capture-the-siren

capture-the-siren:

If it’s a Friend you need, Let it be me… 

This one is in honor of one* of the best men I know:

my darling, my “dear”, the best friend in the entire world - my friend, the incomparable Mr. Kisgen.   I don’t know that I can sum up the past 17 years  in a song or even a single post.  However, I was reminded today just how well this particular friend knows me and how impeccable his timing is in my life.  So, my dear friend - this one is for you - thank you for keeping me grounded and always knowing exactly what to say over all these years, and exactly when to say it!  Being your friend has made me a better person :).

The past few months have been bitter-sweet, in the friend and love world.  If you know me well, you know that my friends are my heart beat, they are my family and my true love.  I’ve seen one of the last of my oldest “dude” friends get married to an amazing woman, I’ve gotten to party and dance with people and friends I haven’t seen since high school, I’ve jammed out to music on the beach with the most beautiful couple (Bri & May May) I have had the pleasure of knowing, I then toasted their goodbye (and the beginning of a new era of their lives) with one last glass of champagne on Thursday night.  My darling New York & Germany girls are both pregnant and expanding their families, while my other New York Singing Siren (Miss Natalie) has found a wonderful love and smiles more and more everyday.  I have seen the best of my loves come and go from this city and I have been one of the luckiest people on earth to have shared a life of laughter, love, and joy with (who I think) are the most amazing people on earth.  I know I generally save my uber mushy moments for my friends for occasions like May Day, however…. My dearest friend, Stephen, reminded me today with his very unexpected chat, that there is never a bad time to remind the ones you love, how much you do!

"I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest courage.  When they are real, they are not glass threads of frost-work, but the solidest thing we know.  For now, after so many ages of experience, what do we know of nature, of ourselves?  Not one step has man taken toward the solution of the problem of his destiny.  In one condemnation of folly stand the whole universe of men.  But the sweet sincerity of joy and peace, which I draw from this alliance with my brother’s soul, is the nut itself whereof all nature and all thought is but the husk and shell."

There is no way I could possibly name all of the amazing people I have been and am so lucky to call my friends - - so I’ll just say this…

Thank you for all the smiles, for the years of laughter and joy, and for those of you who have taken me at my worst and pushed me toward my best.  And Thank God for all the amazing friends I still have in the A - - and for the ones who are spread all over the world, well… That just means I need to travel more! 

Thanks for making me feel all mushy, warm, and fuzzy. 

Thank you for today, yesterday, and every day. I sure am a lucky gal!

The Edge of Heaven   <——— Play song.

So, I DO love Marc Broussard, with the best of ‘em.  I’m always at a bit of a toss up between him and Ray La Montagne; I love both so equally and basically for the same reasons, but sometimes find myself leaning hard towards Mr. Broussard (I promise it has nothing to do with him being from my home town. )  This version of this song, particularly - I have the original, fully mastered version, that involves a lot more guitar, but this one is my favorite.  There is nothing more sexy and that speaks to my heart more than the simplicity of a piano and a voice. Just makes me melt.

Now…  instead of writing a bit of a scathing rant on a misguided message I received Sunday night, I will write something with a more positive bent.  If you happened upon my blog on “How to get over a broken heart”, then you may have happened upon the story of my dear, darling best friend’s passing.  

 I will never forget the phone call, or the way the sunlight was peaking through the shades in my dorm room.  I remember laying awake in bed, astonishingly early for a college student on a Saturday morning.  It was 7:11am. I was laying there, watching the light creep across the ceiling, and I was overcome by an indescribable feeling of peace and serenity.  There was a comfort in the autumn air that was more special than the day before.  I smelled roses. The phone rings an annoying and would be startling ring, except I’m so calm, it doesn’t really phase me.  There’s a part of me that almost doesn’t answer because I want to stay in this moment.  But I know it’s my mother, even before I pick up, and I know she’ll call again if I don’t pick up… “Doll baby? Chloe? (her voice breaks)” “Are you sitting down?”  I of course, immediately know there is something very wrong, as I have never heard these words come out of her mouth. — “No, and I’m not going to!” I pace back and forth in my room, wrapping the phone cord quickly around my finger. “I want you to sit… Jillian died early this morning…”

That being said, I was a bit overcome by a little nostalgia and missing her this past weekend.  So when an old (former) friend randomly sent me a message asking of my weekend, I responded with something like, “good.  a bit nostalgic, thinking of Jillian, maybe a bit hormonal - considering I’ve been more upset than I think I have in a while over this - one can only point to this being a female issue - lol.”  I thought being a bit jovial about the whole thing would add the necessary levity, as I was not trying to glean any sympathetic attention or what-have-you, just answering the inquiry honestly, and since this person is fully aware of my friendship and personally knew Jillian, I fully expected them to understand the context. So what I’m going to address is this person’s response to my text, which was this:

"There is a definitive beginning and ending to healthy grief.”

