Monday, January 16, 2012

Relationship timeline.

(Yeah, the whole new name for every day thing wasn't working out for me. I was naive.)

The other day as I was explaining something about one of my ex boyfriends to Kiki, she said to me "Diana, I can't even keep these straight. You need to make me a timeline or something."

So now hanging in our room, color coded, with pictures and solid/dashed lines according to official/unofficial relationships, is a timeline with no blank spots since March of 2007.

I like to think that these last few months, which are my first months being truly single in a LONG time, have given me some time to clear my head. Well, if they did, this recent little art project of mine has certainly done a good job plunging me back into an ocean of nostalgia. But not in the way I expected.

I've always heard that you never forget your first love. Usually I'd respond with an eye roll, my inner eternal pessimist reminding me that you can forget any love. But realistically, just because all love can end doesn't mean all love can be forgotten. Whether that's more or less discouraging, well I'll leave that for you to decide.

He's a funny person to miss. It was so long ago, and I thought I'd never really care again, not like this. But the thing is - he was my best friend. He knew me best. He treated me best. What we had was the best. It was the type of perfection that'll make a 15 year old bored, so I ended it.

Myspace is a dark scary place these days, so I rarely think to visit it. But when I remembered and AIM conversation that I had saved from him and sent to myself in a myspace message, I had to see it. In the process, I came across plenty off buried treasures.

We said a lot of cheesy things. He was romantic and I ate it up. It was a little ridiculous to look back on, but it also meant a lot to me. Because it reminded me how much I really did care about him. And in return, he loved me more than probably anyone has since. Under the surface that everyone could see, there was just him and me in a world of dreams and poetry and sunshine. Is it so wrong of me to miss that? Maybe it's wrong that I'm only just missing it now.

Last semester, when I woke up early for work, I would get up in the morning when the whole world was still dark and sleeping, and then walk to work in the cold. When my alarm went off, I experienced what I began to call the 4:30 feeling. The awareness that you will be walking the abandoned streets with not a face to reassure you that the whole planet is not completely desolate. Since then, waking up in general has been hard for me. There's just something so lugubrious and regretful about the morning. 

I was talking with a good friend the other day about the saddest songs I know. I wouldn't say that either of these songs are close to the "absolute" side of the spectrum, but certain songs just have the ability to tug on the all the little strings of your heart and melt anything in between. The point is, sadness is still a feeling, and feelings remind us that we're alive. That's what makes tragedy so beautiful to us.

So that's the mood I'm in. Lower than a snake's belly in the gutter, and loving it.

What do YOU think is the saddest love song?

On a side note, the reason we started talking about it was because we were trying to decide on the best love song ever. I've heard "I'll be seeing you," "That's all," and "la Vie en Rose." My personal favorite is a little less standard: "Passenger Seat" by Death Cab. So simple, pure, constant, comfortable. Everything true love should be :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Of a dancer.

I feel like this whole trip, I've been walking through a dream. Everything has been so perfect, so easy, so familiar - it's like as I walk around, I'm seeing the world through a misty haze of happiness. And that would not be more true of any night than last night.

I had already seen Danny and Michael since break started. In fact, they were a few of the first people I saw, and the first people I actually went and spent any amount of time at when I first came home. But we spent the first night catching up - which didn't really make sense to me. When I saw them, It felt like I had never left home. I was standing in the Choir room talking to dear ol' Stouffer, and Michael came up and hugged me, a scene identically to the one that played out every day of school the year before. And I walked out of the Drama club meeting and gave Danny a hug and he still smelled the same - they both did. I was expecting some pivotal moment, this pic reuinion of best friends after having been gone so long. But alas, no such thing. Michael called it "The best disappointment."

Everything feels the same. Of course, a few things seem foreign - the bare walls and empty bookshelves in my room, different soap dispensers, the height of the counters. But other than that, it's like I jumped back into my old life with both feet and made a perfect landing, with no bounce or give or need for recovery. It's almost like my life in Utah was so completely different from my one here that it was a different me that happens to be switched off right now with only my thoughts and memories of here. And I'm worried that when I go back, I'll have to go through all the heartbreak and homesickness all over again. But I hope that the me that adores my roommates and the whole college experience will switch back on when I get there. I do love and miss them.

So what does all of this have to do with Danny and Michael, or anything for that matter?

A few nights ago was the most carefree I've felt in a long time. Somewhere between a lunatic ride to Michael's house and a horrifying movie that we managed to joke our way through, I began to float. And from there, I just glided through the night.

