Everytime We Touch

I GET THIS FEELING.
AND EVERY TIME WE KISS I REACH FOR THE SKY.
CAN’T YOU FEEL MY HEART BEAT FAST
I WANT THIS TO LAST
I NEED YOU BY MY SIDE.

*This post contains material of a sexual nature.

When I was younger, I only had the media to teach me about relationships and sex. My parents never talked about it. I don’t think I had a friend with a boyfriend until I was 13 or 14.

The media always portrays boys as perpetually hungry for sex. Ready for it anytime, anywhere. Wanting it all the time, everywhere. That’s why I was so surprised about my sex life.

My first sexual encounter with my boyfriend was a little awkward. I initiated it, and he was kind of shy and embarrassed the whole time. Afterwards he thanked me for what I gave to him, and I never quite knew what that was, but I think it was just for his first sexual experience. For the record, he also thanked me for our first kiss.

The media never prepared me for him.

My boyfriend has never once asked me for sex. He’s never once asked me if we could do it. I have.

He usually reads situations. If we start to kiss and get a little feely, I’ll make sure it’s 100% clear that it’s go-time. He’s never pressured me. He always makes sure I’m 100% comfortable with everything we do. He was also willing to reclaim abstinence after a certain talk we had before, but I wasn’t a fan of that.

What touches me the most is that one time I asked him what his favorite part of sex is, and his answer was, “When we’re together afterwards.”

His favorite part of sex is the afterglow. He likes the cuddling, and the laughing, and the kissing. He likes just laying there with me naked, holding me with no other intentions. He loves laying down next to me and looking me in the eyes, and kissing my forehead and just hearing my heavy breathing.

I’ve asked him this question over and over again, and it’s always the same.

I can’t blame him.

I can see why people like hooking up, and the excitement of a one night stand. But I think the warm and comforting feeling of an afterglow with someone you love is beyond compare.

You lie there together, half breathless. Your hormones are rushing and your head is in another place: you’re euphoric. Then suddenly their touch bring you back to earth. You feel their lips against one cheek and then the other. Then on your forehead, your nose, and finally your lips. You lie on their chest, and hear the fast pace of their heartbeat. Your heavy breathing soon synchronizes, and slows together as you begin to relax. You might small talk and laugh, you might be thinking of getting in the shower together to cool off. But mostly you take comfort in their warmth. Just being there together, feeling each other’s presence, looking into each other’s eyes. The feeling you get is just as good as the sex.

I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such a good boyfriend. “Good” doesn’t do him justice. He’s just the kind of guy that has a warmth and a sincerity that I wish for all of my friends, and especially my daughter.

Ember, if you ever read this, first of all sorry you read about your parents having sex. And second, I hope you one day find a man (or a woman) as loving as your father is.

Just A Little Shame

I recently made a new post on my second blog.

I talked about my weekend at the beach with my boyfriend and his family and how I accidentally peed my pants. Not one of my finer moments. I actually share that blog on Facebook for my family and friends, so they can see how I’m doing because for some reason a lot of people feel awkward when they wanna ask me how I’m doing.

After reading and proofreading and rereading the post again, I realized something. I can tell the world I peed my pants and not feel a thing. I genuinely don’t care who knows or if anyone wants to talk about it.

But then,

This weekend while I was at the beach with my boyfriend, we went into a souvenir shop. There were tacky shirts all over the walls, and there were these 2 matching shirts that said This Guy Loves His Girlfriend and This Girl Loves Her Boyfriend. He got really excited when he saw them and he wanted us to get them and wear them together the next day. But for some reason, I was kind of eye-rolling at them in my mind. I smiled and told him that if he likes them I wouldn’t mind wearing them with him, but he could tell that I wasn’t very enthusiastic so he let it go.

For some reason I can’t stop thinking about that. He’s tried to get shirts like that before but I never really went for it. Personally I guess I don’t really care, but I don’t really know why I’m not that into it. We hold hands everywhere we go, we hug and kiss in public, it’s clear to everyone that we’re happy together and in love. I guess it’s just kind of an “actions speak louder than words” thing. But now I realize, my actions weren’t very loving. Buying a $5 shirt that expresses my love for him that would make him happy wasn’t too much to ask. He always does so much for me. He’s always so loving towards me. He really does anything and everything for me.

