Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I've never been one to wear my heart on my sleeve.

Ok so I have, but not intentionally. It just kind of happens, but I dont share, and I dont whine to people about my screwed up life, because I don't want to be that person. All I want, all I have ever wanted, was to just be happy, and I don't feel like whining can get me there. No point in wallowing, right? I had a messed up adolescence and was always depressed. I've made a conscious choice as an adult not to live that life any more.

The problem is, sometimes you just don't have a choice. For the first time in 9 years, I am at one of those times. I don't want to be depressed. I don't want to hurt. I dont want to be negative. So I go about my business, pretending everything is ok, doing my job and interacting and pretending nothing is happening, but Im falling apart inside, because my whole world is falling apart, and these feelings are so corrosive that I just cant keep them bottled up right now. Thank you, anonymous computer world, for being my silent sounding board.

10 years ago, I was in a relationship. It wasn't a relationship. It was a life. We were teenagers, yes, but we were so close that I couldn't see any other future but my future with R. It was something I took for granted, unfortunately, because it WAS so good. Why would that change? There was no reason for things to go any other way.

Then he broke my heart. One day we were talking about wedding dates and kids and our future, and the next it was all gone. I stopped functioning. I couldn't concentrate. I found myself ignoring school. I found myself driving to the store at 3am for sleeping pills because I'd lain in bed crying all night a few nights too many and if I couldn't just get a couple hours of sleep I wasn't going to make it. I was physically ill for weeks. A 17 year old shouldn't go through that!

3 months later, things no better, I gave up. I dropped out of school. Ha! Me, the smart one, the one who could have done anything, couldn't even handle the last few months of my senior year. I left. I joined a forestry program in Oregon (NYC!!!!!) where I could live and work in the woods, my woods, the only place I could really breathe and function and survive. I wore a locket with his picture in it, and I packed a small album full of his pictures. How pathetic! :)

Why Am I writing about this right now? I dont even know. I was going to start at the beginning of the story of Dan and I, to try to figure out what to feel about us or how to deal with this. I guess that story really does start with Ryan though, because that heartache is what ultimately led me to Dan, and I really never thought I would feel that pain again. Ever.

NYC rocked. It was hands down absolutely one of the very best experiences I have ever had in my life. I lived in a tent in the woods for 5 weeks. I worked harder than I ever had in my life, pushed myself beyond every physical and mental boundary I had. I found my feet, and they were underneath me after all! I also met Dan there. He was a different guy from a different world, and we were nothing alike. He became my best friend and my shoulder and my rock. He was an ex druggie and had been in trouble with the law and lived in a terrible place, and he was there to find himself and straighten out his life. He was not the kind of person I would ever have talked to or gotten to know at home. In all honesty, he was the kind of person I would have walked across the street to avoid, but ya know, there, in the mountains, with my feet underneath me, it didnt matter. I NEEDED different. I was open to change. I wasn't judging any more. And you know, as it turned out, meeting him was the best thing that ever happened to me. We were an improbable pair, but it WORKED. He was exciting and fun and huggable, and I was the good girl he thought would never have given him the time of day. We weren't serious, there was no pressure, no commitment to anything. We were inseparable friends, just living, and we were enjoying life. That was something that I hadn't really truly ever experienced. I had wallowed in drama and pain for too long, and I was DONE.

The last night of NYC, before we were all suppsoed to go home, him to "the hood," and I to my bland suburbia, he kissed me. I swear as long as I live, I will never forget the magic of that kiss. I have huge elephant tears welling in my eyes just thinking about it.

The next day our crew parted ways, and he and I and a couple others spent a night at a fancy hotel in town, making our re-entrance from the woods into society in style. Hot water and clean sheets never felt so good. We made love that night, free and young and passionate.

The next day we went home, he to Salem, to his exgirlfriend who said she was pregnant, and I to my home, to try to pick up the pieces and put my life back together. We made promises to stay in touch, but honestly, I didn't expect that we would ever see each other again. Life happens.

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