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I just watched A Walk on the Moon.  Man, I do not know why this movie gets me s much.  I’ve probably watched it 7 or 8 times since it came out.  It just kills me, I don’t know why.  I’m so sympathetic to EVERYONE in the movie, I love both the guys and Diane Lane just does an amazing job.  I don’t know, there’s just something so summer time and perfect and sad and happy and just good.  Also the waterfall scene is like the dark chocolate that you save and just have a little of when you want to make a special occasion out of of something.

I thought it would make me too sad to watch it again, but it was just perfect.

Earlier in the day I watched another movie that was okay (Pretty Ugly People) although fairly sizeist and weird, but really sad and moving at the end and I was writing a blog post elsewhere about a  friend that died a few years ago and I just cried my damn eyes out.  It was kind of nice though, I mean I just felt sad, missed my friend, felt a little regret about my youth and done.  Sort f autumn-y and melancholy, not at all the abject misery and suffering that all my crying seemed to have after Hawthorn (much of which wasn’t exactly about Hawthorn but it’s all tied together, you know?).  It’s nice to feel just kind of normal sad.

I’m in so much of a better place than I was even a month ago. Things are perfect, maybe not even great, but they feel even and bearable for the first time in a very, very long time.  I want to keep moving forward, positive change and growth and all that, but it feels nice to be right here, to be even keeled and neutral for a minute.  Like I’ve reached a point where I can make good decisions again, or at least make a plan.  Maybe now I can devote energy to building something instead of spending all my time crawling out of the hole I’ve been in.

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I’m still feeling so much frustration around Hawthorn.  I am finally really beginning to clarify what I’m feeling and what I need to really be able to let it go, but I’m still not there yet.

Recently he’s been once again pushing at the boundaries I set about our interactions.  This forces me to think about him much more than what I want too (what I want is none, which is impossible since we work together, so I’m trying to keep it into reasonable, polite, work limits and no social interaction outside that).

I feel like he got his way in every single step of our relationship.  He insinuated himself into my life and pushed and pushed until I’d broken up with Oak, changed all my future plans, disappointed my family and moved in with Hawthorn.  I take responsibility for my choices in this, partly because at the time they seemed like really good choices. But once I’d uprooted everything, let go of the past and changed the entire course of my life for him, he broke up with me and caused me to have to uproot my entire new life and start all over again. And finally he insinuated himself as a friend  into my new again life, so that he was still part of my every day and the bulk of my life still centered around plans with him and thinking about him and being involved with him every way but sexually.

So I cut those ties and have been doing my very best to move on.  To do this my way, to have the interactions I want.  And, to some extent, to specifically make it not what he wants because he simply can’t always have it his way in relation t me.  Especially since he’s never acknowledged or apologized for how much damage he really did to my life in the last two years.

Fast forward to now and he’s pushing the boundaries of interaction again, once again forcing me to think about him when I don’t want to, to deal with him when I shouldn’t have too.  I was complaining about this to my girlfriends this morning and one said, “It’s like he keeps on doing to you what he did all along – demanding that you do it his way. 😦 Ugh. You have been very clear with him. I don’t understand why he keeps violating your boundaries.”  Which is how I’ve been thinking about it all along–why does he have to keep trying to have it his way?  He can’t always have it his way!  But my other friend finally clarified it for me in her response, “[Why does he have to keep pushing your boundaries?] To alleviate his own guilt. If he can be friends and show it’s all good, he won’t have to feel guilty. He just doesn’t get that by pushing he’s making it worse. He just wants you and the world (but mostly his conscience) to know he wasn’t really the bad guy.”

Which is exactly right.  And the fact is, he is the bad guy in this scenario.  He hurt me and no amount of pal-ing around can fix that.  Time, space and heartfelt apologies and acknowledgement of what he did can fix that and he hasn’t given me any of that.

So now I have to decide, having made it this far in discovering what’s still bothering me about this whole situation, do I approach him again and try and hash out the final details, what I need him to know, or do I just let it go?

It is a gorgeous Saturday here.  I’m waffling between taking a nap and going more chores.  I got up very early this morning and now at 1:29pm I have completed a full day’s work.  Groceries are procured, from the very handsome, tattooed checker at the Publix.   I maybe regret not inviting him to the show tonight, but perhaps he’s married and our interaction was so pleasant that I didn’t want to taint it with anxiety or disappointment.  Laundry is done, though still demanding to be folded, but that won’t take but mere minutes and will probably be done shortly.  The kitchen is clean, the rugs are all shook out and vacuumed.  I hiked approximately 3 miles, maybe a third of it on rough trail, the rest paved.  The Greenway, where I hiked was filled with wildflowers, sprung forth from the rain Tropical Storm Lee dumped on us, I think. The insane abundance of flowers made for an equally insane abundance of butterflies. And despite the parking lot being full, I passed very few people in the park. A lovely morning all around.  I hit some garage sales on thw way back, though didn’t buy anything.  Yes, perhaps a nap is in order.  The only drawback is that this is Tennessee so I can’t go nap in the grass for fear of chiggers and ticks.  Still it’s been an abundantly lovely day, still to filled with meeting up with friends and going to see my friend play live music.  I have fantastic new shoes and clothes to wear out and maybe I’ll put up my hair.

I’d write more but it would only be about work or drama or other things less joyous than a beautiful Saturday, so I’ll save it, perhaps for a rainier day or lazier Sunday.

Tomorrow I leave on a week long vacation.  Two vacations, really.  One more busy, businessy, with family and some friends and one, shorter, alone in a city I’ve never been to before.  The kind of trip I used to take all the time before the events of recent years seem to have diminished my spirit and filled me with fear.  I am nervous, but reasonably so, more concerned with cancelled flights and travel problems than with being alone, traveling alone or going into the unknown.  This is perhaps the biggest indication of how far away I am from the person I was at the beginning of this year.

