Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mermaids belong in the ocean

It's a terrible thing when I stop writing. Everything gets stuck in my head. I need to be more careful about not only writing when I'm miserable.  Someone told me that they read my blog and were concerned, then realized it was over a month ago so I most likely fine since I was still alive.  Logical conclusion.  Another logical conclusion is that I'm not writing enough.  I was thinking maybe I would like to make myself a new wishlist for my life. It doesn't need to be New Years for that, does it?  I don't even know if it's going to be wishes. It's just a damn list.
1. Can the anxiety stop please? Just fucking stop. STOP.
My daughters father got married the third week of September. I was actually scared that going to the wedding might upset me. Of all of the selfish bullshit that runs through my head, this certainly took the cake.  He was getting married to this woman who I and my children love and I was worried that I might get upset.  Why? Because we got married in Hawaii once? Like old demons were going to jump out of the ocean and get me?  As it turned out, the bride to be needed emergency surgery to have her appendix out and I was so damn scared that she might die that I didn't have time or tears for anything else but making sure she was alive, happy, hydrated, or anything else I could think of. And she takes the time to pull me aside and tell me she loves me and I should be there and I'm family. Six and a half years ago I would never thought that I'd be saying I'm so lucky to have her and I love her so and she deserves to be my daughter's other mommy.  But I am.  While I was in Hawaii on that vacation, my son's dad sent over the first draft of divorce papers and threw my anxiety into chaos again. I swam out into the ocean and cried my eyes out. Like a crazy person.  There are days that I feel like I give myself too much credit for having feelings and days when I just can't control them.  I swam out to see and prayed to God to be free. I don't want to jump when I see emails.  I don't want to assume everything is always bad.  I want to go back to being who I was before: happy, optimistic, confident.  Not scared, anxious, worried that something else is going to come crashing down on me. Because that's all my life has been: a series of disasters with little to no reprieve.  After 18 months and 20k am I finally at the end of this divorce?  I hope so. I came home from that wedding and went to see my favorite tattoo shop. I'm having a mermaid put on my arm. I drew her. I laughed when I realized that she's swimming away, because fuck these lemons. I'm bailing. I've had enough and I really, really want my heart and mind to move on. Most of all the anxiety. That can fucking go anytime now.
2. Faith in God.
People, I have gone down the yellow brick road.  Hello God, I'm here. We have our meetings daily. Maybe twice day. Sometimes all day, every day.  It's you and me, my friend. I have no idea what you have in store for me, but I can tell you the idea of free will moves further and further from my brain the longer I'm alive.  Too many things come together. Too many people find me and ask me for help when they need me. I catch too many people as they fall.  And you know what? They catch me right back.  I see terrible things happen and then watch it get scooped up and formed into something better, stronger, and it all makes sense.  Or maybe I make it make sense...it's hard to tell. But I know so many things wouldn't come together and work had they not fallen apart. I see it in my life and so many others all the time.  All. The. Time.  I'm not sure how this PhD in theology/world religions is supposed to come together, but I'm working on it. I got comfy at a christian church and a long lost bahai friend found me. Then someone sent me a Muslim book. I got it, God. I'm on it. I swear. No laziness here. We both see the stack of books on my nightstand. I'm won't lose my focus. I just need a minute to wipe my tears and pick myself up off the ground, ok? I'm still standing. I'm standing. I'll be moving forward again soon. I've almost gotten my strength back.
3. Faith in people
Why does my heart hurt so bad sometimes? I feel like over the past 6 years I've had this beautiful life breathed into me when it comes to my female friends. I have learned how amazing women are. How to help them, see them, make them feel comfortable and confident about who they are. Empower them and uplift them. It's a beautiful thing to give another soul hope, especially when I have been in those shoes and faced those struggles.  I think I was blessed with the ability to read people and there's something about me that instills confidence. Tell me your secrets, they're safe with me. I won't judge you. I will love you for who you are and pray that you become who you want to be. I promise you will be ok. You will make it. Your kids will be ok. And we will all get through it together. I hold their hand and give them my attention until they don't need me anymore. So they move on and that's ok. I can't keep everyone, but I am greatly comforted knowing that I have friends wherever I go. Hilarious for someone like me who is shy and antisocial in crowds, doesn't like to mingle or make small talk, and feels generally different from the rest of the world. But that's just me.  I feel like my faith in men is increasing. I'm engaged to a man who insists on wearing a wedding band and has a huge tattoo on his forearm declaring his love and commitment to our family. He never gives up trying to show me how much he loves me and wants our family to work.  Is there going to come a day that I stop waiting for the other shoe to drop? I remember promising myself I would not make anymore male friends because they were nothing but trouble. Dishonest and disloyal pigs. Then I met a really nice guy who has been madly in love with his wife for decades. Then one who loves his girlfriend desperately and I couldn't help myself. I let them tell me their problems and listened like a good friend and felt like maybe they weren't so bad after all.  I watch my fiancé tell me he'll get a vasectomy before we get married and promise not to pressure me to set a date.  My finance's ex tells me he loves me the real way and to stop being crazy. Then we all go to church together.  Then Halloween comes and I get dressed up with the four kids, my fiancé, his ex, my ex and his new wife, and we all go trick or treating. Because nobody wants to be without their kids and we all just get along. Because not everyone is bad and we can put the kids first and see that deep down it's ok to be friends because shit happens and the family you end up with isn't always the one you imagine.
4. Time
I have a great hole in my life. Its a black hole that sucks all of my free time. My alone time. It's why I don't write. I don't go dancing. I rarely paint my nails. I struggle to find time to read.  When I am with my kids, I make and effort to put my phone down.  Once they are in bed, my attention goes to my fiancé. Unless of course someone needs me for something, which lets be honest, is frequent.  So here we go, work, kids, adult time, friends. Fight it out to find five minutes to myself then go to bed.  Even now I'm sacrificing sleep to write, which should've been done months ago. Even if I had time to do my nails, I would probably spend it folding laundry.  Did I tell you I have four kids? Endless amounts of dishes, laundry, scrubbing, folding, dusting, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. And I wouldn't change it. My fiancé is right there with me putting things away, busting his ass trying to find time to spend together before we fall asleep exhausted.  But where did I go? How do I steal those afternoons away to go to the beach alone? Will I ever make it back to yoga? Will I start writing regularly again? Don't even get me started on school. Between those long breaths of him snoring next to me, there is a second of silence. That's all there is. Just a second.
5. Money.
Well friends, I'm 36 and having some major money issues.  After 18 months of attorney bills and trying to support 6 people on my salary, I've run myself into a stupid amount of debt.  Now that my fiancé has opened a new business and is doing well (hy yes, his old one did fail for a reason and become something better!) I'm hoping to clean up this financial crisis I've gotten myself into.  I'm still hoping the attorney bills are at an end, even though I have another 5k outstanding. All of these maxed out credit cards and anxiety over paying them can go away too, thank you very much. I feel like this can go in #1.  I try to remind myself that I am good with money, I'm responsible, and I can figure this out. I bought this house, didn't I? Plus my car. I've make plenty of mistakes with finances and I've also done a lot of good. I'm trying not to let all of this break me. Isn't my strength the rebound? Pulling the result out like the underdog I am? Beauty through struggle is the motto of my life. I'm so done with struggle. I'm ready for some beauty.
6. I want my innocence back
I know I'm the product of everything that's happened to me. I realize that I wouldn't be able to help the people I help had I not been through hell and survived.  But I miss my optimism. I miss believing in happily ever after and love and promises. I don't want to demand a prenup because I don't want to worry about losing my house. I don't want to demand a vasectomy because I can't stomach the thought of another man getting me pregnant and leaving me.  I shouldn't have those thoughts in my head. Sometimes I think I just look like I'm ready to cut and run at any moment, even though I'm not. Nobody wants things to work out more than I do, but I'm scared of what reality always bring to me. That's adversity. Nothing ever works out. I am constantly challenged, beaten, defeated, and razed to the ground. Yes, to rise again, but at what cost? How many wedding dresses are you allowed to buy before you lose the excitement.  How many weddings do you plan before you go, oh well, what haven't I done yet?  Or when an engagement announcement feels embarrassing and inappropriate because your many failures stand out ahead of you.
