So I know that a majority of the posts that I write here talk about how I’m in a funk and can’t get myself out but basically would do anything to get myself out because it sucks. And this post is really no different, so let me warn you now.
Life hasn’t been bad? It’s been pretty ok, actually. I mean, minus the part about me being in a terrible rut. I just recently got promoted at work, which has been feeling bittersweet if I’m being honest (I’m being honest). I’ve worked so hard and for so long to move up in the company I work for and it’s finally happened for me. And instead of feeling overjoyed about the fact that this has happened, I feel a little underwhelmed. It’s like this is all I’ve been working for and now what? I don’t feel fulfilled and that’s never good, especially when it comes to something you’ve wanted for a year. I guess maybe it’s just a sign that retail is not my life path. That this is only a means to an end. So maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t feel satisfied? Maybe feeling satisfied means that I’ll stop trying for something more? Whether that more is within the company or whether that more is outside of the company. So maybe I shouldn’t be looking at this negatively. I should be thankful that I’m feeling unfulfilled; be thankful that I know in my heart and mind that I need to keep moving forward. I need to keep moving toward something more. (Wow, ok, I worked that out much faster writing it down than I ever could in my head because I’ve been feeling really down on myself for not being overwhelmed with excitement that this has happened in my life,)
Another positive thing in my life is that my boyfriend was visiting about a week ago (it feels like forever ago) and it was a wonderful time. But I guess even that is great and terrible. Great because I hadn’t seen him since July, but terrible because now he’s gone again and I probably won’t see him until February because working at a mall has some negative aspects aka holiday aka the time between November and January. He recently interviewed with the company that his friend works for in Houston so naturally if he gets it he’ll have to move to Houston, which works better for communication because he’ll only be an hour behind me, but also it means that he’ll still be long distance. But I told him that if he did get the job and moved down there, I would go with him. I mean, not right away, but eventually when he had his own place and I stayed a least six months at my new store/in my new position. (One of the mall’s many perks is that basically I can transfer wherever and still have a job, which is always nice to know.) But then I was getting nervous that I was turning into the girlfriend that would just follow her boyfriend around wherever he went and I definitely did not want to be that type of girlfriend. But, at the same time, I definitely am tired of being the type of girlfriend that is long distance so I guess you gotta be one to not be the other and I have to change my idea of the type of girlfriend I want to be because I never thought I’d be in this situation. (Although I did always want to be in this situation.) So fingers crossed he gets the job in Houston and, if not, fingers crossed he gets a job anywhere because I just worry about him sitting over there feeling down on himself because he’s not working and doesn’t have money to do much of anything.
Ok, but now I’m going to talk about my real problem in my life right now and that’s my lack of focus on basically everything. I’ve been reading more often as of lately, but not enough to be like “Wow I’m reading so much again!” I can start a book and I can usually get pretty deep into it and then I’ll have one bad day and I revert back to my old habits of sitting around all day doing absolutely nothing productive and that one bad day will cause me continue doing absolutely nothing for basically weeks until I write a post about how terrible I am and then I’ll start up again. But the cycle never ends. This is an ongoing problem. And I never realized the power that one bad day had over me and that’s an issue. I’ve basically stopped writing altogether, whether it’s in my journal or creatively and that’s awful because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my life. My reading habits are on and off. I don’t play my piano. I haven’t exercised in a month. Things are bad. I know once I get myself into a routine, it’ll be easier to keep that routine. And I know that it should be easy to just get myself into a routine because I’m here telling you all how terrible it feels to be this terrible, but it just doesn’t feel that easy. It feels so difficult to pull myself out of this rut. Someone please help me or I’ll be doomed for eternity, probably.
I remember the day you passed. October 15th, 2012. It was a Monday. My mom’s birthday. I was snoozing through alarms, lazy to get up for school. Creaks on the staircase. “You should come upstairs. Grandpa’s not doing great,” dad says and I stay in bed a few extra minutes, bracing for something I hoped would never come. Finally on the main floor of my house and I hear my mom cry. “No!” she yells. It was something straight from a dramatic movie or television show. I get upstairs to the second floor, but that’s all I’m able to do. My legs start shaking and I feel like I’m going to be sick. Attention turns to me because I cannot hold myself up and I cannot see a thing and I cannot hear a thing because all I can think about is that this is all a dream. I make myself sick for the week that follows. I don’t leave the couch which becomes my new bed–the living room my new bedroom for at least a month that follows. I knew in the moment I heard my mom yell into the phone in the bathroom that morning that part of me was gone. The biggest part. And everyday I come to accept that I will never get that part back and I will never be the same. Changed forever by all the love before that day and all the days that follow after that day.
