Sunday, September 29, 2013

Can I Choose You?


I posted this back June 27, 2012, and removed it for various reasons. I decided to repost it because here, a year and change later, having worked with G for several rotations, the while forming a relationship with someone else...I still feel this way when I'm around him.

I think it's just that he has a beautiful spirit...

Can I Choose You? (Repost)

As salaam alaikum,

This stage of my life is amazing and I don't have all of the words to describe it. There are so many things happening, and I'm learning so many things about myself. At the same time, I'm on the cusp of another challenging phase of my life, of many more challenging and rewarding phases to come. I'm drastically changing philosophies that I've held at one time in favor of more organic, realistic and practical ways of living my life, love and faith.

And man, it's not easy.

But in the midst of all of this, I want to say I've fallen in love. I actually haven't. I just have a crush. One like I've never had before, one that was immediate, some enchanted evening, love at first sight, across a crowded room type deals.

We'll call him G.

It's time for me to get ready for work so I don't have a ton to say, except...there's something different about this one, and I can't tell if it's destiny or desire to make it destiny, strong enough, that uncontrollable thing that people always talk about, you can't help who you like.

Because you want to make strong feelings destiny.

You want to believe that there is an eternal meaning for your emotions, that it's part of God's plan, that the strong pull you're feeling towards another human being is God guiding you down the straight path, the path He intends for you. Like, snap out of it, girl, this is it. This is the it you've always wanted.

And the first time I looked into G's eyes, that's what I felt. And I've never felt that way about any living human being before. It wasn't just the striking pale green of his eyes offset by the olive of his skin and his dark brown hair. Because I've seen attractive men before but never been so drawn before...

So, as I prepare for work for the day and other things, I'm deciding what I'm going to do with this. And praying on it, because really, what I want is him. It sounds silly and crazy for someone who lived through an MTQ, but I feel like we're meant to be, and yeah. I want to lock that, secure that in any way I can.

Is it okay if I choose you, G?

Monday, September 16, 2013

That Day He'll Love Me Back


So, in my last post, I talked about things that make me happy, how sometimes I don't exactly feel the word "love" for places, things, ideas and how I have to approach it from that glowing feel I get whenever such things are mentioned, when I experience them, when I travel to them...

Because happiness for me is a glow in my chest, a warm feeling, kind of like a tingling pressure that expands.

And it lasts for the duration that I experience these things, places, ideas, that I'm in the presence of these people, and lasts until I'm no longer thinking about them.

So one of the ideas that makes me happy is the realization of a love once requited. Not the actual realization, though. That feeling of anticipation of that realization of a currently unrequited probably one of the strongest emotions I've felt so far in life.

I think it will only be surpassed by holding my children for the first time.

The biggest crush I will probably ever have in my life was, for those who have been reading for a long time, MTQ. I was 19 years old. It was the first time in my adult life that I "fell in love." It may be the last time in my adult life that I fall in love. It wasn't "love at first sight." I recently had that (with not my SO, prior to him being my SO, but concurrently with that...long story). He was a kid (a 19 then 20-year-old kid) who I at first didn't like. But later, I did fall...

And what a fall it was.

Right now, as a 28 year old woman, nearing the 10th Anniversary of Falling (if I may), the 10th anniversary of the Unrequited Love Tale of My Life...I have to be reminded of what it felt like to be "in love" with him. I have to go to old journal entries, old stories, and read and smile and remember.

Sentiments like, "I can't believe you exist in a realm in which I also exist," still make me tingle on the inside. I have to be reminded, but once I am, I can feel that again...and I love that feeling.

Implicit in that statement is that anticipation. The anticipation of the realization of a love that is yet unrequited is amazing. It's such a burning, glowing, magical feeling. And until that day happens, and as long as you believe this to be are taken over by that anticipation. You eat, sleep, pray, breathe that anticipation. I've never realized and unrequited love so I don't know how that may be the grand anticlimax, I don't know.

But that draw of that anticipation is why so many people liked the Helga/Arnold thing on Hey Arnold!
And girls will all be like, "That way he looked at me, did it mean something?"

And I'd probably have a list of rom-coms that played a similar role...if I watched them! :D

There are a few songs that capture this adeptly...and thus are some of my favorite songs (you can find a song for any sentiment you want from a talented artist).