7. I need my sleep
I wake up constantly in the night when my kids aren't with me. I have night terrors. I can only truly exhale when my babies are safe under my roof. Not that I think they are in danger, because I don't at all. I just constantly feel in jeopardy. I want to rest. I want peace in my heart.  I pray for peace constantly. I don't remember the last time I slept for a full night and woke up refreshed. I wake up 2-3 times to check on the kids, go to the bathroom, get some water, and reach other to make sure I didn't dream the man who sleeps next to me. At least I don't wake him up to insist he pet my back and tell me everything is ok.  Is it ok? I'm still not sure yet. But it will be, right?
8. To let go
I'm a control freak. I think the hardest thing for me to do is just let go of a situation that is out of my hands.  It makes me crazy when people say "let go and let God". I just want to punch them. But I'm trying to DO something here! Surely I need to make some important decisions and FIX everything. But I never seem to be able to. I'm a victim of someone else's actions and I sit there freaking out until the enemy shows itself so I can get up and fight. I'm surprised by how confrontational I truly am. Not that I want to fight, but that I want to know what's going on and discuss it right away. I really do believe that understanding is reached through confrontation. But life doesn't work that way. You can't make people do things, force a decision, or make a change just because you want to.  So instead of being dragged along, screaming my head off because I can't control the force dragging me, I need to learn to let go, fall on my face, and just fucking sit there until whatever is going to explode does. Or doesn't.  I need to realize that I can't stop or influence explosions, so I need to stop trying. See what I'm talking about when I say this free will thing feels less and less real.

Right now, I feel like I should pray because, well, that's what I seem to be good at these days.  And God, we need to talk.  I know you hear from me all the time, but maybe just once more for today and then you can have a few hours off.  Can I sleep tonight, please? Can my heart stop pounding and my brain stop worrying about my babies. I know they are safe with their dads. Speaking of their dads, can you please help them be amazing fathers and providers for our children? Help them put their children first and give them the love and attention they need when I am not there. Help them be the amazing men I know they can be.  And please remember my fiancé. Help his business do well and him continue on his path to do the right thing in life, prioritize our children, and be the partner that I truly need in life.  The mother of his children is suffering. Please help her heart. She is ready for someone new in her life. Send her a man to love her the children who wants to be part of our big, crazy family.  Let her be the answer to his prayers the way my fiancé is the answer to mine. Please help all of our households prosper so that we can keep food on the table and the lights on. We are all struggling.  Lord please help me be the woman I am meant to be. Help me walk the path you have laid down for me and conquer the fears in my heart.  Help me be free of judgment to those who need me and give me the right words to say to bring them hope when they need it most.  Help me be the mother to all 4 of my children that I always wanted for myself. I do my best not to question why but see the wisdom in the plan that unfolds before me. Quiet my anxiety and bring peace to my heart.  And if you see my guardian angel up there, can you tell her that I don't need to see 9:17 twice a day anymore? I'm all done with that chapter. Talk to the ocean, she got the last of those tears already.

Goodnight xo

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gray area

It's been a long time since I written. I believe last time I wrote I was promising myself to write more often and I lost myself in misery.  I want to say as usual, but that feels terrible to say. I guess it's just how I feel right now.  My divorce has been going on for 15 months.  15 months of pain, anxiety, depression, fear, and uncertainty.  Not to mention hefty attorney bills. It tears at my heart. Every day I pray for interactions with my ex to be peaceful and productive.  I pray for both of us to have the strength and wisdom to put our son first. And it hard. It's so hard.  My heart breaks when I'm away from my son and I am upset when he's away from his dad for too long. I realize both are hurting him and there's no easy way to fix it.  The engagement ring on my finger weighs heavily on me.  I feel everyone's disapproval, lack of excitement, and disinterest.  I didn't announce anything publicly. I watch people see it, ignore it, and change subjects.  Nobody wants to be excited with someone who has been proposed to a ton of times and been divorced three times now.  It makes me feel bad about everything. My life decisions, where I think I should be right now, and what people think of me and my kids.  What sort of loser is constantly getting married and divorced? It's not cute or funny or amusing to anyone. Least of all me.  I know I've never been one to care what people think, but it still hurts sometimes.  I guess this is one of those times.
