July 28, 2009

Six word memoirs

While looking at this fabulous website about food, I found a post about "six word memoirs". Below are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

1) Never did read the owner's manual.
2) Forgot what I wanted to say.
3) Tried writing about love; vomited everywhere.
4) I will still complete my dissertation.
5) A girl can keep dreaming, right?
6) Drunk on life. Now in rehab.
7) Evolution is the price of immortality.
8) I love you doesn't mean forever.

I think mine would be: Bitter with baggage seeks happiness, love.

Then again, it could just as easily be: Thanks but I didn't order water.  [In reference to if the the glass is half empty or half full.] 

Love is a battlefield

I don't understand how you could have stayed in a failing marriage for several years -- hell, she was f-ing crazy and no medicine could help her -- yet you killed our perfectly healthy relationship after 2 weeks of deliberation. What lies do you tell yourself? Do you watch the resulting destruction (emotional explosions, memory land mines, and toxic conversations) with a sense of awe? Amazed that love can turn into something so ugly, given enough pain? Or do you hang your head, awaiting the silence of our relationship's death? I know regret is in there somewhere too. You can't tell me that I'm the most important thing in your life, the one thing that makes you happy, and then feel nothing when you destroy my heart. I didn't peg you for a sociopath.

July 27, 2009

"What is a Soulmate" by Emily Matthews

If you have found a smile
that is the sweetest one you've known,
If you have heard, within a voice,
the echoes of your own,
If you have felt a touch
that stirs the longings of your heart,
And still can feel that closeness
in the moments you're apart,
If you have filled with wonder
at the way two lives can blend,
To weave a perfect pattern
that is seamless, end to end,
If you believe some things in life
are simply meant to be,
Then you have found your soulmate,
your heart's own destiny.

Nothing like the brochure: part 1

I've often wondered why instruction manuals aren't given out at birth. That way, when you encounter a make-or-break-you kind of challenge, you have the wisdom of all those who came before me. It seems ridiculous to be tossed into the world without this sort of ancestral knowledge. Hell, other animals have this preprogrammed! [Migration routes, mating rituals, etc.]

So what sorts of topics should be included in this instruction manual? The basic things we all strive to achieve: Love. Health. Happiness. That's it. Necessities that, while influenced by technology and current politics, are fundamentally unchanged. 

Life -- it sure ain't nothing like the brochure!

July 26, 2009

Feelin' the country music

I heard this song on the radio lately and loved it!

July 23, 2009

Science personality test

In 2005, The Science Advisory Board developed a personality test for scientists. It was published in Science, Nature, and a plethora of other journals. Although the personality test has since been removed from the TSAB website, I thought the breakdown of archetypal researchers merited a few cynical comments from a graduate student point of view.

Leader: When others follow, you lead [to the bar or events with free food]. During lab meetings, you suggest off-the-wall experiments that cause your labmates to roll their eyes and ignore you. Your PI applauds your creativity, but will claim your ideas as his own in grants and departmental functions. Your confidence in yourself will be crushed during prelims.

Explorer: You enjoy new terrain (non-research buildings) and adventures (undergrad parties). During lab meetings, you plan your next vacation while simultaneously reading the news. Your labmates think you're lazy, but you do just enough work to not get reprimanded. Your attitude: If it isn't broken, don't fix it.  

Organizer: You come to lab meetings with a list of updates and questions. You are frustrated that fellow graduate students take advantage of your generosity. Your PI treats you like the lab manager, but without the better pay or benefits. You debate whether you should've been a stay-at-home mom.

Enthusiast: You love science. Your workweek excels 40 hours by Wednesday and you never take vacation. During lab meetings, you're updating your lab notebook and planning out tomorrow's set of experiments. Your PI thinks your the model graduate student and loves giving you side projects. Watch out though -- You'll be burned out by the end of your 2nd year.

