Saturday, January 15, 2011

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again

When I was in New York a few weeks ago we went and saw Promises, Promises. This was an awesome show. Basic storyline is this: boy works with girl, girl doesn’t know his name, boy falls for girl, boy rents out apartment to married coworkers to have affairs, boy’s boss finds out and wants “in”, boy realizes that boss is having an affair with girl, girl gets heart broken, but then realizes that boy is much nicer than boss and all live happily ever after (except maybe the boss because his wife kicks him out and his girlfriend won’t give him the time of day!). In the show is a song called “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again.” I have somewhat become obsessed with this song (as I have a tendency to do when I find a song that I like).

Here is a selection of the lyrics:
What do you get when you give your heart
You get it all broken up and battered
That's what you get, a heart that's shattered
I'll never fall in love again
Don't tell me what it's all about
'Cause I've been there and I'm glad I'm out
Out of those chains those chains that bind you
That is why I'm here to remind you
I'll never fall in love again
So this has gotten me thinking about this phrase “fall in love.” Let’s dissect this a bit. The first word is “fall” as in face first, crazy stupid, over the top, ridiculous, liking a person way too much when you hardly know them. Then you have “in love.” When you put them together they lead to the idea of becoming in love very quickly. How can you, when you hardly know someone, “fall” in love with them? I am a hopeless romantic, self proclaimed, but really? I love watching sappy movies and reading chick lit where the couple fall head over heels on the first date and it’s fate and then they live happily ever after. I love that, really I do, but I know it’s not lasting. You will notice that it is very rare that we see what happens after that "fall in love" moment.

To really be in love with someone is to get to know them, to build trust and respect for them and let those feelings turn into that emotion that we all love to love: love. So many times you meet someone and you decide that he or she must be “the one.” Now, let us take a moment to look at “the one.” Do I believe that there is someone out there that we are all meant to be with? Well yes, I do, but, just a note, I also believe everything is predestined and in fate and signs all that stuff, so yeah, in the end I think there is “the one.” Do I think that we necessarily know that the person we are with is “the one”? Absolutely not. What if, I fall madly in love with some guy, we’re together for 25 years, he dies, I grieve and then fall in love with someone else? Which one was “the one”?

Do I sound cynical yet? Probably, but I’m not, really, I'm not. I am truly optimistic about love and relationships. I have had my fair share of relationships where it has seemed that the stars have aligned and all the signs are there and clearly, finally, fate has stepped in and given me that chick flick of a love life that we all want. You know what happened with those relationships? They sucked. Of course not the whole time, but in the end they were not healthy relationships that I should have stayed in. Thank the Lord they ended when they did.

That being said, do I regret them? Heavens no! Those relationships have all put me in a place where I really think I can be in a healthy relationship, in the future. Is right now the right time for me to be in a relationship? Clearly not, because I’m not in one! Could tomorrow be the right time for me? Sure. We’ll see, time will tell, and as psychic as I claim to be I cannot predict the future, so I have no idea when this will happen.

Now, what do I want in a relationship? Do I want to cosmos to align and the fates to bring a great guy to me in a way that Reese Witherspoon, when she is playing me in the movie version, would be proud to love? Honestly, no. When the time is right, whether that is in the next 24 hours or the next 24 years, I want to find someone that I can be totally myself with, that will not “fall” in love with me. I want to get to know a man, and him get to know me. At the end of the day I want him to realize that before he falls asleep he wants to talk to me, and only me; and I want to feel the same way. I want him to sit back and think: I really want to spend time with her, I have fun with her, I enjoy talking to her. That is where a relationship needs to start.I don't want someone that from a first date is planning the rest of our lives together (and I'm pretty sure no guy wants that either). I want it to progress naturally; in its own time. I want to have fun, be honest, learn to respect each other, and as we are getting to know each other have a relationship that grows into love. I have no desire to “fall” in love. I want to gradually ease myself into love, not fall. Falling hurts. Let me give you an example:

