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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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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.

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 am wiped, people.  I don’t even know what to say about the last week.

I think I feel better.  I’m still feeling around the edges of this.  The edges feel solid, but it might be hollow in the middle.

However that I feel better (maybe) seems weird as this week has been pretty sucky.  In reverse order:

Back at work after a to brief vacation.  I got a promotion, but, wow, I was not prepared for the focus and energy I’d need for my new job.  I feel good about my ability to learn it.  And honestly I’m kind of glad to have it to focus on.  Less time to worry pointlessly about things I can’t control.

My vacation ended, um, confusingly.  Wait, I’m going backwards, so between work restarting and vacation I had a cancer biopsy on, well, I’ll maintain some level of politeness and say that my stitches make peeing awkward, sitting can be uncomfortable and at no time would I feel comfortable telling a coworker where it is.  It was an unpleasant procedure, though the team that did it was great and made me feel as comfortable as possible.  I’m (probably overly) concerned about keeping it clean while it heals and hoping the location means it will heal faster than say my foot or my back would.

I came home from the procedure more distressed than I thought I’d be.  I tried to distract myself by cleaning up the post house guest untidiness.  While doing the dishes a pipe connector broke and water started pouring over my feet.  I got the water off, threw down some towels and stood at the sink and sobbed for my mom. Who lives 2500 miles away.  As I pulled myself back together my amazing landlord and friend came and fixed the sink, cleaned the mess and even ran the heap pf wet towels through the laundry.  Later my mom called and successfully distracted me until bedtime, with many reminders to take of myself since a removal biopsy is trauma, it seems small but a centimeter of flesh lost wasn’t meant to happen to your body.

The entire biopsy was misery, I still don’t have the results and the stitches are awful.  This has been the delineating line between my vacation and my return to my new position at work.  And my vacation ended confusingly.

I didn’t sleep with Cedar. But only because he had the presence of mind to slow it down before it went to far.  But that was the last of our trip: we kissed, groped, fondled and pushed the bounds of intimacy. Then we slept and I took him straight to the airport with everything unresolved.

The thing is I decided before the trip started that I needed a friend more than I needed a vacation lover or possible complicated long distance relationship.  We very much enjoyed each other’s company on the trip.  It was a good trip.  Mind clearing, beautiful, full of the small, good kind of unexpected.  For days and days, nothing but sky and green and back roads and music.   Silence for all the right long stretches of time, good conversation in between.

The trip was only marred by being a little rainy and cool, and the occasional text from Hawthorn expressing a previously unknown amount of jealousy about me being with anyone else.  I tersely reminded him that he broke up with me and didn’t get to even comment on what I did now (much later, post trip, when he was consoling me I pulled out the big guns and meanly made him feel like utter shit about it).

In the aftermath of all of it I realized that what I’ve been wanting is Hawthorn back, things back the way they were. But now I know I could never accept that.  It isn’t a possibility.  I just don’t think I could ever trust him again.  And ironically it was his expression of jealousy that made me realize this.  Like he could decide not to want me and I could mourn and mourn and mourn, but if decides again after all that that he wants me then he’s untrustworthy.  Because when will he decide again that he doesn’t want me? I couldn’t go through it again.  I couldn’t even go through the possibility of being with him always filled with doubt that some unknown action of mine would make him change my mind again.

So I guess that’s a relief. I still feel sadness over the loss of our relationship, but in just a few short days I feel more calm around Hawthorn and less broken up by every interaction.

As for Cedar, I just don’t know. I haven’t really processed it all.  In the short, I feel like I do need a friend more than a complicated romance. There isn’t more to say about it right now.  I’m just giving it time.  That last interaction we had was so sexually charged, but somehow it was only about me. I don’t mean that negatively.  I feel like I gained power.  Or like maybe I found power I thought I had lost forever.

Still it’s all very jumbled emotionally for me. I’m trying to just let it all go, all out into the universe.  What returns, returns.  I’m just to tired to worry about it any more.  For now I want to be better at my job.  I want to make my home more my own, not just filled with things, but filled with things I made with my hands.  I want to read books and watch TV.  I want to sleep late and get my chores done.  Every minute of the last two years, every interaction with Oak, every second I spent longing for something else from Hawthorn has drained me.  I feel like I’ve been struggling for so long, grasping for emotional straws only to keep getting shoved below the metaphorical water, where I can’t breathe.  I’m not struggling and it turns out I float okay.  So I’m just gonna hang here for a bit and breathe big lungfuls of air. Recharge until it’s time to actually swim for something.  Until I know which direction to swim.

There’s obviously so much more to say, but that’s what this time I’m giving myself is for, right? Thinking it out until it’s clear enough to say.

I had a great visit with my cousins.  It was fun to get out and do touristy Nashville things again. It was really fun to get to hang out with them. I talked A LOT. I talked a lot about me.  I was roughly 16 when they were born and so it’s only recently that we’ve been close enough age to really socialize, so I told them a lot about myself at their ages and things I’ve done with my life.  It was an interesting exercise to review and remember how many awesome things I’ve done (especially from their roughly 23yo perspectives).  It was sort of a confidence building experiment for me.

There was a lot of anxiety in the visit for me as well.  It’s hard to have house guests.  I worry too much over things I can’t control, even things that shouldn’t be worrisome. Plus there were huge storms and tornadoes here during their visit so some of my worry wasn’t even unnecessary.

I’m still very much struggling with how to find the balance I need to continue to get better.  I feel so much better than I did four months ago, but recognize how much further I still have to go.

