If Memory Serves Me Right

They say when one part of your life starts to excel, another part will ultimately crumble. Maybe it’s the way the universe stays aligned and keeps its perfect order that never seems to satisfy anyone for very long. We can’t have all of the things we want just as we want them or we’d never strive for anything, there would be no reason to have a furious fight inside of you. He who is handed it all will never learn what it feels like to work for something, so therefore, he must struggle.

Even so, when things fall apart the heavens have a simple way of keeping us sane – they never let everything that’s important to us to falter at once. Lighting rarely strikes in the same place twice and there is always something, even if it is a tiny unremarkable thing, to help us maintain our dignity and confidence in the world. Sometimes they are in the comforting words of friends ever-so-dear or in the soothing touch of crisp, cold, linen sheets against your bare body. It comes in the form of unexpected billowing winds inside the subway platform or in the support you depend on from someone you may have not known very long, but feel as if you’ve known them forever.

For me lately, my peace has been found in all of the above along with some magical New York moments I can only accredit as blessings sent from places higher than the Empire State, but most significantly, my calm has been instilled by the power of memories.

Mr. Possibility and I have been going through a very difficult period the last month. With our age difference and the fact that we’re at opposing stages of our lives, we’ve been riding the rough waters, attempting to find an anchor to hold us steady so we can sail into bay safely. Anchors aren’t always to be found though, and sometimes taking a breather and some much-needed space is the best thing any couple can do. And so while my career has been flourishing and I couldn’t be more thankful to finally be doing exactly what I always dreamed of doing, the man who helped me through the ups and downs of the last year, isn’t as sturdy as he appeared.

But I do remember when he was. I can recall the exact moment I knew I loved him – way back in January, while talking on Gchat following the Dubai disaster, and something just clicked. We waited a while after that before we made anything officially exclusive but in those times we spent building up our relationship, building up our connection, he couldn’t have been more beautiful to me. He was attractive in a way that made him human – I saw his shortcomings and I knew his downfalls but I chose to love him anyway, to trust him against my better judgement. Time will only tell if my grandiose hopes about him will ring trite-and-true and prove all of those against us, wrong. And maybe, prove myself wrong too.

It isn’t memories of us that grant me a sweet stillness, though. It’s rather in memories of myself.

I remember those weeks when he was far away overseas, only available to me through the wonderous webs of the Internet, where I had no responsibility to him but to reply to an email or arrive on time to a Skype date. I remember when this city was my dating playground, when though I wasn’t very good at disconnecting my expectations from my emotions, I enjoyed seeing New York from various points of view. I remember when I would dream about a love I couldn’t imagine, about having a man admire me just as my father admires my mother. I dreamed of a great love story, of something that wasn’t complicated or difficult, of something that brought me that easy, peaceful feeling instead of making my heart beat so uncontrollably I couldn’t fall asleep until well into dawn. I remember these moments during this journey itself, even when I knew Mr. Possibility, even when he was sitting next to me as I typed, where I longed to be single, where I finally found that strength to throw caution to the wind and take a chance on finding something great – in a man or in myself. I remember taking myself to dinner and to the movies, to the museum and to the cafe, just to sit in the company of myself, watching the city circulate its people with car horns and buses serenading the developing scenes.

I remember when this city was like Spring to me and I, still without my toughness or doubtfulness, believed in the best of people, the best of Mr. Possibility, and the best of myself. It’s realistic now but it will always be closer to extraordinary in my eyes and far from ordinary. Because even with all that’s happened, all that I’ve given that I can’t get back, all the attempts I’ve made that may not turn into anything of significance, I have those memories of what make me me to recall.

And if I can do it all alone once, of course I can do it again. Only this time, I’ll be a little stronger, a little brighter and have more hope for what’s to come. After all, if memory serves me right, I’ve always had the ability to believe that falling in love isn’t limited to the man who lives on the corner of Hope Street and is ripe of possibilities. Love indeed, begins inside of me and because of that, I can find it anywhere I go.

Sex(less) & the City

Sometimes I wish I was a skank.

Pardon my language –but sometimes, I think it’d be easier. If I could just jump from one bed to the other, not feeling (or at least pretending not to) anything, having incredible orgasms, and not worrying if they would call or if it would turn into love –I think I’d be a lot happier.

If I could be just nonchalant and easy-going, enjoy great sex just as much as I enjoy great wine and travel –maybe I’d be a little more “cool” or one of those elusive girls that men are always drawn to. But then, again I wouldn’t care if men were drawn to me –because I’d be mysterious and aloof.

While I tend to be forward-thinking about many things, sex isn’t one of them. Like love (big surprise here, huh?), I tend to find sex to be this very intimate, personal, and powerful thing that should only be shared with two people who sincerely care about each other. I think it can be very stress-relieving and dirty-passionate too, but I don’t feel comfortable letting my inhibitions and my panties go –unless I’m committed and in love with someone.

This kind of mentality, in my opinion, makes me classy (or a prude) –but at the same time, it can make for some pretty lengthy kiss-less and sex-less periods. I plan on the payoff one day being well worth it –but sometimes it just flat out sucks.

Even though I know how serious I take intimacy, and even though I’m doing the 12-steps, I decided that part of trying not to be a love addict is taking the pressure off things. If I want to make out with some cute guy or if I want him to run his hand down my back (or thigh, or both?) –I should be able to do that without freaking out.

Right? Ehhh…

Mr. Unavailable and I had a little too much red wine on Friday night and we took our platonic friendship to a different level that involved some kissing, some holding, and some regrettable thoughts the next day…on my part anyways. So of course, like any good love addict, I then spent the rest of the weekend obsessing about what in the world I had done.

No, I didn’t have sex. No, I didn’t sleep around. No, I didn’t fall in love or fall in hate. No, I just acted on the naturally burning and ever-evolving desire inside of me. I was longing to be cuddled, to feel sexy, to feel the weight of a man pressed up against me, and to feel secure –so I took an opportunity.

The problem is –no matter how much recovery I go through or steps I take –kissing and making out and being physical –will always mean something to me. And while I don’t think this is a bad thing, I also don’t think it makes me very good at being “single.” I mean, even Julia Roberts couldn’t handle it in “Pretty Woman” – she ended up falling in love and packing up her sexy hooker boots (they’re coming back in style, yay!) and letting her guard down with Richard Gere –and we never blamed her once for it.

My friend L says I should be using this time in my life to “have fun.” In her terms and before she was in her relationship, this meant random drunken kisses and sometimes even sexual partners. I think my friend is beautiful and wonderful –and so much freer than I am. If she would have made out with Mr. Unavailable, it wouldn’t have mattered much to her the next few days…but for me, it consumed my weekend.

And it hurt me. He didn’t hurt me. The situation didn’t hurt me. The kissing and the fire didn’t hurt me. The friendship didn’t hurt me.

The thoughts hurt me.

The punishing myself for “letting go” or “trying something new.” The pit in the bottom of my stomach that continued to grow because I know it would never become anything more than just a friends-with-benefits (term I hate, by the way). Even if I didn’t want more, knowing that it wouldn’t be more –hurt. And it hurt that I thought of my actions and the experience the rest of the weekend –during drinks, at dinner, while shopping, while sitting at the laundry mat writing this entry.

So why do I feel guilty? Or is it that I feel rejected? Or betrayed? And if betrayed –by who? By myself? By my morals? I knew what cards were on the table and I willingly made the decision to play the hand I played. There was no poker face, no leading-on, no mystery, no question –we both knew exactly what we were doing and we both said what we expected.

If I had no expectations and wasn’t even certain of my feelings or of what it would mean to me –why does it hurt?