The year was 2003. I was 22 and in my second senior year of college (I got to the end of my first senior year with all the requirements to graduate, but wasn’t quite ready for the “real world” so I decided to take a victory lap and get another full degree, so I have two full Bachelor’s, enough justification, back to the story). My best friend, Melinda, and I were going to OU/TX; which in general is a very crazy weekend. I had sold my ticket, so we could drink through the game. Very long story very short, we started drinking in Ardmore , had around 10 drinks (including going through the “beer-through” in Gainesville ) and by the time we got to the friend’s house we were staying at we were a little, well, tipsy...and she had margaritas waiting on us. After Melinda spilled the margaritas and sucked the alcohol off the counter with a straw (now that’s a funny picture), we went to the West End; to Dick’s Last Resort. And I drank more (dumb), but eventually realized that I needed to be cut off, so I cut myself off. The next part of the story I have just pieced together (large amounts of alcohol to blame), but I remember it had been raining and I was wearing flip flops. The next thing I remember is the nice police officer asking if I need an ambulance, me saying no and then picking up my tooth (front one, of course) and putting it in my purse. Here is what I think happened: I was walking, slid on the wet sidewalk in my flip flops and crashed my face into one of those huge concrete light posts, thus breaking my front tooth out. Ouch! (Well not really ouch, I was so drunk that I didn’t feel a thing, nor do I remember this particular five minute span, no matter how hard I try!) The next part of the story I was hysterically crying and then spent the game, drinking beer through a straw at a bar.

Needless to say I don’t like falling. Falling is all the same. If you are careless about it the next thing you know you are going to black out, not know what happened and wake up with something broken and in a lot of pain. How many times have we looked at something that seems like such a good idea (like that six pack at the “beer-through” in Gainesville ), but you just end up getting hurt? Falling in love is no different.

After this happened did I stop drinking? Well of course not. Immediately following, I just drank beer through a straw because the cold beer hurt the exposed nerves. Was I more careful when I drank after that? Sometimes yes, sometimes not so much. Do I look back and regret that? No, because it is a really funny story to tell from college. I do try to be a little more careful, at least when wearing flip flops and drinking.

Love is the same way. I have fallen, to the point of figuratively crashing my face into concrete, and I have gotten hurt and had my heart broken. Do I want to do it again? Of course I do! Who doesn’t like the feeling of being in love? Simply, though, I want to gradually ease myself down that road rather than falling into it. After the fall I had to use that straw, even with beer (and yes I looked silly), but the nerves were exposed and I didn't want to cause myself anymore pain. I think in relationships we should do that too: use something as a buffer to keep ourselves from getting hurt when we hardly know someone, sip on love instead of chugging it. Whether that is taking a budding relationship slowly or dating several people at the same time, we can use these as ways to realize who it is we want to win out at the end of the day.

The time will come again for me to be in love. Maybe it will be with someone that I have known forever. Maybe it will be someone with that I have never seen before. Maybe it will even be with someone that I have met recently. I just don’t know yet. I do, however, know that when it happens it will be amazing and I’m excited for that. For the time being, though, I am just living and enjoying life, sipping through a straw, and not wearing flip flops when it rains.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Celebration

Today I went to the celebration of the life of Soroosh Davani. Soroosh passed away on Christmas day and was the loving husband of one of my college friends, Rosemary. He courageously fought cancer and in his words: "I did not lose my battle with cancer. I won my battle with life by living my life to the fullest."

My first memory of Soroosh had nothing to do with him at all, actually. My freshman year of college I pledged a Christian sorority, Kappa Phi, and one of our first activities was a progressive dinner. One of our stops was Rosemary's apartment. She had this beautiful table scape (on the floor :)) with beautiful linens and dishes (not your typical paper plates) and had all this amazing food, specifically, tabouli and hummus. I grew up going to Jamil's Steakhouse in Tulsa, a steakhouse that also served classic Lebanese food, so I was in heaven with this stuff! Rosemary explained that she had learned the recipes from her boyfriend's mom. When I told my mom about all of this she said I needed to make friends with this girl to learn how to cook this amazing food!

My next memory, and the first of Soroosh himself, was at our Hayride a few weeks later. In walks this couple. The best word I can use to describe them was dashing! They were beautiful! They certainly did not look like they belonged in Norman, Oklahoma; maybe at some fashion show in New York or LA, but not anywhere that I was, for sure! They both had on long leather coats and at least one of them had a fancy hat on. They were just beautiful. I remember seeing them, with my eyes wide open, thinking that there was no way this fancy couple would ever be people I could be friends with; they were just way too sophisticated for this small town girl.

Well this would be an example where first impressions are not always correct. Rosemary and Soroosh were certainly as beautiful and sophisticated as they seemed, but as I got to know them I learned that they were also two of the nicest, most genuine loving people I have, to this day, ever met. It was so easy to see how much they loved each other, even as young as we were (though they never seemed as young as me because they just carried themselves with such maturity).