That is all. Nothing more, nothing less.  I must say, there is a part of me that would like to have responded to this snide and absolutely true, however, unnecessary response to my honest reply to his inquiry with some fast and harsh words.  Nonetheless, I took a deep breath, a step back and decided to take the high road by using a little of my momma’s advice. ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’

I chose to simply respond by saying, “I know.” I left it at that, simply b/c if I am going to impart any lectures or biting words to someone, I much prefer to do those things in person and look someone in the eye so they are aware of the full extent of my disappointment and so I can have a full understanding of why they felt it necessary to be so careless.  I can easily give another the benefit of the doubt - but I find it a lot easier to do so and be genuine about it, if I am able to gauge their sincerity in person.  That being said, I will say this about the response…

Instead of allowing myself to get too wrapped up in frustration or negativity, I started to think about it from a different angle. The response was one that is absolutely logical and true, riddled with scientific and psychological fact.  I also know that this particular person, likes to throw clinical psychological terminology and treatment responses at me, just to test my academia and skill in the practice (secretly waiting for the day that I give an irrational response).  That being said, I have this to say on the subject of Science and Psychology (which is still considered a liberal arts degree b/c there are not yet enough recurring instances of any of the facts of psychology to call it a science):

Facts are true, until they’re not.  A Fact is only fact 100% true, 100% of the time until there is another one that disproves this fact, or an outlier.  There are outliers and exclusions or addendum to almost every fact, law, and concrete statement - especially when it comes to the human condition.  If one were to attempt and live their life according to each logical testament in psychology or science, I fear this person would have quite the rigid and dull life.  Simple, sure; without the depth of emotional highs and lows? Definitely.  An existence without the Spiritual realm, ABSOLUTELY.  But truly, who wants to live that life?  (I guess some people.)

In thinking on how I planned to approach the lack of compassion in this person’s response, I actually began to feel sorry for them.  I began to think of their life and began to shed a little light on how it is they could possibly respond in such a way.  In reflecting for only a moment on their life, and their choices and actions throughout their life, I very quickly realized why and how.  This person has never approached life or love from any point other than a scientific one.  I have watched and counseled over the years as they have thrown away true love, and chalked it up to a long list of excuses and facts.  I have watched as this person justifies adultery and philandering with the argument “you be married for 10 years and then come to me with your idealistic views of monogamy.”  (<—- That is an entirely different post that I should cover, but it’s in my book, so I’m hesitant.  In a word or two: Monogamy Works. Fuck Off.)  Now I get it!  This person knows no other way.  They have never allowed themselves to feel beyond what a text book may tell them is the logical amount of time to put towards any subject in life.  Emotions are for the weak.  Nostalgia is for the lost and wandering souls with nothing better to do.  Or maybe this person has never cared enough about another person so much that they allow their memory to go through it’s natural muscular reflex when they think on someone.  To me, that is sad, more so than anything.

It’s not that after so many years past, I still sit around and actively grieve the loss of my best friend.  No, but I do remember.  I choose to take pause and remember in honor of her life and the love that she shared with all whom she touched.  Our brains are fascinating, the inner workings are akin to muscles, muscle memory - sometimes, a specific scent or time of year will automatically engage a particular part of the brain and trigger a memory or a chemical release to occur that is reminiscent or the exact same as it was on a  particular day years before.  There is science behind those chemical reactions, they happen for a reason, they are defense mechanisms and procedures put in place by the brain for very specific reasons.  But that’s where the science stops for now.  We still don’t have all the answers, what we do know, what I know, what science and the study of neuropsychology has taught me, is that the human brain, as opposed to our more primitive counterparts, in conjunction with our body, is one of the most truly marvelous and magnificent biological systems every created.  And despite all of the processes in place to protect ourselves from our own demise - we have this will that is all consuming and overpowering to the point of damning, sometimes.  We are the only animals/ species that sees the truth, but chooses to blind ourselves.  We are the only ones who justify and reason at will, even if it is bad for our survival….

