unseen, unsaught, uncertain

(originally published July, 2008)

I know I am not alone in this nagging sense of failing to measure up, a feeling of not being good enough as a woman. Every woman I’ve ever met feels it – something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at WHO SHE IS. I am not enough, and, I am too much, at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But instead, we are too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, and too opinionated. The result is SHAME – the universal companion of women. It haunts us, feeding on our deepest fear that we will end up abandoned and alone.

After all, if we were “better” women – whatever that means – life wouldn’t be so hard. Right? We wouldn’t have so many struggles; there would be less sorrow in our hearts. Why is it so hard to create meaningful friendships and sustain them? Why do our days seem so unimportant, filled not with romance and adventure, but with duties and demands? We feel unseen, even by those who are closest to us. We feel unsought, that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us. And we feel uncertain, uncertain what it even means to be a woman; uncertain what it truly means to be feminine; uncertain if we are or ever will be.

Aware of our deep failings, we pour contempt on our own hearts for wanting more. We long to be the Beauty of some great story…

from John Eldredge’s “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

on love and bullshit.

Originally written 051209.  Reposted by request for a friend of mine.  Thank you for continuing to support my movement. 

in an earlier post i said that sometimes, love just isnt enough to keep two people together. and today i got to thinking about WHY.

sometimes the bullshit gets in the way.

have u ever noticed how people act differently given different situations? granted, i know u dont act the same in front of your mom at home as you do with ur girls on any given night out or even with your significant other on a date. but the essence of you.. the core of you should stay the same right?

so why is it that everything you love about someone seems to get thrown out the window as soon as shit hits the fan? the same person who said she would always be there for you is all of a sudden no where near you and runnin her mouth puttin ur bizness on blast. the same person who promised that he aint the kinda guy to fuck around is at the club tryna holla at your fucking cousin. the quiet, reserved girl you fell in love with morphs into the abnoxious chick at denny’s at 2 am who can’t handle her liquor. the “got-my-shit-straight-swagga-right-brown-skin” guy who swept you off your feet turns into someone you dont even recognize. and you can’t even understand why.

i see it like this..

when you’re waist deep in a relationship with someone, you do a lot of compromise. which is of course how it should be — back and forth, meet in the middle, give some take some kinda deal so long as the both of you are moving forward and together. but of course some people lose themselves in the process. some people give too much or take too much or get too comfortable with always having their way.

but you love them anyways. and you look past the flaws, and the selfishness and the pride and you WORK. you work at making it right, you work at making it better, you work at making your relationship work. and then one day you decide to do something for yourself, rather than for her. you decide you want some alone time, rather than a day of nothing with him. and then the switch goes off.

small changes in your thinking translate into big changes in the dynamic of your relationship. more “me” time might be misconstrued as “fuck, she doesnt love me anymore, she’s fuckin around.” saying “no” more often is viewed as “he no longer wants to do this for me, is he falling out of love with me?” the other party starts to feel… rejected. and thats not a feeling that usually coincides with love.

a healthy, equal relationship is a system of checks and balances. you call each other out on ur bullshit. you keep each other in check. but not all relationships are healthy or equal.. and so the rejected party gets desperate. they push their boundaries more… start becoming someone else entirely, picking fights, screaming for attention — all for YOU to prove your love… which in turn does the complete opposite and just pushes you away.

you remember how she was with you. you remember how he cooked you breakfast in the mornings, or how she put notes in your lunch, or how the two of you used to just talk for hours on end about nothing. you see this person that you still LOVE.. become someone you start to hate and it breaks your heart inside. because you know she’s better than that. you know he really isnt like that… but actions speak louder than words and trying to breathe with a broken heart is just too much to bare.

so you decide you’re better off as friends. you try and be normal but you dont even know what the fuck normal is. normal is morning sex and breakfast in bed but “friends” dont do that. normal is holding hands down the street on the way to dinner but now you dont know what to do with yourself and its too awkward to even look in the eye let alone give a hug hello. normal is being head over heels, shout at the mountain tops, crazy jealous, have you all to herself in love. and sometimes she just dont know how to be any different.

sometimes the love gets in the way.

so then WHAT THE FUCK?! its a catch 22, it doesnt work with you’re lovers and it doesnt work when you’re friends. what do you do now and where do you go from here? and i really have no answer for you….this is one of those rhetorical questions that will never have a wrong or a right.

i just hope one day it wont make sense to me when my best friend tells me she wants him to leave but she doesnt. that i wont get it when i hear a friend tell me he hates his ex but yet he’s still giving her morning sex and breakfast in bed (and lets her use his car and says “how high” when she says “jump” but lets not even go there.)

sometimes, love just isnt enough.  sometimes, its just love…. and bullshit.

