Tag Archives: friendship

Flashback- my first female love

30 Aug

I talked to the first girl I loved, curly hair, or “Smiles” last night.

Back in the day, I fell so hard for her. I think I kind of explained what happened, but maybe not. She was coming off of being in a relationship with a guy— and started having feelings for his female roommate. 

Draaaaammmmma.

I had feelings for women before that, but kind of brushed it off. But Smiles just swept me away. I was infatuated by her, and we were infatuated with each other. I remember one night we spent all night just talking with one another, was the wind came in the window and we could hear the sounds of music in the streets of Argentina*, and we were so enthralled/intrigued and thirsty for the other person.

We had a thing. Doesn’t that sound weird? We had a thing for and with one another, and spent the summer doing “photo shoots” of us kissing to just “make *Tara jealous.” I still have those photos on my computer– a few beers, me with a backwards baseball cap and a striped shirt putting my hand on her thigh, her waist, her side. Kissing her against a car. Laughing so hard we were drunk off of each other’s happiness.

This all culminated in an evening where Smiles was in the middle, and she was sitting next to a guy. We made out in the back of a cab, and I was intoxicated with her lips, her teeth, the softness of her body. That kiss— those kisses— are among the most intense in my life. Smiles and I were never “officially a thing” on facebook or to our families (or for me at that point, it took a few months to even tell my friends)– and in fact, after that magical summer, I freaked the fuck out. I pretended like it didn’t happen. I came back to grad school, and developed a friendship with her. We never called it what it was– taking each other on dates, letting hands linger on the body for too long, pressing against each other and inhaling the scent of each other’s wrists and limbs and finally silently being with each other. But if I close my eyes, I can remember skinny dipping in the ocean– the way it went on for miles and we went on for miles, and we were so present which is so rare for me sometimes. 

It wasn’t until I was about to leave that I told her. It was dramatic. “I like coffee, and car rides, and you…” Oh, I fell so hard, but by the time I gathered up the courage to tell her that the summer we were together was more than just a summer fling, we were both leaving for other things. She had dinner with my family at graduation because hers didn’t come, and everyone LOVED her. She is so laid back, and sometimes so flakey, but when you are with her it is like the sun on your skin. She makes you glow, and feel warm, and when I am with Smiles I love my life, every second of it.

She called me last night, at 1:00 am. Sober. I was asleep, but answered, and we talked for about 2 hours. My sleeping patterns are horrendous.

Now, I closed the door on Smiles last year a little before this time (it seems so long and so short ago, hugh?) I wanted to be with Lovely and give us a shot. Smiles and I had some fundamental things that would have been hard to work out– namely the flakiness and extreme sexual/drug risks Smiles was okay with and I would have a hard time with. She’d cheated before, she was semi self-destructive, she has bipolar 2. She drank hard. These things meant sometimes she was unreliable, which in a long-distance partner would just breed jealousy.

But I did take time away from her until I stopped being in love with her, and until she stopped being in love with me. I think you can definitely love people without it working out.

However, she would call sometimes and I noticed it was when she was having romantic troubles, which I didn’t like. I didn’t want to be a fall-back. She was upset when I decided not to visit her back in August/September, and then upset again when I WANTED to visit last March. She is pretty good with meds now.

But we talked for two hours. Things that last year in April/May would have made my heart ache, like her telling me that I was the best kisser she’s ever had, and that our connection was firey and thirsty— just make me giggle and smile and say “yeah. yeah, it should be like that.”

She is dating new girl that is an AWFUL kisser haha, and she mentioned the two nights that I most remember us being intimate in Argentina*. Ego boooooost. But for real– it does give me hope with Lovely because even after talking at 1 in the morning for 2 hours with Smiles… I hung up the phone, smiled to myself, was happy I had a dear friend to relate to, and fell back to sleep.

That does not happen with any kind of heartache for me. I feel only love for Smiles, but not a smidgen of heartache for her. I told her about Lovely, and she said cryptically using her pet name for me, “You know, the universe brings you back together if you should be, you know? Just remember that. That’s what I think when I think of you.”

