Tag Archives: love

A bridge over troubled water

I don’t remember the first time I heard the song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It may have been in my Dad’s hunter green Tahoe listening to a “Golden Oldies” radio station. It may have been in the living room of my grandparents house listening to an album on their record player. (That I now proudly own, *humble brag*)

It’s a song I just… know. That many, many people know. From the mega famous to the ordinary. It spans generations, continents and cultures.

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all

The London Gay Men’s Chorus sang it in solidarity with the community of Orlando at a vigil held this week in London.

For obvious reasons, this video moved me significantly. I watched it several times. Thinking about Orlando. Feeling heavy hearted for lives affected, and my own. How my life right now seems like a deep, long stretch of troubled water.

I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found

I have struggled to put into words what I have been feeling for months on end. I’ve written several unpublished drafts on this blog. Searching for the right way to explain myself. It’s a lot of confusion and hopelessness. Feeling unworthy of opportunity and acceptance. I have felt angry with myself for failing to achieve certain things professionally — and for failing to be someone I am proud of.

I feel lost. All the time. I never seem to know if I’m making the right or wrong decision. I keep looking for “answers” in people, ideas and things… Expecting to have a moment, an “a-ha!” A “now I understand the workings of the universe” epiphany. But after a talk with my mom that went something like this: SOMEBODY SEDATE ME. She told me I wouldn’t understand any of this until I was on the other side.

I’ve heard that being in your 20s is a rollercoaster. I’ve heard it’s for exploration and self-discovery. I’ve heard it’s for dating and traveling. I’ve heard it’s the time to f*ck up before it really matters.

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street

But I hadn’t heard how painful it would be.

Then Orlando happened. And instantly, I am hit with a sweeping wave of guilt. Guilt for failing to appreciate the life I’ve been given. Failing to remember my “troubles” pale in comparison to others. Like the 49 mothers and fathers who will never hear from their child again.

When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

Last weekend my brakes went out in my car and I hit a wall. Like an actual wall. At a grocery store. And that’s just the first *real* wall this year, the irony isn’t lost on me.

I’ve hit many “walls.” Walls in my personal life, my professional life. Walls that I keep hitting over and over again. I feel like a windup toy, stuck in a maze. I keep making the same mistakes.

I grew up about an hour outside of Orlando. It’s a city where people vacation. It’s the home of the “happiest place on earth.” It’s a family town in many ways, with pockets of charming neighborhoods and lakeside porches. The highways are flanked with lush green grass and palm trees.

It is no place for the largest shooting in U.S. history.

I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around

I’ve seen pretty gruesome things during my short time working in news. I’ve seen the worst of humanity, not personally, but close enough to rattle my organs and make me question what my purpose is in this life. Questioning the very industry I work in at times — wondering, what is the point?

As journalists, we are committed to you. We are committed to explaining what is happening in the world. And during catastrophic events like Orlando and Paris, we work long hours. That sometime require talking to a deceased person’s family. Keeping accurate counts of death tolls. Verifying pictures of the dead.

I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around

We are not doctors or nurses or first responders or police or trauma surgeons. But we see things in exquisite and alarming detail.

In some ways, we are the bridge over troubled waters.

There are times when I resent my job. There are times when I curse those 3 red letters. There are times when I’m *so pissed* I have to to go to work. But there are times when I talk to people who have done extraordinary things, and I’m reminded of the wonderful humans in the world. I come across stories everyday of people demonstrating remarkable kindnesses, and those are only the ones that get reported.

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by

When I read a tiny thing about a tiny person, in a tiny town, that made a tiny difference, it’s like a lighthouse in my brain. Almost instantly, I’m like, “I do believe in fairies, I do, I do!” Those stories are the bridge over my troubled waters.

Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

It’s so easy to think that the world is against you and that the only people here are bad. That people live to see you fall… But I would argue, and I believe in the rawest part of my heart, that they don’t.

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Life is brutal sometimes. It’s one lesson after another. It’s a struggle. It’s a climb. It’s one that constantly changes when you need it to be still. And it’s one that’s still when you need it to change.

One of the most comforting things to me have been seeing my fellow colleagues, even if silently, work next to me. We are all doing the same thing. We are all tired. We are all, I assure you — heartbroken.

