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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Jon's LiveJournal:

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Friday, October 28th, 2016
10:50 pm
More years passed. Does this shit ever get any easier? I remain in Mexico City, in the same house that Ben shares with his bf- along with 3 other roommates. It's a packed house, to say the least. I've been working pretty much 7 days a week for months now- giving classes, making and selling popcorn and hoping to see that business grow- and just trying to make ends meet. I am not unhappy, but I am not fulfilled. Going back to the US seems less likely by the day, and yet I continue to wonder if I will truly make it here. My Spanish continues to suck, but I can get through my days and my conversations well enough. Ben and his friend Paco are starting a tour company and I have been helping them write up the descriptions of the tours. I will also be giving tours myself to people coming in from the States, Canada, England, Australia and other places. Anything to get me more money and to get away from the unreliable English classes.
My personal life is still up in the air. I have dated a few guys in the last 6 months. A 24-year-old named Ezra who I met at a rooftop BBQ 3 or 4 months back didn't last long. He wanted to get back into being a flight attendant and eventually move back to be closer to family in Guadalajara. As soon as he got the job, he basically ghosted me- not cool, but I probably did that too at that age. Live and learn. Last month I met Javier on Tinder, of all places. We met, watched Star Trek Beyond and walked around a little bit. We've gotten closer since then. He works a lot, as I do, during the week, but he spends most of the weekend with me. On the surface, we might not have a lot in common, but the more I get to know him, the more I think there's a lot going on deeper. He likes to go to rock clubs and have beers, and then spend the day walking through markets. I do like him, but I am not yet getting my hopes up too much. I've been writing on this journal thing for almost 15 years now, and there doesn't seem to be all that much difference with the dating scene at 21 versus 35. Guys are still weird. I'm still weird. It is what it is.
The world is a scary place these days, especially in the US with the election crap. I wish I could just tune it out as I have been particularly disturbed and surprised at the horrible shit people seem to be embracing lately. Sometimes I think maybe humanity really isn't meant to survive. That we were just a genetic fluke somewhere along the way that nature forgot to take care of. I guess, sooner or later, we'll do that ourselves.
Friday, June 8th, 2012
9:28 pm
So I told Ben was I was considering doing. I told him that I was tired of not doing anything with my life, that I needed direction. He said he didn't want me to do it, that it was for people who were stupid and couldn't do anything else. But he also said he would support me if it was what I really wanted to do. I know he means that, but I honestly don't believe it would really last. Our time apart in the past has not always gone very well, at least not when we were also technically still dating. I'm not that confident that he has that kind of patience.

He also said that I have other options besides the Army, which is true, I do. The problem is that the options here are more with things that he's doing than really about what I want to do. He wants me to help him write food-related articles for this one website. I don't mind writing, but the topics don't really interest me. I like to eat, I appreciate good food, but I don't want to write about food. He also suggested being a travel writer, again with food or something, but that seems even more unlikely. How would I pay for that, and how would I do it anyway in Mexico with my Spanish still being awful? I don't know. My life here is not bad at all. We're able to do pretty much all the things we want, and we have some good friends here. */Our relationship is not great, but it's also not as bad as it has been. So there are some reasons to consider not doing it. On the other hand, I think doing it will be good for our relationship, especially if he waits for me. He won't have to worry about me so much anymore. I'll have direction, and I'll have the confidence to actually move forward.

I've been reading a lot and watching tons of videos about the Army, and there are definitely a lot of things I'm worried about. I worry I won't be able to do it physically, that I'm not strong enough mentally. That I won't be able to do what I need to do. Then I realize that probably almost everyone has these same concerns and they get through it. Honestly, the more I see, the more I seem to want it. I told Ben that we'd give it until July to figure out another option for me, but if I have nothing going on by then, that I actually enjoy and want to do, then I will do the Army.
Friday, May 25th, 2012
1:47 pm
The Next Chapter
I've been back in Mexico City since last August. Ben and I have been trying to find the relationship we once had, with varying results. We love each other, that remains true today just as it was more than 9 years ago. Overall, things aren't bad, but they're not great, either. In some ways, we're still just going through the motions, almost more like good friends who happen to live together. I'm beginning to think that maybe that's all we can ever really be now. Two people who love and know each other more than anyone else, but to be together in a romantic sense may never be possible again. It really hurts to say that after all of our history and how far we've come. We've both changed so much for each other, and I think for the better, but the irony is that all of our history is the same thing that won't let us move forward.