My faith has been suffering lately. I still go to church and I talk to God all the time.  I feel like I'm missing something.  I understand going through trials to learn a lesson and be perfected for something. At least I feel like I do.  But I'm at my breaking point and I don't know what else I can get out of these terrible experiences.  How long does the divorce have to drag on? How much does a mother need to feel that her baby is in danger of being taken from her when he needs her?  Where am I supposed to go with all of this?  And I go to a nice church, I do.  But they don't really welcome me and I don't feel like I belong there.  Maybe I don't.  I suppose I am just a Bahai in Christian clothing. I'm not one of them.  Maybe they can feel it.  Or maybe I'm meant to move on.  I am someone who is usually strong in my faith. I feel the presence of God all around me and I feel like I'm heard and watched over.  The absence of that feeling is difficult for me to deal with. Even if it might all just be in my head.  That familiar voice comes back and tells me that I'm not able to do anything, I have no purpose, nobody wants me, and I'm destined to be alone.
It's hard not to feel like a failure when you can't clean up your own damn life. I always say that if you don't like something then change it.  Well I can't seem to change any of this.  I feel trapped and miserable and that's not like me at all.  It feels pathetic and weak, but maybe that's what I am sometimes.  I feel like I constantly tell people things they don't want to hear because I'm telling them the truth of a situation or how I'm feeling. I shouldn't feel bad for that, but I do. The last thing anyone wants to feel like is a disappointment or worthless, but I do.
I'm the sort of person who doesn't take today for granted. I look for something to make me happy every single day. I remind myself to smile. So what happens when you have a rough day, look forward to doing something later, then have the weight of the world piled on you by multiple people. I lose my happy I guess.  I can't seem to escape the stress and get far enough away to forget my problems and find a happy place where I can rest in the sun. I'm uncertain these days that everything will fall into place and work out.  I can't plan a wedding. I don't want a prenup. I can't even get my last name back and finish my divorce. I can't spend every day with my kids. I can't plan vacations because I'm broke. Apparently I can't even go down to the beach with anyone without having some stupid fight about shit that I don't care about. I always default back to the idea that I want to be alone. Or at least that I just want someone to be nice to me.  I don't know why it's so impossible to attain. I think it's got to be my personality. I'm a really hard person to deal with and love.  But there's nothing I can do about that.
The last thing I want to do is default to remembering my past as the good days and think the best is behind me. I don't want to be miserable today and dream of the future when I can fly far away from here.  How far away is that? 16 years when my babies are grown? Seems like a miserable waste of time. I want to be happy now. I know I can't base that on how people treat me or what they think of me. I do. It would be nice if someone was happy for me, though. A little excitement would be appreciated. I understand it's a lot to ask when you're me though. I get it. I would probably roll my eyes at someone I've watched get married three times before too.  I would like someone to think of me first.  When I'm having a rough day and I would like some space or some attention or to do something in particular, it would be nice if someone wanted to put their shit aside and just be fucking nice to me.  But nobody ever does that. People always put themselves first.
Is that what I'm supposed to learn from all of this?  That everyone is selfish and life is miserable? I don't know how I'm supposed to uplift people and bring them hope with that message. I would really like someone to try to lift me up these days. But I won't be here holding my breath. I have made it my personal mission to make people feel like they are not alone. When everyone only cares about themselves, I reach out to other people. I make the effort. I'm starting to think it's a bullshit, thankless job. All people do is judge you and want something from you and that kills me. Especially today when I'm feeling so bad.  When I can't find the sun, no matter how desperately I'm searching.
I can't tell if it's the dawn of my life or the twilight, with the best yet to come or if it's behind me. But it is certainly not here. I have believed for a long time that I had a great purpose in this world to help people. I have done my best to take the high road, put others first, trust in God, and be the best person I can be. I'm so tired of the world turning its back on me. I'm tired of feeling like I'm taking a beating for no reason and no relief is coming.  I'm tired of feeling like nobody really cares or understands because they are too busy passing judgement on me and my life. I'm ready to stop trying so hard. Hey God, if you're still there and listening, I'm showing my cards.  Something has to give because I'm ready to fold. And you know as well as I do that I don't bluff.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Make new memories

I think it's human nature to try and attach other people and memories to things you like to do and places you've been.  When you're like me and you've been through a ton of miserable relationships, that can be really depressing.  Your special Prada heels remind you of the man who left you.  You go to your favorite resort to watch the sunset and you see yourself there with him remembering the loneliness and sadness.  Your heart breaks where ever you go.  There are days when I feel like the world isn't big enough and I carry an ocean of sadness inside of me.  I want to move away, run away, go anywhere new and different. Find a new favorite restaurant and buy new, better shoes.  The problem is nowhere will ever be safe.  I learned a long time ago that there are people in this world who want you to have you.  They use you, put themselves first, and leave you when you're no longer convenient.  It makes you feel all used up and forget who you are.
I used to feel bad about loving Hawaii because I got married there once. Today I understand that I just love Hawaii and it's not related to any man. I've been there with my sister, two husbands, my daughter, and my company.  Hawaii has everything to do with me and not who happens to be with me for a trip or two.  Laguna Beach is my spot. I don't care who I lived there with or how many times or different men went there with me.  My favorite restaurants are mine because those are my taste. So maybe I've worn this dress with someone else.  It's my dress.  I'm having one of those moments where I feel like I'm going through the motions again.
I tend to feel bad when I respond certain ways in relationships and I need to accept that this is just who I am.  I'm not treating someone the same as someone else.  It's just how my brain is programmed.  I'm trying to rebound here.  I took my wedding heels and I wore them to brunch.  I took this special dress that I used with my ex and I took formal pics with my sisters and nieces.  I don't like having to sell things to hide from them.  I'd rather make new memories.  And I want those memories to be for me for once. I don't want them linked to another man or some crap he's done that was supposed to make me happy.  It never does.  Relationships just don't make me happy.  They give another person the power to make you miserable.  I have found throughout the years that I'm happiest alone with my children.  When I'm with a man, I tend to cater to him too much and I get lost somewhere in there.
All of a sudden my birthday is about someone else. I don't get to go to my favorite restaurant because we are fighting. Once again I'm standing there trying to watch the sunset while someone is making me feel bad.  My heart hurts from all of it.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the happiest times of my life were when I was single.  My little sister and I lived in HB way back when I was just 22.  I had just broken up with my long time bf and I was FREE and happy.  School, gym, work, beach! Then after my second divorce I had years of freedom.  I was either with my kiddo or I was free to roam around the planet.  Sometimes both.  Life was glorious.  Every time I think of heartbreak or misery, I can point to man who was standing infront of me fucking up my life.  And they wonder why I want to be single. I swear men are taught nothing but perseverance.  Just ignore her and she'll come around eventually.  And of course I snap into wedding mode because I love weddings and here we go all over again. One more disaster to deal with.
Men are always convinced they want me until they get me and I'm not what they thought I was. Then they leave.  Today I'm sitting in my bedroom wondering how much of a mark they've left.  Didn't I buy that tv with you after I gave birth to my daughter? Wasn't that box I used for my baby mementos given to us at our wedding?  Will the color of these walls remind me of us painting them?  How about all of these sets of sheets?  It's been a long time since I thought I was meant to be anything but alone. I don't think I've believed otherwise since I was married to my daughter's dad.  I've had two ex husbands teach me that lesson.  Tonight I'm sad about my birthday and being 36. I don't really know what to do with that. I guess I need to think about it some more and figure out what's really hurting my heart. I know that I can't fill a bunch of hurts with shopping and men and trips. I need to make sure I don't make those same mistakes again. I'm not falling down the rabbit hole again this time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Love and darkness and my side arm

I want to thank the universe for women today.  I have to say that the most startling discovery of my 30s is that other women are amazing people.  Today, after being real friends with other women for the last 5-6 years, I can truly say that my life is so much richer and full of love and support than I ever thought it could be.  If I am feeling uncertain, I have women who rush to reassure me that I deserve to be happy and I am doing a good job.  They dislike the people who are hurting me and they pray for me to feel better.  When I feel sad and lonely, I receive text messages telling me that I am loved and cared about.  When I am broke they remind me that money doesn't count when it comes to friendship and sometimes they buy me lunch knowing that I will return the favor when I have a few dollars in my pocket. When I freeze at work and am overwhelmed, they talk me back down to sanity and hold my hand until I complete my projects then check on me later to make sure I am ok.  I am honored to call these people friends.  There are moments I sit in stunned silence wondering what I ever did to deserve such amazing friends. The beautiful thing about people is we can always find a common ground to relate to each other on if we try.  It doesn't matter if I've known you for 20 years and consider you family or we met through work or maybe you were part of an online mommy group for the past couple of years and we've never met in person.  You have the ability to acknowledge that every person on this earth has the same worth as you do and deserves love, consideration, and respect.  I do my best to be a good friend back to these amazing people.  In fact, I think that my dedication to being a good friend makes me hard to be around sometimes.
I'm the type of person who doesn't like to multitask when it comes to people.  When I'm with my kids, I rarely have my phone in my hand.  When I'm on a date, I'm busy looking into someone's eyes and understanding them.  If you are having a problem and need to talk, then I am focused on you.  Nobody wants to hear the buzz buzz of a text message when they are pouring their heart out to you.  If you end up in a relationship with me, you understand how what I feel my mission in life is overlaps with my dedication to being a good friend.  You see, I believe that my calling is to bring hope to women and uplift them.  I honestly do.  I take great pride in being the first person someone tells their good or bad news too.  Most of the time it's bad, yes, but it brings meaning to all of the suffering I've been through in my life.  If I can listen to someone, understand them, and help them believe that they can make it through their circumstance, then my heart is happy.  Yes, I feel anxious when I get that message late at night or early in the morning that says "hey, are you up?" It is a hard thing to reach out to someone for help.  If you pick me as that lifeline, you bet your ass I'm going to take that seriously.  I have pulled my car over to talk to someone because they needed someone to listen. I have told my boyfriend that I'm sorry, but you have to wait, this is an emergency, and expected him to understand. I can only imagine what he must think of the constant flow of text messages or people needing support.  I'd like to think that by knowing who I am and how I've impacted his life that he understands.  Either way, it is what it is and I am who I am.
I've always thought it was odd that people come to me for advice.  I used to think that my life was such a mess that theirs was better by comparison.  Maybe it's because I do my best and try not to judge.  Over the past year there has been a massive increase in the amount of people who want to talk to me about God and religion.  I'm always happy to listen to someone while they figure out who they are and what they believe.  I think it's very important to understand that all people are different and they walk a different path. I would never tell someone what to do or what to think.  Or I should say I try not to.  I'm only human afterall and I know I've made mistakes trying to help people along the way.  It's not always easy to remain impartial when it's a subject I care deeply about.  I look at myself, divorced three times, two kids from different dads, covered in ink, blue hair, mid 30s, a Bahai going to a Christian church...the list goes on and on.  What in the world are you doing asking me for advice?  I am not perfect. I do not have all the answers.  I get lost and confused and scared just as much as everyone else.  I regularly screw up my life, get up, shake it off, remember what I'm grateful for and set about figuring out who I am and what I stand for all over again.
