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In case it’s not already obvious, I write most when I’m depressed.  It’s cathartic.  That said, I worry my writing isn’t helpful because it’s depressing or whatever.  I want people to be able to read it and maybe feel like they got something besides a pile of depressive bullshit.  So I’ll start with why it sucks and end with something positive-ish.

I’ve been slowly starting to slip into a depression.  I could feel it coming, probably a couple weeks ago.  I could tell because of my sudden need for space, to focus on my own shit, my feeling of being incredibly overwhelmed.  I could tell it wasn’t going to go in a good direction if I didn’t pay attention to myself.  Though, to be quite honest with you, sometimes it’s unavoidable anyway.  I don’t think working all the damn time and sleep erratic hours helps, though.  So here I am.  I think it’s some other things, too.  But this is the most intense depression I’ve experienced in months.  And it’s so incredibly erratic and unpredictable.  I go between feeling alright to feeling numb to feeling completely crushed, back to a state of being numb.  It sucks, but I feel the worst for those around me.  Especially those closest to me.  This is why I typically don’t like to reach out when I’m this down.  I feel like a burden.  Depression tells you you’re a burden.  My personal (and professional) training has taught me this: depression lies.  But when you’re depressed, everything that would be illogical to someone on the “outside” is completely logical to you.

This is one of the most cruel things about depression.  It makes you all philosophical (doesn’t help that I’m already like that).  You have all these deep thoughts about the meaning of life, your place in the world, your place in other people’s lives…everything like that.  But with a depressive, pessimistic spin.  And sometimes even realistic.  You never really know for sure because depression lies, but it all sounds like truth at the time.  And if something happens that even slightly confirms a truth that leans toward the negative, you’re fucked.  Unfortunately, I’ve had some of my fears confirmed in the past…so it’s easy to make assumptions now.  That said, I think a lot of what I feel is something shared by a lot of us with depression.  It doesn’t have to be confirmed by society, our family, or whoever.  It’s just there because that’s what it does to us.  Hell, it’s why so many people die by suicide and we hear their loved ones say time and again that the person wasn’t a burden.  So often, these individuals thought they were a burden and truly believed they were doing their loved ones a favor.  I know I’ve felt that way so many times.  Besides wanting the pain to stop and never come back, that’s another reason I’ve thought about it before. All of these feelings work together to completely mess with you.  It’s awful.

I feel like depression can really destroy relationships…or at the very least, greatly test them.  Sometimes the test is easy.  You tell someone you struggle with it and you never hear from them again.  Sucks, but whatevs.  The hard part is when you feel like you’re hurting other people who stand by you.  Maybe you’re an ass to them, or maybe you take every little damn thing to heart that they say or do, or maybe you push them away.  Could be a lot of things.  It’s so, so painful for everyone involved, and next thing you know you find yourself (once again) entertaining thoughts of just disappearing so that nobody will have to deal with you, and just maybe life will somehow be more simple for everybody.

It literally, physically hurts.  I came up with a good description today when I texted my boyfriend, desperate to try to explain how fucked up I feel.  I feel like I have a giant hole in me, and I feel like I’m going to get sucked in and be completed consumed by it.  Everything takes too much energy.  Even crying felt impossible until I randomly broke down and sat in front of the open fridge while putting groceries away, which I inevitably dropped because I felt so weak.  And I’m also a bit clumsy.

I wish I could draw, or paint.  The image closest to what I feel like is like one of Tori Amos’ album covers from many years ago.  She was flat on her face.  Of course, I wouldn’t want to paint/draw a close up.  Just a lifeless body in a heap in the middle of some dark place.  That’s what I feel like, and I’ve felt this so many times before.  I’m already tripping over my feet, and at this rate I could probably trip over air and lay there, lifeless, and just want to stay there a while.  At least I’d finally be resting.

It sucks.  I’m a high energy person.  Always have been, but I also have to be.  But when I crash, I crash hard.  I get physically or mentally ill.  Right now, I’m both.  I can’t wait to sleep.  I’m usually not the type to want to sleep away my depression, but I’m desperate to sleep it away right now.  Probably because I don’t sleep enough.

