indulge (verb):

  1. to give free rein to
  2. to take unrestrained pleasure in
  3. to yield to the desire of

When I just need to “get away” for a few days, especially when my life feels chaotic, I find myself in New York.

The script is always the same. I arrive in Manhattan, get in a cab and think, “I love New York. I love the energy of the city. DC is so mundane and ‘blah.’

Next is the path of indulgence: dining at expensive restaurants, consuming alcohol at every meal, shopping that goes hand-in-hand with the act of walking, working out in some high intensity or “nouveau” fashion, getting pampered at the salon/spa, dancing, partaking in various forms of art…anything my heart desires. And by day 3, I’m ready to leave.

New York is so sumptuous. So rich. So consuming. Like sex – especially “casual” sex. The first bite always feels like a little slice of heaven. But by day 3, I’m always ready to go home to the “stillness” of DC. Manhattan, like sex, is a distraction – and when I visit, I want to be distracted. But indulging in both the city and casual sex is not fulfilling. In fact, the path to fulfillment is not moving toward the things I’m most attracted to, but embracing those things which are difficult.

right (adj):

  1. righteous, upright
  2. being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper
  3. conforming to facts or truth
  4. correct
  5. suitable appropriate

Sometimes I hate doing the “right” thing. Sometimes it’s fun to do the not-right thing. In kindergarten, my parents were brought in for an “emergency conference” to address my disciplinary issues. At some point during the day I had decided I wanted ice cream and there was a Baskin Robbins within walking distance of the school. Our teacher had left the room, so I got up and began my journey. Some of the other children asked me where I was going and I told them, so the entire class followed me. Apparently we got cut off in the hallway outside the main office. I don’t remember this. Afterward, my parents explained to me why this was “wrong” but I wasn’t chastised because – hey, it wasn’t my fault the other kids followed me and who doesn’t like ice cream after lunch on a warm afternoon?

The right thing for me to do now is stop my charade with the Scorpio. But it’s so fun:(  He plays the game so well.  He is a mastermind. And powerful. I love the allure of power. And I love to be the favorite.  What Scorpio wants, Scorpio gets and he wants me. Isn’t it nice to be wanted?

How does one discern boundaries without walking up to them? But isn’t that a very reactionary statement? Didn’t I vow to stop creating chaos in my life with this behavior? Doesn’t becoming more enlightened mean not learning via mistakes but recognizing the consequences beforehand?

rest:

  1. a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
  2. freedom from activity or labor
  3. peace of mind or spirit

For a year – from the moment I lost trust in Dexter to the moment I moved out – sleep had been my foe. It evaded me with the spasticity of a flying rapid bat. When I decided to move out for a month, I did so with the resolve of exhaustion. I was exhausted – from the first several months of crying on the couch in the darkest hours of the morning…to the hours I spent compulsively searching the internet for insight on strip clubs and what “really happens in the VIP room,” along with educating myself on the semantics of prenuptial agreements, as well as looking at every major jeweler’s website for an engagement ring that might trigger an ounce of enthusiasm for getting married…to the final months of insomnia I experienced from my guilt-ridden conscious.

When I woke that first morning in my temporary home, I felt rested. I had slept the best I’d slept in ages. It was a soul-seeping sleep. And that’s the thing about me and sleep. It’s a barometer for how I’m doing. When something is bothering me, or I don’t address an issue, it eats my alive. It depletes me – by depriving me of sleep.

But as soon as I started listening to that voice telling me things weren’t right, instead of denying it, I started sleeping like a champ. How I felt during my waking hours was a different story.

That first morning, I felt – icky. There’s no other word to describe it.

“What is this icky feeling? Change?

Am I afraid of being alone? Am I convinced that my life will be worse? Or can I not imagine a better life because I haven’t changed, and I can only imagine a life based on the past?

How do I disassociate a nice home, a “nice” life – with Dexter?

What do I miss? Home? Or Dexter? Or just having someone?”

The following night, again I slept like a champ. And the following morning, I felt – worse. It just sucked. Life sucked. And I probably would have cried but I felt so sucky that I didn’t have the energy for it.

The weirdest thing is in my relationship, I was the sleeping queen – HSH (her sleeping highness). And Dexter, who had the personality of a Wall Street banker – the type who would go to Vegas, drink and gamble non-stop, get an hour’s worth of sleep, take the red-eye home and show up at work that morning before 8A.M., actually slept with me. His friends all joked about it. The man who never slept, who never took naps, would sleep in on Sundays, make love all day and nap with me.

I don’t even recognize that girl. The girl who slept. In college I went 5 days straight without sleeping. But in my two most significant relationships, I slept.

Maybe it’s the only time I can be at rest. I don’t have to prove myself.

Some posts I hate writing – the ones that I have to peel back the layers and get to my deep-ceded insecurities, doubts and fears.

On September 2nd, I moved out. Into a single room in a house not far from my place with Dexter. It was a bare room, with a bed, dresser, closet and small bathroom with a shower. It was austere – nothing like was I was used to. The walls were dolefully plain, the bed was lumpy, the bathroom was lacking in so many ways, and it was exactly what I needed. No distractions. Just me and my thoughts.

“I hope I learn something from this. It just feels strange and lonely. But I control the loneliness. And I won’t allow it to be a negative.

The question is…do I want to spend the rest of my life with Dexter? I need to use this time wisely…

Starvation feel good. Feels like control. It’s addictive. Like alcohol. Or Sex. I want to starve myself until I can’t feel anything.