When it came time to leave, I tagged along in helping Michael lock up St. John's. When we passed through the chapel, Michael provided us with some mood music. I pulled Danny up and we started to dance. And we danced.

"I don't know what I'm doing!"
"Neither do I! Who cares? I bet the people who made up dance moves just did whatever felt the most fun."

So that's what we did. And we made up some killer moves.

Then Danny surprised me with his new piano skills (I was genuinely impressed, he's come a long way since I left). While Michael and I danced to a song with no real beat or meter, he looked up with a sort of recognition in his eyes. Like a light bulb. And he said, "That's it."

"I can't tell you."
"Oh come on. You know how I feel about that."
"I'll tell you someday."
"I don't know."
"Good. Never tell me, then we'll stay friends forever."

And I remembered the moment that I discovered my secret.

Ever since I first heard the song, I always wondered what the secret was. I thought I had it figured out, and I kind of did. But later, something happened and I had one of those crashing realizations where everything just came together, and I knew my purpose. I wanted to shout it to everybody, but I kept it. And now I have something left to give.

All of this I contemplated as I pretended to be a ballerina under hanging lights that I imagined were floating lanterns. I doubt I'll ever again do any serious thinking anywhere else.

We finished up at the church and stopped at Danny's house. So many memories live there. Michael and I reviewed and mused over them a little, and I had a shaking awareness of a forgotten feeling - I wasn't nostalgic. This wasn't the same regretful melancholy yearning I usually feel when I get sentimental about the past. No, this was light. This was peaceful. It was easy. It was...


For the first time in so long. Happy. Not just on the surface, but with no turmoil underneath. Nothing festering, no longing, no shame, no remorse. Just happy.

I got to reminisce last night with a friend that's always held a very special place in my heart. We've always had a unique relationship, and we've been through a lot together. It's amazing the things he remembers, and I'm grateful he does. He makes up for the things I've blocked out. And man, do we have a great story to tell.

Facebook's new timeline feature has only fueled my sappy habit of looking back. And it came at the perfect time. If I called certain memories back up before I was ready, it would have broken me. But last night as I looked years back over my timeline, I could only smile. There's something so liberating at looking back at the things you never thought you'd get through. But they're over, and I gotten through. I've never felt so strong. 

I can finally look at the people in my past and present with no envy, and no fear.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to dance, forever.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Of a girl finally freed.

Okay folks. Buckle up because this one's a doosy.

Naturally I have tons to say, because I finally got to come home. This first trip home for the holidays is typically a time of reflection, when you decide what it is that you've learned and how you've grown as a person, yadda yadda. Well, the life lessons started on the flight home.

It was a great time to fly. The inversion had started, so when we took off, it was like fighting through a misty haze until finally, the sun shone through and there was nothing but blue skies all around and a fluffy blanket of white below you to cut you off from the world and help you forget that anything but the sky existed for a little while. And with that view, I got to watch the sunset. It was magical. As the sun was setting, The blanket pulled away a little, and I could see everything below. I thought to myself, "Down there somewhere, there's a girl dreaming of flying."

Then there was a shudder. The whole plane began to shake.The lights went low and the seat belt alerts flashed on. The voice of the flight attendant come on the speaker, but I couldn't actually make out what was being said over all the sound of babies crying and the frantic babble of all the other passengers. I wanted to panic, but a video that we had watched in church came immediately to mind.

"I should be at peace. Am I ready to meet my maker? Is my mission complete?"

Flashback a few years. Diana is riding in the car with a friend. They joke about some idiot who had almost hit them recklessly. Diana say's, "Oh well. If we die then we die. I'm ready to go whenever."

Friend responds, "Really? There's nothing else you want to do with your life? You feel like you've already made all the difference you can?"

His words didn't hit me like they should have. They didn't mean much until this moment, in turbulence on my long- awaited trip home. Nothing like a "near death" experience to make your life flash before your eyes. Or, for that matter, the lack thereof that makes you want to live one. But what's my mission? What's my purpose?

Ironically enough, I'd had a feeling for weeks before like something terrible was going to happen. Hit by a car, die in my sleep - I couldn't be sure. But it DID scare me, because I didn't feel ready to go. So I told Kiki and Linda about it, hoping that the irony of something bad actually happening would be far too great for anything to actually HAPPEN. It may be stupid, but that promise of "it would be too great a coincidence" is what ended up comforting me while I was panicking. Obviously everything ended up sorting out and we landed safely at O'hare. But I got home with a new perspective on my life, and the things I needed to change about it.

