Saved

Shades of blue waves reflecting in the mirror
The air is so still now, she can’t breathe
Mascara runs down her hot cheeks and onto the pillows that brought her dreams
Her eyes burn from the sunlight pouring through the window

Her lace chemise torn, stained by tears
Her bones feel broken by loneliness
The voice in her head whispered lies to steal her passion
No lyric, no letter could ever save her from that profound moment

The ocean screamed her name, she runs to it
The salt of the water hurts, but washes her clean
An urge to rise up and gasp for air takes her
She kicked hard to reach the surface

The rough hot sand on her back told her that she was born again

-KC
17June2011

Have You Ever Missed Someone You Don’t Know?

Have you ever missed someone you never actually met?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend at work today, and she told me a story about a guy she met online who kind of blew her mind. The two complete strangers carried on a great conversation for months. She said she would constantly be checking her email, waiting for their next exchange. He apparently said all the things she waited years to hear.  My friend, a normally outgoing, confident woman, admitted that it grew to be quite a torrid exchange, and she found herself glued to her email. Its funny, because I had noticed that my friend, a 40-something mother, seemed happier than she had been in years. You could see it in her smile, her eyes.

Of course, as all great things do, it ended faster than it began. Over the course of the last couple of weeks she found the exchanges slowing down, and couldn’t figure out why. She thought perhaps it was her rather strong personality (she can be quite sharp with her words) that may have driven him away. But a few weeks ago, she found out that there was more to the story. She found out that the guy actually had a “very serious girl friend,” and was floored by this admission. She said she liked him so much, that she told him it was OK, especially since they didn’t live near each other, and frankly she was too lonely and confused by her her own problems that she found herself almost relieved to know he wasn’t asking for more. She just wanted the company and the effects his written word gave to her.

I asked my friend why she would settle for so little. She had no answer other than to say “loneliness.”

I found myself scared by that ugly little word… “loneliness.” That feeling of despair, that makes you believe that something otherwise not worth your time, is suddenly “good enough.” I wondered why this man was not forthcoming earlier on, why he waited until she was into him, so much that his leaving (not the admission of infidelity to his actual girlfriend) literally broke my friend’s heart. She was overwhelmed by how much she missed a guy that “never even held (her) hand.” She was taken aback by how much this strange online relationship hit her. She kept saying over and over, “I never even actually met him,” as if saying it would somehow eventually sink in and help her through this difficult period.

I’ve been thinking a lot about her. As a fellow 40-something, I can understand a lot of the needs she spoke about. I know how you can surround yourself with friends and family, but sometimes, when a woman our age looks in the mirror, you just want to see something else. In a way, its about a need that you can’t fix yourself. I think its about recognition, wanting to be something worth looking at. You know, before you are of an age that no man even bothers to lift his head to look you in the eyes until maybe halfway into a conversation.

I also have been thinking that she might have been hard on the guy too. Maybe he’s feeling that loneliness too — but, I’m just guessing since I never met the guy either. What drove him to convince her to stay, when he knew it wasn’t going to go anywhere? She’ll never know for sure. I think that’s a shame. Maybe they could have been friends, or maybe it would have made it easier to say goodbye.

This all in the wake of the Representative Weiner sexting scandal has me wondering what drives people our age to do stupid shit like have intimate conversations with strangers online? Why do we live lives that cloak our true selves? Why don’t we live more openly, and really work to be the people we portray ourselves as in the silence and darkness that computer anonymity gives us? Why would she trust the word of a complete stranger to bring her that much happiness, when she didn’t even know his name?

I am sure she will eventually get over it. She has bigger fish to fry raising her kid, and maybe, fixing other relationships in her life – the ones worth fixing anyway. Until then, I guess I’ll just be a friend and listen/offer her company — which, I think, might be all she ever needed anyway.

