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Hi. I’ve missed you. July 17, 2010

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It’s been a while. If you’re reading this and that matters to you, I apologize. I can only say that I can’t force this. I’ve never been able to, and that has never been what this blog is about for me. What it was started as, over two years ago now (whoa) – and what it remains, today – is a safe haven for my head and for my heart. A place that my thoughts can go to and feel unafraid.

Right now, I’m in my room. Sitting on the edge of the bed, door cracked, light off. The only light is coming from my phone’s screen, which I am typing this out on.

At this point, I think I’ve decided that there are three different parts of attraction that draw us to one another. The first part is the least discriminatory. It is that instinctual, primal, sexual desire we all possess to be touched, held, caressed, kissed, and wanted. It’s been bred into us for hundreds of generations, and it’s always there, in varying degrees. The second part is pure physical attraction. To be in lust, not in love. To see someone and to not have your first thought be “I wonder if he/she is having a pleasant day?”, or “I would love to take him/her out to dinner sometime!”, but “MMMMM – I wanna be all OVER that.” It’s, in some respects, quite similar to part one, just more focused, more defined, more acute, and aimed at a specific person. Now, part three. Part three is the only part out of the three that love can germinate out of. It is real, foundational emotional attraction – the sort that keeps you up at night, just wanting to be with him/her, or hear what’s on their mind, or make sure they’re ok.

Here’s what I think I have discovered. Actually, wait … discovered is a bad word. Confirmed is better. I’ve been fairly sure of the essential nature of Part Three to me in order for me to be able to let myself be involved with someone, but, recently, that has been … yeah, confirmed. If the three parts were each a different scent of cologne, then there is a massive, bottomless bottle of Eau De Part Three in my heart that scents out into me with every heartbeat. I am permeated with it, and with my desire and hope for it, and I don’t think there’s any changing that. I’m bound to this, forever and ever. I’m in lockstep with it.

Don’t get me wrong – it SUCKS, sometimes. It can be horrid. I mean – what I’m sort of doing is telling my millennia-old physical instincts “NO”. How could that *not* mess with my head, you know? It wrecks me, sometimes – trying to reconcile everything. And, at this point, I figure that I have to be cognizant of the possibility that all of this – all of me – is just as likely to hold potential partners away as it is to draw them in. It might be years before I can be in another relationship. How could THAT not mess with my head? The idea that my hope is so strong that it might actually be prohibitive? It’s terrifying, but it’s possible.

I don’t know what the curtain call is anymore. I don’t know what my endgame is. All I know to say is the following paragraph – it’s also on my Facebook page.

Those that I most identify with and those that do my soul the most good are the romantics, the dreamers, the freethinkers, the tender, the hope-bringers, the care givers, the peace-spreaders, the fire-hearted, and those who keep warm in a cold world by inhaling hate and exhaling love. You all are the single biggest reason that my feet stay on the ground, my eyes keep opening, and my heart keeps beating. I stand in unshakeable solidarity with you, directly in the face of the outside world, always and forever.

Amy Lee, you own me. January 14, 2010

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Anywhere“, “Where Will You Go“, and “Hello“, by Evanescence. Those tracks … just amazing. The FIRE that you feel when Amy sings – it’s nearly indescribable! Those songs make me think of rain, night, love letters, flowing long dark hair against fair skin, eyeliner, crying, screaming, love, that girl at the PostSecret event with the shaky voice that didn’t think her secret would make anyone laugh or applaud (check the video here, at the 2:46 mark), those two girls at the Slipknot concert that brought them a painting and a scrapbook and thanked them with tears in their eyes (check it out here, at the 8:56 mark), all-consuming single-minded love, The Crow, staying up all night talking, being young and just not having it all figured out, holding hands at the mall, meeting at a park, hiding out in a bookstore, finding solace only through each other, and everything else pure and wonderful in life.

