Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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It Seemed Like The Real Thing, But I Was So Blind

Man. I am jonesing to be funny. But the funny, she won't come. Don't get me wrong, I feel funny. I feel hilarious. It just won't translate. Or maybe I'm just rusty for lack of journaling practice. Lots has happened in the past week. I saw every single person I wanted to see in Utah (and Colorado), with the exception of a coupla news broads that call Park City home. Sorry 'bout that girls but we can attempt to rock that threesome next time. Oh stop. You, your morality clauses and your Mormon viewership can rest easy, I won't use your names.

In the past week I mended a tortured heart (mine), cried over days gone by, felt hopeful about the future, rediscovered I have the most beautiful best friend in all the world in Utah and was lucky enough to find someone just like her in New York City, fell in love, again, road-tripped with kids, climbed to an arch, had lunch with an ex-boyfriend (yup, that one) blew off another ex and visited with every single member of my immediate family. Which ain't no easy task considering one is behind bars and another is out-of-state.

Shit, I have thought so much, analyzed me, my life, what I've done, where I'm going and I'll be goddamned if I didn't determine that I am in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time. Here is why:

We all have that dream, whatever it is. Yours is to be an actress, his is to be a professional baseball player, hers is to raise a family, mine is to write for a living. These dreams are hopeful images of ourselves we've carried in our pockets all these years. Like glossy photographs of loved ones carefully tucked into leather wallet flaps, we pull out those dreams and look at them when we need a reminder, when we're feeling lost. But like so many other things misplaced in the course of living, inevitibly, many of us let go of the dream. Life gets in the way. We exchange personal freedom and happiness for better paying jobs, we neglect personal growth to focus on our children, buy homes, conform to the norm.

Slowly, we release our dreams and they float into the sky like helium balloons. For awhile they hang within reach.. but slowly they float higher and drift away, out of our grasp. And we let them. We may cast a longing eye in their direction from time to time... and for a while we can still see them, bobbing along far up in the sky. Eventually they contract into tiny pinpoints on the horizon and then POP! The dream is gone. We forfeited the dream. Out of responsibility? Obligation? Fear of the unknown? All three? It happened so gradually we weren't fully aware of what was happening.. oh, the dream was always there, in the back of our mind and then we blinked and it disappeared. We blinked and we're 45 with 3 kids, a mortgage, two cars and credit cards and and and... What now? What happened? Who AM I? What is it I want to do? BLAMMO! Mid-life crisis. Mom is dressing like a high schooler, flirting with the bag boy and Dad is riding a panic button red porsche and his 23-year-old secretary, respectively.

This past week I pulled out my dream, dusted it off and took a good, long look. I don't want to keep letting life happen to me. I want to make life happen. I want to be a writer. I want to write about stuff we all deal with but don't necessarily talk about. I don't want to write for any other reason than to relate to you, whoever you are. It makes me feel better about myself. If I ain't ready to submit to therapy just yet, I'm gonna talk it out with all of you, whoever and wherever you are. I live for the "me too!" moments in conversations. Or the comedian jokes that make you laugh because "that is SO true!". So yeah. A big ol' jumbley jumble of thoughts. I am happy and hopeful and glad I am me and glad you like to come here and read.

I grew up a bit like that helium balloon I mentioned earlier. Floating through saintly suburbia on a wind current of Mormon ideals. Graduate, get married, buy house, have babies... End of. That's how it went. I felt so cosmopolitan escaping Orem, simply moving to Salt Lake City that I lived off that buzzing of accomplishment for most of my twenties. But I knew something was missing, I just didn't know what. It all felt too routine. Too planned. Then my beloved RockBoy came along and did his profession justice. He rocked me to the core. But let's be honest. I wasn't quite over the other guy and because I got married so quickly he haunted the beginning of my marriage. He lingered at the breakfast table, he peered over my husband's shoulder. What if. What if. Yeah, it's not fair but that's the way it was. Life is messy. Relationships don't end cleanly. Never do. There is blood and gore and anger and resentment and love and hate. And I ran away from it. Until I went back. And realized that he only haunted me for the obvious reasons; He didn't want me. He broke up with me. "Dammit!" I thought. We're meant to be! He just doesn't know it yet. What a waste of time. What an unnecesary expenditure of emotion. God, if I knew someone would take one piece of advice from me it would be this; if he ain't into you, fuck 'im. Maybe he's a nice fella, maybe that confuses you.. Sometimes it seems like he wants you, other times it doesn't. And so you hang around, certain you will be so amazing he won't be able to help but see that you are the girl of his dreams! Don't waste another second! Don't give up another piece of yourself! Seriously. Please! If you move on, REALLY move on, I promise one of two scenarios will occur:

1) you will eventually forget about this guy and find Someone Better.
2) this guy will suddenly decide you're the girl for him, usually right when you've found Someone Better.

