Saturday, August 29, 2009
Her car had broken down. And she ended up calling her husband to pick her up.
I told her she wasn't a failure. That she had actually succeeded in this particular test. Because she still managed to solve her problem. So what if she needed to lean on the guy she's moving away from?
I called the husband for so many things in the months after I moved out. And I probably still would if it was a car issue.
Or would I? I do have AAA. That's what that's for.
I called my gramma on my way to work yesterday... And told her how lucky I was that I didn't have to change schools and move all of my stuff... She asked me if I would have called my husband to ask him to help me move my stuff.
And it hit me that I'd never even considered that.
Not once during that week had I considered asking him for help with that.
Of course, I'd had this little fantasy that Leon would volunteer to come help me with my stuff, but I never even gave him that chance.
I guess I just figured I'd do it myself. Or maybe I knew it wouldn't end up being an issue.
I told my friend to get AAA. Then she won't have to call him if she doesn't want to.
This is probably why he didn't want her to see me when she had the chance. He knows I kick ass and doesn't want for her to. Because he's losing her. Another girlfriend's husband thought she was having an affair... With me. Because that's the only reason he could fathom that she would want to leave him.
Yes, I am the friend that your wife can talk to about wanting to leave you. Because I'm the one who finally did it. And that scares the shit out of you. Because she's growing and changing and you can't keep up. But instead of trying to make yourself better, you just tell her to stay away from me. Because I'm the "bad influence". That zen-shit scares the crap out of you. Because you're defenseless against it. But that's your choice. Be a better man. I'm only influential because you're not.
I was nervous about going to work yesterday. Luckily, the prunes had done the trick and I didn't have THAT to worry about.
But my RealFriend doesn't work there anymore. And I had that whole "who will I sit with?" thing going on on my way in.
I shouldn't have worried. Several people approached me with hugs and told me they were so glad I am back... When the principal made the introductions and announcements first thing during the (FIVE-HOUR! UGH!!) staff meeting, I stood to a round of applause when he explained that I am back as of two days earlier. That felt good.
And my team is great. The mathematics chair is freaking brilliant and I am beyond thrilled about working with him. I believe I will become an even better teacher working with him. I have so much to learn!
I ended up going to grab lunch with a colleague during the 15 minutes I had between the staff meeting and my department meeting. He opened the door to his convertible, and we talked fast to catch up. Fred (not his real name, of course) is an older guy with whom I bonded last Fall. The first thing he said to me when he saw me that morning was "I miss your brownies!" I used to bring brownies to our department meetings. Even though I won't see him often this year, I'll make sure to leave him one every now and then.
Anyway, he's an awesome guy. Very intelligent. And while we have wildly different views on all things politics and religion, we're very respectful of one another and get along really well...
So, he started telling me about this woman he's dating... And, of course, I got to thinking about Leon. And how we totally had such a great time when we were together, but that when we weren't together, I didn't know if he was thinking about me or not. And how I am still thinking about him, caring about him, hoping he's happy. Believing in him.
And later I reflected... About how certain things he said to me had me re-writing some of my history... In a painful, yet cathartic, way. And I'm grateful for that.
And then this morning... When I took the kidlet to our favorite restaurant in his town, and then out to shop... We went to a store that he told me about on that amazingly fortuitous day when we shouldn't have run into each other, but did... And next door to that shop is the shop that is now my favorite... I could get lost in there for hours... And today, I nearly did.
I finally found the wall art for my dining area. They're these amazing and funky paintings that are hung by ribbons. They say things like "Begin" and "Imagine" and "Believe" and "More joy and metaphor". And one Emily Dickinson quote "dwell in possibility". And one by Eleanor Roosevelt: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
And they're in these beautiful blues and pinks and reds. And the women who work there were so helpful. Their energy was amazing and they both asked me to come back with photos of the finished product.
I'd thought I'd put up pictures of things like coffee. Or wine.
And yet, these are perfect. And cost probably half of what I might have spent.
To think I never would have found that place if I hadn't run into Leon in that bookstore on that day when we shouldn't have.
So, of course, he was, again, on my mind when I drove away today... And I remembered that conversation with DM (the other DM... LOL!)... When he told me I was overdue for being selfish... And how that set me off on the path of doing the first selfish thing I'd ever done... And everything that came after put me here.
And I realized that I was truly unselfish, once again, when I was with Leon. I didn't ask much of him. And I realized that, yes, he did think about me when we were together. He did show me he cared. I don't know if he's brave enough to really figure it out down the line. But I know we didn't have what Fred and his lady have. (And he's been seeing her about the same amount of time.)
I'm reminded that it's probably a timing thing. And maybe ours just won't mesh.
And it was okay to think about this stuff when I was with my wonderful boy... Who thanked me for my patience in helping him navigate the button on his shorts and allowed him to practice several times before leaving for breakfast... And who thanked me for buying him breakfast. My son has just been such a gem this summer. I'm so sad that our fun summer times have come to an end...
Which leaves me in this funk tonight. While I will be glad I stayed home when the alarm goes off at 5:00 tomorrow morning, I'm kinda blue tonight...
I feel like I'm back at Square One. Tabula Rasa. Which should be a good thing...
But I remember back when I had a SomeOne in my world. I didn't have to worry about being alone on a Saturday night.
But right now, once again, I don't. And if I hadn't said the things I said on Monday, maybe I wouldn't be alone right now. But if I hadn't said those things on Monday, I wouldn't have had that amazing Tuesday night with my girlz. And I wouldn't have traded that for anything.
So, I'll try to embrace this. Knowing that I may have accidentally burned a bridge or two during this period of Leon. But if that's true, then I have to just look at it as clearing the pathway to my heart. Because I really do have so much love to give... And it's hard on a night like tonight when my little boy is with his dad.
So, it's cracking a little... Hopefully to let the Light in.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I was the epitome of zen.
I knew I would be laid off more than five months ago. And then was actually laid off more than three months ago.
And I was all zen about it. I knew that worrying myself sick about it wouldn't change the outcome.