I want to write about you all the time and also never at all. The challenge comes from not only the hurt that surfaces, but also the lack of things to say. Not that you didn’t provide a number of stories to retell or an endless amount of love that I can share. There are just no words good enough for all the love I have for you in my heart. I tell everyone that the capitol of Bulgaria is named after your family anytime Bulgaria is brought up in a conversation (which is not very often, but sometimes I’ll bring it up anyway). We joke all the time about your dad naming you Pasquale. My mom never believed that story until she found your birth certificate and realized it was true. You were such an elaborate story teller and now I wonder if they were all stories from your life. Stories from your past that I will never be able to ask you about. It’s only now that you’re gone that I wish I had asked you more questions and listened to more stories. I knew you for 21 years and yet I feel like I didn’t know you enough.
A lot of the time I spend writing about you, I come to a long winded sentiment hoping that you are proud of everything I’m doing and everything I’m becoming. I wish there was a universally accepted sign from people who have left us that lets us all know that we’re doing ok–that we’re doing enough. I often feel like I’m letting you down. That I should be doing more of what I love and less of what I need to be doing. I imagine you thinking I don’t play the piano enough or write enough, but so often it reminds me of you and then I am back here wondering what I could be doing to make you proud of me. To make me half the human that you were.
It feels odd, now, visiting your house or calling grandma on the phone. And I feel like a really terrible person and granddaughter because I think deep down in my heart, I loved you more. More than everyone, to be honest, and so nothing feels quite right about a lot of things. The house is not the same, the conversation is not the same, the longing to return is not the same. You are my light and without you here everything seems lackluster.
Some days, it feels like we’ve been apart for a day. And others it feels like we’ve been apart 20 years. I can still hear your voice in my head, see your face when I close my eyes. Your scent lingers in the air and I wish for one more day it could all be real again. I love you and I miss you with my entire being, grandpa.
Much like Holes, I watched this movie way before I even thought about reading the book. But it’s set in my favorite time period of history (ok, this makes me sound like I love the Holocaust and WWII and Nazis, but I don’t. I just never have really been interested in history, but I’ve always been interested in learning about and reading literature from this period) and so I knew at some point in my young life I would come to read it. And now I have. It’s hard really to judge it, because I think I might have liked the movie better. I think you felt more with the movie and seeing it happen. I didn’t feel enough when it came to the actual text and words and characters. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the way it was written? Or maybe it’s that I had already seen the movie and felt enough about the storyline. Who’s to know, really.
When I say that I didn’t love the way it was actually written, I mean that it seemed very choppy. I know the story was being told following this young boy during this weird and confusing time for young kids, but it just seemed very disconnected from the reader. Maybe it was just me. Maybe I’m crazy and weird, ok, but you all knew that already. I felt very far away from the relationship between the two boys and I wanted to feel like I was right there with them. That’s why I think it was the writing and not the story itself because at it’s core it’s a powerful story, but at the end of the day, I did not feel moved by the way it was told.
My biggest problem with the whole text was the ending. (Yes, here I go again, another problem with another ending because I have problems with my own endings so it’s only fair that I have problems with everyone else’s endings, too.) Here’s my problem: little Bruno goes missing and literally (yes, “literally”) no one seems as panicked as I was. And the dad kind of realizes that his son snuck under the fence to this terrible concentration camp and he doesn’t like freak out or kill himself or nothing dramatic that I hoped for. AND THEN after they realize this terrible thing happened to their ONLY SON, the book ends with saying they never saw Bruno and nothing like that happened again and the end. What? What even ending is that? That is not the way you end a book about two boys living during the Holocaust who befriend each other and then THE GERMAN BOY SNEAKS INTO THE CONCENTRATION CAMP AND IS KILLED VIA GAS, OK. That’s just not how you do it. I don’t have an alternative ending to this whole thing like I did for The Giver, but I can tell you, John Boyne, that this wasn’t the best way to do it. (What do I know? I’m sorry John Boyne, but you needed to know how I felt.) The movie ends with this panic throughout the household. And the father realizes what his son has done and gets into the camp to try to find Bruno. Upon learning that the camp was sent to the gas chambers, he tries to get there in time to stop them to find his son and he’s too late and it’s the first time you really feel something from the father. The whole time he was this mean, prideful, stereotypical Nazi soldier and here you see him as a father concerned that his work has torn his family apart and taken his only son and he knows it’s his fault for bringing them here. It’s his fault and you see it on his face that he knows. But it’s too late.