If it's the latter that occurs, I leave it in your capable hands to decide if his newly declared love for you is for real or not. I will concede that some of you men, as the great eighties metal band Cinderella once shouted/sang "Don't know whatcha got, til it's gone". But shit, either way, whatchoo got to lose, girl? Nothin'! Either way you move on and end up with the guy for you, Any alternative other than the aforementioned leaves you tortured and feeling like a spineless, willpowerless shell. God, if I only had someone sit me down and slap that kind of sense into me four years ago. Don't pine for the guy who didn't want you. He is not what you thought he was. He will never live up to the image you have of him in your head. Just let your ego take the shrapnel and move on! Sorry for the long winded lecture. I've been thinking, talking and now, obviously, writing in run-on sentences for the past few weeks.

But about that dream, my dream; I live in the greatest city in the world, with the most brilliant man in the world, I am fortunate to know people I believe are some of the most amazing people to walk the planet. Really. It is good. I feel good. Nothing in my past is left undone. There are no loose ends. I've confronted it all and I have determined that I am where I am supposed to be; with The Surge in New York City.

Reader Comments (49)

Good for you! Figuring out what you want can be torturous, so realising you've got it already must be the sweetest feeling indeed.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergail
Lots to metabolize. Love the new look. Very clean. Am glad you sorting out your feelings and your hopes for the future. I had a similar experience with a guy. Why do we always want the ones that don't want us? I think it's a lesson every girl has to learn on her own. The ones that don't want us are the ones we shouldn't want! Welcome home to NYC!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
wow, great new look! I'm happy for you, this post is so hopeful and bright, so great, wish you all the best!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
I like your new look!!! And I'm glad you are happy with your life as it is.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdesiree
Oh wow. I LOVE the new site! Your post made me think of my boyfriend. He's a musician and has been in a band for the past 7 years. He struggles all the time with whether or not to take on a second job. He's scared that once he decides to temp between tours and albums he'll get used to making more money and eventually segue from not being as serious about the band. Me? I tell him to go for it. We're still in our twenties and have the rest of our lives to work in boring jobs.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
I couldn't agree with you more Monica. I once wanted a man that didn't want me. I worked so hard to get his attension and love. Didn't work. If I hadn't relized what you did I would probably still be working hard and putting myself through so much hurt. NOW, I am I see that he wasn't worth it and that I have the man for me.

I am glad that there are people that has went through the same things I have.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSM

1) I love the new template. Great stuff.
2) Sometimes, it's the getting away that makes you really appreciate what you've got. Stepping outside of yourself and your life for a little bit can be rewarding, and it looks like it worked out for you.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdu_dragons
Ok, just being honest, I liked the other template better, a little more peppy! :) Oh well.
Glad you made it home safe and sound!
Sometimes it takes going back home and looking at the past to figure our your future, spurs you to follow your dreams and do what your passion is!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
My first reaction: Welcome BACK!!!

But thinking again, maybe this is your actual arrival. Maybe you couldn't really be settled here until you settled things there.

So in that vein, welcome to New York. Please put litter in its place; kindly curb your dog; and cross at the "green," not inbetween.

Bloomberg will be by later on with the key to the city!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWryter
Monica - once again you just put down so well what I am feeling over the past few weeks. Yep, breakups hurt and they are horrible. Because the guy always hits you right where it hurts, even if he doesn't mean to. Hearing that I'm just too different, or that he just does things to keep me happy, but not because he wants them to do, or that he just doesn't know, but it doesn't feel right for him... Damn - he even cried when saying all this so he is the nice guy who didn't just end it by cheating on me. But I'm sick and tired of not being good enough and of trying to understand. For two weeks now I am sticking to your strategy: move on and REALLY move on. I can't complain about being lonely and I certainly don't want to run back, but it is still hard!
Keep up the good work and enjoy New York!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkiaora
Okay, now WRITE. Though I'm sure not having a job is stressful, I often envy the time you have to devote to your writing.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCover Your Mouth
The new site looks great!! Very clean and fresh. :)
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
This is the first time I write here but I've been reading your blog for so long. I just want to thank you for your job and of course because I think I'm learning English with your texts!(so sorry foy my poor English)

And about this post...the only thing really important in this life is know how to move on just doing what we believe in.
You make me remember a catalan poem written by Joan Maragall (the most important catalan poet of the last century). It ends in this way (more or less):

Outside land, outside beach,
forget to turn back:
your trip hasn't finished,
and it will never end.

(Well, it sounds so different in the original language, if someone knows Catalan here I put the correct one:

Fora terra, fora platja,
oblidat de tot regrés:
no s'acaba el teu viatge,
no s'acabará mai més.)

