20 March 2008

Sometimes a Metaphor is Just a Metaphor...

Sometimes a metaphor is just a metaphor...and sometimes...

Yesterday morning, as I was trying to prepare myself for a day of work at an adult psych ward, I decided coffee was definitely in order.
I live in a neighborhood that has a coffee shop, sometimes several, on every block.
There is also a Starbucks a half-block away. There are actually 5 Starbucks within a 6 block radius.
I dislike Starbucks. I dislike that they are so corporate and seemingly omnipresent...and I dislike their coffee. I don’t buy this "that burnt taste is our signature flavor" bit. It’s just bad coffee.
I know this.
But every couple of months or so, I stop in and buy a cup. I suppose I’m always hoping that this cup will somehow be different, that if I approach it with a new, positive outlook it will somehow taste better, sweeter.
Yesterday was one of those days.
As I took my steaming cup o’ joe away from the counter, I paused and wondered why I even bothered. I knew it was going to be bad, a waste of money and a waste of time. It suddenly occurred to me that I am similarly stubborn in other areas of my life, namely where men are concerned.

I took that first sip.
It was, indeed, a bitter cup.

All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

06 March 2008

Game On!

"What do you want?" He asked abruptly.


I lay in bed, nothing on me but a hot Cuban and some rumpled covers, and I rolled my eyes in disbelief. "Uhm, I kinda wanna get laid..." I said, stating the obvious.

"But I'm trying to do the right thing and be a gentleman...I like you" I considered the irony of him saying this as he tugged on my nipple ring.

"You don't know me"

"I like what I know. Do you really just wanna get laid...?" I raised an eyebrow. "I mean if that's really all you want we could...we could just hang out once in a while and fuck. But I like you. I think it could be something more. What do you think?"

I zigged, I zagged...I longed for the good old days when guys played these sorts of games to actually try to sleep with me, instead of to delay it.

In the past month or so I have received messages from and had conversations with women who are all going through similar situations.
This would seem to be a city-wide epidemic.
We appear to have more than our fair share of indecisive man-boys, as well as an abundance of strong, intelligent women. It makes for a bad combination.
We like them, we love them, we can't get them to commit... or put out.
It's a frustrating situation all around.
The tradition of the castrati never really died out---it just resurfaced in the unlikely little burg of Portland, Oregon.

This morning, as Cuba chirped "Ciao, mi amor!" on his way out, I relented a bit.
He may be Americanized, but he hasn't lost that Latin charm.

Game on...!

All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

03 March 2008

Bouncin' Back

You can't keep a good woman down for long...unless she's a great woman---then she'll go down for as long as it takes...

Bad jokes aside, I do feel like I'm "back". No running home to mom, to Eugene, to photographing hippie bar-bands.

I've always known I'm resilient, but for some reason (or combination of reasons), last week I felt like I could not find purchase. Usually, as long as I'm moving, even if it's in a random direction, I eventually get back on track. This time, I could find no solid ground from which to push off and start in a direction---any direction.

It was a difficult thing to admit.
I am the strong one.
I am the one to whom people turn for insight, advice, energy work, and holistic remedies. When it comes to my own situations, however, it is hard to have the necessary objectivity.
It is even more difficult to admit what, to me, feels like weakness.

The grounding I had needed came in the form of messages from friends and acquaintances. Emails, phone calls and text messages started coming in. Frankly, I had meant to disable the comments on that blog, but forgot. It was more for me to vent than to get answers from people. As it turns out, it wouldn't have mattered much since most were private emails.
I was so touched and humbled and strengthened by those messages, particularly when I remembered this Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote:

"Tell me who admires and loves you, and I will tell you who you are."

I have a group of friends, acquaintances and readers who are insightful, compassionate, witty and strong--- and who did not hesitate to reach out. I realized I had no business feeling sorry for myself, though I did finally give myself permission to feel weak and sad and hopeless, if only for a day or two. It took a few reminders but I found my center again and I found strength in allowing myself to be vulnerable for a moment.

I set about turning things around... at least the things I could. I followed up on leads, created some of my own, did some research.
The photo work is coming in and I have some prospects for a part-time day job.

I now know Snow White can't steal my story. Without a release from me, all he has is a story about a girl having sex... in the city (hey, didn't somebody do that already?). He would have to change the story so much in order not to get sued that it wouldn't be my story, not to mention the fact that it would be completely unoriginal and unlikely to sell. Besides, what he pitched in these emails was my story, based on my name and my blogs, which he can't sell without my permission.

As for the emotional stuff... that one was a little tougher to reconcile. I kept getting caught up in the idea that 'things hadn't worked out with this really great guy'.
The Wifey asked "Is he really that great... for you, I mean?" She pointed out that I'm strong, a warrior type, and I need somebody equally strong.
Either he was too afraid to hurt my feelings by telling me he didn't actually like me enough to consider anything serious--- or he did like me but was too afraid to take an emotional risk, whether because of timing or emotional readiness is irrelevant.
Either way, I realized I do need a partner who is strong and courageous, not meek as a mouse.
Mice aren't companions.
Mice are what I used to feed to my snake.

I'm still leaning toward the cynical side, but I have too many people who genuinely care about me to go too far down that path. These are people who will outlive every fling, every hook-up, every disappointment... Some are even willing to step in as the hand of Fate when necessary (so much love and respect to you, my friend!). With friends like these in my corner, I can fearlessly go about my business. They will always be there to remind me of my own strength and magic if I should happen to forget.

Besides... Cuban is looking rather appealing. Maybe it's time to lift the embargo... work on international relations... oh, I could go on... ..

(My sincere gratitude to all of those who reached out. You reminded me of who I am and the strength I possess. I was touched by your own stories which you selflessly shared, by the wisdom and insights you imparted, and the assistance you offered. xo, Infamous CoatCheck Girl)

All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved