Tag Archives: Happiness

The Liars, the Broken, and the Cheaters

Last night, I was cleaning the kitchen up a bit before cooking dinner.
I’d decided to try listening to music, despite the fact that earbuds hate me, and turned on my John Denver album. It’s surprising to many people that I love John Denver but, much like Bastian from ‘The Black Swan Company,’ I like almost anything, as long as it’s good.

‘Annie’s Song’ eventually came through the headphones, as I was washing the counter, and it brought tears to my eyes, or more…the memory attached to that song did.

I had a roommate my first year of college, and only year in the dorms.
I never knew that I could get along so well with anybody. When I left for winter break, I remember her running after my boyfriend’s truck in the rearview mirror, dramatic like we were in a movie. We both cried and laughed at the same time, as we knew how much we’d miss one another.

At the end of the year, I downloaded a whole bunch of songs that had her name in it, and we sat there and listened to them together. I’d never heard the song that bore her name by John Denver before, and as we listened, we both burst into stunned yet touched tears…the lyrics were so beautiful, that they acted as a catalyst…an avenue, an excuse to let out the pain that inevitably comes at the end of an era.

Annie was my last friend as a ‘child.’ Yes, I was 18/19 when I met her, but age doesn’t always determine what constitutes adulthood…not in the real world. That was the last year of my life that I was coddled, fed, and taken care of by people. The most difficult thing that we give up, in my oh-so humble opinion, when we become adults is the purity in our relationships.

When we are children, anger, sadness, happiness…they all come through with an honesty most people check at the door of adulthood. We feel love and trust and loss with such intensity, and feel compelled to chase what we want without scruple. When we pass through the veil of adulthood, it contaminates us; money, status, others’ opinions, jealousy, pain, responsibility…they function as the metal bars between us and our happiness…us and our sense of loyality…us and reality, the real yearning for what we want.

Being a child wasn’t easy for me, but my God…I miss the friendships that I had.
I miss the raw honesty between people.
I miss the undying loyalty we had as friends.
I miss the way people would stop at nothing to feel happiness.

When I passed through the veil, I stuffed all of those things under my shirt so that it would never be tarnished…and sometimes, it feels as if I was the only one who did.

When things aren’t correct, it bothers me.
If I’m not happy, I can’t just pretend that I am; I just can’t pull it together, or step up, or drown myself in responsibilities, then refocus on trying to swim to oxygen, the way most people do it.

When you’re young, people impress upon you the American standard: Go to school, obtain employment, marry, reproduce. They swear it’s the path to happiness and security.

I’d like to tell all of you young people, right here and now, that it’s all bullshit.
BULLSHIT.

Being one to heed the warnings and advice of others, to watch those who’ve gone before me so as to avoid their mistakes, I’m telling you now, most people in their 40s are fucking miserable; they PRETEND to be happy, but they’re not. From what I’ve observed, every person in their 40s either doesn’t sleep, is in an unhappy marriage, is unsatisfied in general, or all three. Being either sleep-deprived, in a terrible relationship, or unsatisfied makes them lash out…they’re angry, they’re vengeful, they’re backstabbers, they relish in others’ misery…they’re bored, they make problems out of nothing so that they’re entertained…they’re judgemental, they’re hypocritical, they gossip, they compete with each other, and most of all…they LIE.

And since THEY lie, they think everybody else lies.
And since THEY cheat, they think everybody else cheats.
And since everybody else lies and cheats, they think it’s ok.

The worst thing one can do is lie to oneself.
Let me show you why.

The man who endeavors to cheat on his wife, trying to make it so that she’ll never know, is trying to fulfill a need or solve a problem…only, he hasn’t the tools to solve it.
Maybe he’s not in a sexually active marriage.
Maybe he’s not really in love anymore.
Maybe he’s isolated.
Maybe he’s an addict to sex.
Maybe he just wants to screw around on his wife.