I am drifting off onto another plane and tangent… So I’ll wrap it up with this: It’s sad that some people cannot get out of their own way.  This person who said what they did, is actually a VERY smart person in so many ways, and very admirable in many as well. However, they are missing out on a part of life that is SO worth living.  And for that, I am sorry.  I will also forgive this error in judgement they have made - but my forgiveness, while genuine, does not come without condescension - as they are only receiving it b/c they obviously lack a certain understanding and emotional depth in life.  It is my wish for this person, that they choose to feel more and allow themselves a little freedom to let their minds and their emotions run a little wild sometimes.  It’s good exercise for the mind.

"It is okay to let yourself go to the edge, as long as you can bring yourself back."

~ Mick Jagger

(Ok - that was about as good as one of my post midnight rants… random, a bit disjointed, and a sign I’ve been thinking too much as of late.  Oh well)

Songs with the Feels for the week. 

I probably need to NOT be listening to sappy songs this week, but - whatever.  Can I send flowers to myself at work this week? Lol.  So this will be the Ode to Miss Jillian Sue.  For the memories, for Colorado, for all the laughter, and for teaching me perspective, for showing me what matters in this life, for being the epitome of strength and grace.

1. Silver Lining - Rilo Kiley

2. Breathe Me - Sia

3. I won’t give up - Jason Mraz

4. Crazy Love - Van Morrison

5. Angel - Massive Attack

6. Back to the Ground - Jamie Cullum

7.  Blue Veins - Raconteurs

8.  Cuts you Up - Peter Murphy

9.  Danny’s Song - Loggins & Messina

10. Delicate - Damien Rice

11. Glass Heart - Juliana Finch

12. Gravity - Sara Bereilles

13. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

14. I wish it would rain - Temptations

15. Let her cry - Hootie and the Blowfish

16. Let my love open the door - Pete Townshend

17. Little Talks - Of Monsters & Men

18. Mad About You - Hooverphonic

19. Me & My Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin

20. Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel

21. Pictures of You - The Cure

22. Precious - Depeche Mode

23. Desperately Wanting - Better than Ezra

24. Sister Christian - Night Ranger

25. Somethin’ to believ in - Poison

26. Steady as we go - Dave Matthews Band

27. Stunning - 8mm

28.  The Crossroads - Bone Thugs-n-harmony

29. To Be with you - Mr. Big

30. True Colors - Cyndi Lauper

I could actually make this list a lot longer, but we’ll stop here for now. :)

Do You Remember Where You Were?

Tuesday Morning, 8:46am : American Airlines Boeing 767, Flight# 11 crashes into the 93rd - 99th floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Centers.

8:52am: My house phone, cell phone, and pager start ringing and beeping simultaneously. I’m in the shower, getting ready for school.  I reach for one of the phones, it’s my mom: “Where are YOU?!”

"Home, getting ready to leave for class"

Mom: “Do NOT MOVE! A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center!”

I ran into the living room, toweling my hair dry as I frantically looked for the remote to turn the tv on while dialing my best friends in Manhattan to see where they were, if they had left for work or school yet.

I stood in front of the TV and watched, in horror, and shock, as the events of the day unfolded.  I quickly put some VHS tapes in the VCR to record this event, while I was at school.

I went to school that day, against everyone’s wishes.  I felt it would be an important day to go.  Turns out, it was, in fact, a terrible idea. As the entire school shut down and locked their doors right around 10:45am, noting a “State of Emergency” for the City of Atlanta.  After the World Trade Centers and Pentagon were targeted, it was reported that the CDC in Atlanta would be next.  The city shut down.  I’ve grown up here and seen 285 a mess, but never, never, like this.  People were leaving their cars and walking, emergency signs were all over the highway alert system, from where I stood, this looked like we were on the brink of something that could quite possibly be the worst thing we’ve seen in our lifetime.  My phone died, and as some sort of idiot safety protocol I had Jeff drop me at school that day and had not taken my car.  It was sweltering outside.  I made the choice to drop my bag of books behind a staircase on the outside of the building and venture on foot to the nearest gas station with a pay phone.  <—— I don’t care what anyone says, THANK GOD for Pay Phones.  