Good news! I still exist! September 4, 2009

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Wait a second. Waaaaiiit just a second here. Has it REALLY been a bit more than two months since my last post? WOW. Inexcusable. Although, the one thing I will offer in my defense is that I can’t force it. I can’t make myself write something if I’m not “feeling” it. If that sounds nonsensical to you, then that makes two of us, because I don’t pretend to understand it either. Anyway – some random, stream-of-consciousness thoughts on what’s been going on recently:

  • The SHLF Project is continuing (original post about it can be found here) and I love it. I’ve given out over 130 messages so far, with many more to come.
  • College football! Starting tonight! I’m a bit excited. IMO, all these people (and polls – I’m looking at you, AP and USA Today) that have Texas ranked above Oklahoma have got problems. I’m no fan of either team, but OU is going to be the better team this year, and they’ll beat UT.
  • November is going to be awesome. My homeslice John Mayer’s new album, Battle Studies, drops on the 17th, and, later that same week, there’s this little movie called New Moon coming out that I may or may not be really excited for.
  • When I heard about Obama nominating Ben Bernanke for a second term as the Federal Reserve Chairman, all I could do was close my eyes and shake my head. Bernanke has become symbolic of everything that is wrong with the way our country’s monetary system works. It amazes me that more people weren’t up in arms over Obama’s re-nomination of him – it’s not like this information is hiding on some underground blog, or whatever. You can see it on Youtube! There are more videos than I care to sit through of Bernanke getting absolutely SCHOOLED, before Congress, on the way things should work. Granted, it’s mainly Ron Paul doing the schooling, but that doesn’t surprise me, at this point. I mean, just do a Youtube search for Peter Schiff. He predicted, with sometimes astonishing precision, exactly what has happened to our country’s economy, he was saying it years in advance, and no one listened to him! He’s a believer in Austrian Economics, which is, shock of shocks, the same school of economic thought that Ron Paul (another guy who tried to warn us of all the danger we were facing) subscribes to!

Whew! I apparently am still capable of blogging!

What I am not. Not yet, anyway. June 20, 2009

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Ok, so, my last post was about what I want. All of that still applies. This post will be about what I am not. At least, not yet. I remain hopeful. If you’re confused – and you probably are – keep reading.

First, before I can really explain, you should watch this video, and then continue reading what’s below it.

Now, you may have indeed watched it, but did you really see it? Did you truly listen to it?

Since you’re all caught up, here’s what I am not.

I am not good enough, pure enough, decent enough, or worthy enough to bear witness to art that is that beautiful.

It’s a bit of a sobering thought, but it’s true. I don’t deserve to get to experience something like that. I don’t really know how (or why) I’ve been deemed lucky enough to get to experience it anyway, and I don’t really know whether my being cognizant of this is a blessing or a curse.

But, as I said above, I remain hopeful. I don’t know what the process is here, or how I’m supposed to reconcile any of this with myself, but I’m trying. I can be better. We all can be.

sleepless nights and city lights… (if you’re curious as to what I want, read this post.) June 1, 2009

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Here is exactly, precisely, what I want. Nothing more, and nothing less. I know that there are other things that should probably be taking precedence right now, but right now? In this moment? I don’t care. I really, really don’t care. So, that being said (or typed, in this case), here is what I want.

I want it to be an overcast, brisk, slightly chilly day, with the smell of rain in the air. The kind of day that most people, for reasons unknown to me, find depressing, but that I find liberating and exhilarating. I want to meet her at a coffee shop, along with a few friends. When I arrive, I want to get to see her break out a big smile. I want to hug her lovingly, in a way that envelopes her with warmth and suggests strength and intensity but also kindness and tenderness. I want to play with her hair during the hug, close my eyes, and completely forget where I am. Then, after a few minutes of conversation and of catching up with friends, I want to stand up, walk over to her, lean down with a smile on my face, place my hand on her shoulder, and discreetly request that she excuse herself from the main group, so that the two of us can talk privately. Then, I want her to accompany me to a corner of the room, away from everyone else, so that all other conversation sounds distant and muted. I want to focus only on her. I want to move two chairs close together, so that we can sit facing each other, but still be quite close. I want to lean forward, take her hands in mine, look up at her, and just gaze. Just gaze … for however long. Seconds, minutes, hours … I don’t care. The kind of looks that sometimes say more than words ever could. Then, I want to look straight at her, see that her eyes are stunning and that they are like windows and mirrors simultaneously, and say, in a low, soft, but still fervent, affectionate, and passionate voice, “I love you.” I then want to kiss her twice: once on her forehead and once on her lips.