Beyond Ben and I, I need to do something with my life. When I was very young, I thought I would be an archeologist or geologist or meteorologist. One of those science careers where you travel and see the amazing things of the world. Instead, things happened and I grew up bitter and sad and angry at the world I used to find so beautiful. It took a long time to find my way back from that, and I do find the world beautiful again. But I never did figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Going back to school seemed like such an impossibility. I've never been financially secure, and my retail jobs required so much of my time. Maybe I was just always making excuses. Lately, though, within the last 5 or 6 months, a familiar idea has come back to me, but it really solidified recently. A month ago, Ben, I and another friend went to Puerto Vallarta on vacation. Ben, of course, did something stupid. We had planned to have a nice dinner together, just the two of us, at this nice restaurant on the beach. We so rarely spend time together like that, so I thought it would be nice. Instead, it was a disaster. Earlier that day we had taken a mountain bike tour up to this waterfall and swimming hole. There was a small restaurant there and we ate a bit. Well, the chicken or something must've been bad, because by that evening we both had felt a little sick. By the time we went to dinner, Ben was feeling better, but I was feeling worse. I tried not to let it bother me, but I was barely able to eat anything and was feeling very nauseous. I could tell Ben was getting upset with me and I didn't know why. I think he thought I was just faking it, though I have no idea why he would think I would do that. Toward the end of dinner, I had to run to the bathroom and vomit. I felt a little better after, but not that much.

When we got back to the hotel, Ben and our friends wanted to go out to the bars, but I wasn't up for it. I was tired and still not feeling well, so I just decided to go to bed early. I could tell Ben was not happy with me still. They left the hotel around 10pm. I fell asleep around midnight or so, but woke up two or three times during the night. They didn't come back to the hotel all night. Just before 10am the next morning, I finally get a text from one of the friends that they would try to be back as soon as they could, but that I should go ahead and eat something, as if breakfast had been my concern. I had been worried... but more than that, the whole situation had brought me back to those nights that Ben had cheated on me after drinking too much at a party. It wasn't until 1pm or 2pm that they finally showed back up at the hotel. I could barely look at Ben, I was so angry with him. His excuse was that they had gone to a party at someone's house and people had been too drunk to drive them back to the hotel, so they stayed the night. I said that didn't excuse no communication when everyone had a phone. In the end, I never got anymore details about what happened that night and I didn't ask. No matter what the story was, I was never going to get all of it, and I probably wouldn't have liked what I would hear anyway.

They ended up going to eat, and I spent most of that day alone. I read a book by the hotel pool, I walked around the downtown area, had dinner and then walked the beach at sunset. Most of that time, I spent thinking about my future. Not just with Ben, but about everything. What could I do with my life? What could force the changes in me that I have needed so much for so long? And I realized I already knew the answer, that it'd been there for a long time and it had been put away out of love for Ben. I can't go home. There is nothing there for me. My family and many friends are there, but they can't give me the things I need right now. I can't just stay in Mexico and live under Ben's shadow, not ever finding my own life, either. Besides, I could never be the type of man I need to be for the relationship anyway, and if I can't, then neither can he... at least not if things stay this way. That's why, as I sat the end of the beach watching the Pacific waves crashing over rocks in the setting sun, I thought... this is like some cliched metaphor for my own life. The death of everything familiar, the waves washing away the footprings in the sand. I knew in that moment I would never really be the same, that I could never be the same. Not if I want to be the person I once dreamed about as a little kid with so much hope.

So, at age 31, I've decided that the only thing that makes any sense, as strange as it may be, is to go into the army. I haven't told Ben yet. I haven't told my family or friends. Right now I'm focused on getting into the physical shape I need to be, which is going to take time. The good news is that I've been going to the gym regularly since October and have lost almost 25lbs, so that was a good start. I don't much think about my future now. I have a direction for the first time in my adult life and I just want to see how it plays out. I know it will likely mean the end of Ben and I, in terms of any type of relationship. The long-distance alone is bad enough on a relationship, but I really don't know what he'd be waiting for anyway. I don't think he would either. It would be too much for him, I think, and I couldn't blame him. He's a good guy who has made a lot of mistakes. I'd like to think there's still a good guy somewhere in me too who has just become really lost. I want to find that person again and I need out of my own head for awhile to have a chance. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore, least of all Ben... or myself. I love him. I always will love him... and if I can do that, then I think there's hope for me too. There is always hope, and there is always a choice.
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
10:28 pm
8 years ago today, May 18, 2003, I met Ben. I was 22 years old, an adult but in so many ways still just a kid. I was lost, directionless, immature, afraid of everything, and bitter about how my life had turned out. Angry over a past that haunted my every thought and action, and seemingly powerless to ever do anything about it.

7 years ago today, May 18, 2004, I was living in Mexico City. It would prove to be the craziest thing I would ever do, and I learned so much more about myself than I thought possible. I found strength there that I didn't know I had. Somewhere in that huge, sprawling metropolis of ugliness and beauty, I began to find something to live for.

6 years ago today, May 18, 2005, I was just back home in Ohio. Home, however, would never quite be the same again. I knew I had changed, and the future didn't look as bleak as it used to.

5 years ago today, May 18, 2006, I was 25 and working at Meijer. Ben had moved back to Ohio again and we were living at my Mom's place. It was not always easy, but he always made it better.

4 years ago today, May 18, 2007, Ben and I had purchased our first house and were making plans for the future. We were thinking of new business ideas, maybe catering, maybe running a bakery business. So many possibilities.

3 years ago today, May 18, 2008, Ben had started up his fledgling food blog and I had moved on to a new job as well. Money was tight, things weren't always good, but there were good things too. We began to make new friends that year.