My first night, in my new digs, and I’m proud of myself. It’s not easy. But it’s not unbearable. It feels like a journey. I hope at the end of the month I’ll have gained the clarity and perspective I’m looking for.

There was something when I met Dexter that drew me to him and that’s why I pursued like I did. In spite of his obnoxious, drunk, and cocky behavior. And his less than perfect body, with no hair on the top of his head and wrinkles that reveal a not so easy life. He’s got this amazing heart. I just feel like his heart isn’t in me.

I want him to care enough to fight for me. Maybe that’s my answer. Why do I always feel like he just tolerates me? Read the signs. He’s been giving them to you.

My first broken-heart?”

timeless (adj): without beginning or end; everlasting; referring to or not affected by any particular time (enduring, lasting, abiding, permanent)

As I get older, the more I invest in that which is timeless. I focus on the fundamentals and gravitate to the classics. This includes music (that performed by an orchestra), clothing (a great fitting pair of jeans or the go-to little black dress), literature (anything written by Wharton, Whitman, Plato, Socrates and Aristotle), food (a perfectly pink filet or simple creme brulee), and movies.

Recently I watched “The Graduate” – set in the 1960s. The movie is pretty hilarious…and sobering…and titillating. I laughed out loud just as many times as I paused to empathize with the characters. At the beginning, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, who is a total deadpan stitch, is contemplating his future at his college graduation party:

Benjamin: I’m just…
Mr. Braddock: Worried?
Benjamin: Well…
Mr. Braddock: About what?
Benjamin: I guess about my future.
Mr. Braddock: What about it?
Benjamin: I don’t know… I want it to be…
Mr. Braddock: To be what?
Benjamin: [looks at his father] … Different.

What I think he fears is not being happy. Happiness is one of those nebulous concepts that is difficult to define. But then there is a scene, later in the film, that solidifies for me what happiness is about. Ben, while in bed with Mrs. Robinson, asks her what her major was in college and she wistfully responds ‘art.’ The iconic Mrs. Robinson seduces a 21-year old boy because she strayed from her passions – those things that invigorated and fueled her – and looked to a boy to fulfill them.

A material, superficial life lacks the basics – the classics. For me, these include:

  • constant learning
  • family
  • physical movement
  • art and the personal interpretation of life as beauty
  • hard work
  • relationships – trumping skills, experience and knowledge in any situation
  • finding humor in mundane or challenging tasks or experiences
  • sleep
  • being proactive, versus reactive
  • love, in the form of giving and helping others

When I deviate from these, I am not happy.

PS – I will always heart Jake Ryan. He is timeless. So is his red Porsche 944.

Jake Ryan t-shirt

innocence: the state, quality, or virtue of being innocent, as:

  1. Freedom from sin, moral wrong, or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil.
  2. Guiltlessness of a specific legal crime or offense.
  3. Freedom from guile, cunning, or deceit; simplicity or artlessness.
  4. Lack of worldliness or sophistication; naiveté.
  5. Lack of knowledge or understanding; ignorance.

Innocence is the ignorance of human nature. Fighting human nature is exhausting. I am exhausted. My nature is to desire the forbidden – that which is not given to me, that which I do not have, that which tempts my greedy self that craves power and knowledge and pleasures of the body – the player, the coach, the grasshopper, the married man, the boss, the president. Perhaps I have finally been stripped of my innocence, I’ve seen too much, that I am willing to eschew my morals and ethics to surrender to guaranteed calamity. Maybe. Or maybe the greatest growth comes from the greatest challenges. I must resist the Scorpio.

Gemini and Scorpio…

Gemini is of all twelve signs in the zodiac, the hardest sign for Scorpio to understand. Scorpio loves a challenge though, and Gemini is very sexy to Scorpio. Ruled by Mercury, Gemini has beauty, brains and tons of sex appeal. Scorpio is a highly intuitive water sign. With Gemini though, just when Scorpio thinks they have uncovered Gemini’s last secret, her or she will uncover another surprise. Secrets withheld will drive Scorpio to a boiling point. There is potential here as long as both share a love of drama, sporadic separations and dramatic reunions. To make this one work, Scorpio should provide Gemini lots of freedom and Gemini should speak from the heart to Scorpio. Sex can be horrible or amazing. This union is best for a one-night stand. Both signs will need to make many adjustments and compromises if a long-term relationship is desired. A one-night stand could, however, lead to resentment or deception or disaster.

temptation (n):

1. something that seduces or has the quality to seduce enticement
2. the desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid; desire – the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state
3. the act of influencing by exciting hope or desire

Me: okay, no more distracting me. i’ve got the world to save
Temptation: I thought that’s what this conversation was about.
Me: then who is going to save me from the world?
Temptation: I hope no one, or me, whichever you prefer…

I believe certain people must walk to the edge. It is in their nature. Van Gogh was an edgeridger. He wrote the below letter on October 8, 1889, from an asylum, after the infamous incident when he chopped off part of his left ear in Saint-Remy-de-Provence:

Dear God, this is a pretty awful little part of the world, everything’s hard to do here, to disentangle its intimate character, and so that it’s not something vaguely true, but the true soil of Provence. So to achieve that, you have to toil hard. And so it naturally becomes a little abstract. Because it will be a question of giving strength and brilliance to the sun and the blue sky, and to the scorched and often so melancholy fields their delicate scent of thyme.

Van Gogh painted Starry Night in 1889.Don’t you have to be a little crazy to walk to the edge? Is this where life’s great beauty hides?