Nostalgia and neuroses

I guess it must’ve been the joy of hearing from my very first roommate this morning, but today has just brought a constant, tiny twinge of nostalgia. Not to mention the fact that iTunes keeps cranking out songs that remind me of people from my far as well as my recent past.

I’m not sad — I mean, I don’t have much to really be sad about. I tend to miss what I never had more than what I did have in my life. I like to think that I appreciated and enjoyed everything and everyone when I had it or them, so I really don’t have any regrets in that arena. But I tend to remember (especially with the music I have playing today) things I wanted to say and do, hugs and praise I should have given, declarations of love or fondness that were felt but never enunciated.

And why did I never do those things? If I say I was afraid, none of you will believe me — y’all know I say and do whatever the hell I want. I guess I’ve never had a real comfort with, or entitlement to, some of my emotions. It probably started in junior high when you’d send a note to a boy telling him you have a crush on him, and then he’d go laugh with his friends rather than either tell you to hit the bricks or say that he liked you back. I used to be one of those little girls who punched the boys whenever I felt like it — but it wasn’t because I liked them … it was because they needed a good bitchslapping, for whatever the reason. 🙂

At any rate, I grew up being not the least bit comfortable in my own skin. If you compliment any of my skills or talents, I will graciously thank you. If you say something nice about my outfit, my skin or anything else appearance-related (like the fact that my eyes are two different shades of green — damn mutant), I will brush it off. It’s not that I don’t think you’re sincere — I just don’t really agree with you, so instead of saying, “Why, thank you,” I’d sooner say, “Um, yeah. So are you gonna watch ‘Queer Eye’ tonight?” I am the mistress of ensuring that I am not the topic of conversation, when I don’t want to be.

Of course, I spent enough time as the topic of watercooler discussion. I kind of miss my wild days, but I’ve become quite the homebody since I left Pittsburgh and my apartment there that basically had a revolving door for all the guys I dragged in and threw out. 🙂

I guess I’m looking at my life through a kalidescope today — I see it for all of its color and its magical way of falling into place into brilliant patterns. But I wonder what I have to show for all the effort and heartache and ebullience and frustration. I guess I can say I have a great apartment, two adorable cats, some fabulous friends and some decent memories of decadence and debauchery. But what have I contributed to this world? What have I done to make a difference? I mean, if I got killed on the highway this weekend (and anything is possible with my ever-deflating back tires), what will I have done that won’t be forgotten in five years or fewer?

OMG, where the hell did all of this come from? 🙂

At any rate, I do feel entitled to my emotions (even when I don’t declare them), but I’ve had such a shell wrapped around me since birth that it’s hard to let the walls down and let someone in. You can’t always count on folks to wipe their feet and store their baggage in the overhead compartment before they come in, nor can you expect that they won’t overstay their welcome or slip out unnoticed and be gone before you realize. And just because I say, “Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lawd split ya!” that doesn’t mean that I don’t wonder what the hell happened. But I guess I feel safer when people don’t know how pissed or hurt or sad I was because of them. It’s like I just don’t want to give up that power — I don’t want people to think know that while they may not control my emotions, they sure have a hell of an impact on them.

So today, I take this opportunity to give a big ole hug ‘n’ smooch to some folks, and a big ole “I loved you then and might never stop” to some others. The only problem is, the people that this is aimed toward don’t always — if ever — read this drivel website. And I doubt even amnesia could erase their faces and voices from my memory, even though, thanks to my reticence, there is little else to remember.

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