I made him a shirt about 2 years ago. It’s a black shirt that I painted a strange smiley face on. The fabric paint has cracked significantly since then, and it’s a bit too small for him now. But you know what? He still wears it. All the time. Because it makes him happy because I made it for him. And I always feel touched when I see him wear it even though it looks just plain odd now.

In relationships, it’s really the little things that count. Holding hands while dipping our feet in the ocean, getting up at 1 in the morning to eat cold pizza, cuddling in bed and falling asleep while watching Friends. It’s nothing crazy or extravagant, but the happiness is incomparable. I wish all weekends — all days — could be like that. It was one of the best weekends of my life.

Now I just wish we had gotten those shirts.

The Dynamic Duo

AKA my parents.

My parents have been together for over 20 years. They’ve known each other since they were born, grew up as neighbors, were best friends for a long time, didn’t start to date until their 20’s, had me in their late 20’s, had my brother in their early 30’s, got married in their early 40’s, and are still happily together to this day.

They have an average relationship dynamic. My mom talks a lot, my dad doesn’t say much, but together they just kind of complement each other.

Every week is the same routine. Dad picks mom up from work, they get home, mom makes dinner while dad watches TV in the kitchen and helps her if she asks, They clean the kitchen, go upstairs and take showers, talk for a while, and go to bed. On weekends, they watch TV until midnight or a little later while eating fish balls and drinking wine.

A little over a year ago my mom got a job that requires her to travel a few times a year. So far she’s gone 5 times. She’s gone now, and it always goes the same:

Dad gets home earlier than usual since he doesn’t have to pick up mom. Instead of hibernating in the kitchen, he checks on me and my brother. He asks us about our days and asks if we want to eat anything. Today he took me to Taco Bell for dinner. He doesn’t usually do these things because he knows our mom does, and he usually only talks to us if we’re in the room he’s in. He makes sure we’re fed, he talks to us, and he tells us to go to bed at night. Not exactly following in my mom’s footsteps, but he’s definitely more involved than he is when she’s home.

Of course I know my dad cares about us, but he’s just a man of few words. When my mom is out, he tries to take care of the house in his own way.

Even though she’s not there, he still stays in the kitchen. I think it’s probably out of habit. He doesn’t say anything but I know he misses her. When he plays on his iPad, I see him occasionally checking her Facebook, maybe hoping she posted a picture or updated what she’s doing. My dad usually goes to sleep around 9 PM, but for some reason he stays up an hour or two later whenever she’s gone. He usually sleeps at the time she sleeps when she’s home. For what reason, I don’t know. Whenever she’s gone, he sleeps with the lights on. For what reason, again, I don’t know.

My mom is more open about her missing us. She texts all day, she calls in her free time. She asks how my dad’s doing and what he’s doing and she tells me to tell him goodnight because she knows that he likes to leave his phone downstairs at night because he doesn’t like it bothering him at night. And she tells me to be aware of him at night, and to check on him because, even though it’s really rare, he’ll wake up screaming in the middle of the night sometimes. It happens probably less than 5 times a year, but she still tells me to make sure he’s okay.

As a psychology student, I’m very concerned as to why my father has occasional night terrors since they’re highly uncommon in adulthood, but that’s not my point. My point is that even though there’s such a small small small small small percent chance of something happening to my father, she still tells me to make sure he’s okay. And since my mom is gone, my dad sleeps with the lights on. Sometimes he even arranges the pillows on her side and hugs them. What this tells me is that my mom comforts him.

He barely talks to his own kids, but he talks to her. He has no reason to be in the kitchen sitting on those hard stools all evening purely besides keeping my mom company. He can’t sleep with the light off when she’s not there. When I was younger, I always took my father’s silence as apathy. My brother takes after him, so I took my brother as an apathetic person as well. But it’s not true. It took me a long time to realize that just because someone doesn’t show love in the same way as me doesn’t mean that the love isn’t there.