So, earlier I mentioned something that brings me to the one small, positive thing about depression.  It can be inspiring.  Specifically, I’m talking about art (though it can inspire many other things).  It inspires me to write, to be artistic.  If I could paint or draw worth a shit, I’d do that.  Sometimes it inspires me to play music.  Sometimes I wish I even knew how to do film because I get ideas for that, too.  It inspires cathartic release I guess.  And it can inspire you to want to help others.  This is something good about me, and it’s something I really love about my boyfriend (among many other things).  He shares his story with so many people and inspires so many.  I want to be like that, though I feel like I’m not far enough along in my recovery or even have much of a cohesive story to tell.  It all feels like a pile of shit that makes no sense, just some whiny ass.  Maybe that’s my depression talking.

I have to get to a guitar lesson before too much longer, then work.  Then cooking dog food.  Then amazing, blessed sleep.  I can’t fucking wait.

I was looking at my sweet Willow this morning (pictured below).

I’ve noticed this before, but it really stuck with me today: she’s got quite a bit of white fur coming in.  It’s probably not noticeable in the picture except what’s on her nose.  I really don’t care to be honest…I think the white fur is adorable.  It’s one of the things I find most endearing about my older dog, Claudia.  It just reminds me that my “puppy” is aging (for the record, I call both of them puppies, though Claudia gets the proper title of “old puppy”).

Willow was roughly a year old when we adopted her, and we adopted her nearly five summers ago.  It occurred to me this morning that in another 2-3 years she’ll be considered a senior.  That’s hard to wrap my head around.  She’s still very much a puppy in terms of behavior, but it’s also jolting just how quickly time moves forward and things change.

As I thought about my aging dog(s), I thought of a lot of things.  I think about how I wish I had more time to spend just living.  She cuddled with me a lot this morning, like she missed me.  I’m probably just losing my shit…she sees me every day.  But I work a lot at night, and I sleep a lot during the day.  Life has changed so much for them since my marriage fell apart, and especially since I started third shift.  Everything is different now.  I also tend to work a good 50 hours a week, mainly at my full-time job, though I pick up the occasional second shift at the part-time one.  There’s just hardly any room to breathe anymore.  So, in looking at Willow and thinking about everything that’s changed…I remember begging my ex to be cool with adopting her.  He wasn’t really on board at first, and I bribed him by saying I’d be cool with getting another cat.  It’s funny that it took another few years until that actually happened, and even then it was because I suggested it (I’m not really a cat person, in case that’s not obvious).  But we finally got another cat.  His name is Astraeus, or “Mr. A” as I call him.

Anyway, stuff.  I thought about time passing and things changing.  How different things were five years ago.  I can’t really recall the context, but I remember often saying this to my ex husband: “there’s never enough time”.  I feel like I said this a lot in the last year or so of our relationship.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I was panicking, maybe I realized what was happening.  But I feel that sentiment a lot these days.  I feel it as I watch my dogs age and I spend so much fucking time working and sleeping.  I feel it after losing one of the biggest relationships of my life.  Though I hesitate to call it a complete loss.  Much to my surprise, my ex and I are still pretty close friends.  That said, I think back about a lot of things and how I wish I could do some things different.  Yeah, his repeated dishonesty and betrayal is what ultimately led to this, but I don’t think he’s a bad person.  I still love him as a friend and treasure the time we shared together and how we were there for each other through a lot.  As much patience and forgiveness as I showed through to the end (and even now), he had a ton of it for me throughout our relationship.  I could be very difficult sometimes, and I was lucky that he stood by me through a lot of shit.  I’ll never forget that.

So in my “busy-ness” lately, I find I haven’t been properly grieving this loss.  The loss of what was, even if I’m still lucky enough to have a close friendship.  We’d been together nearly half of my life up until now.  Even if I didn’t completely lose him, I still experienced a profound loss I never thought I would.  I want to make sure I allow myself the space to properly grieve this while not putting a stop to the rest of my life, to the point that I don’t focus on what is right now.

