Breaking up is hard to do…

January 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

… especially when you get barraged with post break-up messages and end up in Brussels, smoochless.

But, let me back up a little first…  cause it all started shortly after I posted my last entry ….and a hop skip and a jump, later …life took a little tumble.

I sat at St. Peters Station, for whatever reasons, accosted by an epiphany that I MUST get what I came for and make any sort of fuzzy life decisions after-wards. I got my head screwed back on straight and the student in me awoke to dreams of a brand new semester of Forecasting hell. What is it about train stations?

You see, right after I last wrote, I had a rather interesting life conversation with my mom in which… at least I think that’s what she said… she advised me to open my heart a little and make sure to enjoy each moment. Then I received a rather inspirational email from one of my favorite people in this world who, as usual, set me straight…

‘somebody very wise once told me’ it said  ‘ …that I should just take my time and figure out what I want first…You should really practice what you preach.’

Thanks friend, I really should.

And so, I put on a pretty dress, got all datey and set out to fall in love. I enjoyed each moment with care… reminding myself of my wise advisers to just         ...let go and feel.

In a strange way, I really did… our conversation was lovely, giggles and smiles, an interesting movie and some lovely tea… beautiful Gent towering over us and empty cobble stone streets paving our way… hand in hand we walked, close. our lips kissed…

Perhaps this is the problem, but with the indecisive week I’d had before, somehow I felt inspired by the night and waited to fall in love. I waited an hour, I waited two, I waited three… I felt warm and special, even cared for… all the while waiting ….for the night to end, so I could go home… alone. Hmm…

Towards the end, we wrangled a bit over the difference in our expectations for the night and all of a sudden without warning, all my so called feelings… were gone. I looked over at him one more time, as I for the 10th time proceeded to decline his invitation to go home with him… and I just had no desire to do so. The truth is, I don’t really see him as a long term potential and in the short term, he’s kind of a pain in the ass, i though! I just want to go home, alone! I waved good bye, turned around and walked away almost single again…

I took each step with caution… how does this feel? a little further… what about now? To my surprise the further I walked away from him and the closer I got to home… the better I felt. And just like that, the decision I fumbled over for weeks… was made.

In the morning I woke up refreshed. I hopped on a bus to St. Pieter’s station and set out to meet the girls en route to Brussels. Oh, how I’ve missed them!… My Russian Mafia… My Sex and The City crew… My girls. While on the bus I thought about the best way in which to end things. In the past I’ve always been a fan of the slow fizzle,  but as long as I’m learning to be a more mature person in Belgium, I thought it probably time to learn to do this whole breaking-up thing, properly.

I reasoned my way to doing it over a text message and proceeded to click away…

As soon as I hit send, my phone rang… and then buzzed, and buzzed again… one text message after another and it all of a sudden became clear how differently we feel about the way things are. The messages are flattering, the never ending calls weirdly sweet, I’ll admit… and periodically come in without a single reply.

But for once, I actually know what I want and he is not it. Predictive Modeling..? so IS. So I’m switching my course work to MatLab, SAS Macros, more CRM and SPSS and bracing myself for another CRAZY student semester with my girls….

When we finally arrived in Brussels for a 100+ people house party – I was the only one out of the four of us not going at it in the corner. I sat there a bit less drunk than the others, thrilled with my new path… ready to kick ass….  and yes, a little lonely… happy with myself,though… i think.    missing his eyes …a little.

And there goes my phone again.


I’ve missed you.

January 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

I can only imagine that most women don’t come to appreciate this life long friend until it is too late to say a proper good bye and certainly not while there’s still time to restore the relationship while it’s still alive and kicking with some well deserved and proper respect.

For better or worse, I have been fortunate enough to learn this life lesson early and would like to share with all of you some of my most personal, deepest insights into what it’s like to have missed her so much…

When I was at the ripe old age of 10, I waited for her every day.

