This is What Happens When You Internalize Everything

I hadn’t been since before it was renovated.

For obvious reasons, I haven’t really been in the mood to write anything. I guess when something major happens, it casts a shadow on the rest of your life. And, as is a habit of mine, I internalize every emotion that I don’t see fit to let out. Usually, it works out fine. This weekend, it didn’t.

I attended mass at St. Elizabeth’s in Aiea on Saturday afternoon. It was the first time I had been there in ages. I can’t say when the last time was for sure, but I know that it was prior to the renovation.

The 5 PM Saturday afternoon mass had been the one my mother and grandfather attended weekly until he no longer had the strength to leave the house. It had gotten to the point where he decided against attending Matty and Tanya’s wedding in early September. My aunt and uncle – my grandfather’s daughter and son – attended as well, so I suppose in a strange way, it was a tribute Papa Joe. My brothers, who practice as little Catholicism as I do, were also there. So were Tanya, Lynnette, and Madison.

I have long since given up going to mass. I try my best to endure the ones at Damien and struggle through the three or four during the weekend of the Encounter Retreat. And yet, Saturday’s services was easiest (for lack of a better word) mass I’ve ever sat through. I can’t say why. It just was. Maybe it’s like in the Bible when Jesus called his disciples on not being able to handle an hour of prayer with him. I could do an hour for Papa Joe.

This is supposed to be a walrus. Insert your own fat jokes here. I can take it.

We went to dinner after mass at a Thai restaurant. Now, I would never willingly decide to eat at a Thai restaurant on my own, but my aunt and uncle are vegans, so it made the most sense. I did enjoy myself, so perhaps Thai food is now within the realm of possibility for me. It remains, however, in a position well behind sushi, burgers, and sushi. As always, I’ve found strength in Lynnette and Madison whenever I’ve had to deal with tough times, and this week has been no different. Madison in particular has pulled me out of the doldrums a handful of times with her innocence and unfaltering positive attitude. I found myself wishing that it were so easy for me as well.

The cutest, non-threatening walrus cub ever.

My own issues started on Wednesday when my grandfather died. There was obvious pain and sadness, but my family rallied and we had a spontaneous dinner at my parents’ house that night. I later tried to continued grading my assignments, but I should have known better. I couldn’t focus. I got through two poetry papers and packed it up. I spent Thursday with Lynnette and Thursday night with Geno. Both were wonderful company. It was nice to laugh and hang out with two of the most important people in my life. By then, though, I knew that my plans for dealing with my work were simply not going to work out. The plan was to grade hardcore on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the hopes that I could spend the last three days  of my break without any of it hanging over my head. I hoped the three of us could go on an adventure.

In retrospect, it started on Saturday morning when Lynnette and Madison went on a girls’ day out. I was left at home to clean parts of the house, do the laundry, and finish my grades. While college football is always a welcomed companion, I guess I felt spited. But as I do, I did the housework and finished my grading in time to get one game of NCAA football in before we had to leave for church.

Then on Sunday, Lynnette and I got into a huge fight in part because she did something that always pisses me off, but also in part because I was already in a shitty mood from Wednesday and Friday and Saturday. Long story short, my biggest regret is that all of this went down in front of Madison, who tried to break it up for a few minutes, but quit trying pretty quickly. I don’t understand why things have to be so complicated sometimes.

Lynnette said a lot of things that enraged me, but she was right about one thing: I wasn’t trying to make the best of a shitty situation. That’s one of my most important rules in life. I was extremely angry. I was angry well into yesterday afternoon. Maybe I should have tried not to be angry. I don’t know. Maybe I should have just tried to internalize that, too. I assume that since I had internalized everything for about half-a-week, it was going to come out eventually, and this argument was simply the tipping point.

Now I’m in that weird spot where I feel like I was right to be upset, but I am also upset that I allowed my anger to win.

Lynnette, I know our home will likely be icy this afternoon. Still, I’ll try my best to make the most of it.


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