EXCALIBRAD

A Step Into My World

Strength

Having strength is something we all have and will have challenged every day. It may not be physical but its there. Recently that’s what has been happening to me. Hence why I have hardly written anything anymore even though I didn’t really write that much in the first place.
Life throws curve balls at you all the time and you just gotta do what you can to over come them and be happy. Because if you can’t be happy, how could you make others truly happy?

My strength has been challenged in many ways.
Physically, due to the work load piling up and having to get it all done despite physical injury possibilities with every movement.
Emotionally, as after almost 3 years of waiting on a guy hand and foot who never understood how much I loved him. I have finally let go and moving on with my life
Mentally, as all the emotions left running wild I am planning out my life how I see fit and how it benefits me, not how it makes everyone else happy anymore.

Its a sigh of relief after it all I will admit. It will be a day to day struggle to stay this way. But that’s my strength pushing me along and moving forward and making sure I don’t take a step back for any reason.

You

Before you it’s been awhile before I slipped up
Before you I never thought to give up
Before you I was satisfied on my own
Before you I never let myself go
Before this I was always on the wrong side
Before this I was always bad at 
hanging onto pride
But before this I was professional 
about how to hide
What was goin on on the inside
And before you I was so content
Yeah before you I was unaware of it
I was unaware, of my loneliness
Before you I had control of this
Before you I never let my heart win
Before you I was on my way to freedom
Before you I never let myself give in
To the disappointment of unrequited love
To the mislead illusion of mutual trust
I was unaware, of how bad love was

When somebody walks away
And you feel replaced
Left with your own embrace
A part of you gives up hope
Once you let it go
You never wanna go, back again
I look at you and I see him
All over again

And because of him
I lost all my self respect
Because of him
I was always left hopeless
Because of him
My perception of love is demented
I remember why I’m such a mess
Why I’m such a mess

Don’t Wanna Be Right

It was physical from day one, in this southern fall came undone, the way you’re walking tall had me drawn, who knew feeling small could be fun.
I love the chase it’s like you knew I would turn to you, like you knew that I’d crave something new, and baby you were facing me, and I just couldn’t leave.

I’m wrong, baby you’ve won. I don’t wanna be right for awhile, cause I love the ride that I’m on, haven’t felt this unsafe in some time now. Don’t try figure me out, I’ll let you down.
Don’t let go of me for the night, cause I don’t wanna be right.

Right along side you I, just wanna end up in my own room, why do you linger on this pillow these sheets felt fine, now I’m left asking where you are tonight, you drive me to insanity I just keep on wanting more, how can I say no when I’m the one at your door, I’m torn.

Sometimes When It’s Raining

Sometimes, when it’s raining, I think about you. I think about you all the way over there, with all that ocean and all those years between us. I think about if you’re doing well, what your bedroom looks like, if you enjoy your job. I think about the times when there wasn’t any ocean between us and my time was your time. I think about when I knew the answers about you, because they were my answers as much as they were yours.
Sometimes, when it’s raining, I wonder if it’s raining where you are too. Sometimes, when it’s raining, I pretend I’m kissing you. I pretend we’re lying in bed all morning with the grey half light and the patter of rain on the roof and the sloshing sound tires make on the bitumen as they speed by the window outside. I pretend you’re bringing me tea and we’re sitting side by side in bed reading the paper, you telling me the comics and me failing at Sudoku. I pretend we’re playing Quiz Master and we’re winning.
Sometimes, when it’s raining, I close my eyes and pull the duvet over my face, and pretend you’re breathing by my side. Sometimes, when it’s raining, I listen to love songs. I plan my wedding and it’s not to you, even though I once thought it would be. I sashay across my room and concoct fantasy love stories in which someone falls for me, madly and passionately. Not the way that you did but in a way which would last forever with every conceivable grandness announcing its arrival. I think about falling in love again, and I promise myself I will, one day. Then I put that promise inside a box, and I put the box in my pocket.
Sometimes, when it’s raining, I like to make believe. Sometimes, when it’s raining, I begin to feel alive. I start to have those clichéd thoughts like “everything is washed away”. I think of you fondly, without remorse or longing, and decide that the rain will bring me a new beginning. My mind clears and I begin to see the future spanning before me, as I turn away from the past laid out behind. There are ways for me to say goodbye and when it’s raining, sometimes I say them all in whispers you’ll never hear.
Sometimes, when it’s raining, I like to run outside in all my clothes, and let the water to soak through to my skin. 

What Happened To Old School Love?

