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oh. of course.

i woke up this morning with a pounding headache, rolled around in bed for a few minutes, then reached for the nearest tissue to blow away this cold that's just sitting there, front of the face.

i got up, made myself a poor man's mocha (black coffee and hot cocoa pack) and put it in a bowl: coffee must always be taken in as the french do, bowl style. 

then i did ten squats to get the blood moving and cleared everything off my desk except for keys, phone, lamp, computer, and said coffee. see exhibit a.

exhibit a
and i resolved to write.

i had a split-screen panic attack last night.

i got the rolling waves of heat and relentless tears, but all the while i was aware of what was going on. and watching myself i found it all a bit funny. so it became a fight between the elements: tears or laughter. 

after not so long the laughter selflessly gave way, knowing that i needed to cry, to release and cleanse. 

it was as though those few minutes contained every thought i've ever had in all of my life.

what am i doing with my life. i'm a good actor, why am i not acting? have i failed? what is failure? will i ever meet a man that can love me? is this it? is this all i've been waiting for? calm down, this too shall pass. move on. stand still. breathe take it in. it'll be worth it. have patience. but i'm not patient. i'm not a patient person. did i screw everything up? can i go back and begin again. where's the restart button?

i really shouldn't be surprised, i've been living in bed-bug exile for going on two weeks now, a squatter in my own home. (see exhibit b)

exhibit b

i was on a break at work when it started. sitting there at the small wooden table, noshing on my squash salad, looking around at the sunday evening dinners being shared between families and wondering where my own family was and feeling the farness of them. and i thought, i am between families. which quickly became i am without a family, which is untrue, but this is how the mind works, you know?

and then i was cleaning the oreck silent vaccuum when my boss commented how everytime he looks he sees me doing this and thanks for that, which in my mind became, really, everytime you look this is what i am doing? oh brother, this is what my life is reduced to? cleaning other people's shit out of a plastic trash receptacle?

my father called me later in the evening. and he listened as i, through tears, listed all of my fears. this silly, little job and the future and work and where my life will go and what i can accomplish and what i’m capable of accomplishing and on and on and on. and somewhere in that on and on and on it came out. my greatest fear. a fear that i don’t think I’d ever even spoken aloud. a fear that while i am certain others must feel the same way, seemed the most shameful, the most unspeakable. remember last week when jasmine featured my fun with proust and i said my greatest fear was "dying before i've ever truly been loved"? well, that's not quite right. my greatest fear? my greatest fear is that i'll never fall in love with a man who will love me back. i know that i can fall in love. and i am reasonably certain that a man can fall in love with me. i just can’t imagine it happening at the same time. that the person i choose would choose me as well.

and this is when my father in his infinite wisdom said, you have to work on loving yourself. and i said, but dad, i do, i am working on it, i’ve come so far.

and then he said the next really important thing, guys are not perfect and even the right guy, won’t change everything.

and that’s when it hit me. i’ve been daydreaming of this new crush now. and I find myself dreaming of the little things—the things that would make a life—not the week-long-love-affairs-in-rome (which, don’t get me wrong, will be amazing) but the first moment he puts his hand on my pregnant stomach and realizes he’s going to be a father. or the moment in the department store when we choose a new set of sheets or a new pillow. these daydreams are different than my past daydreams of men—they’re not quite so exotic and dangerous, they’re comfortable and familiar in a really thrilling way. i thought it was this guy who was making the difference. but dad, you’re right, the daydreams are different because I am different. i can now envision a future—a life of countless important moments because I now know i deserve that. and those dreams are not contingent upon any one man. the man does not make the difference, i do. and maybe that’s truly the beginning of everything—that’s the beginning of my love story. 

turns out panic attacks can be moments of great personal growth.

go figure.


CrowNology said...

Even when you find the 'right' man there will be days when you feel these things. Human minds are funny that way. There are always things to think and obsess about. Expect it now, and always. It keeps you moving forward. You are much more than anyone ever will realize. Even you.
I am in "Reno Exile" and 'we' are very sensitive to our surrounds. I hope you have your home back soon.