In terms of time, I think about my new partner.  I’ve known him for nearly four years, he used to be a coworker at my job in crisis.  I started developing feelings for him over recent months, though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it started.  I used to think we were quite different, him being a religious libertarian and me being a liberal atheist.  I was quite wrong about how different we are, and I’ve begun to realize that as he’d become a closer friend over the last year.  He was wise enough to keep his distance given his feelings (which were there for quite a while) and the situation I was going through.  I respect him so much for that, among other things.  I’ve always wanted to be with someone who was emotionally wise, strong, and focused on personal growth.  He wanted much the same, and it really blows my mind that what I was looking for was right in front of me all along.  I’m grateful things unfolded as they did…we’ve been together just over a month.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I genuinely believe it wouldn’t have worked had things unfolded differently.  I’m beyond grateful, and honestly shocked, to have found someone who’s such an amazing fit for me, especially this soon, and it was someone I already knew.  Life can be sad sometimes, but also so beautiful, in how everything happens.

I think a lot about my parents, too.  This is a hard one to write about to be honest, and I’m not going to go into great depths here.  Some who read this may choose to take offense, and I’m not trying to offend or dirty anyone’s name.  It’s something I think about every damn day, and it’s time I get it down somewhere.  I think about how my relationship with my mom has changed…especially since my marriage imploded.  I know that, much of the time, she tried to be supportive and just didn’t know how.  She wasn’t always receptive to my feedback (which was honestly just feedback, not the attack she chose to see it as).  The distance between us grew, and now she hasn’t spoken to me in nearly two months.  The last time I tried to initiate a conversation and just asked how she was, she completely blew up at me.  The last time we’d talked before I attempted to initiate this conversation was a week prior, when I was honestly a bit freaked out that she’d made a mistake with Claudia’s meds that resulted in her getting an extra dose of two heart meds and two diuretics.  The most “obnoxious” thing I said in this exchange (in my opinion, anyway) is that “Tuesday morning meds are quite different from Monday noon” (she’d given Claudia meds in her pill container for Tuesday morning instead of Monday noon).  I’d explained it pretty clearly and my mom had done noon meds for Claudia numerous times before, so I didn’t foresee what happened.  Either way, I called the vet, Claudia was fine, I just needed to watch for weakness due to a potential drop in blood pressure, and also potential dehydration.  I think my mom felt pretty bad about this mistake, but instead of completely owning it she tried to say we both messed up (not technically true, at all) and continued to lash out at me a week later when I tried to just talk with her like normal.

I love my mom, and it really, really eats at me that I don’t have the kind of relationship with her that I want to have.  I’m honestly just at a loss.  It’s so hard to constantly be walking on eggshells, and then be accused of being the one that makes somebody feel like they’re walking on eggshells (because I tell her how her words and approach make me feel).  It’s hard to feel like no matter what you do, you’ll catch hell for it.  Even attempting to move forward from the bullshit and start a simple conversation.  Nothing I do is good enough.  It never has been.  Okay, maybe that’s not true.  It’s been completely dependent on what mood she’s in.  My mom has been my biggest supporter and best friend in so many ways.  She’s also hurt me a lot.  Shit happens, and I feel like we can all move forward should we choose to be accountable and address our hurtful behavior instead of repeating it.  That’s where the trouble lies.  Things don’t change.  I feel like I’m growing, I’m becoming more assertive, and I’m establishing better boundaries.  So, because she’s not responding well to that our relationship suffers.  I make no claim to be perfect…sometimes her critiques of me are dead on.  But so often I feel like I’m just a punching bag.  I’m realizing more and more just how much that shit broke me down.  I didn’t realize until me and my ex got together just how poorly I was treated at times.  So my ex got to deal with that baggage that he had nothing to do with.  And now my boyfriend is dealing with all that old baggage, plus newer baggage.  The good news?  I’m more experienced now, more insightful, wiser.  I don’t expect perfection from anyone, I just expect someone to put in at least as much effort as I do.  That’s a big part of where things broke down with my ex (and my mom I believe…though I’m not sure she realizes what she’s doing) but I feel like my boyfriend and I are “equals” in this way.  I’m going to steal his terminology there because it simply works.