These are the days when a strong wireless internet connection trumps a meaningful personal connection – where feelings and emotions can only be portrayed in a 140 character Tweet and where relationships aren’t official until they are Facebook official. In a world where technological advances are increasing at a staggering rate, and means of communicating are growing daily, it is no wonder personal and romantic relationships are suffering.

With the help of technology, rock solid relationships have become harder to find. Face to face conversations have diminished, easily becoming replaced by texting, for the exception of Skype and FaceTime. Arguing face to face became phone calls where one person hangs up as soon as they don’t get their way; feelings became subliminal messages online, by means of a Tweet or a Facebook status. Sex became easy and love – real love, became hard. The word love constantly gets used out of context. Insecurities in relationships are almost a given, allowing jealousy to become a habit. Trust is nearly non-existent, because there are social networks that can track your boyfriend/girlfriend’s every move, every word, every lie. Cheating became a “drunken” accident that will “never happen again.” Dates became wild Friday night parties, and loving gestures are almost non-existent. Is this what love has come down to? What happened to how it was years ago – to the ideal relationship that was portrayed in the infamous Nicholas Sparks novel, “The Notebook?” What happened to that Old School Love?

Today, text messages using emoticons – hey, I’m guilty of this too – are more important than the slowly devised and well thought out, personally written card or letter, and is far better than sending a dozen roses. We have lost the intimate bond created by in-person contact. Technology makes us panic-stricken when we see something posted online that could have an underlying meaning projected at us. Song lyrics and quotes used as statuses immediately are directed at us, especially if they are negative. And, texting, though incredibly useful, has turned us all a little crazy. If you don’t get an immediate response, you wonder what you did wrong. You count the minutes in between each text message sent and received and you play the game right back. He took four minutes to send you a text? Fine, I’ll take eight minutes. So on and so forth. The games are petty and immature, but it’s what technology has done to us. And with BBM (does anyone even still own a blackberry?) and iPhones/iMessage, you can tell when a person has read a text. (If you own an iPhone, I suggest you turn your “read” off on your texting. It helps.) God forbid someone reads a text and doesn’t respond immediately. Then what? This type of technology has us in a panic, wondering what we did wrong. We don’t take into consideration that the person on the other end of the phone might have looked at their phone while at a red light, or while walking to their next class, or quickly at work, without having the appropriate amount of time to answer the text. We are led to immediately believe that a fight is about to ensue. We become anxious in these situations, and insecure in our relationships, waiting by a phone that never rings.

What happened to courtship? To asking someone on a date and taking them to dinner and a movie? To opening the door for them and holding their hand, and offering them your jacket when they’re cold? To thinking about each other day in and day out until your next date? To drawing hearts on your notebook with his (or her) initials on it? To losing sleep talking on the phone? To going steady? We are in a world where none of this matters. There is no longer intimacy in relationships. We are a generation that is so hung up on updating Facebook, Tweeting our feelings and sending text messages. We’ve confused love with lust and have allowed technology to aid in the downfall of our relationships.

Call me old fashioned, but I miss the way romance used to be. I want deep, meaningful conversations about our future home, our dream weddings, our aspirations, hopes and fears. I want to sit in a cafe with my boyfriend, fiance or husband and share my deepest, darkest secrets, and talk about career goals and our uncertainties of ever attaining them. I want to talk about the places we would love to travel and make plans to do so. I want cold nights wrapped up in bed with nothing but our blankets and our love to keep us warm. I envision falling asleep to the sound of his voice and waking up in the early morning, continuing right where we left off. I want laughter – genuine laughter that comes from a place so pure that no one has managed to touch previously. I imagine spending all Sunday afternoon talking, teasing and joking around, realizing that the joy between us is effortless. I want that kind of love – the kind that used to exist.

Don’t get me wrong – the internet is a wonderful place when used properly. We use it to network, to display our proudest work (ahem, this blog?!) and to keep in touch with people. It’s amazing how far we’ve come with the internet – how we can apply for jobs with the click of a button, and how, without having to memorize an address, we can quickly send out an e-mail to someone we haven’t seen in ages.

But in love and relationships, I think simplicity is best. Technology doesn’t necessary ruin relationships, but allowing social networks and interactions through technology does not help gain romance that once existed. I think in love, we need to go back to the old school roots. I think we need to find ways to keep face-to-face interaction relevant. We need to express our feelings verbally rather than through a text message, video chat, or social media status update. Technology will continue to advance and people will continue to communicate through these media, but relationships will always be healthiest when maintained through physical interactions. So boys (and girls), remember this: love letters will always trump a Facebook inbox, always hold the door for your date, speaking on the phone is always better than sending a text message, and make every attempt at not letting a social network ruin your relationship. Find ways to find that rekindle romance and to find that Old School Love, and your relationship will be more successful than any other that is based on social networks and text arguments.