Love is shown in so many different ways.

They always say that people tend to fall in love with people similar to their parents. I do think I’m dating a guy a lot like my father.

My boyfriend is hardworking. He’s kind. He doesn’t say much, but he always listens, and he always remembers even when I don’t think he does. I always make grand gestures like baking him cookies or cupcakes or drawing him pictures or writing him letters, but that’s how I show my love. He shows his by sending me an occasional “Whacha up to?” in the middle of the day. He shows his love by sending me funny pictures he found on the internet that he thinks will make me laugh. He shows his love by texting me a good morning as soon as he wakes up and a good night right before bed. They’re all subtle things, but they all mean I love you.

Every relationship is different, but that doesn’t make them any less wonderful than the other.

Dream A Little Dream of Me

My last post ended kind of badly. I reread it and it made me sad, so I’m going to make two blog posts in one day woot woot.

My mom came in my room not too long ago and asked me, “Are you going to miss me?”

I laughed it off and joked with her, but she knows I will. I’ll miss my dad and brother too. And my aunts and uncles and cousins that I see almost every day. I’ll miss my friends and my boyfriend. But there’s something that eases the pain.

Dreaming.

Dreaming of seeing them again. Dreaming of what it will be like when we’re reunited. Dreaming of how our futures will be. To lighten the mood, I’d like to share some of these dreams that keep this cold little heart of mine pumping.

Family

I have 3 cousins that I grew up with. 2 are about to be seniors in college, and one is about to be an 8th grader. I’m leaving my brother in 6 days, so I won’t see him much. I haven’t spent as much time as I’d like to with all of them, but I imagine a future where we act like how our parents do now. Living within a half hour radius of each other. Meeting up once a week for a game night with the spouses while the kids play in another room. Talking about our days and our jobs and watching movies and having parties. I dream about us growing closer. I dream about all of our dreams coming true (my cousins being engineers, the other being an artist. My brother being an accountant and me being a therapist). I’d love for us to always be together, but this may not be true since one of them aspires to work in California or Washington state, but you know, one can dream.

As for my parents, they have… gender specific dreams for me. My mom wants me to have a kid fresh out of college (as in, 21 or 22 years old) which I’m not about. But I do imagine having kids at my desired age (26-28) and going to visit my parents with my babies. My parents will see how cute my children are and how happy I am with my loving husband, and they’ll see how successful and satisfied I am with my job and feel proud of me and of themselves for having raised such a great child.

Friends

Right now I have 6 best friends that I mourn over being without for the next four years. I imagine us being each other’s bridesmaids / groomsmen at each other’s weddings (and I like trying to guess the order on how we’ll get hitched). I imagine how my speech would go, what color scheme they’d choose. I imagine crying rivers of tears at each ceremony and making a fool of myself dancing at the receptions. I imagine all of us having our own jobs and our own relationships and our own families, but every now and then we come together and see how we’re all doing. We watch each other’s kids and go to every birthday party and special event, and we reminisce and laugh at all our old jokes. I imagine things being completely different yet exactly the same.

Boyfriend

I imagine we get engaged after college and we move in together. It’ll be night time and he’ll be in bed cozy under the blanket. I’ll be in the bathroom washing my face and he’ll have his eyes closed. He’ll hear the water stop, then he’ll hear footsteps. He’ll pretend to be asleep. I’ll crawl into bed next to him and wrap my arms around him, when all of a sudden he starts tickling me. I yell at him to stop between fits of laughter and he laughs and kisses me all over my pouting face and he’ll hug me tight. He’ll look me in the eyes and tell me he loves me and I’ll tell him I love him too, and I’ll turn the light out and settle back into his body, knowing that everything will be alright when I wake up.

I pretty much make fan fictions of my life in my free time. Chances are, little bits and pieces of these dreams will come true, but I just don’t know which ones yet. And that’s the exciting thing about dreams. There’s always a chance they can come true.