So, I think about that a lot.  The relationship I used to have with my mom, and how nonexistent that relationship has become.  I figure, what’s the point in reaching out now…get my head bitten off again just for trying?  I’m too fragile, I can’t handle being criticized anymore.  I got cut down for trying to talk with her, cut down because of how I was grieving the loss of my marriage (mainly because it wasn’t on her time table, and also it was the holidays…a hard time for anyone I’d imagine), and cut down for any other little thing.  I don’t need to be broken down any more and told all the ways I don’t measure up to some impossible standard of perfection that no one could possibly live up to.  I’m weary of it, and I’m done.  It’s been quite painful to come to the conclusion that the best thing for me to do for myself at this point, at least emotionally, is not reach out to her while I’m fragile.  If we’re to have a relationship at this point, I need to let her reach out to me.  That’s obviously not happening, and who knows if it will.  It truly breaks my heart that it’s like this.  I just need supportive people right now, not people who’s meanness makes me wish I could permanently disappear.  I have so many supportive people in my life right now…so many.  No one can take mom’s place, they never will.  But I need to guard my heart.  Advice straight from mom in other circumstances.  It’s sad I have to apply it here, too.  I know a lot of her behavior is based on her own pain and her lack of insight to what’s going on.  I truly want to be understanding.  Admittedly, it’s hard sometimes.  I’ve pointed this out to her time and again, it’s adversely impacted most of her close relationships.  If this isn’t a wake up call to her, I don’t know what will be.  I wish I knew how to handle this, and if there’s a way I could be handling it better.  It feels like a shitty situation all the way around.

I also think about my relationship with my dad.  We weren’t close when I was younger.  He wasn’t perfect, of course, because nobody is.  I wish he’d handled certain situations differently.  That said, he’s become wiser.  I know he made mistakes, but I also realize some drama was created between he and I that simply didn’t need to be.  It’s impossible to make up for lost time, though I wish we could.  We’re a lot closer now than we’ve ever been, and it freaks me out it took so long.  He’s 61 now, will be 62 later this year.  Time goes so damn fast.  He’s still a mystery to me in so many ways, and I often wish we were closer than we are now.  As we’ve gotten closer, I’ve realized I’m much more like him than I could have ever imagined.  And I’m proud of that…I respect my dad, a lot.  Sure, I don’t agree with everything he says or does, but he’s pretty damn wise and pretty awesome all the way around.

I think a lot about time these days.  When everything changes so quickly, it’s really easy to think about.  Hell, I turned 30 last summer, and I realize I’m now closer to turning 31 than I’m closer to the day I turned 30.  And where is my life, exactly?  It’s not bad, not at all.  It’s just not what I expected, either.  And I have no idea where it’s going, and there’s a part of me that’s terrified to plan anything given where that’s gotten me.  I know I shouldn’t be afraid.  I shouldn’t expect life to surprise me in bad ways, especially since I’ve been surprised in some pretty amazing ways at the same time my marriage was imploding. I suppose it’s all about what I choose to see.

I suppose I should probably stop writing for now.  This has the potential to head in a toxic direction pretty quickly if I don’t stop it.  I don’t want to be toxic, to always focus on the negative, to dwell on what was so much that I lose sight of what’s right in front of me.  No, I want to live, and live well.  To do that I have to continue learning every day.  It has been painful, and it will continue to be painful.  But it can also help me avoid a lot of pain, it can lead to something more beautiful than what I’d ever imagine.

Thank you to anyone who’s taken the time to read this mess of words.  This is a lot more than I’d planned to put out there today…serious verbal diarrhea.  It was great for me to (finally) get it out, and I hope maybe it inspired some of you as well in one way or another.

Love is enough

I used to think love wasn’t enough, but now I know I was wrong. Love is plenty as long as both hearts are open. Love is about seeing the whole person, giving them permission to be exactly as they are, and seeing the potential to grow and be even more. Love holds us up when we’re down and sees us through our worst. Where the rest of the world has broken us open, love shines a light and helps us find a way out…Really, it helps us find ourselves. Love heals. Love gives us hope. Love transforms us into the best possible version of ourselves. Love is gratitude, and it reaps more of the same. Above all else, love will get us through.

For my sweetheart, the person I was grateful to call a friend over the years and am beyond grateful to now call my partner. Ours is the kind of love I’ve always wanted. I love you, Damhan.

fundamentally flawed

Sometimes I cycle through this feeling, and sadly, it just gets worse as I get older.  On and off throughout the years, I think of what Charlie Brown said: everything I touch gets ruined.  I feel like this, a lot.  Especially in my closest relationships.  And in organizing.  Basically in everything.  There’s a part of me that tries to reassure myself that I know better and this can’t be true.  But it’s hard not to believe it.

