Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sometimes it takes years to get things right...

Have you ever noticed that sometimes timing is everything?  I've come to figure out that it is.  And well, with me, who is temporally challenged to the Nth degree, it makes having timing my antithesis.  I couldn't have good timing to save my own life, and what's funny is that most of the good things that have happened in my life have been sheerly by dumb luck.

But I have noticed one thing that I am beginning to believe is a universal constant, that sometimes it takes years to have good timing.  It takes time to make sure you've gotten all of the mental stuff taken care of, your personality just the way you like it, to even go as far as getting to the point where you look in the mirror and you're ok with yourself.

Another thing I've noticed is that sometimes it takes years to notice the impact you make on someone else.  As we all know and are still swooning about, I got a phone call from a very dear friend on Thursday.  Well, ok, let's put this into perspective.  I've been very remiss to talk about him before, simply because there are just some things you don't need to publish on your blog, and the other part is that this is still so new, some details just need to be left out.  But, I'll tell you a part of the story and maybe someday he'll be a major recurring character here on The Sophomore.

Right off the bat you should know that my father has never once interfered in my love life.  He's always stood back, let me make my mistakes and he's always been there to dry my eyes when my heart has been broken.  My friend, who is all the latest rage, was hand-picked for me by my father and it's the only time he has ever tried to play matchmaker, so that should immediately tell you something about my friend because it takes a whole lot to pass muster with Dad.  One day, my friend will get his own post and I'll tell the incredible story (and trust me you will need kleenex), but for now, let's hit the highlights.  My friend and I used to know each other really well and to boot, he's, oh let's just say it, he's gorgeous in every single way a guy can be gorgeous, with the exception that he is incredibly stubborn.  Mules ain't got nothin' on this boy's hard head.  But, being as he used to be a lawyer, I guess we can forgive that.  After all, perseverance and fortitude are not traits everyone has and makes use of every day.  Well, ok, let's just put it this way, he calls me onto the mat for my BS.  No one else does, outside of my mother and sister, and well, when I'm so used to intimidating most people, the fact that he can put me in check, well hell kids, the ex couldn't even do that...which makes him a complete mold-breaker.  It re-writes everything I've seen and gone through in the last ten years, and between you and me, well, I think I'm due for a nice healthy shake up.  It goes back to timing, you never know if things are at just the right time, but right now, with what I'm seeing and experiencing, well, let's just say the odds of having good timing are favoring me right now.

Now, let's get back to my friend and the amazing experience I had visiting him on Friday.  His house, the beautiful thing it is, ten years ago just happened to have a bad case of "bacheloritis." Yeah, everything was placed just so, but it still didn't feel like someone lived there.  Now, this may seem ironic for me to say because for those of you who have been keeping up with The Sophomore from the beginning know that I struggled in my old apartment realizing that I needed to LIVE there and not just inhabit the place.  Well, my friend was the same way.  He was constantly busy, worked hard, and loved nothing more than speeding around in Vivian the Carmine Red Corvette (and oh did Vivian have a nice butt...that car was a work of art).  Long story short, over the time I spent with him ten years ago, I recommended things for his house, a valance over the living room window, sheers over the blinds in his bedroom to soften the light...nothing too major, just little suggestions to make the place a bit more homey.  Now, we all know I have all of the decorating taste of a warthog...I'm struggling every day with what to do with my new place.  Thank goodness my sister is coming over on Tuesday to help remedy that.  But still, I had a suggestion or two for him along the way before I was carried, much against my will, to Montreal.

Anyhow, let's get back to the ten years that spanned from me making the suggestion to actually seeing it actually happen...yeah, it's ok, you can be amazed with me.  Let's just get something straight right off, I'm not used to people listening to me out in the real world.  I'm used to giving people positive words in online worlds and letting them do what they wanted with them, never really seeing what they had done with the exception of some of my Photoshop students over the years...but brass tacks is, I wasn't quite ready to see what an impact I made on someone else in the real world.

When I walked into my friend's house on Friday, I immediately noticed that there was the valance over the window, just as I had described it to him some ten years ago.  Then, to my shock, he asked me to look in his bedroom.  That's when I became floored.  I nearly burst into tears.  (I did later, trust me.)  There, hanging in front of the blinds were sheers that were in the exact colors I had described and hung in just the way I had described it as well.  Excuse me while I choke up a bit.  My mind still really can't quite seem to bend itself around the fact that not only had he kept everything I ever gave him, but that he painstakingly created what I had described.  I'm not used to that. I'm used to "we'll look into that," not someone who actually listens to me.