I had an older friend who had already made her acquaintance earlier that year and this only fueled my curiosity to meet her. I dreamt of our secret relationship, our monthly meetings, the meaning behind it all… I wanted so much to be accepted into that world, that looking back on it feels slightly bazaar at the very least. The mind of a child really is pure weirdness, isn’t it.

But alas, no matter how much I waited and wanted, she never came.

Eventually I got caught up in the rest of life and made peace with her absence. Until some idle tuesday that is, a few years later, when she finally arrived.

By then I was a little over the whole thing and the audacity of her late, and what’s worse, trivial hello, only made me mad she’d come at all. And this is how we started our journey together – thirteen year old me and her, a slight pain in the ass.

And then, after a bit of a clumsy fall during a bad-ass trip to an amazing place half way across the world which I could still never bring myself to ever regret, she was gone.

I’ve missed her like I can’t explain… it’s not just a matter of getting off the monthly train of routine or parting with your favorite underwear far too soon. Her absence was felt in the depth of my soul and what’s worse, was only felt as an absence of feeling… and on some days, no soul at all.

I can’t even count the number of times when I would force myself to watch some sad pathetic movie just to awaken any sort of sense of pain…  sense of anything, really, that would feel normal. I wish I had a better way to explain what it’s like to feel like less of a woman… In a way, the thing that is most frustrating about her tendency to stop by for a visit, is that she doesn’t always give a shit about what’s going on in your life … where you are, what you’re doing and whether or not this is a good time… it’s a good time for her and she’s back.

…bringing with her some less than desirable consequences … sometimes like clockwork and sometimes not, the bottom line of which is that you have no control. Every time she’s back, without giving it much thought a person is reminded of their inexplicable tie to our physical nature, our biology. You as a human being are just a tool of nature and as much as you may think you’re living through your own determination of destiny and reality, you own control of your needs, ambitions and desires, you’re  really just reacting to the mammal inside you, until that is you awaken one day, like me, and you’re not.

And it’s in that moment, when all of a sudden biology is no longer a part of your daily struggles, and no time is a bad time for your best underwear, and there isn’t really a week you feel more manic than another, or a cramp you despise like someone actually did punch you in the gut, and when you’re bloated you can’t blame anyone but yourself.

You’re not really waiting for her to show up or leave… and when friends ask to spot you, you’ve got nothing to offer them – you haven’t bought one of those in god knows how long. And still, even after 15 months of having lost her, a part of me was never able to give up… for if I gave up on her, I might have had to give up on myself too.

So when she finally barged in yesterday, a little lost and battered perhaps, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I threw myself at her like you would at a long lost friend… together we screamed and laughed and cried and jumped for joy. For old time sake I got on her case about the lack of warning and as usual, terrible timing. I was already running late for my date and was now going to have to make a stop at the store.

I twirled the box of tampax in my hand while standing in line like it was a box of chocolates, surely it was the most thrilling 6 euros I’ve spent in Belgium so far. I begged for a worker to open the already closed bathroom door at the mall…’it’s an emergency’ I said… he must have been confused by my excitement and glowing smile, …but I could have kissed him!

I’m so glad she’s back.

…and I hope she stays a while …and I hope she comes again.

A little tryst…

January 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

*Note: I’ve never been one to keep a journal, although I’ve always wanted to… many many times throughout my life I had made the effort to start, but was never really able to keep it going. Lately it seems that my post have been more sparse, but what I’ve found is that somehow while living in this ‘far from myself’ world, so to speak, there’s been nothing more helpful than writing things down. Sometimes, I even go back and re-read my gibberish, just to mentally keep track of my own evolution. The purpose of this post I think will be to find some sort of answer, record some of my thought process… ask better questions and ultimately keep the storyline going. Because, lets face it, what fun would it be to read a novel without the good parts. Family, please proceed with caution… 🙂

As you’ve probably gathered before, my whole life, it would seem, I’ve been running from something… from being American, from being Russian, or just simply being … running towards being loved, away from being loved, …sprinting across continents, hobbies, devotions, careers … running in place, running from standing still and finally running from running. Very few times in my life it would seem I have been able to stay steady and grounded and truly appreciate it for what it is… and the times I do recall of such contempt… are ironically fleeting.

