I don’t want to call myself pathetic, but…

I was filling out a journal prompt today which asked, if someone really wanted to understand you, what would they watch, read, and listen to? The “watch” part started me off, and it was pretty easy – obviously The West Wing! What other show so perfectly encompasses my ego, my belief in something greater than myself, my hopeless romanticism (Donna, CJ, Josh, Toby…)? Then I immediately thought of Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday. Okay, she’s a bit of a pushover at the beginning, but by the end, she finds her gumption. At one point she talks about feeling like the sidekick in her own life, rather than the leading lady. I *might* feel like that every now and then. Or more often. Then Norah from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist came up. Yep, definitely resonate with her. Oh wait… isn’t she a bit of a pushover, always going back to the callow ex, finding her happiness only when she gets a boyfriend? I’m sensing a bit of a pattern here.

A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned out all of my journals, wanting to start fresh. As I was skimming through them, checking to see if there was anything I needed to keep, I was absolutely struck dumb by how many times I had written about wanting a relationship, or feeling out of touch with whomever I was dating at the time, or wondering why a relationship had not worked out. Easily 70% of my entries had to do with my love life, or lack of one. And you know what? It pissed me off!! I mean, really f’ing pissed me off! I am successful, financially secure, funny, cute, smart as hell, valued at my job, beloved by my friends and family. Why was I wasting so much time and energy on my love life? As I read through and got angrier with myself, I kept thinking, “What could I have done with all of this wasted time? If I hadn’t been wondering what was wrong with me when my relationships failed, I could have started a business, taught myself to play guitar, learned to make macaroons. This is BS!”

Sure, of course I appreciate the fact that I have learned from my past mistakes and am a better person for the soul-searching that I have done. However, there was WAY too much whining going on there. Because let’s not pretend that I only poured my heart out to my journal. Oh no, I cried to my friends and my mom and my sister. I sought out tarot readings to find my flaws. I worked out and starved myself to appear prettier, and therefore more valuable, to the opposite sex. And I gotta tell you, I’m more than a little disgusted with myself. Instead of celebrating the massive amounts of love that I do have, I cried about guys who I rarely think twice about. Instead of utilizing that time to better myself overall, I punished myself for things which were not my fault.

So yeah, after going through the journals, I felt more than a little pathetic. And I decided that I didn’t like that feeling. I decided that I would rather focus on my mental well-being. I would rather focus on my friendships. I would rather focus on achieving goals.

And so, I will be revisiting that initial journal prompt. Because I want to associate myself with strong women who are saving themselves, who are acting as good friends and good citizens of the world. Not the women who are only happily ever after once they get a boyfriend.

– Finch

Reruns of shows and love

I’ve been rewatching the first three seasons of Vikings (great show, go watch it now). As with most second (or third or fourth) viewings, I’ve noticed things this time around that I missed the first time. With some of the clues I’ve caught, I really had to know what happened later to see how it paid off. With others, I just missed some pretty obvious foreshadowing.

I realized that it works the same way when you revisit old relationships. As you know, I went back and dated Jay THREE more times after we initially broke up in the fall of 2013 (what can I say, I’m a masochist). Each time that we got together afterwards, I would find myself discovering new things about him, but I would also find myself being forced to acknowledge things that I had glossed over previously. Just like with the show, some of the things I figured out I could’ve only realized because I had already seen our ending once (or twice, etc); other things, I couldn’t believe how much I had been deceiving myself to not have seen it before.

I’ve written in the past about euphoric recall, that phase we find ourselves in when we can only remember the good things about a relationship (or job, living situation, what have you), and we wish that we could reclaim what is, in reality, only a fantasy. Then, if we do get that relationship back, we are struck with how it does not mesh at all with what we remembered. In a way, I feel this rewtaching/reliving is similar – we only remember certain aspects of things, and when we have to go through them again, we find ourselves confronted with ideas or thoughts that we blinded ourselves to before.

I write all this to say, some things are worth rewatching. Watch The West Wing until you can recite every line. Listen to Frank Sinatra until you know every beat. Make your favorite dish until it feels as regular as scrambled eggs. But maybe leave relationships in the past. We never remember them clearly anyway, we will never be able to recapture whatever it was that we loved then, and that’s okay. It ended because it was time to end.

– Finch

Dream Journaling: West Wing, Wrestling, Speech Writing and Dancing

I seriously cannot write this post without laughing hysterically, so to the patrons of Austin Public Library, I do apologize for looking like a crazy person. Not that you haven’t seen your fair share of that anyway!

So I had this dream the other night that Jed Bartlet and John Boehner were going to go through with a wrestling match, and the winner’s budget would be automatically passed. This was to bypass the political logjam that Congress and the President had made. Never mind that in real life, the President is Barack Obama – no, in my subconscious mind, the perfect defender of Democratic ideals is, and will always be, Jed Bartlt.

As the contenders where walking to the ring (wearing silk robes and all), I saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree nearby, so I knew that the President would win. I then made my way over to where Tobey Ziegler was writing the a press release that CJ Cregg would release to the press before the fight began. As I was making my way over there, I started coming up with some perfect lines.

“As the economic situation in our country has become ever more precarious, and as the political infighting has made any progress impossible, our parties’ leaders have found a way to take the frustration and anger that the American people are feeling and put it to good use. This bout will determine our economic and political future, and will do so in a way that is free from haggling, secrecy or underhanded tactics.”

First of all, I wrote that in a freaking dream! As in to say, I was speech writing IN MY DREAMS!!! Second of all, it has clearly been to long since I saw a wrestling match, because a lack of underhanded tactics? Yeah right! Finally, I say again – I was speech writing in my sleep!

I passed on the new language to Tobey, who immediately loved it, placed it into the release, and handed the finished product to me to take to CJ. After I had deposited it into her hands, I walked back to watch the match, which is where Tobey found me again. He began to serenade me (“tea for two/ and two for tea/ me for you/ and you for me), and after the first few lines, we began to dance. I could feel his scratchy beard on my face, he was wearing his lovely trench coat. But I felt sad, because I was really in love with Joshua Lyman, and he wasn’t that into me.

I am sure that this dream has no deeper meaning than that I have a sick obsession with West Wing. But, seriously, I was WRITING IN MY SLEEP!!! How cool is that? Tobey has written in his sleep too. Maybe that’s why my subconscious thinks that we would be a better match than Joshua and I.

– Finch