I texted my dad today, I don’t know why. I think I do this every now and then just to test the waters. See how it goes. See if we can build something from the rubble. He replied, “Who’s this?”, which is not the first time he’s not known it was me when I reached out to him ha. It actually is comical to me, really. The only reason my dad would not keep my cell number in his phone is because he doesn’t care, right? What other reason could there possibly be? I’m 30 and it has stopped being something I lose sleep over, but…
Anyway, I keep being reminded that maybe I try too hard. Maybe to him I am too much. I am sure he does not know what to do with someone like me.
Why is it easier to be mad at someone than it is to tell them they’ve hurt your feelings? Is anger more “acceptable” to express than sadness (for men, it definitely 100% is)? Why the hell are there stigmas towards something as involuntarily human as emotion?
1. Chilean writer Isabel Allende wrote, “We are all old enough to throw away the feelings that are useless, and keep only those that help us to live.”
In the Fall of my last year in elementary school, I went to science camp. What I remember most aside from opting out of the night hike, where a bunch of 11 year olds had to navigate themselves through the woods after the sun went down, while our camp leader, a tall, blonde surfer-looking dude waited for us at the bottom of a hill, was hugging my mother upon returning to the school at the end of the trip. My family is a group of non-huggers. We are not generally affectionate towards each other. But I was her oldest daughter and an entire week was the longest I had ever been away from home at that point in my life, so we hugged and it’s one of the first memories I have.
I wasn’t yet old enough to understand that, on the last day of camp, when the friends I’d made that week signed our mock “yearbook” with their phone numbers and home addresses, I would never see them again. I sincerely believed I would. I believed we would be friends forever, just like was written in the yearbooks. I took pictures of these girls on the disposable camera mom gave me to take on the trip. I took pictures of the cabin, the lake where we swam, the flowers that marked pathways we would hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The camera sat in a drawer in my bedroom for years, undeveloped. When we moved from the house I grew up in when I was 16, I finally tossed it, along with any concrete evidence of the week I first experienced a sort of freedom.
The point of all of this, why I’m bringing it up is because when I read that Allende quote this morning, it dawned me that when it comes to the old adage “people come and people go”, I have been immature and childish. That feeling I had when my new friends wrote in my book, then maybe weeks or months later when I realized they were gone for good, has stayed with me. This is of course because of dad, everything leads back to this singular event in my life. The absences and the loss of friendships has seemed to be a theme of my life, but I didn’t realize that this is not merely a theme of MY life, but of life itself. Impermanence. Nothing lasts forever. Not that losing friendships is a useless thing, but that I clung myself to relationships with both genders and then of course felt devastated if, eventually, they ended, was not optimal. This is growing up, I think, when you give yourself, as an adult, what was withheld from you as a child. Change happens and there is not a force in the world strong enough to stop it. I wish that 11 year old Teresa learned that sooner so she could avoid so much seemingly repetitive heartache, but vivir y aprender (live and learn).
2. I was trying to figure out whether my mother teaching herself about football and watching games for the first time in her life because she’s moving in with her football-obsessed boyfriend soon is endearing or whack. I’ve decided it’s not for me to say, and that that dude is lucky the women in my family go all in.
3. I’ve been feeling very unattractive and unlikable lately, which is how I know feelings are the most unreliable yet convincing thing on the planet. I’m stressed out and doing that thing where I just don’t think about what is keeping me up at night (job stuff, moving back east stuff), because out of sight, out of mind. I just wish that in the meantime I didn’t worry so much about my hips, or looking perfect at all times.
4. It was disgustingly hot in the Bay Area this weekend and it’s going to be hot all week - in the upper 90s. This is not Fall, this is an overgrown, rude Indian Summer. This is just season-less California, as if I needed the reminder.
5. I am sorry for being negative and angsty in this post, so I’ll talk about something that has been exciting me. It’s postseason baseball time. The Dodgers face the Cardinals tomorrow in St Louis after losing to them on Friday 10-9, in an absolutely gut-wrenching game where we saw our idol, 26 year old Clayton Kershaw fall from the pedestal we had placed him on by blowing a five run lead in the 7th inning. Sorry if you aren’t familiar with baseball lingo, basically hitters kept hitting off of his pitches, something that doesn’t happen all that much because that’s just how good of a pitcher he is. The Giants also play tomorrow and depending on that series, and how the Dodgers do in theirs (they have to win two more times to advance in the playoffs), the rivaled teams could play against each other to decide who takes the National League title.
The Dodgers and the Giants have a long, long history of eliminating each other in the postseason. This is a rivalry that goes back to the earliest days in baseball, when both teams played in New York before making the move west in 1958. I’m as excited about baseball as I’ve ever been. It feels good for the Dodgers this year. I say that every year only to be severely disappointed come October - and that is the thing about baseball: it coaxes the hope of out you.
When my team is down by one run in the 8th inning, a potential loss feels as real to me as anything will. And then one of your hottest (both physically and statically) players steps up to the plate and knocks one out of the park giving the team the lead and eventual win, it is virtually impossible to not let something as seemingly trivial and meaningless as baseball make my heart swell.