I’ve been meditating a little on this post from Tiny Buddha.  I find I feel like I’m still missing some piece of where my anxiety is coming from.  I wonder, perhaps, if too much of my attention on it has been focused outward, on the robbery and the dental troubles and the break-ups.  I haven’t been looking at the internal stuff, much of which I think is the same as the article author’s: high insecurity and excessive need for validation, plus a hard time recognizing who I am, rather than who I was, and no clue who I want to become.

Despite the joy and love and fun I’ve had for the past few days, it’s also been excessively weepy for me as well.  I can’t say if just emotions feel heightened in general, or if it’s backwards motion in my quest to feel better, or if it’s simply ongoing hormonal yuck with the heavy period I’ve been having.  Or some combination of all of those.

I’ve been feeling the lack of closure with Hawthorn.  I can’t decide if it would be easier if I didn’t have to see him every day or if I stopped socializing with him.  I keep wavering on just pushing through, because eventually I have to come out the other side of this, or asking to step back, and taking as much of a break from him as I can manage.  But I do have to work with him and I do like him, and honestly I think it’s easier to push through and do the things I want with him and bear the parts that are less easy.  This morning he brought up having the port-mortem relationship talk because of an interaction we had yesterday (he was asking about an album he wanted and I gave it to him, but pointed that having listened to it every day for a month after our break up that the sound of the album was the shape of my broken heart) and still I’m not sure I’m ready to have that conversation.  Or maybe I’ll just feel better if I just get it done with.

I have really be reaching to socialize with people I see less often and get just get out and see people.  It’s been hard too, as people do disappoint and worry that my expectations are too high.  But then it seems sadder to expect less of people. I have lots of visitors and parties in the next 45 days and much of my own traveling after that.  I am going to make a concerted effort to spend the next 10 or so days being a little more introspective about my own anxiety and what I think I need to do to keep healing.

Now I have to wonder if it’s any coincidence that I’ve been mostly fine (physically and sometimes mentally) in the evenings and gross, ill and sludgey in the mornings when I take the SSRIs right before bed (since taking them in the morning made me sick all day).  3 more days and then another week for subsequent side effects to wear off.  Ugh.  Seriously though, I was fine last evening.  Cheerful even. And then I slept really poorly last night (mostly from stomach upset and weird dreams). And now I feel wobbly and headachey and just YUCK. And I have a very long day ahead of me.  Alas.

I spent some time talking to my friend, Aloe, last night too.  She and I have had a rough go of it for a while and I’m not even sure we’re solid enough to be called friends.  But she is good to talk to about anxiety &c. and she’s strangely easy for me to open up too.  She made some good suggestions and was generally supportive.  Also I saw the friend that I sent yesterday’s ‘mean’ email too and they were utterly relaxed and understanding about it.  So there’s you go, tell someone who cares about you what you need and they will deliver.  Unheard of!

Oak did his nightly text check in to make sure I haven’t jumped off a bridge or run off with a Saudi prince (I don’t know that that’s why he’s checking in, I just assume).  I was so charmed by part of the exchange with him that I immediately after it happened thought of sharing it here.  And then I second guessed and started worrying that this space is for talking about me and I shouldn’t just be recounting text exchanges with my ex-boyfriend.  But then again he’s a huge piece of how I ended up here and has been really supportive of my recovery, despite me having left him for another man.  So after fair bit of mental back and forth I decided that maybe Oak is what I should be talking about in therapy this coming Monday.  That said, I want to record the conversation for myself:

Oak: Are you doing alright?
Me: I’m actually feeling almost good tonight.  Filling on a short shift at [my restaurant].
Oak: If a handsome man comes in and tells you he’s moving to Ireland someday, be nice to him. (this is essentially how we met, although I was aware of him long before that)
Me: I think that was a once in a lifetime lucky chance on my part.
Oak: You may be right, but maybe someone who wants to move to Ohio or New Jersey.
Me: I don’t think so.
Oak: Good call.
Me: I’m thinking small apartment, space and time to myself.  Plus I’ve heard a rumor that there’s a handsome man moving to town who might occasionally meet for a friendly beer if I get too lonely.
Oak: That sounds like a good plan for 2011.

The entire thing set me to thinking, not unhappily about how we met and how I can remember so many details of our pre-relationship interactions.  This is significant because I have fairly spotty memory for such things usually and rely mostly on my friends and family to keep track of the the more exacting parts of the history of our relationships.  But with Oak I can remember it all clearly and play it back.  Secondly, in this exchange, even though it’s text, I can see exactly what he’s doing and how he looks as he makes each comment.  His wry half smile when he thinks he’s clever, how he runs his hand over his head, &c.  I have said here before that my intention isn’t to get back together with him, nor does that even seem like something sane or rational to entertain at this point.  But I think about the history of it a lot and I think maybe I need to write it down. Not necessarily here, but map out everything I remember so I can save it and maybe use it later, fictionally.  Or not.  Maybe it just stays somewhere, marked down, so I don’t ever forget what a subtle, yet beautifully charming romance it was as we got together.

I feel like therapy is going to be a long, hard row to hoe.  I am, in my every day life, trying to take the above advice and dwell less on, “What is wrong with me?” and focus more on where I am going and what I am going to do and who I am going to be.  But I find I am getting a little apprehensive of about therapy as it isn’t necessarily focused on asking what’s wrong but it may end up much more directed toward the past.  And I understand that with Saturn 4th House transit and all that I need to work through that as part of my move forward, and, theoretically, once it’s dealt with, it’s done and I do move forward. But, yow, is it just me, or does that seem like a lot of teary, yucky work?  I’m up for it, I guess, but today I feel kind of exhausted just thinking about it.

I have a long, long workday ahead of me.  And then some much needed, hopefully achieved rest and then a weekend out of doors with Violet and yoga with Moonflower.  I feel better just thinking about getting through today to the good parts.