I’ve been thinking about being stuck lately. Stuck in jobs, romantic relationships, housing situations, friendships, belief systems. I’m tired of always finding myself exactly where I was. I want to be somewhere new. Somewhere stimulating and interesting and warm. I want to re-create the mystery of kindergarten, where the alphabet opened up a door to words and books and thoughts and ideas. I want to remember what it felt like to put my small self on the Nina or Santa Maria and taste the sea air in my lungs as I rode alongside Mr. Columbus. I want to be more than curious. I want to be engaged.
Ah, Monday. I wasn’t exactly dreading today, but something about Mondays in October always make me a little blue. I guess it’s the shorter days, the colder nights, and the pressure of upcoming holidays. I tried to keep my energy high today, but it was tough. I encountered a lot of low energy people who I wished would disappear. I knew it wasn’t right to think that way, but when people are being petty and rude and uncooperative, sometimes I can give it right back to them. Sometimes it’s hard to be the better person. I try, but sometimes I fail. But I know that tomorrow, Tuesday, I’ll try again, and that gives me hope.
Friday always gets deemed the end of the week, but I want to try to stop thinking that way. I want to be more in the moment, enjoying the now. I want time to flow, not be delineated by night and day, or names of days. I want. I’ll try. We’ll see.
I was riding my bike home the other day, thinking about a sweet gift someone had left on my desk–it was a notepad with an emblem of a bike covered in flowers on the bottom–when I suddenly realized I’d been given many other sweet gifts over the last few weeks. There was the unexpected bottle of red wine (already happily consumed!), the gorgeous l’occitane lavender candle, a box of candy, someone annoying at work who went on an unexpected vacation, and a generous container of granola brought back from a Martha’s Vineyard vacation. There were other things, too, but at the moment these are the ones that come to mind. I loved everything, but I loved the reason behind everything even more, and that reason was…
I recognize that I am loved and appreciated. So are you.
Last month, two male acquaintances asked me to do two things I am truly uncomfortable doing, and yes, one involved a bed. The first act of annoyance was a request for a loan. The second, a request to stay in my apartment for a month to get through post-breakup purgatory.
Loaning money and loaning out my home are things that make most people somewhat uncomfortable, but they drive me nuts, a nuttiness which manifests itself in an inability to concentrate, nail biting, hair twisting. However, when those behaviors started to show up this time, I stopped and checked myself because I was not about to wreck myself. I knew the what, it was time to figure out the why. Here are a few of the answers I came up with.
Men, be what you’re supposed to be.
I believe a man should be a man, and to me that means being a provider, if not for me, then most definitely for himself. My thinking might strike some as old-fashioned, but it’s how I feel. In my mind, a real man takes care of his business and does what he has to do to make things happen. He handles his shit. I am not your mother. I didn’t give birth to you. We are not in a relationship. I don’t owe you anything, except respect and asking for a loan makes the respect I should feel for you diminish substantially. It’s probably because I’ve been on my own for a long time, and when I say on my own, I mean on my own. No trust fund. Responsible for my housing, clothing, food and general welfare. My only safety net was/is me. And some of those on my own times have been tough, but still, I figured it out. So before you come to me for a nickel you should have exhausted every branch of your family tree, turned your house upside down in search of coinage, and called at least five hospitals to see what their policy about donating blood is.
The second thing that occured to me is I’ve never asked a friend for money. I just know all the complications that can arise from that particular type of transaction and I’ve always valued my friendships more than a momentary hardship. Granted I wouldn’t hesitate to borrow money for them for a real emergency, and we all have our own definition of what constitutes an emergency, but needed ten dollars, “just to walk with till I get paid.” in my mind is not an emergency and a grown-ass man asking a woman for this is branded a loser, a title only rescuing a family of four– and their pets–from a burning building will erase.
Now, about that month long visit.
I like unless we have a deep, layer history, your ass doesn’t need to be staying on my couch for a day, a week or a month. The return address on my stationary doesn’t say, Place to Crash. It’s the address of my home. The place where I pay a crazy amount of money to live…alone. I’ve had roommates and live in boyfriends and family that needed a nudge to get to getting, but it was always a case of extenuating circumstances, always a situation that had a beginning date and an end date. It wasn’t a situation where you’ve broken up with your girlfriend and needed a place to land to plan your next move. Man up, and have your next moved planned out and paid for–at a hotel.
I’m grateful for today, hopeful for tomorrow and (somewhat) content with the past. Feeling very this song right now.
I picked this off of a…well, actually now I can’t remember, but I’m sure I was outside, on my bike. I hope it roots. I’ve had it in this water for a week and it still looks ok, so I guess that’s a good sign. Fingers-crossed because I love making new plants out of old ones.