And I told her I loved her, and she said she loved me, and we meant it and knew we would always be in each others lives. As dear ones, not lovers, and that was okay with both of us I think.

I don’t know if it can ever be that way with Lovely. “What about Smiles? You got over her?”

It is different, a different way and kind of love you build with different people. And a different level of intimacy– Lovely and I were so, so intimate in ways that shock me. Smiles and I were intimate in different ways. 

Smiles, though. I miss her, too. I just want to hug her and talk and talk and talk– it has been over a year since we’ve seen each other in person. I just remember her yelling on a rooftop “Cot!” which is the spanish nickname for me, and running and jumping in my arms after we’d been apart for a month. I was so happy, and delighted, and clearly so was she. I so look forward to seeing her again– we’ve talked about me visiting soon, and I am excited to see my friend.

 

Different kinds of love: friendship

25 Aug

In English, there is only one word for love. “Love.” This word is powerful. “I love you.” Holds all kinds of things in it. I cherish you. I protect you. I sacrifice for you. I adore you. I have hopes for you. I want to embrace you. I hold you. My heart and yours have ties, and they are strong, and I won’t let things break them.

In English, we don’t really distinguish from romantic love and friendship love. As I’ve been mulling over the situation with Lovely– from finding out she wants someone else and doesn’t have romantic love for me, to reconstructing a future without her in it as my partner– I’ve also been trying to figure out what is left then. I know all the things that make love I still have for her. I also know that what she wants is not a romantic relationship because she is working on that with someone else.

As I mentioned, I actually felt better today after talking with her because, in a way I can do that is compartmentalized- I am first and foremost someone who loves her. Even if this means I can’t have her the way I envision– even if this means, no family, no kids, no life together– I love her. 

Most of all, I love her friendship. The romance is secondary to caring for her as my friend. If romance was primary, I would say– oh well. I cannot have her as my love, so I guess I can’t have her in my life.

But I love talking to her about her day, my day. I love sharing what is going on with our families, with her thoughts, with our dreams. It is a little different, and a little eggshell walking now because I do have those romantic feelings to push away, and obviously that is hard to do. I don’t think she has romantic feelings, but she might, and she’s made clear she wants them pushed away.

That is kind of why the stupid Facebook thing threw me. I want her, she is dear to me, and once someone has become dear to me– I love them for my whole life. I can’t have kisses and hugs and cuddling and sleeping in and cuddle positions, and the warmth and safety of her body next to my body. I might not ever have these things again, although that remains entirely up to her and her heart and her relationship.

However. Because SHE is more important to me than her body, friendship and how SHE is doing, not what our bodies can do for each other is my priority. I care about her day, her feelings, her thoughts, her hopes, her pains. And this is what a friend does for you.

More than her body or the romance of us, I want to be her friend. And the conversation we had today does give me peace because it shows me that we can have that friendship. If that is all she gives me for the rest of our lives, I feel like I will have been so lucky to have been able to be a friend to someone like her.

Fun night and Facebook

25 Aug

Had such a fun night! I went out with a few people, and though we never got around to hiking, I so enjoyed their company. It is kind of an eclectic group of people– Pretty Eyes, Southern Girl, and this very gentlemanly Mexican guy (We’ll call him Nug because he is super cute). We went to REI, ate great food, went to a comedy duel, and then hung out at my place! The four of us have BIG plans to explore and conquer Colorado. We are going to have a great time. Southern Girl loves music, and we have really similar tastes in music

Came home to mess around on computer, and Lovely deleted me from Facebook. It sounds stupid, but this is just another stinging thing… I don’t know. She said she wants me in her life– we had great conversation about boundaries and friendship today– and being able to stay in touch about just life things (without me declaring my love. Which is fair.)

So, why is she trying to erase me even more 😦 ? Doesn’t she know how much that hurts my feelings? Am I not worth even being friends with?

On letting people (back) into your life

17 Jun

I just mentioned on recent post about how I wasn’t making friends.

That was inaccurate.