And sometimes during this life, all we can do, is be a bridge.

For each other.

I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

On engagements, and why they freak me out

“She said yes!”

Well… Good for you.

There have been a lot of engagement announcements lately. And when I say a lot, I mean like 2 or 3 per week.

And every time I see those sweet pictures pop up on my timeline or my newsfeed, I get a twinge of nausea.

It’s not that I think marriage is stupid, or that I don’t think love is real, OR that I don’t approve of the union.

The hand holding, the ring pix, the “save the date” signs — That’s all charming and great, but wow — I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack.

The mini-panic I feel when someone I know decides to tie the knot, has compelled me to dive within myself and figure out, just why engagements freak. me. out.

My parents got a divorce when I was 14-years-old. I was in middle school, had a surprisingly great group of friends, listened to a lot of indie music and had a pair of lime-green converse sneakers. And after their divorce, I continued to listen to my weird music and wear my weird shoes. The only difference was, I lived in a smaller house. Which was fine with me, it was less scary. I wasn’t damaged, I didn’t suffer psychologically. Neither did my sister. We got a dog and we moved on with our lives. My Dad moved on, too.

I’ve had two serious relationships in my life. One that ended, and one that has, despite it all, survived, and it’s a pretty healthy one. He’s my favorite guy. Neither one of us have the desire to get married right now. Mostly, because we have young but serious careers, but also because, we are just not ready for that kind of commitment.

And that’s where my anxiety about all this marriage crap really gets to me. It seems like when people get engaged, the whole damn world is cheering them on from the sidelines. “Yes!!! Go!!! You can do it!!! Finally!!! Wooooo!!”

And inevitably, I’m the spectator wondering, “Are they sure?” “Do they REALLY wanna do this?” “They can still turn around and go home!”

I have dear friends, who are engaged or married and I have no doubt, whatsoever, that they are committed to each other, and will continue to stay that way. Because they were ready. They knew. They were “consciously coupling.”

Agreeing to marry someone is brave.

To look at a person and to be capable of saying YES, you WILL be there, when things go bad, when people get sick, when money is tight, and when the septic tank explodes.

That’s a gigantic commitment. And it’s a complicated one. Intricate, even reverent.

But getting engaged looks oh-so-easy. You looked up how to do it on Pinterest, and you picked out the perfect ring. And you asked. She said yes! And people took some pix that you posted to Instagram and just like that — You have 500+ supporters of your decision. Easy-peasy.

But there’s no Pinterest board titled “How to Make Your Marriage Work, Forever, For the Long-Haul, Even When You Want to Stick a Fork In Their Eyeball.” (Unfortunately.)

Marriage has to be hard, I can’t imagine that it’s not. I recently read a book and the author compared being married to Jesus carrying the cross up the hill before he was crucified. Yet Seth Rogan says, if everything in his life was like his marriage, he would have no problems.

So, what is it? Easy? Or torture?

On Monday I read an article from a man who lost his wife to cancer. She was in her 40s. He stood next to her while she tried on wigs after she lost her hair and he admitted to her that her eyes were yellowing when her liver started to fail — Which meant her life was beginning to fail. He compared her death to a phantom limb — an extension of his own body that wasn’t there any more.

All of that scares me. To my core. And the engagement pictures are fun and cute, but what happens when you’re middle-aged and sick? Or elderly and senile? When you have to be the one to tell your wife her eyes are yellow? Things aren’t as cute anymore. They aren’t as Pinterest-y.

I know marriage has its perks. You get a tax break right? Just kidding. I see how being married can be exciting, a ton of fun if you do it right, and down-right hilarious. But I see all the bad things, too.

One day I hope I’ll be able to look somebody in the eyes and tell them I promise to stand next to them even when they drive me nuts, when they’re running late, when they’re being rude — When they get sick, when they are depressed and even when they are dying.

But until then, I’ll celebrate your engagements, and I’ll your drink your free wine at your wedding (gladly), and I will buy you mixers and plates and shower curtains, and I will support you. With a twinge of anxiety in my own heart, until the day I am brave enough to promise somebody that I will, and always will.