I wish I knew the origins of this.  I feel like I’ve always been broken, and I just get more broken with time.  And it fucks up everything.  When did it start?  I really can’t pinpoint it.  Maybe it’s something that happened long ago, or maybe I was born broken, born with something very wrong in my head.  I really don’t know anymore.  I find myself going through every day, and at times feeling this nostalgia for things that just aren’t anymore.  Things from long, long ago.  Things from the not too distant past.  It’s more nostalgia for a sense of safety I think, a sense of predictability.  Truthfully though, things have never been predictable.  Maybe that’s part of the problem.  And I feel like some of the origins of how fucked up I feel are from these things, these times, I’m nostalgic for.  It’s beyond frustrating trying to understand.  I feel like, in the end, I come up with more questions than answers.  More pain, and more longing for something I might never have.  And I feel like I may never have it not because of anybody else, but because there’s something very wrong with me and I don’t know how to fix it.

I tried to convince myself not to write this.  Especially publicly.  But I don’t have the patience to actually write on paper at the moment because I’m in word vomit mode.  I’m overly anxious, overly tired, and there are so many ideas in my head and I don’t really know how to articulate them all clearly…so this will probably be a mess.  But here it is.

I’ve been thinking a lot about religion for a lot of reasons.  I’m an atheist, though a spiritual one (whatever that means).  Raised catholic, though I was never heavily invested in my religion.  I was indoctrinated, as many of us are.  So I went along with it until it stopped making sense.  Until I realized how arbitrary it was.  And it’s all incredibly fucking arbitrary.  Religions are a product of their culture.  And they continue to be passed along through the generations, and sometimes adopted by other cultures.  There is most definitely some wisdom in religions.  Many of them share things in common.  I’d like to think it’s a strength to recognize how much they have in common…it shows our shared humanity and shared goodness.  And in some ways, our shared ignorance, hatred, and stupidity.  Basically, it shows that religion is a product of humanity.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I hate religion.  I know…hate is a strong word.  But it makes sense.  I started attending this church a few months back after a close friend invited me.  They’re very focused on social justice, not something you hear about from a lot of churches.  At best, I hear of churches doing their part to contribute to some form of charity, and that’s where it stops.  This church was getting out on the streets and speaking up about injustice, intolerance, and hatred.  Any church that does that has my respect.  So I started going to this church and immediately felt welcomed.  Also a little freaked out by all the hugs I got and all the people even just touching me.  I was quite guarded physically (and emotionally) at the time because of everything going on in my personal life.  It was a bit much for me, but I felt accepted.  They knew nothing of me but treated me like I belonged there.  And now many of them know I’m an atheist, and yet they still treat me like I belong.  I can tell they’re not just placating me.  They preach a message of acceptance, and they practice it.  I can see it in their eyes, how they talk to me, how they carry themselves.  It’s real.

With the exception of the UCC, I feel incredibly guarded.  The big problem with religion (I’m speaking mainly of christianity since I live in a culture that considers itself “christian”) is that everyone thinks they’re right.  Right in their intolerance, right in their rigidity, their hatred, the answers they give to potentially non-answerable questions.  Of course, the UCC thinks they’re right in advocating for justice.  Since that’s actually representative of the Jesus in the bible, I can get behind that idea of rightness.  That, and making people feel shitty for being who they are is honestly just garbage.  I prefer people and institutions that lift each other up instead of tear each other down.

And of course, my spiritual side would still like to believe this isn’t the end..that there’s some kind of life beyond this one.  It “feels” like the truth that this isn’t the end.  But truth isn’t based on feelings.  And everybody’s feelings are different, so everyone’s truths are different.  And that’s completely fine…but don’t push that shit on everybody else and pretend your truth should be everyone else’s.

Christianity often claims to be about love, but most of what I see is hate.  It teaches people to hate each other…and themselves.  Hate yourself because you’re imperfect and broken, hate yourself because of completely normal and nonsexual urges, hate yourself because you’re a sexual being (also normal), hate yourself because of who you are sexually attracted to.  By the way, what’s with the church’s obsession with people’s sex lives anyway?  Why is it any of the church’s fucking business if I’m attracted to men, women, people of a different race, or what have you?  And if I happen to have sex outside of the context deemed right by church (and how the hell do they get to define what’s right, and why?), why then does the church become this third party that has to be invited into the bedroom?  Another person (yes, another adult who is supposed to play the role of a god and forgive this adult “sinner” as if they’re a fucking child) gets to be a part of this intimacy that’s none of their god damn business, because reasons.  Why?  I have enough self-hate without the church.  And no, even if I didn’t, that wouldn’t fix the problems with the church and it wouldn’t make me stop asking questions.  My own insecurities don’t alone explain why I can’t stand religion.  But they definitely don’t help its cause.