Emotions, and what they do to me. May 13, 2009

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I think I’ve figured something out about myself.

I think that the potency of my emotions sometimes carries me to the point where I think and feel too much for my own good.

Last night, I was at Barnes & Noble, completely engrossed in a book of love letters, when I noticed this girl sitting across from me. I don’t know why, but I was immediately struck by how beautiful she was and I had a hard time stopping myself from staring. She had mild, warm skin tones, inquisitive eyes, long, gorgeous auburn hair, and she was wearing a long white skirt that looked fantastic on her. She looked elegant, intelligent, and stunning, all at the same time.

Well, I eventually was ready to leave, but I had this incredible urge to go say something to her. So, I went up to her and said, “Excuse me – I don’t mean to bother you, and I don’t want to seem rude, but I couldn’t help noticing you, and I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re beautiful. It does everyone good to be reminded of that, and you’re beautiful. Just know that.” She smiled at me and said “Thank you”, but she was clearly taken a bit aback, so I smiled back, turned, and left. I exited the building to walk to my car, and I had tears in my eyes by the time I got to it. I don’t even know why, and this might not make any sense, but I already wanted to talk to her more, and to hear about the book she was reading, and about what she thinks and feels, and about what was on her mind, and what was worrying her, and what I could perhaps help with, and I just broke down. So, yeah, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do or think anymore, but I’m pretty sure, going back to the first couple of sentences of this post, that I feel too much. And the crazy part – the part that really might not make any sense – is that I wouldn’t ever change that about myself. I don’t think that I would even consider it, actually, if I were given the opportunity. So, I guess I just have to deal with it, and take the good with the bad. I really don’t know. I don’t think there’s a “right” or “wrong” answer – there’s just me, and all I can do is do the best that I can. I do, however, know this with certainty: I’ll take “feeling too much” over “not feeling” every single time.

I just can’t help myself, and I don’t know what else to do other than to feel, and try to make sense of everything from there. Emotion is my reference point.

Last night was amazing. It was only the beginning, I hope. April 30, 2009

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Last night. Wednesday, April 29. Hopefully, the start of something beautiful, uplifting, and pure. I think it was. I really hope so. Here’s what happened.

I was sitting around the house, craving emotion and connection, but I wasn’t sure what I could do, or what I should be doing. I am frustrated nearly every day by my inability, for whatever reason, to do more connecting with people and to serve some sort of purpose in that regard. I’ve realized more and more that I seek that out, and that I need emotion, and I need depth. Last night, I particularly wanted to talk to girls, and just interact, and talk, and laugh, and cry, and hug, and just be there for them.

Anyway, perhaps unsurprisingly, I ended up on the computer, scanning websites and blogs, looking for something. Anything. Some kind of sign. I found my way to PostSecret, which, for the uninformed, is a wonderful place. I started reading stories that users had posted in the forum, about leaving secrets of their own in PostSecret books in bookstores, and even just leaving secrets randomly around their city. I was fascinated by all of it, and ended up taking some inspiration from what I read. I then found myself in my room, furiously writing on small pieces of notebook paper. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write when I started, but by the time I was done, I knew. I ended up with a couple of handwritten copies of four brief messages, cut so that each of the four messages was on its own strip of paper. They were as follows.

 

If you’re a guy, please give this to a girl you know.

If you’re a girl, I want you to know something. You’re beautiful, and you matter. Please don’t let yourself think that you don’t. I care about you.

 

If you’re a guy, you should tell a girl you know that she’s beautiful. She doesn’t hear it often enough.

If you’re a girl, please try not to be discouraged too much by the guys who seem to be better at tearing you down than at lifting you up. A guy should think of spending time with you as an amazing privilege. If you don’t know one like that just yet, don’t worry – I can’t wait to meet you.

 

If you’re a guy, please give this to a girl you know.

If you’re a girl, I want you to know that you are beautiful. Please don’t ever think that you are alone, or that there isn’t a guy out there that cares about you. Because I do.