In English, of course, Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed," not only lyrically, but musically, instrumentally, through its arrangement, captures that feeling perfectly. In fact, I can identify the exact moment that feels like my anticipation. See the clip below:

See 1:38-1:46 (not only the lyrics, but what the music is doing in the background...perfect. "And maybe, too, if you would believe you, too, might be..."). Almost what my anticipation feels like. My anticipation feels like some notes that don't exist, that may exist if I were genius enough to make my own arrangement of it.

Other such songs that are my favorites that I really feel when I sing along (or listen along, hehe) include Patti LaBelle's "If Only You Knew," "Natural High," by Bloodstone, and "Sweet Thing" by Chaka Khan (one of my favorite genres thus being apparent). (In linking these, I had to listen to them in their entirity). That moment of anticipation is captured with Patti LaBelle's "if" that she vocally embellishes in the chorus and then belts out repeatedly in the end. It's in Bloodstone's soaring chorus above the rest of the song, especially at the end of song. Chaka Khan's song is a little different...that song is the confession of love.

Chaka's is also the singing voice that I aspire to. Sigh.

Then, there are songs that capture the other side of that feeling...when that unrequited love is never realized, never will be realized, gone. Djavan's "Doidice" similarly masterfully written from the perspective of music, lyrics, emotion, captures the feeling when you recognize that your anticipation was for naught, that you were living in a fantasy existence.

(Incidentally, my only post on my YouTube Channel.)

There's a whole story about this song that I believe I posted before on my old blog that is now, I guess, off the web (but thankfully archived). But I was drawn to this song on my Pandora, got an imported CD from Brasil (because I couldn't find this song to download it), found the translation in the insert in the CD and realized that the lyrics described me for months, years after I realized that I would never be with MTQ. And the music enveloped me, and became that...and still feels like that when I listen to it.

Translation of the Chorus:
I fell in love?
Maybe, it could be
I went crazy?
I don't know, I've never seen it
I need to get out
After I discovered that there is you
I never existed again

I was this chorus, exactly. I don't know what it was I, insanity, obsession. But whatever it was, after I fell in love with him...I stopped existing for myself. So much was for him. I think I forced myself out of depression because I wanted to be well for him (topic of perhaps next entry). I wanted to be attractive for him, smart like he thought I was, all the awesome he thought I was when he told it to my face but he barely knew me, so how could he know?

For months, I lived in anticipation. It was a constant high and an evocative place to live. I was those few bars of "Overjoyed."

And then I was the chorus of "Doidice."

And the key word here is exist. "I can't believe that you exist in a realm in which I also exist." "I never existed again." Nunca mais existi. Living in anticipation sometimes mean you exist in an alternate reality so you can keep up that anticipation, though it may never come to pass.

Or maybe you need to just tell him, already. And if it didn't happen, it's because you waited until you graduated from college and sent it to him in email form when you knew he was long gone.

But the fact of the matter is...true love is not as sharp and prickly and exciting as that anticipation.

And that's why we never tell. Because we hold out as long as we can living in anticipation of that day he or she will love us back.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Things that Make Me Happy (In No Particular Order)


Today has been an emotionally trying day. It didn't have to be. I just decided to be family doctor for my family and attempt to coordinate the care for my hospitalized grandmother thousands of miles away (still in the continental United States, yes...this darn spacious land of ours!). Mentally and emotionally, she's in the throws of dementia but otherwise, alhamdulillah, she's doing okay. I need to sit on my hands and let her attending physician do her job, though I let my mother (who spent the day in the hospital with Grandmother today) know exactly what I consider standard of care to be...

I'm day float tomorrow so I should be heading to bed soon so I can be ready to go (as ready as I'll ever be) tomorrow. In the meantime, I was watching Hey Arnold! (yes, a carry over from the last entry) and realized how much it's pretty much my favorite cartoon from the 90s. (My favorite cartoon from the 80s was Muppet Babies, hehe). My favorite part of the HA! cartoon, like many of its other fans of all ages, was the Arnold and Helga storyline. Something about unrequited love really strikes a chord...we've all gone through that before!

I did this exercise once where we were to write down all of the things that we love. It was a little bit difficult for me because love is not a verb I use often for things...or people for that matter. It feels forced. I didn't grow up with it. So as I scanned through some old fanart, some from back in the day and apparently some still being generated (I can't believe it still has a fandom!), I thought, this makes me happy...

And I'm much more likely to recognize things that make me happy than to call them things that I love.

So, in no particular order (or, order of association)...things/people/places that make me happy.