I was diagnosed with cancer. And beat it. And throughout nearly that entire process, I kept my cool. Because freaking out wouldn't change the outcome.
And, truth be told, if I hadn't been laid off, I might not have gone to find out that I had cancer, and maybe I would still have it.
I scrimped and saved and threw my pride out the window and allowed my friends and family to spoil me. (Which they did, and I am so grateful for that!!!)
And then, within four days, I got rid of the cancer and found out I would have a job again.
But which job?
Would it be the 6th grade math/science position that my principal asked me to take back in FEBRUARY?!? Or would I have to change schools again? Maybe even go back to (::gasp::)ELEMENTARY?!?!? Because that would suck in a thousand ways. I gave away all of my elementary stuff. I would have nothing.
And this morning was the big meeting. Shockingly, I wasn't hung over after last night's shenanigans with wine and cheese and whatnot with my girlz. (Again, struck by how blessed I am with wonderful girlfriends who heeded a text sent just the day before. They knew I needed them and came over even though it was way past a couple of their bedtimes! (NOF was the only one who knew how badly I needed them. The others just thought we were celebrating, but rose to the occasion when they heard the other reason why I was so desperate for company on that particular evening.))
So, I got myself to the meeting place. There were 101 people in there to fill 101 positions. 140 of my colleagues are still left unemployed.
And then they handed us the packet that included all 101 positions. And then seated us in order of seniority. I sat next to my colleague who was gunning for one of the two positions I wanted. And then people started choosing their positions. And there were disappointed noises coming from behind me as jobs were chosen. And I kept breathing a sigh of relief every time another elementary position was taken. Because most of these teachers don't want middle school. I knew I had a good chance, but 30 people would choose positions before me. And the woman who was right before me was freaking out. I was trying to be all nice and encouraging to her. But inside my heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. My palms were sweating. It was hard to breathe. I was texting back and forth with my friend, RA, who was about 35 people behind me. My heart ached as he told me he knew he would have to "settle."
I breathed a sigh of relief every time someone chose a position that wasn't the one I wanted. But I'd mapped out a few Plan Bs, just in case. And then someone called out a number close to the one I wanted, and I frantically flipped through the pages of the packet before confirming that "my" position was still open.
My colleague and I were poking each other and squealing under our breath at each other, telling each other that it was looking good, we'd be okay...
The woman before me had crossed off several of her Plan Bs, and I told her that whatever she chose would end up being great. She rubbed my arm and said, "I want your positive energy to rub off on me!" I laughed and thought about how I totally had her fooled.
And then it was my turn. In a clear voice, I stated my position, and it was done. I hugged my colleague quickly, and went to hug RA and give him some support.
Then I went to fill out my paperwork, and I left the building.
My principal called me just as I climbed into my car to ask me if I had gotten the position. And I told him I had... Yes, I will be teaching 6th grade math/science at my old school. Just as we had planned so many months ago.
I sent out a few texts and made a few important phone calls on my way over to my school. And I was joyous driving into the newly painted parking lot. Looking at the brand new building in which I will teach for the next school year. I got my keys and went to explore my new home.
And there I was... In my room. With the boxes I'd packed back in June, plus a whole lot of computer stuff that doesn't belong there. The room is gorgeous. The teacher workstation is amazing. And I freaking adore my chair!!!
The first thing I did was put up the poster from a recent half-marathon. I put it in a place where I will see it all the time, and I will remember how I kicked ass there.
And then I looked at the boxes and couldn't breathe. I didn't know where to start.
I called Leon to ask if he wanted to meet for lunch, that I was too overwhelmed to deal with it right then. It wasn't going to work out, so I got to work.
And unpacked nearly all of the boxes. I put stuff in the brand new cabinets. And it was a beautiful thing.
And then I left to go pick up my son.
And that's when the meltdown happened...
Five months of keeping it together throughout this whole horrific process only to end up exactly where I would have been even if this hadn't all happened!
Yes, there have been countless blessings received that wouldn't have been if I hadn't been laid off.
But holy anti-climactic occurrences!
I was bawling. Harder than I did yesterday during the whole ClaRiTy thing.
And E took my call.
Next thing I knew, I was trying to think of a place for us to meet because she was dropping everything to drive two hours in my direction to meet. The kids would play and I would be able to vent.
And just knowing that she would do that for me made me feel better. Gave me the energy to go ahead with a couple of school-related errands before heading home for some chores.
Enter Leon. Again. Since I would be meeting her in his town, I needed his help. And he totally took my call and internetted (Yes, it can be a verb!) for me to find me a place to meet them.
So, E and her kids met up with me and the kidlet for food and shenanigans of the non-alcoholic kind.
And she brought me presents. Curriculum. Books. Science kits. And Bundt cakes.
I was so touched.
After dinner when we let the kids go play, she was the hot one that "creepy headphone guy" wanted to hit on. And when he found out she was married, he instantly turned to me... Said, "Well, you have a man..." To which I responded, "no I don't." Of course, he asked why. And I explained that I'd just broken up with someone two days ago... And he asked a couple of questions about it and then deemed Leon "a good guy". Which seemed to bum him out, actually. Later, a security guard would ask us if we were okay, that we seemed to have a visitor to our table quite often. Minutes later, he would tell us that the guy had been removed from the premises.
Good times in that town.
And it was with hugs and loves that we said our good-byes... The kids decked out in their , matching, friendship bracelets. Me with a huge bag of goodies over my shoulder.
And now, exhausted, I'm finally ready for the sleep that has been cut short for the last several nights.
While my eyes are still raw from the tears which poured from them hours ago, my heart is full... So much Light and Love coming from so many people in so many places... I could totally feel the support when I was in that room fighting for breath this morning. And I certainly felt it when E gave me a safe haven in which to break down... And I most certainly felt it when the kidlet and I were running across the street because we were so excited to see our dear friends.
So amazingly blessed are we... That I can have a MeltDown and have a friend drop everything to be with us. To celebrate. To listen. To laugh.