2 years ago today, May 18, 2009, our social life was in full swing. So many new friends, so much fun. My job was going well, money issues were not as bad, things seemed to be going well. My favorite moments were those nights cuddled with Ben on the couch watching movies.

1 year ago today, May 18, 2010, was just 2 months before Ben would leave. Our relationship had never been perfect, and we struggled so much to talk about how we felt. I think maybe it all just became too much. We were in a rut, and we both made mistakes. 2 months later, I would drive Ben to the airport early in the morning. Ben told me not to worry, that we would see each other again. And then he walked away.

10 months later, on May 18, 2011, I am at yet another job. I am about to lose my house. And I am alone. Yet for all of that, I am not so sad. These last 8 years have been anything but boring, have been anything but dull. I have lived more in the last 8 years than I did in the previous 22.

In 2003, I was broken. In 2011, I am merely another person with a past who can still find so many things to feel good about. Life is what it is. Beautiful in all its cruel setbacks and wonderful surprises. We are not merely pawns to fate, but also masters of our own paths. In the last 8 years, I chose to live, to move on no matter what, no matter how difficult my problems were or how terrible the choices are.

Ben changed everything, and for the rest of my life, the parts of me that are better will always be a tribute to our time together.

Wherever you are tonight, Ben, happy anniversary. I will always love you.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
11:48 pm
I said goodbye to a friend tonight. To be honest, we hadn't spoken in ten years, but reconnected recently by chance. It did not take long to realize that, although I have moved on somewhat from my past, he is still living it. He still has so much anger and sadness and I know he will never allow me to know him, not truly. I have always wished that I had some friend who I could talk to... to hold amazingly deep conversations with. I had hoped, for awhile, that it would be him. But you have to be comfortable with yourself first, and he is not. Ten years ago, we parted ways because we were both messed up in some way, immature, naive, angry, and involved in drama we couldn't control. Now, it appears the same is happening, only this time only one of us still hasn't moved on. I wish him happiness and peace in his life, but I know from firsthand experience that that can only come when you are willing to work for it. And it helps so much to have someone at your side to get you through it. Ben was the extra strength I needed, and I know that if I had never met him, I would be like my lost friend. Alone and sad and only wishing for things I will never have. My friend was my first crush, but Ben will always be my true and only love.
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
12:36 am
In July, I was told that I would be moving to another store. They had this girl from Dayton who wanted to change markets and they were going to give her my store because, from what they said, they did not trust her with a true urban location. Honestly, I had mixed feelings about the move. On one hand, I knew it would be better for me on gas money and all. And I would make more at a busier store. On the other hand, I liked where I was and liked the people I worked with. We had the routine down well, and things did not get out of hand.

But, I pretty much had no choice in the matter. At the end of July, I was told that I would not immediately move to my new store. First, while they trained someone else to take over, I would be covering another store for awhile. So the first week of August, I went to this other store. Basically, it is in the ghetto. When Jeff took me through the store the first day, it was a disaster. It was dirty, trashed, nothing was done. Things were falling apart in a big way. I seriously did not want to be there. Throw in the fact that it is one of the highest theft stores in the city and I was just not excited about it at all.

A month later, I am still there, with no word on when I will be out of there. I have been able to improve the store somewhat, but not enough. People steal so much there it is ridiculous, and the level of customers is down near the bottom. They are so dishonest, rude, and nasty. They let their kids run free and tear up the place. 75% of them can barely speak any English at all, and the 25% that can apparently don't have a vocabularly that doesn't begin or end with "fucking..."

And then on Sunday the 23rd, a particularly bad day when nothing seemed to go right, a guy tried to rob the store. He came up to me and demanded I open the register. He made a motion like he had a gun under his shirt (I don't think he did, but who knows). To be honest, not much went through my mind at the time, but for one reason or another, I told him that I was not going to open the registers. Most people tell you to cooperate with people like that, lest you get hurt or worse. I guess at the end of the day, I am not that kind of person. Or at least, I don't think so. Anyway, the guy seemed surprised that I would not open the register. I don't think he counted on that, and after a hesitation, ran out the door. The police came, took statements and fingerprints.. the whole CSI deal. To be honest, I don't think it registered for a while what happened. Most of that day, I was more concerned that the incident wasted so much of my time than anything else. Only later did I realize that things could've gone so much differently.

When I told people about the robbery, they seemed surprised at what I did. They said I should've just given them the money, it's safer that way. The thing is, if it happened again, I'm not so sure I would do that. Not sure if that makes me an idiot or brave.
Wednesday, March 5th, 2008
8:31 pm
It is strange that sometimes I come on this site brimming with words that I want to put down, and then when I go to type them in, I don't really have all that much to say. A journal seems more like something you have when you have a lot of things to complain about. Lost loves, lost childhoods, lost opportunities... pretty much all the things I have written about more times than I can count. Things that I don't really have all that much to complain about anymore. My one complaint the last year or so has been finances, and even that is getting better with my new job (which, btw, I like and haven't felt a day of stress even once since starting).

