Distant Memories

It’s one of those days where you look out the window as the rain falls down drowning out the view across the city.  Your iTunes hits the perfectly somber song to flow with the tone of the darkened sky and your mind starts to fade into distant memories.

Part of why I don’t sleep very well is that I hate remembering a lot of my past.  For the past two years it’s been pretty impossible to sleep a solid night without some sort of chemical assistance (I’m only referring to completely legal over-the-counter aids or prescriptions that were written specifically for me by my medical provider).  Today, listening to Please Remember Me by Tim McGraw while watching the rain dance outside my window I can’t help but be taken back to my childhood, but I’m not having one of the bad memories.

When I was young my parents took me and my sister K on a road trip through Europe.  I was enthralled by the trip from beginning to end.  We began in Germany where we rented an Audi to drive through multiple countries including Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

This trip was a once in a life time trip for a lot of people.  I was very fortunate to have parents that wanted to give me this experience.  Yet, what I remember most and the memories I cherish from the trip the most are beyond the obvious.  Yes I loved and remember touring the salt mines of Austria, eating cheese on a mountain side in Switzerland, taking pictures from the top of the Eifel Tower and laying on the beaches of Italy, but what I cherish is what I refer to as the Tim McGraw moments.

My family, like most, has varying taste in music, but one thing we could all agree on was Tim McGraw.  Cruising through the countryside from country to country I still remember my dad (technically my step-dad) singing along to Tim McGraw.  Then there would be songs that just grabbed everyone’s attention and the entire family would belt out to the heavens to the sappy country lyrics of Tim McGraw’s greatest hits.

I don’t have much to say about memories like this one because they are more photographic, but sitting here with the rain falling outside the window transports me to sitting in the back seat of that dark blue Audi singing to Tim McGraw.  I just remember looking in the front seat as my dad threw his head back and bellowed out the words full of joy in his voice.

During the instrumental sections he would turn and look at my mother.  It was never forced, but his natural instincts.  He would smile at her and grab her hand then look back at the road and sway.  You could feel his love, devotion and passion in the subtly of his actions.  Those simple moments are the moments that defined me (and why I feel that taking my step-dads last name was the right thing to do).

My parents have always had this love for each other that I’ve always wanted to have for me.  I’ve always wanted a relationship full of that intimacy and happiness like they share. They constantly showed and taught me that showing you love someone isn’t just about saying I love you, but it can be about a simple look or action.

The memories are distant now but still inspiring to me.  When I have a family one day I want myself and my husband to be the type of parents that shower love on our children and each other setting the same examples for my children that my parents set for me.

The little moments and memories from childhood are the ones you should want to hang on to.  It’s taken me a long time to realize that.  My therapist wanted me to tell her a story unrelated with negative events in my life so she could get a glimpse into my childhood when things were great.  I always mention that I had a great childhood to her, but can never tell stories of it.  This is a story from it that can shed some light into what has developed my passion for love and my belief that love is a great thing even if you have to experience horrid things on the road to finding the one for you.

Bobby TBD – Explained – Live Like You Were Dying

Bobby TBD – Explained

What the heck does the TBD stand for?  It’s exactly what you think it stands for, Bobby To Be Determined.  I’ve hinted at the meaning behind the TBD in my earlier posting titled Song of the Day – Say My Name by Destiny’s Child, but I haven’t ever delved into the topic.  This became clear to me after yet another person asked me.  I guess it’s clear to some and confusing to others, which makes sense I guess.

Bobby TBD started as a joke because I need to decide if I am going to keep my married last name of Argabrite or change my last name now that I will not longer be apart of the family this name is associated with.  Once the joke died a handful of close friends started talking to me about how perfect TBD defined my current situation and life.

Since I was 18 I defined myself by my relationship.  That is no ones fault but my own, but in the process I lost myself.  I changed my appearance and style over the past 8 years.  I changed my name.  I changed my surroundings.  I changed my friends at times.  I changed my hobbies.  Frankly speaking, I molded myself to my relationship which kind of explains why I am where I am.

Now, at 26, I get to jump head first into a new life.  I get to determine everything for myself.  What’s my personality?  What is my style?  What are my hobbies?  What are my past times?  Who are my friends?

With this all said, at the same time I am not who I was 8 years ago.  I have had many positive changes in my life over the past 8 years.  I have had a pretty good life really.  There are many things that I love about my life currently.  Moving forward I get to find myself.  I get to merge the old me, the married me and the growing me into one person.

The biggest change right now is to live on the edge.  I wrote about this earlier in my I Wanna Be Bad posting.  It all comes down to the fact that I’ve lived my life so afraid of what could happen that I haven’t tested the waters to see if what could happen in life could very well be a good thing.