One of the most interesting things about them is their religion. As previously mentioned, Kappa Phi was a Christian sorority and Rosemary was devoutly Catholic. Soroosh was Muslim. When I have told people about them, in the last week two weeks and since I've known them, people always question how on earth this worked. Both were very strong in their faith, but they had such a respect for each other and each other's faith that it just worked. I know many, many couples that are of the exact same faith that couldn't get it together like Rosemary and Soroosh! They were truly perfectly matched soulmates that were lucky enough to find each other.

I lost track of them for several years in there and then found her on facebook a few years ago, after his diagnosis. I was shocked when I saw it. She sent me a message with the story and it just made me so sad. They married in 2006, after he finished law school and were living in Arizona. It just seemed so unfair. They were beautiful, both inside and out, and had their entire life ahead of them, and then were struck down with this horrible disease. It makes you really step back and think. It makes you think about your own life and mortality and what all we can do with our lives.

His celebration of life, the Norman version, was today. I really hoped to not cry, but I did. Heck, I cry at everything. I would like to think that these were tears of joy knowing that I was lucky to enough to have known this great man; and knowing that I am lucky enough to consider this beautiful, strong, amazing woman a friend and sister.

There were two passages that were said today that really stuck out to me. One was by a deacon from Rosemary's church. I don't have the exact passage, but I'll paraphrase.
A man was at the point in his life when he was to die. He began asking those around him who would go with him. His wife and children said they could not. His friends said they could not. The grain of the field that he worked could not. When he was buried and went to heaven all that went with him were his actions, who gladly made the trip.
Wow. That was really powerful to me. It reminded me of a quote by one of my favorite people, Grace Kelly:
I would like to be remembered as someone who accomplished useful deeds, and who was a kind and loving person. I would like to leave the memory of a human being with a correct attitude and who did her best to help others.
I pray that I can be that person. I know that watching Rosemary and Soroosh, when I was around them and watching their journey on facebook, certainly has made me a better person. Rosemary attributes her strength to lessons she learned from Soroosh, but I think, while that is true, she is also one of the strongest people I have ever had the pleasure of being around and that strength comes from inside her. She shows that strength to everyone that she encounters and will continue to share that strength for the rest of her life.

The second quote that was shared was by Robert Frost:
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
Well isn't that certainly true? I pray that I can find a love and have a relationship that is half as happy and filled with love as the one that I was so privileged to witness in Rosemary and Soroosh.

If you are someone who prays please keep Rosemary and Soroosh's family in your prayers in the next few days, weeks and months. They are amazing people, but a few extra prayers for strength has never hurt anyone.

I leave you with a photograph of the happy couple from our college days, at some fun Kappa Phi dance. They are smiling and happy, which is how I will always remember them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I really hate to admit this, but I have not gotten my hair cut since last December and it hasn't been colored since last November. I know, I know, it's bad, very, very bad. However, the situation has been remedied and I have a fresh highlights and a new haircut and I feel much more like myself.

This got me thinking. There is something about a fresh haircut that just makes you feel all fresh and clean and ready to take on the world. Or that's how I feel, so I may be a little crazy! Seriously though, I feel so much better and happier and just more like me.

So now that I feel more like "me" it got me thinking about what all has happened in the last year since I went to see Melissa (my stylist). Luckily we're friends on facebook, so she's seen some of the crazy year, but if she hadn't this is what all she would have learned:

I started grad school. I think at last haircut I had applied, but I had no idea I would get in and I certainly had no idea that I would have started last spring.

I have figured out what I am actually supposed to do with my life. Though it will be a crazy leap of faith I truly feel like this non profit is where I'm supposed to be going.

I lead a wonderful (though a little crazy at times) youth group, that I love, though they make me shake my head at least 15 times each week.

I went to South by Southwest, which was life altering and wonderful.

I learned how to work my swimming pool, which is shocking and wonderful.

I joined Junior League of Norman and love it.

I discovered my love of writing and am finally beginning to believe that I am pretty good at it (thank you to all of you that have encouraged me!).

I rediscovered my bathtub and how much I love reading with candles and bubbles.

My two adorable "nephews" were born and I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of the third (though he better keep his happy butt in there for another 10 weeks!).