Still, despite things going okay, I still feel the need to keep updating things here, as if I am under some obligation to keep it going. Maybe it is a throwback to that lost childhood I so often used to talk about. To keep record of the person who, once messed up beyond words, has at last found some measure of peace in the world. I suppose, though, that that story is not quite as exciting.

The real question is... am I the person I wanted to be? The short answer is, I don't know. I still stay awake sometimes wondering if there is something more out there. A place for Ben and I that is not so routine. And in those moments, I think back to my time in Mexico and wonder if that was perhaps the best time of my life. In a sense, it was. I was living without the boundaries I made myself live by. I was free to set my own path and be forced to act even when I didn't know if I had the strength to. I changed more in that 15-month period than at any other time. Now, I wonder if I will ever have that kind of experience again. Truth be told, I am scared that I never will. That that one period will always be defining time in my life that I will not be able to reproduce. That I will be forever talking about it only because nothing new comes along. Do I want to be the kind of person who has that one amazing, life changing experience... and still ends up in a normal routine?

There are 32 pages of email my account. The email on there goes all the way back to the summer of 2001. The pages are full of emails that for one reason or another, decided to keep. There are emails about 9/11, from past boyfriends that told me they loved me and later broke it off. There are emails about my old jobs, from people I once met but lost contact with. From dates gone wrong. From old highschool aquaintences that seem so far away now. Emails from me to others in which I am so angry and hurtful that I cringe. What is it about the past that so compells us to remember?
Friday, December 28th, 2007
12:27 am
My last entry back in October was pretty gloomy. A lot has changed since then. Early this month I got a call about a job that payed a substantially larger amount of money than I was making, and after a few interviews, I took it. I'll be making almost double what I was for essentially the same kind of work. This is a huge step in getting our financial situation in order. I will finally be making enough to not only cover the bills that Ben and I have, but also to put a little aside for other things. I want to fix up the house, I want to take some classes, etc, and this will help a lot. What's better is that I got out of a job that I hated. I would go in every day and feel so completely stressed out even before I walked in the door. I was sad in a way to say goodbye to some of the people, but I was very happy to finally get out of there.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
9:43 pm
I'm about a month away from bankruptcy. There seems to be no way around it. We were on thin ice when it came to finances when we first got the house, but I thought we would be okay because I had just gotten a raise to salary and Ben was starting his bakery more. 7 months later and my pay has been slashed and it seems that all attempts to get Ben working have gone nowhere. It seems to really only be a matter of time. My dad has helped, and my mom is going to help this month, but I can't rely on them and I'm not going to ask them for money. I've been applying to other jobs for awhile. I had an interview last week for a sales position that would've paid more, but the lady who gave me the second interview clearly didn't like me for whatever reason. I could just tell it in her voice. Perhaps it was that I joked with her and she wasn't the joking type. Who knows. Either way, I didn't get a call back.
So on my desk in front of me is a pile of bills that I have no idea how I am going to pay for. I'm starting to get calls. My credit is no doubt plummeting after I spent so long trying to get it good enough to get a house in the first place. I'm making far less now than is going out for bills. I'm not sure that Ben fully grasps how really bad we are doing. If I even mention him working, he acts as if I said something wrong and then he gets depressed and goes to bed. It's so frustrating. I think, okay... you were in NYC and then Ohio for years and you worked and you did what you had to do to survive, but with me? Why won't he do it for me?
I don't know, I'm just very worried. I've been getting headaches all the time. I've not been sleeping well. I'm so irritable at work. If something does not change, and change soon, I will lose everything, including most likely Ben as well.
Sunday, October 14th, 2007
2:38 am
In life we see the darkness of humanity,
And in death, we see the light that sets us free.

This is the philosophy of the world. Me, I prefer the darkness. At least in life, there is that comfort in knowing possibilities. In death, all that you know is that is coming. Sooner or later, it will be here to take us all, no matter what we have done with the gift of existance. My life is so far from perfect, but it feels real. It feels good to wake up next to someone who loves you and who believes and sees better things inside than sometimes I can see in myself.

I love the fall.
Friday, September 28th, 2007
12:41 am
I have been on vacation from work since Sunday. It is much needed, as I find myself increasingly stressed at work. The situation there is just not good since they did restructuring back in July. I have 3x the work and had my pay cut. Needless to say, that didn't help our financial situation. We are getting by, though, and Ben is starting to make money off selling baked goods and all, which is great. He really seems to be getting into it, and I'm happy that he has found something to do. I know for a long time he was feeling depressed about not doing anything. He's also brought up going to Spain. We'll see what happens with that.