I called Jeff at work and as we spoke, as more events came to pass, it became evident that HE would not be going anywhere for a long time, as it was his job, predominantly, to keep the WWW safe from hackers, terrorists, and general threats, and this, this was more than a general threat.  He told me to find somewhere safe and stay put.  I wanted to get home more than anything.  If today was going to be the day, I was certainly NOT going to watch the end of days from a concrete school building or a random gas station.  I tried to call a ton of people for a ride, but the lines were so clogged, I couldn’t get through.  So I took to the only thing I had at my disposal to rely on; my own two feet.  There’s a plus to growing up here, to knowing every back woods way and cut through.  I walked from Perimeter to Vinings.  Didn’t take nearly as long as someone would guess: my heart was racing, and I was on a mission.  I decided to make my attempt to get home into a game.  I pretended in my head that I was back in the old days, playing army with my cousins - which basically translates into some Bourne Identity shit.  Let’s put it this way, I was the only girl, I was small, fast, and quiet as a mouse - so in our military games, I AWLAYS played the Spy and the first one out and signaled when it was safe to move forward.  I finally got to the house in Vinings, sprinting the final leg up hill - panting, I get in the door - just in time to change the last vhs tape out, to continue recording.  Still catching my breath, I called Jeff, my Mom, and my Brother to let them know I was safe at home.

I showered, got in my car, and drove to one of my favorite places, just overlooking Vinings.  One of the oldest cemeteries in the south, it sits highly elevated above the Vinings Jubilee, and from here you can see downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and all the way down to Peachtree City.  I stayed here and watched the sun set over the world, sitting quietly, in reflection, until my phone rang and the voice on the other end told me to come home.  When I got home, I saw that the 3 6-hour VHS tapes had been labeled : “The Beginning of WWIII” volumes I, II, and III. 

Looking back, 13 years later, even with the thousands, upon thousands lost tragically in the attacks of that day, and then the missions over seas for the past 13 years - I will say - I don’t think these people died in vain. I think the fact that we have somehow, by the skin of our teeth, avoided turning those events into a World War, says something about our evolution as a people and as a nation.  I am sure there are plenty who are very much for the “eye-for-an-eye” nature of justice that comes with the territory of being human.  Wrath, after all, is in our DNA, we cannot deny our innate predisposition to hunt and kill and push forth for the better of our selves.  As humans, we are ego centric, we are always out for ourselves and we have a bent towards our own survival and self preservation.  Nonetheless, I will never forget on that Tuesday and the days after, how the people of New York and the people of our Great Nation and others from all over the world did the remarkable.  We, together, instead of turning on each other, instead of allowing our survival to be led by wrath, vengeance, and rage - we decided to come together to support each other, to lift the weight of the crumpled iron and steel with each other.  Many of the actions people in New York and around the US took in the days after the attacks, were done completely out of one thing: Love.  Love for one another, as humans.  For the first time in our lifetime, as a common people, we got to witness what some only see on a battlefield, and some never get to. If you look too narrowly, you may have only noticed the violence of that day and the days that followed.  But if you open your eyes wide, if you pause and take a step back, you may see a glimpse of the most beautiful and powerful step for man kind that we have seen in this lifetime.

I saw men and women, nurses, doctors, suits, uniforms, lawyers, and laborers, fisherman, and merchants, black, white, yellow, brown, and all of the colors of the rainbow; all classes, all types, all kind, become ONE.  We, as humans, acted out of love for one another, out of compassion.  It’s amazing what can happen and come to be in the world when we forget ourselves for others, when we act as one, towards the greater good.  The World Trade Centers broke ground  in 1966, Towers I and II were complete by 1971.  It took 5 years to build these two marvelous towers; but only 1 day to destroy.  That was also the power of a people moving in force as one - but NOT for the greater good.  

Can you imagine what this world would be like, if we all acted out of love, as one, like we did on that Tuesday, back in 2001?  What if that was our every day?  What if we stopped, listened, and opened our eyes?  Could we make this nightmare, this destruction, these wars, and injustices, something different?  Something better?  Could we become good as a whole?

Never Forget.  Never Allow History to Repeat Itself.  Do Not Doom Us and Our Children.

Light Tribute

There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look - what’s going down?

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking’ their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look - what’s going down?

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”

It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look - what’s going down?

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop

Let’s open our eyes, open our ears, and open our hearts. 