They can also change. I didn’t always want to be a therapist, but now it’s my dream. I dream of helping people, and I’m working to make it a reality. I used to dream of having a kid the age my parents wanted me to, but it changed to a later date because I need time for my education. I used to dream of being a part-time stripper just for fun, but that didn’t last long.

The point I’m trying to make is that dreams happen. They come and go, but they’re fun while they last. They change to fit the way you’ve changed.

I’m going into college with all these dreams in my heart, but chances are I won’t leave with all of them. Chances are I’ll leave with a lot more. Chances are some dreams will come true while I’m in college. Chances are some will never come true.

Dreams (desires, not images your brain makes during unconscious periods) are something your heart wishes for. No matter what I have to go through, I’m going to work to make my dreams realities.

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Sometimes I feel bad for making so many personal posts, but then I remember that this is my personal blog and I can write whatever I want.

Let me start this post by telling a story.

Yesterday was my sugar bun’s birthday wheeee. I didn’t get to see him because we’re both out of town, but I found out he got a car for his birthday, which is some exciting stuff.

The cause of my distress is because I found out he got a car from Facebook. On his mom’s page. She posted the pictures really late at night, but it was bright in the pictures, so I kind of had a moment of “…Oh… So I guess he didn’t feel the need to tell me about this…”

It kind of stung, since getting your first car is usually an important and exciting milestone in a person’s life and it was kind of like, oh, he didn’t feel like sharing. I talked to him for like 3 or 4 hours today and he didn’t feel like bringing that up.

(Still not at my main point yet.)

So of course I kind of got upset and I texted him congratulating him on the car, and asking why he didn’t think to mention it to me.

(Here’s my point.)

Whenever I get into a spat with my boyfriend though, or whenever something in the less-than-positive range happens, the same thought always crosses my mind: Maybe I should break up with him.

Not because I don’t like him. Not because I don’t think he likes me. But because I don’t think he deserves what I put him through sometimes. When I’m whiny or bitter or anything of the nature, I always think, “Well this is a really petty topic when you think about it… He doesn’t deserve the shit I’m giving him.”

The main point I’m trying to make it that I never feel like I’m worthy of anything.

I never think I’m worth love, worth respect, worth anyone’s time or efforts.

When I was younger, I was bullied a lot for being ugly. At lunch time everyday, I would look at the deemed “beautiful” girls in my class and look at my food. I would think “Food gives energy. Energy helps you live. Why should I eat this food then? I’m not beautiful. I don’t deserve to live. What do I need this energy for? Why should I eat this food?”

Just saying, but my boyfriend takes a lot of shit from me. A lot. I suffer from depression, along with the occasional anxiety/panic attack. I spend some nights up crying, I have incredible insomnia. But whenever I’m having a bitch fit, he just takes it, and he tries to calm me down, and whenever I feel like breaking up with him it’s because I don’t think I deserve his kindness and all his hard efforts.

I was going through a particularly bad spell one night. I really wanted to break up with him, and all I could think about was killing myself. There was a lot of sobbing and wheezing and altogether unpleasantness. I told him that we should break up, and he said to me, “Why do you think you can decide what’s best for me? I know what’s best for me, and I want you. I don’t want to be with anyone else. Why can’t you just accept my love and be happy with me?”

I honestly don’t know. I don’t know why, but… I don’t know.

There’s a quote that goes, “We take the love we think we deserve” or something along those lines. Maybe that’s not quite true, because I know that my boyfriend goes through more than he should putting up with me and I know I don’t deserve that.

The past left me with these ugly wounds. I have an extreme abandonment complex, an inferiority complex, and an “Is she prettier than me?” complex. I’m emotionally over-reactive. I’m over-defensive because I’m always waiting for an attack. I’m the biggest clinger and pusher you will ever meet, perfectly at the same time.

His words calmed me that night. They made me think, Hey, here I am throwing the biggest fit of my life, and he still wants to be with me. I’ve tossed him around every which way, and he still wants to be with me. It’s either he’s fifty shades of crazy, or he really loves me. But hopefully both.

I try really hard not to be that person. I try really hard to be a good person for my friends, so that I can feel I deserve them. Hopefully one day I’ll know that I do.