I am trying to resist the urge to reach out to Hawthorn and tell him how much I miss him.  Because truthfully, while I do miss him, my motive is t make him him feel bad and it’s a terrible and petty impulse.  I’m moving on better than I’d imagined.  I believe there was magic the ceremony I performed the other night, or perhaps just simple power of ritual.  I’ve felt so much better since then.  The sadness, the loneliness, the sense of abandonment and bad decisions and everything else from the relationship is still there, still be dealt with a processed but it just doesn’t bite like it did.  As if it is merely a dull ache now, rather than a stabbing pain.  Now I fight with myself to be a better person, to not give into the impulse to try and make him feel bad.  I’m angry now, I feel maltreated, by Hawthorn, by myself, by circumstances beyond either of our control.  I want apologies and I want some acknowledgement of how hard it’s been for me, how much I’ve been wronged.  I’m not sure I’ll get it. And I’ll have to learn to accept that.  Hopefully I’ll get there without stooping to petty tactics meant only to incite.

I have vacation before me, days of new experiences.  Time to reflect and much time to busy to even think about my problems.  A week outside my head, outside my life and outside my problems.  And when I return home, Hawthorn will be gone on his own vacation, leaving me a week to adjust to life without him, to not even having to see him at work, to settle myself back into being myself and ready to deal with whatever is coming next in my life.

I had a long drive this weekend (lots of time to think) and an excellent visit with Wisteria. She (probably unknowingly) made me feel much better and much more normal about how I’ve been feeling in relation to Hawthorn (in as much as it hasn’t been that long and it’s okay to still be working through the break up especially with dealing with him every day).  I do, after the long meditative drive, feel as if I am really ready to step into the next part of my life, even if it’s struggle.  Tonight I am going to do a smudging ritual and ceremony for finding myself again.  Something symbolic for moving forward and shaking off the negativity of the past.

Little time for writing today, but here’s the email I sent Cedar last night about my weekend:

I spent a third of my weekend in the car going to and from the mountains, a third of it having the strangest dreams, and a third of it gasping for breath while one of my closest friends and I tried to fit in every word about everything we’ve been thinking and doing recently.  I’m not sure I feel reborn yet, but the cobwebs they are brushed away from the windows and the light is streaming in and maybe it’s time to start cleaning everything else.

I told [Hawthorn] on Thursday, in no uncertain terms, that our relationship is friendly, but work only.  I took him off Facebook and every other place that I might accidentally ‘see’ him and get upset. I asked him not to contact me outside work hours unless it was a genuine emergency until such a time as I decide I want it otherwise.  I told the terms of this agreement to [Juniper], the owner of [workplace], to [Wisteria] the friend I visited this weekend, and to everyone who reads my Facebook.  I have cried so much this week and I just can’t do it anymore. I have to move on and I don’t even like the thing I’m hanging on to. [Juniper] said out loud what I have long thought, that [Hawthorn] has been entirely selfish in every interaction we’ve had, that he’s completely had his way, had everything he wanted in every stage of our relationship.  And it isn’t fair and I don’t want it any more.  I want it my way, period. [Wisteria] pointed out that it hasn’t even been a year since we broke up and I’ve had to see him every single day so how could I let go? And so I haven’t.  But you know, the sex wasn’t even that good, he often left me feeling like he wasn’t listening even when what I was saying important, and he never respected the boundaries I tried to set.  He did set a good example on a lot of fronts and left me with a list a good traits that the next one should have.  But he isn’t good enough for me and he was nice enough to me but he never treated me like I was the greatest, smartest, most beautiful strongest and most valuable thing he had and I don’t think I can settle for any less than that.

For the last three years I have felt so stuck and lost.  Like some crucial spark, some extra piece that is what makes me special has been missing. Like everyone recognizes the awesome outer shell but I have to hide that what ever was supposed to be inside is missing. I have good friends, close ones, forever ones and yet I’ve still felt isolated, somehow on the outside of my own life.  I’ve lost sight of my plans for the future, of the things I do best and of this awesome 16 year old girl I used used to be, who I’ve always kept in my heart and checked in with to make sure I was straying too far from the right path.

I’m not blaming myself for any of this, I’m not carrying the weight of it any more.  I’m just releasing all of it and moving forward.  I’m not even looking for who I used to be, just going forward into who I am going to be.  I’m terrified and exhausted from carrying the weight of the past, but I’m just rushing headlong into it.

You have been a strong, bright light for me.  Somehow you manage to make me feel completely at ease no matter what.  You are the best part of every one of my days that you touch. I don’t know that I can express my appreciation of every word you write me.  So thank you for that.

I don’t know what happens now.  I’ve driven hours and sat down immediately write this, so now I’m gonna eat, shower, and go to bed.  And find out what happens tomorrow.  I hope there’s a wink of your bright light in many of my future days.

I hope I can hold on to as positive as I’m feeling about this today for a while.  I’m going to conscript Dandelion into a once a week activity with me.  I’ve already expressed to a group of friends my need for more contact.  I am ready to go back to living my own life, by myself, on my own terms.

L’Chaim!

Paraphrased from something meaningful, but badly written I found around the net: Because when you have passion with a person, you create attraction, which is learned. The longer you spend time together in an affectionate way, the more you reinforce those emotions.

And because I’ve reached (finally?) the Jawbreaker-lyrics-are-so-meaningful-and-pertinent stage of the break up, from ‘Jet Black’: This is the cure, same as the symptom.  In which the symptom is Hawthorn leaving me, and the cure is leaving him.

No more “I wish I could quit you” moments.  I’ve set boundaries with Hawthorn (again), this time making him invisible from my social networks and asking him to not contact me outside work.  I’ve said that a casual lunch is fine on work day and we can talk about every day things, but that I’d like to do our best to remove all person closeness, intimacy and socialization outside of work from our current relationship.  I feel like I’m mourning this all over again for billionth time but I feel better about it.  I’m working on some sort of ritual removal of him from my life.  I don’t have letters to burn or anything but I’m discarding hundreds of saved emails, I’m deleting saved links of things to share with him and doing my best to engage myself with my friends so I have less time to wallow in my own head.  Wish me luck, it feels like jumping off a cliff.  But into a pool of cool water and not an endless crevasse.