So, he cheats, but he is caught.
He and his wife go to counseling together; the counselor advises him to no longer be in contact with ‘the other woman,’ and he abides.
They try to make things better, but the trust is gone.
The wife stops sleeping with him; she can’t move past the betrayal…maybe she wants to, or maybe she just doesn’t want to be on her own…maybe she doesn’t want their children to have to endure a divorce, and neither does he. Maybe their families are pressuring them to keep their marriage together, or maybe they don’t want their families to know.
They stay together and, damn it, they put on a happy facade, but they’re more miserable than ever.
She’s more afraid of him leaving or hurting her than before, and he’s more isolated than he’s ever been.
Since she’s not wanting to connect physically or emotionally anymore, anyway, he wants to cheat again, but this time…it’ll STAY a secret. And if it doesn’t, who cares? They’re already in absolute misery…he just needs to make SURE it stays a secret and that he doesn’t leave her because it’ll destroy both her and her family.

So, what’s the answer?
It’s simple:

Stop lying to yourself.
Your marriage is over, American Dreamers. Get divorced.

I can keep this going; I can find a woman who will go along with it, and we’d both know exactly what we were getting into.
You mean, a woman who is broken, has no self-respect or foresight, no self-preservation instincts, and doesn’t realize (or doesn’t mind) being thought of as a walking vagina to you? It will end eventually, and when it does, somebody’s going to be hurt. But hey, as long as it’s not YOU who gets hurt, it’s ok, right?
Step up. Stop being a candyass, and divorce your wife.

But I don’t want to desert her.
Tough titties. You should’ve thought of that before you CHOSE to sleep with somebody else instead of coming to her when you had a problem in your relationship.

I still love her, though…and I took a vow.
Sticking around for her is the worst thing you could do. If you’re at this point, all that you’re doing is stealing her time by keeping her from finding somebody who’ll love her better than you are able to.

She’s afraid of being alone, though, and it wouldn’t be right to leave her.
Interesting assessment, but try this one: Maybe she’s codependent. Maybe she hates herself. If you honestly love her, you should be the one pushing her to be happy, even if it’s not with you. She’s fooling herself into believing that she’ll never be better than this, and you’re enabling that notion. Shove her out of the nest and set her free; she’ll learn what real happiness is once you stop chaining her down.

But what about our children? They need us to stay together.
Oh? How so? They NEED to learn what a(n unhealthy) relationship looks like so they can go out and have one just like yours? You want your own children to be just as miserable as you are?

If you think you won’t get caught, that nobody will be hurt, that you’re not using your mistress as a sex toy, that anybody who would be a mistress isn’t a broken fucking person, you feel honor-bound not to desert your wife, that you are being nobel and wonderful by sticking to your vows, that you’re a hero because you’re obliging your wife’s fear of being alone, that your families will think better of you for staying together, or that your children will benefit from your broken relationship staying together…
…if you believe that having a successful marriage is the only way to be happy…
YOU
ARE
LYING
TO
YOURSELF.
And you’re bringing everybody involved down with you, you selfish bastard.

If you’d caught this before the damage had been done, if you were honest with yourself, if you could’ve admitted you were unhappy and had done something to fix the situation, it’d be ok…and if you are in that position, do the right thing now instead of falling onto the quick and easy path.
You can sit there and rationalize your lies all day long, but rationale doesn’t equate to the truth. Until you WAKE UP and realize that you’re not only fucking yourself, but others, as well, you will continue doing harm to everybody around you.

A child may really hurt your feelings when they spit their food into their hand and yell ‘NEH!’
A child may annoy their parents when they throw themselves on their backs, cry, and scream ‘I DON’T WANT TO!’
But FUCK, at the very least, they’re being HONEST.

Sometimes, we need to oblige the child inside of us, no matter how harsh we perceive the impact could damage our lives, because two to one, doing all sorts of sneaky, dishonest shit to make ourselves feel better will fuck everything MUCH worse.

