Of Friends & Don’t Make Me Cut You

I know I’ve probably touched on this before, but I feel like I need to reiterate it.

If you talk shit about the people I love, I will gleefully cut you in the face.

I’m fine with people talking shit about me. Go ahead. Do it to my face. I’m happy to indulge you. The second you cross the line from me to the ones I love is when you’re asking for trouble. I believe I mentioned this in my update post, but the head of the  Medical Imaging insulted the school I went to for my pre-reqs that he knows my husband works at to my face. We were originally discussing another issue & he said something along the lines of “I’d like to think we’re a more rigorous school than GPC”. I played it off, but I was ready to tear his head off. He didn’t just insult me. He insulted my husband & my friends. Don’t. You. Dare.

One of the many things Daddums taught me was loyalty. I’m probably loyal to a fault. Once I care about someone, I’ll do everything in my power to protect them. Sometimes it’s even protecting them from themselves. God help the first person who tries to bully our kids. Both the kid & their parents will be dead before they hit the ground. Love is a powerful thing. Sometimes, in my case, it can bring out the darkness. Things I’m willing to do or say in the name of shielding others. Does that make me a bad person? I dunno. It does make me someone you want on your side in a fight, though.

The moral of my story, dear readers? Hold close the ones you love. Defend them. Support them. Beware of people like me who might be waiting in the wings to defend & support the ones she loves.

XOXO!

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Of Holes & The People Who Fill Them

This is somewhat of a follow up post to the last one.

I found out tonight that one of my best friends is pregnant. She & her husband have been TTC for a while so this is great news. Like bust out the fake champagne & party poppers news. She showed us the first US shot & it actually looked like a fetus & not a blob. I’m thrilled to be Auntie Em for the 8th time. (My first niece is 6. Excuse me while I go take my Geritol). Which brings me to…

She was one of Daddums “core” adopted daughters. He loved all of my friends, but a few of my friends were the Illuminati of his girls. I’ve said it a million times since he died & I’ll probably tell our kids when they’re old enough to understand – the thing that hurt the most about his death was knowing he’d never see our kids. He won’t get to see one of his other daughters’ kids (we’re all rooting for a girl btw). I came home & sobbed. Like battle tested the waterproof mascara sobbed. (It survived. Better Than Sex Waterproof is the way to go for mascara & deep emotional distress). Somehow that process led me to the loss of Little Emily…

For my new readers, I met Little Emily (she was 5’1″ when she got out of bed. I’m 5’9″.) when I was in AA under the mistaken assumption I was an alcoholic & not self medicating PTSD. She was there because she was a heroin addict doing her court appointed meetings. I’ll never know why they sent her to AA & not NA. She was one of my puzzle pieces. We hit it off instantly. Where there was one, the other one wasn’t far. She had her share of trouble while we were friends including getting tossed in jail for 30 days because she violated her rehab terms. She was self medicating bipolar 1. I never blamed her for the choices she made. I never got angry with her. I loved her. I loved her when no one else in her life did. The last time I talked to her (I’d call her when I was stuck in traffic on my way home from work) she told me very clearly “The next time I use, I’ll die.” It was a statement of fact. She committed suicide (by overdosing) on December 8, 2011. She was 24. Her sister called me at work to tell me what happened. I was, of course, a complete mess so my boss sent me home. As I was driving home, I saw a rainbow. There was no reason a rainbow should’ve been in the sky that day. The kicker? It was over where her house was. I’d like to believe it was her telling me that she was okay & I didn’t need to worry about her.

It took 6 years to find a piece to fill the hole she left. I didn’t realize until tonight the magnitude of the hole that she left. Until I realized who she sent me to fill it. She’s not a perfect fit, but she’s damn close. On paper, they’re not even close to the same. As people, they’re both kind, funny, intelligent, loving people who have big hearts & wicked senses of humor. I’ll always miss Emily. One thing my ex never understood was how I would still cry on her birthday (she’d be 32 this year) or her anniversary after the first one. Of course, he was emotionally stunted & probably never loved anyone in his life. You never get over it. You learn to live with the pain.

I have a Daddums sized hole that will probably never get filled. But who knows? Emily’s spot was filled after 6 years. Maybe several people will share his spot. As Mommums said – “Life is long & weird”.

XOXO!

Current Jam: “The Royal We” Silversun Pickups

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Of Puzzles & Pieces

I have a theory.

