Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hey Ladies…..

So, I drank some wine the other night and started thinking about how happy I am when I'm thrifting.  It's the thrill of the hunt and every time I find some small treasure I ride that high for the rest of the day. It had to be tacked on to the list of future things I desire.  I want a project home, one where I can make it my own from the ground up and then live in it forever…. decorator and DIY heaven.   The other thing I want is a place to put all of my thrifting finds, all the clothes, jewelry, bags, shoes and small accent pieces of furniture.  I suppose in order to make that happen I'd have to sell them, so technically that would be considered a store.   It's nice when realization slaps you in the head, at least when it's the fun kind.

I started off with that just to get it off my chest, because this post really has nothing to do with either of those things…. except that two of my friends who became privy to my idea instantly were supportive of it and didn't treat me like I was crazy.  That's sort of nice.  The past year has made me really reflect on the people that I have in my life.

It's no surprise to anyone that knows me or follows me here how difficult the past couple of years have been for various reasons… while I am a very private individual, I do put a lot out there via written word.  Though it goes against the grain of many aspects of my nature, I embrace it.   Specifics don't tend to be all that relevant when sentiments are expressed, so I can retain a bit of anonymity and frustrate people by not giving TOO much (I know I do that, I'd say that I'm sorry, except I'm not).  I recognize the cathartic need to purge and make sense of what's happening inside of my brain and heart and this is the only way that I really know how to do it.  Amidst all of the bad that's swirled around in my existence, I have had no choice but to recognize a strange phenomenon that has evolved over the past year and a half or so.

I'll preface by saying that I have always kept pretty close friends with males, but females and I just have not had a great track record.  I'm not an asshole, obviously I've had female friends in my life, they've simply been few and far between for various reasons.
1.  Females have never really warmed to me much, ever since I can remember.  I could give you a million and one speculations as to why, but it really doesn't matter.
2.  I also take responsibility, because female relationships can be WORK in it's own special way, and I have the sort of nature that makes it perfectly fine for me to just hang out alone rather than deal with someone that is high maintenance.  It's been hard to find someone worth the trouble.

There's more, but those really stand as the main obstacles from my perspective.  At best, I've had one female friend that I'm close to and that's about it.  But this year, along with a shit storm of horrible crap, I also had some fantastic women dropped into my lap.  They just appeared, with no expectations and no drama attached to them, which is good because both of those things make me  pull away in quick order.  Somehow, they were just there one day and I was able to smile and see their real place in my life and heart… some I've known casually for years, others I've just met and connected with instantly.  Obviously, my Wifey is the person I am most bonded with, and our relationship is so perfect that I would have said you were smoking crack if it were to have been suggested that I would actually gain other female friends as well.  But I look around me and have to recognize that it's happened.

I've always touted that I believe that real friendships should occur organically and have been reticent to putting in a vast amount of work with people.  That's probably not a great attribute to have, but again, I've no problem hanging out with myself.  Combine that with a very critical and judgmental personality and you end up with a loner.  Plain and simple.  I have lived the better part of my life functioning just fine and dandy in this manner and I would have laughed in your face if you'd have told me that I was missing out on something.  I have always had my circle of male friends, and still do.  I wouldn't trade them for the world.  I love them fiercely and quite honestly, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have my men around me… I find understanding, protection, love, acceptance, humor and everything that is good in my dynamic with them.  But, I have to begrudgingly admit that there are some things that my ladies understand in a way no one else can.

This was a post recently made on Facebook by my friend (who has a vagina):

"The great are thought to be immune to folly. The moderately wise man knows different. He knows that we are all crazy, but stronger personalities shelter more elaborate grotesqueries. And the strongest men cry in secret and hurt inside the most. In this entire world of sham and fakery, there is no greater truth." - Anton Szandor LaVey ♥

She obviously made this post for her own reasons and this is a favorite personal passage that I've always identified with deeply, but it struck such a chord of resonance in me that I felt like I had been whacked in the gut… dare I say it was a feeling of sisterhood?  At the end of the day, she knows how I feel.  She understands my nature because it is hers as well, and when you have such a distinct nature, that just doesn't happen very often.  She sees what I present to the world and how the world views me and then she giggles and looks right through it, effortlessly.   Like minds don't always connect on a deeper level, but when they do it's a damn beautiful thing.

She's not the only one, either… if you can believe that.  I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to know more than one woman who I genuinely like, enjoy, respect and even confide in.   Life keeps throwing curveballs and I have to say that it feels good to have someone in it with you, someone who gets it and places value on you as a person.  At the end of the day, regardless of how confident, rational, strong and capable you think you are, there is true comfort to be found in validation, a kind ear and a thoughtful and insightful word or two.  There is no greater gift I've received than the gift of feeling like I'm allowed to be vulnerable with trust in my heart, knowing that it won't be exploited.

I'm lucky, but also recognize that magic is real…. because this is what I needed and I didn't even know it until I got it.  Not only do I have some damn good looking friends, they're all amazing.  I'm not easy to get close to, but you did it.  I love you for it.
Hey ladies, thanks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blood, Sweat and Epiphanies

I've been in the mood to make a new blog post, but I can't seem to get my thoughts together enough to not bounce around too much.  Had I written three days ago, you'd have been exposed to my musings on how I have changed my mind about Brussel sprouts because I had them fried.  I would have also gone on a rant about my hatred of pleather.  I'm sure you're thanking me from for refraining from both topics.   You're welcome.