Jet Black by Jawbreaker:

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I am having a really hard time this week.  I can not seem to pull it together to stop feeling self pitying and miserable.

It’s not just feeling down or blue.  I feel incredibly lonely, isolated and abandoned.  I know a lot of it comes from Hawthorn’s recent actions.  And the fact that he’s just a selfish asshole.  I so want to be over him already, over anything to do with him.  I wish my needing to have a job didn’t require me to share physical space with him every day.

I need to restructure my entire social life.  How I’m spending my time, who I’m spending it with, what I’m doing.  But I feel exhausted and overwhelmed all the time as it is, so I’m unsure about how to set this in motion.

I had dinner with Oak last night, which was simultaneously mildly pleasant and utterly, unbelievably awful.  In the context of discussing his current relationship and my current status of not dating out of apathy, he essentially told me that there’s ten pretty, smart girls just like me for every unmarried, undamaged, not alcoholic single guy my age (and that that ratio was even less in my favor in the city in which I live).  So I shouldn’t even bother dating and that I better figure out what I’m doing for work or decide that I like where I am because at my age my chances of meeting anyone are slim and as a woman probably whatever career I have now I’ll still be doing when I’m 60.  So I better pick something and settle into it, since I’m sure not to have anything else in my life until I die.   And on any regular day I’d just think he was a jerk that is wrong, but since I was already feeling defeated the entire evening was a huge blow to my sense of self worth.

I am at the beginning of two very long work days right now and won’t have any down time or even enough sleep to deal with any of this.  I’d like to meditate, I’d like to read.  I’d like to do some writing exercises or call a friend, but alas, it seems I will be working or sleeping from now until late, late Friday without reprieve.

I survived the dentist initial appointment.  The prognosis isn’t as bad as I’d feared.  Lots of work done in the next couple months, but then shiny new teeth!  Healthier mouth! Improved self confidence!  Hopefully it won’t be too painful, but the new dentist was really nice.

I am trying to focus on the next few steps to getting my health back in order.  August is filled with travel and lots of work, but hopefully I can start on medical doctor appointments in September and move toward getting the rest of me straightened out.

Overall I think I continue to be on an upswing, although Hawthorn is certainly dating again and that knocked me back a bit.  I feel wretchedly sad and incredibly hurt by it, though at the same time I am so so so so very tired of feeling like this, of being upset over him, of the whole thing.  I am really trying to shake it off in as much as that may be possible.  Looking back to the questions I’ve answering here recently, indeed, what if I didn’t need to punish myself? I mean, really, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t.  And not just because it’s unproductive and damaging, but because Hawthorn seems to be doing enough of it himself with his poor timing and selfish insensitivity.

Things I clearly should have been meditating on over the weekend instead of being miserable about Hawthorn (though in my defense, I woke up sick on Saturday and he thrust the news of the dating on me immediately by texting me and telling me I needed to read his email right now, so he could be simultaneous cowardly and callous about his ‘news’) that I meant to write about last week:

“My song requires them all.”  I do need to work more on being grateful for what I have.   I am very aware of being a ‘have’ rather than a ‘have not.”  I live in the safest, cleanest, most comfortable time in history.  I live in the lap of luxury compared the majority of people int he world in my era.  I am surrounded by beauty and I want for nothing.  It’s hard to enjoy and take in stride because I just feel so bad all the time and I perpetuate it by making myself feel worse, as if I need to punish myself more for not enjoying what I have.  I will love the day.  Today I love to gorgeous mist that spread over fields of grazing horses as I drove to work.  I love the ease and convenience of my life.  I love the choices I have, even when they seem to scary to make.  I will love this day.  I will love this day.

And from here I steal only one small line, “At the same time, I’m grateful that I’m sad, because if I wasn’t, that would mean I never had any good times…” I am grateful for my sadness, as per above, because my song does require them all. I can not know, can not recognize my future joy (which I’m sure is coming) unless I have something to contrast it against.  I can not see the color purple unless I know all the other colors exist.

I will do more to embrace the whole.  I will find joy in every day and I will love that day for every experience it brought me.  Every minute of all of it moves me along, moves me toward the future, which is unknown and will contain suffering, but surely will contain equal parts of joy and love to balance out the loss.  I believe this and I will try to be better at living it.  Into every garden rain must fall to bring the flowers, winter must come to renew the earth.  Even as my own personal rain falls now, it surely must mean that spring awaits.

I’ve been reading this post and answering the questions to myself for a while.  I’ve addressed the first few here.  Now I think I’ll take the last three together.

4. What if what I need is already here?
5. What if I didn’t have to figure it all out?
6. What if exactly what I need is happening already?

These are all really hard for me.  Like Zen koans or maybe just something I can’t quite wrap my head around yet like “letting go.”

I know everything I need is already here, in my mind, in my body, in my life. But it’s like I can’t quite access it in the right way.  Much like I know I need to let go of my jealousy and desires to end suffering, I get it, I’m just not sure exactly how I do it.  When I let go of my negative emotions instead of clinging to them, when I forgive myself, will I suddenly be free to access all the power and good that is inside myself?

The last two questions seem like subsets of four.  Or maybe I just answer them in similar ways.  I know I don’t have to figure it all out, how could I?  But how do I know I’m even seeking the right answers?  How do I know I’m on the true and moral path? How do I figure those things out? Do I not worry about answers and just do what I think is best?  And surely what I need is happening?  I am healing, maybe too slowly, maybe just right.  How could now be anything other than what I need? Even when it’s bad the idea that right now is providing less than I need is incomprehensible.  The idea of it seems past some line of abject misery, far into despair.