I saw something online this morning about how we’re hard-wired to believe in a god…survival instinct.  We’re hard wired to want to survive, and religion perpetuates the idea that we live on, even if not in our current form.  It’s one idea, and a pretty interesting one at that.  Probably part of why I’m “spiritual”.  I really do feel like everything is connected and part of some greater consciousness.  I can’t prove it.  And I could be wrong.  I’m willing to admit that.  But religions can’t admit they’re wrong…and that’s another part of the problem.  Everybody thinks they’re right, but that’s just not possible.  And they’ll go to great lengths to prove they’re right.  Including killing each other in the name of their god.

I used to be a pretty ridiculous atheist.  The kind that said there was nothing good about religion at all, it was all bad, all it does is hurt people, and so on.  I’m not that person anymore.  But occasionally, I find myself slipping.  I catch a reminder of how rigid and intolerant these institutions can be, and I want to say, fuck it all, the world would be better off without religion.  It gets me incredibly worked up because it’s a reminder of all the harm it causes.  The murders, the self-hate, the suicides, the depression, the superiority complex…everything.  But then I think, I don’t want to be that rigid, intolerant ass.  Because then I’m just as bad.  I want to be able to bridge the gaps between all of us because of that intolerance, I want to build relationships instead of destroy them.  It’s hard.  This is one of those topics that gets me incredibly guarded.  Not just because of how it hurts me, but because of how it has hurt, and continues to hurt, so many other people.  Religion is strictly ideological, made up, and yet it has such drastic consequences.  Hell, it even makes people apathetic.  Because we want to believe we’re saved, or some god will fix the world, or whatever, some people use that as an excuse to literally do nothing but watch the world burn.  I suppose that’s one way people are representative of the god they follow…because that god is doing exactly the same fucking thing (by which I mean, doing nothing), assuming there is one.

I feel like I could go on even more, but I should probably end it here.  I’m quite emotionally exhausted at this point and just have a bad taste in my mouth.  I hate religion.  Okay, maybe not all religion.  I hate intolerance, and most religion seems to be about intolerance, rigidity, and ridiculous fucking rules.  Jesus was anti-holiness codes (but hey, who reads the fucking bible enough to know that?)  Blah.  Verbal diarrhea is over for now, I feel slightly better.  I think I’ll unwind the rest of the way by feeling ridiculously alive in the cold ass weather, and then play some guitar.  And get some fucking sleep.  I need it.

patience and hope

Today marks one month since I got divorced.  I didn’t expect to be doing as well as I am with all of it.  I wrote a bit in my “morning pages” this afternoon about some of these things, as well as other things I’m not going to discuss here.  It’s so unexpected, and quite honestly amazing, to actually have some hope for the future.  It’s not something I’ve experienced for quite some time until lately.

I’ve found lately that the key to just about everything is patience.  That and persistence.  When this all started going down, I wanted nothing more than to die.  I wished to whatever forces might be out there and able to hear me that something would happen and I could just be put out of the misery I was experiencing.  I’ve dealt with depression my whole life, but it seemed completely hopeless when the one person I thought I could count on gave up on me and did everything he did.  But I kept going because I felt like I had to.  And I had this tiny, tiny bit of hope that maybe someday things would get better.  I wasn’t expecting it, but I wanted it to.  That’s what kept me going.  That and some absolutely beautiful, amazing people.  I’m not as alone as I thought I was.  Sometimes I still have my moments that I feel that way, but I know it’s just the depression talking.  While I’ve had some people, one in particular, that said they’d be here for me and have really put me down for experiencing what I feel, for the most part everybody else has meant it.  A couple in particular have opened my eyes to new things and helped me remember who I was underneath all the shit that I was experiencing.  They continue to help me grow into who I’ve always wanted to be.

