Friday, December 21, 2007

To continue, a pair of random thoughts on love...

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you risk nothing, you risk even more.

The worst thing that can happen to a man is not rejection, but falling in one-sided love. This leaves no doubt that the saddest word in the English language is "unrequited".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Running from Love...

So many thoughts and emotions have overwhelmed me over the past few days that I felt certain I would have little hindrance in conveying these to you via finger-to-key contact. I was wrong. This, without a doubt, will be the hardest thing I've ever written. If at certain points in this particular diatribe the words on the screen move you emotionally as well, know that at those points there was a pretty good chance the keyboard was soaked with the tears of their author.

I'm not really sure where to begin. Each of you who takes the time to read my thoughts in this virtual space already know the history of her and I. I won't waste your time nor mine recycling the wonderful days we've spent together, the vivid memories we've shared, nor the love that has grown in such a very brief period of time. Rest assured all of that was real - very real. Well, real at least for the person involved that keeps this blog space functioning.

I won't divulge the details of the past few days' events. No, regardless of how I've been treated throughout this whole ordeal, I refuse to spend time revealing the actions she took and the circumstances which have now surfaced. I will not do this because that's not the man I am. You know that. I'm the "nice guy", and no matter how many times it gets me walked on, my heart ripped out, or turns my world as I know it completely upside down overnight, I will not change. Call me what you will: stubborn, foolish, oblivious, or what have you. I have values, dreams, and ideals. I believe in romance. I believe in passion. And, greatest of all, I believe in love -the pure, unfiltered, unabashed, raw and uncut kind of love. It's the only thing worth living for in my eyes; the only thing worth fighting for.

As she has reminded me several times prior, perhaps I live in film. I live in movies. I live in "The Notebook". I prefer to think I live firmly affixed in a reality where this sort of love does exist, albeit elusively. Elusive doesn't mean it doesn't exist, however. It simply means it's hard to find. It's rare. So, when it comes along, you have to seize it. You have to snatch it up and hold it as tightly as possible. It's almost like riding a bull of sorts. It's so powerful and unpredictable that you hold on as best you can and try not to be thrown from the beast. You try to make the most of the time, the situation, the experience. That's love. That's life.

She and I found love these past few months. I seized it. I did everything I could. The palms of my hands are red and rough with the the metaphorical blisters obtained via my grip on love. She, on the other hand, chose to not hold on quite as tightly, and was subsequently thrown from the the beast in a most violent manner. Fear can overcome each of us and cause us to make rash decisions. It can cause us to run scared in the opposite direction.

The fear of love is not all that uncommon. I think each of us is frightned by it, at least on some level. I think the fear of love and the fear of the unknown are one in the same. Love itself is perhaps the greatest unknown in the world. Some of us are scared to fully open our hearts and minds to love because it exposes us. It exposes our naked hearts to others and leaves us in what is a most vulnerable position. Some of us fear love more than others. She happened to be one who does. I do not.

None of us are born with fear. Fear, for the most part, is a learned behavior. We are taught we are supposed to fear certain things; heights, death, snakes, spiders, and love among them. Fear is also a product of prior experiences gone horribly wrong. It is a product of things not going as expected upon their undertaking, and unexpectedly turning out for the worst. This type of fear can only increase as the number of occurences increases. Multiple increases result in greater fear. It only makes sense.

Unfortunately for the both of us, fear based on prior experiences proved to be too much, at least at its current level. We all have issues in our lives. We all have demons that hide in the darkest corners of our minds and like to show their faces at times when circumstances exist similar to those that allowed the demons to emerge in the first place. Some fears are larger than others, and we all deal with them in different ways. A common way to deal with these fears is to run from them; to hide from them all together. This works for a lot of fears. If you are scared of heights, you don't step out on a ledge. Problem solved. However, the fear of love is not so simple. When one runs from love, one not only hurts the one they're running from, they hurt themselves, likely on a greater scale. Denying one's self love is no way to go through life. It's a vicious cycle to repeat time and again. It's cold, it's numb, it's bitter. Love is the most powerful, overwhelming emotion known to man. It exists for a reason. Don't run from it, embrace it.

Is there the chance you could get hurt in the process? Of course. I am living testament to that fact. We all drive cars on a daily basis with the knowledge that we can be injured or die in the process, yet we do it anyway.

As Alicia Keys says in her song "The Thing about Love",

Everybody laughs, everybody cries,
Sure it could hurt you baby,
but give it a little try.
See, that's the thing about love.

Love is worth the risk. Take it.

As I said, love is the most powerful emotion on earth. Wars have been waged over love, after all. Love allows one to see another imperfect person perfectly. My trust has been broken, yet I remain. I'm not running because my belief in love is that strong. My love for her is that strong. No one is perfect. Mistakes are made. Forgiveness should be granted, especially in those instances where actions taken, as wrong as they may be, have valid influences behind them. I'm not excusing what she did. It was wrong, and was the worst thing anyone has ever done to me. However, it was done out of fear. It was done out of anger and fear fueled by the all too clear memories of the past.

I forgive you. You can earn my trust back. Stop running. Acknowledge your love. Embrace it. Conquer your fear. Come back to me. I love you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

As my heart dangles by a thread...

...I remain the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Too nice according to some. To those of you that feel that way I say simply, oh well. I'm not changing. It's what makes me who I am.

Just to forewarn all of you, this post will be an outpouring of emotion unlike anything I've ever revealed to you. I hope you're ready. Give me a few days to gather my thoughts and I'll share my life with you. Thanks...

Monday, December 10, 2007

One of my Favorite Christmas Traditions...