I may be a lonely person who shuts out the liars, the broken, and the cheats because without them, it’s a smalllllllllllll fucking world, buddy.
But I’m ok with that.
My tears from the night before serve as a reminder of what did exist in this world, and I believe, in ALL honesty, what can exist again.

The truth will set you free; don’t let anybody take that away from you…especially yourself.

Advertisements

Ordinary Part 2

So, if being a skinny, rich woman with perfect hair is no longer your aspiration, what is?

I want to be a craftsman.

I admire the Hank Hills and Ron Swansons of the world.
I aspire to be being able to rip up a gross, old carpet and lay a brand, new tiled floor…to get an old Mustang and make it purr like a large, disgruntled kitten…to dislodge the God damn garbage disposal out of anger because that thing has fucked with me for the LAST TIME, tell the guy who tries to help me ‘I know more than you’ as I grab a new one at the store, then return home and install it.

There is this…indescribable beauty, this amazing feeling when I remove a clog from a drain or fix a faucet or install a chandelier or rip up a carpet or paint a room, and there is NOTHING like it. I still revel in the time I was changing my mass air flow sensor in the parking lot of an auto parts store in a skirt and pair of high heels, rejecting the multiple offers of help by the men going in or out of the store because I fucking knew what I was doing and LOVED doing it. Even refilling the salt in the water softener gives me such a sense of pride and victory that doesn’t want to go away for a while.
I take pride in home and car maintenance, and I don’t care how strange that sounds.

I want to reside in a smallish community.

Yes, I’m from New York, and I LOVE New York, but I’ve decided that I no longer want to permanently reside in the city…it’s too much: Too much money for too little, and too many people to maneuver around.
Where I’m residing at the moment is wonderful; if one turns right, there is a bigger intersection a few feet down the road that crosses into a more populous and thriving city with many businesses and stores…turn left, and it enters into my town where the traffic is slow and reasonable, the restauranteurs recognize you, and there are wholesome places, such as an antique store, a local history museum, and plenty of small businesses that the townspeople frequent and adore. Hell, I know where the public access TV station is (only two minutes away from my house…it’s great)!
It’s strange because the hustle and the smell and the entertainment of New York is something I never could imagine being happy without, but the more I experience this lifestyle, the more I love it, especially the part about having a yard…that’s irreplaceable.

I want to be able to work in or provide for my community.

Oh, long commutes…you are ridiculous.
I want to know and/or work within my local ‘tribe,’ being a part of where I live, to contribute. I want to build relationships with the people I work with and for, and be able to get together, knowing that they’re only a few minutes away. I think that people are far too detached from one another AND work too far from home, spending so much of their precious time behind the wheel…it’s a waste of life, time that could be spent with pets and family and friends, and it contributes to our apathy. My mother is a nurse, and when I was a kid, she worked five minutes away from home…it was perfect.

These things sound so ordinary, I know.
Usually, if people are speaking of their aspirations, they’re sky-high and glittery…but that isn’t what does it for me. And maybe my aspirations are boring to the rest of you. I know. But when the neighbor across the street gets into his car with his cup of coffee, dressed and ready for work at 4:30 am, I feel the thrill I imagine others feel when they spot their favorite celebrity stroll the red carpet: It’s incredible.

Fear Challenge 1/5: Souffle

In the post that is called ‘The Things I’ve Never Done: Part 2,’ I set five goals for myself.
Well, I completed one.

I made a vanilla souffle.

…And it did not go well.

Do me a favor: Visit Google, type in ‘Vanilla Souffle,’ and click on the image search function. Then, look at the pictures.
Do you get how the souffle is supposed to look, all puffy and bursting out of the ramekin?

This is mine:

photo 2

It ACTUALLY did the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what it was supposed to do!
And NO, I didn’t slam anything or bump anything!

I was PISSED.
…Then, I found it kind of funny. And I ate them.
I actually have never eaten a souffle before this and, if I’m honest, it was quite disappointing. Sure, it did not rise, but that wouldn’t have mattered. It tasted like…baked eggs with sugar. If you want that kind of taste, why not make a smooth, yummy custard instead of this?