And There Goes the Countdown

I got in a fight with one of my best friends.

It went on for a very long time.

There was a lot of arguing and blaming and cursing (on my part anyways) that I knew from the beginning would be pointless. I partly blame myself for going into the conversation, knowing his position on it the entire time. Never argue the inarguable.

It’s an argument that’s been going on around my group of friends only recently, this summer actually since we’ve all been hanging out more. But that’s not what this post is about.

This summer meant a lot to me. It was a summer where I had freedom: I can drive. I have more friends than I’ve ever had in my entire life. Every day is like a Saturday, and every day is devoted to spending time with my friends before we bid each other farewell as we go off to college at the end of August. Every day has been devoted to kindling friendships and reinforcing bonds, to make sure that no matter where I go, I always remember where I came from. To make sure that no matter what happens or who I meet, I always remember the people that built me up when I thought my life was shit.

Well this friend that I fought with tonight has been with me since the beginning of my transformation from piece of shit to confident young adult. He’s seen my transitions. The good sides and (many) bad faces on my die. He was certainly the last person I ever thought I’d lose this summer, but that appears to be what’s happening.

In the middle of the argument (which happened over a Facebook message thread), I thought, “Hey, why don’t I just leave the thread?” But then I thought, “No, that would just make me lose him. We’re mature, we’re friends, we can talk through this.” Well, lo and behold, he was the one that rage-quit on me. The last person in the whole world that I ever thought had the capacity to do so. But he’s only human.

I’m a bitch. I get violently pissed off very easy. I have an abundance of pride. Well, I put all of that aside and apologized to him. Granted it was gruffy, but I meant it. I never wanted to offend or hurt him. I made an ass of myself and messaged him endlessly, and to no avail. It was like suicide. I went against every natural instinct in my body and apologized — which I never do. And like I said, to no avail.

Then this most recent thought came to mind. “It’s okay, we’re going to college. I’ll never have to see his disrespectful face again.” It’s true. While this is the summer to strengthen friendships, it’s also the perfect summer to end them. If you’re not going to the same school, well that’s that. Even if you are, the campuses are large and there are so many people, it’s a safe bet you won’t run into them if you don’t want to. I comforted myself with this thought. Until the next thought came into my head.

I don’t want to lose him. It’s true that I cling to my friends like a leech on an influenza patient in the medieval period. Sure I can lose him now and probably forget about it 30 years down the road, one marriage, 2 kids, and about 100 patients later. But do I want to?

College is a lot like work. You leave, and you come home. But what are you coming home to? I don’t like to imagine all these reunion lunches and dinners and game days and hangouts without him, but if it wasn’t meant to be then it wasn’t meant to be.

I think the presence of this easy bailout option college provides is poison. It’s an escape, an easy way out. Why face your problems when you can run away from them?

It’s not just him that I’ve considered this for. I’ve considered this for all of my friends. The thought of ANY kind of long-distance relationship terrifies me. I have abandonment issues. Chances are high that my friends are going to colleges where they’ll meet their new friends and best friends and soul mates, but where does that put me? I’ll just be that one face they knew for a short period of time in the long-run of their lives. That person they talk about in stories that begin with “I once had this friend in high school that…” That light that once shone bright, but as they drove pass by it dimmed until there was no more.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that life happens. You win some and you lose some. You love some and you hate some. You’ll meet a lot of people in your life, you’ll touch a lot of their lives and hearts, and you’ll let them touch yours too. But in the end no one knows how long it’ll last. I guess in the end all you can hope for is that you were part of something great while it lasted.

Waiting

“Waiting for your call I’m sick
Call I’m angry
Call I’m desperate for your voice.”

— Secondhand Serenade, Your Call

In my AP Lit class senior year, we read Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett. It’s about two (homosexual) men that spend every day waiting under a tree for Godot (water, God, etc.). At the end of the unit, our essay question was this:

Why do we wait for things?

