Monday, November 28, 2011

Ugh...I Hate Funerals!

It was hard to be excited for Thanksgiving this year.  The day after Thanksgiving, when people are usually preparing for the busiest shopping day of the year, my family was preparing to attend a funeral.
I couldn't attend the funeral though.  But I didn't mind missing the funeral.  I don't like funerals at all! Especially Samoan funerals.  Samoan funerals are hard for me. They are busy, with lots of people you don't know, lots of food that need to be cooked for those people, and lots of gifts that need to be prepared for those people.  You barely have time to actually grieve.

When I was 12, my Father's Dad passed away.  My Grandpa was like THE MAN in my life when I was a young girl.  My Grandpa was the best.  He was sometimes mean and mostly grouchy to others but he spoiled me and I loved him and my Grandma with all my heart and soul and would do anything for them.  I would leave my parents on my school vacations so I could stay with my grandparents and help take care of them.  I loved it!  Being with them felt like home.  I never wanted to go back to my house.  So when my Grandpa died I remember thinking that I would never ever be more sad and hurt than I was at that time.  He was elderly and in and out of the hospital, but nothing prepared me to face a reality without him.  As a young awkward pre teen, the only way I knew how to cope with my grief was to cry.  And cry and cry some more.  To this day I think of him and miss him and my grandmother so much that I'm crying all over again like I was as a young girl.

During one of my Grandpa's services we were all given a chance to go to the casket and say our goodbyes.  They were letting the younger grandchildren go first so we all made our way  up to the casket.  I felt like I didn't want to do it.  I didn't want to remember him like that.  But my sister and my cousins were all telling us to go.  I was able to get some time alone at the casket.  He looked so peaceful, but I didn't like the way he felt.  So hard and cold.  This wasn't my Grandpa.  Why did he have to leave me? And I just laid my head on his chest and cried because I didn't want to say goodbye.  I felt an arm tug me upright and force me to walk out of the church.  It was my uncle.  He scolded me for taking so long and said "There are other people waiting!"
I was furious!  I was hurt and pissed because my uncle didn't seem to give a rat's ass.  So I wasn't even allowed to cry over my own Grandfather!?!  And who were these "other people"? Where were they when I was taking care of my Grandpa.  Why do those people get time to say goodbye to him when I get pushed aside like a stupid child.  I was so angry that night.  It's probably why I still get so emotional when I think of my grandfather.  I never really got to say my goodbyes the way I wanted to.  

Throughout my life I've noticed this pattern at Samoan funerals.  That old folks don't like people getting too overly emotional at funerals.  At my cousin's funeral his widow and his 1 year old daughter had to lay him to rest.  As we were ending the last service at the burial area, my cousin's widow just couldn't hold herself together anymore.  She started crying that desperate cry that makes me choke on a lump in my throat while trying not to cry for her and her pain.  But her mother shushed her.  She actually shushed her to stop crying!  I was appalled.  Her husband just died, her 1 year old daughter would never know what a great man and loving father he was.  And they wouldn't even let his widow fall apart, not even a little.   

I'm usually a quiet and calm person. But when I'm grieving, sometimes I just want to scream through the tears.  I want to be able to kick, scream, throw things, and even punch things if I want.  Sometimes the best way to get my emotional pain out of me is to do something physically exhausting so that I wouldn't have the strength to cry anymore.  That's just the way I am. 

I guess that's why I don't like funerals.  I am an emotional being.  If I am not allowed to be that, then I just don't want to be there.  =*( 

This is a video clip of what I think people should be allowed to do at funerals. Cry, scream, laugh, even hit people.  Whatever it is they need to do to get it out.  Okay so maybe not the hitting people part. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Long distance relationships suck!