So many things come to mind when I think of Christmas and the various traditions each of us have that accompany it. I thought I'd share one of my favorites. I have a sneaking suspicion it might just be one of yours as well. I don't care who you are, if you are flipping channels in December and come across National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase, you have to sit down and watch it. This is one of my favorite scenes of the whole movie, mostly because it includes my favorite Christmas song by one of my favorite artists: Ray Charles. Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Love is Frustrating

No one ever said love is easy. In fact, it's pretty damn difficult some days. Don't get me wrong, however. There are days where the tides of love ebb and flow naturally and you and her/him are metaphorically skipping hand in hand through a field of daisies, butterflies and sunshine. Sometimes this emotional high can be so high one might easily confuse it with a scene from a Disney movie of yesteryear - Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella for example. You know what I mean. The two of you kiss and suddenly the flowers around you instantly turn to full bloom and all the animals in the forest come out of hiding to frolic with you; the deer playful, the birds in harmonious song. Those are the days you live for. They're the ones you cherish..the ones you hold on to.

Unfortunately from time to time you hit a bump. Maybe a miscommunication occurs, one party isn't getting what they want out of the relationship, schedules conflict, or whatever the case may be. Compromises have to be made. The fact that you are both willing to argue and not only voice your concerns but acknowledge and address the concerns of your partner is actually healthy for the relationship.

Perhaps I have a distorted view of what a relationship is supposed to be. Everything doesn't happen like it does in the movies, regardless of how much the passion and idealism I bring to the relationship influences it, or how much I want it to be that way. I'm very aware it may all be very cliched, but I don't want the newness to wear off. I want every time to feel like the first time. I want the passion to always be there. I don't want to just "go through the motions", as they say. It has to be special, otherwise it's just a waste of time and an exhaustion of emotion. Full-fledged, unabashed love is the only thing worth pursuing. Here's to the pursuit.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

BCS = Bull Crap System?

I break down the BCS bowl games, who got screwed and who got a gift. Coming soon...

19 Shopping Days Left...

Is it just me, or does it not feel at all like Christmas? It used to be that as soon as I took that last bite of Thanksgiving turkey I was in full-fledged Christmas spirit. Now it just seems as if it comes and goes in a flash. You blink and it's passed you by. I guess time really does fly as you get older. Remember when you were a child how the December days leading up to Christmas used to just drag by? Yeah, me too. I remember, and I want that feeling back. I want that giddiness of antipating opening presents with family and friends.

Now Christmas seems more like a deed you just have to get out of the way. We mindlessly shop for gifts because we have to. Television markets to us the same four or five "must have" items of the year, and if we don't get one of those items to give to those on our lists, we've somehow failed at Christmas. Whatever happened to thoughtfulness? Whatever happened to giving something of meaning because you care about those to whom you give gifts? Something of meaning that costs $5 will be received with so much more gratitude than something that costs $500 but has no personal meaning (The only exception to this is the unexplicable relationship between women and diamonds. That infuriates me, therefore we will not go there - at least not today).

I would encourage each of you to take a moment this holiday season to remember what it's all about. Remove yourselves from the materialism of it all and focus on the quality of the time spent with those you love. Focus on your family traditions, whatever they may be. And, most importantly, focus on the greatest gift that we were all given. I hope I don't have to tell you what that gift was.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The "Gloved One": 25 Years and Counting

I'm willing to bet that for most of this past Saturday December 1st was just that: Saturday, December 1, 2007. Yet for some of us, Saturday was far more significant. It was 25 years ago to the day that Michael Jackson released his album "Thriller" on the Epic Records label.

Michael was famous in the United States prior to the release of "Thriller", thanks to five prior albums that were successful in their own right. However, "Thriller" propelled Michael to a whole other level of International fame. Twenty-five years later, "Thriller" is the greatest selling album of all time, having sold more than 104 million albums worldwide, and counting. In the United States alone, the album continues to average sales of 60,000 units per year. The album won 7 Grammies. It set numerous other records, too many to mention here, but the records it set are not my point of focus. What the album meant to music, is.

I'd be lying if I told you I remembered Thriller when it was released because I was a mere 11 months old. My earliest memory of Michael, who is by far the greatest performer/entertainer/musician of all time, with the statistics to back it up, came in Christmas of 1987. Thanks to the always reliable Santa Claus, I was the recipient of my first stereo A.K.A. "boom box" as we referred to them back then. Accompanying said boom box was my first ever cassette tape: Michael Jackson's "Bad."

They say really good music makes you feel something, and listening to "Bad" was my first recollection of feeling something when I heard the sounds emanating from the speakers of my boom box. What I felt for the first time in my life was rhythm. I felt soul. I felt inspiration. This was all very new to me...very fascinating...very cool. Apparently I'm not the only one who felt that way, regardless of age at the time (I was 6.) because the album had five songs reach #1 on the Billboard Charts - the first and still the only album ever to achieve such status. I'm sure if I looked hard enough in the top of my parent's garage I could find that old dusty cassette tape, though I doubt it would still play after being blasted so loudly so many times that were probably past my bedtime on a school night.

Every generation has their musical artist(s) that define them. For my generation, it was and always will be Michael. Twenty-five years later "Thriller" continues to stand the test of time. Every time I hear the songs or see the epic Steven Spielberg directed music video (which by the way is the best music video ever, hands down) it takes me back to my childhood. I can't help but wonder if one day as a very old man I hear songs from "Thriller" on my generation's oldies station and tell my grandchildren "Now that's good music!", only to have them laugh at me, communicating to me that I'm out of touch. Statistics don't lie. "Thriller" will live on.