Things between us are as good as they've ever been, really. We seem to have settled into a comfortable routine, and we still enjoy the time we have together. We are approaching 5 years together now. Through all the rough spots and doubts, we've both grown significantly both as a couple and as individuals. A couple friends of ours got married recently. It brought up the question for us. I don't think it is something that is as prominent as a goal for me as it once was. Perhaps one day, perhaps not, so long as we are happy.
Monday, May 21st, 2007
1:47 am
I feel bad. Rene came online tonight, and the first talked about was that he hated Americans and the he had met some random Cuban guy who told him that "sex was healthy." Both were said to get some kind of reaction from me, and I did have one. I finally just told him goodbye. I don't even know why I've held on so long to this idea that we had a friendship. Almost every time we talk, we argue about something, mostly about the course of his life. He tells me about all the things he does, knowing that the stupid person in me that has to care about everyone will react. And I know he does it because he wanted to drive me away. I'm the only one in his life who says anything about what he does. I'm the only one in his life that questions him. But he doesn't really need me. He's not stupid, he knows what he's doing, he knows that inside him it makes him feel as empty as always. He knows that I worry about him getting hurt or worse. He doesn't care about any of that, and I can't keep putting myself through that fight each time. So I'm cutting my losses. I realize that there's nothing I can do, that maybe it was all inevitable. That maybe there never was any hope. Maybe I think too much of myself for even believing there was anything I could or should do. Maybe this is like that time I tried to convince that 20-something cancer guy to try and live. I try to save the world too much, and it's not one that wants to be saved. So who is the bigger fool?

I hate myself for what I said to him.
Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
1:23 am
Ben met someone online and ended up getting invited to a dinner party on Saturday. I wasn't able to go because I had to work. For a brief time, I felt an old familiar insecurity about it. Neither of us have really established any kind of network of friends since moving. I tried to reconnect with someone, but with no money, we're not able to do much anyway. Ben thought I was upset because I was jealous, but that's not really it. It is times like that that the past really shows itself, the only time it really does show all that much anymore. It's not jealousy, it is fear. Fear of getting left behind in some way. Ben hates that insecurity about me, and really has zero patience for it. It shows itself once in awhile in other ways too... The other day Ben had made some pastries and had extras, so he decided it would be a good idea to take them over to the neighbors. I didn't want to do it, and when convinced to come, I stood back while he did all the talking.
There are some days that I am able to walk up to people and joke with them and feel as comfortable with them as if I had known them for years. Other days, I do what I did that day, and my insecurity takes over. It is a reminder that no matter much time passes, you're only as good as how much you've let the past go. Clearly, there is still some hold on me. I take hope in the fact that that hold is infinitely less than it was just a few years ago. Unfortunately, as much as I love Ben, I know that he is not the kind of guy that will be the patient, encouraging type for that kind of problem. I improve with time because of sheer will, and with the belief that all things have an end, even the worst of them.
Thursday, April 5th, 2007
12:49 am
Wow, seven months have passed since I have been on here. I don't think that I can sit here and write down seven month's worth of life events. The limit of the written word, if there is one, is that no matter how many adjectives we use to describe something, it still is no substitute for real life experience.

In September Ben and I began looking for a car. We had been using my mom's SUV, which I hate. The two-hour round trip back and forth from work was costing a fortune in gas. Not to mention that we had this idea about starting a bakery business and would need a cheaper vehicle for all the travelling. My mom also just wanted her car back because she wanted the 4-wheel drive for the upcoming winter.

In October, Ben and I bought a brand new car. I hadn't plan to spend the kind of money I spent to get something, but we did. I've never had a new car before, and it was a nice feeling for once buying something nice for myself. So with the new car, we began the bakery business. The plan was for Ben to use his cooking skills and for me to just finance/advertise. The very first day out, we got a customer. Within a month we had 8. It seemed like things were going to work out very well for us. But then came complications.

By November, Ben was saying quite a bit how he didn't want to live at my mom's anymore. It was in the middle of nowhere, there was nothing for us to do there, and he wanted us to have a place of our own. I felt the same way, but wasn't sure if we had the money to do it, especially with the huge new car payment. But I knew that we had to do something, and it was just stressful on both of us. So we considered the options and decided not only to move, but to get a real house. I honestly had no idea what I was doing when we first went out. The first real-estate agency that we went to basically just tried to sell us a piece of crap, apparently because someone my age is probably not going to have the money for a nicer place with a fatter commission check for the real estate agent. So we left and drove to another place. The second agency was much more helpful, even though we made it clear that we didn't want to make a down payment. I got the impression after awhile that, with the housing market pretty much crashing nationwide, they were just happy to have a customer.
For awhile, though, the houses we were shown were tiny and run-down. One of the first houses we saw was less than 500 square feet. Another had bullet holes that went from one end of the house to the other. Eventually we found things we liked about the houses we saw and started to refine the search. A month passed with failure after disappointment. The few houses we liked we couldn't get for one reason or another, and the ones we didn't want seemed to be in abundance. Finally, on a last-minute trip to see a house we had been debating on, the realtor showed us one that, when we walked in, we knew it was the one.

We put in the offer for the house in early December. The following day, disaster. The realtor called to let us know that the owner of the house was going through bankruptcy and that if we decided to stick with the house, the bankruptcy procedures would take at least 30 to 45 days and then there was no guarantee that the judge would sign off on the sale. Needless to say, Ben was ready to give up. Me, I tried to be more optimistic because I was more tired of searching than I was with waiting at that point. So Ben and I talked it over and decided to stick with the house. Meanwhile, work had been a nightmare since Halloween. I had become a full-time, salary manager, which basically meant that I was working 50-60 hours a week to get yelled at by retards who couldn't read a sale sign. I have never understood why so many people are so pissed off during the holidays. The season of joy and peace has really just become another day for people to be bastards to each other, and I was in the middle of it. Combined with the house disaster, the long drives, the stress of no privacy and Ben's unhappiness, December pretty much sucked.