Much like my father, I have to tell you this story to tell you that story. However I promise it won’t end up at West Point or Netherworld. 😜

There’s something called “Spoon Theory” as it relates to people with depression & / or anxiety. You have a certain number of spoons on a given day & when you’ve used all those spoons, you’re tapped out. Some actions take more spoons than others. Why spoons? Not a damn clue. I’m also too lazy to google it. Anyway…

I have a theory about friendship that’s largely applicable to making friends as an adult. Puzzle pieces. Our social networks are puzzles. We all have people in our lives who make up our puzzle & we’re all missing pieces. In my case, most of my pieces have been in place for years (minimum 15). However, 2018 gave me 2 pieces I didn’t know I was missing. They’re very different people & fit in very different places, but I frequently forget they’ve only been in my life a short time. It’s almost like my brain has altered my memories to add them into a time where I know I didn’t have them. That’s also why eyewitness testimony is extremely unreliable.

I met a lot of new people last year. I met a lot of good people who I liked a lot. They weren’t part of my puzzle. They belong to someone else. That’s okay. Little Emily, who my long standing readers may recall, was a piece I lost. She left a hole that went unfilled for almost 7 years. (The 7th anniversary of her death was last month if you can believe that). Then I found a piece that fit her spot. A spot I never thought could be filled. Obviously no one can fully replace her, but this is a damn good fit. Another was a piece I didn’t know there was a spot for. I love these 2 like I love the ones I’ve had for 25 years. They’re part of my puzzle for better or worse ’til death do us part.

May you find your puzzle pieces dear readers. Your life only gets better as you complete your puzzle.

XOXO!

Current Jam: “Chances” Backstreet Boys (new album drops tomorrow! SQUEE!!!)

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Of maxi dresses and intrinsic value

This may sound like another self deprecating post, but bear with me.

First, thank you to my friends who kindly listened to the tempter tantrum I threw on Friday. Like the kicking, screaming, crying temper tantrum that one would expect from a five year old. I got myself all worked up over how I’m literally the only one in my social group who isn’t married. All of my female friends are married and have been for at least 2 years. I I hear the same compliments and encouragement over and over again. I’m smart, funny, pretty, and someone you just generally want to be around. As my BFF put it, to know me is to love me. My knee jerk reaction? They’re just being nice. Clearly all of that, if it’s even true, isn’t enough. Normal boys aren’t interested in me, so I need to change something about myself to be more desirable.

After I calmed down, I asked myself the very simple question that I’m pretty sure I need to write in big letters on my mirror or on a sticky note on my computer or some place where I’ll be reminded of it regularly.

Why am I basing my value as a person on a boy?

I pride myself on keeping a group of friends who don’t bullshit me. I am of above average intelligence. I’m very good at making people laugh, provided they understand my sense of humor. Attractiveness is highly subjective, but for argument’s sake, I’m of average attractiveness. I pride myself most on my loyalty. I’m the kind of friend who if you call me at 2 in the morning, clearly it’s important. I might grumble a little as I wake up, but I’m not going to ignore the call. My friend needs me and I’m going to be there. They wouldn’t be telling me all of the above if they didn’t mean it.

I’m worth something as a person independent of those around me. Yes, I feel left out. Yes, it sucks to make the inevitable comparison to my friends, then wonder where I fell short. It’s human to compare yourself to others. As loathe as I am to admit it, I’m human. For all I know, they compare themselves to me and think “You know, she’s got a pretty good gig going on”. I don’t need to pretend to be someone I’m not just to say I’m in a relationship. Sooner or later, who I really am would come out anyway. I’m a pretty damn awesome chick and if boys can’t see that, their loss.

Tomorrow morning, I’m getting back to doing things for myself. Funnily enough, it fell on the first day of the month. I reactivated my ClassPass membership & I’m getting back into that. I think part of why I gave up the early morning workouts is because it was so fucking cold. Now that it’s a decent temperature in the morning, I think it’ll be a lot easier to get out of bed. Then I have my workout done by 7a & feel accomplished before I even get to work. I haven’t been getting enough exercise & I know it’s very important for my mental health. I’m setting a weekly goal of one thing to add in my diet & one thing to remove. This week is remove soda and add green smoothies. I can store my NutriBullet at work along with frozen fruit. They get a little pissy about filling up the fridges at work, but no one cares about the freezers. It was the totally obvious solution that didn’t occur to me until last week. I love it when that happens. My goal is to build on the dietary cleaning. For example, I remove soda this week, then I remove candy along with soda the following week. I’ll add green smoothies this week, then add more lean protein the week after that. I’ll cap out eventually as I run out of ideas. I’ve learned from past experience that removing too much at once leads to bingeing later on. I’m not a big sweet eater, but when the mood strikes, I’ll have higher quality sweets on hand. There’s a Trader Joe’s about 15 minutes from the house & they have tons of healthy snacking options. This isn’t about slimming down or toning up so I’m more attractive for a boy. It’s about taking care of my body because it’s the only one I’ve got. I’ve spent too long not respecting it by dumping crap in & then just sitting around.

