That fallen heart feeling

“Just remember. Remember no matter how close you follow the jumps, no matter how close you are, there’s always going to be the sense that you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience at all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention.” -Chuck Palahnuik, Invisible Monsters

Do you know that fallen heart feeling that Chuck is talking about? It’s as if, literally, your heart has collapsed into your lungs and you might die with the imbalance of your body. It happens when you become suddenly aware of all the rushed moments to which you should have been paying attention, of all chances you should have taken, that extra hour you should have spent with him.

Last night my best friend left for Arizona. The ‘best friend’ I have unintentionally fallen for. He boarded that flight around six o’clock without me. Deas Veil was playing in my head and breaking up my heart: “All the way you ring in my ear, from the moment I knew you were leaving me here. You were leaving me here.”

I know what you are thinking: here we go again, as if we have not heard this story a billion times before in Hollywood (Ryan Reynolds in ‘Just Friends’, as a beautiful, beautiful example). But this is real. This is me. I feel like a Goo Goo Dolls’ song should be playing in the background as I am writing this.

We met over a year ago at work. He was quiet, like me. I was not used to people being quiet like me. He had a brilliant sadness about him that immediately attracted me (the writer in me, I suppose). Within a few months, there we were, hanging around Starbucks and Spin City (a music store, my second heaven) whenever we could. Our ideas were the same, our tastes in creative expression were identical. Having someone that you can share your soul with was nice, like finally stretching your legs for the first time out of your cage. I had become addicted without even realizing it.

But he is gone. He left me here. I feel like I am walking sideways wherever I go.

You say tell him. Call him and let him know the feelings staining your skin. Go after him. Surprise him. He may feel the same way. But this is not a movie. This is life. Money and distance are two exhaustable factors not expressed in Hollywood. You cannot sacrifice everything for the chance you should have taken before. You only get the opprotunity to draw a few ‘chance’ cards while you go around the board (monopoly). And even then, they do not guarantee rewards.

But who can predict the future (seriously)? The possiblity may present itself again (hopefully). Life is random, winding: first the ocean, then the gutter, the straw field. However, now, I consider this as a lesson learned. To encourage you to pay attention. To encourage myself to pay more attention. Live life. Dance. Be unusual, amusing, wild. Just do not be quiet when the matter calls for screaming your lungs to shards of plastic.

I feel like a broken and restless playdough girl

“Maybe you’re right. I don’t know what pain is. I guess sitting by the phone for hours waiting for someone to call, but knowing they won’t isn’t pain. Crying myself to sleep every night isn’t pain, because every word They say cuts deeper than a knife cutting my flesh: I guess having my heart ripped out and thrown around every day by someone I love isn’t pain. Waking up every morning alone and succumbing to sleep every night alone isn’t pain. I guess being consumed by the anger and frustration I have festering in my heart isn’t pain. Not being able to look at my reflection in a mirror without turning away in disgust and dissatisfaction because I know I’m not happy, because I know my life is an intricate, deceptive stage cloaked with careful lies isn’t pain. I guess feeling indifferent to the wonders of life, to the spectacular vitality and invincibility so easily found in the new generation isn’t pain. Feeling numb and not disappointed anymore when, for the millionth time, I am rejected from society isn’t pain. I guess choosing to escape the real world around me through the fictitious but marvelous realm of literature—being forced to substitute selfish friends with that of book characters isn’t pain. I guess becoming a slave to my own morbid, purely hopeless thoughts, and becoming imprisoned in my own self-destructing Hell isn’t pain. Being aware of an invisible, decaying clock buried in my body, and acutely conscious of the absolute alienation I have been vacuumed perpetually into isn’t pain…I guess you are right. I am too young to know pain.”
― Amanda Rosso and Kayla Gough

And held fast to my own soul as best I could

I grew up out of that strange, dreamy childhood of mine and went into the world of reality. I met with experiences that bruised my spirit – but they never harmed my ideal world. That was always mine to retreat into at will. I learned that world and the real world clashed hopelessly and irreconcilably; and I learned to keep them apart so that the former might remain for me unspoiled. I learned to meet other people on their own ground since there seemed to be no meeting place on mine. I learned to hide the thoughts and dreams and fancies that had no place in the strife and clash of the market place. I found that it was useless to look for kindred souls in the multitude; one might stumble on such here and there, but as a rule it seemed to me that the majority of people lived for the things of time and sense alone, and could not understand my other life. So I piped and danced to other people’s piping – and held fast to my own soul as best I could.”
— L.M. Montgomery (My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. Macmillan from L.M. Montgomery)

Have you ever felt as if you were a solitary soul just wandering aimlessly in the world, searching hopelessly for something that you can cling onto? Have you ever felt as if you were the only one of your kind, finding conversation difficult and pointless because no one could relate to your depth of thought? Well my friends, I have been searching for a kindred spirit, and I found her. Miss Lucy Maud Montgomery and I share the same stardust of a composition.

