It feels like the first day of Summer break for me, though technically it’s not. It just feels like it’s finally over, my stint at the little school I transferred to at semester. Unlike the joyous party that most people envision teachers throw for themselves at the end of the year, it means I suddenly feel very useless and like I don’t have anything to do.
So far, this year has been so…exciting? Interesting? Invigorating? Suspenseful? Terrifying? A little of all those emotions and more.
It began in a whirlwind of relationship news, with me feeling particularly special. Finally someone wanted me and wanted me to be the center of his attention, if not all the time, enough of the time that I felt wanted and needed. Yet it was a lie. There’s been plenty about Superman already, so no need to rehash all of that drama, and drama it certainly was!
Then there are things with the Boy. They seem positive, but they are complicated as all hell. Just today (one of the factors in my slightly hormone induced funk), he denied me the opportunity to help him. He had asked for help, nay, he had told me I would help, and then has told me “no, not today,” every time I’ve offered. Since I’m already feeling useless as the school year wraps up, that didn’t help.
Things have been equally as complicated with the new job. It felt like things were moving in a positive place, but that too was not as fulfilling as I’d hoped, and instead sent me on an introspective journey to figure out whether or not I’d made a mistake in my job choice.
Several people helped me to realize the truth in that situation. I owe thank you’s to the Boy and Mr. West Coast, several of the Book Club Girls, plus my mother, and my roommate. I’m sorry it took me so long to realize why I was having issues at work.
Speaking of, a former friend pointed out to me that I too often present myself as the victim, and he has wanted to scream at me for some time about how basically it’s a job, and I need to just deal with it.
That’s a bad paraphrase, and only one of a long list of faults he decided to hit me with yesterday, when we hadn’t spoken to each other in over 3 years.
Truth be told, it’s what he said that’s mostly put me in this down spot today.
Not because I’m truly that sensitive, although there are some times when I really am, but because some of the things he said had been eating at him for years and he never said anything to me, and we’ve ended our friendship over some things that were mostly misunderstandings.
- Never told me that he felt like I was waiting to the last minute to RSVP for his parties because I was waiting for a better offer.
- Never told me about how he felt about the way I discuss my job (the aforementioned victim claim).
- Never told me that he quit coming to my dinner parties because I’m usually running late and sometimes it would affect his work the next day.
- Never believed me when I tried to explain that when I said I “needed to be around people” it wasn’t that he wasn’t “people,” but that I needed to be around a large group of people instead of a single person, or even just a pair of people.
And so, as I’ve been much more open about some of my own beliefs of late, when he started noticing that he and I were “vehemently opposed” on major issues, he was wondering where that left us.
Perhaps we were never friends in the first place, if he couldn’t disagree with me and still count me amongst his companions.
When I knew him, his best friend and he did not agree on religious things at all, belonging to faiths at opposite ends of the spectrum quite literally. Yet the fact that I don’t believe that birth control should be included as part of health care makes me a villain.
Well, I was Cruella DeVille the year he and I co-hosted a Naughty Disney Halloween party…
Ironically enough, the conversation started because I was working up the courage to ask his opinion about my post about Caitlyn Jenner, specifically because we often land on opposite ends of an argument, and I wanted his opinion about whether or not my point was clear.
I was aware how muddled it was.
There are so many things that can be said about the trans-movement, not all good, and not all bad, and I find myself straddling the fence about the issue in many regards.
On the one hand, I believe very strongly that people have a right to do with their own body as they please, even if it means doing something stupid (like the guy who spent $150K to look like Kim K.) and/or irreversible (like gender reassignment surgery).
On the other hand, I really do believe that we place too much emphasis on the exterior of a person instead of the internal feelings, motivations, thoughts, the Soul of the person.
When asked what I would do if a child of mine wanted to undergo the procedure, I can honestly respond that I would be supportive of their wishes, but inside, a part of me would feel like a failure because I was unable to help them to see that their body really didn’t matter as much as their spirit.
I know a little about what it’s like to not recognize the face in the mirror. Not to the same extent as someone who feels they are in the wrong gendered body, but since I was young, I’ve always dreamt of myself as being blonde with eyes as blue as the ocean that shimmer and twinkle as if I’ve trapped flecks of sunlight in them. I see myself thinner, and taller, and much more graceful than I am. In my dreams, I see myself on a beach often times, too. And not a beach I’ve ever been to.
Maybe some throwback from a previous life? Who knows?
The point is, there are days when I look in the mirror and think, “who the hell is that?”
As I date, I tell myself I’m looking for someone who sees the real me. The person I see when I dream, because that is the real me, hiding deep beneath the layers of all my faults. To me, that is the goal: not to make my outsides match my insides, but to get people to see the spirit of the real me.
And not just when I date… One of the things I had liked about my former friend was that I thought he saw that version of me.
I thought that I could talk to him about my job situation, and vent my frustration about it. I felt safe because he was one of the few people around whom I felt I could sometimes let my guard down. Sometimes, my job situation was the only thing really bothering me, and sometimes I needed to be reminded that I wasn’t an absolute failure.
Sometimes, and I think this may be the real truth of it, I was fighting a depression I didn’t understand, and instead of saying that there was nothing wrong, I just felt broken inside, I would find the one thing I felt I could complain about because everyone understands how sucky work can be sometimes.
Equally because of the depression, I would hesitate to go to parties because I always felt like I had to be “on” for his gatherings. “Fun, happy Liz” was the person they expected me to be, and sometimes I’d be losing to the depression and not be sure if I was up to any party at all.
I still do that to this day.
Actually, I often do the opposite. Since he had at one point commented that “maybe” RSVP’s were insulting, I’ve learned that it’s better to say you’re coming and then cancel if something (my depression in this case) comes up.
As far as him not coming to my dinner parties, and me making him feel bad for leaving early, I think that is a faulty memory on his part. Yes, I was often late getting started, but there were parties earlier in the day he wouldn’t come to either, and I certainly didn’t mean to make him feel bad if he had to leave early. If anything, I was probably giving him a sarcastic sad face (where were emoticons then?), not to make him feel bad, but to let him know that we’d miss him. Because we enjoyed his company!
As he was bombarding me with a list of my faults, he let me know that he figured I could give him an equally long list, and maybe I could, but why? What would be the point in dwelling on all that negativity?
The main thing I could say would be that for all his talk of me apparently not acknowledging his feelings (feelings he never told me he had), I always felt like he would gloat when I would discuss some money problem I was having.
While I was struggling to pay bills, and at one point even attempted to go on Foodstamps while I was working and going to school and still couldn’t make ends meet, he would boast about all of the movies he bought that day. At last counting (that I remember) he had close to, if not over, 2,000 movies, and he has them arranged alphabetically by genre, with an Excel spreadsheet in case anyone would care to borrow one.
I remember at one point realizing that he and I were only ever friends of convenience. When one of us needed something the other could provide, we’d contact each other, but otherwise, we just did our separate thing.
Like I said, maybe we were never really friends.
It just hit me wrong yesterday, and I’ve been dwelling on it a bit. All the grey days (even though the sun was out today, I was stuck inside with no windows) haven’t helped the situation. It makes me wonder how many people in my life have things they haven’t said? How many people have I brought into my life thinking they saw that real me, when in reality, they only saw the faults?
This will pass. In the meantime, thanks for following along, and bearing with my sadness today.
Tomorrow the sun will shine again, and maybe I’ll go to the beach and find myself.