Courtney said...

You know, that's one of my greatest fears too. I see couples everywhere doing these things that seem so normal, so simple, and think to myself "do they appreciate what they have?" I desire what they have so deeply, and I feel like it would be such a waste of a life to live without ever having a love. And I keep waiting and waiting, working on myself, hoping that a man out there is doing the same thing in the hopes that I am out there too.

Sometimes it really sucks though, doesn't it?

Your dad must be infinitely wise though, because I never really thought of it that way. That it's not just that one man, it's you. Thank goodness for fathers who tell it like it is.

Bri said...

it's through the panic attacks and just sucky parts of our lives that we grow most, and that those important in our lives can have the biggest impact in our lives if we let them.

i have a lot of respect for you that you were able to recognize that you could learn it. not many can...

keep your head up!

Marisa said...

meg - if i could only say the right thing to make you feel more at ease with the WAIT.

i too was just like you, wondering if that would happen to me or if i was destined to spend my life alone (for the most part)...

and i tell you ... (even though it sounds like a cliche)... it just happened, completely out of nowhere, when i had all but given up.
and i was not nearly as aware of myself as you are already.

meg - i can't wait to hear the story... when your prince arrives. because he is coming.
maybe he is taking the long way, so that when he arrives at your front door he will be a better and stronger partner for you..


Carrie said...

If only life did have a restart button... ;)

I can't wait for that magical day when you finally meet your future husband. :) It's going to be a wonderful story.

Jalene said...

Wow! You amaze me. Your writing is beautiful. And again, you write what we all want to say. Just more beautifully! That man is going to be the bomb diggity. I tell you what.

Belen said...

I love this so, so, so, so much. Remember when I wrote this? (http://einahpetsneleb.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-perfect-body.html) And how I tried loving myself more? Sometimes I fall back and end up disliking everything about me. And I daydream a lot too about "the crush," and I end up crying at night. But I think this'll save me from my cry tonight, knowing I'm working on myself instead.

Belen ♥

Miss Carrie said...

Look at how far you've come... Much further than I have. Reading your blog posts has become the light at the end of the tunnel for me. Just knowing that there's someone out there who's struggling and yet winning at the same time helps me so much. I am too still working on loving myself. Maybe one day I too will realize that a man will not define me; that it is me alone who's defining myself. I am trying to get there. Thanks to you.

Jessica Tingey said...

isn't it great when we can plant both feet on the ground and hope for that real stuff? all because we've finally begun to overcome the fear that inhibited us from allowing us to want what we truly deserve?

Jess said...

He'll find you. I promise.

I thought the same things as you do.
I looked for love in all the wrong places, I thought I knew what I wanted, I felt it would never happen.Until one day he found me (and he wasn't even looking).

And even on the most boring hum-drum doing our grocery shopping in contented silence days its glorious.

jenna said...

I have been quietly following your blog for a while now, and I must say, sometimes I feel like you are in my mind speaking my very own thoughts, just so much more clearly that I could myself.

Thank you for sharing.

Gabby said...

Oh Meg. Just like Jenna said above, it's sometimes like you are speaking my own thoughts. I was at a wedding this weekend and had my own panic attack. Not sure I got much personal growth out of it, but I am sure working on it. :)

Sam & Laur said...

i just want you to know that your post just made my day. i have been having thee most horrible, depressing day (just broke up with my boyfriend) and this made everything so real and so obvious.
i am worth it, i deserve to be loved back and so do you and never EVER forget it!

m. estelle said...

ahh, meg.
you are amazing.
and you really do deserve the best.


Bridget "Fun" Lynott said...

Thank you for putting into words everything I can't express.