I have a new trainer at my gym.  I went on a hiatus earlier this year out of sheer frustration. I had become so consumed with my ideals of progress and my ridiculous goals that I sort of imploded and had to take a big step back.  All or nothing.  That's me.  I did take up P90X at home over the summer, but I quickly realized that I do my best work in the right environment, and my living room isn't it.

Every time I take a break from the gym I want to punch myself in the face when I return.  You lose it all so fast.... tone, strength, endurance, agility.  Bleh.  I was pretty embarrassed about meeting this big guy and being in such crap shape, but in good trainer form, he lulled me into a false sense of security and was very nice to me until I committed and then he started beating my ass.  I like him.  He doesn't seem like a deep introspective guy, but he's busted out some Yoda shit on me and I've really had to reflect on how much training, especially sparring, will teach you about yourself and how you function in the world.

Fact:  I'm right handed.  We were practicing Muay Thai and roundhouse kicks on the bag this morning.  I was internally beating myself up for being so ineffective despite putting my all into these kicks, my shins were screaming and he was raising a brow at me in a mocking manner.  Then I switched legs and threw a couple out.  He stopped me and exclaimed, "HOT DAMN!  YOU'RE A LEFTIE!"  Well, yeah.  I always knew my left leg had more power to it, but I guess it's not all that common.  "This is great.  You're tiny, you need the element of surprise when you fight.  This may just give it to you."   I was smug and pleased that I seemed to finally do something noteworthy, but the thought stuck with me.

I am not a scholar.  I am not musically inclined (but that doesn't stop me from singing.  Loudly.)  I am not a great artist, but I have always seemed to have the element of surprise on my side.  Once I became comfortable enough with myself to say 'screw it', I began giving time to all of the things that make me happy and come together to form who I ultimately am as a person.  This blog isn't labeled JUXTAPOSE for no reason.  I'm multi-faceted and I don't make sense on paper.  I sit in on PTA meetings with lots of tattoos.  I listen to classical music and punk seamlessly.  I like to watch MMA while wearing a grandma shawl and then fawn over thousand dollar shoes.  I never graduated from high school but I speak three languages and I dare you to call me stupid.  I'm under a buck ten in weight but I will fight you with a big stick in a heart beat.

You get it.  While I have few outstanding and exceptional qualities that stand out alone, I'm glad that the culmination of all of it can throw one for a loop.  We must work with what we have, not just when sparring, but in real life.  Know yourself and take honest inventory.  It's the best thing you can ever do for yourself.

I'm sure Mr. Trainer Man didn't mean to make me become so introspective, but it's not the first time he's doled out some wisdom by accident.  Last week, we were practicing combinations and he became very frustrated with me... he continued saying, "STOP IT!  Don't think so much.  You already know what you're doing, stop THINKING AND DO IT."  I didn't understand what he meant, to be honest.  I didn't think I was thinking, but then he began tapping my face every time he saw me move my lips and I had to concede that he was right.  Not a shocker, really.  I over think everything to death, the options, the possible outcomes, the variations of ideas... blah, blah, blah.  It doesn't ever stop.  Not sure why I assumed it wouldn't filter into that room.

I got quite the talking to about that one.  "When you think too much, you hesitate and that moment is when you leave yourself open to attack.  You have instincts and you have knowledge.  Trust that.  Think until you know, then put it away and let go.  It'll make a difference, and you won't understand it until you know what it feels like."   Now, this man was not speaking in life terms.  He was speaking from a trainer's perspective about when someone is trying to hit you in the face.  But the entire time I drove home, I couldn't help but be struck by the correlation of how this imitates life.

I'm proud to say that today was the day.  I don't know what happened, and I'm not about to over think it, lest I revert to my old ways within 24 hours.  I have tried to meditate, and I suck at it.  Clearing my head has always seemed an impossibility to me, something I hear others boast about but totally elusive to me.  This morning at around nine fifteen, I let my hands fly repeatedly.  There was not a single thought in my mind about what I was doing.  Know what it felt like?  Like when you're dreaming that you can soar through the air.  That emotion, but just with more sweat.  It was damn near close to a ritualistic release, and I know that some of you will understand what that means.

He was right.  It made me hit harder, move faster and I was elated.  It almost makes me think that I can apply this elsewhere, that it's actually attainable, that suspension of analysis that plagues me on the regular.  Look, I know this all probably sounds trite, but I don't care very much about that... those that get it, get it.  I'm going to continue stepping foot into that building on a regular basis just like I have for the past seven years for self inflicted pain, constantly pitting myself against a person that I never stand a chance of winning against.  But for once, winning doesn't matter to me.  It's the damn journey, growth and internal strength I'm after at this point..... ok, fine.  It's the lowered BMI, a small waist and desire for really nice deltoids, too.  That's not the whole point, though.

I may never be a killing machine, but I can throw a mean elbow and a strong left leg, now I don't even have the chains of thinking about it holding me back.   Today was a good day.