This blog was meant to be anonymous. I was sharing more with this audience than I do with people I actually know. I had another blog that had a link on my Facebook and Instagram. It was even linked to my Google+. I have a Google+ account, I just don’t get it. I didn’t expect this blog to become so easily found and letting go of the other one was about privacy. Those that know who is writing this blog were meant to know and I will accept that things happen as they’re supposed to. This blog is not linked to me, and I write it as Jane Doe. It’s not that I have a thing for unidentified bodies. My very first crush-turned-obsession used to write me letters and sign them as John Doe. I was Jane Doe in my letters to him and I was paying homage to him and hiding at the same time. The blog names are similar. I didn’t expect anyone to be so sleuthy, but I also didn’t intend to send a bad link to my other blog to people I really wanted to share my redacted self with. Actually, I’m thankful for all of the shares.
Last night I headed to the job I just left to join a few people for after work shenanigans, with a dash of debauchery. But the good kind. There’s always a good version and a clean version but the clean and good version are rarely the same. There are many names for the shades of gray. This was a night of drinks, laughter and enough self deprecation to make us all human.
I was early because being late gives me anxiety, and I was excited to get out. I stopped at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf first to sip a Mexican Hot Chocolate and enjoy the brisk night air. I was people watching. I was wearing jeans, a zip up hoodie and a pair of Uggs, so I was comfortable. There were a couple of girls that walked into the coffee shop wearing what I might have worn a couple of decades ago when I tried my best to be weather-proof and needed to be seen in the flesh by anyone willing to look. I waited there, and strolling out of the front lobby is a leggy blonde with a heart of gold.
This super sweet friend sat with me a moment when I greeted her, and she let me know she shared my blog. This blog. The blog that details my pulse racing crush with her Facebook friends which includes a few people we worked with together who really didn’t need detective skills to see me through my words or my obsessive object. First, I’m not angry. Just really embarrassed, but I can own that. I put it out there. It’s my truth and I won’t run from it. It’s part of this post on transparency.
As the night wore on and more familiar faces joined me at the Well, I was complimented about my writing and as great as that felt, I was still in shock that my world would collide so majestically in the coming days or weeks. It’s not entirely the crush. It’s more than that. This situation has pushed me past my comfort zone and I’ve since shared this blog with my Facebook friends. I’ve exposed parts of my life once kept hidden when there are pieces I’ve withheld from people I know because I don’t always have the energy to make others feel better about what my life goes through or how I feel about it.
In my embarrassment and shock, I was continually trying to reaffirm a determination to enjoy myself and I had a shot of Patron. There was something so familiar about it. Four of us did a shot together and it was like old times, except I didn’t have this feeling like I was being watched and people were waiting for my crazy to escape. I didn’t feel it right away, but I eventually got too loud and not one person pointed that out to me. It was a night full of awesome sauce.
When we left I felt sober. I had a few random burps that reminded me of what I had just put inside of me, but I was fine to drive. I drove down Sunset to Temescal Canyon Road. My mood demanded a playlist of Everclear and Third Eye Blind. I drove through the Sunset strip and lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t see much more than bright lights and traffic. In my late teens and early 20’s, there weren’t street signs restricting parking after 10 on Temescal and the last couple of times I went to my life guard tower, I forgot this detail. I keep forgetting this detail. I drove north a bit, then turned around. I stood atop a granite boulder and watched the waves crash. I tasted the salt air and felt the damp cold numbing my hands and stinging my cheeks. I decided to start heading home, but I realized my head wasn’t clear enough to process the night. I pulled into the parking lot at Santa Monica Beach. I walked up to the ocean with one of the waterproof blankets I keep in the car. I laughed because I’m single but I don’t keep spare clothes in there and that is different. Couples dotted the sand, and there were people in the water. Young families were still playing in the surf at 10. The smells in the air told me there was at least one 4:20 club member lighting up along the beach somewhere. Small birds raced along the water, digging for nibbles in the sand as soon as the waves raced back to the ocean. And I sat alone. The low lying clouds blotted out the stars, but the light pollution from the pier did as well. The last time I sat there was in June after my husband and I met with our pastors and it was clear there was nothing he wanted to save in our marriage. There were a million stars that night. The sound of the crashing waves was insistent and calming. In that moment, I was reminded of how small I am. In all of the drama of life and the things I can’t predict or control, I’m small and much of this doesn’t matter. Rain began to fall around 11 and I was grateful that I only slapped conditioner in my hair and didn’t actually style it, and I headed home while Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift sang to me. If I had known that the rain would’ve dissipated further inland, I might have just grabbed my umbrella out of the car, or even sat in the car for a while in my cocoon of contemplation.
I’m breaking out of who I was. I’ve exchanged numbers with people I worked with and invited them to read my words. That’s not really my thing. I’m accepting that they’re getting a stronger visual than I planned. I usually don’t disclose all of my issues to everyone so vividly, but I did and it was accepted. Part of my freak out was about Mr. Hot (and out of reach) and the fact that they know who he is. It’s the idea that he may one day be given a link and his curiosity would slap reality on this little fantasy world I’ve enjoyed. Right now I hope that if anything, I’ve given him an ego boost and everyone can use one of those. I’m okay with that, but it would suck if I embarrass him as much as I’ve embarrassed myself.
I reconnected with a prom date not too long ago. I told him that sometimes people can’t handle not being part of, or the reason for the success we reach in spite of them. He told me that there’s a cost to the life we get to live. (And that is one of the many ways Facebook has once again delivered.) I get to be who I am with the highs and lows that are uniquely mine. My joys are exponential and I’m blessed in positivity. I won’t edit out what I value. That would go back to being ashamed of who I am and I’m not that person anymore. I take ownership for what I think and how I feel. I get angry at times. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the cost to the passion in me. I will adopt full disclosure or silence depending on what I’m ready to share because I refuse to lie anymore to hide who I am. And the really special parts are held and play back in my mind and are only released as carefully cloistered rays of hope, brightening my darker days until I can feel the warmth of the horizon. It’s an island, but there’s always room on my hammock. Bring your sunglasses. You’re going to need them if you keep a steady watch with me.