Let Us Be Better.

thecomedybureau

thecomedybureau:

Recently: The Oscars happened much to a bore with mostly dull speeches and several failed attempts at humor/entertainment, proving once again, that it should be a private party and not televised for the confused, out-of-context viewing public.  That is, unless someone’s acceptance speech was more unhinged and freewheeling like the brilliant James Adomian as Orson Welles merely trying to plug a wine.  It’s kind of like Mickey Rourke any time that he wins an award anywhere.  That’s how acceptance speeches should be.

Dear World,

May I introduce you to my dear and wonderful enigma of  cousin, Mr. James Adomian.  I miss you, it’s time to come do some shows here!

No Expectations

"If I’m not you’re everything, I’m definitely not gonna be your something."

~ Said this girl.

PRESS PLAY or something

Expectations:  Let’s have a chat about those…

I’ve walked through most of my life, proclaiming I don’t really expect much out of anyone.  Mainly because one part of that is true - the jaded part, the part that sees the world for what it is.  Then there’s the part that is bigger, the part that I disguise most of the time - the part of me that sees the world for what it can be, and refuses to give up on the fact that there are still people out in it that hold themselves and others to the same standards as I do.

The truth of the matter is, yeah, I EXPECT and WANT with a deep desire for others to be and do as much I would or have for them and for themselves.  The truth is - if someone looks at you and says, “the best way to not be let down is not to have any expectations” or “I don’t expect anything form anyone”, that’s bullshit and they’re lying through their crooked little teeth.

Over the years, I’ve been challenged by many (especially women), on the subject of men/ mates/ marriage.  One take that I love is the Ultimate Housewife, doting wife take - oh, and it’s best when it comes in the form of ridicule masked by advice. “You’ll never find a ___________, if you spend all your time working.  You have to give ALL of your attention to your _________, which means 75% to him and the other 25%, you must spend keeping yourself up so he won’t stray.”

Really? -_-

Bullshit.  I say, if I can have a career, keep a clean home, a nice home, cook epic meals, keep my body in shape, and general appearance up, as well as find time to be social and do philanthropic things and have hobbies - AND have a relationship - then damn it , there are others that are like minded and will appreciate such things.  And guess what? I EXPECT that. GASP!  I expect someone to communicate on a normal adult level and not act like a child.  I expect someone to be emotionally stable and be able to express themselves in a mature and concise manner, with integrity.  

I expect all this and more out of everyone I meet, friends and otherwise.  IT is slightly unfortunate that so many people get so caught up in brief moments of unrest, that they decide to throw away all integrity in situations.  I do not often point it out, and will rarely ever mention the moment of discord when my dismissal occurs - however, if I know you, and you suddenly don’t meet my expectations of you - I will dismiss you emotionally.  I often say I do not judge people <—- also a lie. But this must be CLEAR: When you do not meet my expectations, it is not that I am judging you or think you’re a bad person, no.  What I do, is a judge, and assess my own emotional investment in you and I make a clear decision to separate myself from that connection based on the expectation that has not been met.  It doesn’t mean you cannot earn my affections back, it just means I will not allow myself to feel connected to you in a way that will leave me disappointed and inevitably judging you down the road.

RECIPROCITY people!

So when asked, “What do you expect?”

I expect you to treat others as you wish to be treated.

I expect, if you are my friend or my anything - I expect you to give me the SAME ….

Respect

Honesty

Love

Loyalty

Dignity

Integrity

Laughter

Joy

TIME (this is a big one)

Communication

Maturity

Kindness

Generosity

Affection

That I show and so willingly give to you and I expect you take care of your shit in life to AT LEAST 50% of what I do (bc hey, let’s face it - I can be somewhat of an over achiever when it comes to domesticity and handling my business.

Point is, it’s ok to have expectations.  It’s especially ok to meet and exceed people’s expectation.  It’s even better if you can do all of the above without really thinking about it.  Be you, be a good you, and try to be the best you.  We all fail sometimes, but don’t just slough off life by saying, “I’ll never be what you expect/ It’s not fair/ I can’t/ I won’t.” 

You Can, You Will, why not let the will be the Now?

I’m now done with my rant. 

So…. I have this running list of blogs that I write… errr, need to write.  Most of my deep thoughts reside on cocktail napkins, little post-it notes, ripped corners of my portfolio legal pad.

"Death & Serenity - Chloe, write a blog on this. Use this song (Bookmarked in Pandora)!  DON’T FORGET!"