So there you have it, beloved readers, my Sunday morning musings. I hope that everyone has a lovely rest of the weekend & I will report back with the success of my early morning exercise escapades.

XOXO!

P.S. I’m pretty sure my mood vastly improved when I rebuilt my basic summer wardrobe of maxi dresses, maxi skirts, and sandals. Who knew not having your crotch pinched improved your mood? 😉

Of identity crises and I’ll laugh about this someday

Last week, I finally made the decision to give up dance for good. I went to class last Monday and before class was even over, my knee was screaming at me. It’s not just the patellofemoral pain, it’s also the leg with the poorly healed groin injury, and the side with the formerly pinched sciatic nerve. In short, it’s a hot mess. I’ve been told multiple times that I need to find some other option for exercise. This time, I finally decided to listen. I did the movie cliche of getting in the shower and crying once I’d decided it was time. I felt like I’d lost who I am once and for all. I promised myself when I extracted myself from Will that I wouldn’t give it up again. I wouldn’t let someone take it away from me. It’s the last shred of who I was before. It’s the last shred of the girl who got lost that day.

I find myself, once again, with an identity crisis. I gave up dance for the betterment of my own health. It wasn’t taken from me. I know I’m doing the right thing. That doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’ve gone back to my cave analogy. I find myself sitting outside the cave, not sure how to get back down there. I’m not even sure what’s down there to see.

I had an honest conversation with my friend who has morphed into this odd mix of big brother, dad, & friend. I’ve kept him actively involved in my adventures in online dating both for his take on the situations and entertainment. I asked him what drew him to me in the first place. He told me that he remembered seeing a picture of me he thought was cool & decided to start talking to me. As he got to know me better, he appreciated my wit & (funnily enough) maturity that he didn’t see in people his own age. In the past 6 years, we’ve come and gone in the other one’s world, some times less fucked up than others. True friends, he said, always stick around. He loves me and doesn’t want to see me get hurt because I lost sight of the fact that I’m worth more than who will sleep with me. That, unfortunately, is a nasty side effect of not having a solid grip on who you are. Fortunately, I have his voice in my head (and his texts on my phone) to remind me.

“Dancer” is really just an adjective. It’s not the core of my personality. I was rather fond of that adjective. I’m sorry to see it become part of my past rather than still in my present. I like to think that this will leave space for something, or someone, to fill the gap.

I am not a victim of life. I’m an active participant. I’ll just keep repeating that until I believe it.

XOXO!

Of spelunking and old bad habits

Today is the final move out day. I ended up not having any help. It’s all on me. In the end, I think that will be good. I don’t have a lot of stuff really. I’m not taking any furniture. If I start crying, which I probably will, I can do it in peace. He agreed to not be there while I’m moving. That would make it about 50 million times harder. He’d insist on helping me and it would just feel weird overall. I’d rather him leave with my stuff there and come back with it gone. I’m not really much of a ninja, but this is about as close as I’m going to get. Though I suppose ninjas don’t warn you they’re coming so you have time to leave.

I didn’t end up chopping off all my hair, getting a new body modification, or changing my style this past week. I did get my hair recolored and got bangs. I haven’t had bangs since I was in middle school. I hated them because my mom made me get them because she has bangs & my hair mimicked hers (Dear God, don’t ever let me do that to my possible future daughters). These actually look cute. Now that my hair is long enough, I wear it in a ponytail pretty much every day. Bangs are more interesting than just “hello forehead!”. If you’re my friend on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the end result. My dad said I look like Anne Hathaway. I’ll take it.

What I did do this past week was catch myself trying to fall back into a bad habit. It was still in the formative stages, so it was easy to back out of it. Eventually there will have to be some hard and, likely pretty painful, truth telling. At least I’m capable of sharing it with someone else because I’ve already admitted it to myself. Because of this realization, I found myself trying to figure out what “focus on me” really means. I solicited many an opinion, if nothing else to find a place to start. The best I came up with was, as always, an image. I imagine myself staring down into a cave. I know there are really shiny, pretty crystals down there. They’re all kinds of colors and shapes. I’m just not sure where to stick my foot to take that first step down. My BFF preferred the hallway analogy with a bunch of doors. I chose to stick with my cave analogy because the word “spelunking” is just cooler than “walking”. I digress. My therapist suggested I look at things I want to work toward or things I’ve stopped doing because I was in a relationship.