I’ve learned things are possible that I never expected.  I never would have thought I’d see a light at the end of this.  That I could dream of a future that didn’t include him.  That I would join a spiritual community that accepts me as I am and that opens me up to new things.  That I could entertain certain perspectives.  Some things seemed impossible…to dream of a future where I could still accomplish what I wanted, a future when I could let my guard down and love again, a future where things could work out if I was just patient with myself.  Honestly, that’s what a lot of it is about.  Patience.  I refuse to beat myself up anymore because of the shame certain people, really one in particular, wants me to feel about anything I do or don’t do, say or don’t say.  We can’t live according to what someone else wants, friends.  We can try, but it’ll destroy us in the end.  And sometimes what they want for us (or rather, from us) is based on their own sickness that they refuse to come to terms with.  It’ll destroy us if we let it.  It might anyway because we realize certain things are just out of our hands.  As much as that hurts, it’s okay.  I’m far from perfect, but I’m learning we can only do what we can, and just be what we expect others to show us.  Kind and open, loving and forgiving.  Patient.  Hopeful.  We’ll slip up sometimes, it’s to be expected.  But we have to learn and keep moving forward.

We can’t live according to what society expects, either.  Well, maybe some of you can, you choose to, etc.  If that works for you, cool.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work for me.  And I’m learning to accept that, too.  It’s okay not to have it all figured out now, even if this culture says I should have had it figured out before I left high school.  I don’t have it figured out.  Especially after burying myself in all the shit I was buried under for years.  It’s okay to take the time to figure it out.  And surround myself with the right people in the process, people who share my dreams instead of just pretending to like my ex did.  People who I can learn from and who are open to learning.  People who’ve actually said they’d be that light if I couldn’t see it myself, and they’ve lived up to that.

I find myself caught up in wanting to move forward on certain things.  I find myself getting impatient, and I catch myself.  It brings me back to the al-anon meetings I started going to with my stepmom for a while there.  “Easy does it.”  Things will work out as they’re supposed to.  I just need to have patience, keep my heart and mind open to new opportunities, and be ready to step outside of my comfort zone when the time is right.  That’s another thing I’m learning…to trust my intuition on these things.  We know it when we feel it, we just need to listen to it.

This song has been on my mind a lot lately, especially the last couple days.  I’ve liked this song for as long as I can remember, but it really hits my lately.  Things are starting to make sense.  It’s beautiful.

So, just in case you didn’t know, it’s almost Valentine’s day.  I would have nearly forgotten had it not been for all the commercial bullshit rammed down my throat every morning I listen to Free Beer and Hot Wings for a laugh.  Actually, I probably wouldn’t have forgotten.  But yeah.  It’s kind of hard to forget when it’s the first one in a long time that I’ll be single again.

Honestly, I’ve always considered it a super commercial holiday and never got much into it.  Being the romantic fool that I am, I saw it as another fun little excuse to do something fun.  As if an excuse is needed, but why the hell not.  The commercialism of the holiday bugs me.  Of course, that’s the U.S. I guess.  Everything is commercial.  I’d rather do something super special or out of the ordinary (doesn’t have to cost money) than get a bunch of gifts.  But yeah.  Last year, in a desperate attempt to save what was left of our marriage and do something different, I suggested a Valentine’s day event at the local nature center.  It was amazing and really romantic.  A few short weeks later he’d literally forgotten about it already…he actually admitted that.

Admittedly, this will still suck ass a little.  I’m feeling a bit cynical and am not in the mood for all this lovey shit.  It’s not really even that I wish I was celebrating it with my ex…those feelings are dead.  It’s more than I’m just bummed I don’t have a “special someone” in my life to share it with.  And the mundane, every day shit.  Because let’s face it, it’s the mundane shit that makes up much of life and much of a romantic relationship.  It’s about what you do with it.  I just miss companionship.  I miss having someone to love and that I thought loved me.  I miss sharing my life, my thoughts, my experiences, and so many other things, with somebody else.  I miss a lot of things.  But I also don’t want to be that person who is in a relationship just to be in one.  I’ve never been that way and that’s not about to change.  There needs to be something there.

So to the people who have a significant other…try not to take them for granted.  Do something special…something out of the ordinary.  Make memories.  Appreciate what you have while you have it.  And for the other single fools like me…well, I guess we’ll just have to make the most of what we have, too, won’t we?  That’s what life is about in part I suppose.  Perspective.