A Reason To Smile

Yesterday, I had a moment with a complete stranger. I was rushing to a meeting, running through the metro terminal, to get up the escalators. I was trying to get to my badge to gain entry to my building, but of course my badge was buried at the bottom of my purse. As I am standing there struggling to juggle my purse in one hand and looking quite frustrated by the fact that I can’t find my badge readily, I hear the voice of a man as he says to me “you are quite a beautiful woman.” 

Now, normally I would not look up, as I not the kind of woman that would assume those words are for me. But, I was cognizant of the fact that there were not many people around, and his voice was quite close. Just as I looked up, I caught the pearly white smile of an older man that looked like he was from the West Indies. He looked friendly enough, and not threatening in the least. So, I thank him for his kind words. As I walked away I found myself smiling, and I am pretty sure there might have been a giggle or two.
The random kind words of a stranger literally made my rushed commute, frustration with overstuffed purses, discontent with security badges, and stress over a meeting I was running late for just disappear. As I walked the rest of the way to the meeting, I started thinking about that man’s wonderful smile. How nice it was of him to take a moment to utter a few words that turned my day on a dime. Not an easy feat when public transportation often puts me in a less than favorable mood. 
As I get older, I appreciate the fact that there is still a bit of real humanity and civility still alive in America. More often than not you see the lack of manners and the ugliness of society. But every now and then… a stranger comes along and makes it a tiny bit better for me.
How powerful a kind word can be. How very comforting a complete stranger can be. 

She’s My Little 2nd Grader Now

My daughter is about to graduate 1st grade. I remember all the concerns expressed by family and friends about her starting so early, yet here we are. My little future Rhodes Scholar is finishing a milestone. She actually fell asleep reading her elementary school yearbook tonight, muttering names of friends from the schoolyard.

It took me 12 long years to have a child, and she will unfortunately be my only one. As I start to feel the effects of my age challenged by her youth, I am both excruciatingly exhausted, and optimistically energized by the life she gives me.

I couldn’t be more proud. SHE BLOWS MY MIND! 

The Beauty of Roseanne Rosanadana

Some of my fondest childhood memories were of me and my brother staying up late on a Saturday night to watch Saturday Night Live. Sometimes hiding under a blanket to hide the glow of the TV, because our parents would not have approved of us watching the show. We were still young, so we had to sneak the viewing.

I remember great skits like they were yesterday… John Belushi as a Bumble Bee, The Coneheads, and my personal favorite, the incomparable Gilda Radner as Roseanne Rosanadana.

If you have never seen her, cut and paste this clip. You will laugh… guaranteed.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/roseanne-rosanadana-on-smoking/278736/

Even though I was just a kid, I could do a mean imitation of the character. I could even do the look thanks to my naturally unruly Mexican hair, and very tight braids my Nana would make to control it. She would wrap those braids so tight, I am convinced it is the source of the migraines I suffer from today. When I let those braids loose, there was the big hair! I even had a blazer – like the kind they wore on the SNL newscast segments – thanks to my mother who liked to sometimes dress me like a real estate agent. I just thought the character was a hoot. The look, the comic delivery, Gilda Radner made me laugh like nobody’s business.

When I imitated the character, I found power in the transformation. I was not the shy kid who normally could barely speak. For some reason when I went into character I could shed the painful shyness that defined my childhood. Pretending made the introvert disappear, and I was “somebody” that made people laugh. It was a very powerful feeling.

What really made the act was the hair. The unruly hair that I hated so much as a young awkward girl was finally useful! But once my Roseanna Rosanadana phase grew out, I was once again left to deal with the hair. Being a teenager left me once again hating the strands I was born with. I am only sorry that when I looked in the mirror, I never again saw an opportunity to embrace the humor or beauty of having something so unique to who I was. As soon as I could, I started a life long process of struggle against my locks. I wanted to tame those waves, and destroy the unruliness. Armed with all kinds of hair products and appliances, I have forged several decades of war against my Roseanne Rosanadana style hair.

Now that I am older, and my sister is a licensed hair stylist who has taught me so much, I have finally won the battle. I can tame my locks in a few short hours of sitting in a stylist’s chair, going sometimes months without having to do much at all. It is all together a relief and time saver.

