Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Am I Awake?

I don't have too much to say, because as much as I work to believe in karma, I think I also believe in jinxes, but the truth is that lately I'm feeling hopeful.  And for me, that's a big step.  Sure, most of my friends think I'm an optimist, but deep deep down, I often don't expect things to work out. However, I've been doing an awful lot of reading lately.  I've been reading about religion especially, particularly Buddhism, although I'm not sure I'd consider it a "religion" in the way most westerners define religion.  If I believed in signs I'd cite the following ways in which I'm becoming a bit more "awakened," the goal of all buddhists.
1.  This blog.  Why am I so fascinated with karma?
2.  My age.  Did you know it wasn't until the age of 29 that Siddhartha Gautama became "Buddha" that we recognize today? 
3.  My dreams.  I'm dreaming more of a groups of supportive people in my life rather than the disasters that will come or have affected me over the last few years.
4.  At least a few times a day I'm able to stop and say, "Well, that's what life is like today.  It might be good or bad, but I am certain that this moment is fleeting.  It will change.  Life will not be exactly what I expect to be nor should it.  And for at least this small moment I'm okay with letting go of what I think I should have/want/do with my life."
5.  I realize that tomorrow none of this may be true.  It might be an awful day.  But this too will pass.
6.  Nothing great has happened, and yet I still feel like something great (something great as in large and momentous) is happening!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bad Karma?

Did you ever open your mouth only to find out shortly after that you've sent something terrible into the world.  Seems like even when I mean well, I'm digging myself into a karmic black hole.  My last post was about how much I love living in Pittsburgh and how I'm supposed to be here.  No sooner did I think that thought than karma struck me down.  I know it's bad to put too much information on the internet, so I will stop here and say that if you're a friend and not just a passerby to my blog please send me an email or give me a call, and I'd be glad to fill you in on the latest Mo saga.  I could use a friendly voice or just someone to chat anyway! 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Penguins

Ahhh Pittsburgh. I do love it here. It was the most beautiful day today. I rode horses, and it was the perfect temperature with no bugs and no humidity. Yesterday I went to the hockey game and then out to dinner with my mom after. As we walked out of the restaurant, there was Max Talbot hanging out on the South Side. I love that we sit next to Jeff Reed at Steelers games and laugh at his t-shirts. This week his shirt said: "Not you, the pretty one." What an idiot, and I say that with the most endearing sarcasm I can manage. I sat on the Parkway for three hours today, but I love it here! This is one think I'm thankful for; this city is definitely where I'm meant to be for now. And I better be thankful today because for the next ten days it's rain, clouds, and showers. Yippee!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No One Over 25 Should Wear Flip Flops

Well, that's what my 40-something officemate told me today. Damn. I'm in trouble. I've been coveting my Rainbows and Reefs for the last few weeks. I can't wait to bust out the sandals, flip flops, open-toed shoes, and the like. Am I really too old? Did I live in Florida too long? What happens when I want to wear my "dressy" leather Minnetonka flip flops to class?! On a side note, what do you do when someone says something you don't agree with at all? In fact, it's something that could be insulting to you. Do you smile and nod? I did. I laughed and smiled, indicating that I believe in a flip flop-free world for the middle-aged. And yet, I do not. I'm sorry dear sandals. I guess I'll be the crazy hippy 80-year old rocking the flip flops, and I don't care a bit!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Robins in the front yard. Too warm in my Jeep for a coat. Bands outside on campus today. Spring might be hiding somewhere around the corner. I hope this is exactly the change I need. Isn't it so much easier to have a positive attitude when it smells and feels like something new? Ok, that's what I'm hoping at least.

Over Spring Break I started out great with photography classes, getting a lot of grading done, and visiting my parents and hanging out with their puppy during the days when they were at work. After a few days though, I was over it. I'm just not one for sitting still. I don't like spending an entire day in the house, but what is there to do outside when it's pouring down rain and freezing? I don't have money to spend, and I don't have a lot of people here in Pittsburgh to hang out with. I should mention that I did have a fun outing to the Rivers Casino on Sunday for the champagne brunch with a friend, however! Unfortunately, I did not win enough money on the slots to pay for law school.

So, I was ready for break to be over. Here's the problem. I hate being back to school. Literally, as soon as I set foot on this campus my head begins to throb. I'm not supposed to be a professor, but I'm not qualified to do anything else. I don't have the cutthroat attitude that seems to be a requirement in an academic department. It's strange though, because in other areas of my life I'm very competitive. In high school and even in college I really wanted to be the best, but it's just not worth it here, and I don't even know how to be the best. I keep imagining being at the top of my law school class, but is that just another pipe dream?