Thanks, E. I needed that.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
On the way home from an incredible 24 hours of spoiling the hell outta my son, I had this moment of ClaRiTy that had me breathless, sobbing so hard (of the snot-bubble kind) that I finally pulled over so that I could just breathe... But it was a totally good thing.
Not long after posting that last blog, Leon did call me back. And I did break things off with him. And it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I explained to him that I understand that he's not really in a place where he can consider being in a relationship. And that I see too much potential for it between us to let us fall into something that wouldn't be good. He's got SO MUCH on his plate right now. And I know myself. I can't let myself be the girl to try to help him figure it out. He has to figure it out on his own.
And maybe when he does, he'll realize that I am utterly fantastic and he'll be in a place to try again with me.
And maybe not. But I'm still a hopeful girl! Haha.
He thanked me, actually. For bringing certain things to his attention. And he was really nice and really understanding. Seemed relieved when I told him I'm still his friend and will still see him as I always have, just not with the regularity and planning that we have been.
Did I want him to give up on me so quickly? Um, no. But am I glad that he knew he wasn't right for me right now and let it go easily? Yeah. I guess I actually am...
And that's where the growth has apparently come in...
I'm not taking this one personally.
And this morning I realized that I pulled the exact same thing with HRT last year... Right before school started last year, I broke things off with him. Because I was on Situation Overwhelm at that time.
When I wondered if that's what I'd done here, I realized quickly that it's completely different.
And in the interest of not being a hypocrite, I actually took my novel with me to the magical place where I spent a night with my son and after he went to sleep, I started reading. Making notes. Editing.
Maybe that's what this whole thing was about. Because there were moments when I wondered if everything that happened in the last two years was to get me ready for Leon. I keep thinking I want to write about all of those signs. And maybe I will.
But maybe all those signs that pointed to Leon were just to make him be the messenger (through myself!) that I need to actually finish the damn novel. Get it ready. Publish the hell out of that thing.
But it's a start.
But this afternoon... After a day when HRT kept popping up into my consciousness (effin' BlackBerry!!!)...
I'm not the same person I was when he walked into my world. I'm not the girl who is so desperate to be loved that I was willing to throw myself back into the fray of his uncommunicativeness (if it's not a word, it is now. Shut up.)...
Because by this time during the breakup with HRT, I was already talking to him again.
And this afternoon, when I wanted to call Leon, I didn't. When I considered writing to him to tell him that I believe in him and all he wants to accomplish, I didn't. When I considered whether or not I will call him to tell him about the job I choose, I still don't know. Maybe he'll find out like everybody else does. On Facebook.
Because that's when it hit me.
I was right about the risk this time. This time, I didn't lose my best friend. I didn't get into something that wouldn't work out and then lose everything.
Because HRT had been my best friend for two years before we started dating. And when we broke up, I lost that completely. Yes, it's probably better that my eyes are open and someone like him is no longer in my world. And there were moments recently when I regretted having dated him and lost our friendship. Because I didn't need to know that he was a liar. I didn't want to know that he was a cheat. I certainly didn't need to know that he was a thief.
I'd been perfectly happy in my little world with the cute little picture he'd painted.
But this time, I actually got to know someone who is amazing and wonderful and kind and generous.
He's just not for me right now.
And I realized that even in these weeks when we were dating ("seeing each other"? I don't know. He wasn't my boyfriend, but we were spending time together fairly consistently. Ish.), Leon still didn't get to my heart.
I said to my sister the other day that I tend to fall in love very quickly. Within weeks. Days. And I didn't fall in love with Leon. I might have at some future point, but I hadn't yet.
Not only that, I didn't really let him get to the heart of me. He didn't even know that I did that huge fundraiser the other night. The one that made me cry for hours. He didn't even know that I found out about a little honored hero being diagnosed with swine flu. And he was THERE when I found out! He didn't even know how badly I'd wanted him to be the one to break my celibacy streak.
Why didn't I tell him that stuff?
I don't know.
But what I do know is that I am different. I didn't screw up this time. I didn't put my trust in someone unworthy.
Because Leon IS worthy. He's a great guy. I still believe we could end up together at some point in the future.
But if we don't, I know I'm going to be okay... Because I'm attracting quality people these days... People who are worth knowing.
And I am so blessed by amazing girlfriends who decided to come celebrate with me tonight with a day's notice. We'll drink wine and toast the fact that I will have a job soon. That I don't have cancer. And I don't have a guy in my world who will stop me from being available to the one with whom I am supposed to be.
I've cleared the pathway to my heart... And like Cupcake said, I "deserve nothing less than someone who is absolutely crazy about and focused on" me. Maybe when Leon clears the clutter, it will be him. Or maybe it will be someone I haven't even met yet.
But I've learned so much about myself in the last few weeks. And I'm finally becoming proud of myself. Even when it hurts to let go, I'm joyous in knowing that I, apparently, can...
Onward and Upward, Groceries.
Monday, August 24, 2009
But summer is over.
I report for work on Friday, but will likely be spending Wednesday and Thursday in whatever classroom becomes mine.
And I've been contemplating a lot over the last several days...
When I got the email on Thursday, the first person I called was Leon. Which is really out of character for me. He was appropriately happy for me, and then I went and picked up the kidlet for an unscheduled outing. And we had an amazing evening... And I was thrilled to get to have him with me on that night.
Because when I got the call on Friday I was so excited, I grabbed the kidlet and we jumped up and down screaming in elation... And when he left that afternoon, I got on the phone and scheduled an amazing treat for him... (All he knows is that we're going to a hotel this afternoon. He has NO CLUE the kind of spoiling that is in store for him!!!!!) Yes, I will admit that I'm a pretty rockin' mom right now.
This weekend was kind of rough. Friday evening, I had an intense conversation with an old friend. One I'd thought I had lost in the divorce, but am, apparently, gaining back. Because she's decided I'm worth it. And we talked about how hurt I'd been in the beginning, and she apologized for not having been there for me. It was a beautiful thing, but still draining.