But recently, after going a few weeks too long since my last straightening process, I found myself once again looking in the mirror and seeing that unruliness. I had fallen asleep with my hair wet, and woke up to the biggest hair I had seen on my head since I was a child. I suddenly had a flashback to the days of my impersonations. I sat in the chair in my large unforgivably bright bathroom, stared in the mirror, and wondered where that child had gone. I thought about how I cracked the shell of silence that plagued my youth by joining the military and building my confidence. I thought about how I transformed my life by going to school, working hard to have the blessings I have, the best of which is my daughter (who I am happy to report did NOT inherit my hair 🙂 I realized that no matter how much I change myself, I can’t run away from who I am underneath the cloak of professional success. No matter how much I process my locks, the brown (and now salt and pepper) hair will always come back to remind me that I can be the shy girl who hides, or I can embrace my inner-Roseanne Rosanadana and laugh, talk, joke, and be someone people want to know.

I will forever love Gilda Radner for planting the seeds of confidence through laughter, that I can see even today. We need more Roseanne Rosanadana’s in the world, so that young girls can learn to love who they are inside and out, and begin a lifelong process of self discovery. I wonder if Gilda ever knew just how much she impacted the world.

Rule No. 238

So the other day I found an interesting book at a wholesale price club, because as with everything I do in life, I buy in excess of what I actually need. The book is called “Dance First. Think Later.” Your basic book of quotations, but the reason I bought this one is kind of an interesting story.

I’ve been going through a weird part of my life. Questioning the direction I have been traveling with my eyes shut for so long. No, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t living my life until one day when someone I love dearly dropped a bombshell on my perfect existence. The girl that had it all… yeah, she really didn’t. The reasons for that particular bombshell is neither here nor there anymore, but what does matter is how I was spinning my wheels, questioning everything, as if that would make it better.

So, all this shit came to a halt one Saturday afternoon when I opened the book and the read the following…

Rule No. 238 “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor

Not only did the fact that a verifiable self-proclaimed Emperor say something that made complete sense to me, but he just rocked my whole world.

I have been thinking too much about EVERYTHING! I have turned this life of mine inside out, upside down, twisted it, and read it in every color I could color it. The time is long overdue for me to just stop thinking. Accept what I have to work with, and just go for it. Life is passing me by, and I am the only one stopping me from enjoying it.

Not sure why I couldn’t just pick myself up after the bombshell. Not sure why I forgot that I am so much bigger than hurtful words. Not sure why I convinced myself that I wasn’t worth going on to better things. But there you have it — wasted chances, wasted opportunities, wasted time. What a shame, right?

Now, I’m back. Actually, I’m better for it. Ready to take time for myself. No more waiting, just ready. Ready for peace. Ready to feel happy, pretty, confident, successful, loving, and most of all, ready to be the best mom I can be to the best little girl I know on the planet. Ready to be the example I know she needs me to be.

Funny, but picking up a simple book, and randomly opening the pages to Rule No. 238, wasn’t so random to me. I think fate took one last shot at kicking me in the head one more time. Glad I finally opened my eyes.

So now on to Rule No. 386 “There’s always a reason to smile. Find it.” Bob Parsons, Digital Entrepreneur.

I Am NOT A Twitterer…

I have tried Twitter, but you know what? I talk too much even for online. So, I find myself on Blogger.com. Trying new things as of late, so why the hell not?

Is it a midlife crisis? Yeah, probably.
Is it loneliness? Sure, most likely.
Is it boredom? Most definitively.

Well, let’s see if putting my karma out there in the bloggersphere (is that what its called???), will help get me through this stage of life. I figure between writing and jumping off of a bridge, a cliff, a building here and there for an adrenaline rush, should do the trick.

Besides, it will be nice to bitch, moan, and laugh by myself or with others who too have a strange voyeuristic lust for knowing people in the cyber world.

Welcome to my world, join me for a bit?