I knew my answer pretty quickly. We wait because we think that whatever we think we’re waiting for is worth it. Why do we wait for a pizza to come when there’s soup in the fridge? Because we like pizza better. Why do we wait anxiously by the door when we know our friends are coming over? Because we like hanging out with our friends and we want to see them. Why do we wait in line at the DMV? Because the freedom of driving ourselves around beats waiting for our parents to get ready to take us somewhere 10 minutes away.

In my opinion, we wait because we want what’s coming. Not even that we want it necessarily, but sometimes we just need it. Why do people wait anxiously for the results of a cancer or HIV screening? Because they need to know the answer. They need to know what’s next.

Well that was a pretty long prologue, but I think you get the idea. Now for the real topic of this post:

Long-distance relationships.

Cue eye-rolling and muffled sighs of exasperation and defeat. Many things come to mind when they hear this phrase. Heartbreak, imminent doom, high percentage of failure, etc etc. So in conclusion: not good.

Psychology has provided reasons why. Though I could go over several, the one I will discuss is proximity. People tend to like people they see more often. Say X sits next to Y in class, while Z sits on the other side of the room. X and Z may be more fundamentally compatible, but X has a higher chance of falling for Y because they sit closer and spend more time together (and providing Y also has an admirable personality and several common interests with X). That may not be the most perfect example, but you get the idea.

If you love something set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours to keep. If not, it was never meant to be.

This is a quote I see SO DAMN MUCH describing long-distance relationships. Let’s discuss.

I’m not quite sure what the quote means by “set it free”. Is it implying that couples in long-distance should be in “open” relationships compared to seeing each other exclusively? Or does it mean have faith? And what does it mean by “comes back”? Does that mean the person comes back untarnished by society exactly the way you parted? I’ll assume the “not” implies that it just plain didn’t work out.

The point I was trying to make with that is this: relationships are complicated.

Pardon my lack of intricacy and craft in that statement, but it’s true. Let me just skip to my personal story / reason why I’m writing this post.

I’ve been in a relationship with my sugar pie for 2 years, 4 months, and 4 days as of today. All my friends think it’s luck, and I agree. High school relationships weren’t meant to last this long.

Image

Me and my honey bunny.

In a little over a month, we’ll be going to colleges that are 4 hours apart. I’m not okay with it. The reason I chose now to write this post is because I’ve been getting a taste of what it’ll be like.

He’s been out of the state for the past 3 weeks. He’s super busy and there’s poor cell service out there. I haven’t talked to him much, and it sucks. Not gonna lie; I hate it, and it does hurt. I just want to talk to him and tell him about my day and see him and ask him what he’s been up to and all that couple-y janks. When we part, I’m only 50% sure things will be okay.

There are too many “if”‘s in long-distance. What if we get tired of waiting to see each other? What if we meet other people? What if the emotional strain takes too great a toll?

Do I want it to work out? Or course. If it fails, I’ll feel like these past 2+ years were in vain. Do I think it will work out? No clue.

Here’s why I haven’t broken up with that baby-faced cutie pie yet:

Hope. And a lot of faith.

My family is from the Philippines. Not everyone can get a VISA at the same time, so boyfriends and girlfriends get left behind here and there. But so far, it’s always worked out. Literally, always. All my cousins and aunts and uncles that had someone waiting for them somewhere else, they’ve come back together and married / made it work out. All of them. Same goes to my military family with partners stationed in different countries. They always find their way back to each other.

If family members of mine can stand living halfway around the world from each other for years, then why can’t I? Especially since I’ll be home at least once a month…

I’m not trying to discourage anyone at all. If you love your boo and you want to give long-distance a try, then do yo thang! (#nadinegetsghetto). If you believe you have the emotional stability and trust, then by all means. If it doesn’t work, you can’t say you didn’t try. Humans love to gamble. That’s pretty much what this is *cue game show host voice* — Come on down and play Long-Distance Relationship! Can YOU beat the odds?

Am I being optimistic? Hell yeah. A big part of me is screaming that it won’t work, but there’s another part of me that tells me I love him. In the end, who knows? All I know right now is that I won’t give up, and that in the end I won’t regret a thing.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about who you’re waiting for.