I have literally put a pause on forming relationships, period. Oh, I try definitely to tend to the ones I have. But my normally deceptively peppy self (seriously– I confuse people) has now put a moratorium on reaching out to new people. This is reminiscent of a past bad habit I had of listening and asking super poignant questions and forgetting to respond in kind until the other individual came to the uncomfortable realization a few months in that I knew them but they didn’t know me– not really. I consciously stopped that habit by awkwardly inserting knowledge bits about me into conversations at odd times ie:

Potential Friend-like individual: “I have had such a tough day. I can’t decide between lilys and roses.”

Me: (AH they just shared fact. Fact. Okay, I will now share fact): “I like lilacs.” (Shit, shit that isn’t personal. try harder good mate damn it try!) “….we had lilacs growing up. I rescued bunnies and the neighbors down the street raised them for us. (better…better…)

Potential Friend-like individual: “I’m going with roses. It’s our 2 year and that’s safe.”

Me: Cool. Good plan. (relief)

Now I am kinda falling back into same pattern– partially because I’ve been hurt, partially because I don’t want to mess with anyone’s hearts. The first girl I fell in love with called me today after being MIA, and left incredibly kind message. But I am partly guarded because of one particular relationship (on the mend miraculously) that just smashed me to bits. First girl has taken a very VERY conscious effort to get over which I have succeeded, but I’m feeling reluctant to let her back into my life because I don’t want to be yo-yo-ed feelings-wise with her even in friendship capacity. UGH what do you do when you’ve let someone you’ve carefully cultivated relationship with out of your life, and then they want back in? Thoughts?

On mental illness and tragedy

8 Jun

This is normally the type of post I would save for secret poetry blog, but I am going to put it here as I think many people deal with these things: anxiety, depression, the desire of having an something to cling to as a lifeline.

Artists and writers and creative folk have long had a history with at times crippling mental illness. We always talk about the “stigma” of mental illness– and for a long time I thought I knew what that meant. “Ah, I see. Stigma. Bad, bad word.” I thought of stigma as being the same word as “discrimination.” But it really means “brand, stain, mark of disgrace.” (yes, I did Google that). In short, to me that means that viewers of those with mental illness see scars, damaged goods.

I would like to think that I have matured. I saw mental illness as tragedy and tears, and brokenness. What happens when an entire country is ravaged by the way rape is used as weapon against women’s bodies and men’s ability to protect their families? Is the entire face of the country marred and tainted for the lifetimes of that generation? What about children who turned to militia to survive, and their childhoods have been wrought with lessons on how to not be human? Are they just the twisted scars of their own past?

Previously, I would have seen these people as casualties. I would shake my head, tears in my eyes. “Devastating.” I would say. “So very sad, so very sad. What a cruel place this world is.”

Is. That. It?

No, no, no. I don’t get to just leave. Prevention is amazing, amazing. But I think what I failed to realize is that these people are allowed to continue, survive, thrive. Have productive and meaningful life. These people can achieve amazing things, and though there may be permanent damage, it is weak to only see them as damaged.

At one point (selfishly) I was too overwhelmed by my own pain reflected in their stories. But it is my job to set that aside, see them. 

“We need to both add joy and take away pain,” I said. I still think this in some respects, but it has evolved. Joy and pain are not commodities. They are not things that run out.

I know I am capable of helping children and women navigate the waters of what this world can do to you. It is scary, because I am human as well, and I am deeply affected by pain in general. My tolerance is not high. I get angry, so very angry, and I know anger is a caustic substance. But I have also learned what to do– I know I need to stay connected to family and friends, I know I can’t indulge in sad music, I know I need to see light things and laugh, and cook maybe, and write. I know I need to distance myself from relationships that cause me to feel dark and languish in “what-ifs.” I need to revel in beauty, and the stories that give me hope that despite the world’s evil, there are those who choose to be in love with one another.

And now– now I can be that anchor, that lifeline. And I have such joy knowing that what people are capable of could be lovely if they can just find a way to hang on.

What do you do to take care of yourself so you can be that person for someone else?