Thirty days passed, then 45, and still no word on what was going on with the house. January was half over and we finally hear from the realtor. She basically tells us that we still have to wait a week or so because everyone involved in the bankruptcy process is in no hurry to do anything. Ben and I once again contemplate waiting to looking again. We again decide to wait. After 45 days, what's another week or two? Well, the week comes and goes, and another, and another, and another... While at work, the busy holiday season turns into the slowest period of the year, and with it, the company decides to cut everyone's budget, and therefore, everyone's hours. I have no people to schedule, and have to cover more and more shifts.

February arrives and we're still waiting. The entire month passes essentially unchanged.

FINALLY, early last month, we get the call we've been waiting for 4 months for... the house is ready to be closed on. We remain skeptical until pretty much sitting at the closing table and signing the papers. And just like that, the wait is over and we own a house. We move in the following weekend. We had no furniture, not even a bed. The only thing we had is two computer desks and a dresser. The first week we slept on the floor in the dining room until my brother brought over a mattress and box spring. We painted most of the upstairs, but nothing down. The house overall needs some work, but most of it is cosmetic. It's a 94 year old house, so it has all the charm I love. It is so nice to be able to come home and know that it is really yours. And it is nice to share it with someone you love. Ben cooks dinner for me all the time, and we sit upstairs and eat and watch tv like an old married couple. It's a nice feeling.

And that's about where we are now. Our bakery business is on hold for now. Not sure if it will be resurrected or not.

Work still sucks, and it's not getting any better. I've been there 14 months now, and I despise almost everything about it. I told Ben the other day that my stress level goes up just passing by. I want to find something else but the money is too good to just let it go with nothing in line, and with Ben not working, I couldn't afford the house and car and everything. I told Ben he needs to finish one of his stories and get it published so I can quit :-p

On my worst days at work, I think back to something I talked about last year... the Army. The idea seemed to have just faded away. I didn't want to leave Ben and Ben didn't want me to go either, but the thought of it still is in my head and still hasn't really gone away. Every time I see a military guy in the store, I think about it and wonder what if...

My brother is moving back to Florida. He and his wife moved back to Ohio back in December. He had promised me that we would spend time together and get closer as brothers. We have not been all that close since we were little kids. We have talked a lot more since he came back... but alas his job prospects here weren't all that satisfying to him. And they just missed Florida. I was/am a bit upset that he made a promise that he won't be keeping.

Also back in December, my dad's side of the family had a big reunion. It was somewhat spontaneous, but it was great. I saw almost all of my relatives on my dad's side for the first time in many years. Of course that is the crazy side of the family and none of them are really dull. I felt so close to them, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like part of a family, a flawed family, but one nonetheless, and I didn't want that night to end. I know that we will not all get together like that again. It was one of those fluke times when everyone has the time off from work, when everyone is willing to put the past aside.

So that's the seven months in a short version.
Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
11:57 pm
It's been awhile since I last wrote. Less than two weeks after my last entry, my grandmother on my mom's side died. She had had open heart surgery and had just never recovered from it. Honestly, I didn't see her before she died. The last time I saw her was earlier this spring, not long before her surgery. We all had lunch together. I had wondered at the time if that would be the last time that I would see her... and it was. I cried a lot less than I thought I would, but I guess that I'm the type of person who prepares for disaster and loss a long, long time in advance of it. I knew that, one day, she would be gone. It's a remnant of dealing with so much pain that I imagined all the worst-case scenarios... so the actual moment would hurt a little less. But it is foolish to think that mere thoughts and imaginings ever do the real thing justice. Loss never feels better, no matter how much or how hard you cried beforehand. I won't share anything more about my experiences with her. The memories are mine alone.