I like to think of myself as the world's most amazing work in progress.  I read my history through the tattoos on my arms and smile.  Wow, girl, you've been through A LOT and look at you sitting here smiling in your underwear.  Calling in sick to work to focus on paperwork for your year long divorce and ended up taking a nap, vacuuming, and daydreaming about your next engagement ring. You never learn, do you? But look it's sunny outside and you have milk and cookies hiding by the bed for after date night tonight. Isn't it amazing you have a new bra and panty set to wear and they match your new heels? You're going to go to Miami and see your best friend soon! You get to go to brunch and dancing for your birthday! Did I mention that alllll the bills are paid this month AND you have movie tickets in your purse to see Star Wars on the beach?!  You can say this however you want to: God is good. The universe balances. You get what you deserve.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
I watch people search for happiness in other people and material possessions.  People are wonderful and I'm very grateful for everything I have, but they don't make me happy. I make me happy. I am a complete and whole person on my own.  I became that way with a massive amount of effort.  There's no partner, vacation, or even drug that will make you happy.  You talk to yourself more than anyone else does.  Think about that.  The answer is in your own head.  How you see the world dictates how you exist in it.  We have so many thoughts flying around us.  Only the ones that you accept as true have the power to make you miserable or happy.  Trust me I could make you a list of 90 things that are causing me stress and misery right now, but why the hell would I want to do that?  You have to make the choice to be positive and grateful.  We all need to complain and vent. Go ahead.  But how are you talking to people? Do you say hello and pour out your troubles? Or say hello and celebrate your successes?  Do not give negative things and people the power to dictate your whole life.  What a waste.  Instead let the positive things, even if they are outnumbered, lead your mind and heart.  You can do it.  When you are feeling negative, acknowledge it.  Point it out and label it. Give yourself 10 minutes to say this is frustrating me. I'm freaked out over this. It will help you compartmentalize it.  Make a decision that is "good enough" about your problems. No path is perfect.  Make the best choice possible and be at peace with that.  Decide to look for a new job. Research new schools for your kids. Accept that you need a new car.  Approach your partner about counseling.  Admit you can't afford that vacation.  Now focus on what you do have and what you can do again.  Lastly, touch someone.  People, I cannot emphasize the value of physical affection.  The energy that each of us has and transfers to other people is massive.  Hug your kids. Have sex with your spouse. Shake hands with people. Put your hand on someone's shoulder to comfort them. Yes you can do it.  Go get a massage.  Touch is healing. I think there would be a lot of much happier marriages out there if people were forced to hug each other after 10 mins of arguing and that's no joke.  Do you know how much miscommunication can be resolved through the sincerity of touch?  Try it.  Next time you argue and want to kill your partner, just go hug them and take a deep breath.  Sounds scary, right?  Nobody is scarier to argue with than me and it diffuses me every time.  I personally think that couples should have sex as often as possible to keep all forms of affection and communication open.  Yes you have 10 mins for that. Quit complaining.  Go put your hands on their face every day for a week and stick your tongue in their mouth and watch you smile at each other and see each other again for a moment through all the bills and kids and dirty dishes and remember that you actually like each other.  I promise, it works.
So dear friends reading this, both men and women, thank you for being here for me. Thank you for all of the letters from your sides of the world. I'm going to work on writing more often again and focusing on what's important: being emotionally healthy and helping each other.  I hope you find a way to uplift yourselves by being grateful, labeling your thoughts, making decisions, and touching people. I hope you value the relationships in your life and remember that people are not perfect, but we are all trying in our own ways.  Even if it's not me you're talking to, I hope you are talking to someone because you deserve to be heard.  In fact, I hope to hear from you soon.
xo
The Elitist

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sparkle

My girlfriend, fresh off of a divorce, sent me this article written by a girl who had found the "man of her dreams". She was so relieved that she hadn't settled for good enough and married the last guy she was dating.  You guys, she didn't just feel a spark when they kissed or saw each other.  They "sparkled" all the time, like, even when eating dinner.  That is true love.  That's what you should be looking for.  I laughed so hard I choked on leftover spaghetti. I may have been eating it out of the container in the kitchen, cold, wearing just my underwear because the kids were in bed and I was starving and half way between wanting a shower and needing food to survive.
Love is an amazing thing. I breath love. I need it to survive. I think I'm pretty good at finding love, falling in love, even staying in love. I can find one redeeming quality in a person and love them passionately for it, foregoing all common sense and red flags they throw at me in droves.  One of my girlfriends recently said to be that she had "accepted the fact that I love often and much." Dude, ouch. Is that me? Yes, ok it's me.  It's like I'm somewhere between Mother Theresa trying to love everyone in the world and some boy-crazy teenager with the sex drive of a newly released convict.  But I digress.  Girl, I want to talk to you about sparkle.