So, all of this time, I’d been scared to make a souffle.

Did it hurt my ego a bit that it didn’t rise?
Sure.

There are those people who are good at almost everything…you know who I mean? The people who are kind of scary because everything that they do just turns out great and wonderful, or they take to a game or a sport or whatever, and they’re perfect at it.

Oh, this woman who I know is a doctor, but on the side, she knits opera gloves for orphans! Oh, you need to have her show them to you, but that’s nothing compared to what she did for her daughter: She sewed her wedding dress! Didn’t even use a pattern; it was her first time, too. …Yes, her first time sewing! Oh, and you know those amazing cookies in the break room? Guess who baked them!

Well, I am not one of those people.
I default to ‘inept,’ and that really bugs me sometimes. Yes, this involves practice time, as well. It’s downright tiring.
It makes me feel like I’m always outside looking in, which is how I’ve felt my entire life; like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit anywhere.

Don’t get me wrong: I like being the odd puzzle piece.

But being inept at so many things makes it so difficult to interact with other human beings when you know, no matter how hard you try, that you will lose that cutesy board game, or that new project you wanted to try that is outside of your comfort-zone will turn out a mess EVERY TIME.
A lot of people enjoy ‘a bit of competition;’ it motivates them to be better and strive for greatness, but all it’s ever done for me was make me feel like shit. There are many times in my life where I’d asked myself, in earnest:

Am I good at anything? Anything at all?

The silence following that question is awful.

So, I came to the conclusion that instead of feeling horrible about myself for my ineptness, I would strive for MY best. When I did not bother to compare how I was doing next to others, it made me happier and more willing to continue with all of the things I’m inept with that I love to do. I no longer thought things like:

Why bother? I’ll never be any good at this, so what’s the point?

…and started thinking:

So what if this person is so good that it makes my skills look juvenile? I did my best, and I’m proud of myself!

It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
So good, in fact, that I had a revelation: I reject competition, in and of itself.
It’s certainly not a popular thing to say, but it works for me.

Even though I’ve made this personal progress with myself, I do become fearful of failing at something I feel I’m good at; it’s something I need to work on. Baking is cooking’s sister, so I honestly become scared to do it sometimes because I hate it when I make mistakes.

I would salivate whenever people made souffles on TV; they look SO good…but I was sure mine wouldn’t come out right. And I was jealous of the people who could make them so perfectly. But the funny thing is…it wasn’t as delicious as I thought it’d be. It looks amazing (when it’s done correctly), but I’d be almost embarrassed to serve something that tastes like that to my friends and family. Cut up some strawberries, sprinkle some baker’s sugar on them, and serve it with some angel food cake…call it a day. It is way less work, more filling, and a better dessert, anyway.

Maybe people make souffles simply because they’re difficult and they want to impress people…

Anyway…I did what I said I’d do: I made the souffle.
Did what I was afraid of happening happen?
Yes.
How did I handle it?
Just fine.

30

Being 30.

Just the idea brought on such panic just a few months ago.

You see, 30 was my ‘scary age.’ And believe me, I’m totally not alone in having a ‘scary age;’ just ask some of your friends, and you might be surprised at how many of them have one.

A few months ago, I turned 30, and dealt with it by running away to Canada for the weekend. I figured if it didn’t distract me from the fact that 30 was coming, I’d at least have something different to look at when it did.

When the clock turned to 11:59 pm, I took a moment for myself and closed my eyes. My 20s were coming to an end, and what a whirlwind they were.

I had this grand master plan of what I wanted my life to be from when I was a teenager, and thought of all of the things that I believed I needed to be truly happy: Some of them, I had gotten, and some, I hadn’t. But this ‘ideal’ and ‘wonderful’ future was certainly not what I had as I sat in my Canadian hotel room, staring at the clock on my phone. The memories of 20 hours of studying, collecting soda bottles to return so I could afford a cheese burger, struggling to get out of bed for an 8:00 am class after only getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep…that feeling of barely hanging on seemed so far away. Instead, I had new struggles, changed career paths, and simply didn’t value the same things that I did when I was 20.