Thanks again and cheers form Barcelona!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
I'm sure those "news broads" understand that you had a very busy trip.
I'm glad you came to the conclusion that you are right where you need to be.....moving is easy, it's being content that takes a bit - but once your there everything falls into place.
I sense good things coming Monica! Trust me...I know things!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAllie
!!!!!Amen, sistah!!!!!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren D.
PS Love the blog's new look. Love YOUR new outlook. Welcome home (your new home!)
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren D.
My God you've got a beautiful mouth. If I was gay I'd fall in love with you right now. You look absolutely adorable in the main photo.

It was really nice to hear you being so light and positive. You're a true artist in the way that you see life, feel life and express life. But even in your "dark" times I find beauty in your pain. (I know that last bit sounds bad and mean, but it's not, for those who understand what I mean)
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNiedlchen
Damn girl. Looking and sounding fine.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJib
Hi. I'm glad you're back. I've been reading for a long time now but have never commented. I decided to today because I wanted you to know that I actually missed reading your blog while you were gone. I would've gone back and read old entries but I have read everything, including The Girl Who chapters. I like the laugh or the pause for introspection you give me every day. It's good to hear you sounding so upbeat because I really do think you were meant to be a writer. There is something in your voice and tone that speaks to a lot of people.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Great Blondie quote. Heart of Glass is one of my all time favorites. I like the new look. Not sure if I like it better than the old look, but I've never been one for change. It does seem cleaner and less busy, if that's what you were going for. But the old one seemed very New York.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMIchelle
rock on, sis
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterghost
To be happy with where and who you are in your life is the BEST feeling in the world. Sure there is always shit to deal with, money issues, self esteem issues, I hate my job, I need a job, my family is nuts...we all have the same shit, it just looks a different shade of grey to each of us. I am so happy that you are happy and that this trip did what it was meant to do!

Can't wait to see you at Irving Plaza. We will have some Christmas cheer together. Now go to it all Monica - whatever you want - go do it!
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
Love the new look and love that you know you are where you need to be. I so look forward to more of your writing. Like someone else said, while you were on vacation I couldn't find a thing on here that I hadn't read already. Drove me nuts. Write your book and I will buy it for everyone I know.

You mentioned that you love those "me too!" revelations. I have that experience almost every time I read here, and we have very little in common.

Welcome home.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKDS
So good to see you in SLC - you were like a breath of fresh air. I was surprised when you said you were thinking of moving back and I'm glad you've decided NYC is where you should be right now - I'm sure it's a good choice. Utah's too small for you girl! Re the new look - love the photo, you look really gorgeous, but I'm gonna stick my neck out and say I don't think it suits your blog... with the pink logo & blonde hair it looks like a Timotei advert. Or for those who don't know Timotei, let's use another analogy - an Estee Lauder ad then (that's a compliment by the way). I'm with Michelle, the other was more New York, and more you somehow.
November 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAli
Thanks for this:

"God, if I knew someone would take one piece of advice I from me it would be this; if he ain't into you, fuck 'im. Maybe he's a nice fella, maybe that confuses you.. Sometimes it seems like he wants you, other times it doesn't. And so you hang around, certain you will be so amazing he won't be able to help but see that you are the girl of his dreams! Don't waste another second! Don't give up another piece of yourself! Seriously."

I needed that.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
"Just let your ego take the shrapnel and move on!"

November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Wow, I'm so glad you decided to stay in NYC and not give up on your dream! Okay, that's sounds horribly cliche, but it's true. You'll always have to live with regret if you don't at least perserve long enough to give it your best shot. And like someone else said, you have the rest of your life to succumb to a boring routine simply for the case of fiscal responsibility.

And about the new template...I'm afraid I have to agree with some of the others - the old one was more NYC, carried a bit more punch. This design feels more suited for say, a book cover/jacket? Either way, gorgeous photo at the top.

Oh, and have a Happy Thanksgiving! I just got a peek of the Macy's store windows tonight, and it finally sunk in that the holidays are coming. It's a bummer I won't get to see the parade my first Thanksgiving in NYC, but I'm headed to FL to be with my dad...and I 2nd Richelle - see you at the Irving Plaza show?!

November 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterktphotog
There's a great song by the band Glossary called, "Breathe Life Into" about leaving home for someplace that inspires you. Any Marah fan really ought to check this band out.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterereiberg
If you were in New York when you wrote this then I think they are true. But if you were in Utah when you wrote this - then you belong in Utah.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter...
Hmmmm... Interesting point. I wrote it yesterday, from New York. Two days after getting home.