Hmm, I’m trying to address these as I did the others and I can’t. I believe this is because I’ve already reached some level of release with these.  I don’t need to learn that I’m all I need, that every healing tool is inside me, that the future is unknown and seeking answers leads to insanity, that I need to be in now, that the answers from now will reveal themselves later.  The initial questions:

1. What if there was nothing I needed to fix in me?
2. What if I didn’t have to punish myself to get the lesson?
3. What if I didn’t have to apologize?

still hold some stumbling blocks for me, but I think, overall, I’m doing better with those than I was even a few weeks ago.

I did make my dentist appointment.  One more step along the path of recovery of my full self!

One of the best thing about having a website is tracking the search terms people have found your site with. Some of these are obvious but many are serious what the fucks.  I kind of want to write a post themed around these, together or individually.

Search terms that found me here:

images of bridges burning
prince charming
last night i fucked your boyfriend russia
chinese symbol for mental health recovery
flammarion
oxbow lakes
lonely girl in rain
birthday chipmunk
healing with the fairies trust
better than any drug
feeling blue proverbs
emotions mouths
i dreamt i cut out my toung
doesn t respect my boundaries
peacot
its everything nice.tumblr
bluestarchickadee
sleepy wombat
i wish someone would take care of me
i am very dangerous don’t get too close
cherry petals wind
vajíčka
which one is harder, “the rock” or “the hard place
if something starts to angle it?
why does facebook give me the option to like my own status. of course i like my status, i’m fucking hilarious and sexy.
hit at sternal angle code blue
astrology and chickadee
background of thinking lonely
alley in southern spain
my safe bedroom with teddy bear
do not mess with blue
charming prince with flowers

I’m back from a short vacation.  I always imagine that every trip I take will be life altering.  And I guess it is, just not necessarily in an immediate, choirs from heaven showing me the answer kind of way.  This trip, while fun, was exhausting both emotionally and physically.  Despite have spent all of yesterday evening doing nothing I find myself still wiped and barely able to think.

In a way the best part of my trip was going to breakfast with Dandelion before she took me to the airport.  It was really good to connect with her again.  You know how some friends can drift on an out of your life and some when you see them, not matter how far between, you are instantly back at a point of mutual understanding an love?  It was like that.  I gave her sort of a short run on down on the past couple years (and didn’t have to explain a lot of background because with good friends it’s just like that) and the only really painful emotional response I had to talking about stuff was about my teeth.

I spent a lot of the weekend meditating on that. So while I know a lot of my suffering over Hawthorn is about me feeling I’m not good enough or not feeling the confidence I once had and some other things that are purely about me.  I wonder how much of that is actually tied into my health and my view of myself after the accident where I lost my teeth.  My mouth hasn’t been comfortable since then, I worry about it a lot, I have terrible dreams about losing my teeth and I still suffer some pain, both from the original problem and the surgeries and solutions after.

So I am resolved to see a dentist this month and find out how much it will cost to get my teeth fixed. Really fixed, like the underlying problems, my bite problems and the cosmetic issues.  I will try and figure out how much I can get insurance to pay and I will borrow the rest.  I think if I can get past the dental anxiety (which is great, I’m crying just typing this up) and get to a place where my smile is pretty and I’m confident that I won’t just be losing teeth or physically suffering that that will go a long, long, long way towards getting me back to myself.

That’s my plan for August, to at least make the initial appointment and find out all the work I still need done and how much it’s going to cost. And spend more time with Dandelion and my other friends, as I will surely need as much support as I can possibly get through all of this.

I promised myself  when I started this blog that I would keep it going for one year. I’m just past the halfway point and my interest in talking about problems is definitely flagging.  It’s not that I don’t have problems, they are just the same ones and I don’t know how many times I can tell myself to just get over it, that I need to work on letting things go, that I need to give myself a break.  So if I’m going to keep this up, I need to figure out a different tack to take.

I think I am in a better place than I when I started this.  I thought about going back to the beginning and revisiting some early posts for comparison but that seems like it’s asking to recreate heartache and I have no interest in that.  As I said, my problems are even starting to bore me, so doubling up talking about them surely isn’t the way to go.  Making a list of good things in a given day/week seems so forced and alien to me that the few experiments I’ve done with it were very unsatisfying.   Still I doubt I can maintain this a dumping ground for my troubles and my drama so positivity seems the only direction to go.  Maybe my best bet is to do what I set out to do, which is talk about things I”m not talking about anywhere else.

I’ve been reading a lot lately.  This is my personal, classic escape and it’s good one.  Not only do books take me to place out side my troubled mind, but even the trashiest of novels gives me something new to think about.  Based on limited research, I’d say that prolonged reading actually pulls me out of myself enough, over a period of time to leave in a new place at the end.  It’s not a cure per se, but if I am remembering correctly, it has boosted me out of some pretty low places.  Also it seems to send my thinking to enough different places that I end up feeling more creative.  And sometimes affects my dreams.

I finished the 7th Sookie Stackhouse book before bed last night (sidenote, reading does, unfortunately interfere with how much I sleep, as often I’d rather read than do ANYTHING else) and this morning I awoke from a dream in which I was the main character.  Except in my dream there were no vampires, nothing supernatural, and my maybe gonna be my new man was Anderson Cooper, and that parts of Eric and Bill were played by (no shock here) Oak and Hawthorn.  Okay brain, thanks for giving me a gay man as my dream ideal.  No more guacamole before bed for you.

I also had the weirdest memory while reading earlier in the evening. Just a really clear memory of the entirety of The Monster at the End of This Book.  The whole ‘plot,’ followed by a memory of  getting that book out of the library multiple times when I couldn’t have been more than six or seven.  I remember pouring over the book, finishing it and starting it right over again.   One reading of this book reveals the secret, that the monster Grover is so afraid of is just him, lovable, furry Grover.  What spurred this memory? That all our monsters are only ourselves, or created ourselves or to be discovered in ourselves, or something not to be afraid of after all.  What was I looking for, pouring over this book as a small child?  Did it just tickle me that he was so silly to be wrong every time I read it?  Is there a deeper philosophical means in the story?