Thank your father for the words he gave you so you could share them with girls who don't have one.

olivia rae said...

gosh meg... you really are amazing. this actually made me tear up. your writing is incredible always... you deserve the most amazing man ever and everything is going to work out for you! it has to- you are such a special person.


jasmine said...

oh meg. i understand the light at the end of the panic attack thing so well. sometimes i feel like i can't figure anything out unless i have a mini crisis over it first. your dad is totally right though. when levi and i first started dating, i had been single for two years, and i had been "working on myself." i felt so wise and like i had it all figured out. i totally didn't. and i never will. falling in love with levi didn't fix anything. honestly, it probably made things harder because now when i go through something, i have to go through it in front of another person and WITH another person. my problems become his problems. and it's HARD.

but don't worry - you WILL fall in love with someone who falls in love with you. try to push that fear out of your head altogether. don't even consider it. just have faith that it's going to happen. i know it's going to happen for you! and it will be amazing because you have waited for it.

Elizabeth Marie said...

Tears. God I love you, lady.

This might be my favorite post ever.

Krissa said...

oh I love your writing!
Can I say I can relate to a lot of what you say about love and finding that man. That is one of my greatest fears as well. And i guess somedays it just does not seem probable that a guy will love me when i love him. maybe because i have never had that experience. That is a great fear of mine. And I daydream of the same things...like when you enter a room full of crowded people and you feel like your his, and he only sees you in that crowd of people. or when he guides you through a room by touching the small of your bag. or holds your hair when you have morning sickness...i know what you mean. and i know it everything wont be perfect but i am looking forward to fighting with him too...because i know we will make up.

thanks for the post meg!
your are amazing!

iheartkiwi said...

love, love, love yourself and the rest will come around. your dad sounds like he knows what he's talking about.

i get stressed out when my house is a disaster... it should be your haven! once the bed bug situation clears up i'm sure things will start to look better.

sending happy vibes your way until then!

Erin said...

This post brought tears to my eyes because this is exactly how I feel when I look at my boyfriend. You will find the right man for you and he will love exactly how you love him.

Fashionably Kate said...


I know all to well the loving yourself first part. It's hard, but so worth it.

I know I say this ALL the time, but AMAZING writing again.
You're real.
I like that.
It's refreshing.. especially in blogland!

hawthorne girl said...

Meg, you will find him. I PROMISE. Right now you need to do the things you are doing but he is out there, you don't need to worry about that (Iknow, I've been there).

Anonymous said...

You've confirmed one of my fears too. But your father is right and reading all these comments is so encouraging -- just knowing I'm not the only one that feels that way.

Thank you.

Spardha Malik said...

This is definitely one of the BEST posts you've written on ur blog!

Thankyou for being so honest about your fears and emotional battles... You are so full of love.. You;ll find somebody who'll fit part 'exotic romance with life long commitment' perfectly.

Tina Tarnoff said...

your dad is right. love is not the answer. you are the answer.

p.s. you are in a great, impossible need to read my husband's book. trust me.


Hanako66 said...

your dad is a very wise man, which doesn't surprise me really. he must be so proud of you...as I am (though that sounds like the silliest thing ever as we have never met)

Jane's Next Door said...

You are SO GOOD! And I can totally relate to what you were saying about the acting thing. I'm a singer. I'm a good singer. What do I do? I work in Administration at a university. Because, see, I'm a scarred singer who was crapped on by the shark tank of a school she went to. I'm sure Juilliard is the same way but damn - those places can beat you down. Love your writing. Love it.

dani kreeft said...

from someone who has had multiple, multiple panic attacks, i can attest to the personal growth thing.
and it's always made me better.
thanks for sharing your heart...
sometimes i think if i write long blog posts, people won't read them. the attention span for it isn't there. but with your blog, i find myself so captivated that it could be a mini-novel and i'd read it entirely.

Kari said...

Ah, I finally found the post I e-mailed you about. :) Thanks Meg, for being so blissfully skillful with words.

Mel said...

Dads are so full of this wisdom. Thanks for sharing, even if I'm a bit late to the party.