Wednesday, August 30, 2006

For Mom...

I remember nights spent in your bed. The magic bed. The cool, green sheets. Megan and I would wiggle into the middle of it. She would spread out and go to her side, I would move closer to you. I always chose you. In first grade I had to take the bus, I was noticeably changed by the separation from you. Megan was supposed to sit with me, protect me, watch over me. She wasn’t ready for that role. I wasn’t ready to leave. That was when coming home became my definition of happiness, safety, love. I stared out the dirty window and pulled the emergency exit by mistake. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake.

When I played hide and seek, I didn’t want to be found. I stayed buried deep in your closet, smelling your clothes. I could hear your gold bracelets shifting on your wrists. You have the most beautiful arms I have ever seen and I like to think I have inherited them. Strong and feminine, soft and embracing. You drove me to soccer practice, acting classes and swim meets. Gymnastics, piano, tennis. I always came back to the swimming and you always drove. When I stood solid on the starting block, the sun beating down on me, you cheered the loudest. I can hear you even now. You have never stopped cheering.

I have made you cry. We have fought out of love, out of similarities, out of fear. I am more like you than I ever expected to be, but I always secretly wished. My wishes came true. I am a rough version of you. I still have years to go, but the outline is there and it’s solid.

I am so sorry for always taking out my insecurities and fears on you. You have always been my voice of reason. Mom, I love you so much. I love what you have allowed me to become. I love the woman I am because of you. I love that you have always filled my life with laughter, happiness, security and strength. You have kept me in the moment, made me realize I have happiness in my soul. You have been my compass and pointed out the stars. You encouraged me to touch them, feel them, reach for them all. You have told me that nothing matters more than this moment. You allowed me to let go and believe in the strength of my safety net. Thank you so much for the lessons you have taught me. I carry them with me, in my heart, every day. I love you so much.

Love Jocelyn

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

End of Summer

Today feels like summer when I was a child. Rainy days spent inside, reading and playing. Making the best of a day without sunshine and dry heat. Often these days would come after a long string of hot, summer days, forcing our tired, sun-tanned bodies to rest and regroup.

I feel like I need a day to regroup and gather my thoughts, clear my head and start over. I want to curl up on the couch in my pajamas, tuck my feet underneath my legs and settle in with an absorbing and uplifting book. The literary equivalent of apple pie. I don't want to tackle sadness or hardships, there is too much of that in every day life. You need only turn on the news to find heartbreak. I want only peaceful and happy thoughts, just like my sweet timeless memories of childhood summers.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Does he worry?

This is what worries me. I read and hear about people’s lives and the relationships they lead. One recent blog chronicling the life of a 20-something girl had an entry about her new relationship.

“He keeps talking about how long it’s been. ‘Baby, I’m starting to worry about you. We’ve been dating for three months, and you’ve been depressed for two of them.’ He thinks it has something to do with him. Like I’m not happy, or the thrill has worn off. It’s neither. It’s everything else in my life, and I need more than one thing to make me happy.”

I find myself always asking if he is okay. If he is happy. If his life is going the way he had planned. I am supportive, I am comforting, I am loving. But then one day I start to notice that he never asks me these things. Does that mean he doesn’t care about my happiness? I have a tendency to internalize everything. I take on everyone’s problems, I worry about everyone I love and I always want to make everyone happy. But I need to feel that back. This isn't about wanting to be the center of attention. That's a joke, a bad one. It's about needing to get love and respect from those who have my heart. My family worries about me even when there is no reason and something about that is comforting. It's about someone having your back. They think about me and want to make sure I'm happy. Does he? This is a big deal. A big question. Something that worries me. Does he worry about me?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Big Brother

Confession: I love Big Brother.

And not just this particular season, which is spectacular, I might add, but every season since its inception seven years ago. I know, I know. I’m a reality tv junkie and I’m really not ashamed of this fact. However, now I am pulling innocent people into my obsession, namely my mom. For the longest time, my mom was totally against reality television. She could not see what I found enjoyable about watching people act stupid and make fools of themselves on national tv. She rolled her eyes at The Real World, laughed at America’s Next Top Model and sighed deeply when she saw the women of The Bachelor making desperate actions to win the affection of a man. All completely justified reactions to reality tv and the morally challenged contestants that make up many of the shows. But somewhere in the middle all of her criticism, she found a little show called Big Brother. And now she is hooked! Do I feel guilty about turning a smart, educated, reasonable woman into a reality tv junkie? A little. Am I thrilled to have someone watch this trash with me? ABSOLUTELY!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


This sweltering heat is really starting to get to me. I think it's effecting my brain cells. Can brain cells boil? If they can...then they are! The air is so thick it feels like I'm surrounded by hot soup.

Thankfully, I have an air-conditioner in my bedroom so I am able to sleep in the cool and comforting, artificially chilled air. Unfortunately, every fifteen minutes my air conditioner does some sort of switching gears that startles me and wakes me momentarily. I'm not sure if it is seriously effecting my sleep (REM?), but it just might be. This couldt explain my recent grouchiness...or maybe it's just the HEAT!

On a sidenote, my brother-in-law may be going to London for 4-6 months for work. His company would be paying for his family (my sister and niece) to go along with him and live in London for the duration of his work. This would be an incredible experience for all of them. London is the most wonderful city in the world, full of history and beauty that is incomparable. I would love for them to have this experience, but at the same time, a small part of me doesn't want them to go. I can't imagine not seeing my sister or my niece for 6 MONTHS! I guess I will just have to go along as the "nanny". :-)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I remove my socks and rub my feet along the floor. The blue carpet is smooth under my tiny feet. It is soft and thick because it is brand new. The men who installed it left hours ago. The walls are newly painted, so white they are almost blue. The walls and the new lighting create a brightness that is almost too much for my eyes.