Why wasn't I ready?

A few months ago, I would have been, absolutely. I went through something hard in October, like I do every year. Except this time, for the first time, I was actually alone when I felt alone. I mean sure, I had great friends around that did so much for me, but for the first time, the family that I'd always taken for granted wasn't there. The loyal best friends that tend to fade to the background when not needed, were now nowhere to be found. I was thousands of miles from home. So I made good habits into hobbies. I took up journal keeping, became more consistent in scripture study and prayer. I know this all sounds geeky and a little self righteous. But I'm not trying to talk myself up - it was short lived, believe me.

One day, I was talking to a friend from home. Since I had been in a relationship that I put all of my time and basically everything else into, I wasn't exactly keeping up with hometown news. As a result, there was quite a bit of news that came as a shock to me. I was hurt, to say the least. It was something I felt I should have expected, yet I still felt wronged not only that it was happening, but that no one had even bothered to tell me about it. Of course they hadn't. They knew I would be upset. But at the same time, I felt like a certain person was making this happen just to upset me. I thought this had been a motive all along.

Maybe it's stupid to blog about this, but I'm going to tell this story as a final vent, to prove (mostly to myself) that I'm finally getting over this.

Once upon a time, there were two friends. Basically best friends. They were very similar, in their personality, in their beliefs, in their desires. Probably more alike than they ever wanted to think. Well, this caused these friends some problems, because they always seemed to want the same things. But they weren't the kinds of things that could be shared. Diana was always jealous of her friend. She seemed to be better at everything. She was widely admired for her musical abilities and charm. She was beautiful and talented, and it got her into prestigious groups and circles of friends. Then one day, after one of her sucky October episodes, Diana met a boy, who she thought would change things. She fell in love with him. But it's important to know that Diana's friend already knew that boy, and already had feelings for him. Diana likes to forget that part of the story, justifying it with the fact that her friend was in a relationship with someone else at the time. Anyway, to cut out the details, the boy picked the other friend in the end. And after the October incident that had originally made Diana feel worthless, this new wound broke her. And she held on to it for way too long. She and her friend "sorted things out," but they never really sorted things out, because every time the friend did something Diana did, or wanted something Diana wanted, Diana thought that she wanted it just to hurt her. And there were so many small, simple, petty things. There were a couple things Diana should have realized:

1. They had always wanted the same things. This fact that was now making Diana hate her friend is the thing that most friendships feed off of. She wanted to deny them, but should have embraced their common interests and similarities.

2. This friend seemed to be trying to steal Diana's life. But perhaps this friend wasn't trying to spite Diana. Perhaps she too had been harboring hard feelings all this time. And maybe she just thought that she actually deserved all those things that belonged to Diana, because the friend was the better person. And maybe she was right.

Anyway, these friends talked things out over and over again. And they put up a guise of friendship for a while, but they both knew that they had certain feelings hidden under the surface that would prevent a genuine friendship from ever really happening. So Diana went away to college. And she thought she would finally be free from this friend. But hate isn't something one escapes from. Hate has to be killed.

When I found out the news from home, all of the progress I made was completely shot. That's why I'm not ready to go.

I've often heard that the most important commandment is the one that you're having the most trouble with in your life at this moment. Well, if that's true, then love and forgiveness are the most important commandments in the world.

I've tried. I really have, for so long. I never wanted to call it hate, until I realized how unshakable it was - it was eating at me, and no matter what I tried to do, when I saw her I felt terrible. And it wouldn't let me be free.

I don't know when exactly it happened or what it was that made me finally let go of it. I think it might have been a stronger love for a close friend of mine who would have ended up in a compromising position. I couldn't do that to him. So I started praying for the ability to finally leave behind all my hostility. As I did, little things came to my attention. For example, the two key realizations I included in the story above. But also the realization that she also feels wronged by me.

"I'm just gonna let it go. She's not in a happy place in her life right now, she needs it."
"That's funny, because that's exactly what she said about you. I'm like, how would you know? When do you talk to her?"

But then again how would I know that she's unhappy?

It's because I am.

We have always been so alike. I can look at her life and see where she's at and look in her eyes and see that she wants something more. And she can do the same with me. I can put myself in her shoes and ask myself, "Would I be happy here?" And she can do the same with me. I can't believe I'm saying this, but maybe she knows me better than anyone. I don't know what it is that I even need. But maybe, neither does she.

