact, my class is a ridiculous joke of a cake-walk. If they just do as I say, no one will get hurt.

Please people -- you must be present to win.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I miss you. I don't know who you are, but I miss you.
I don't know why I crave company so badly these last couple days, but I've felt a desperate need to be around people lately. Perhaps it's because I have been in a self-imposed exile for as long as I can remember. I feel guilty any time I am with other people because I know I should be grading papers. This is the peril of being an English teacher. I hate feeling guilty for giving myself free time. So this weekend I spent time in the company of others. Meals, movies, sleep-overs, sports games -- the works. Even when I wasn't with people, I spent an ungodly amount of time on the phone. And I must say, even after all that, I still feel lonely. I talked with my parents for over an hour tonight and I don't feel any less alone. As much as I enjoy my solitude, there's something about connecting with other people that feels right somehow.
Oh, but I relish my solitude.
I value alone-time about as much as I value food. Enough said. For the most part, I get along better with myself than I do with other people....entertaining guests and keeping people happy takes work. Let's just say I like being lazy from time to time. And now that I've had an overload of people-time, I still feel strangely alone. Bitter-sweet. I love it and hate it. I am a captive of my own choosing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Love You All Over Again

A quiet room is what you get, an empty glass, an unmade bed,
A picture window with a view, and all I think about is you
To feel so bad, to feel so good, to let it be misunderstood,
Now I long to lose my senses to love you all over again.

The shouted words, the tired sighs, the traded kiss of sad goodbyes,
The living off of our desires, then putting out a thousand fires:
To feel so bad, to feel so good, to let it be misunderstood,
Now I'd tear down my defenses to love you all over again.

To know a place without regret, you make believe you paid your debt
But in that clean and quiet room you can't believe it's over yet.

Out on a lark, at home asleep, the endings play, the bands retreat
But in that dumb luck of the few, the consolation comes to you:
To feel so bad, to feel so good, the verdict's in. It's understood
I will be tried for my offenses and love you all over again.

I thought I would never be able to understand....

But I've come to find out I understand too well. This realization scares me. I used to be a rational person who saw everything in black and white. None of this murky brown or shades of gray crap. Black and white.

Who could understand the deep undercurrents that surround relationships between men and women? Why would a woman return to a man who clearly beats her? Why would a man hit his lady, apologize, and then tell her how much he loves her? How could he twist truth around so much to tell her that it was her fault? That he wouldn't do that, but she drove him to it? How could a man degrade and demean a woman he begs never
to leave him? How can he force himself on her and say it is all out of love? And worse yet, how can she ever look him in the eye and know in her heart that she forgives him -- and will always forgive him if he does it again?
Worst of all, how can I say, in all honesty (and a bit of shock), that I understand?
But I do.

It is not from personal experience that I can justly say I understand why these men and women choose to stay in destructive relationships. Hell, I would be the first person to jump to a woman's aid and tell her she doesn't need to take that kind of crap from a man no matter how much he insists on loving her. But from an outsider's perspective, I can see reasons for staying. Even reasons for trying to please the other person.

It is simple: pure fear. Not necessarily fear of the other person; although that fear may be most apparent and immediate, but fear of being without the other person. Fear of the unknown. Of loneliness and isolation. Fear of being depraved of affection, as violent as it may be. "It may not be great when I'm with him, but at least I know him. The next guy could be worse." Or worse still, there may not be a next guy.
Fear of abandonment. Of being without someone when they need someone the most. Fear that the other person chose to walk away and leave them. That pain cuts deeper than any physical blows. That is the fear of rejection. Of being looked in the eye and hearing the words, "I want nothing to do with you. You aren't good enough for me to love." And so they bar their heart, not letting the other near; showing love in the most painless and destructive way possible -- anything not to be hurt by the other's rejection.
This I understand. This craving to be cared for; craving for someone to love them, to understand them, to choose to stay with them. I understand the desperate need to not be rejected by someone you have let close to you. I understand the need to be comforted, to find solace in someone's arms -- even the arms of someone you hate. Because it is in that instant that acceptance is found. The moment two damaged souls look at each other in impassioned hatred and think, "We only have each other. We need each other," is the moment that hatred becomes desperate love. No form of abuse can separate their twisted bond of love.

He can degrade her, order her around, and then realize what he's done; but still come to the conclusion that this is the only way to show his love. This is the only way he could let her know how much he cares about her.

And she would understand. She would understand his lack of ability to show love in a caring and gentle manner; in a way that puts her needs above his own. She would understand that he means well, but doesn't know how to express himself; instead he takes what he wants and hopes she would understand. Her hatred and contempt flames briefly, but soon dies; knowing that he still wants her regardless how how he takes her.

She is afraid no one will ever want her again, and so she stays. He is afraid she will abandon him, so he strikes fear into her heart in order to stay. Neither one knows if or when the other will leave. And so they press on in their own violent display of affection; not realizing that heart-wrenching vulnerability is all it takes to love freely and fully.

Monday, November 2, 2009

From Soy Chai to Raspberry Wine

I've been sitting here in the same recliner for the last four hours and only managed to grade one stack of papers. Although I've taken a few small breaks to watch movie clips and whatnot, I've been working slowly (but steadily) through these tests. Since I've been sitting here for so long, I've been working up a terrible thirst and I did not have anything within arms-length to drink; so as a reward I decided to make myself some chai tea. Chai is delicious, but it is very thick and didn't quite satisfy my cravings for liquid refreshment.
After downing the tea, I realized that I have an unopened bottle of raspberry wine -- my absolute favorite -- sitting in the kitchen. I could have been drinking wine, relaxing, and enjoying the tedious task of grading papers much more than this slow progression to death with chai. But no, I chose the thick, creamy taste of soybeans and vanilla-flavored tea over the muscle-relaxing zing of fermented raspberries.
And I still have three more folders full of papers to grade.

I loathe myself.