I got up at 4:00 in the morning and put in 19.1 miles of hills on Saturday. And then a few more that evening at a rather emotional fundraiser.
I was pretty drained on Sunday.
But grateful to know that I have a job and was able to take the kidlet to our "usual" Sunday morning restaurant, which we haven't done with regularity since I was laid off...
But then his dad picked him up for a birthday party for a kid who was once my nephew. Okay, technically, he's still my nephew, but that relationship is one of those that I'm losing in the fallout.
And I was just down. Lonely. Sad. Sore. Exhausted.
And I got to thinking about Leon.
And about what a great guy he is, but that there are these red flags that have been waving in my face and I've just been brushing them aside... Telling myself that those things don't matter because this is just a casual thing.
But then I realized that this isn't a casual thing. Yes, there are men that I'm talking to that I'm okay with it being a casual thing.
But I realized that the reason why I'm dating Leon is because I think there's potential for there to be something more.
But that potential isn't exactly there. I cannot allow myself to overlook these major issues. Because I'd decided months ago that there are certain qualities that I am looking for in a partner, and certain qualities that I cannot accept.
And some of those things simply don't mesh.
Maybe it's a timing thing.
Or maybe it's just how it is.
But, ultimately, it means we shouldn't be together.
And after last night's talk with my SoulMate (who pulled NO punches with me! Argh. LOL), I realized that I shouldn't be spending time and energy with Leon when it could be stopping me from being open to the one who actually has the potential to be more.
So, I'm feeling rather strong about this.
I'm sad, but strong. Because this is someone who does matter, just maybe not to the extent that I'd hoped.
And I hate that I'm waiting to hear from him. Because I feel this need to get it over with so that I can focus on what is at hand... Which is enjoying every moment with my son, and then focusing on getting back to work... And being the best teacher I can be for the students who will walk through my door on Monday.
And maybe I'm just being a coward. Trying to control the one thing that feels out of my control even though (or maybe because!!) there are a thousand frightening things on the horizon.
But I really don't think so this time.
The timing is wrong. And maybe he really is wrong for me.
I sit here, staring at the blinking cursor... Wondering how to end this.
I think I should get back to my gratitude place.
I know that I will get the opportunity to break things off with him when I speak to him.
But in the meantime, I will focus on my amazing little boy, being able to do this wonderful thing for him this afternoon, and the wonderful and amazing girlfriends who will toast with me tomorrow night...
To celebrate the next phase of my life: Being the best mom I can be, Being Cancer-Free, The job that will be great, and being open to the next person. Who may actually turn out to be the right one.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I'd gotten a text from a friend whom I've never really gotten to hang out with. She invited me to the Improv and how many tickets did I want? I signed up for two, and NOF was the pal who got to go with me... Since she and I met at the Improv not too many moons ago, it was like we would be celebrating some kind of anniversary.
So, yesterday, I went on a date with the guy (Okay, I'll call him Leon. Not his real name, but I am sick of calling him "the guy", because he may well end up not being "the guy". ::shrug::).
He came over and we sat on my couch and talked for quite awhile before going to eat... He could tell something was on my mind and asked me to tell him. So, I did. I said the things I needed to say, and he really heard me. Where we'll go from here remains to be seen, but at least I know that I'm being true to myself. And that felt good. And we still went out and had a great meal with good conversation... I'm really comfortable with him, and that's a good place to be.
After he left, I got a text from the aforementioned friend letting me know that she was going to be early and if I wanted to come meet her at a nearby bar, I should.
So, I did.
Even though I knew NOF wouldn't be there until the show, I pulled up the BGPs and went. She was there with a few of her friends, already, and the seat made available to me was in between two strangers... And, yet, I still managed to have conversations and get to know new people. It was frightening, yet exhilarating...
And then we all went to the show... NOF and I shared our favorite shot, and she said we were toasting my cancer-free state... I love celebrating that... The show was more great than not, and I had a great time...
And then it was time to go home... Exhausted, we pretty much left right after the show, and as I was driving home, I started to realize that something is different... Perhaps it was the cocktails I'd had, or just that it's been more than six months, or that Leon and I had kind of established that eventually we will probably share an evening in the not-so-distant future, but I found myself feeling damned horny.
The thought crossed my mind to call Leon and ask him to meet me at my place. (Hell, I'd shaved my legs and everything, but ended up wearing jeans when I was with him... Although, I did wear a cute dress out that evening!)
I called NOF and told her to tell me not to call him. Which she did. And then told me that she'd only told me because I'd told her to!
I didn't call. For a thousand reasons.
If I really needed to get off, I do have a vibrator... Which I didn't end up using. I guess I really was too tired... Or I'm actually getting sick of the substitute. It's been a really long time, and I think I'm actually ready to have some sex. At least physically, anyway. And I think I might finally be in a place where I can handle it, emotionally, as well.
So, there it is.
Of course, today was the first day I didn't need to cover my scar. Thank goodness. My poor skin is red and raw next to my scar(s)...
My gramma suggested that perhaps I've developed an allergy to latex???
So then I became the girl who said to her gramma, "Well, I should probably figure that out before I end up putting anything latex in certain sensitive places..."
Shit. I really don't want to discover the answer to *that* question by default.
Luckily, I am reminded that timing is everything... Maybe I'm not actually ready for sex.
Summer is winding down... And this evening I found out that it really is winding down. I go back to work soon. The location of this work will probably be known about two days before I have to report back. But, yes, I will have a job. Something else to celebrate...
And I got to be with my son tonight, even though he was scheduled to be with his dad. And THAT is the most beautiful thing of all...
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
And that kicks ass.
For those of you who were wondering about the dating stuff, well... Here goes:
I saw the guy again. It was a rather brief interlude, but I was pretty thrilled when he held my hand and kissed me in front of my friend. He asked me when my surgery would be and when I told him, he told me he would call me Monday afternoon to find out how it went. He said "I'm glad you're getting that taken care of. I know you've been worried about it..."
And he's right. I had been worried. And while I put up this total ass-kicking front for nearly everybody, this was one person with whom I'd been really honest about it. I WAS scared.