This time, it was 4AM and I found myself running for the door… and another new years resolution was born. stop running.

If I have to start from the beginning, I’ll have to start with his chin… there’s something so sculpturesque about it, that literally no chin could compare. Not even one that came straight out of the mold of a wax museum. It’s rough edges – so masculine in their shape… and a divot that separates his lower lip in half, that seduces …wildly. ….and the coarse stubble that accents his jaw line with a dark shadow, leaves me …raw.

His eyes need only glance to render me powerless – a translucent sort of ice colored glare, somewhat cold and distant in reality, but stunningly piercing…  yet there is a sweetness behind them that pleads with kindness…  like they belong to a warm soul that… if only you had a key for…   and the bald thing it turns out is really of no consequence at all. … and if anything may be god’s gift to women for easily identifying masculinity at its best. The rest of course will still have to be figured out via trial and error, like the rest of the world.

There’s a ton already I don’t like and a ton more I do… there are ways in which he seems perfect and many in which he is blatantly not. But like the crazy fool that I am, I have slammed the breaks on this less than week-long ride more times than even makes any kind of logical sense and have managed to flee from the scene down darkened alleys just a few hours short of dawn more than I care to admit… anything it would seem to avoid god forbid stumbling into my own feelings …or ‘gasp’ …something real.

The one time I made the mistake of letting him sleep at my place, I was wide awake all night. My brain I think really needed to think of the world according to yesteryear and was in no way ready to handle awakening in someones arms. I was seconds away from escaping out my own window. True story.

Next I slammed on even more breaks and said we’d play it by ear… then i ran for the door again.  Today I stayed home for fear of finding more things to run from. I really needed the time to think…

…am I fearful of coming or going… giving or taking… loving or leaving… or being left…

by the end of the day, few answers came to me. Until that is I spoke to wise Oxi who pointed out a wonderful thing about the difference between her and I.

‘I’, she says, ‘am too egotistical when it comes to love… I love for me, so when it stops being for me it becomes time to stop loving.’

‘You’, she says, ‘might not have to fear loving as much if you just keep track of the benefit it brings you and bail only when it brings  none’

Somehow, I liked the idea of not needing breaks, if you always have the option of stopping this freight train… What a novel idea!… I think sometimes I forget that there’s no lease attached to my trysts… no bills to split upon parting, no cats to share, furniture to sort, rings to give away and always a place to call my own. I really don’t need to slam on all these breaks if there’s always an actual stop sign in sight.

Somehow I found this thought empowering… I picked up the phone and for the first time this week made an actual effort…  ‘hi cutie 🙂 just txting to say sweet dreams’.

…and there you go, I’m in Europe and I’ve stumbled on a lil tryst.

Dating in the cold…

December 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

With only a slight nudge, the door flew wide open and a below freezing gust of wind hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. In only a matter of a few hours, the air had turned ice cold and the light brisk walk it took to get there, suddenly felt very far. I looked over at my new friend and wondered for a second how this night will end. Within minutes I couldn’t feel my feet,  the tip of my nose was long gone and my fingers were slowly curling inward. We walked hurriedly along deserted streets, barely saying a word. I wanted to keep up the conversation but my brain was completely frozen and my lips iced over shut. ‘Good god, I’m cold!’ I finally stuttered. ‘Me too’ he says, warming his hands together.

… ‘you know, you’re a little bit useless’ I thoughteven in SF I would have been offered a jacket or warm pocket or something ….and it’s not even a matter of life and death there… !