There isn’t much more lonely than being sick when you live alone.  Ugh.  I mean I’m sweaty and nasty and not fit for company, but still I wish there was someone who’d bring me water and  make me soup and feel sorry for me.  Bleh.

I went on my first date since Hawthorn and I broke up last night.  It was fine.  I mean it wasn’t unpleasant or bad or anything.  I didn’t suffer in any way during it.  But he held no real attraction for me and after the fact I liked him less and less the more I thought about it. It felt like there was some small measure of meanness inside him, buried under a façade of jollity.  And he kept interrupting me, like I don’t think I finished more than half the stories I told before he jumped in to tell something.  But it’s out of the way, it’s done, and I guess it’s a step in moving on.

And I think while talking about the date in advance I articulated where I am at with Hawthorn right now.  I think I won’t feel better until he tells me he made terrible, terrible mistake by leaving me and then we can shake hands and agree that it’s best this way anyhow.  I just want him to feel at least a little of the loss I feel.  And no, I don’t think he’ll ever say that.  I did point out recently to him that all the things I said about his choices and what he should be doing with his life and how we should have approached our relationship, things I said two years ago that all turned out to be true and I got very heartfelt, ‘you were right and I was wrong,’ so that was nice.  He’s apologized for essentially taking me down with him when he wasn’t being aware enough about what he needed in life to recover from his own divorce.  He’s apologized for not taking my counsel on that topic when I offered it.  But I’m still not sure he knows just how much he hurt me and I’m pretty sure I won’t completely forgive him until he says I was the best thing that ever happened to him and he shouldn’t have let me get away.  Which he will surely never do.

Today’s answer is to the question: What if I didn’t have to apologize?  What if I didn’t have to apologize for being so hurt, so vulnerable, so open to love and so lost without it.  What if I didn’t have to apologize for needing so much time to myself, so much time to recover, so much space to heal?  What if I didn’t have to apologize for taking so long to find my place in a world I never expected to be in?  What if I didn’t have to apologize for being who I am?

If I made a mistake in all of this it was being to open to the possibilities of this world, of being too caring, too willing to give and receive love.  I will not apologize for my mistakes here anymore.  I will try and try to learn and grow and to still be that person, to be open to the possibilities the world offers, the good possibilities, even if the end result means another mistake to not be apologized for.

Hawthorn and I are back to being best friends which is to say hanging out, talking more openly and having a much more clearly defined only friends boundary.  I’m still upset about it.  I’m really trying to let it go and move on.  I’m not even sure why I’m so upset.  I mean, honestly he would have driven me crazy eventually.  I can see clearly all the reasons it wouldn’t work out between us in the long run.  And yet, I’m still really grieving over that relationship.  I’m not sure if starting to date again will help or not.  I’m trying really hard not to just sit a dwell on my own sorrow over the whole thing.

I signed up for online dating (again) and have been futzing with it for about a week.  I have been actively trying to convince myself otherwise, but really, I find it more upsetting than useful, so probably I’ll shut it down again.  I’ve conversed with some seemingly interesting people, I guess.  But I can’t even really get excited about going out with any of them  And it feels more like unpleasant work to keep a conversation going than anything else.

I guess meeting someone else is the right step in getting past the Hawthorn thing? Even if it is only a rebound thing?  I don’t know.  I feel like I dealt with the whole situation alright for most the week but today I find myself really weepy and upset about it again.  I guess that I made it through more the 20 minutes with the online dating thing is progress, but I still burst into tears every time Hawthorn vaguely suggests that he might interested in casually seeing someone else in the future. Two steps forward, one step back, maybe?

The worst part is that I feel so frustrated and stonewalled by my own inability to deal with this.  I really don’t want to cry any more.  I don’t want to feel rejected and hurt.  I want to move on.  I really am trying to let go of it.  I mean it seems like seven months should be a fair amount of time to heal myself, at least of this little bit of my problems.  It seems no one has advice for me beyond being more active, going out and meeting people.  And I am exercising a lot more, but I feel like I have enough energy(mentally and emotionally) to go to work, to manage my interactions with my family and to barely maintain my close long standing friendships.  The idea of going out more, socializing more, just seems like a huge burden.  But I don’t want to be stuck here alone with my problems.  The idea of finding something else to focus on, to think about, to be involved in is great but I just can’t seem to get there.  I kind of wish someone else would just take responsibility and tell me what to do.  Give me a task to deal with each day and hold me accountable to moving forward.  Though truthfully that seems like so much pressure that I would just crumble under it.

I need to remind myself that I have good days and bad days.  The bad days seem farther apart and less frequent.  I am progressing.  Today’s positivityWhat if I didn’t have to punish myself to get the lesson? I mean I’m pretty sure there’s enough sadness and suffering int he world without me making more for myself, right?  I will try and treat myself as kindly as I treat my friends when they are hurting.  I am not going to ask what is wrong with me, because nothing is wrong with me.  I cannot berate myself into feeling better.  I will not bring myself down more by being angry with myself for feeling hurt.  I will try to break the cycle of being hurt by things I can not control.

I feel yucky today.  It’s been a Monday for sure, already, even this early, and it’s hot here.  Like severe weather warning hot.  Ugh.  I have what feels like a blechy, blechy hangover.  I suspect it’s from crying so much in the last few days in the yucko heat.  Last Thursday morning Hawthorn told me he was in agreement with me that we should just be a friends (in regards to my boundary setting of the past few weeks) and that he was going to start seeing other people, cue me falling into a wretched puddle. It felt like, well it felt like when we first broke up.  I spent most of the weekend  crying, meditating, talking to a few friends and having some fairly intense exchanges with Hawthorn.  It’s all wound down now, or worn itself out, or I’ve worn myself out about it.  We seem to be basically where were before, good friends, no possibility of getting back together.  I’ve gotten maybe 3 of the 5 apologies I think he owes me.