My childhood was lonely, harsh even, so I invented a world to which I could retreat when reality seemed a bit to unpleasant. Have you ever looked up at the stars and became enthused, knowing that the light was from a different time, when things were better? Like your very own time machine? Well, that is how this world came to me, except that time was only a pleasant fiction. I kept it hidden, so that reality in all its damaging sense, could not spoil it.

I learned to write from it. I became composed of nothing but ideas, thoughts, images of sweet nothings, lyrics of meaning. The more I dreamt, the further I grew away from every one else.

I was told that being separated from the human form was just as damaging as it was to be close to it. But despite all of my somewhat successful attempts at conversation, relation, and support, I found it difficult for myself to be elated in return by them. I only seemed to be a kind of table, an old wooden table that one usually tosses their useless garbage onto. They needed me. But in all relational sense, I did not need them.

The majority of people live for the services of our time. They try so desperately to satisfy the flesh of their dusty bodies. Money. Sensuality. Authority. Timelessness. Nowhere in that ‘classy’ world to I fit. So I just saddle alongside the invisible barrier that separates them from me, and pretend to blend in its chaos. As this spinning cycle of a world worsens, I will hold fast to my own soul as best as I can.

It’s magnificent to be loved, but…

I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it in “Restless”. I researched the english trasnlation, and the lyrical prose captured my heart in relation. The song (I prefer poem) is about heartache in its most complicated form (I do not believe aches can be simple). Jonathan Brazen said that our greatest ache is the one of our desires forever outnumbering our means of satisfying them. And love is just one of those desires that I question will ever be satisfied. Will we forever be locking ourselves in our room, smoking (or any other obsessive action, for I do not smoke) to forget?

“Sympathique”
- Pink Martini

(English Lyrics)

My room is a cage
The sun streams through the window,
the bellhops are at my door
like those little soldiers
who want to take me away.

I don’t want to work,
I don’t want to lunch
I only want to forget (him) and so I smoke.

Long ago I knew the scent of love,
a million roses didn’t smell as sweet.
Now a single flower in my way makes me sick.

Chorus

I am not proud if this life
that wants to kill me.
It’s magnificent to be loved
but I have never known this.

Chorus

The Life of an Introverted Soul

Do you ever find yourself longing to be alone after an hour or so of high social activity? Do you think of yourself as weird or as a loner, not fitting in with the real, normal people, finding petty conversation difficult or a waste of time? I always thought there was something medically wrong with me, that some physical limitation, perhaps in the brain or nerves, was hindering my ability to communicate effectively. Growing up, I was such a loner. During lunch breaks or pep rallies at school, I always found myself escaping to the art room to work on an ‘unfinished’ project, or to the library to do ‘research’ for a paper. Most of the time, I hid out in the bathroom with a book. I was the different, quiet, thoughtful child. But I was perfectly content in being so. Being social scared the hell out of me.
Personality is something in which you can never grow out of. Chaucer describes personality being like fire: constant, unchangeable, irrefutable. Although a thousand faces may close its eyes to it, it will continue to blaze, to burn, to devour. With this being said, my introversion has not lessened by any degree. If at all, it has escalated, deepened. I am just as much of a loner as before. The only difference: I am now being challenged with social forces that I am required to endure such as work, college study groups, church fellowship. I have become more socially capable, but the need to escape to my own thoughts is even greater, more critical to my sanity.
I have done some research on the topic of introversion. And most of the articles I found helped to explain the intricacies and difficulties of the personality. Below I have posted some selected quotes and passages from the articles I found most interesting. We are not as weird as we believe. Just beautifully different.