There has been a closet built beneath the stairs to house my forgotten toys and games, but at this moment it is my sanctuary. I sit in the closet, my feet tucked beneath my body. There is no fear of spiders or mice as one would normally fear in a basement. This basement is too new. My mother is upstairs cooking spaghetti. I can smell the onions and the garlic. They ignite my senses and make me crave the dinner that is just moments from being ready. I can hear the news blasting from our tiny kitchen television set. It is never good news, but still my dad watches, faithfully.

I have brought a book into my secret hideaway, but with the door closed it is too dark to read. The Secret Garden will have to wait. I have found my own secret world. I can hear my parents begin to argue, about what I don’t know. It could be anything; the dinner, the bills, the house, or maybe work. It’s never the children. We don’t cause the fights, but we endure them all. Their voices grow louder, harsher and more uneven. It is easier to block it out in my tiny hiding place. I don’t have to watch his face grow red with anger. I don’t see him shake his fists or slam his hands down on the table. I can’t see her pleading with him to stop this behavior. I am safe under the stairs, it’s like I’m not even there.

I hear my sister’s voice now. She yells with a passion that can only come from someone who is still new to this, who sees anger as an emotion that hasn’t fully been explored. Her voice is high-pitched and breaking. She fights the way she has watched actresses fight in movies, dramatic and overblown. He ignores her and my mother rushes to calm her down. She knows that this isn’t right, that children shouldn’t be a part of this destruction. He is blind to what he has caused and aware only of how things effect his life.

My spot under the stairs is warm and dry. Light seeps in through the slats on the door and comforts me. It isn’t dark enough to make me afraid, it is just light enough to protect me. I am in a spot where no one can find me. I am alone but can still hear the voices of my family. They are fighting and I can be distant from it all. I can wait until the fighting subsides and I can return to daily life, to dinner and conversations about school. But for now I am happy in the nook I have created for myself. I have to remember to bring blankets and pillows down from my bed later in the night. I will create a tiny hidden room all for myself.

The ticking of the water heater and the rumble of the washing machine startle me. The dryer buzzes and I suddenly can’t hear my parents fighting or my sister’s high-pitched voice. I feel more alone and slightly frightened. I gather up my discarded socks and my book. It is time to leave.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Stop staring. They are lost in a private moment, a moment they have chosen to bring out in the public. Listen quietly. Absorb what they are saying. Learn from it, try to prevent yourself from being in that same state. Don’t let your relationship get to the point where you have to yell your thoughts, feelings. Don’t feel that the only way for him to see your heart is to throw it in his face, it will hurt him and you will be left broken. If it ever gets to that point, just walk away. Smooth out your skirt, put your purse casually over your shoulder and walk away. He can’t follow you if you walk determinedly enough.

They continue to fight. She wants more respect, to be listened to and really heard. He isn’t even listening now, he’s just plotting the harsh words that will fall from his lips the minute she takes a breath. They are all wrong for each other, even you, a stranger, can see that. But no one can tell her what she needs to figure out for herself. Her hair is wild and flying in all directions, gorgeous curls tremble on top of her head as she raises her hands to her forehead. She is trying to cover her eyes, to hide from him, from the world. His hair is neatly combed and still wet from his shower. They don’t fit. She is emotional and proud of what defines her, he is frightened by it. He wants her to be like the Lilly Pulitzer blondes that sit at the next table, ordering pink and green drinks to match their sweaters. This girl, this wild, untameable girl will never be one of them. If he loved her for what makes her different, then they could work through anything, but he doesn’t.

She fingers the maroon napkin, twisting it between two jeweled fingers, obviously a woman who is denied nothing. She is debating whether or not to use the napkin to wipe away her tears. She decides instead to use the palm of her hands. It’s messier, but at least it feels more real, more comforting, to touch herself with her own flesh. He hasn’t touched her in ages, not like he means it. He touches her in passing, when he’s horny or wants a quick feel, but nothing lasting, nothing beautiful and heart-skipping. Just cold and emotionless, like the relationship.

Walk away. Just stand up, storm out, run away. Do anything but don’t stay. Don’t stay in something that isn’t right. This will tear you apart, it will change you. Without realizing what you are doing, you will try and change yourself for him. Don’t do it. You are wonderful alone. You are wild and carefree and happy. Yes, you will be lonely, but isn’t it better to be lonely moving in the right direction, then lonely going nowhere? Yes, he loved you once, but it wasn’t real love. It wasn’t lasting love. It was ordinary and predictable. It could have been anyone he met that night. It was a learning experience, you learned what doesn’t work for you. Now go home. Go back to what makes you happy, what makes you confident, what makes you YOU. He will find someone new, like the Lilly girl on the seat behind him. You will find someone new, too. Someone who wants to know what you are thinking. Someone who will find joy in the little things, just like you do. If you give yourself a chance to find the right person, he will show up, eventually.

Throw the drink in his face, throw the chair out of your way, slam the door. Fill yourself up with life, act irrationally but at least do it with energy, with enthusiasm. This is the first day of the rest of your life. Lose your breath while you’re living it. Take it for what it is, an adventure. Never settle.