Book Excerpts: Just One Look by Harlan Coben

*****Just One Look

”. . . There are sudden rips.  There are tears in your life, deep knife wounds that slash through your flesh.  Your life is one thing; then it is shredded into another.  It comes apart as through gutted through a belly slit.  And then there are those moments when your life simply unravels.  A loose thread pulled.  A seam gives way.  The change is slow at first, nearly imperceptible. . . .”

I’ve had the first one, three times (death, broken back, cancer).  Not sure about the second one – it scares me a little.  But I did love the juxtaposition of opposites.  What can I say?  I’m a Gemini – I’m a juxtaposed kinda girl.

“. . . Adult suburbia can be a lot like high school. . . .”

The world seems to think we actually leave high school when we graduate and grow up – but do we?  I’ve run into more situations that feel Just Like High School since I left those buildings than I have hairs on my head.

” . . . the feeling of not only intimacy but safety.  He made her feel small and protected, and maybe it was un-PC, but she liked that. . . .”

We’re probably dangerously close to oversharing here, but um, yep.  Been there, relaxed into that.  If you knew “the whole truth,” boy would you be surprised!  But, don’t knock it ’til ya truly understand it.

“. . . when you spend enough time in the dark, alone with your thoughts, your mind turns inward and feasts.  That was always a dangerous thing.  The key to serenity, Wu knew, was to keep working, keep moving forward.  When you’re moving, you don’t think about guilt or innocence.  You don’t think about your past or your dreams, your joys or disappointments.  You just worry about survival. . . .”

Well, been there too.  And while there is some truth to this (in other words, when you’re going through hell, keep going), at the same time sometimes one needs to stop for a bit of quiet.

“. . . She was in her midseventies, heavyset, the kind of big aunt who hugs you and you disappear in the folds.  As a kid you hate the hug.  As an adult you long for it. . . .”

Please refer to two quotes above – similar concept/feeling.  As an adult to just let go of everything (emotionally at least), and just, even for a tiny little while, to be able to feel Taken Care Of, Protected, Loved (in a way a child lets go and receives – not tinged or overlayed with an adult’s responsibilities and obligations).

“. . . I’m sorry that you’re in pain.  But please don’t tell me what I believe. . . .”

Well, regardless of your state of being, Nobody gets to tell me what I believe, or that what I believe is wrong or crazy.  This does become more tricky when someone else involved is in pain or hurt, but that does not eradicate my beliefs.

“The threat at the supermarket had not taken.

Wu was not surprised.  He had been raised in an environment that stressed the power of men and the subordination of women, but Wu had always found it to be more hope than truth.  Women were harder.  They were unpredictable.  They handled physical pain better — he knew this from personal experience.  When it came to protecting their loved ones, they were far more ruthless.  Men would sacrifice themselves out of machismo or stupidity or the blind belief that they would be victorious.  Women would sacrifice themselves without self-deception.”

Em, yup.  Believe me, I have had and currently have wonderful men in my life.  And I love them dearly, in all kinds of ways.  At the same time, on a practical level, more often than not, women rule and run the world.  We do the hard, boring, dirty, endless, everyday business of life: providing food, clean clothing, clean shelter, the myriad niceties and just generally running interference between them and the big, bad outside world that allow men to lead convenient lives.  And on an interpersonal level, well (WARNING: Profanity Ahead!) pussy rules the world.  Oh, and for those of either gender who are sitting there shaking their heads “no,” just because you don’t Want to believe it, does Not make it untrue.  🙂

” . . . The problem with tragedy is that you have to go on.  There is no choice.  You cannot just pull off the road and wait it out — much as you might want to. . . .”

Right, and Oh How I Have Wanted To!  What a great way to put it too!

“. . . Psychiatrists talk about opening up.  Grace, who has suffered her share of tragedies, is not so sure.  There is, she’s learned, something to be said for denial, for severing and compartmentalizing. . . .”

I’ve learned that too.  Otherwise known as 1) I don’t have to own that problem, and/or 2) I no longer choose to spend the energy it takes to have (insert person here) in my life.  Don’t get me wrong.  I Also think there is value to opening up to things and people.  But a balance needs to be maintained, and choices about who and what to include in one’s life need to be made consciously, with one’s own happiness being the first and most important consideration.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

I Got Over It

Over it

So, recently a work colleague achieved a new level of status at our company and in their (yes, it is a single person, but I am using the plural pronouns to be gender-neutral – I’m anonymizing as much as possible, while still sharing the guts of my emotions – which is what this post and this blog is all about – me!) career.

This person’s achievement affects my job description/responsibilities and we had that conversation this past Tuesday.

When I was recounting the story to my sistas (their word for all of us and I love it!) at Support Group that night, I confessed that I had approached that particular work relationship for the first 18 months or so (I’ve been there a tad over 2 years now) with warmth and friendliness (which unfortunately has not resulted in the type relationship I was hoping to build – but please look around at my quote editorials about being the only one fighting for a relationship and deciding enough is enough) and . . .

. . . I paused at this point to choose my next words, and one of my sistas (well, our sista leader actually), piped up with:

“You got over it.”

This had me actually laughing out loud, and reflexively (gently) slapping her arm (she was sitting next to me) in solidarity.

So, yes, I got over it.  🙂

Quotes That Speak To Me: Probably You

*****

It is

I didn’t even have to think about this one.  I’m pretty sure it’s me – on both sides (mom’s/dad’s) in fact.  <shrug>  Oh well.  Insert Popeye here.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Quotes That Speak To Me: Criticized

Now if I can just internalize this, I think it will be like a giant, cleansing deep breath, followed by actual relaxation and clarity because yes, it Is So True.

anotheronewiththecancer

You’re still going to get criticized, so you might as well do whatever the fuck you want.— Kathleen Hanna  

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Quotes That Speak To Me: Mind Control

*****

Control Mind

Found this morning on Women’s Rights News’s Facebook page.

As I confessed this morning on FB, I am still actively struggling with this…

It bit me in the ass in the shower this morning.  In fact, it does the same many mornings in the shower.

What is it about first thing in the morning and being in the shower that allows my mind to have imaginary conversations with actual people in my life – conversations (that don’t Actually occur in Real Life, and I Am aware of this fact, mind you) that end up disappointing, angering, frustrating or downright hurting me?

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Quotes That Speak To Me: The Mean One

*****

The mean one

Found this on Facebook this morning.

I Literally laughed out loud because it couldn’t be truer.  Anybody who has studied group dynamics knows the truth of this comment.

A whole bunch of people in my life currently think I’m the mean one.

I’m still trying to decide if I’m gonna go back to the way things were or not, knowing that if I don’t, I’ll likely be abandoned.