“Now, it’s true that introversion is not the same thing as silence at all. It’s not that introverts don’t like to talk. What I’m suggesting, though, is that introverts must find ways to insulate themselves from the effects of a crowded, draining world, and one of those ways is to consciously resist the felt pressure to chatter. And what about finding love? I would encourage you to explore the boundaries of what is permitted to two people who simply like each other and want to be together. Why should you have to pretend to be extroverted?” -Cary Tennis, Since You Asked colomn

“The mob thinks we are maladjusted. Of course we are adjusted just fine, not to their frequency. They take it personally.
They take offense. Feel hurt. Get angry. They do not blame owls for coming out at night, yet they blame us for being as we are. Because it involves them, or at least they believe it does, they assemble the troops and call us names. Crazy. Cold. Stuck-up. Standoffish. Aloof. Afraid. Lacking in social skills. Bizarre. Unable to connect. Incapable of love. Freaks. Geeks. Sad. Lonely. Selfish. Secretive. Ungrateful. Unfriendly. Serial killers…
The mob makes definitions and assigns identities based on the sorts of clues loners do not provide. We are elusive, not given to dressing and behaving such that we would be in stadiums raising giant foam-rubber hands proclaiming anything. We frustrate our observers, try their patience, make ourselves amorphous. Make ourselves either unintentionally scary or invisible. With the blithe assurance of a majority the mob nods knowingly when Justin stays home alone on Christmas Day. He is depressed, they say, or else he has something to hide. The clerk who goes home after work to have a bubble bath instead of joining the gang at the bar is declared undeserving of a raise, afraid of men, afraid of women, too smart, too stupid, scary, a pervert.” -Anneli Rufus, Party of One: A Loner’s Manifesto

“We are the ones who know how to entertain ourselves. How to learn without taking a class. How to contemplate and how to create. Loners, by virtue of being loners, of celebrating the state of standing alone, have an innate advantage when it comes to being brave — like pioneers, like mountain men, iconoclasts, rebels and sole survivors. Loners have an advantage when faced with the unknown, the never-done-before and the unprecedented. An advantage when it comes to being mindful like the Buddhists, spontaneous like the Taoists, crucibles of concentrated prayer like the desert saints, esoteric like the Kabbalists. Loners, by virtue of being loners, have at their fingertips the undiscovered, the unique, the rarefied. Innate advantages when it comes to imagination, concentration, inner discipline. A knack for invention, originality, for finding resources in what others would call vacuums. A knack for visions.” -Anneli Rufus, Party of One: A Loner’s Manifesto

“The mob needs to be loved. It lives to be loved. Or hated, with that conjoined fervor with which mobs face their enemies. Both love and hate are all about engagement. About being linked with humanity generally, as a policy. Loners have nothing against love but are more careful about it. Sometimes just one fantastic someone is enough. As a minority, we puzzle over nonloners, their strange values. Why do they require constant affirmation, validation, company, support? Are they babies or what? What bothers them about being alone? What are they so afraid of? Why can’t they be more like us?
Well, they cannot, nor can we be like them. Behavioral geneticists claim that human temperaments and talents — skills, preferences, modes — are inborn, like eye color.” -Anneli Rufus, Party of One: A Loner’s Manifesto

“Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses.”
― Jonathan Rauch

This is how to love

Do ever wonder why God placed you on the Earth as you? How did you get to be one of the lucky ones, a citizen a rich society, instead one of the unfortunate, illiterate, starving persons in an undeveloped country? Seems unjust does it not?
We take so many things for granted. We have a home. A bed. Food in the refigerator. Water by a fountain. Electricity. Medicine. Books. Choice. Freedom. Life. I mean, does it really matter if we do not get extra ice in our sweet tea at Chick-fil-a? Repeat that very sentence. Makes you, now, feel foolish, right? But the very thing we have lost entirely by our selfish lives is how to love. We have forgotten what the word means. We are so bounded by satisfying our own expectations and gratifying our own bodies that we have become completely incapable of performing simple gestures of love toward our fellow man. I encourage you to take a moment and let this photo speak to you. The simplicity of this selfless act so beautifully expresses the reason for our existence: eachother. This is how to love.

Into a better shape

Into a better shapeSuffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

I have a rootless plant sitting atop my computer desk, and I noticed this morning that I have negelected to water it yet again. The leaves are wrinkled and withered and curled, gravity pushing the last life of them into the pit of the basket. So I poured the remaining gulp (literally meaning gulp) from my water bottle into the dried and cracking soil, and within hours, the leaves unfolded and rose as if the sun was pulling them by a rope. There is something peculiar yet special about this plant: it seems to willingly repeat the pains of death and rebirth. I can never kill it away, even if it was my sole intention.
This idea of rebirth reminded me of this passage from “Great Expectations”. I love the imagery of being literally bent, not easily like paper or clay, but painfully like plastic or metal. Because, let’s face it, we as humans are not bent easily by experience. It takes pressure after painful pressure to bend us into a worthily intended shape. I believe that we can be broken, crunched like glass underneath the heavy foot of reality. And I know that we are not easily mended. But like the cycle of my weird but beautiful desktop plant, we can be reborn. By a mere splash of hope, we can rise from our surrender.