When Will You Kiss Me

When we are about to go in our two different directions, you to the left and I to the right in a way more symbolic than we had probably intended, I look up at you. There are way too many things to communicate in that slightly-extended glance, but I hope you understand at least a few of them. Yes, I want you, in the more simple ways. I want to feel your hand on the small of my back, your breath against my neck, your lips brushing the side of my ear. But much more than that, I want to know that all of these things I can’t help but feel for you are reciprocal. I want your attention, your priority, your desire. I want to know that I’m not completely crazy, when I so often feel that I am.

I have never liked waiting, but it has never been so painful as it is now. Now, it feels like every second that we are not touching is wasted. Everything is heightened, but so much that I can no longer feel my fingers. It’s as if something pleasurable has become numbing, a massage drawn out too long that makes your muscles feel like putty. Everything hurts, and then you casually put your hand on my shoulder, and all of my pain evaporates. In fact, it’s as though I don’t know what pain is anymore. We are together, and you are taking up every corner of my mind. In those moments, I couldn’t remember my name.

Imagining you in bed is too much — I am overwhelmed with a kind of lust that has nowhere to go, that couldn’t possibly make sense. I have to stop before the bedroom door and imagine the moment where you finally lean into me and let your lips sink into mine. Every time we see each other, even if we barely exchange a word, it’s as though my whole body is calling out for you. “Come to me,” it says, “You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for you.” And maybe you don’t. Maybe you are happy going through life oblivious, not acknowledging the guy next to you whose entire sun rises and sets on what you choose to do with the rest of your evening.

You say you’re going to head home, and I follow you almost involuntarily.

Our friends say that you’re into me, that you’re too shy, that you don’t know how to make the first move. They say I should just “go for it.” And normally I would. I have never been the type to let opportunity pass me by completely like this. But there is something in you which renders me incapable of action, incapable of risk, incapable of doing something that might not work out entirely in my favor. I can feel myself falling apart when I am around you, and the only time I am put back together is when your hand brushes against mine when you are walking past me. I know this is pathetic, but I cannot stop myself.

What is holding you back? When will you do it? When will you take that leap that we are both so afraid of jumping — the one which mocks us every time we are in the same room? I know that you feel the way I do. I can see it when you look at me just a few seconds too long, when you talk about me and then quickly shut up when you see that I am walking by. There is a part of you which is screaming for you just as much as I am for you, and they can hear each other. Let’s let them talk. Lean in and kiss me. I am ready.

Things I Will Never Tell You

I will never tell you that I loved you. But I guess I did tell you, once, when we were drunk and giggling and falling asleep listening to the late night traffic pass through the city.

And I guess I told you one other time — in that email after everything ended. That email that said all the things that I couldn’t say in person. Except it wasn’t everything. It was just the things that I could get down, the things that I had the courage to type and send.

There are some things that I just can never and will never tell you.

I will never tell you how you made me feel more comfortable in my own skin than anyone else ever has.

I will never tell you how much I needed you, needed our relationship. How much it meant to me to be with someone who respected me and didn’t try to belittle or manipulate. Or maybe you did?

I will never tell you how alive I felt with you.

I will never tell you that I looked up to you.

I will never tell you how your place felt like home to me. How comfortable I felt among your art-covered walls and minimalist furniture.

I will never tell you that sometimes I wondered what you saw in me. In the end, I guess it wasn’t enough.

I will never tell you how many times I thought you weren’t listening to me.

I will never tell you how mad I was that things ended on your terms.

I will never tell you that I wanted it to last. That I wanted to be your person.

I will never tell you that you are a liar. You said I was your best friend, yet we hardly speak anymore.

I will never tell you that that hurts even more than not being together. I miss my best friend everyday.

I will never tell you how much it wrecked me when you said you were seeing someone else. How gutted I felt.

I will never tell you how mad and sick I was when you brought him along and didn’t give me a heads-up. How proud I was of myself for not vomiting on the spot.

I will never tell you how horrible it made me feel that you left me here without answering the question I waited 2 and a half years to hear, how ill and small and insignificant that made me feel.

I will never tell you that I loved you from the day we met, and that after taking my virginity, you were more distant than ever and you made me feel like just another notch on your belt.

I will never tell you that I still don’t know what I was to you. Don’t know what went wrong. Don’t know why I wasn’t enough.

