Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Miss California

I'm gonna take you to my boxcar on the beach
I'm gonna hang the sun above your bed
and soak your hair in bleach
You'll be missed, Miss California
You'll be kissed by only me
When they can't find you
You'll turn into a mystery
but you're no mystery to me

I call on Jesus but he heard I hurt his little girl

Yeah with my reckless stare
I've been so unfair misplacing my affections
She had a reason not to take me back into her care
Oh I'm just a stray dog now
I can't beg or bow
Just give me some direction

- Miss California by Jack's Mannequin

I got to hang out with some great women last night and talk about love and marriage (goes together like a horse and carriage). Coming from a broken home, I find that I have "every right" to not believe in love, to not believe that marriage can work, but it's just not the case for me. I'm not sure if it's just my natural defiance, but I have the biggest hopes for the success of marriage. I believe it IS possible for two people to journey through life together, with all of its ups and downs and work together to make their love and life worthwhile. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by amazing men and women who remind me that it IS in fact, still possible and worth it all.

One thing we talked about was the dynamic of bringing two sets of everyday life and emotions into the mix. For instance, how the course of one person's day may be contrary to the other person's day, but when you come home, you bring your day with you and all the emotions associated with it. There can easily be a disconnect—that point when you want to shut down and just go home, not say anything, just walk around like a drone, and call it a night—instead of spending quality time with your husband or wife.

Admittedly, it's harder for women to disconnect from the day, and thus, we have the greater tendency to "not want to talk about it," or give up because "you just wouldn't understand" what we went through that day, and we can just go through daily motions to make it through another day. Oh the joys of (in general) being more emotional than our male counterparts.

One really tangible challenge I walked away with was from a story that one of the women shared. It was a story about a guy who would always carry a tape recorder with him, and on his way home, he would record himself talking to the recorder about all the burdens and junky stuff that happened during the day. He would then pull into his driveway, and before walking in the door, would erase the tape. He would get all the junk and stuff out of his mind, and was then able to walk in the door, ready to focus on his wife and family, not burdened by the weight of mundane life. I realize there must be a balance of talking about life with the love of your life, but some things really CAN get in the way—even in platonic relationships.

When I'm reminded how much power the words I speak and the attitudes I adopt affect my relationships, it wakes me up to the realization that I can change things and I can make everyday life a bit easier. I notice that when I get home to my housemates, I face the same dilemma: I've had a long day and I'm SO ready to just disconnect and go to my room and check e-mail and all my various social networking sites. And then I remember the times when we get together as housemates and how much fun we have just talking together and doing random silly stuff. These housemates of mine are my friends, and I get to see them every day, which may be why it's so easy to take them for granted. But they matter, and I realize I need to train myself to change some of my habits to devote time to them, and my other friends. If anything, it'll be good practice, and as I've heard a thousand times, "PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT." There is a balance, and now I'm reminded to challenge myself to find it and live in it.


Anonymous said...

Wow Amanda, that is good! What a great group. I need a group like that...even at my age! I am realizing just how deep you are! You are amazing!
Love, Aunt Lois

Alisa said...

Well said Amanda. So glad you're a part of our group and that we can grow together. Love you!