So timeline is an interesting contraption. As I was wading through ancient facebook posts, I came across a note I was tagged in. All about friendships, and apologies. I realized, she had tried so hard to apologize to me. But I was so caught up looking at my life through hate-colored glasses that I completely missed it. So here's my response, over three years later.

I know it's late, and that you may never see this, but maybe it's better that way. We've talked about everything. I've used all the words I know to try and sort things out. But maybe what we need is to just not say anything. Because this time, I mean it. All my words are jaded by now, to the point where they don't mean much of anything. The silence of simply letting go might be the most I can do.

Maybe this is what I needed.

I want to share my all-time favorite Christmas song with everybody. I've always been able to identify with this song so much, but especially this year, with coming home and with my trials and triumphs.

Merry Christmas everyone. And let's remember the important stuff.

I love you all. Yup. Every single one of ya :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Of a Dreamer.

A few weeks ago, I called my mom. Not a big deal right? Only it is. Because my mom has a million kids, so we never talk. Anyway, it wasn't the brightest time of my life, but I didn't let it show. My mom just knows things. She's the most intuitive person I've ever known. Even fiction has yeet to create a charachter with as much wisdom and perception as my mother. So the next day, I got a message from her saying she was sorry she couldn't talk longer, and asking whether everything was okay.

" I mean REALLY okay? I love you, my beautiful dreamer!"

I never responded. But it got me to thinking - how did she know I was a dreamer? Like I said, I don't talk to my mom much. I've never really opened up to her about my deepest hopes and fears. Why does she consider me a dreamer?

Not too long after that, I woke up one morning with a text from an old friend. He told me that the movie Midnight in Paris reminded him of me. After confirming that I didn't reminded him of "some douchey chick" (cough - thanks Alex) he told me that he related me instead to another girl.

"She reminded me of the Diana that loves Paris and dreaming."

Later I was talking to him him about how Home's kind of in transit right now. He smiled at me, and said "That's the Diana I've always known." So is my tendency to introvert and over-analyze everything what makes me a dreamer?

It's true, I tend to get lots of ideas in my head and I can get pretty discouraged when I come back to reality. The other night I was talking to my friend Sarai about how I want to travel and live a penniless existence and learn all the languages I possibly can, etc etc etc. Yesterday I did some more dreaming about becoming a pilot and a music box maker. And then I realized... I don't know how to even going about doing any of these things. I doubt they're even possible for me. Turns out, I tend to be quite the realist as well. How can that be?

Well today I came across a quote. I don't know who said it (that's right - I finally found a source less credible than Wikipedia. Namely facebook) but it goes something like this:

"See, the dreamers need the realists to keep the dreamers from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists? Well without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground."

I like this quote, because either way I end up in the sky :)

So that's me - a realist with an open mind, a dreamer that's often disappointed. A free spirit, or as my sister interprets that, a Bird. But that's a post for another day.

The reason I'm thinking about all this is because I had two very distinct dreams last night. And I never remember my dreams. In fact, I always thought that that was why I daydreamed so much - to make for the dreams I could never hold on to from the nighttime. But one of these really impacted me.

I have a friend who left recently. And even before he moved away, he might as well have been gone. He wasn't in my life at least.

In my dream, I was by myself at a dance. Everyone around me was dancing with someone. And I just looked around, all alone. Then suddenly someone grabbed my hands. I turned around and it was him. 

"I missed you."

He smiled, a wordless apology. And we waltzed away.

Certain things weren't right about it. His collar was messed up, and he was all fuzzy around the edges but that's the way things are with dreams. The small glitches are the price we pay to see wild and wonderful things come to life. Maybe that's why our daydreams can never be - everything in the world is to real. Funny little breaks in reality like purple clouds or lapses in time might just be necessary to solidify the impossible.

My realities are backwards. In real life I hope for the impossible while in sleep I try to escape the truth.

I have this defense mechanism that works with memory dreams. When I'm trying to suppress bad experiences (usually after a relationship-gone-rotten) I have dreams about that person. But they're not dreams made up by my subconscious - they're me, reliving moments I've shared with that person. Then after I've dreamt the memory, it fades. All I have left are traces of it. Just enough so that I can recall it, but so that I have no attachment to it. It's like reciting facts from a history book. It's effective, but it hurts at first. For a long time, I can't sleep. The dreams haunt me. But then the dazed apathy sets in, and things are less painful. They're forgotten.

It's nice to be numb, but I want to live. I don't know if I even know how to cope with pain, because it never really gets better - it just dies. The wound is technically still there. But then again I guess that's the thing about scars...