Am still deciding if I like this version of the website or not. I'd really like to know what y'all think. I can see what you mean Ali, by Estee Lauder. The other one WAS a bit more New York... But the templates and spacing on the other one bugged me.. The spacing was off. This version is centered, you don't have to slide left or right to get the page centered and it looks the same in both Firefox and Explorer, the other one didn't. Maybe I'll tweak this one more.. Pic of NY instead of me? Maybe.. Ideas, anyone?
November 22, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonica
I like that pic... it's just a bit difficult to read the text inside now...:-)
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkiaora
I liked the pink with your picture. To me it said "happy".
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBaron
All right.. been messin' around a bit. Anybody else have any opinons on design and color one way or the other?
November 22, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonica
Wow! Another change. Hmmm. The looks are both totally different. But I think I prefer this one. It suits you more. Edgier and more dramatic (in a good way :) The other one was a bit too much like a perfume ad.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
This change sucks. The last one was better.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter...
What a cool photo. Sector 9 T-Shirt with loose Jnco jeans, sizzor frayed off on the bottom of the leg cuff. That kid looks so awesome! Love his hair. That style so reminds me of 1996! Ahh the memories. Can you belive that was 10 years ago? Bummer. That was the early style associated with the skate board or "rave" scene at least where I grew up,,not sure about Mormon Utah though..ahhhh the memories. F--k I'm getting old. 28. Damn. I probably look like such a Kook to the kids now and days. I've noticed the use of the word "sir" has been steadly increasing.Sir. Thats becoming my new nickname or somthing.

November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
You may be shocked (not at all) but I prefer the pink. Easier to read, clean, crisp.
Plus that picture of you was so natural and pretty like you were a clean slate moving back.
I'm just sayin'.
Plus, I happen to dig pink. And cheese.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAllie
I way prefer these latest colours, but miss that gorgeous photo of you. I hate pink. Everybody buys my daughter pink clothes and nowadays I just vomit at the sight of more pink.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNiedlchen
I like this format better since it is centered, and as for the top pic--- I like both the NYC scene and your hair-blown, perfume ad shot. You can always change that around.
Are you still going to post some of The Surge's writings? I liked his NY Hair story!
Do you two just sit around and tell each other stories... no need for TV!

PS I liked the small pic of Max above your copyright
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren D.
I'm glad I'm not competing against you people in a modern office environment setting. Pucker *kiss* kleenex.

November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
Don't you hate it when the novocaine the dentist has given us starts wearing off? Pretty painful. I guess that's why many of us would opt to remain numb if given the chance. What would you choose Monica?
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeg2Defer
Oh man, just fuck off already freakboy. I am not sure why you're obsessed with this blog, but it's just weird, dude, that you pick on some girl you've never met.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJib
I guess we were posting at the same time, Beg2Defer. I meant my comment for Michael, not you.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJib
"I live in the greatest city in the world"

As we used to say in 7th grade - NOT!

I really don't get it. New York is a sink. It has really nasty people. Its crowded. Its Dirty. Its Expensive. Upward mobility is Nil. I just dont get what is so fascinating about living there in a red brick apartment building. Especially when you could be in a house in Utah gaining equity in Real Estate. There are other places besides Salt Lake, Provo, Orem etc..

It must be the telivision image of New York. Acting like a New Yorker everyday etc.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
Sorry Jib, Your comment set me off again. I was being nice before. Dont worry Jib, I'll be off the blog soon enough..
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
Dude, I try to make it a policy not to engage in ridiculous comment banter, but seriously, I don't know what the fuck you are ever on about. I thought you lived in L.A.? Don't even get me started about that hellhole. Have you ever even BEEN to New York City? Nasty people? I'd prefer a homeless dude to the tits, teeth and tans that populate L.A. Or the self-admitted Land Rover driving, cell phone screaming, hair gelling gits like yourself.
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJib
um.. i'm ignoring the juvenile arguments.
I need to tattoo your advice on my stupid heart! My problem is that the guy I want doesn't know I want him and that allows me to excuse his apparent disinterest. And we're sort of friends, so it's just complicated. But you were so right: I think if he understood just how amazing I really am, he'd be into me! I still argue with myself about it, but it's intellect vs. heart and heart is wilfully obstinately stupid. if you read this more advice would be appreciated!
November 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBitterPining
Going back to the New Look discussion, I like this one. I like pink too, and the photo of you was truly beautiful, but for me it didn't fit you or the feel of your blog. This one's much better.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)
November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAli
***oohoohohhohho****(haunting ghostly sounds)

Miiiichaellllll....stop posting inane garbaage about home equity and market index funds before your souuuuulllll is lost for are a shallllowwww, blinnnnddd, absssurrddd little boy...

November 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael's Mom's Ghost
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