I'll write about the rest of what's been going on later. Busy day tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 5th, 2006
10:43 pm
It's hard to know how to feel these days. For the past two months, since I first really considered going into the army, I have been playing the scenario over and over in my mind. On one hand, I have been gradually getting used to the idea, trying my best to ignore and fight away the doubts and fears that I have. I feel like I have made a decision and I should stick by it no matter what. On the other hand, I think Ben is becoming increasingly apprehensive about the whole thing. Initially, he seemed very excited about it, but not not very. He told me the other day that he is afraid that I will come back different. We watched that movie Jarhead the other day, and I think that got him thinking about it more than usual. That I will come back changed in some ways is a given. You can't go through any life experience and come out the other side the exact same person you started as. The world is a dangerous place, as it has always been, and the US seems to have its nose up in everyone's issues these days, so the chances that I'll be sent somewhere unpleasant is a distinct possibility. There's the chance that I'll see really terrible things, that I'll be hurt, scarred, or not come back at all. I think about that and it seems very scary to me... but then I think that any of that could happen every day I leave the house. All my life I have been afraid to take risks, and all that time I was miserable. It is only within the past few years that I have really challenged myself, and for the most part it has been rewarding. There are never any guarantees. If I die taking a risk, at the very least, I will have died facing my fears instead of them controlling me.
Friday, May 19th, 2006
11:16 am
So there's a lot to talk about now. First, Ben is coming back on the 23rd. I can't wait to see him. We've only seen each other once since he left last summer. In some ways it doesn't feel like it has been that long, and in other ways it feels like it has been a lifetime. I think this time apart was probably good for us. I feel that we have both grown since then. Ben has started writing a lot, and I mean a LOT. He has been entering contests and everything. I'm going to be helping to edit his English-language stories, and with luck, maybe one of them will get published. Aside from that, when he comes back he's going to have to find some kind of job to support himself while he is here. I will help out as much as I can, but sooner or later, he's going to have to find a source of income. In any event, I want to do a lot of things this summer. Travel, go to amusement parks, whatever. Also, I need to start getting serious about running/working out... which leads me to the other thing.

I'm sure in the past I have said a few things about the military that were not all that nice. Most of my life I saw those guys as kinda stupid and naive. Why? Well, because for me, I couldn't understand why it would make sense to anyone to put their lives on the line for someone else's idea of right and wrong, especially when it is not in the defense or safety of things like family or even country. Also, I always thought of it as people willingly giving up their independence, and combined with the whole right and wrong thing, it was just an idea I wholeheartedly rejected. Once, I briefly dated this Navy guy. I didn't know he was in the Navy at first, but once I found out, I became so uncomfortable and intimidated by that fact that the way I acted afterwards pretty much ended it.
Since then, my position has gradually softened in regards to the military. I'm not sure why exactly, but I think a lot of my initial problems with it was not really about the military but about my own life. I never knew what to do with my life, or what decisions to make, or even really understood much about myself. I was just angry and bitter, and the only time I was ever really okay was when things were going the way I wanted them to go. A lot has changed since then. Sure, I still like to be right, and I still like to voice my opinions, but a key difference is that I'm not afraid of unpredictability. I'm not angry automatically when I don't like something. Javier told me something very true when we were talking about religion one day. He said that I wouldn't be so bothered by not always being right if I was really happy with my own position and life. The truth is that it is good to be wrong. If you were never wrong, you wouldn't be human, and you wouldn't know the difference between really being right about something... and just being a complete ass. Most of my life, I was the ass.
So what does this all mean? Well, it means a lot of things, I guess, but the point is that I have changed my mind about the military. I don't particularly believe in fate, but in regards to the military, I came as close to fate as I think I could. I started talking to this guy several months ago, and for some reason, we started talking about the military and how he was thinking about it. We talked about it a lot, the pros and cons, the whys, all that stuff. And for another unknown reason, the idea wouldn't leave me. When I was at work, at home, anywhere, it would cross my mind. Then, at the same time, the subject would be brought up again in different places. A recruiter would walk up to me (that happened like 3 times), or I would see a commercial or a billboard for it, or there was one day when a guy I worked with gave me a card for this girl he thought I should meet (yes, for dating,lol) who was in the Army. And then one of the guys I hired had just got out of the Army, and the guy I met recently told me he was in it... and I'm like... okay, are these signs or what? Somewhere along the way, the idea of it stopped being purely negative to me. It went from something I rejected to a curiosity to being intriguing. The night that the latest person told me that he had been in the Army, I came home and talked to Ben about it. I had mentioned previously that I had been thinking about it and his first reaction was something along the lines of "but you don't believe in it," and reacted that it was a bad idea. This time, it was different. I found out something I hadn't ever known about him... that he was a military aficianado. He loved that stuff, and eventually admitted that he loved the idea of me going into the military. So... that was pretty much the last straw as far as that goes. So now I'm planning to join the Army at the end of the summer. I'm nervous, scared, worried I won't be able to do it... but at the same time, I'm excited and feel like I have this direction that I haven't felt since moving to Mexico, and very few other times in my life.
I told the guy I had met recently about it, because he's the only person I know personally who has ever been in the military, and he asked if I was sure about it. I said no, but then again, I wasn't sure about Mexico either. I spent so much of my life afraid, in all ways, but especially when it came to making decisions that might change the course of my life. Now, I'm ready to take more chances and to recognize that I have more strength than I give myself credit for.
Tuesday, April 18th, 2006
11:42 pm
Today was beautiful. The sky was blue, the air was warm, and the trees were in bloom. I drove over to the Lake, as has become my habit lately. I go there to feel at peace. It is the place I go to reflect on what has been and what is to come. Everywhere I look, I can see into a memory. I can see places where I stood in another time and life. It is nice to be able to remember something and not feel sad because of it. I have far too many of those to look back on. I took the camera with me and took pictures of places that I know. Each has a story, and I want to tell them all.