The truth is, beforehand,  we had spent another 5+ hours together, walking, dinnering, bar hopping, talking… he even asked to go in for a McD’s snack on the way home. We covered every topic in the book… especially the ones they say not to ever talk about… and still the closest to a sign of interest was a the nervous flickering of a coin that eventually rolled its way onto my side of the table.

And so we began our walk back.

He wasn’t much for conversation either, although must have been less cold as he proceeded to take the long way back and show me a good laundry mat for my future use. It is only now that it’s somehow dawned on me that in fact it might have been to place us right into the lap of his front door, but I was so cold I could barely breathe, let alone think, let alone pick up on drawn out clues to his er… signs of affection.

Maybe I didn’t look as cold as I felt, but if he had said there was a warm room for me within 2 seconds of where we were standing… I would have hands down picked warmth over anything. I mean, ANYTHING. so cold.

But speed of action is not this guys forte, so I couldn’t for a second take the chance on waiting. I was going HOME and FAST.

As soon as we walked to a corner, I turned around and proclaimed that there’s a heater blasting in my flat and I must GO. There was a slight pause… it was as if the world had suddenly stopped spinning for a minute, it really could have.. i’m telling you, it was that cold…!  I stepped down from the side walk onto the street, looked up and then something rather interesting happened… Baldie with his most adorable sweet eyes peaking from behind his bushy eyebrows and sporty looking beanie, dropped a slow gaze into my eyes, wobbled forward slowly and placed his forehead on mine. It was the most sweet and strange thing I’ve ever experienced… so much so that without even thinking about it, I turned slightly and pressed my lips against his warm cheek. For what it’s worth, the moment seemed to last a life time… for maybe a brief second I wasn’t cold anymore. But as soon as my brain caught up with the storyline, my lips did a sudden 180 in the other direction and I abruptly lifted my forehead from his.

I’m not sure which I was more confused by… his continual inaction, or my even more bazaar re-action. Since when do I got around pressing my lips against cheeks of men that don’t even have the balls to kiss me first? And if I’m going to be the one leading this charade, surly it has never involve closed eyes and anything you could call sweet. That’s not my AMMO!

We kissed once more before I parted after-which I darted home as fast as my feet would take me… wondering, am i running because I’m freezing or because I’m running. And, am I uninterested because I’m freezing or am uninterested. And, will I actually study tomorrow like I told him I would…

Where is my AUC?

December 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m having a bit of the hump day blues. The day has been painted in a lazy hue, slow and ineffective, without much purpose it would seem except for the occasional twinkle of an idea. My mind is still fully occupied with wrapping up this year – it’s meaning so to speak – picking a new direction.  My cotton thoughts, echoing it seems somewhere in there… in that head of mine numb from all the schooling, but desperately trying to figure out my next move.

You see, within the next two weeks I’ll need to decide on my future … the course to take with it. Should I follow an already existing path, or take a chance on something bigger and scarier – something new. Not just new though, something that deep down in my heart I know is anti-me… something that says to the world… I love money. I love business. I want success and computers are my friend. Honestly, I wouldn’t like this person. But I also wouldn’t like the person I would be if I didn’t grasp at the chance to become it. A sort of life philosophy I want to live by… reject only that which you know. So following that logic, first I must know. I must want to know!

…yet somewhere deep down, i just want to dance around a campfire in some far away land, singing kumbaya…  I’m probably not making any sense, but that is because I’m feeling stuck, and sense is overrated anyway…

I think the problem is in identifying what I’m fearful of… am I more fearful of not trying – due to perceived probability of failure and/or disinterest …. OR … am I actually fearful of not going for the one thing I know I actually want, which is a life of meaning and not money at all. I’ve been clawing at this in my head all week, and still I’m nowhere…

Yesterday, I saw myself taking the easy way out… Today, I woke determined to take this chance of a lifetime and see where it leads… all these codes, periods, commas, delimiters… these forecasting robots, these engineers… these business people with their business plans and algorithms for making the world go round and round. Who would have thought in a million years that I would have my own key to the whole Faculty of Economics and Business building and spend vacation days under its florescent lights… wishing quietly, in the most non-technical way possible, for a predictive model for my future… Where is my AUC?

… I have a friend that is now going through something similar but in a more work related sense and honestly when I think about her situation, it’s as clear as day. There is no wrong move that she can make, only one requirement… the decision needs to bring with it utter excitement. If she can find excitement for the thing she’s about to do, she has made 100% the right choice.  Hmm… perhaps it’s only logical that I take my own advice. I shall wait for some sort of excitement to kick in… i think right now I don’t feel it for either – maybe that’s in fact the problem? Interesting point, dear me. I will know when it’s here.  M… so will you! 🙂

…a resolution

December 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

With the new year swiftly approaching, I’ve awaken for the past few days with one thing and only one thing on my mind… what are my new years resolutions?

Somewhat of the total dork that I am, I’ve been jotting down notes for this very day for the entire year… the last big attempt of which was made while I was waiting for N at the airport a few months ago in Brussels. I was sitting there watching all these people – happy and sad, coming and going – and for whatever reason  was stuck with an epiphany for what I want out of life. I had no paper at the time, so I jotted it down on the back of my expired train ticket and stuffed it in my wallet – unread. I wanted the ideas to ferment a bit, so I made sure not to read until just a few days ago, and now that I’ve read it over again … it’s all that i can think about. literally.

I won’t give you the details of what it actually says, as I am a firm believer in jinxing things. But, I have to say it’s pretty spot on and is only missing a a few key ingredients for a good year, one of which I’ve decided could be the only thing on the list and would already make for an accomplished feat. It’s something that seems to be broken inside me and must be fixed like NOW.    …Stop making lists!

… just kidding, I’m not quite ready for that one, but it would be nice if I could learn to focus a little less on the external world and get a bit more in touch with my own needs and feelings. Somehow through years and years of building walls upon walls to protect myself from move upon move upon move…  and break-up upon break-up upon break-up … and other unspeakable things, some of which required a whole damn castle of emotional isolation, I’ve finally found myself looking down at the world from one of my many towers, Rapunzel style with this realization that this hair that I so desperately want to fetch me a prince from down there, is just not gonna cut it!

Enough with the metaphors, but actually I’m not even talking about a Prince. Really I’m just talking about learning to enjoy yourself, relax and know your own sense of happiness. Sometimes I think, I spend so much time and energy trying to figure the rest of this crazy world out… worried mostly about their feelings, their being, their context… that more often than not, I completely forget about my own. It’s soooo time to stop this little watching routine of mine and make a real effort to participate.

This year, I vow to focus on breaking down these walls, venturing outside and just living.  But, I have to say that keeping this blog has been somewhat of an amazing experience from which I’ve managed to learn quite a bit about myself… as I’m sure you have as well … sorry. 🙂  But, I appreciate all the encouragement to keep writing and look forward to taking you all on many interesting new journeys in the coming year.  ❤

Assessing The Damage: On life, love and big bowls of hot soup

November 29, 2010 § 3 Comments


Last week was much hell… the sort of hell that takes you there and back again and almost makes you feel like a hell warrior, unstoppable, unhuman, studying every waking moment, absorbing information like it’s going out of style… to the point of waking 48 hours later to a brand new you… one that suddenly knows things that you never dreamed of… two test later, a head, packed-full, with sas syntax and multivariate analysis, multidimensional scaling, sprinkled with an array of descritpvie statistics (no pun intended)… loopdey looped, DO done, proc tabulated, freqed, clustered, factored, scaled, standarized, manipulated, formatted, merged, joined, transposed and – failed. And yet, the adrenaline of charging ahead without so much as a second to think… of what or how or why or when…. leaves one to eventually cross the finish line, looking back in amazement of having gone an entire week without a moment to breath. This in fact is how I arrived at Friday… confused, bewildered, energeized, extactic, let down, tired and somewhat anti- climactic. Not over per-se, not even close… yet somehow the luxury of having a few hours to waste, closely resembled eternity and wound life down to a screeching halt.