I feel better about the level open communication we have.  I feel glad to have him as my friend.  I honestly do think us getting back together would be a terrible idea. And still the thought of him finding someone else knots my stomach and makes me want to choke on my own sadness.  I recognize that a lot that comes from my own issues and my perception of the situation: if he wants to be with someone else that means he broke up with me because I’m not good enough, not because he wasn’t ready for a relationship.   I’m trying really hard to let that go and make the space for both of us to move on.  It sucks still.

To that end this week I’m going to work as much as I can on these questions.  I was reaching the point that I felt like I needed to figure out what was behind my jealousy and what was making hold on to all the hurt from that relationship then the universe just slapped me in the face with it.  I guess maybe I need to speed up my emotional transformation or something.  So today is question 1:  I am enough, worthy and good.  I do not need to be fixed.  I am strong enough and smart enough for everything that faces me.  I will continue to work to heal my own wounds, but I am not those wounds, not defined by them and I did not get them because I deserved them.  They were an accident that I can recover from because I am worthy of feeling whole and healthy and good.

Work has become intense and hard and certainly stressful.  But it isn’t boring and it’s been really nice to have stress directed at problems that seem solvable.  I mean, it’s work, it’s not like any of it is surmountable there, even if I make a mistake it gets repaired and the task completed.  Much better than my personal life.

It does leave me exhausted.  I”m pretty sure I’ve watched more TV in the last couple weeks than in the last six months put together. I don’t feel guilty about it.  I was thinking yesterday that maybe it’s a year for me to heal myself from where I started.  So I’m six months in and maybe the rate of recovery has slowed, but it’s still steady.  And I’m getting better about forgiving myself.  About not pressing myself.  About giving myself time. And right now everything I have to give goes into work.  Which is good because I don’t have much else to think about.  Which is bad because I should probably have something additional to focus on.

I think I’m doing as good a job as I can of working, albeit slowly, through my problems.  Where I’m stuck right now is Hawthorn. I’ve made it clear to him that there is no future for us outside of friendship.  I think I’ve convinced myself of that as well. However, I’m still struggling with this sense of being abandoned.  I can’t seem to get past this jealousy that just eats at me when he seems to be making new friends and moving on with his life.  With this sense that I just wasn’t good enough.  Or that there’s something wrong with me that caused to me to make the decisions that led me to get so hurt.  And I feel like if I can just get past this, then I can really move on.  But even as I recognize, more clearly, what my current problem is, I’m not sure exactly what to do.  Let go of it.  Just let it go.  Still as always I know that’s the answer, but I never know how or what exactly that means.

Also I cried my eyes out watching a movie a couple days ago and realized about halfway through that I was just crying.  Just crying at the movie because it was sad.  Not so filled with my own misery.  I guess it’s been a month or more since I was crying almost every day.  Which means I feel better. I mean I still feel a vast internal emptiness, and a lack of sense of place in the world.  Like I haven’t yet found all the pieces of myself.  But the shell outside is definitely thinker and harder.  Becoming strong enough to keep all the pieces in once I locate them.

I feel like this journal has been a description of the path that’s gotten me here.  I actually sat down to read some back entries, but I can’t.  It’s like the path only goes forward and I can’t yet pause and look to see how far I’ve come.  I’ve just got to keep going.

Spurred on by the success of several friends and multiple recent conversations about needing to meet people I tried online dating.  Or I guess I should say I considered online dating.  I got as far as creating a user name on a dating site and looking through 15 pages of tiny thumbnail pics of guy in my age range near my zip code before I deleted my as yet uncreated profile and cried for an hour.

So either I’m not ready to start dating again, I’m suffering from worse social anxiety around meeting new people than I thought, or the potential dating pool in my area is really distressing.  No lie, the very first guy that looked halfway decent, clicking on his profile immediately produced “I have three cats” and “I really want kids.”  It’s like my own personal dating hell, unmarried 40ish guys desperate to procreate, fat guys who think they deserve a supermodel, self involved pseudointellectuals who are more interested in appearance than actual intelligence, and guys who seem convinced that their love of jesus will make you want them.  *shudder*  Yeah, I don’t think I’m interested in jumping back into the dating pool.

And here it is Friday night.  I haven’t called any of my friends to go out, or gotten dressed to go out on my own to a regular haunt.  Instead I’m sitting around in my underwear, in my too hot house, watching crappy straight to video romantic comedies and being irritated with myself for not working on any of the multiple creative projects I have strewn about, half done and languishing.

I’m fairly certain that my current wave of self loathing is brought by hormones and work being really stressful.  Sadly I was just discussing in detail how much my wild mood swings bother me earlier today.  It’s like I set myself up for it to happen.

Friday and I’m probably just going to finish writing this and go to bed.  I need to figure out how to make my weekend positive.  My plans were to go to the flea market with Hawthorn, then clean my house and go grocery shopping and finish a web project I promised a friend and hopefully work on something satisfyingly creative for myself.  But it appears the plans with Hawthorn have derailed (by the inclusion of his 18yo son and said son’s friends, which just seems like it would make the flea market awkward, tedious and really uncomfortable for me).  So that leaves me with chores, more chores, some other chores and hopes that I can pull it together to do something I enjoy. As a weekend prospect, that seems pathetic event o me, who would usually rather be left alone at home. And yet I am not at all motivated to try and make a new plan and get out and do something.

I spent part of the week mulling over how I felt after Cedar was here and how I felt while I was back home.  My conclusions were that I need to meet more people, socialize more, find some friends who share my interests (who aren’t Hawthorn).  I also decided that I feel like work is my secret identity.  It’s my Clark Kent costume of middle aged, practical, uncoolness.  It’s just that I seem to be that person all the time lately.  I need to unleash my inner superhero.  I need to dress up and go out and be awesome.  To remind other people how amazing I am and to display it enough to myself so that I don’t forget again. And yet here I find myself with 60 hours stretching in front of me, with which I can do anything I want and the best I can manage is pouting about the monkey wrench in the lame plans I had and going grocery shopping. As I said, unmotivated.