Such subjects that pop into my head during deep conversation, thought, or maybe just watching and listening to others around me in a coffee shop as I pretend to scroll through my Facebook feed, when I’m really just soaking everything else in. <—— That’s one of my greatest tricks, I suppose.  Somehow I’ve gotten through life, tricking everyone into thinking I’m doing anything but paying attention to them or the atmosphere, when, actually, that’s ALL I’m doing. I often cavalierly state what a wonderful parallel thought processor I am - it’s true.  My mind works in two ways: what you think is going on, and what is really going on.  I blame my childhood for this grand skill.

I digress, as per usual. Anyway, I was thinking on my way to work this morning - it’s been a while since I’ve waxed poetic on the subject of Love or matters of the heart.  And it’s not that I haven’t altogether; I have, just not on a public platform.  Happening upon a few old voice memos last night, just before bed, that were recorded sometime between 2012 and early 2013, left me with a sweet taste in my mouth - a different and refreshing outlook, if you will - unfolding another layer.  This layer, ever there, just hadn’t paid much attention to it in a while - made me think this morning, “I should write a blog on this.”  Admittedly, it was a toss up between the subject I am going to speak about and the subject of Soul Mates… Which if you have Facebook and remember when I used to write epically long “Notes”, you have seen my thoughts on Soul Mates - circa 2008.  I will write on that again, I promise, possibly even weave a little of my feelings into this.  However, for now, let’s talk about Love, Being IN Love, and Repairing a Broken Heart…

(Okay, all 3 of those are a bit overzealous for one blog… but I’ll try to cover some, but definitely not all bases.)

Where to begin? Ok, I’ll start with where my thoughts were sparked, then go back to the very beginning - Momento-style flashbacks and current day. 

Tuesday afternoon, my mother and I are emailing back and forth discussing her recent birthday trip to California, mixed with inquiries of my romantic life, which I enthusiastically respond to.  Then I get a separate email: “Speaking of goons who don’t know your worth, I saw a picture of THAT goon on the cover of the AJC with his Wonder Woman - who looks NOTHING like the REAL Wonder Woman, or as gorgeous as you are…”  No need to really go on about that.  Needless to say, yes - of course, because of the amount of mutual friends, nerds alike, and the fact that I do not live under a rock - yes I had seen the picture, however, tossed it to the side with the 30,000 other D*Con pics I saw over the past few days with multiple friends and former acquaintances.  It’s not like I didn’t know this was happening.  Anywho, with that email, along with the intermittent conversations brought up about said “goon” by multiple family members - from California to New York - over the past year, with the, “I can’t believe that!”, “That’s so disappointing”, “I really believed in him”,”You’ll find better”, “He was a child” - Blah Blah Blah, BLEK - VOMIT! I again, in writing this time, as opposed to just saying it in passing, said - “Mom, you, Melo, Swan - everyone needs to STOP drudging up the past and looking for ways to bring it up in conversation.  It’s over, it’ve been over, leave it there - please, I am fine. It does no good to move forward, if you stick in the past.”

So then after that conversation, I’m deleting stuff off of my phone in preparation for a new one, later in the evening, and happen upon these voice memos.  They were of a few sordid evenings, where me and AJC cover boy were out and about or driving and being unbelievably silly.  to listen to them was actually hilarious, I had forgotten they were even there.  But afterwords, instead of being sad, or having feelings of remorse, regret, or any of the like negative emotions - I actually smiled a very sweet smile and fell off to sleep with wonderful dreams of what may come, with him as far away from my thoughts as one could be.  Why? How?

How is it so possible to mend a broken heart?  So quickly? Defying the 1/2 time ratio that has become a common timeline for people to live by - which, if ya ask me, is kinda bs.

This is How…

1. It completely depends on what your heart is broken over.  To have a broken heart, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve been in love or even loved someone or something.  It simply means, that you  invested yourself enough to become vulnerable to a rift or immediate unwanted change in the situation.

2. If it is Love, it absolutely 100% depends on what kind of love, as there are a ton of varying levels, which we do not have time to get into.

3. If you’re IN LOVE - forget it, you never get over it.  It stays in your heart forever, it just gets easier and you find ways to see the world in a different light.  i.e.  If you are truly, unabashedly, unconditionally (which is terrifyingly hard), IN-LOVE with another - you will want their happiness no matter what, and you will find your happiness in theirs, even if it is not by your side.  I think being truly in love is the closest to being truly democratic in your actions, as humans can become.

