Thursday, July 17

No more avoiding

I definitely avoid telling people what's new with the boyfriend. Not just on the blog; people I know. It took me over two weeks to tell my mom that we got back together, and even then I only told her because he's my date at my cousin's wedding. I wondered, why do I hesitate? Am I uncertain about the relationship? Embarrassed?


Or maybe it's because I get such awful responses. People roll their eyes, laugh, or groan. "Again?" They say. It's like they forget I have feelings.

When I told my mother, during a late-night call, the phone went silent. I braced myself.

Finally: "I don't know what to say."


My mother went on and on: I always go back and forth with the relationship, this is difficult for her, blah blah blah.

Instead of reacting to her statements, I calmly replied: "You seem upset, Mom. Why are you so upset?"

"I'm just trying to protect you."

I had to point out that for all her judgments, she never asked me how I felt about it. She didn't even ask me why we got back together or how. She simply disapproved.

I am not a fool. I don't know if this relationship will last, and it still has problems. But it was my decision to get back together. I should not have to apologize to anybody about that.

The last time we broke up (in May), it was for several reasons. He refused to move to New York, and I couldn't commit to living in Los Angeles. Beyond that, there were several communication problems that I was unwilling to fix. Most importantly, we didn't talk about anything substantial. I kept envisioning us, finally living in the same place, having nothing to talk about. We'd go see a movie and have a five minute conversation afterward: "What'd you think?" "I liked it, you?" "It was ok." The clink of silverware would fill the air.

I was satisfied with my choice to split up. A few weeks later, I broke the silence to check in. He told me he wanted to get back together, to which I angrily listed every problem I had with our relationship. Every problem, down to his roommate's "Get me a beer" poster hanging on his living room wall.

He didn't fix everything that's wrong. Again, I'm not a fool. I even bet that poster is still up. But he told me a few things about himself. He told me about coming out of a depression caused by losing his best friends, being lonely, and feeling purposeless. He told me he was willing to move to New York. He responded to my concerns and acknowledged that it would take a lot of work to make things better.

I'm used to hearing promises like this. I was skeptical and angry at myself for getting back together. Sure, he sounded more mature. But that might not make any difference. It would turn out exactly how it had before: we would be close for a little while, but nothing would change. We would have short, vapid conversations and he would continue to close himself off.

To my surprise, we've had several non-vapid conversations. The first was about politics. I've always hated talking to him about politics, because he's pretty conservative. (In our first private conversation, way back in high school, he asked me how I thought the world came into existence. After my bewildered response (Big Bang), he told me he believed Genesis.) I was shocked, then, to hear him say "us" in reference to the Democrats.

Yesterday, I left a meeting with a director in Park Slope. Walking to the subway, I checked my Blackberry and found an email from him. He told me that he was proud of all the work I've been doing and felt lucky to get time to talk to me in spite of my schedule. He then caught me off guard, saying:

"I feel like I haven't always known what I was doing with our relationship, like how to act. I knew how to make you feel good about yourself, I knew how to compliment you, and how to be sweet, etc. But that kind of stuff (though I have always been sincere) seems kind of shallow, and until recently I don't feel like I was fully intuitive toward your feelings."

He ended the email with a bit of a confession. During the wedding, we are going to be separated most of the time because I'm a bridesmaid. In the past we've had arguments about him not coming to family events, and he finally admitted that he felt awkward around my family. In the email, he told me he was intimidated by how well I got along with his family, and said that in the past he would have found an excuse to avoid coming to the wedding. But he wasn't doing that anymore.

I was touched by his honesty. Talking about his feelings? Deciding to do the uncomfortable thing and sit on his own with my family for hours?

Obviously I haven't told him about my mom's reaction. I'm hoping she behaves herself.

Thursday, July 10

Love letter **

Dear Blog,

I miss you. I just realized I miss you. The past few weeks I've been thinking about you a lot. This may sound weird considering how long it's been since I called or wrote, but...

I love you.

Yeah, the big L word.*

I figured out that I love you when I realized how guilty I feel for neglecting you. And I wouldn't feel guilty if I didn't love you and feel a bond with you, right?

I started feeling guilty right away, and don't think I ever stopped. It wasn't always conscious, this guilt; more of a constant, growing weight.

I felt guilty because I was mad at myself for allowing myself to stop doing something I really love to do, which is to write you.

Writing in you is one of the only things I do that I truly enjoy. The only thing I'm not asking myself to do for someone else, like a teacher or a boss. It's pretty much you and TV. And I haven't had much time for either of those things lately.

Of course, TV is still in my professional field so it's not entirely for me. **

But I thought of you, and I even wrote down ideas for you. My train rides into the city are full of scribbling notes for you. The seeds of ideas I want to write in here. So, I am dedicated. And now realize the mistake I made by denying myself of you.

*No, not "Lesbian." I feel like the show The L Word is taking over the meaning of that phrase now. At least for me. Sort of like how "You've got mail" now means AOL... Corporate America is definitely taking over

**My professional field is really weird. Watching any form of moving picture these days (film, television, short films, documentary, and now Internet footage) is like homework. It's important to always be taking notes (mental or written) while watching because this industry is so competitive.

It's competitive because there are a very limited number of jobs, at least ones that pay, and tons of applicants. How do I know this? Because even entry-level jobs don't respond to me. I've had eight internships, in nearly every format of film and television (reality, narrative, large studios, small independent/art), in nearly every discipline (marketing, development, production). I've written, I've directed, I've edited.

There is little opportunity to write or direct whatever you want, if you want to make a living as a writer or director of film/video. By the time you've come up with the money for the paints and brushes needed to create the film, you'll either be a full-time waitress or an entertainment person being told what to write/direct. Or, more likely, an entertainment person who doesn't write/direct. Really, that person doesn't have very much time to do much of anything for fun. Anyway, feature films tend to take longer to make than your yearly two week vacation.

So, the only way I can be a writer or director is to work for Horriblewood or make friends with some rich, rich people.