Maybe my expectations are too high?  I don’t want to waste my time going out because it won’t be worth it? Anxiety has something to do with it, but not as much as, uh, fear of failure, I guess? I need to go out and have fun in a low-key, stress-free, low expectation environment.  I’m not even sure how to do that.  Instead I’m going to sleep and hope the wild mood swing is in the POSITIVE position when I wake up.

Okay, so back to that guy I mentioned in my last post.  Here’s an abbreviated, but pretty accurate replay of the conversation we had last Friday:

him – “Are you still seeing the same guy?”
me  – “No, not anymore”
him – “Are you seeing someone else?”
me  – “no”
him – “how come?”
me  – “I don’t know, I guess there just aren’t any single guys in Nashville.”
him – “sure there are, maybe your standards are too high.”
me  – “Yes, my standards are no kids under 16, no cats, no alcoholics.”
him  – “Ha, yeah, no cats.
me  –  “I’m serious and not just because I’m allergic.”
him  – “No, I get it, 40 year old dude, lives alone, except for his three cats.  Yeah, that guy is not dateable.”
me  – “Right?”
(Let me interject here that I’ve known this guy casually for about 3 or 4 years and he has a 6 year old daughter and I’m pretty sure he’s married.  Or I was.)
him – “So you don’t date at all.”
me  – “Well, I’ve already been married once, and I don’t want kids, so I guess I have time to be picky.”
him – “You don’t want to get married again?”
me  – “I’m not against it, I’m just not planning for it or looking for it.”
him – “Yeah, I don’t think I’d get married again.”
me  – “Yeah.”
him – “Maybe I’d marry for money.”
me  – “Well, sure.”
him – “Or for foreign citizenship.”
me  – “Definitely.”
him – “We should go for drinks sometime.”
me  – “Okay, sure.”   (I swear, it was like a Jedi mind trick, by this point I was just agreeable.)

So I was pretty sure this guy was married (or still married, since I”d met his wife a while back and hadn’t heard differently) and that he was asking me out platonically, just a social hang.  But then the more I thought about it, I started to feel unsure.  And weird because I wouldn’t have agreed to go if I thought he meant like an actual date.

So last night I did go out for a drink with him and now I’m still confused, but in a different way.

It wasn’t a date.  He did pick me up, and walk me to my door after, but he didn’t buy my drinks.  He is married, happily I’d guess (though we mostly talked about me).  He did not make a move on me.  He did ask me lots of questions about myself and what I want out of life (in that way I associate with guys feeling you out on the first date, whether they are actually curious or just think they are supposed to pretend to listen to you talk).  He recommended me some self-help-y Buddhist books, he gave me a detailed pep-talk on how amazing I am and smart and how I would always land on my feet and I could go anywhere and do anything.  And then he told me to call him any time if I just wanted to hang out.  I feel confused and like maybe my friends put him up this, except I don’t have any friends that would do that.

Seriously though, at what point does some random acquaintance show up, recognize that you need to get out more, take you out, gently prod you about what direction you need to go in life (I was telling a friend recently that part of my problem is that I don’t have life goals the way I used too and last night, like the second thing this guy asked me was what my goals were and then proceeded to tell me that I should always have goals even if they changed every day or were unattainable–which is exactly how I feel and why I realized it felt weird that I didn’t have any), and then give you a massive, unsolicited pep talk about making change and moving forward in your life?

So there’s still time for me to meet my goal of meeting one new person, but I’m counting this encounter as that anyway, because I guess I just made a new friend?

Let’s get this show back on the road, yeah?  I definitely need to spend more time writing, thinking and working on my shit and less time shopping for shoes.  Shoes only so temporarily fill the void, you know?  Still the latest shipping binge did leave me with some great date outfits. Assuming anyone ever asks me out again.  Well, actually some one did ask me out, in a round about way and I’m still not sure exactly if it was platonic asking because, erm, I’m not sure if he’s married or divorced.  So that’s weird, he was a casual about the asking and he hasn’t called, so I’m gonna assume it was casual.

The last two guys I’ve set my sights on were utterly unavailable.  One turned out to be married and the other chose celibacy (not over me, I guess he chose it before I got there, ugh).  And after my recent trip home I”m definitely feeling the lack of eligible, single men here.  So I guess I need to get out more?  To places that aren’t my job or the grocery store. Stop going to events with Hawthorn?  I can remember a time, just a few years ago, when I would have laughed at anyone who said it was hard to meet people.  I didn’t do anything but meet people.  But now if I don’t want to hang out in bars or go to church I have no way to meet people.  Online dating seems creepy or like only a way to hook up.  I’m not against hooking up, but I’m not sure I need online to find hook ups.

So that feels like an unsolvable problem.

Then there’s the somewhat surmountable problem of doctors’ appointments I need to go to but haven’t yet made. Still dealing with a ton of anxiety and hell over that stuff.

Yep, goals for this week:

  1. Finish project for my friends that I over committed myself on.
  2. Meet one new person.
  3. Make one doctor’s appointment.
  4. Write two more blog entries here about real things going on with me.

Doable, hopefully!

And in an effort to continue to remember goodness, here’s three things that were good recently:

  1. Finding a dress I look great in.
  2. Waking up to the sound of the rain.
  3. Standing in a parking lot after a storm ans seeing a heron fly overhead.

 

I am really glad to be home from visiting my family.  I definitely do not want to move back to the city I’m from, and currently prolonged interaction with my family really stresses me out.  But I confess, I had a moment while there wondering why I would come back here.  My chosen home seemed empty and isolating, see in from a distance.  A city that contains only my tiny apartment, where I live alone and hide from the world; that contains Hawthorn and Oak and too few people that I really care to open up too; that contains oppressive heat and so many political view with which I don’t agree.  And yet, I am so very glad to be home.  It’s like I need to be here to remember the things I love about this place, about the South, about having my own life not tied to other people’s desires for me.