So, I loved that he understood that and made me feel like it was important to him to know about it.
And then he kissed me and said "goodnight, sweetheart..."
Nobody has called me by an endearment in a very long time... (No, flutiefan, "gargoyle" doesn't count. lmao)
And I giggled about it for many hours that night with CF... And woke up really happy about it...
And even after Sunday night's shenanigans, I was still thinking about him. Realizing that even though, yes, I AM interested in other men, spending time with other men, this is the guy that is my first choice right now. When I am considering going somewhere, he's the one that comes to mind first when I'm considering who to take...
And then Monday rolled around... I hadn't slept well the night before, and when I called to talk to my son to help me find my center, I ended up finding all kinds of frustrations, thanks to my ex.
Ugh. He picked the wrong day to pull that crap.
I ended up putting out the fires and was in a good place when TF came to get me. I told her my secret and instead of giving me shit, she just smiled, shook her head and said she wasn't surprised or mad...
And then we went for my surgery... And she teased me about what a dork I am... And then I went in...
And the doctor was awesome... He chose a less invasive procedure because of where the cancer was, and gave me an extra shot of novacaine to make sure I was numb. He scraped away for a few minutes and then cauterized it with this machine that makes a sound like a bug-zapper and the scent of burnt skin wafted into my nostrils... Nothing would taste right for the rest of the day.
Forty-five minutes after walking into the office, I was on my way... Cancer-free.
Breathing a sigh of relief, TF and I went to a movie (Julie and Julia), and then out for lunch, cocktails, and dessert. Hey, we were celebrating!!!
I walked out of the movie with several voicemails and texts on my phone... I was overwhelmed by the Light and Love that was coming my way!! SO MANY people let me know that they were rooting for me... I was beyond touched...
And I tried really hard to focus on that when I realized that the guy hadn't called. Like he'd said he would.
TF reminded me that it was still afternoon, and he had time.
By 5:30, I sent him a text telling him I was cancer-free and to have a nice evening.
An hour later, I was comfortably ensconced in a bar downtown, celebrating flutiefan's visit (and the absence of cancer!), telling her about how I was bummed I hadn't heard from him...
And only because he'd told me he would. I hadn't asked him to. We'd already made plans for later in the week. If I didn't hear from him on the day of the surgery, I knew I'd see him a few days later, and we'd talk about it then.
He's a different kind of communicator than I am... He's not a texter. He's not even a phone-guy. He'll talk on the phone just long enough to make a plan for face-to-face time. And while that is strange to me, I find it somewhat refreshing... And something that I can totally deal with.
Shocking, I know.
But when he didn't call.... My feelings were hurt. I admit it.
Of course, moments after telling flutiefan, my phone rang. And it was him. And, no, I didn't take his call. I thought I'd call him when I got home that night. Maybe around 9:30 or so.
Of course, I didn't end up getting home until 12:30.
After a wonderful night with friends and strangers... Strange men flirting with me, and friends of friends coming to my rescue... I felt comfortable and alive...
I did speak to him this morning. And he apologized a dozen times for not having called when he'd said he would. He had a fairly legitimate excuse, and finally I told him to stop apologizing. I actually really appreciate that he did apologize. But I want to get over it. And I am over it.
But it gave me pause...
Do I really want to date a guy who says he'll call on the day I have surgery and doesn't?
Because I was married to a guy who let me go to surgeries by myself.
Granted, this is very new. And we're not in a committed relationship. But I had been open to that. And then I felt like maybe I wasn't.
CF already knew that I'd realized this guy matters. That was my big ClaRiTy revelation on Saturday night.
And TF and NOF (and E!) all told me to stop saying I'm going to break things off with him when I see him. That I should take a deep breath, tell him that he matters, and tell him that if he's really got all this stuff to work through, that he should probably take some time to work through it.
Maybe I'll still be available when he's ready, and perhaps we can try then.
But I can sense that he probably shouldn't wait too long... Because wonderful people are walking into my world every day... And I'm not saying that I'm going to find someone else right away.
But I AM open to it.
I keep saying everything happens for a reason. And so does he. But it feels like he's focusing on the bad stuff, and that's so not me.
I typed that last part and paused for several moments.
Because I realized it's finally true.
I understand it's a process and everybody goes at their own pace...
But I'm there. And I like it.
So, whatever happens next, I will say what needs to be said... And my heart and my mind will be open to whatever comes from that...
Of course, with that in my head, I spent a couple of hours with the ex this evening. The kidlet did his sport-thing, which left us with 90 minutes to chat, and then we all went to dinner... Our usual Tuesday routine.
I've been pretty quiet the last couple of Tuesdays... Now that I'm dating, I've found it more and more difficult to talk to my ex. Even though he's proven over and over again that we're done, I had still held out some hope until a few weeks ago. Moving on is one thing. Telling him about it is another thing, entirely.
But something clicked last week, and I was fairly certain something had changed with him.
Tonight, I asked him about it.
And, apparently, he's been on a date, too!!! Supposedly, he probably won't go out with her again. I'm the curious gal who asked for details, which he kept from me.
It was almost a relief when he asked if I was dating. Because then I was able to tell him. He doesn't ask as many questions as I do, which is fine.
But then we started teasing each other and joking... I about fell off my seat when he asked if I was seeing the cable guy. Because I am so NOT seeing the cable guy!!!
And while he insisted it was weird that we were talking about this stuff, I think it's just how we roll... And we'll go with that...
The only time I got upset during the conversation was when he insisted he'd offered to take me to my surgery.... Because he SO hadn't offered that. Grrr. Oy, with the re-writing history!!! Ultimately, I found it funny... Especially when he realized he'd had this whole imaginary conversation in his head. Which had culminated, apparently, with him ACTUALLY bringing me to my surgery!!
Yes, twisted senses of humor.
Hey, it's what keeps me sane.
But in these moments, when I am slightly nauseous at the idea of the conversation I'm going to have soon, I am secure in the knowledge that I will be able to say what I mean. And while I can't control how he takes it, I can control my own reaction to the situation.
