Reflection from March 12th, 2008 @ Age 26
I said something inadvertently brilliant, today, at work. What a strange concept! But, I did; I meant to say, something like, “Why isn’t the retirement an individual asset with the trust?”—but, instead, I said, “Why aren’t the insurance proceeds an individual asset with the trust?” And, apparently, this little slip—saved our client (per Paul’s consequential analysis, obviously) some $11,000 more in taxes. That’s the thing, with this business; it’s like, you slip one way, and you save a million dollars in taxes—you slip the other way, and you’re on the line for malpractice, because you cost your clients a million dollars in taxes. It’s quite irritating, really.
I’ve been thinking about Dave often, lately—especially, at work. I’ve sat in meetings with Paul for two-days straight, now; at least, a total of ten-hours, going through this damn, trust-mill trust and, trying to break it all apart—and then, piece it back together in some salvageable form, that will work out well for the client. Anyways, I’m sitting in there, while Paul talks, going through this whole, big analysis on the reasons why this trust was so shitty—and, why this lady got completely scammed, and, all the damn tax consequences resulting therefrom. Now, I’m a smart girl; my brain works like the damn crack of a whip—but, I swear to god there’s nothing that surefire sends my brain spinning, quite like tax concepts. It sets me spinning into outer space—and, hence, I thought about Dave quite a bit yesterday, and today.
I think about a lot of things, relating to him. I thought about how, maybe, it really was to my benefit, that he broke up with me before we went away to college—because, that was undoubtedly the more respectful move, than say, going off to college and cheating on me. And then, I wonder if he didn’t ever want to have sex with me, because he knew how much I cared for him—and, how fucked up I prolly would have been, had we consummated the relationship. Or, maybe, he was just embarrassed—because, he was a virgin, and I had more experience at that point, than did he. Maybe he cared—maybe, he didn’t. Maybe, he half cared—and, half didn’t. Maybe, I just think about this too much. There are just so many maybes, that I’ll never know. There’re so many what ifs—that will forever, now, go unanswered.
Ahh, yes, on a different subject—I was thinking, today, about how I don’t even like these fucking mustangs, anymore. It just seems so ridiculous, that I was absolutely in love with a mustang—and now, what, four short months later? I can’t even stand the stupid cars. Just lends credence to the theory, that it wasn’t the actual car, I was upset over—it was the idea, that, I’m still very much so finding myself in a place, that I don’t really want to be. I keep working, and I keep trying to move ahead—but, I always seem to get stuck somewhere in the middle. Nowhere glamorous—nowhere awful; just, somewhere in the middle. And, that can’t be the worst thing—but, I think, at some point, everyone has to decide, whether they’re going to settle or keep pushing forward for more. I just can’t settle, here; I cannot settle now. I’m simply not ready; and, I want more for myself—than, to facilitate the financial affairs of dead people. Not, that that’s not a perfectly acceptable career—it’ll even pay really well, and have flexible hours and little-to-no supervision, and all that; but, there’s just something I want so much more.
I’ve got a pain in my left-hand; right in the palm—and, I can feel it, when I type. It’s not a terrible pain; I can just, feel it—it feels uncomfortable.
I was wondering, today, see, whether burial-site locations are a matter of public knowledge—because, I don’t even know where Dave is buried, so, I can go speak to his grave. So, I can go weep tears upon his remains—and, tell him how much I love him. It’s all just too late; and, I don’t even know where the fuck the boy’s buried. I don’t know where to find out, either—which, just, makes it all seem worse.
I find, lately, that lines are beginning to blur—between honesty and deception, between right and wrong, between right-to and invasion-of privacy. I’m not sure what more to say on this topic, except, it’s a rather new concept—I need to further think over, before, I try’n elaborate.
I was crying, today, on my way home from work—just, thinking about the ways in which I miss Dave. The kind, lately, has been the worst off; the kind, where, my misery doesn’t even bring artistic insight—but, only miserable suffocation, as the permanence of the situation befalls me. It’s just, the agonizing kind—which nags and strangles, and nicks me in the ankles. It cuts chunks of my skin out, from under my body—but, never enough to leave truly unfathomable destruction. It’s just enough—just enough, to break my heart all over again. I’ve been listening to that song, again, though—that miserable indulgence, is, of course, of my own doing. It’s just funny, how, sometimes—things really can, hurt so good. Make you so happy—but, break your heart right there, at the same goddamn time. You know I hate shit like that; shit that’s one thing, and, it’s exact opposite—all, in the same good time. Drives me crazy! But, then again, it probably doesn’t take much.