Sure Thing

You can bet that, never gotta sweat that.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I have amazing people.  They never cease to amaze me.

I’ve always prided myself on being a strong person — someone who can roll with the punches, walk through the fire, and come out smiling with my eyeliner still in tact.  No need for crutches, because I’m all I got and I’m all I need. I done been through some SHIT, but here I was, still happy.  Scarred, but happy.  It’s taken this weekend for me to realize that Tupac was right — thugs need love too.

Simply put, I was a mess.   And I cried.  

I sat at my desk at work, sobbing on the phone with the one person who hates to hear me cry.  And yet he listened.  And he comforted, and by some miracle, he even made me laugh.   I wrote a text message to my best friends, all of them ending with the same thing –  “Don’t freak out.”   And although I know that my request was absolutely imposibble, they smiled and never let me see how much they were, in fact, freaking the fuck out.    I looked my mother, a surviver herself, dead in the eye and told her that I was facing her demon.   She looked me dead in the eye, held back her tears, and told me everything was going to be OK.

My people talked and ate and texted and prayed.  They laughed and danced and drank with me.  They joked and smiled and googled.  They took pictures and shared memories and showed me one thing:   My people are just as strong as I am.

And I cried.  Because if I were them?  I’d be a MESS and I would definitely be freaking the fuck out. 

Then, I read this.

And I realized that there is no room for failure when my corner is as strong as this.  Because my people?  They’re just that…MY PEOPLE.   So I’m gonna let them freak out a little bit.  And I’m gonna let her Web MD me to her heart’s content.   I’m gonna let him and his mom listen to me cry on the phone.  And I’m gonna let them be my crutch. 

Because I can’t do this alone.  And my people are a sure thing.

fuck it.

life is one big road with lots of signs. so when youre riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. wake up and live! –bob marley

“having numerous forks in the road with complaints, concerns, catch-22’s, and contradictions make every single thought impossible to communicate and every emotion equally tough to translate. compassion and desire only takes you so far. go one way, objectives automatically make you heartless. the other, well, you would just be lying to yourself. why pretend or assume you have all the answers? because most of the time you don’t. that’s the stressful part, with stress as an obvious understatement. obviously roads are going to cross and that intersection gives you choices which lead to tons more to the eventual laughs and smiles opposite the suicidal tendencies. choose wisely man, because fuck the latter. screaming internally can only take you so far. far enough to forget briefly, but close enough to remember completely. the distance is never walkable, that would be too easy, nor is it ever a distance you can ever run from or to. how often do bad choices resemble good ones or good ones resemble bad ones? c oming from one human to all the rest, i ask nicely…fuck the ultimatums.

all im saying is, grab an alcoholic beverage and drug of choice, chug it down, and do whatever makes your insides say ‘fuck it.'”

Hold on.

currently playing.  “I can feel it, calling in the air tonight… hold on.”

For those of you who are 80s babies like me and can actually hear this song playing in your head, also imagine me sitting at my window staring at the rain being the MOST EMO. EVER. IN LIFE.

I’ve been going thru the motions lately–  a time in my life where nothing seems to make sense and everything is going left when I need it to go right.  I’m confused, hurt, confused, angry, confused…..  did i say confused?  

In an effort to keep from going off the deep end, I picked up some reading by the Dalai Lama…   

*aside:  I’ve grew up Catholic, went to a Christian elementary school, a Catholic high school, had CCD classes AND always wanted to be “born again.”  To say I was religiously confused is an understatement.   In college I took my first Philosophy class.  It was the very first class that changed my life. *

Although this wasn’t the first time I’ve read about Buddhism, it was the first time Buddhism spoke to me.   The Dalai Lama and his teachings, the belief system, the spirituality of it all — it took a hold of my broken soul and SHOOK ME TO THE CORE. 