 

If you’re a guy, you should tell a girl you know that she’s beautiful. She doesn’t hear it often enough.

If you’re a girl, please just know that there are guys out there that care. There are those of us out there who, even though we might not even know you yet, are already thinking of ways to make you happy.

 

I signed each of the messages as “Spread Hope Like Fire”.

I got each of the strips of paper folded and then set off in my car, still not entirely sure on where I was going. It was nearly midnight by this point, and I considered where there would still be some cars, and where there would perhaps be some young people. I decided to go to a movie theater that’s fairly close to my house, and scope out the parking lot there. Sure enough, there were still some cars. Not a lot, but there were enough, from people that were there catching the late showing of a movie. I parked at one end of the lot, grabbed the folded-up strips of paper with the messages on them, and started walking. Whenever I passed a car that I caught some kind of vibe from, I placed one of the messages under the driver’s side windshield wiper. After I had distributed all of them, I walked back across the lot to my car, and, before driving away, I looked back to the group of cars. Among others, I could see three cars, all parked next to each other, that each had a message under the windshield wiper. It felt AMAZING. I can’t even describe the energy I had. It felt so good and so right, and even on the brief drive back home, I was already excited at the thought of those people walking out to their cars and seeing the messages waiting for them, with no other explanation. If even one person was able to connect with their message, or gain something from it, no matter how big or small? That would be wonderful.

In a few minutes, I’m going to write perhaps a few more copies of those messages, and try to look inside and find some more that need to be wrote and need to be put out into the world. Then, later tonight, I’m going to head out again, find some more parking lots, and try to get the messages to people that need them.

The power that music can possess never ceases to amaze me. March 27, 2009

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Random thought before I get to the main idea of this post: Ryan Adams’ version of “Wonderwall” by Oasis is fantastic. I’ve probably listened to it ten times tonight.

I needed to get out of the house for a little while tonight. I just needed to get some fresh air, and be exposed to some stimuli, knowwhatimsayin? So I went to an arcade and played a few video games. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, as I was driving back to my house, I was listening to the Twilight Soundtrack. I pulled into the driveway while listening to Iron And Wine’s “Flightless Bird, American Mouth”, and I’m not entirely sure how to explain what happened next. I couldn’t stop listening to it. I was completely entranced. I must have listened to it five or six times straight before I “woke up” and got out of my car. I’ve sat alone in my car listening to music an innumerable amount of times before, and there have been times when I feel like I might not ever come back to Earth from whatever place the music takes me to, but this was different. It was like contrasting things happening simultaneously – like, my heart sped up quite a bit, because of the intense, simple beauty of that song, and because I couldn’t help but picture how beautiful the prom scene is that that song is used for in the movie. Yet, just as my heart was reacting that way, the longer I listened to the song, I actually felt more and more relaxed, almost like I could just drift right off to sleep. It was such a strange emotional juxtaposition – once I actually got into the house, it took me a few minutes to recover, so that I could process thoughts normally again.

Music is and will forever be the sun to my earth.

Personality Types, according to Helen Fisher (I’m a Negotiator) March 25, 2009

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I checked out Helen Fisher’s latest book a few days ago, titled Why Him? Why Her?, and I found it really interesting. In it, she goes over some of the biological reasons behind why we fall in love with some people, but not with others. She also touches on the “nature vs. nurture” debate, and how, for quite some time, the “nurture” side (how we are raised, our parents, the environment we grow up in, etc.) was thought to play a pretty significant role in determining our relationship preferences. Ms. Fisher doesn’t seek to dismiss that school of thought entirely, as that stuff obviously affects us to a certain extent, but she discusses at length some of the new research that’s been done on body chemistry, and how it’s become more and more obvious that a large part of who we are, as far as personality and temperament goes, is determined by the “nature” side. (Wow, that last sentence had FIVE commas. Nice.)

Through the research she’s done, there are four main personality types that she’s defined. Almost everyone has traits from all four types, on some level, but there are one or two that are usually at the forefront, and she has designed a personality test that can measure how strongly you exhibit tendencies of each of the four. There are fourteen statements for each of the four types, and you’re measured on how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them.