How to survive a long distance relationship? Hmmm... DON'T HAVE ONE!  Seriously.  Take it from me, it is horrible.  Wolfy and I were dating five years before we got married and I'd say 90% of those five years were spent apart.  The only thing long distance did was reek havoc on my emotions, sanity, and my body.  I don't know how Wolfy and I did it for so long.  I'm so glad we made it through those times, but we had it hard back then.  We didn't have emails.  We wrote good ole fashion hand written letters and sent them through snail mail.  We didn't have cell phones.  I rushed home everyday to make sure I didn't miss his calls, so basically I was stuck at home.  We didn't have Skype or Facebook.  I literally didn't see his face for months at a time.  For five long years this was us, and it sucked!

In high school, even when we were in the same city, we hardly got to see each other.  Samoan parents don't allow dating. My parents never allowed me to go out with friends, let alone a boyfriend. There was no way I was going to ask to go on a "date". Ha! Yea right!

My first year away to college was very hard on us.  I think we broke up and got back together at least twice that year.  But I was able to go home for holidays.  And each time it was so awkward being in each other's presence again.

One night in particular I remember.  Wolfy and I planned to get together and hang out and talk.  Nothing big we were just going to drive to the beach. I just wanted to see him after being away for so long. Wolfy picked me up and we drove to our beach lookout spot.  The moon was out and lit up the ocean water so beautifully like a thousand romantic candles guiding a pathway to the sky.  We sat on a bench and looked out to the beautiful view.  You would think with such a romantic setting Wolfy and I would have been all over each other. Except we weren't.  It was awkward.  Here we were, two people who were madly in love, and we just sat there, quiet for what felt like hours.  I tried making small talk, but it felt stupid like I was trying to make conversation with a random stranger.  Ugh, I hated that feeling.  That awkward feeling of forgetting how to actually BE together after being apart for months.  But that was after our first year of being long distance.  Sadly I just got used to being away from him.  And after lots of practice, seeing him after months apart wasn't as awkward as that first year away.  

But then it was replaced by horrible goodbyes.  I hated leaving Wolfy.  I would literally get sick every time I had to leave him.  One time in particular was the worst ever that I can remember.  Wolfy's mother and I had flown to see him graduate from Navy bootcamp.  I hadn't seen him or talked to him in 3 months.  In bootcamp he could only write letters to me.  And they didn't get much free time to write so his letters were always very short.  Being there with his mother was bittersweet because Wolfy didn't like being too affectionate in front of his Mom.  But I was just so happy to know that he was safe, and healthy, even if he was a little too skinny.  We got to spend a day and half with him and then we had to fly back home.  The drive to the airport was the loneliest drive ever even though Wolfy's mom was with me in the car.  But I was holding up pretty well I even surprised myself.  

That was until we got to our terminal.  We were early so we just sat there and waited.  It had given me too much time to think about Wolfy and how much I was missing him already.  Slowly the tears started to well up.  Then they flowed like a river.  Then the pain in my chest starts pounding so hard I could feel it in my ears with every heart beat.  I didn't want Wolfy's mom to see me so pathetic so I just laid my head down like I was napping, and tried my best to mask my sobbing.  Wolfy's mom finally noticed I was crying and put her hand on my back to try and comfort me.  It only brought on an even worse wave of pain.  I was a mess.  Even worse I made Wolfy's mom cry too.  The two of us looked like basket cases just sitting there crying.  I didn't care.  I just wanted to be with Wolfy, but I couldn't, so I was going to cry myself into a stupor.  When we were finally on the plane I welcomed the chance to cry myself to sleep.  The comfort of not having to be awake and thinking of him was all I wanted.   

The pain of that day is what made me wake up to the fact that I just couldn't do it any longer.  I was tired of being away from Wolfy.  I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but after that day, I decided to actually do something about it.  I can't remember exactly how long, but I think it was 6 months later we were married.  =)  And I guess the rest is history.  

Wolfy and I have been married 12 years now and I spend so much time with him that sometimes if I ask to go away for the weekend Wolfy's "sure go ahead" comes out before I can even finish asking. lol  Never in my wildest dreams, when I was sitting in that airport, did I think I would ever get to a point that Wolfy and I didn't mind being away from each other for a weekend.  But that's life.  If you don't push through the bad'll never get to see the good times.  The BEST times.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Just break up with him!