Heart Break Hotel… (now we go to the way way back)

If you ask me, how is it easy, how do you do it?  I will tell you, first, it is never easy - ever.  Those who say it is should have their temperature checked to see if they’re alive, if they are - you should question their soul.  But it does get to a point where you are more capable of putting situations and things into perspective, slicing and dicing your emotions and being more apt to move through them in a quicker fashion.  This is where it helps to go from the beginning. 

For me, personally, I think my heart was broken at such an early age - even over things I did not fully grasp the weight of entirely.  Then as I grew older and had more of a cognitive and psychological ability to fully analyze and understand these things, it was like a long, drawn out heart break.  Then just the ideas of what I had in my mind of what things should be, became heart breaking.  And all of this was before the notion of “being in-love” was ever introduced into my little mind and world.  So you see, it totally depends on the things that are making your heart break.  I will say, as a child, I ran away in my mind.  I could not run away physically, so I escaped to a fantasy world in my mind, but paralleled it with the real world - constantly telling myself, “There is a reason for all of this.  God is preparing me for something bigger, something worse.  I am being made strong for a purpose that is bigger than myself.”  Of course, some might say - that in of itself, is a bit of a fantasy.  ER doctors would tell you that bad shit just happens, no rhyme or reason.  I will tell the naive - bad shit happens to good people - open your fucking eyes.  Despite my escape into my dreams of a time where there would be no heart break and only peaches and sunshine, I never wanted to be too far removed from the present.  I always had a strong pull to be present in my world and my emotions, I wanted to feel them, I wanted to log them, analyze them, make sure they were real and truly felt at the appropriate times.  I never wanted to be that person, who hid so far away and blocked so much out that it would haunt them later.  Nope, took it like a champ (well, mostly). 

Luckily, this heart break was paired with a pretty heavy dose of Love and learning what strength was.  Without fail, through all the things that broke my heart from an early age - well into my 20’s, whether she knew about them or not, my mother was always a pillar of strength and love.  I watched as she had her heart torn apart, I watched her stand tall and not just survive, but go through life with such grace and strength.  I’m not sure she realizes just how much she taught me by just being, and by me just watching.  She also loved me and my brother with all of her being and then some.  Even through times when I was an angry teen, I never, not for one second, ever questioned my mother’s or family’s love for me.  My family taught me what it is to love unconditionally, to fully accept another, and to love through even the roughest of weather and darkest night.  Some people, I know, are not lucky enough to have that - some people only have the heart break and nothing to counter it - and for that, I am sorry.

Fast forward, 18 years later: My best friend dies.  I will never forget the phone call, or the way the sunlight was peaking through the shades in my dorm room.  I remember laying awake in bed, astonishingly early for a college student on a Saturday morning.  It was 7:11am. I was laying there, watching the light creep across the ceiling, and I was overcome by an indescribable feeling of peace and serenity.  There was a comfort in the autumn air that was more special than the day before.  I smelled roses. The phone rings an annoying and would be startling ring, except I’m so calm, it doesn’t really phase me.  There’s a part of me that almost doesn’t answer because I want to stay in this moment.  But I know it’s my mother, even before I pick up, and I know she’ll call again if I don’t pick up… “Doll baby? Chloe? (her voice breaks)” “Are you sitting down?”  I of course, immediately know there is something very wrong, as I have never heard these words come out of her mouth. — “No, and I’m not going to!” I pace back and forth in my room, wrapping the phone cord quickly around my finger. “I want you to sit… Jillian died early this morning…(I’m not sure how much time elapsed) … Chloe, did you hear me?”  Me: “Mom, I have to go. I will call you later.  It will be ok. I just have to go, I have to make some calls.”  I calmly hung up the phone.  I looked at the clock again, quickly doing the math on time zones of all those I was about to call. Do I call first or sit for a moment and collect my thoughts?  No, call first - definitely call.  Noah was my first call.  He was in Houston at the time, dancing for the Houston Ballet. They were an hour behind my time even.  I called until he picked up, I quickly told him the news and told him he had to find a way to get home.  We could meet in Memphis and go together if we needed to.  Then I called her house.  I called and called and called - of course nobody answered.  Then I called her mom’s girlfriend at the time - Debbie.  Debbie then told me something she never should have, but I guess felt so compelled to.  She said, “Chloe, I’m so sorry.  Jillian knew you loved her.  She did ask for only two things before she passed - she said she wanted to speak to you and to Noah.” My heart jumped in my throat, as I swallowed hard, pushing down the urge not to jump through time and space and strangle the woman on the other end - I asked, “WHY didn’t you or anyone, ANYONE call me?! I would have found a way to get there to be there, to be with her, to be beside her, laying in that bed with her to make it better…” To which, Debbie replied - “Chloe, you are our second daughter, we all KNEW you’d would have died trying to get here.  We were already losing one, and could not bare the thought of anything happening to you -so we didn’t let you know.”