It’s kind of funny, because, I’m pretty sure my parents sit downstairs in the evening, wondering what the hell I’m doing up here—in my bedroom, for hours upon hours, all alone. They know that I write—but, I’m not sure they knew the extent, to which I write. It kind of makes me feel good; like, I really am a writer. I’m not sure why, though, I feel like I have to be published—to actually, be considered a writer. I suppose, it has to do with, being well-known for your writing—being, well-read. That’s the point, it seems, when one becomes a writer. So, I’m not sure where that puts me, now—but, I rest assured that what I am writing, is, in fact, a story. It may, just, be my story, yes—but, it’s a story, nonetheless. More real, at times—perhaps, than is even warranted by circumstance.
I was thinking, today, about faith; about, what faith actually is—what it means. It seems, that having faith, is persisting to believe that something will be—or, that something in fact, is, despite the reality of circumstance surrounding the situation. So, basically then, faith is believing in something, that, in terms of probability—probably, is not true. Or, no…
Is it, believing in something that, merely, cannot be proved—something that cannot be tested, in physical terms? I guess, there, maybe—are two kinds of faith; the former, being synonymous with hope.
Well, anyways, it was hope, then—that I was thinking about, earlier today. I was thinking, hope, means believing despite circumstantial evidence to the contrary—that something will, nevertheless, happen. Now, I’ll be damned if that doesn’t sound—somewhat like, the definition of insanity. See, insanity is supposed to mean, doing something over and over in exactly the same way—but, expecting different results, right? So, if doing, is synonymous with believing—ohh, I don’t know what the hell. This was a really great thought, earlier—but, it’s all messed up in my goddamn head, now.
I will tell you this, though—I was thinking, today, how I cannot even fathom having sex, ever again. Honest to god, cross my damned heart—I cannot fathom once again possessing, the desire to share that kind of intimacy with another. Probably, because I can’t think of one goddamn person I would even want to feel that way about—except, of course, Dave. I’ll tell you why I think Dave really cared about me—despite, his moronic attempts to show how he felt.
When I went to senior prom with a friend, because, Dave didn’t ask me until the very last minute—he retrieved my drunken self from my friend’s party afterwards, brought me back to his house, and left me for his goddamned parents the morning after prom. Yeah—he went golfing with his goddamn buddies, and left me to wake up to pancakes with good ‘ol Martha and Elbert Magoon. Ohhhhh god, that was agony! Hah! That bastard!
Anyways, at one point, I went over and watched a movie or something—with one of his guy friends, right; nothing happened—nothing even close to anything, happened; but, then, I go and find out that this “Chris” friend, Dave had been hanging out with—he goddamn told me he was hanging out with his friend, Chris; turned out, no doubt, to be Christy or Christina or whatever—a female, is the goddamn point. Anyways, there was that kind of stuff—when we were constantly, passive-aggressively, back-and-forth at one another. I think, when people do that—it’s an indication that they care; that, they’re hurt—because, otherwise, I don’t even think the engagement in said activities would have precipitated in the first place.
And then, there were the times when, I forget who—but, either he or his freshman roommate at UVA, told me he had my pictures up on the wall in his dorm room. And, then there was the time his sister said, “You guys would have the most beautiful children”—and, he said, “Only if they look like their mother.” The way that he touched me. The way that he kissed me. The way that he felt so tenderly, toward me. I just, wonder—if I’ll ever love another, the way I loved him. I just wonder, if this was my once in a lifetime—if my time, has already come and gone.
At one point, maybe our senior year—maybe summer afterwards, I can’t remember, now; but, I do remember, at some point while I was still living at Mogadore, I wrote that boy a love-letter email—prolly six or seven pages long, professing my lifelong love for him, since the day that we met. I think, the point was, I was trying to explain to him why I couldn’t just be his friend—because, I loved him, and it hurt me to just be his friend. In and of itself, to be his friend—hurt me. Anyways, I wonder, if, somewhere—in all that does remain of Dave; I wonder, if, somewhere in that pile of stuff—lies my letter. I wonder if he kept it, after all this time. I wonder, I wonder, and I wonder—to no avail; no wonder, I feel so suffocated in here.
Anyways, that song—by Snow Patrol; I really feel, that, if Dave could speak to me right now—that, would be, what he would say. No—not even, like. I feel like Dave speaks to me, through that song; that, he tells me—to move on, to move forward and be my wonderful, beautiful self. I want Dave with me, everyday of my life. I want to remember him—I want to think of him, everyday of my life. Only problem, is, I’m not entirely sure—how healthy, that really is, for me. Now, mind you, I will never forget Dave—most obviously, because, I shall bear his star on my left-foot for the rest of my days. But, with that security always with me, like my baby blanket or something—I have my Davey with me, always; with that, security—I hope I can begin to move forward, here, one of these days. I don’t know how much longer my heart can bear living in Dave’s memory. I’m not sure how much longer I can continue living, within my regret.