"They're always there. That doesn't mean they're not healed."

Today was a memory -flashback kind of day. Someone I thought I had finally blotted out resurfaced. I passed by certain places with certain special moments tied to them, and felt certain things. And it was okay. Maybe I'm finally okay. Hm.

Well, sweet dreams everybody. And may they all be realized.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Of a builder.

This morning was our service project for American Heritage. We got to go help build houses. In the cold. And snow.

Here's the thing - a service project really is what I've needed lately. I've been feeling strange/down and it was nice to be able to forget myself and help other people, even in the sucky conditions. So although part of me wants to rant about coming home soaked and freezing after hauling bags of concrete for 4 hours. But that would probably defeat the purpose of service in the first place.

Altogether, it WAS a pretty great experience. I've never done anything to legit. Those were real houses, where real people were going to live. We raised walls and lugged concrete and shoveled snow out of future bedrooms and living rooms. I saw people's homes come together right before my eyes. It was freaking rad.

Perhaps the excursions of this morning are what inspired my success at the gingerbread house-making party that I went to later. In all fairness, most of the vision belonged to Alex, I just played the larger part in making it all come alive.

That was the best alternate-perspective one we got. Sorry Alex ;)

Beautiful right? Aside from a 3 hour nap, making this might have been the best part of my day. In addition, it's probably the coolest thing I've made since I built the Taj Mahal out of Play-doh.

Maybe tomorrow I'll make a fort :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Of a homemaker.

Today we have cleaning checks.

You know, that one day of the month when we're actually held accountable for keeping things in tip-top shape. I took advantage of this, and really tried to thoroughly organize everything. It's just a room, but it's also kind of my house - I live here, and so does everything I own. It's a special place. Me and Linda even decorated for Christmas.

That's our door. Welcome to our humble abode :)


Our tree and stockings :)

Linda's PRECIOUS Nativity Scene

A better view of our window, the lights and snowflakes :D

So is it any wonder that our room is widely considered the most homey? It's just extra special because this is my place. I'm responsible for it. As I tend to it, it becomes my home.

This isn't the first time cleaning checks have been helpful. Just a couple weeks into the semester, I lost my keys. I didn't have them for days, and this was before we left our door unlocked, so this was a problem. Well cleaning checks came around, cleaning happen, and lo and behold. I found my keys. Similarly, today I found my phone charger. IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

I just got back from an awesome night with my sister and a good friend. He got a kick out of how everything he teases me for is amplified in her. I liked it because suddenly I looked less ridiculous. And then we went on a date-ish to Wendy's (classy, right?) and just hung out and were killed in Foosball and took Harry Potter Quizzes and had all sorts of adventures. He's a great guy, the kind you can count on to be around despite the fact that you're nothing special. And sometimes, this type of person will say something out of the blue and you realize that they really do think you're beautiful. Just because.

It's the best feeling in the world to be loved, and not feel like you have to be constantly working for it. Even when it's fleeting, it's a wonderful thing. Thanks :)

Well goodnight everyone. I realize all my thoughts are kind of scattered, but bear with me. I'm exhausted. I've been making a home all day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Of a Yeti.

There are certain privileges in today's society specifically reserved for males. Along these are the ability to tell dirty jokes, play video games, and altogether disregard personal hygiene - all with no shame. In an effort to spite the sexist rules of the public, I chose to participate in a tradition that men relish in every year : No-shave November. Or here at BYU, "Movember," so named for the mustaches that everyone grows due to the Honor Code's restriction on facial hair.

Oh yeah. That's for real.

Wikipedia defines a Yeti as an ape- like cryptid... Yeah, enough said. Living without a phone for the last two weeks plus not shaving all month have added up to make me the ultimate amazon woman. For all of you guys that are thinking about how unattractive that must be, I've got news for you: I hate your stupid mustaches.

On a completely unrelated note, I finally saw Better Off Dead today for the first time, and I absolutely loved it. Right now I'm sitting in the middle of Life is Beautiful, dying to finish it, because I adore it so far. If someone greeted me with "Bongiorno Principessa!" every time they saw me, and stood outside my window with a boombox just once (wrong John Cusack movie, I know, but I'm kind of in love with Lloyd Dobler) I would be his forever.

Just a fun fact: much of this post was brought to you from my psych class. After finding out I could get the lecture powerpoint online on my laptop (the perks just keep on coming!) I felt justified in doing nothing but drawing on Alex's ipad. Also, we were early to class today, so I scored a lefty desk.

It's a great day to be a Yeti guys :)