There’s the Explorer, who usually tends to rely on his/her impulses. Explorers are the closest personality type to what people usually call “adrenaline junkies” or “thrill seekers”. While the Builder, another of her personality types, generally finds comfort and relaxation from routine, Explorers are just the opposite – they thrive off of spontaneity, and they feel stagnated by nearly any sort of predictable, repetitive activity or routine. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, sexual, open-minded, and eager. They love trying new things, and are always up for an adventure.

There’s the Builder, who usually tends to rely on his/her values. Builders have a clear idea of what they do and do not agree with, and they conduct themselves based on that. Their values are the most “traditional” of the four personality types, and they view most long-held customs or traditions as good indicators that should be followed. Family is almost always a big priority. Ms. Fisher designated this type as the “Builder” for pretty obvious reasons – they are the primary “building blocks” of society, and Builders treasure and seek out stable environments for themselves and their loved ones.

There’s the Director, who usually tends to rely on his/her logic. Directors shoot for the stars, and, when they know what they want, they go after it with everything they have. They value getting to the point and speaking directly, and they normally don’t have much patience for procrastinating or for doing things that aren’t directly related to what they’re trying to take care of. They understand complex machines fairly easily, and are interested in seeing how things work, or in seeing rules and procedures that govern systems. Directors look at the world from a fairly scientific perspective, and, as such, are open to new ideas, just not new ideas that lack support, evidence, or justification.

Last, there’s the Negotiator, who usually tends to rely on his/her intuition. If the Director looks at the world like a scientist, the Negotiator looks at the world like a philosopher. Every topic or thought, no matter how big or small, can be dissected and looked at from multiple angles. Negotiators are emotional, passionate, empathetic, romantic, and nurturing. They also have the most idealistic view of love and romance – they would rather live alone than be in an unfulfilling relationship, and they are enchanted by the idea of true love, and of a soulmate. Being connected to and invested in others is part of what makes life worth living for Negotiators, and they find it hard to maintain interest in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) that doesn’t allow them to find common emotional ground.

So, I took the test, because I had become quite curious about what kind of results I would get, and because I had gotten a rough idea about where I would fall, and I wanted to see if I was right. (I was.) You’re scored on each of the fourteen statements on a scale of zero, one, two, or three, based on how strongly you identify with the statement. This is repeated four times, so that at the end of the test, you have four numbers between zero and forty-two, each of them corresponding to how much you agreed with the overall set of statements for each personality type.

For the Explorer set of statements, I scored in the mid-twenties – twenty-four or twenty-five.

For the Builder set, I scored lower – about twenty or twenty-one.

For the Director set, I scored almost identically to how I scored on the Builder set – about twenty.

For the Negotiator set? My score was almost the maximum score possible, which is forty-two. I think I was at thirty-eight or thirty-nine. I immediately had a strong positive reaction to almost every one of the statements – stuff like “I enjoy it when an author takes a sidetrack to say something beautiful or meaningful”, “After watching a particularly emotional film, I often still feel moved by it several hours later”, and “I like to get to know my friends’ deepest needs and feelings”. Moreover, when I read the chapter specifically about Negotiators, I caught myself agreeing with just about everything, and thinking, “That totally sounds like me!”

Trying to wait. December 1, 2008

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Maybe I’m just stuck on this because it’s the Christmas season, but we all need to be more vigilant about reminding those closest to us how much better our lives are because they are involved. So, if you like someone but aren’t sure about what to do, tell them. Just do it. They need to know how much they mean to you. Call them, invite them out for coffee, and then, when you feel the time is right, think about how you talk about that person when your best friend asks you why you can’t stop thinking about them. Then consider this: you can tell him/her those things! You get that chance! How cool is that?? I miss those feelings sometimes. And it can sometimes be pretty hard to rationalize, because I don’t want to rush into something and inadvertently create a damsel in distress instead of waiting for someone who will let me try my best to show her that, as long as we are happy together, she won’t need to ever be saved. It’s a tough balancing act, but I hope that I can wait. I just miss the simple things. I love being able to share my jacket on cold nights.