Anyways, JenJen, knows me better than—anyone else in this entire world, I think, has ever known me. And, JenJen, on more than several occasions—has told me, that I’m a dreamer. And, I just wonder, would it be better for me to put my dreams aside, and settle for the circumstance of my present reality—or, is it better for me to push forward through boundaries I know can be broken, never settling, never accepting my present circumstance? Maybe there’s a point in my life, in which, after much pushing—I will finally be ready to come to a rest. Maybe, if I keep pushing forward—keep fighting for what it is that I really want; I will, actually, one day have it—and, then, I will be ready to take my rest.
Today, is not that day. Tomorrow is not that day, either. But, who says I cannot dream, and, somehow—someday, make my dreams come true? That’s what parents are always saying to their young children, no? You must dream; you must dream—because, you can be anything in the entire world if you somehow want it just enough. The question, becomes—have they really been lying to us, all along? Or, is it okay to be unhappy with present circumstance, at times—because, you dare to dream of something so much larger, so much more satisfying and engaging and fulfilling? Or, shall we dare not dream—but, rather, retreat into the circumstance brought upon us? I just don’t know.
I listen to Dave tell me: don’t think, just do—and, I find myself wanting to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary. Here I am, and I find myself believing—when nothing more than hope, can carry me forward.
I cannot tell you, if this means I am insane. I do not know, if this means I am deluded. Sometimes, in fact, oftentimes—I feel it could go either way.
You know, I think about it and, what really pleases me—is that, I think, Dave would really like my long-brown hair right now; how it’s cut, and all. And, I think he would really like the clothes I wear, and my sexy curves in my newfound skinny jeans—and, my mind and my writing and just, everything about me. I think he would just die over me, really; I think he would adore me, if he could see me now. And then, I wonder how he liked my lips; how he liked my eyes—and, how he liked the touch of my skin. I loved his lips. They were the most fun lips, I’ve ever tasted! They were amazing lips. Jolie’s lips couldn’t hold a prayer. And, I simply adored his ears; they were so cute—how, they always just stuck out a bit. It’s really funny, how Bryce, has ears just like that, now—little ears, that stick out just so. And, big blue eyes—they both have, such, big blue eyes. Or, had. And, has. Ohh, I’m so adoringly in love. Will my heart never stop aching?
What will happen to us today is completely unknown, as unknown as what will happen at death. Whatever happens, our commitment is to use it to awaken our heart. As one of the slogans says, “All activities should be done with one intention.” That intention is to realize our connection with all beings.
Recently I had the pleasure of going to a friend’s swimming pool in the country. I had just received a letter, so when I got there I sat in the car and read it. The letter was very straightforward. It pointed out to me that in a particular situation I had neglected to communicate with the right people. My lack of clear communication had caused confusion and disappointment. Reading this letter brought up a surprising amount of pain. Everything in me wanted to exit, and I adopted a common strategy: blame. It was someone else’s fault that this had happened.
Right there in the car, I got out a pen and began to write a letter to the person I was blaming. I made the blame solid and real: I put it down on paper. I knew enough to stop writing, but I said to myself, “How can I be asking other people to do this kind of practice? It’s asking too much. It’s too challenging, too hard.” I got out of the car and sat down next to the pool and the pain was so consuming that at first I forgot all about the bodhichitta teachings. I didn’t want to be a warrior. On the other hand, I know that unhappiness lies with exiting, with pointing myself away from the discomfort. Believe me, I’ve done it enough to know that this is true.
I tried to encourage myself along the line that I am bigger than my thoughts and emotions. I also acknowledged my thoughts, listening to what I was saying about myself and others. But no shift was happening, absolutely none.
Finally I got into the pool and started to swim laps. After going back and forth about six times, I put my elbows on the side of the pool and began to weep. At that point I was overwhelmed by a sense of how we suffer.
Then, not because I was doing a particular practice but because I’m so familiar with finding the soft spot, a reservoir of empathy arose seemingly out of nowhere, completely available to me. I was able to connect profoundly with my brothers and sisters all over the world.
All I had done there sitting by the pool was somehow to stay. I was trying to recall the teaching and to practice, but it didn’t really matter what I did. There is not a formula for doing this kind of work. My willingness to stay with the discomfort was what allowed something to shift. Then the reservoir of compassion began to emerge.
THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU—A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times.