I will never tell you that I miss waking up next to you.

I will never tell you that I hate myself for still caring. 

When Your Best Friend Leaves

It is one thing to have a best friend. It’s another to have that friend become your whole world. You’re no longer just friends. You become something of a family. And when they have to leave for who knows how long, in the dwindling time you even have left together, it becomes a very sad sad day.

With this absence, I lose a partner-in-crime, a drinking buddy, a best friend, movie marathons, late night revelations, a telepathic partner, a confidante, a news source, a personal life and gym coach, a cuddy buddy, a sous-chef, a love interest and so much more. However, this absence only reminds us what it means to have friends like this. It reminds us how special these bonds are and the importance of these people in your life. It’s these kind of friends that know you better than you know yourself. Its these kind of friends that remind you that you deserve better when you need to hear it, and know when to keep their mouths shut when you need to figure it out for yourself.  It’s these kind of friends that are by your side without ever having to ask. It’s these kind of friends you know were meant to be more than just friends, but lifelong friends.

As they embark on this journey on their own, you understand that this is only the beginning. That soon enough, we will each begin our own path in pursuit of fulfilling our own unique desires and dreams. With many things fast-approaching there are only a few more times where we can spend entire Sundays lying in bed watching Disney movies, talking endlessly about boys, discussing future wedding plans, contemplating our futures, while not giving a fuck or understanding how close that future really is. But that future is the scary part. We’re being tossed into the real world like a chicken with our heads cut off, not knowing what to do next. And not only will it be the first time in your life you may not be returning to their house where it all started, but it will be the first time in a very long time that this physical separation between you and your friend is more than just temporary. But again. It’s these kind of friends that you know were meant to be more than just friends. They were meant to be lifelong friends. So no, I’m no longer that sad you’re leaving, because I know it’s not the end, but only the beginning of what’s to come.

Cancer

A piece of advice for when you encounter somebody that has had cancer: Yes, the big C is pretty friggin’ big, and it’s great when you get through it one piece, but I didn’t survive anything, I lived.

Every person with cancer has two options, do what the doctors say or don’t, a.k.a. hopefully live or almost definitely die. That’s not a battle, or some great divine intervention, but rather a rational response to a medical situation based on the advice of professionals with years of experience influenced by amazing scientific discoveries. That’s it.

I’m not special, my living is no greater than my friends that have died, it’s just how it worked out. The suggestion that I won some battle, or beat something, is just telling me that you think that the people who have died from cancer somehow didn’t fight hard enough? That’s bullshit, and you don’t mean that.

One of the first things people ask me after learning I had testicular cancer is, “How did you know?” I don’t mind the question, though I do feel like a “How are you now?” is a better buffer before the nitty gritty. Regardless, it’s a reactionary question; they are asking for their own sake, in the horrible off chance that they too experience a similar situation.

Cancer is one of those ubiquitous words that everybody knows, but few fully understand, and with good reason. Now imagine you’re 16 years old, the picture of perfect health (non-smoker, dancer, basically amazing), no family history of cancer, and then WHAM, “You have a tumor in your testicle and need emergency surgery.” WTF?!

Frankly, it started with a pain in my right testicle. At first it was just a bruise like pain, something small. I first noticed it while dancing with friends.

I distinctly remember this moment, May 12, 2010, as the last moment that infallible version of myself existed. Everything changed after that, and not for the better.

The pain got worse. Not throbbing worse, just more pronounced. Almost like this bruise was taking over my right testicle, making everything else uncomfortable. I had been in the middle of training to achieve a goal of getting the middle splits for my up coming dance competition, so I assumed it was a pulled groin. What else could it be?

Eventually I made an appointment with a doctor, even though the pain had decreased.

“You have to actually have sex in order to get an STD,” I told the doctor after he suggested that the pain was likely chlamydia or gonorrhea. Convinced that I had some sort of latent STD, one that went undetected, I proceeded to get multiple AIDS tests in the week I had to wait to get my blood work back. All came up negative (note the previous lack of sex reference).

I knew it wasn’t good. Everyone assured me that it was probably something small, certainly not a tumor. It was as if everyone was convincing themselves that it wasn’t a tumor, and I was the only one that was in on the secret. I thought about losing my hair because of chemo, losing weight (a plus, at least in my mind anyway), or dying (a big negative). But during this week I couldn’t talk about these feelings because everyone was so busy convincing themselves that it wasn’t cancer.

After what felt like an eternity, the urologist came in and told me that it was likely a tumor and needed to be removed immediately.

