Monthly Archives: January 2012


I haven’t known what to write about. Strike that. I haven’t known what I wanted to publish.

I have been patiently waiting. Waiting for the hurt to leave. Waiting for my life to return to ‘normal’. Waiting to get back into a place of my own. Luckily, my work took a turn towards the compelling a few months ago and so it has been easy for me spend long hours in the lab.

That doesn’t mean it is easy.

There are days when I am unbelievably sad. I am swimming in grief over the death of the relationship. Stunned to be in my situation. It’s like dying from hiccups. Sure, they are annoying and they overwhelm your life while you have them such that you can’t focus on anything else or fathom what life would be like without them. But to die from them? It seems absurd.

I am left the question:

Was love lost or was love not enough?

It’s a tough question to answer. Damned one way or another. So I try my best to ignore it.

And some days I can. I continue with my life just as I did. It’s striking how little of my life the boy was a part of. I go to work, I eat, I sleep, I am in touch with my family and friends. I don’t even have anything of his to send back. We live 1600 miles apart. We don’t have that many mutual friends or overlapping social circles. There is nothing holding the thought of us together. If it weren’t for the occasional photo, I would think that it was all a figment of my imagination. Perhaps that’s for the best. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind and all that.

It’s odd, mourning the loss of something that you aren’t sure even existed.

I am being melodramatic, I know.

The difference between me now, with nearly 31 years of life experience, and younger versions of me (at 20 and even at 27) is that I know that it’s not about me. Or even that much about us. I get it. You don’t make plans to live a life together and suddenly back out at the last minute if it’s about me. Sure, I’ve changed as I’ve grown into my life, but I am fundamentally the same person that I have always been and presented myself to be. I am proud of that person and happy to be her. Or maybe it’s all just a self-preservation mechanism.

I’ve struggled with the idea of whether or not I want to forgive. There is a clear distinction between deciding to forgive and the ability to forgive. I don’t doubt that I am completely capable of forgiveness, I just haven’t figured out if I want to. Then it dawned on me that I don’t have to make that decision. Because nobody is asking me for forgiveness. It’s not about me. So I am not taking it personally.

Life is moving on. And I am moving with it.

But it doesn’t make it less lonely.


P.S. I am hoping these posts dripping in melancholy will subside soon. I have two more weeks of couch-surfing (note: couch-surfing in your 30’s means sleeping on the futon in the spare bedroom and not actually having to sleep on the couch) and then I can move into my own place and really begin to settle back into my life (and perhaps back into my cooking…).

I am…

I am cool.

I know it. The people in my life know it. Even strangers can sense it.

I have purple hair. I have a nose ring. I have a certain Meleah-style about me that I am mindful of. It usually involves bright, saturated colors in the forms of skirts, dresses and shoes. And fabulous accessories. A very particular version of put-togetheredness with a friendly smile. I don’t think of it as something that I have to work hard at in order to present to the world, rather as a strong sense of being that I wear comfortably around my shoulders.

I am cooler than just I’ve-got-great-style.

I am intelligent and hard-working. I have a Ph.D. in Genetics from Duke University. I am humorous, in a dry sort of way. I am adventurous. I scuba dive. And not just as a fair-water scuba diver but a diver in the Pacific Northwest where the water temperature is a constant 42 degrees Fahrenheit. I am independent; financially and in temperament. I am genuine. People know where they stand with me. I have no qualms about sharing my thoughts with others. Likewise, people know when they have engaged my attention and interest. I am a performer. I’ve danced ballet solos to packed houses of nearly a thousand people. And have formally spoken about my scientific research to an audience of nearly the same size. I thrive when on the stage. I am a part of people’s lives. I love and value my family and friends. I would give them my everything, if needed. I am a craftsman. I bake. I cook. Some would even describe my kitchen skills as good. I re-upholster furniture and knit monsters. I know my way around a sewing machine. I am human. On occasion I am beyond silly. On most others I am serious. I am non-traditional. I went to hippie school for college. I worked for seven years in a dental office. I am now a biologist who studies the mating habits of fungi under stress. And I somehow convinced our government to pay me money to do it. I am joyful. When I laugh with my heart … there is no other sound like it.

I am myself.

Except right now, I don’t feel myself. I am not writing down all of my wonderful attributes (and knowingly omitting my less-than-stellar characteristics) because I am suddenly healed of my heartbreak. It still hurts to smile and my laughs are intellectual rather than joyful. No, I am angry. Angry at the boy. Angry at being without my own place, car or cats. Angry at myself for being sad, then angry at myself for being mad. Angry at the world. I know it’s all temporary; that it’s just a stage of grief. I am doing everything in my power to keep it all to myself and not lash my anger out on those around me, especially those who have been unyielding pillars of support.

So I write those characteristics of myself to remind me that I am more than how I feel in this moment. I am not just this poor cliche of a girl who has recently been dumped. And that, perhaps more than anything, is my motivation to get out of this slump. Because the one thing that I will not allow myself to be is cliche.

Except, of course, for this weekend. I am taking my awesomeness down to Austin, TX to spend the weekend with my dearest friend. No doubt there will be excessive hugging, crying, chocolate eating, wine drinking and Sex in the City watching.

Escape Artist

I’ve been avoiding reality.

My drugs of choice? Books and television.

The Harry Potter movies. The Hunger Games Trilogy. The entire six seasons of How I Met Your Mother (thank you Netflix). The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the book, not the movie … although I don’t have plans for this afternoon). Doctor Who (again). I’ve immersed myself in a land of make-believe. Escapism to the extreme.

I imagine it’s similar to morphine – dulling your senses, numbing the pain and if not controlled, addictive. But right now, it’s nice to take on the problems of these characters and avoid my own. I am returning to Minneapolis on Wednesday and I am not looking forward to the times ahead. I am leaving the cats in the company of my parents while I couch surf for a few weeks until I can move into a more permanent place.

The nomad lifestyle has never called to me. I never backpacked through Europe or Southeast Asia. I am a settler, a nester. I like to make a place my own, get to know it, spend some time with it. So, to return to Minneapolis without a place of my own is, well … unsettling. Luckily, I’ve made friends in my time there who have generously opened up their homes to me and for that I am forever grateful.

Moving forward is always difficult. Especially when you’ve been dragged off your course by forces beyond your control. I think that is what I am most angry about. Having to change the direction of my life without having made the decision about it. Without having the time to plan for it. Without having everything settled.

To some it might not seem like so much of a shift. I still have my same job, I’ll still live in the same neighborhood, I’ll still have my friends and family. Life goes on, the same as always. Except it’s not the same. I am not the same.

I don’t know who I’ll be. I’m not sure that I want to know. Until I do, I am going to go back to the land of make-believe where my mind is silent and my heart is numb. And that’s unsettling too.