July 22, 2009

The value of concern

Against my better judgement, against the constant reminder red ribbon on my wrist, I talked to him. I don't know why I bother because the response is never what I want. I keep doing the same thing, beating a dead horse through conversation, expecting a different result. The very definition of insanity! I suppose it's because it's him. Every moment of every day, I miss him. I can't accept that he isn't (or won't be) part of my life because then the pain would be real. Denial allows me to wake up in the morning and look forward to the day. But the verbal diarrhea I have when I'm around him has got to stop! 

I told him I wished we didn't work together -- that not seeing each other would help me function. He told me that he is fine, he will be fine, but that he feels sorry for me. He regrets that our work environment isn't happy and jovial like it use to be. I felt the earth shift and the blood drain out of my face. How could he say that when he's the one who put me in this position? I have no where else to go and no one else to talk to. I stared at him for a moment and then said, "Don't tell me you feel sorry for me. I don't appreciate that." He threw his hands in the air and stormed out of the room. "Fine," he yelled, "I won't."

July 21, 2009

Life as a graduate student

He loves me but ....

While I was trying to make sense of the chaos, I came across a post by Lola that spoke volumes to me.  It's as if she was inside my head during the break-up.

He Loves Me But...

He tells me he loves me but that love just isn't enough. I always thought that I had enough love for both of us. If I just loved him enough. If I was just good enough. If I just held on long enough.

He talks to me about the reality of our situation. He makes excuses. He says he loves me. He tells me all the reasons why we failed. Why he wasn't good enough. Why I wasn't good enough. I think to myself that I just need to remain calm. Don't fly off the handle. Don't give him the tears and the yelling he is expecting. If I just hold on he will change his mind.

He wishes things were different. He says he loves me. He's sorry but he can't put himself through this anymore. He tells me all the places we went wrong. All the ways that prove he has made the right decision. I think to myself about all the good that was between us. I wonder how he can't remember any of that. I wonder if he has found someone new. I yell at myself in my head, "Remain calm!" Just hang on. He loves me right?

Slowly the words start to sink in. He keeps telling me he loves me but... There is no but after "I love you". You love someone or you don't. You give yourself to someone with your whole heart. You trust them. You love them. You share your fears, your hopes, your dreams, and even the ugliest parts you keep hidden deep down inside you.

I start to cry. He brushes my bangs back from my forehead and wipes my tears. I want to slap him. He says he loves me. I call him a liar. If he loved me, truly loved me, he wouldn't be doing this. He gave up. He always promised he would never give up on me. On us. He lied.

He kisses me softly on the lips. Just a breath of a kiss. He takes me by the hand and leads me to the bedroom. Silently, in the dark, I allow him to undress me. He lays beside me on the bed and explores my body like he is trying to burn the images into his brain. He whispers over and over that he loves me. When it is over he asks me to stay the night. One last time. I slowly get up and get dressed. I lean over to kiss him and I walk away without saying a word.

I love him ... but I don't.

Online diary

I've never been a big fan of diaries.  I use to have them when I was young (i.e. in elementary school) but most of my entries were written in anger. And contrary to common knowledge, I never did gain much satisfaction out of writing in them. Seemed like a waste of money to me. Since the breakup, however, I've felt the need to reconnect with myself. [Hell, it isn't like I have much else to do!] Though I don't intend for anyone to really follow this, I hope it will help me work through my demons and come to peace with the situation.

So ... to get you up to speed, I had been dating a wonderful man for 8 months. I thought he was my soulmate. Sure, there were issues. A significant age gap. The uncertainty of where my job search will take me. Family drama. But, in my mind, none of these were deal breakers. The way I felt about him was different than I had ever felt about anyone, even my ex-fiance. I was devastated when he broke up with me. He was my best friend, and we spent every weekend hanging out.

I want to be angry at him. I want to yell until my voice is hoarse. I want to throw things, break things, because I believe the sound of shattering will help. But instead, I feel exactly the same way I did before this disaster. I'm still in love with him. Instead of saying that I deserve better, good riddance to bad rubbish, I beat myself up, convinced that, somehow, I wasn't enough.

I'm trying to crawl out of the hole I've been in for the past month, but it is slow going. Please bear with me.