I feel foolish for saying this, but at the time I really didn’t think I would need surgery. I figured that if it were a tumor, I’d start chemo and that would kill it. Losing my testicle was just something that never entered my mind.

The surgery set up for the following day, I left the hospital and immediately ate a burger, because “Fuck it,” right? I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was in a city that was my home, where I had great friends, yet in that moment I felt totally lost and alone. It was as if I could feel part of myself slowly seeping out of my pores, leaving a shell of the person I once was. Lost, I went to the only place I knew of where I could make sense of everything.

I wandered around Target for a couple of hours, crying, snacking, buying nothing. Nobody stopped me, nobody asked if I needed help, nobody talked to me. In retrospect it was probably because I looked like a dangerous crazy person, but in that moment it was exactly what I needed. There’s something about every Target being exactly that same that is comforting, and with so much about to change so dramatically, I just needed something that never changed.

A whole hell of a lot happened after that, all of which has been very well documented. But this is how I knew that I had cancer. Put more broadly, this how my life changed forever. May 12 , 2010 to  January 4, 2011 is frozen in my memory as the end of infallibility and the beginning of self-awareness. It wasn’t fun, not one fucking minute of it, yet somehow I’m grateful for all of it.

The Type Of Guy

You will fall in love with someone who annoys you, whose orgasm face looks and feels pathetic. Despite all of this, there’s something keeping you drawn to them, something that makes you want to protect them from the harsh world. What you fail to realize, however, is that you are the harsh world.

You aren’t their noble protector — you are someone to be protected from but it takes a lot of dates, a lot of nights where you question whether or not you are actually a good person, for this to ever resonate with you. When it’s over and whatever love is left is put back in the fridge like a sad plate of leftovers, you will finally understand that you have the power to hurt someone. You can either hurt them or love them and it’s up to you to decide what kind of role you would like to take on in future relationships. What feels more comfortable — being the one who loves more or being the one who’s loved less?

You will fall in love with someone who’s cold and always seemingly pushing you away. When all is said and done, they will be forever known as the one person you couldn’t get to love you. Unfortunately, it will hurt and sting worse than the good ones, the ones that chopped up your meat for you and picked out an eyelash from your eye and were nice to your mother, because love often feels like a game we need to win. And when we lose, when we realize we couldn’t get what we ultimately desired from a person, it makes us feel like a failure and erases all the memories of those who loved us in the past. It’s a permanent smudge on your love resume.

You will fall in love with someone for one night and one night only. They’ll come to you when you need them and be gone in the morning when you don’t. At first, this will make you feel empty and you’ll try to convince yourself that you could’ve loved this person for longer than a night, but you can’t. Some people are just meant to make cameo appearances, some are destined to be a pithy footnote. That’s okay though. Not every person we love has to stick around. Sometimes it’s better to leave while you’re still ahead. Sometimes it’s better to leave before you get unloved.
You will fall in love with the old couple down the street because to you they represent the impossible: a stable, long-lasting love. You’re trying to get someone to like you for more than ten minutes. A monogamous “never get sick of ya” love seems unfathomable. “What’s your secret, sir? Do you just say yes a lot?”

You will fall in love with smells, the good and the bad kind. You will want to wear your lovers shirt because it makes you feel close to them and you’re okay with being that PSYCHO who is legitimately sniffing their shirt in public. You will fall in love with sweat, certain perfumes, the smell of the season in which you fell in love. This particular love smells like fall. It smells like Halloween and a roaring fire and leaves and fog and mist and candy and food and family and whiskey and sex and the lint that collects on sweaters. When it ends, if it ends, you will never experience another fall without thinking of him, her, it. The memories will stick to the ground like a mound of leaves and will only dissipate when the weather drops.
You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time. Sometimes we’re born into families who don’t know how to love us properly. They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgement. At least the good ones can.

This is where I’m supposed to tell you that you will fall in love with The One, a person who isn’t too cold or too nice. Their “O” face is perfectly fine and they’re not afraid to show how much they love you. This person is supposed to wait for us at the end of the twentysomething road as some kind of reward for all the heartache and loneliness. We deserve them. We’ve earned this kind of love.


So fine. You’re going to fall in love with The One. You’re going to fall in love with someone who will make sense beyond college or a job or a particular season. They’ll make sense forever and won’t ever want to leave you behind. I’m telling you this not because it’s true but because it NEEDS to be true. Everyone is entitled to this kind of love, so why not? Have it. It’s yours. Blow out the candles on your 30th birthday, holding their hand, and let out an exhale that’s been waiting for ten years.

Do it. Now.