Monthly Archives: December 2013

Onward and… well, onward

moving forward

Every year, on this day, I sit down to do my proverbial stocktaking of everything that’s transpired in my life throughout the year. This year, more than any other year, it feels like, I find myself completely unable to think clearly about the year I’ve had. Everything seems to have meshed into one giant blur of thoughts and emotions, to the point where even thinking about it makes me cringe and want to retreat into an emotional hole so deep that it would take six firemen with no collarbones to dig me out.

A year ago, I bought my freedom for a life that I thought would be completely my own again to control and improve. This year was supposed to have been a good one for those born in the year of the Rat, and in so many ways it actually was a decent year, but it has also been one of the most conflicting I’ve ever had. I left a job I loved because it started becoming everything I hated about the previous job, but I was able to retain some of the wonderful friends I made from it. I took up a job I don’t necessarily love because it involves doing something I hate, but it’s giving me an immensely wide berth to grow and learn new things. I met someone who completely swept me off my feet and makes me happier than I’ve been in years, only to leave a trail of unhappy and unmentionable circumstances in our wake.

That said, there were so many other things to be thankful for this year. I got to travel more than I ever did in the last couple of years, with two separate groups of people who made my travels so much more memorable than I could ever have expected. Going to BaselWorld and Como was something that I never in all my born days thought I would be able to do, even if it was all for work. Going back to the US, and seeing people like Maddi, Jeremy, Shannyn and Shaina again, was something that I definitely never expected would happen in under a decade, and it rekindled my resolve to go back there at least once a year and reconcile with the places and the people I loved and had to leave behind.

But perhaps the single most defining factor of this year is myself. I’ve had to look at so many things differently, to learn to come to terms with so many unsettling circumstances, to accept so many things that would never change, and to live with the consequences of my actions. In short, in this one year alone, I’ve become everything that I swore I would never be, and that I never imagined I even had it in myself to be.

In spite of all this conflict, this clash of wills, I have no choice but to move into the new year with a renewed, if a little forced, sense of hope that somehow, I’ll be able to see a clearer direction for myself. That I will have the patience and endurance to take everything that will be thrown at me when the shit hits the fan, the courage to stand up and face myself and others for the mistakes I make, and the strength to let go, leave it all behind and move on with my head held high when the time calls for it.

Adieu, 2013. You were good to me, in a manner of speaking. Here’s hoping we don’t roll over too bumpily into 2014.

The snowball effect

“It hurts until it doesn’t. You think what he did will break you, but it won’t. You may not sleep as well at night, but you will be fine. Numb. But numb and fine are the same.” – Mellie Grant, Scandal

snowball effect

I got my first tattoo when I was 21. It was arguably my most detailed, and it remains my favorite to this day. I’ll never forget the four and a half hours I spent straddling Kate Hellenbrand’s chair while she bore the three fairies into the small of my back. As it was my very first time, I was naturally nervous, so I asked her to just run the needle along my back, without any ink, so that I could get over the initial shock of pain. Obviously that pain never subsided, but it got to a point where my skin became numb, so that the sharp, stabbing pain became a dull, but incessant, drumming. After that I would tell people that getting a tattoo hurts, but it’s a good kind of pain because after a while you zone out and just coast along with it.

I suppose it had to happen eventually. I was a fool for thinking it would never happen, that by some great miracle, it would be able to sustain itself for at least a little while longer. But of course, with the way my luck goes, it had to happen during the most trying time of my life, a time when I was — and still am — struggling to deal with certain issues in my life. That said, it’s probably a good thing that it’s happening during the most trying time of my life, because there is no better time to deal with a new problem than when your entire being, your entire system, is already in defence mode from having to deal with all the other problems that have been tossed at you.

I don’t know why I thought I could contain it, why I thought that if I could control the situation somehow, things could remain exactly the way they were and I could continue to live in the blissful denial that this would eventually become somewhat of a bane. But everything happened in such quick succession, one after another, over the last couple of weeks that by the time the last hammer stroke fell, I could almost bypass all the emotions I usually feel and move straight into numbness.

So now here we are, completely caught up in this situation that has snowballed into something which I have absolutely no name for, and forced to roll with it until something happens that will either help us break free of it, or cause the snowball to crash and leave a trail of destruction in its wake. Either way, there is no getting out of it for me now, and still, the most twisted, corrupted fact remains: no matter how guilty, how horrified or how ashamed I am about everything, there is nowhere else I would rather be than here.

No Sally and Thomas

Fitz: The Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson comment was below the belt.

Olivia: Because it’s so untrue?

Fitz: You’re playing the race card on the fact that I’m in love with you? Come on! Don’t belittle us. It’s insulting and beneath you, and designed to drive me away. I’m not going away.

Olivia: I don’t have to drive you away! You’re married, you have children. You’re the leader of the Free World. You are away. By definition, you’re away. You’re unavailable.

Fitz: So this is about Mellie?

Olivia: No, no! This is… I smile at her and I take off my clothes for you. I wait for you. I watch for you. My whole life is you. I can’t breathe because I’m waiting for you. You own me, you control me, I belong to you…!

Fitz: You own meYou control meI belong to you. You think I don’t want to be a better man? You think that I don’t want to dedicate myself to my marriage? You don’t think I want to be honorable, to be the man that you voted for? I love you. I’m in love with you. You’re the love of my life. My every feeling is controlled by the look on your face. I can’t breathe without you. I can’t sleep without you. I wait for you, I watch for you. I exist for you. If I could escape all of this and run away with you? There’s no Sally and Thomas here. You’re nobody’s victim, Liv. I belong to you. We’re in this together.

*     *     *

Oh, Fitz. You always did make my insides melt a little.