Saturday, July 6, 2013

"You've got your hands full"

Ugh.  Just typing that phrase pisses me off.  I think whomever came up with that was an idiot.  Full hands or not, it's stupid.  It's borderline rude, even when said in kindness.

Someone said it to me as Jovi, the boys & I exited the elevator at the children's museum.  The cashier at Walmart said it the other day as we checked out.  I've probably heard it five or six times since I left Wyoming.  I'm not sure why I always feel the need to explain that Jovi isn't my daughter, because I respect people who can parent that many kids, but either way, I DO have my hands full.  & hearing you say it irritates me because you look at me, with three kiddos nearby & another in my belly, like I'm doing too much.  I'm overdoing it.  Polluting the population or maybe I just can't keep my legs shut?

It's none of your business, guy in the elevator.  What I should have said to you was, "& you don't, as you wrestle your two boys standing DIRECTLY in front of the elevator & your son who pushed Sawyer out of the way?"  Teach your children some manners.

It's none of your business, cashier at Walmart.  I know you're trying to make pleasant conversation, but I got a much better feeling from the woman near the clearance bakery items who told me, "you have beautiful children."  That time, I didn't bother to correct her on Jovi not being my child.  So what if I DO have my hands FULL?

I have my hands full of love.

Sometimes it's holding a dirty diaper, a toy, a sippy cup, or, much to their dismay, a hand as we cross a crowded parking lot.  But the really special times they are full?

It's holding the hand of a scared boy or a boy who just wants to sit with his momma, even though he's a "big boy" at 4.  Sometimes, it's holding the squirming legs of a 2 year old who is trying to "escape" as he's being tickled.  It's carrying plates of food & not getting to take a single bite of your food until after it's cold because someone needs a napkin or more water or he dropped his spoon or fed half his meal to the dogs & you have to get him more.

It's knowing that no matter how much they fight me or each other, drive me crazy or having me sobbing with frustration, at night before I go to bed, I look at both of them asleep in their beds & my heart swells with pride & joy.  Because those boys were a GIFT to me from MY GOD.

So I've gotten better when I hear that phrase, that instead of rolling my eyes or immediately jumping to explain myself, to say, "Yes, I'm very blessed."

Because I am.

& I do have my hands full.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Everything But the Girl.

They're not just a band that I love.  A band that I was introduced to through him, the man I like to pretend never existed.  To this day, when I mention past loves or past boyfriends, I don't mention him.  It's like there's a spot in my life that never really happened & the only reason I'm (sort of) putting pen to paper about it now is because writing about all these past loves is super cleansing- at least, it has been so far.

It all started with an email.  Probably a joke here or there, or a request for some dental supply that only I could procure.  At the time, I was the Supply Petty Officer for the largest Navy dental clinic in the Northwest.  I was stationed in Bangor, WA.  He was also stationed there but worked at a different clinic.  He worked admin for the command.

He was married.  I knew this from the beginning but he fed me a string of lies that I so desperately wanted to believe & in my young mind, although I knew the truth, I refused to see it.

I was 22 years old.  He was (if I remember correctly) 31.  He was on his second marriage & he already had two children from two different wives.  He told me he was legally separated.  I pretended I believed it.

He could write the most beautiful letters.  Poetic, lengthy, that made me feel SO incredibly good.  For a girl with a low self esteem, he lifted me up in ways I've not seen since until I understood REAL love years later & the love I have now for Tony & our children & most importantly, Jesus.

He'd come to my office from Bremerton & sneak to the back of the supply room & kiss me.  We talked music at length & he helped me discover bands like EBTG, Chris Isaak, & Jack Johnson.

We ended up living together.  I gave him my entire world, traded myself for secrecy to all my friends & quite possibly missed out on a number of awesome opportunities for lasting friendships or career enhancers.  I forgot who I was so that I could receive love from him, or something that I thought was love.

He was one of the first dental technicians in the Navy to be chosen for the hospital corpsman IDC program.  It was a big deal & he was headed to San Diego for school.  I went with him on the trip, a beautiful trip down the coast that also showed me where he grew up.  I thought so much that he & I were going to last forever.  I'm sure I knew better.

My few family & friends that knew tried to warn me.  They told me that it was silly, that the last thing my young heart needed was this incredibly damaging relationship.  I didn't listen.

The one thing aside from music that he provided me was the strength to apply to be a Master at Arms.  I had been increasingly unhappy as a dental tech & I knew I needed a change.  Being an MA offered something new & exciting (or so I thought).  He pushed me to route my package & once it was approved, I headed to San Diego for school (& to be near him!).

We'd spend our weekends together, staying in hotels & doing things together.  It was always very hush hush & I was always sworn to silence when he called his "ex" wife & kids.  He promised that just as soon as school was over, or this & that changed, or a thousand other things happened, we'd be free to be us & we'd be able to be together for real.