--requited love (once unrequited)
--remembering a crush and feeling almost the exact same way as you remember it
--the anticipation of unrequited love becoming requited
--"Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder
--the notes in two bars of "Overjoyed" that hold almost all of the emotion in the song
--Stevie Wonder
--singing (especially well)
--those old school CD commercials for 80s music from the 90s
--the blue screen at the end of those CD commercials with the number (no website!) to call
--nostalgia fests in general
--YouTubing old commercials that remind me of a better time
--the Tyrese Coca Cola commercial
--the 90s Coca Cola commercial with the red circle and the flashing designs
--the "Holidays are coming" Coke commercial with the Christmas semi
--the old McDonald's characters and their commercials
--remembering when all the network stations were blocked off for that drugs special including all the cartoon characters of the time
--the theme song to the old America's Funniest Home Videos
--remembering the thunderstorm while watching AFHV and running between couches and jumping on them in the living room of our old house
--our old house
--my family
--remembering how my family used to be
--my mother
--my brother
--how my brother calls me "Dr. Sister"
--how my brother remembers things from our childhood when he was not yet verbal and not yet engaged
--remembering my childhood
--thinking of my own (future) babies, and children, and adult people
--my SO
--my large, crazy, sometimes happy extended family
--our memories recorded on VHS and now DVD
--VCRs and VHS
--"O Trem Azul" by Elis Regina
--"Redescobrir" by Elis Regina
--"Aguas de Março" (especially by Elis Regina, but also by Tom Jobim and João Gilberto)
--remembering how it felt to learn about Tom Jobim
--"As" by Stevie Wonder
--"Sa Marina" by Wilson Simonal
--"Flor de Lis" by Djavan
--"Una mulata en la Habana" (if only because it was inspired by Aguas de Março)
--speaking Portuguese
--Confissoes de Adolescente
--A Favorita
--learning how to swim
--my father's ability to whistle in two tones
--my father, his history
--speaking Spanish fluently
--seeing a prayer realized in real time

I could go on for a long time. Right now, what's making me the most happy is knowing that I have more than 8 hours to sleep before work tomorrow, sitting comfortably in a quiet apartment with only the sound of my new window fan blowing in the background, finally having an apartment that is a reasonable temperature (71 degrees) and feeling deliciously sleepy.

Loud fans make me happy. Fan wind blowing in my face makes me happy. Cool summer breezes make me happy. Good sleep makes me happy.

And for all of these things listed that make me happy, I am grateful for them. I am grateful to God that they exist, that they make me happy, and I know what happiness is.

I've thought of instituting a gratitude practice of sorts. My prayers tend to be a little lighter on the gratitude and heavier on the request. I think doing gratitude exercises outside of prayer will help enhance my gratitude within prayer and help me take that gratitude with me everywhere.

I am grateful for all of these happy things in my life.

I could go on...

--writing great characters
--reading old stories I've written
--"Weak" by SWV
--great dialogue
--great dialogue I've written
--songs I've written
--singing songs I've written
--cute animals
--baby animals
--baby talk...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



I haven't blogged in a while, not because I don't have anything to say, but because I have less of substance to say than usual. I'm kind of in a period of transition right now...spiritual transition, life transition, religious transition...and while I usually like to wax philosophical during those periods, I found that a time like this calls more for me putting my head down and barreling through.

I will say this, though...

Hey Arnold! was one of the best cartoons ever made, and one of the best shows of all time.

No, really.

I don't think there has been a show on television that felt more like it was made for me. Great writing, character development, music, complexity...I'm watching it today after not having seen it for over 10 years and it's still crazy entertaining.

I remember the moment when I first watched it as an 11 year old and Helga yelled at her fellow fourth grade girl classmates in one of the episodes, saying, "High heeled shoes? Why are we wearing these? We're already taller than all the boys."

And I was like, yeah, we are taller than boys! So cooooool!

Little did I know, at 11 years old and 5'5", I was actually only going to grow a half an inch more, and I wouldn't be taller than the boys for long.

But it was a show that got what it was like to be a kid, including the fact that you could never tell a boy or a girl if you liked them...though Helga took it to the extreme.

And seeing the non-stereotypical representation of a black family in a cartoon with Gerald and his family...

And cool jazz music...

And coocoo grandparents?

There was nothing more in this series that I wanted. It was great.

I remember waiting with bated breath for the first episode, I remember how I felt when I first heard the music, the first time I heard Gerald's voice in "Downtown as Fruits..."

Yeah, it's like that.

Definitely gives me saudades.

I miss being a kid.