During my week with my family my mom and my sister managed to bicker so much that I teetered on the edge of telling them both to STFU, very out of character for me.  And my family, specifically my mom, my sister, one of my cousins, one of my aunts, and my mom’s best friend all made it very clear that they did not like Hawthorn.  They did not make it clear if they did not like him because he broke up with me so now they are all pointing out his negative qualities, or if they simply never liked him and now it’s okay to tell me.  Either way, grrrrr, not helpful at all.  And apparently they’ve been conspiring about how to get me back together with Oak.  They haven’t actually gone so far as to contact Oak yet, but I actually sort of fear that they will.

It makes me feel like everyone pities me and that no one thinks I can handle my own life and my own choices.  I’m pretty sure Hawthorn was a better boyfriend to me than Oak ever was.  I think he was more in it for liking me and enjoying my company and Oak, well, I’ve never been sure what he was in it for besides sex. He was never open enough with me for me to know. But all the women in my immediate family seem to have some fantasy based around how charming Oak can be when he turns it on. And I didn’t argue.  I didn’t say anything.  It just wasn’t worth it to me to spend time explaining how miserable he is internally and how hard it is to a carry that and how I felt like I spent our whole relationship either trying to cajole him to smile, or apologizing to bystanders for his negative attitude (which was subtle but prevalent).

I read Deathless on the plane (spoilers follow, though somewhat vague, but spoilers still) and it was filled with Russian fairytales and Soviet strangeness, but mostly it was just about a woman living her life, making some choices and having some made for her, all the while either trying to figure out who she was or going along with it.  Over the course of it she has two husbands (sort of simultaneously) and ends up alone when both eventually die.  When her first husband comes back to her he tells her that he understands that she never loved either of them less, that she could love endlessly, the way parents can love two children equally.  The two husbands could easily have been exceptionally exaggerated cartoons of Oak and Hawthorn as well.  In which she’s carried off by the first husband (Oak) and then somewhat ignored and unhappy with where she finds herself, she runs off with the second (Hawthorn) only to eventually take the first back, but not before making him suffer and prove his true love to her.  And then both are pretty much immediately killed before she has to make a real choice about it and she goes and lives long years, just doing her work and sort of loses herself.  Eventually she returns to herself and makes the long journey back to ‘home’ the land her first husband kidnapped her to.  Only to discover everyone there is dead and ghost and doesn’t remember her at all.  Finally she goes back to the burnt out home she shared with her first husband, having discovered she is a ghost herself and determines to find him or simply recreate him to spend eternity with.

There’s so many spun out metaphors in the story for me.  Not just the obvious relationship stuff, but about finding yourself, abd about what you see and how you see it differently from other people and how that makes you who you are.  It was thought provoking, not just to my current circumstances, but life in general and choices I’ve made have made me who I am and how they will continue to change me for my whole life.  It made me think a lot about who I will become and how I will get to that place.  It sort of made me remember myself, set me on a mental journey to get back to where I am supposed to be, I think.

I think I am in better place emotionally after my trip with Cedar and my trip back home.  Work is currently so overwhelming that it’s hard to think about anything else, which is not a bad thing for me right now.  The more I write about, log and think about how I’m feeling the more obvious the underlying hormonal and other mysteries of my physiology seem to be cyclically making me unhappy.  As if my own created unhappiness has been slowly draining away, leaving me with only something that can hopefully be controlled, or at least better understood.  I’m feeling very clear on how much I miss Hawthorn all the time and how much I don’t miss Oak.  I think my priority is to get completely back to myself, to finally get past the sense of loss from breaking up with Hawthorn.  I’m not sure exactly how to do that yet, but I’m working on it, like a background process that’s running out of sight until it can spit out an answer.   I no longer feel like I”m gasping for air, but rather that I can take at least one measured breath and look around me and wonder how I am going to get where I am going. And hey, where am I going anyway? Maybe I’ll try and take some more deep breaths and just look around for a while.

I’m not the kind of person who could say to someone, “I’m sorry but I don’t value your friendship enough to put up with your bullshit.” But I kind of wish I was.  Or I wish I could find a nice, drama free way to extricate myself from situations where I want to say that.  I feel so full of petty meanness sometimes that I might explode with it. Even when I know it isn’t petty meanness but just the realities of the world.

I’ve been paying lip service to simplifying my life for a long time.  Getting rid of things, less possessions, less, desire, less grief.  But I guess I need to get rid of people as much as I do my possessions.  I don’t need 75 half-assed friends any more than I need 12 places settings when I only own two chairs.  But it’s not like you can call people up and say, “Oh, by the way, I just don’t get enough out of this relationship to make up for the effort I’m willing to put into it.”  Though maybe the world would be better place if all said things like that when we really need too.

In my case I don’t think it would change much but maybe to alleviate some of my guilt.  I don’t have a lot of external drama in my life, I don’t stand for it from other people.  I guess I wish I had more to give the people I really love, the people I’ve shared my life with over the last 10, 15 and 20 years.  My emotional resources are still limited and I do feel some guilt that I’m not giving enough back to my friends.  So maybe that’s why I feel some need to pick and choose who my friends are, like I can only distribute so much so I need to make the pool smaller?  Ugh, that sounds petty and cruel too.

I don’t think this is something I’ll be acting on, but it’s definitely something to think about.  Maybe not exactly shrinking the pool of friends, but who I really want around me and why.  To that end I’ve told Hawthorn that I really need him and really want him, but only as a friend and that any incursions across that line will sever what we have. Cruel.  But necessary, I think, for both of us to know where we stand.  I don’t think there’s anything left to say to Oak.  Cedar told me that he loves me no matter what and wants me around whether it’s friendship or romance.  I’ve drawn a line at friendship there too. But that’s friendship I want, something that’s transcended 25 years and is still strong.  I hope I can have that with Hawthorn one day too.