OM MANI PADME HUM — a Tibetan mantra that contains the essence of the entire teaching.    And its currently saving my life.  

p.s. going for a touch up in a couple weeks since apparently, my skull is pushing out the ink on that first symbol.  WACK.   On an other note, go see my homies  at LUCKYVANS tattoo in SF. 

 

my degree of seperation.

There’s this little piece of paper at my parents house that’s collecting dust in their glass case.    It reads:  Rachel Tan, Bachelor of Science – Business Administration, Cum Laude.   It stands alongside my highschool diploma, my first communion certificate, and my Spanish Honors Society graduation sash.

What does this mean?  It means I endured years of formal education,  went back to school after numerous breaks and finally stuck with a major.    It means I listened to my parents, made them proud, and have something to show for it. 

What does it mean in the real world?   ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.   School and formalized education ain’t for everyone, and I think the school of hard knocks does WONDERS for a person’s character.   But we already know that it really isn’t about what you know, its who you know.   Because everything you don’t know can eventually be learned.  You can learn by doing and experience goes longer in a job interview than a piece of paper.

I’m not saying formal education ain’t worth shit… cuz it is.    But it’s not everything, and most of my adult life has been spent learning this lesson.   

How are you supposed to know what you wanna do for the rest of your life at 18?  And they expect you to pick a major, stick with it, graduate in 4 years, get a job, stay there for 20 years, and retire.  Right?   Only a handful of 18 year olds have enough insight to pursue their passion, and I truly admire them.  I know a few people who have never looked back and have never been happier.. They lived the dream.   For the other 99.8% of the population, we’re the most lost at 18…I was downright stupid.  I got a tattoo that I didn’t need (thinking about covering it up now), I spent a whole paycheck to fly out and visit my boyfriend only to find out he was cheating on me with a married woman, I homewrecked a relationship, I failed my first semester of college, I partied too hard, I joined a cult, and completely LOST myself.   It wasn’t until I was somewhat found, that I decided I was too old to still be an undergrad.  

Now, at 27, I’m still learning.   I’m learning what it is that I love, and how I can turn that into my meal ticket.  I’m learning that my degree will ACTUALLY be of some use in my future endeavors, so long as i know how to apply the shit I learned.   I’m learning that my job is a dead end for my happiness and if I’m ever gonna be who I want to be, I need to leave. 

I thought I’d be done after graduation, but I’m learning that I’m still learning.   Can someone tell me where I can get a BS in Life?   I need to sign up.

regurgitation.

“i am not enough, and i am too much at the same time”

people are going to tell you that you can’t do it.  that you will never amount to anything you dream of.  they will also say that you are too needy or too proud.  too pretty, or not pretty enough.  people will tell you these things to diminish your determination because they want to see you fall.  because misery loves company.  because not everyone is good-hearted and thats just the way it goes.

so you set forth to prove them wrong.   you are on a mission to turn your aspiration into your reality.  but then…. 

in some instances, you catch urself being ur own worst enemy.  the voice that’s telling u that it can’t happen is ur own.   that nagging sense of “i’m such a failure” is coming from within you, fighting with the part of ur heart that KNOWS you deserve better.. or at least wants to believe so.   and thats ok.

i’m going to get ahead of myself.  i’m going to stumble.  i’m going to talk too much, and do too little.  i’m going to laugh too hard and not sleep enough.  i’m going to think its all shit and im a failure the day before it all works out and i’m on top of the world.   and i’m going to need you to remind me when i forget who i am or where i’m going. 

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again.   we are both flawed AND fabulous, at the same time.

and that struggle that you think only belongs to you, belongs to me too.  no matter how much you wanna just throw up the middle finger and give the world a big FUCK YOU, truth is, you need people.    you just need to find the people who won’t turn your flaws or fuck-ups into their successes.   

i am flawed.  tell me something i don’t know.   i am fabulous.  or at least i will be.  support me till i get there.