That day, in a matter of just about 30 minutes, my heart was shattered and broken in so many ways for so many reasons.  My entire childhood and life up to that point flashed in front of me, I heard her laughter, I saw her crying, I saw myself the times I got mad at her and yelled, I saw the times we were completely happy and drunk in our love for each other. I smelled her, I smelled the hospital, I heard the machines beeping… And this was my reaction:

I got off the phone with Debbie. I looked out the window, pulled the shades up, opened the window, and looked straight at the sun - just for a few seconds.  Then turned around, with my back to the window, the sun beating down on my back - I sat down slowly on the cold tile floor… Closed my eyes, as two of the biggest tears I think I’ve ever produced rolled down my cheeks and I let out one, singular, brave heart style, from the depths of my soul - battle cry.  Then I began to smell roses again, and on my deep breath in, I was suddenly filled with a sense of serenity once again.  Trembling slightly, I stood up, sniffled the snot back into my nose, wiped my cheeks, put on jeans and went to breakfast.  To this day, I cannot tell you what I did the rest of that particular day.  I know I was gone from my dorm for a long time, when I returned in the evening, some of my dorm mates had gotten me Sunflowers, they said, “We don’t know what happened - but we’ve never heard a cry like that before, so it must have been bad - but we hope these make you feel better.”  It was more than apropos, Sunflowers were Jillian’s favorite flowers.

^^^^That, that is what I was being prepared for.  To this day, I look back and am in awe of my reaction to this situation and loss.  I don’t think I could, even if I tried, to describe or explain the love Jillian and I had between us.  It was more than normal friend love.  There was an understanding and a depth to it, that I’ve never felt before - not with any of my girlfriends before or since.  I think she was my first soul mate.  To this day, when I’m feeling scared or overwhelmed with hurt - sometimes, I will suddenly start to smell roses and I know it’s her.  I know her soul is floating out there, parts still intertwined with mine.

I can definitively say, is the hardest heart breaking one can feel. The loss of a soul mate.  That, I have only felt once.  To lose a soul mate -  friend or lover - is something that is earth shattering.  But know, that Soul Mates aren’t always who we are meant to be with.  They are not always our lovers or mates - sometimes, they are friends.  Sometimes, they are there to be our mirrors - to instill a change in us that is necessary, but as only they can.

I have had loves, yes.  I have had a relationship with one whom I would call a kindred spirit, definitely <—— and while that one sucked far more than any of the ones I simply “loved”, there is nothing that has ever compared to the heart break I experienced when my dear Jillian died.  And for that, I am ever thankful.  So, when I tell people how I do it, how I get over a broken heart - 

Well… It’s experience. It’s also knowing the difference between varying levels of love and care. It’s not a dark thing or a bad thing.  It’s a strength that has been built over many years, it’s a spirit and a will that is unwavering; I have the ability to recover from such things with more speed than the average joe because I have a light in me that cannot ever be extinguished and I will always always look towards that to come out of the dark.  I will always seek happiness for others and for myself and will never ever give up on the pursuit of that perfect love.  So THAT’S how I can do it. Find your positivity people!

Now… of course, there are a few practical ways to help with heart break - the 10 steps to mending a broken heart - I’ve written that before too.  But I think I’ve gone far enough down the rabbit hole for one blog this week! :)  

I truly think if more people just respected and loved each other, TRULY, then the world would be a much better place. Places, like yesterday, when I looked back and then smiled fondly on and became happy for another who has found themselves truly and adoringly IN LOVE with a woman, who is not me - but is his perfection and his soul mate. I’m not saying war wouldn’t happen - it would just be far less and possibly over more honorable and admirable causes.  

Not sure that the Runaway song was the best one for this post, but it was on the radio this morning when I was thinking, and I liked the sound.  That song pick was definitely more about the sound and melody than the band or lyrics - so there ya have it.  Like it anyway!