I'm finding myself thinking a lot these days of happy times. Having brunch in Florida with my friend and her husband outdoors. Running a fantastic race in Jacksonville and meeting amazing people. Getting poems published. Riding horses competitively. And all of these things make me sad. My friends in Florida no longer speak to me, I can't run because of my leg and knee, I haven't had a bit of luck publishing my book or poems, and my horse isn't really as young as she used to be. I think it's about time to make a list of the things I am thankful for and also to really focus my energy on some positive things. Stay tuned for more inspiration...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Break from What Exactly?

Spring Break officially started today. Well, it started for me on Thursday evening, and I don't go back until the 16th. Sounds nice, right? Not exactly. Mo and I were supposed to be looking at wedding venues this week after we went to his med school interview at WVU. Instead, I'm grading papers and watching Grand Theft Parsons alone. You know what though? It could be worse!

It's hard for me to take a break. I can't really sit still, let alone not have plans for the next nine days. So, my break isn't really from work. I'm going to grade SATs, write book reviews, work for Smarthinking, teach my online class...well, you get the idea. But I'm also going to have some fun too.

Yesterday I bought a snazzy new camera bag for the photography class I signed up for that starts on Monday. It's at CCAC, and I'm really looking forward to taking the class as well as possibly meeting some new people. Today I went to another community education class at CCAC about making fresh mozzarella! Although my stomach hurts from the caprese salad, the mozzarella roulades, and the homemade foccacia bread with olive tapenade, I enjoyed every minute of it.

And there's good news. My radar is not entirely defunct. There was a sincere man near my age at the mozzarella class who was there with his mother. He had served in Iraq and recently returned home to finish a degree in Pittsburgh. He has the kind of face that comes alive when he smiles and he blushes when he talks. I sure wish I could see him again. All I know is his name is Patrick, and that it was enough for today. It was enough to know that there was still a familiar feeling of attraction stirring somewhere deep down for someone/anyone new.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Date Number 2 = The Date that Wasn't a Date

So, I heard from another "match" on Monday evening by phone. He's a doctor from just across the PA border in Ohio. It was a disturbing conversation for me in many ways. Well, the conversation itself wasn't so bad, but my emotions afterward have been a bit turbulent.

The conversation was pretty superficial: sports, family, school, food in Pittsburgh, etc. There was at least one minute of complete silence in which I just sat there and waited for him to talk. Turns out he pretty much hates a lot of things I love: Pittsburgh sports (especially the Steelers), the beach (thinks it's an awful and uncomfortable place), expensive restaurants (that's one of my favorite splurges), etc. I know that you don't have to like all of the same things as your significant other. And I've always thought that I would prefer actually to be with someone who wasn't exactly like me so that I could learn from them, but I just felt....well, annoyed as we talked.

The fact is that Mo and I hit it off from the start. Our first phone conversation was perfect. We didn't want to hang up. Our first date was great, we hung out and made dinner the next day together, and I never felt uncomfortable in any situation for any moment with him. This was a new feeling for me. I've always been incredibly shy and protective of my space. But I opened up with Mo and let him in right away. That's one of the reasons his betrayal is so upsetting. I mean, who did I let in to my life? Certainly it wasn't the person I thought. Is sexuality a major part of your identity? I believe so. And he hid his sexuality from me, right? So, what was I so attracted to? Was it just lust, or was it love at first sight? Did I love him in spite of being a liar or did I love the lie and never really know him?

I don't want to work so hard. I want to fall in love with the hot waiter from Lidia's from across the room, have a magical first kiss, and work through all the tough spots of a relationship without ever questioning, "Am I really attracted to this person?" I always questioned this in my last relationship (which by the way was in all respects an abusive one).

Do I love the wrong people? Am I attracted to the broken and the damaged? The liars? I know that I'm attracted to passion. I fell in love with Dan (the abuser) the night I saw him play the guitar. He truly lost himself in the enjoyment of that performance, and that was the moment I loved him. With Mo, I loved him from the start because he was passionate about me. He never took his eyes off me, and he never stopped telling me how amazing I was (even when he was lying). I miss that, but I'm confused as to what I'm missing. I don't miss Mo. I guess, I miss passion. There must be a balance in some human being out there for me that is passionate but also true and faithful. I feel as though in ever disastrous relationship I've found just a part of the puzzle. One loved me but didn't love himself. One loved everything but me. One loved something else and never me.

Anyway, back to the date that wasn't a date. At the end of the phone conversation, the doctor (I'm trying to avoid names) said something along the lines of, "Maybe we can talk again soon." There was no "Let's hang out some time" or "Let's get together." And I was left feeling like I had another unsuccessful conversation. Can you grow to love someone? I've always heard this is possible? But I just have never done it. Maybe I'm judgmental. But the truth is that I can meet a person and know/feel my attraction to them. This goes for friends and loved ones both male and female. I'm not sure if there's something wrong with me. Should I be more open to people who don't immediately set off my attraction meter? Or is that meter the only thing I can trust? Even when it leads me off to hell, there's always been a lot of pleasure along the way.