That may be, in part, why I was so scared of turning 30: I was still in school (studying something completely different than I had intended to study), not even close to buying a house, and certainly not making my own money. 30 was nothing as I had pictured for myself in my 20s.

The clock turned to midnight, and I turned 30…and to be perfectly honest, it didn’t feel much different, but somehow, I knew it was.

One cold morning, a few months later, I was walking out of my bedroom and an image came to mind.

 I was sitting in this tiny, one bedroom townhouse that I’d seen for sale online the night before in the old village in Italy my great-grandmother came from staring at my computer screen with my headphones on. The sun was shining brightly, but it was slightly muted by the sheer, white curtains and partially closed shutters on the meager window. I think that I was just wrapping up my day of telecommuting work (part-time), and was relaxing.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the old, wooden front door (which I somehow heard with my headphones on). After getting up from the computer chair, I walked over to the door and opened it to find a handsome stranger.

I greeted him in a friendly way, and he greeted me, as well, in perfect English.

He asked me if I was the author of a certain book I had recently gotten published, and I confirmed that I was, and he smiled and asked if he could talk to me for a bit. I smiled back and said that I’d love to, but wanted to know if we could take a walk; I would’ve invited him in, but my house was a bit of mess (my maid was on vacation). I very quickly found my house keys and a pair of shoes, and exited the house.

As we walked, I asked him what his name was, and he told me. After a bit of an oddly comfortable quiet moment, he remarked that he was surprised. I asked him what he was surprised about, and he said that everything surprised him: The fact that I chose to live in such a small, economically depressed village in the middle of Italy, my tiny house given the relative success of my book, how I lived alone, and that I would agree to talk to him, seeing that I don’t know him.

Looking down at the stones on the sidewalk that could very well date back to the ninth century, I shook my head and laughed. I explained to him that I chose the town because of my family history and how relaxed and convenient it is, I chose the house because it was all I needed and close to everything, I wasn’t concerned about being alone because I was content with myself, and I would talk to him because whatever he needed to tell me was important to me if it was important to him and I loved to hear people’s stories.

He looked at the street, smiling a sad, contemplative smile, not saying anything for a few moments, and even though it should have been awkward, it wasn’t. I patiently waited for him to speak, just enjoying the warm weather.

And finally, he spoke. We both came to a stop, turning toward each other. He said that he just wanted to thank me for writing my book; he said that at long last, he was finally able to find somebody who seemed to understand how he felt and expressed it with compassion.

I watched on as his eyes filled with tears and mine did the same. I understood exactly to what he was referring.

He then said that most of all, he wanted to thank me for having the courage to write about something that everybody else ignored, despite how it may be received by society, as it made him feel that he was no longer alone.

Not being able to help myself, I reached forward and embraced him, and we held each other, not saying a word.

At that moment, a feeling of wholeness washed over me.

As I came back to reality, I realized what was different about being 30: Everything.

Everything I thought I wanted when I was in my 20s, everything that people use to measure your success as a human being (owning a big house, being married, having money), everything that we think that we need to have…it all means practically nothing to me now. All of the years that have brought me to the age of 30 have taught me that what I want most is to have meaning in my life, intangible meaning. I want to be able to touch somebody’s life with my words, show compassion to other living creatures, and express the beauty I see in our everyday, mundane lives. I want to just write whatever I think is important, and not alter my integrity in the pursuit of a paycheck. I want to define my own life, and not allow anybody to define it for me. I want to refuse to allow others to shove me into the status quo mold when I know it’s not what is right for me. I want to be so distracted by the wonder of every passing year that I don’t care about the wrinkles around my eyes. And I want a maid, damn it, because I don’t want to waste my life cleaning!
I just want to be happy.

Now that I’ve managed to figure that out, I’d like to figure out why I was so stupid in my 20s.