Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Magic

First of all, Merry Christmas! The holiday season is upon us and, despite some dramatic and traumatic moments with our family at the dinner table, tis good to slow down for a moment and reflect on another year that has passed us so quickly.

Second of all, y'all have a permission to slap me across my face and call me stupid. Why, you ask? It's really simple. I did something that I might advise others against doing. I knew very well that I might regret my moment of weakness later on, but I followed my heart, and did not listen to my head, regardless.

See, I just can't seem to cut myself off from Mr. J.

Is this how drug addicts feel, when their crack pipe is taken away? I know, I certainly was having mad withdrawals from not talking to the dude, from not being able to tell him about my day, even from all the fighting that we've been doing. I tried not responding to him, I tried telling him that I was done for good. I told him that our relationship was not working, that there were too many fights and arguments to keep this thing going. I really thought I was well on my way to starting a new chapter of my life.

But a few weeks ago, after one of our epic fights, after I deleted him as a friend on Facebook, got rid of his number, blocked his text messages... I started talking to him again.

I know, I know... I have no right to complain if anything goes wrong now, do I? I mean, it's like the presidential election - if we don't vote, we have no right to be pissed off about the president.

It was kind of like that. I said to myself, okay, I am just going to give Mr J another (yet another) shot, and then if things go sour, well, I just won't write about it on my blog. No one will ever hear my complaints.

But of course, I hoped for the best. Mr J said that he was going to come visit me a week before Christmas, and I thought, "I think this will be good. We will renew our romance and all the fighting will go away, at least for a while."

I said yes to him and I booked a lovely hotel downtown for four days, in anticipation of his arrival. That's another thing - everyone I prepare for his visit or every time I am flying/driving to visit him, I feel like a giddy little school girl and my stomach does all sorts of flips and turns. Butterflies all over the place. And... I was just not ready to give up that feeling. I couldn't bare to think that I could no longer allow myself to feel those things for Mr J. Cause I felt them, despite all the fighting and the breaking up. I felt them still.

His stay in Philly, as I predicted, was perfect. We went to restaurants, to my office Christmas party, to see the Christmas tree in Rittenhouse Square, to the Art Museum. We went shopping and he surprised me with the most beautiful necklace from Swarowski. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing and I was completely blown away with how he presented it to me.

I was trying on a jacket at Express and he came up from behind and said, "Do you think this necklace will go with your outfit?"

I didn't understand at first. I saw a necklace he held up again my neck and simply said, "Yeah, it's kind of cute." I was just not in the mood to buy a jacket AND a necklace in one day. It didn't even cross my mind that he bought it for me while I was trying on dresses in the fitting room.

But he said, "It's yours. I thought you'd look so pretty wearing it and I bought it. Do you like it?"

I gasped with excitement and joy, as if he was presenting me with an engagement ring.

"It's beautiful, J! You kiddin' me? I freaking LOVE it!"

Lots of hugs followed. In that moment, I had no shadow of regret for caving in and renewing my relationship with him. I can't tell you with certainty that I will never regret the decision or that I will never cry over him again. But I can say that this has been a magical holiday season thus far, and Mr J made it just so.

Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You May Keep Your Picket Fence, Please

Would I settle for something boring and ordinary? I asked myself this question about my whole existence today, in the midst of doubts and worries about the future. Would I be okay with just settling or am I still searching for my purpose?

Back in August, I landed myself a contract job at a world renowned architecture firm that defies the boring and the ordinary. The principal of the firm was a power house of a human being in the 1960's and defined his own style, a style that proclaimed itself to be the antithesis to Le Corbusier's statement "Less is more." He and his wife changed the world of architecture in many ways, shook up the simplicity of Modernism and shocked many with their less-than-orthodox approach to architecture. Loud. Bold. Larger than life. He was and still is a man of a quiet demeanor, never too fond of his spotlight but, nevertheless, he was and still is an undisputed legend.

I am not comparing myself to the likes of his stature. Right now, I find myself elated just to be working in his presence and be able to say "Hi" to him every day as he infallibly, makes his rounds to greet all of his employees every morning. No, I am no legend, I ain't kidding myself.

But I also can't help but compare my lifetime aspirations to what this man, the legend, has been able to achieve. I only hope to take the route less conventional but the route that makes me exuberantly happy, the way his life path made him.

My Ex of some years ago settled for a boring life. And I am not saying it with any malicious undertones and, well, maybe with just a slight hint of elitism that we all inherit after we leave our former lovers to pursue the greener pastures. But he settled for a boring and ordinary life, a boring and ordinary house, a boring and ordinary profession and, if I may, a boring and ordinary fiance.... I swear I could fall asleep from my lack of interest just writing this paragraph.

It's all fine and good in my book. This boring and ordinary deal. After all, sometimes I strive for some good ol' boring balance in my life, but I fear I would get restless in my boring and ordinary house with some boring and ordinary dude. I don't particularly want to conform to someone's else's definition of the American Dream. Why, that would just be a cop out.

I may be still building my version of a brick house with a white picket fence, but, you better believe it, when it's completed it will be anything but boring and ordinary.