The blinders are off. I know what I want and what I deserve. While I may be terrified, once again, I'll pull up the BGPs and face my fears...
And if this guy isn't on the same page, that's okay. Because, again, I'm pretty happy with where I am.... I have so many girlfriends who are amazing and wonderful... Both men and women seem to be attracted to my energy these days... And I'm just truly enjoying every moment.
So, no matter what happens, I know that all is well... And all will be well...
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Surgery tomorrow. TF is coming with me. Not that I really had a choice. She sent me an email telling me that she is coming and that I have to just deal with it.
Apparently, even though I totally kick ass, I don't HAVE to do it by myself all the time.
Just as long as we all know I COULD.
I found out that there are actually maybe more than just two people reading this thing. There might even be, like, FIVE of you. So, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read. Thank you, in particular, to the one who said she cried over the last post... Because we ended up bonding even further over it. And thank you to the one who's been reading it and not holding the TMI against me... And thank you to the one who told me I'm a good writer. And, yes. I do have a kid. And yes, I do have cancer. But by this time tomorrow, I won't.
So, I went home again for a few days last week. And it was wonderful and amazing. Interesting twists and turns all around. And most of it was really fun, actually.
There were a few rough moments...
Like when one of the former friends from last summer showed up at the restaurant fundraiser where I was... And she totally sat with her back to me. And while I had thought I'd gone commando, apparently, I had brought the BGPs because I pulled those damn things up, walked over to her, hugged her, told her I was happy to see her and inquired about her daughter.
Moments later, the kidlet would ask me how come he never gets to play with her daughter anymore. Yeah, that one ripped open the old wound. I was so grateful later when someone said "Wow, that was really shitty for it to spread to the kids. It's so sad when people can't be adults about this..."
Of course, I even invited her out with me and a few other moms the following evening so that the kids could play.
She didn't show.
And while I was proud of myself for being the bigger person (Again... Jeez.), there were moments later when I was tired and asked myself why she looked so uncomfortable... Because she knew she fucked up last year and is too embarrassed to admit it? Or is it because she's afraid that she killed my loyalty and I would possibly tell her secrets? (I haven't. Ever.) Or is it because she is actually so filled with negativity that it was more a "Ew. I can't believe she hugged me. Bitch."???
I don't know.
I tried not to go down THAT road...
I actually pulled a piece of paper out of a notepad and made a list... I listed the people who went out of their way to make time to see me during my brief visit. On the other side, I listed the people who, apparently, still have a bit of power to hurt my feelings, but that they shouldn't really matter. The list of people who actually do matter was far longer than the other side. And it helped for me to see it in print.
JWG said "It's important as an adult to have people around who knew you as a kid..." I am so blessed that she is one of those people... As well as so many others whose company I enjoyed during this particular visit...
As I left town, I picked up CF and brought her back home with me... And during those 24 hours, something shifted in me.
There was this moment of ClaRiTy over dinner where I sat there, choking on my words, tears in my eyes, when I admitted the truth about this Patience thing. Whoa. And it was absolutely lovely to be so secure in the knowledge that I was in a safe place... And although the realization was somewhat terrifying, it actually felt... Right.
And over white-trash margaritas into the wee hours of the morning, we talked and laughed and shared far more secrets...
And exactly 24 hours after I'd picked her up, I put her on a train for home... And I was sad. Because I don't know when I'll see her again.
Luckily, I had something to anticipate...
Which was a lovely Sunday evening in the park... With a craptastic band... Which actually made the experience even better...
And I felt the Light and the Love from these dear friends of mine... People who are rooting for me... People who gave me beer. Which I don't ordinarily drink. And I love how IP heard about it and called me out on it. Because she knows me that well.
And now I'm home... In a place of my own... And I'm alone, but not at all lonely...
Because tomorrow will be a day of loveliness with TF... (With a slight detour into the "operating room"... LOL) And then catching up with flutiefan... And the next day will be lovely as well... And so will the day after that...
Huh. Still so much to anticipate...
And while I got some not-so-great news on the job front (presently 30 openings left... I'm number 32 on the list), that news could change in a few days as well...
And when I get my job back, here's a partial list of what I will do to celebrate:
(in no particular order)
- some kind of storage unit to organize the kidlet's stuff
- manicure (pedicures are not luxuries, they are necessities. I haven't had a manicure since the layoff)
- schedule travel for ultramarathon
- artwork for dining area
No, I won't do it all at once. But those are a few things that I've been putting off... Again. Patience.
I'm learning it.
And it's not quite as difficult as it used to be... Because while I've totally gotten the messages about how everything happens for a reason, and that it's not all about me, I'm learning, too, that sometimes things are sweeter when you've waited for them... And that it can often be far more worth the wait than you could have ever expected...
And now as the clock strikes midnight, I will sign off... Find my quiet place... And rest...
Because tomorrow, I get to call myself a survivor.
Sweetest dreams, all.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I'm getting to the point where I'm realizing that I am a pretty okay single mom. My kid and I have really open communication, we do fun stuff together, I make him eat his vegetables, etc.
We've cut some corners this summer, what with me being without a job and all, but I don't think the kidlet has really felt deprived or anything.
I have always had a tendency to be a bit of a lazy homemaker. I enjoy cooking, but don't make it much of a priority. During my marriage, I took things for granted. If there was a tear in an item of clothing, I was pretty quick to put it in the "donate" pile.
I'm different, now, though.
My favorite jeans ever needed to be retired. The holes in them were really trashy looking. Knowing that I'm next-to-useless with a needle, I gave them up to my dad's girlfriend, who ended up patching them with this really classy material. I'm thrilled to have my jeans back and even more thrilled that I don't feel the need to go buy another pair right now.
And I found a skort that I'd set aside a year ago because it was missing a button and sewed the damn thing back on. (Thanks to the sewing kit dad's gf had given me for Christmas a couple of years ago...) I've sewn on three buttons in the last month. Mad skillz.