I came home and just wept.  I don't mean little sobs, I mean a full blown cry that had anyone seen it, it would have broken their heart.  I was overwhelmed with guilt, that when I left for Montreal I not only hurt him, but destroyed myself in the process all in the name of survival and getting myself out of an abusive situation.  I should just concisely sum it up by saying that the six months before I left for Montreal were the happiest in my life and they were all because of my friend.  We shared trips to Spago, hanging out at 9 at The Palms, shopping trips, laughing over dinners, spending time just hanging out and enjoying each others company.  When I got to Montreal, all I did was stare out the window and imagine his face, imagine the sound of his laughter, and I spent the majority of the time I spent alone remembering every moment I spent with him, down to the most minute details, never letting on to anyone how destroyed I was inside.  But, as anyone in my position would have done, I accepted the responsibility of my actions, I wept inside, but I accepted my fate, becoming a loving and supportive wife, never flinching in my duties in that regard.  But, deep inside, I mourned the loss I had to endure to escape abuse.

Ten years later, walking into that house, it was like it was frozen in time, changes had been made, but only ones I had only dared to imagine, much less had the audacity to express.  The music playing on the CD player was music I had given him, he told me that the CD I had made for him before I left had been played to the point it had distorted and started to skip, and everything in the house looked as if it was intentionally done to preserve my essence in that space.  Everywhere I turned, I saw little pieces of me everywhere and things of his I knew exactly where they were and why they were there.

When does this happen to anyone?  I don't think it does!

Anyhow, yesterday afternoon I laid on my couch and just couldn't help but break into sobs again.  In the middle of my self-imposed torment, the phone rang and it was Chance.  He deciphered what I was telling him through my heart wrenching sobs and then he proceeded to politely stick his boot in my backside.  He asked me very point blank, "Why are you crying?  These are all good things, aren't they?"  Then he said, "I know you feel bad for hurting him, but why on earth are you living in the past?  You've got a whole new future ahead of you and if he saw you crying like that, it'd hurt him too.  What's important here is that you take advantage of the chance you're getting now and be happy that you have it."  It was at that point I stopped crying.  Chance had a point.  We talked a bit more before he had to pick up a girl to go to a concert.

About two hours later, the phone rang again, this time it was my friend on the line.  I was grateful for Chance at that moment because he had gotten me to stop crying and look at the positives of the situation.  My friend and I talked for a while and I told him what had happened, what Chance and I had talked about and that's when he broke it down, had I stayed in Vegas ten years ago, things would have not worked out between he and I because the timing wasn't right.  He wasn't ready back then and he told me that simply he would have ended up pushing me away, and in the process, finding himself in my situation, tormenting himself over a bad decision.  Looking back, I realized that ten years ago I wasn't in any position to be doing much except being in therapy and getting my thyroid disease diagnosed so I didn't have mood swings that would make even the heartiest blanche.

But, walking into his house on Friday, things were the same, but they were so very different.  The conversation, instead of me talking all the time, were filled with his words, his ideas and resulted in a lot of me nodding, agreeing and not being able to get a word in edgewise without a sledgehammer to back me up.  It was wonderful.  Finally, we got to the point where we began to exchange ideas, philosophies and all of the rest of the parts of our conversations that I had remembered from so long ago.

Most importantly, I was out of my apartment and hanging out with a friend in a different space.  I waited ten years to be able to sit and have that conversation and the ones that have followed the ones from Thursday.  Chance was right, it's not about regret, and like Chance said, "The best thing you can do is say you're sorry and move on."  I did that.  I feel so much better that the air is cleared and my friend and I have said our peace about what happened.

For now, I'm just going to be grateful I have a friend in the real world to hang out with, exchange thoughts, ideas and know (evidenced by the window dressings in his house) that I'm not just decoration or arm candy, but someone who is listened to as well.

And just think, it took ten years, two broken hearts, a reassessment of everything I thought I knew, and look where I am, back where I started with a fresh pair of eyes and a grateful spirit.

Most of all, I have hope because I'm taking things day by day with no expectations or any sort of ideas about anything, I'm just going to be grateful I can spend time with another human being who means an incredible amount to me.

Ok, enough, I've stepped up to the confessional and gotten it all out of my system...

Let's have a song of the day:  Santana's "Why don't you and I"...I'll take a happy tune!  :)

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