I've been coaching girls volleyball again for a couple of months now.  My girls have all graduated high school  and their ages range from 17 - 21years old.  Can you say "raging hormones".  Well, the other night one of my girls called in that she wouldn't make it into practice because her boyfriend was in town.  Ugh, so annoying.  This is why I am a firm believer in "boyfriends and Volleyball DO NOT mix!"  They just don't.  Boys always find a way to mess with your head right when you need to be focused on a game.

In my case, it happened to be a Volleyball tournament.  It was my first year in college. Wolfy and I had been going through the longest stretch of not seeing each other.  I was living, breathing volleyball and being around girls all day, everyday, had me craving Wolfy, even if it was just to hear his voice. The night before a big volleyball tournament, we had gotten into an argument and we broke up.  Honestly, I can't even remember what the argument was about.  I just remember that I was distraught.

Really quick background info on me.  I'm a ball of emotions.  I'm a Pisces, and I'm ruled by my emotions.  To make it worse, my mother is the same overly sensitive woman, and her mother was the same way too.  So I am totally screwed when I need to do something while trying to hold in my emotions. To this day, I am no good at it.  My sisters always tease me that I cry at Hallmark commercials, Kodak commercials,  ANY commercials. Anyway, thus the title of my blog, "My Emotional Roller-coaster".

So, the love of my life just broke up with me, and I had to wake up and play volleyball....yipee! Actually NOT!  My roommates heard what had happened and they were trying to comfort me all day, but nothing was working.  I tried to shake myself out of the funk.  "Snap out of it! Volleyball right now, cry later! Come on!"  Yea, that didn't work.  It was the first time I actually realized that athletes really are affected by the things going on in their personal lives.  Why? What did my emotions have to do with controlling my body to perform the skills to play?  Nothing really I guess.  It was my brain taking on too much, and keeping my body from reacting in it's usual manner.  Needless to say, I was a mess.  My coach realized there was something wrong with me and pulled me aside, away from the rest of the team.  Just the fact that she suspected something, had me on edge.  And all she had to do was ask "What's going on with you?", and I lost it!  I started bawling like she had just slapped me across the face.  My coach was not going to get a word out of me in my state.  So she left me alone, but not before throwing me a look of disgust.  Hey, I was disgusted with myself.  I thought I was stronger than that.  But the hurt was like a punch in the gut reminding me that I'm not the super strong girl I liked to think I was.

Finally, the tournament was over, and we all headed home.  I just collapsed into my bed and wanted to cry myself to sleep.  One of my roommates was checking our voice mail messages on our house phone.  I heard her yell for me.


Ugh, what now. Leave me alone!  But she came into my room with a look of shock and happiness at the same time.

She said, "He called. He left a voice mail. You have to listen to it!"

"Huh? Who called? Wolfy called?"

She shoved the phone in my face,"Yes, listen!"

It was Wolfy.  After the day I had, just to hear his voice melted away all my stress.  That wasn't all.  He called and apologized.  I couldn't believe it.  He knew that any one of my 5 roommates checked our voice mail messages and he still left me such a personal message.  I held the phone to my ear and collapsed back into my pillow with a smile as tears flowed over onto my cheeks.  I listened to it over and over again.  Wolfy said he made a mistake, and that he was sorry, and that he loved me.

And just like that my world was right again.

Anyway, so when I started coaching girls again, I asked how many of them had boyfriends.  Before any of them even answered I said, "Just break up with him."  They all laughed, but I was a little serious.  There is nothing worse than coaching boy-crazy girls and trying to get them to focus.  Just from my own experience, there is nothing any other person can do to relieve emotions connected to boyfriend drama.  So my advice would be to be single. At least until the season is done. LOL!  (I didn't say it was going to be earth shattering, change your life advice.) hahaha!