I didn’t get home until after 5AM that night, and the next night not until 4. The whether is finally getting COLD and as a personal gift to me for having completed this week without dying of exhaustion, the universe made it snow… it’s 2 AM, I’m standing outside my beautiful Ghent with friends and snow flakes are falling all around me. There are some in my hair, all over my black long coat, even my eye lashes feel wet and sticky… I stomp my feet excitedly against the cobbled ground, scraping my boot  heels against the cracks. I zip them each morning with such pride, you know – before I even leave the house, they remind me of where I am…  a place that requires boots and  mittens and hats and scarfes and a daily helpings of big bowls of hot soup. And It’s just perfect.

The only problem it seems is that happiness is found in contrasts… where before these perfect moments arise, there is much harship… and the aftermath is even more devastating it seems (prompting delusional bitter-sweet posts like this). I have two more tests next week for which I need to pull another week and half of utter immersion… the kind that requires me to foregt I’m alive again and transofrm into yet another brand new me by next Tuesday. What I need to know by next week to even have a chance at possibly scorring a 40% , is at the moment hard to imagine… similiar, I would think, if I were to ask you to become an anastraunat by next month.

I know once I dive back in, while difficult at least I will have started, but beginning this long journey is proving difficult and imaging attaining the impossible, unimaginable.

What’s worse, is that somehow with winter, I suppose, come about feelings of wanting to live and love… especially here it seems, people are so much more open and in general have such a different world view on life. Lately this has started to make me feel so American, or cold or something…. somehow my desire for independence and the ability to go it alone has made me rather hard it seems. It’s weird too because I’ve been around foreigners all my life, and yet somehow being in a foreign environment among other foreigners here, has a totally different feel. Here I’ve learned how different the world really is across cultures… everyone with their own sense of humor, their own sense of justice, their own sense of love and definition of success – a multitude of things lost in translation. I apparently come from a place that is cold in spirit, independent, superficial, vein, crude, open and accepting of all thing, yet completely closed, jaded and somewhat mistrusting – how much of this is America, how much of this is me. Then there are others – physically warm, dependent, reliant, demanding, sexist, traditional, naive, mistrusting in other ways…  if we had more time to talk and debate among each-other, I’m sure we’d find that we all come from different points of view… topics like gender roles, sex, education, politics, history, culture are truly seen differently by each person in our group. There is a part of me, that’s dying to be that. For having worked this hard at gaining complete independence, I’m suddenly finding myself missing the old me… It may not even be so, but I feel so different at times, that I wish I could show them that there was I time when I was more like they are. That there was a time when I was younger, and more open, more naive, more innocent, more trusting, more inexperienced, more idealistic, less determined, less ambitious, less selfish,  and yes more loving.

I fear that I am destined to forge ahead with a steal heart, or is there hope that at some point I will encounter a knight or two that might actually melt it still. It seems that to everyone around me, the metling comes as a natural part… their hearts always open to the world. I would like to think that that’s possible again, but I guess some damage can’t be undone. Not really the most uplifting post, I know – but somehow in the aftermath of all the stress and then release, I’ve found myself in a moment of a stand-still. Bracing myself for the coming weeks… and for the first time ever maybe, it made me angry at having found my heart battred from the past. It seems that I am not ready to let anyone in… So, I thought perhaps this is a good place to start… If I can soften on paper, then perhaps I can eventually soften in person.  The truth is you know, the last one really did me in… so before I can even think about meeting anyone else, I think it’s probably a good idea if I start by facing the truth – which at least requires me to acknowledge that I am still healing from the person that made me afraid to fall in love. until then though, I will buy lots of scarfes and warm mittens, eat big bowls of hot soup and love this city instead.

Where Am I?

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