The last time I saw Javier, he played a recording of an 83 year-old woman whose son had died of cancer. She spoke of the last days and moments with her child. I don't know why he played that for me. With him, there always seems to be a hidden meaning in everything he does... a lesson he tries to teach. He said things like everytime I smile, a fairy is born. Strange and funny and wonderful things, and yet always with something behind them. I probably will never see him again, but I wrote him an email the day he flew home saying that if there is another life beyond this one, I hope I am lucky enough to see him there. It is rare in this world to find special people, and Javier is one of them.

Speaking of special people, Ben is coming back again, or at least I hope so. I miss him every day. For three years now, I have worried so much about our relationship. I have worried about our future, whether or not he was the right one, whether or not I was the right one for him, whether or not we would ever be able to put the past behind us. Maybe the truth is that we will never have what we dream. Dreams are just choices that we couldn't make. The truth is that I am happy with Ben and that's all I really care about. When Javier played that tape for me, I thought about that guy whose boyfriend had died and how he was going to give in to his own cancer just to have the chance to be with him again. For a long time, I couldn't understand that. All through my life I have had so much anger that the world was not the way I thought it should be. I judged people, I pushed them away because I thought I was better. Today, though, I realized that what I was doing, and what I was hating the world for were both caused by the same thing. Really, we all just want to be loved, and we do so many crazy things to feel it. But I have love right now. I have Ben, and others whom I love and who love me. That does count. I imagine how different all of our lives would've been had we all had that from the beginning. Javier said that perhaps God brought us together for a reason. I have never believed in God or fate, and still don't, but whatever the reason we met, I am a better person because of it. And in turn, I am a better person for Ben. I think that our story is still only just beginning.
Tuesday, January 10th, 2006
11:43 am
I miss Ben. I took him to the airport this morning, and right about now he should be taking off on his way to Chicago before heading down to Mexico City. I'm not sure when I'm going to see him again. He says he wants to come back in May, another four months from now. For me, it's always too little time to see him, and too much time apart. Our relationship is complicated... we are not together in an official sense, yet when we are with each other, it feels like we are. Whatever happens in the relationship status, I expect that we will always be together in some fashion, if only just friends. I am going to help him on his business and hopefully that works out well for both of us.
Sunday, December 25th, 2005
6:43 pm
Well, it's another Christmas, and again time for my annual year in review.

I started off the year in Ohio, ending my three-week vacation at home before returning to Mexico. Ben had stayed there because he had been sick and couldn't get out of bed. The next several months were hectic and stressful. Ben and I were kicked out of our apartment, and then again from a house. We finally found a good apartment and moved in with Miguel. Not long after, I lost my job, and subsequently, my visa. I had the option to continue working for Berlitz, but decided that just wasn't the best thing to do. So through April into early May, I got ready to move back to Ohio. Miguel and Ben came back with me and we did many things together before Miguel had to return. Through the summer, I started to look for jobs and consider the future, though I wouldn't find one until late fall. Ben and I called it quits again in July, but as usual, on amiable terms. We may never have been the best of boyfriends, but there is a depth there that will never be lost between us. On August 17th, Ben returned to Mexico as his 3-month tourist visa expired. The parting was hard for both of us, as the future is always an uncertain thing. Through the rest of the summer, I did a lot of job-hunting and interviews, with very little luck. It wasn't until late November, just before Thanksgiving, that I happened to walk into a store and ask about getting a job. I was pretty much hired on the spot, and have sense become something of the model employee, as usual. When I told them that I was going to leave for a job that paid 3x as much money, they were visibly disappointed. You just can't find good help at $6.25 an hour, and they knew it. I will be starting my new job in management on January 2nd, and though I'm a little worried, it's going to allow new chapters in my life. I'll be making enough money to start saving for the next step, whether that be back to Mexico, beyond, or to settle a little more deeply right here in Ohio. I have made a few friends since I have been home, though probably not as many as I expected. They are both nice guys, and are like me in that they feel alone in a strange land. One is from California and doesn't have many friends here. The other is from El Salvador and has been here five years with very little venturing outside of his house besides going to one of his two jobs. I am literally his only friend, as he seems painfully shy and self-conscious. Overall, though, I am glad to have met them. One should not and cannot complain too much about having friendships, as imperfect as they may be.
The California guy introduced me to volunteering for the Red Cross, something I am working on getting more into. I still need most of the training, but it's something I've always wanted to do. Bitching about people is one thing... getting off of your ass and doing something about it is quite another. I don't want to be one of those people who just complains.
This goes for my health, as well. All my life I was never in shape, never really exercised or gave a care about it. In October, I decided it was time to change that. Ever since then, nearly every day, I have been faithful to a workout routine, and though I absolutely hated to do it at first, it has become a habit and one that is now at least tolerable. So far, I have been seeing results. I have lost weight, built muscle, and have generally gotten in much better shape. I still have a long way to go, but I think these little things are a testament to how much I have truly changed in the last year or two. Finding the determination to change your life is something I still think, for me, is an amazing accomplishment. Sin or not, I feel proud that I have come this far, that I feel like I have more of a picture on where I want to go. This year has not always been great, as always, but I continue to fight, and that is the important thing. One step back, two steps forward.
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