I survived the Fall of 2010. That may sound a little simple, however the Fall of 2010 included me being a full time grad student (3 classes equalling 9 hours), working full time 40 hours per week (which also included merging two offices into one, a crazy week of giving out Christmas presents to children in foster care, a printer rollout and a new scanner project, all in the same day, and I feel like there were some other projects in there that I might have blocked :)), Junior League and volunteering as much as I can, all my stuff with CrossTimbers, volunteering at the community Thanksgiving dinner, a crazy trip to NYC that involved 6 shows and the 6th worst blizzard in city history, and football season for a 5 year old, a 10 year old, a 12 year old, a junior in high school and of course my OU Sooners (I'm sorry football is a job in and of itself).

I have realized that I have the most amazing people in my life, some of which are just a lot of fun, and some of which will tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear, which is just what I need.

Finally, I had a mildly life altering event happen in August, which I would prefer not to discuss on here, however it kind of resolved my life in many ways, including, my realization that I need to focus on me, to the point that I will not give up everything to be in a relationship (that was a hard pill to swallow).

Looking back on the last year it has certainly been an interesting one. I don't think I would change it for anything though, in fact I know I wouldn't. I love my life how it is right now. I know there are great things coming in the future and I am excited about them. Somewhere during the year I realized just how great my life is just the way it is. I don't know what the future holds, but I have complete confidence that it is going to be amazing. 2011 might just be a good year. :)

***Sidebar: I tried to write the "year in review" blog post earlier in the week and couldn't find anything worthwhile to talk about. Somewhere this week that changed, so maybe 2010 wasn't so bad after all!***

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas in NYC: The Wrap Up

Okay here is the end of the story of the Christmas adventure in NYC.

It snowed a WHOLE lot in NYC. The first day of it (Sunday) we ventured out to the Olympic Diner for breakfast and made the decision that site seeing was out of the question, so we would see shows. (I probably already mentioned this.) We then went back to the hotel to get online for tickets. That was when we put the news on. I made a comment on my facebook about the drivers in NYC versus the drivers in Oklahoma. I didn't see all that much of a difference. The part that got me was when Mayor Bloomberg did his address to the city saying that they were cleaning things up as fast as they could. Fine, worked for me. Then all the reports of people complaining started to come in. They started clearing the main roads first (as they should) and did not get to all the side roads. You know what...there was A LOT OF SNOW! I mean a lot. It was the sixth worst blizzard in NYC history. What did they expect? That they could miraculously clear everything with a poof? It was ridiculous. I guess people are people wherever they are and they want what is most important to them and don't care anything about anyone else. 'Tis the nature of the human race!

Chris declared at church today that he wanted to know where I would be spending Christmas next year because he was staying away. Apparently he thinks that being snowed in follows me or something. Good grief, you get snowed in two years in a row and people start talking! I told him Hawaii next year; he said that I would be banned from the state after the first blizzard came through!

I really can't think of anywhere besides NYC that I would ever want to be snowed in at. I got two extra days, got to see some awesome shows (including Spider-Man!). It did make my overall vacation feel a little short and I missed hanging out with two of my favorites in Ardmore and watching the girls play basketball, but overall, after I started to feel better (I feel responsible for the snow storm because I was so mad about being sick while in NYC I had a little temper tantrum and I think God pitied me) it was a great trip. I've been back in Oklahoma four days and I'm ready to go back!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Couch to 5K

I hate running, a lot. BUT I really, really, really want to be a "runner." I have attempted this, seriously, at least twice before, to no avail, however Kara found this Couch to 5K app on our phones. It tells you when to run and walk, it is 9 weeks, three days a week. I think I can fit this into my busy life, because it's only a 30 minute or so work out. On top of that my friend Shawnda and I are going to try to run on the weekends (well walk for now). We'll see how this all goes.

At the end of the nine weeks the plan is to run, really run, a 5K, probably one of the St. Patrick's Day runs, BUT the A2A Race for Mercy is two weeks after we're done, so I might think about walking (being realistic) the half marathon, we'll see. Then I can shoot for running the whole thing later.
Baby steps for now. :)
I have a really, really, really, really cute little black tulip dress that I want to wear to Junior League Charity Ball in April. When I bought it in August it was snug, alas I am afraid that now it is beyond snug, so the time has come to get this part of my life back in order. I am trying to not do everything completely drastically (quit drinking pop, no sweets, no fast food, no anything that tastes remotely good, etc all at the same time), but just cutting back and making one change a month. January is pop. This won't be all that hard, I've done this at least twice before, and I'm giving myself an emergency once a week freebie.

Ash Wednesday falls on March 9, so I'm sure I will be giving something bad for me up for Lent, we'll see what it will be.

Okay enough rambling and time for bed. :)