When it came time for orders, I was given two options:  a year in Korea or two years in Japan.  I asked him what I should do.  He told me to choose Japan since he had a better chance of getting there, too.

So I received orders to Sasebo, Japan, & never dreamed that he & I wouldn't FIND A WAY to make it work.

But hearts are fickle & we change our minds often, don't we?  Especially when distance interferes & threatens safety & the hope you cling to.

Shortly after I got to Japan, I'd like to say I saw the light.  I'm not sure if that was truly the case or if I'd just been tired of living like I'd been living for the last year & a half.  Maybe my heart hurt & I was done.

I ended our relationship.  I cried hysterically as I did so, thinking that not ever in a million years would I find someone even half as good as him & I knew I was destined to live alone for the rest of my days.

Looking back, I only remember bits & pieces.  I remember how I thought he was lifting me up & making me stronger when in reality, he was pushing me down.  He never physically hurt me & he wasn't emotionally abusive, but his demeanor & his way had a way of making me hide myself.  I tried hard to act like I was so much more mature & so much older & be exactly who he wanted me to be instead of myself.

It only took about ten or so years, but NOW as I'm writing this, I can see that up until him, & even for a long time after him, in relationships I was quick to put the guy first & not take care of myself.  Even now I find myself doing that- only in my current life it's give & take.  I'm married.  & not in the kind of way he was.  I value my marriage & I know that sometimes I'll have to give up some of me for the better of my family.  & so will Tony.

So I guess I learned something from him.  Well, maybe a few things.
1.  When you meet Chris Isaak, it's perfectly acceptable to NOT remember your name so he can sign your t-shirt.  Meanwhile, your jerk boyfriend will roll his eyes & spell your name for Mr. Isaak- thereby giving you a chance to stare at the good looking man drawing a heart next to his signature.

2.  Married men are NEVER an option for a relationship.  Prior to my new(ish) relationship with Christ, I'd done a few things I wasn't too proud of.  This is one of them.
3.  It's true what they say about not being able to make someone else happy until you make yourself happy.  It took me YEARS to figure this out.
4.  A 22 year old has NO business being with a 30 something year old man.  True story.

I have no idea what happened to him, & I can't say I care.  I'm BEYOND thankful that it didn't manifest into something more, like he & I stayed together or I couldn't get over it.  I'm also thankful for the life I found in Japan, because it led me to where I am now.

Ballsy Brandis.

I walked up to him at Beaches, a club everyone went to after the pub on Tuesdays, a.k.a. "Pound Night."  I said something super classy like, "come talk to me before you get too drunk."

I knew I had a crush on him & I'm not sure if we'd ever had more than one or two conversations but I knew there was something about him.

He was so cute with his dark hair & glasses, seemed incredibly funny & sweet.

So at some point in the evening, he sought me out.  I told him that I liked him & wanted to get to know him better.

We left the club early, he took me to my room, & we talked for a good three hours.  Couldn't tell you what we talked about but I remember I ran out of cigarettes & he kept giving me his.  When he left I closed the door & grinned, because I knew he was special.

In true cute boy fashion, he knocked on my door about a minute later, handed me a cigarette & said, "one for posterity?"

I'm not sure at what point we became "us" but we did.  We became a couple in every sense of the word.  We loved each other very much.  He told me things he'd never told a soul, & I couldn't imagine it ever being better.

We took professional pictures together, for goodness sakes'.  He bought me a promise ring & when we found out I was getting orders to Washington, he got as close as he could to there with his orders- San Diego.

He left before me.  He would send me these beautiful cards & letters in different colors talking about how much he loved me & how great our lives would be together.

Within probably two months of him leaving I became interested in someone else.  Someone insignificant, doesn't even earn a blog post in this story.  I broke it off with him for someone else, instead of giving love a chance.

He even came to visit me in Washington & I treated him like a friend.  Didn't give him what he wanted, needed, or deserved.

I should have.  For years I wondered about him & wished things had been different.  We were so good together, you see.  If we hadn't have been separated, we probably would have lasted.

About 4 years ago we met up on facebook & I'm happy to see that he's married now with two super cute kids.  He seems to have a good life & I'm really thankful for that.  He told me that I showed him what love really was & that he wasn't bitter over any of it.  I'm happy to hear it, I truly am.  Because I know for every heart I ever broke, I had mine broken in a worse, more painful way.  But isn't every broken heart painful?  Doesn't matter how it's broken.  Just that it is.

I'm thankful for the healer of time & the way things are supposed to play out.  All of these heartbreaks, pain, misery, & nonsense set me up for the life I was supposed to have.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...