And my kid is lucky that I have such amazing friends... Because they open their homes to us and bless his world just as much as they have blessed mine...
Tonight, over dinner, the kidlet asked his dad if he would go visit our friends that we had just seen. Invited him to sleep in their guest room and everything. His dad very diplomatically said that he would probably meet them when they come down to visit us, but that he doesn't know them so he would not be going to stay in their home. No, not even if he went with us...
And I was sad for him. While my ex is a great guy, the only people he really brings to my son's world is his family. And, while they're mostly great, they're not the kind of people who will broaden my son's little horizons.
Not like the M family... Who have kind of adopted me as their little sister. E's mom even stopped by on Sunday to meet me since she had heard I'd be in town. I was sad to find out that I'd missed her.
But so glad to be in that home. The kids picked up right where they left off, and D waited to start the tofu stir-fry until I was there so that he could teach me... And he's this amazing teacher who taught me how to slice a carrot.
Shut up. Yes, I didn't know how to slice a carrot.
There was a phobia. There was an incident when I was about 6 years old... A teenaged neighbor of a friend thought it would be fun to terrorize the little kids with a knife... And when he forced it into my hand, I threw it down... Not realizing my friend was behind me until he screamed... Because he'd been cut. I am fairly certain it wasn't that bad, he didn't need to go to the doctor or anything, but that stuck with me. Knives scare me.
But I was highly motivated to learn how to make this dish.
So, I did. Because I have become this person who faces her fears. Like, oh, I'm afraid of heights. So, I'll go rockclimbing... Or go run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Oh, I'm scared of knives. So, I'll learn how to slice a carrot with a sharp one to make tofu stir-fry.
And it was amazing... Later, he would show me how to make bread. Like, not in a breadmaker. But actual bread.
And we drank wine and enjoyed each other's company...
And early the next morning, E took me to the gym. Where I did back-to-back classes: Pilates and then Water Aerobics. We went back to the house for a couple of hours and D made me decaf in the French Press (See how well they take care of me???), and then E and I were back at the gym for another Pilates class. More hanging out at the house and then back to the gym for the 4th class of the day, Step.
I totally rocked it. I was sore, but I felt like I learned SO MUCH. I feel like I have enough of a grasp on pilates to where I could do a video at home and not hurt myself. And the Step class was a lot of fun... Until we put the steps away to do more abs work.
Eesh. My poor abs. I learned the last time that I did Pilates that I have a strong back, but no six-pack, whatsoever.
Shockingly, this time was a bit easier. Or maybe not shockingly. I actually have learned something.
I was in my pajamas by 6, drinking wine, learning how to roast a chicken (again, shut up.), and this amazing potato dish (seriously, D. You need to be the Next Food Network Star!!!).
And after a mellow evening, I went and took E's Muscle Conditioning class this morning. Which was an absolutely humbling experience.
But, again, I learned so much...
And while I was there, I heard from a friend of HRT's. Apparently, she'd heard I have cancer and wanted to check in to see if I was okay. Nine months ago, this woman kicked me while I was down. Resulting in a very bad 20-minute crying jag on my kitchen floor. That was the last I'd heard from either of them. And yet, she stepped up to let me know she would pray for me (don't get me started on this one. LOL)...
Which means HRT knows. Whether I will hear from him remains to be seen, but I know now that I am strong enough to handle it. And, no, I won't let him back in. Two days ago, I was rather certain I would hear from him. And while I'm in a strange mood tonight, telling myself I won't hear from anybody I'm waiting to hear from, again, I return to this "patience" thing.
And I'm learning. Taking a deep breath and accepting that timing is everything.
And whenever he tries to walk back into my world, I will gently (and kindly!) help him walk back out of it. But I will be grateful for whatever comes my way.
And, again, with the timing.
I did see the guy again (the guy from the last blog entry). And when he asked me to go out for a drink, I accepted. And I had a really nice time with him. We did discuss what had happened earlier in the week. And it was pretty much just a "let's slow down, I don't want us not to be able to be friends if this doesn't work out, etc." thing... And we talked it out, and I think we managed to figure out that it's all going to be okay. No matter what.
And I'm grateful for this experience. I'm grateful for learning how to take things slowly. I'm grateful that I had to realize I felt guilty for moving forward out of my marrage. Because then I was infinitely grateful for the realization that my marriage is really over. And I'm grateful for this guy because he told me my demands are reasonable (something I'd doubted ever since the not-so-worthy one told me that my time wasn't enough). So, whether we end up continuing to date or whether we're done, I'm grateful for it having happened up until now.
There were lonely moments tonight. Moments when I missed my son so badly, and moments when I just wanted to head right back to where I'd been for the last couple of days. Moments when I wished I had a significant other that I could count on. Moments when I hoped someone would say "let me come with you to your surgery on Monday because it matters to me to be there with you..." Moments when I threw out the flowers from last week and wished someone would want to buy some for me.
But then I realized that someone does want to buy flowers for me. When AE asked about my surgery and asked where she could send flowers... Of course, it's just an outpatient thing, but that was sweet. And I realized I don't really need someone to buy me flowers because I was throwing out flowers that I'd bought for myself. And they were gorgeous.
And I do have so many friends who love me and would offer to be there with me on Monday (and HAVE offered!)...
But then I remember the night before another surgery when I went to the hospital alone for bloodwork. And even though I was MARRIED, I went alone. And I was wheeled into that surgery knowing that my husband was not out there waiting for me. And woke up from that surgery alone. So, I embraced this loneliness tonight. Because I remember that I left because it would be better to be lonely and alone that to be lonely when I'm with someone.
And with less than a week until I can get this stupid cancer off of me, I think I'll make it. It's just starting to get a little old.
But again... Patience.
So, I glance down at the henna'ed "om" on the inside of my wrist, and I take a deep breath. And I try to channel Cupcake's quiet.
Back to the yoga tomorrow morning. I need to get my zen back.
And while I'm scared to hit "publish post", I think you'll learn that I face my fears with arms wide open...
