Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Wonder Years

Maybe it's the fact that my supposed good friends from back home have decided to post all these God-awful pictures of me from junior high/high school, maybe it's the fact that I caught someone in a pretty big lie and she tried to blow it off like I was a little girl who didn't quite get it, but I am reliving a lot of my school days over again and again in my brain this weekend.

I was not cool or popular, but I was well-liked. The happy go lucky nerd. And this is a point of contention that I have now, reliving these damn moments in time-- if I was so damn well-liked, how come my life wasn't different, with boys, with life, with everything?

I wrote something on my other blog (back before I ended up in DBL hell, I kept a blog to help me through graduate school) that when I defended my thesis, and was welcomed into another, prestigious club of PhD-dom, that none of that would have happened if my life had been different in high school. If I had been Prom Queen, had the serious relationships, the 'peaking' at 16, then I would have never taken this type of path. I do not regret any of it, rather I have embraced it somewhat, as it is fundamental to who I am now. I don't regret not getting the guy then because I have my Peyton, my love, now. This is not regret I am feeling, but rather a what-if that tickles my brain with a feather.

I have also been looking at my cousin's wedding photos. She is 23 and they are both beautiful and so in love. They had a wonderful Costa Rican honeymoon. I wondered today if they were going to wait a while until they have children. Hoped they wouldn't, but then wondered why I had that thought.

I guess it's because I wonder that if this would have happened to us if we had tried for a family when we first got married (I was 26). Would this have happened? Would I have a 6 or 7 year old now? Would Trisomy have come knocking on our door if I had gotten pregnant in August rather than July of 2007? Would I have a healthy 1 year old child now?

It's something that we all do, this what-ifing. But with DBL, it seems to compound any other issues that I have, past and present.

Bah, humbug.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Filed Under: Utterly Bizarre

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. To be fair, I love it most days. I enjoy catching up with old friends and seeing how 15 years have changed them (most of the time). I appreciate sending a few SOS's out there and getting reassurances that I am not mentally incapable when it comes to raising a child, although I can feel it on a daily basis.

And then there are the surprises that come into my inbox. One of them was this guy.

So, it has been about 17 years since I have seen or heard from him. And, I gotta tell you, when we befriended each other, I had no earthly idea where that would take me. He is 40 now for all you math people out there. Married with 3 kids. And a man of God.

(Try not to snicker.....I know it's hard. I had a hard time trying not to....)

Seriously, aside from his day job, he found the Lord, got a degree in Theology, and is the associate pastor at an undisclosed church. I was sitting there reading that, trying to take that all in, and immediately he wrote on my wall how happy he was to find me.

Then in a 4 day e-mail string we caught up. I laid it on him---the good, the bad, and the ugly. The really ugly. I challenged conventional religious beliefs. And I don't know if I felt the need to question his God (who, incidentally, is MY God), because he was who he was and I had a little bit of history with him, or if I just took an opportunity to blast anyone who happened to be supposedly more enlightened than me.

And this is what he wrote:

It's OK to feel the way you feel. I will never know exactly what you went through, and for me to say anything to resemble an understanding remark would be arrogant, and probably self-serving. The only thing that I would ask of you is to believe that God doesn't mean any harm to you. The best Theological advice I can give people comes from an honest heart that I personally believe that everyone can see through. My answer is that I just don't know. I don't know why God does what He does, or allows what He allows. I just have to trust that He knows what He's doing, because the alternative is to be a victim of my God, or worse, at war with my God. And, for me at least, that's unacceptable. I think that you are dealing with your plight the best way that you know how, and I'm very proud of you. If you haven't already, I'm sure that one day you will wake up and notice that it hurts a little less.

When I was waiting for this response, I seriously thought whatever he replied would piss me off, make me roll my eyes, or make me vomit a little in my mouth, but, surprisingly, it did not. I actually felt his warmth through his words. Felt that he was coming from a place of compassion, not the need to be right, or the arrogant -time-will-lead-you-on-the-path-back-home.

I have moments where I am still grappling with faith and fate. I used to be a big believer that everything happened for a reason---until I could not find a reason when Ronan died. And then out of the blue, some jerk who broke my heart when I was young and naive and didn't know a kiss didn't mean the world, comes back into my life and sits down with me. Holds my hand. Tells me that it sucks but we can make it through it. And the ice melts. Just a little. Very weird. A little bizarre.

And, yes, to be petty, I look WAY better than him after 17 years. Chump.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Debbie Downer

So, I am giving the middle finger to the pit. I am tired of it. Saturated is a better word. Do you know what I mean by that? It's like watching too much of the same tv series all weekend long. Your mind becomes nothing but the story line, the plot twists, the characters, what happens next. Then you walk outside, rub your eyes at the glaring sun and realize how much time had passed.

I don't choose to fall in, but I can work like hell to get out.

So there.

I had a good week last week. My friend Ryan was in town (he was living in Brazil) and we sat down to a meal for the first time in 15 years. That is a funny thing about my childhood friends. Most people I know went to high school with 600 people. I went to kinder-12th grade with the same group of people (*hello small town, Texas), and pretty much maintained some level of civility with the majority of my classmates. Ryan was a football hero. One of the only 2 sophomores to make Varsity. He was still all mouth, bald as a cue ball and still loyal. Fiercely loyal. One of the reasons I love him.

He got married (for the 3rd time!) to a woman from Venezuela. Very kind and very Spanish, kissing me on both cheeks, draped in a wonderful shaw in the 100 degree heat (mostly to hide her post-pregnancy belly). She was warm and comforting. I loved her immediately. Ryan has a son who is almost 3 and a 7 week old son, who was sleeping soundly at the restaurant. He handed the infant to me, and I had mixed emotions. I had prepared a speech about how I was not prepared to hold a baby boy, haven't held one since Ronan, and really had no intention of holding a boy other than Ronan.

But then suddenly I was in it, and the wee child squinted at me, confused about who I was, and he whimpered a little. He was not Ronan. Didn't look anything like Ronan. I reminded myself that there was no crime in holding another, that it did not diminish any memory I held. I was nice and detached.

This past weekend Peyton and I made an impromptu trip to Austin to see old friends. We hung out, ate, watched movies, ate, made funny faces at the girl, ate. All in all, a very enjoyable weekend.

I am still dealing with evil redhead issues at work. My boss took a bad tumble on his bike and is on medical leave recuperating from breaking, essentially, the entire left side of his body (shoulder blade, collar bone, 6 ribs). Thank God he was wearing a helmet or this story could have had a much worse ending. In his absence I have been dealing with, for lack of a better word, ridiculousness. I was asked today for a projected budget for 2012. To which I said "are you freakin' kidding me?!?!?!?" I have 2 projects due in a couple of months, and they want me to look 3 years into the future RIGHT NOW? Gotta love the government.