Entering this process to define myself I have begun to branch out.  I caved and had sushi a few weeks ago.  I never would have done that before and I loved it.  I went to Skyroom, a bar I never would have gone to before because it is the scene, yet I loved it.  I am going on a Pride party boat this weekend, which again would have been something I never would have considered.  I already love it!  Oddly, the thing I look most forward to is all the exercise related activities I am taking on. Running has always been a part of my life, but now I am going to get back into racing!  That is me.  It’s in my blood.  I am also going to start Yoga.  Well, I’ll give it a try.  I think having an exercise rich life will be me, but it’s still to be determined.

And maybe I won’t love everything I try and experience moving forward, but I am testing life.  I am defining myself.  Finding out what there is in life and what I like or don’t like.  Bobby is to be determined and I am going to be me for me and living life for me for a while.  I think that’s what’s best and I am excited (and admittedly a bit nervous) about it!  For a while I am going to live like I am dying.   Close my eyes and take chances.  Let my OCD and anxieties wash over me and dive head first into everything.  I guess there could be worse ways to deal with divorce or a breakup right?

Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw

Song of the Day – Grown Men Don’t Cry

Song of the Day – Grown Men Don’t Cry

For weeks now I have been posting songs of the day about strength.  I’ve told myself and written about the need to be strong and push forward with life.  It’s helped me, but it’s not been realistic.  I’ve told myself being strong means not letting yourself completely grieve sadness and pain.  Don’t get my wrong, I have cried some recently as I face a huge hell in life, but I haven’t truly cried.  I haven’t sat with a single person and just poured.  I haven’t let someone see me completely vulnerable.  I’ve wanted to be strong.  What I thought was strong anyways.

On his 2001 album Tim McGraw released a song called Grown Men Don’t Cry.  It takes on the stereotypical assumption that to be a man you can’t cry or show real emotion.  The song tells the listener that it is fine to cry.  That everyone does.

I’ve been fighting with every ounce of energy I have lately to not cry.  Anyone who follows me on Twitter or reads my blog will have seen that I have been extremely emotional, but few people can say they have seen me cry recently.  My therapist can’t even say that.  I’ve been afraid to allow myself to grieve any pains I feel.  I guess I’ve been afraid to show full weakness and vulnerability to anyone.

I’ve pumped myself full of songs about being strong and standing tall, but you know, while that is great you do have to grieve at some point.  Until now I think I was fooling myself thinking that everything in my life would right itself if I just kept trucking forward.  It’s a lie though.  Sometimes you have to break.  Sometimes you have to fall to your knees and let yourself go.  I don’t know why I thought I had to hide my crying and pain.  It’s not like I’m some butch man trying to act macho, but I did feel that way.  I sat with my best friend last Friday and the second I entered the room and sat in front of her my emotions went solid.  No tears formed.  I just spoke.  Then this past Sunday I met with a different friend that I haven’t seen since last Halloween.

He looked me in the eyes and said, “this may seem like a random comment being that we are just enjoying getting out of our apartments, but it needs to be said.  You need to cry.  Go in a room, turn the lights off and let everything out.  There is nothing wrong with that.”

Tim McGraw sang the same sentiment in his song Grown Men Don’t Cry.  I have to admit that I needed to breakdown.  Then last night (and for half of today) I finally did.  I feel weak and exposed now(although writing about it is really exposing myself, but in a different way) and yet  at the same time I feel human for the first time in weeks.  I feel like I couldn’t really start to grow from my experiences until I allowed myself to hurt, really hurt and feel that hurt.

Last Thursday a new friend of mine said in a taxi, “you really need to tell people what’s going on with you.  You need to talk.  You need to speak.”  I didn’t listen to what you he said and kept my walls up until last night.  Why? I have no clue because he was right as well.

With all this in mind I realize how dumb I’ve been.  I’ve not truly cried because I wanted to be strong (yes I have cried, but I haven’t truly let my emotions out).  Well now, maybe now I actually understand the true meaning of Whitney Houston’s song I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.  I finally released the flood gates.  Maybe that’s what strength really is.  I’m king at building walls and damns.  But that’s not strength, that’s fear.  Allowing myself to feel my emotions and grieve.  Maybe that’s what strength is.  Maybe?  I don’t know really.  I don’t feel better, but I feel very aware of my reality.

But as Tim McGraw said, “I don’t know why they say grown men don’t cry.”  Lord knows we do and that it’s necessary to life at times.  But it’s like I wrote about last week when I posted the Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine, you do have to let your emotions flow out of your fingertips.  Just because a battle or war ends doesn’t mean everything is fine and dandy in the world.  You then have to start the cleanup process.