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
And after tonight's little TMI Skype session with dear friends, I realized my blog is not exactly living up to its title.
So, here goes....
The second date. The surprising and wonderful second date.
With someone with whom I am comfortable. I am myself. Both the Zen and the Fun one.
Or so I thought.
He was the one who actually picked me up. Like, at my apartment. And he took me out. But not before sitting with me for a few minutes and chatting... And then kissing me in a way that had me a bit flustered and nearly leaving my keys in their little hanging place in the kitchen. (No, that wasn't our first kiss. Apparently, RetroMama kisses on the first date. ::shrug::)
And he opened the door to his car for me... And played me new music. (I am a total sucker for a guy who adds something to my world... Whether it's a new song, a new band, a new place, a new food... And on our first date, he'd already gotten the new food thing points.)
And we went out in my town.
And I was comfortable. And he held my hands across the table. And we joked and laughed and talked about lots of serious stuff too. I thought we were on the same wavelength with the "I'm not looking for a relationship right now... I'm just looking to enjoy good times with good people..." I told him that I'd made a lot of mistakes and that I've not always behaved honorably. But that I am consciously working to behave honorably from here on...
And after a dinner that we lingered over for more than 2 hours, we went for a walk. And we held hands. And we found a place to sit and people watch. And saw some wonderful things that you would only see in my town... And we just held each other and kissed and talked... And kissed...
And it was lovely.
And then he drove me home... Holding hands the whole way... And there was more kissing... And... Shtuff.
Okay, maybe I'm chickening out on the TMI stuff.
Let's just say that I'm not exactly putting another notch in my lipstick case. But it was discussed. And I realized I was open to it. (No pun intended.)
But we both seemed to realize that it was too fast. But that we'd take a raincheck.
And when he left, much later, it was with more kisses and assurances that it had been a great day. And we would talk in the next few days and see each other somewhere around the end of the week.
And I was grinning happily when I saw his name on my Caller ID this morning. And answered the phone cheerfully, glad that he'd called.
And I don't even remember the whole conversation, but I think I remember the gist of it.
Something along the lines of "This can't go anywhere... We're done."
Um, okay. Wait. WHAT???
Somewhere in there, he reminded me that he'd had a really good time with me, and it wasn't me, it was him... Blah, blah, blah.
I'm embarrassed to say that I actually cried a little after we got off the phone.
And not because I'd fallen for him or anything like that. But just from the shock of it. I'd had a great time. And, sadly, I will admit that it was a bit of a blow to the ol' self-esteem. What's wrong with me that he doesn't want to see me again? ::hangs head in shame at that one:: But that was only for about five minutes.
Because then I spoke to a girlfriend who helped me put it into perspective... OF COURSE it's just that I kick too much ass. And he can't handle the awesomeness that is me.
Haha. I'm really not that stuck on myself. But I cannot believe I am just as crappy a judge of character as I was a year ago. (Okay, I actually snorted with laughter when I wrote that part! Heee!!!)
I do appreciate that he picked up the phone to explain it to me. I appreciate that he showed me that respect. I think that took guts.
And during that TMI Skype session, I absolutely adored the reassurances that he probably does actually like me. But got scared or whatever. (DM: "Do you have a penis, flutiefan? No. Then shut up." lmao.)
He'll figure it out. And maybe I'll be in a place where I'd give him another chance. Or maybe I won't. And that will be his loss. At least that's what everybody keeps telling me. But in this moment, I will admit that it still feels like my loss. Because I don't have that to anticipate.
But lucky me.
I have friends who want me to come visit. So I get to get the hell outta Dodge once again which is awesome. And be with people who want to be with me.
And I will continue to be open to whatever (and whomever) comes next.
Monday, August 3, 2009
And, amazingly, I did it. I went six months with no dating, no kissing, no sex, nothing.
And it was good. Really. I really got to know myself during this time... I got settled into my place. I spent amazing time with my son. I made new friends (and lost a few)...
I've become the person I think I was trying to be for so long, but couldn't. Because I needed to be in this place, with these rules.
It wasn't always easy. There were a few lonely times. But more "missing my son" times than "wishing I had a significant other" times. There were moments when I hoped my husband and I might reconcile... And excruciating moments when I realized it's not going to happen.
I'm still navigating this path towards my future as a whole woman... And finding the balance between the "Zen RetroMama" and the "Fun RetroMama." Because I've been told that they are not one and the same.
There has been a cautious growth in my relationship with my cousin. I was thrilled when she and her family made the trip into the City so that I could meet her baby boy. And it was beautiful to see that we could so easily fall back into the banter at which we'd always excelled. And it was beautiful to realize that she's been on this similar journey of self-awareness.
I've focused more on my goals. I've set some major ones. And I've reached some major ones.
I've become much more adept at "letting go". And I've been much quicker to stand up for myself and my beliefs. And quicker to not waste time with those who will not be a valuable member of my world. And quicker to acknowledge the value of those who will be.
And, suddenly, I'm able to talk to men without having panic attacks. Okay, probably not suddenly. It's been a process. But I can now have a conversation with a man without calling CB and crying about how to handle the attention. Because, yes, I was that girl. And not that long ago.
But now, I'm this different person.
And, yes. I'm dating.
I've been out on a couple of "first dates". Which were, surprisingly, wonderful.
And even a "second date". Which was, not surprisingly, but surprising AND wonderful.
And I'm being honest.
Explaining that my son is my priority, and that I'm enjoying dating, but am not certain I'm ready to become sexually intimate with someone.
Realizing that while I do kick ass and am not taking anybody's shit anymore, I'm still vulnerable. And I'm not ready to give my heart (or my body) to anybody at this point.
And realizing that I am choosing to be around people who respect that. And that I am attracting people to me who respect that.
And trusting myself. And trusting those around me.
This has probably been the tamest six months of my adult life. But I have learned the most valuable lesson of all: Patience.
I'm ready for the next challenge, the next phase. I'm excited about what the next six months will bring.
First and foremost: Kicking cancer's ass.
But living in the meantime. And savoring every moment.