*cricket cricket*

I have no idea. I tried to think of what I tell people when they ask me what my hobbies are. I still self identify as a dancer. Can’t remember the last time I went to a dance class. I like to write, which is accurate. I’ve been writing steadily every day for about a month now. I like to read. I think I’ve finished maybe 4 books in the past 6 months. There are a dozen others I’ve started, put down for some reason or another, and never picked up again. I know there’s no rush to figuring any of this out. I have nothing but time. I don’t need to take up alligator wrestling or platform diving to make myself more interesting at parties I never go to. I have spent a lot of time questioning what sort of path I’m on and if I’m really happy with it. When I went out with my friend last weekend, he asked something along the lines of ‘do you want to get married?’. I did that shake my head and smile thing when someone asks a question that you either think is stupid or you don’t want to answer. I fall into the latter category. I told him I’m not sure. He seemed a little surprised, then went back to making fun of our fellow patrons in the suburban Starbucks.

So I’m still staring down into the cave, trying to figure out where to put my foot. Maybe it’s like trying to find your keys. You give it the rage quit and all of a sudden realize they were in your purse the entire time. While I don’t think “rage quit” is an accurate term, it’s close enough. I’ll get tired of staring, wander off, then proverbially find the first step in my purse. I have the support I need. I have people who are willing to sit with me next to the entrance while I try and figure it out. They may even offer suggestions, but leave it up to me whether I go that way or not. That’s what friends are for.

XOXO!

Of watches ending and phoenixes rising

Might as well not beat around the bush:

Boy and I broke up on Friday (the 13th of all days).

The 2 weeks of being at my parents’ house was the beginning of the end. We decided to take a break, step back, and assess what was really going on. As of Friday, the decision was made to end it. We both knew it was coming. In all honesty, it should have happened sooner. I can’t speak for him, but I would get frustrated, work up the courage to do it, then talk myself out of it again. What makes it difficult is we don’t hate each other. It wasn’t a matter of slamming the door, yelling “Fuck you!” on the way down the stairs, and having someone else go pick up my stuff because I can’t stand the sight of him. I really do love him, he’s a great person, and once I’ve cooled off a little bit, I’ll help him where I can in the future.

My BFF put it the best. She, like I, believes everything happens for a reason. He came into my life at a time where I needed him. I was a blank slate for him. He was the one who asked the question that allowed me to put into words what Will did to me. That was Halloween night of 2010. He showed me that not all men take advantage of women for sport. He supported me through some truly horrible times. And now his watch has ended. I’m grateful for all he did for me and I’ll never forget any of it. There should be more men like him in the world.

All that being said, it allows me a certain amount of freedom. I haven’t been single and not looking (for anything be it a relationship or a quick fuck) since I was 19. That’s a long damn time. It’s a long time to put developing myself on the back burner. Any self improvement was done so with the undertone of “Will he like this more?”. It wasn’t done just because I wanted to fucking do it. Because that’s a completely healthy and rational way to approach life. No wonder my brain chemistry was so out of whack. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m not sure where I’m going right now. That’s okay. I can allow myself to not have all the answers. Of course, does anyone ever have all the answers? For the first time since I graduated college, I don’t feel the least bit ashamed of living with my parents. They have a big house. They don’t charge me rent. They like having another person around. Why should I move out only pay rent (therefore not saving anything) and live alone (which I absolutely hate)? I have proven to myself that I am capable of paying bills, buying groceries, and keeping a pet alive. I’m not going to be parading a different guy through here every night (or week, or month, or year…). My 30 year old self is seeing all the benefits that my 23 year old self missed. Of course, as we’ve established, she was sick and didn’t know it.

Laugh it up, but I see the whole thing as an omen. I genuinely started feeling better last Sunday when the time changed. Sure, the internal clocks were a bit wonky, but it signified the artificial change from one season to another. The relationship ended on Friday the 13th, a traditional day of bad luck. What’s to come is unknown, but there’s plenty to mark the beginning. If I want to chop off all my hair, I can. If I want to get another tattoo or piercing, I can. If I want to completely change up my whole style again, I can. I’m not going to do any of that, but I like having the option and not having to worry how a significant other would react. It’s time for me to be selfish. It’s not a negative thing. It’s me focusing on me for the sake of my own improvement. Though I’m still not sharing my Tagalongs. Get your own box, bitch.

Yet another shout out to all my friends who have listened to me cry in their ear or on their shirt, sent me funny videos or cat pictures, or just texted me back when I needed a few words of wisdom. I love you all and could not have gotten this far without you.

Watch what happens.

XOXO!