It's easy to be happy when things are good.  You fight over what movie to watch. You're insecure because he didn't introduce you to his friends fast enough at the party. Maybe your ring isn't big enough or your outfits don't match exactly. I don't know.  It's like when my 18 month old plays in the kitchen. Everything he takes out of the pot and stuffs in my mouth (say ahhhh!) tastes delicious. Even when disaster strikes and he drops his whisk, you are quickly back to delicious foods on their way to your mouth. I'm not saying you don't have real problems or you haven't experienced real life yet, but, ok wait, maybe I am.  You have to look at the scale of your life to figure this out.  When you are a teenager, someone wearing your prom dress is the worst thing that can happen to you.  In college, not having money for that spring break trip is a disaster.  After all that sparkles turns out not to be gold and diamonds, then what?
What happens after you have a mortgage and kids?  When you can't sit down and enjoy dinner and look into each other's eyes. When you're too tired for sex or sore after childbirth or you feel ugly with those stretch marks?  Maybe you cleaned up so many dirty diapers today, cleaned every dish in your house, managed to step in cat puke twice, and your head hurts so bad that if someone puts anything that is not chocolate in your mouth you may actually lose your shit.  No, I don't feel sparkly. Get your sweaty hands off of my ass.  Just no.  NO.
Let me tell you about sparkle in your mid 30's with kids.  How about making dinner when we get home.  Cleaning the sippy cups and remembering to take the plastic part out.  Cutting enough apples for everyone's lunches.  Hold the baby or distract him for 10 minutes.  Put on a show for the kids or take them for a walk or to the park so I can eat something, anything without a little hand or mouth on it. Or on me.  Throwing all the toys in the bin and folding the blankets on the couch so I an sit there and watch my favorite show on Netflix.  With a cup of tea. And a shoulder rub.  Start the shower for me and maybe don't get in.  Hand me my towel.  Ask me about my day and listen for 5 minutes and tell me about yours, then let's change the subject and be happy.  Tell me you hate the cat too.  Find a piece of chocolate you hid from the kids.  Talk about all of the things we're grateful for instead of everything that's wrong and let's focus on what we have.
Do you have any idea how hard that is?  If you can manage that twice a week then you are a fucking rockstar. I feel like I should tell you this great secret to relationships: They are not 50/50.  Divorce is 50/50--trust me I know that one first hand several times over.  Relationships are 100/100. Each of you gives 100% of the best that you have and you pray to God that when those 100s meet, everyone has their needs met and can find a way to make themselves happy.  You try your best to see who you are with and give them what they need.  You clean everyone and everyone.  You cook, spend money, find space, and make the effort.  Expect nothing and appreciate everything. Verbally.  Reinforce everything good.  You are doing a good job. You are good enough.  You are worth this effort, all of it. And mean it.  Do not underestimate your three greatest tools: Love, Sincerity, and Honesty.  They run the whole world.
Any man who can step in cat puke twice in one day, see me covered baby slime, be angry at me for leaving his good knife out after I used it, forget to defrost the meat and end up with pizza, be broke/tired/defeated over our fight last night that kept us up and ran into the next day, and STILL want to put his hand on mine and look into my eyes and TRY to smile wins.  He wins all the things.  That's all the damn sparkle I need.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Queen stands alone

It's days like today that I fear I'm turning into my crazy man-hating mother.  I feel like I go back and forth in my head over men. I hate them, they amuse me, I'm disgusted, I like to snuggle, then I'm annoyed and resentful again.  I'm tired of making excuses for them and pretending like I have to put up with what they offer.  I like to tell myself that there are some men in the world who do half of the housework and care for the children half of the time.  I tell myself that fairy tale a lot for some reason.  These days it's ranking up there with me being a princess locked in a tower and a handsome prince coming by on a white horse and slaying the dragon to rescue me.  I'm not buying it.  Dear men reading this, feel free to email me evidence contrary to these statements.  Make sure you copy your wives and girlfriends on the email to they can confirm or call bullshit.  Because once again, I'm not buying it.
I want to know why in today's world where I'm an educated, successful homeowner that I should have a man in my life.  Sex? Ok, well I'm attracted to women too, so I think this one is on the border.  Not to mention that I have a long standing love affair with Lelo vibrators and my new spectacular shower head.  Companionship?  Clearly you have not met my crew of badass girlfriends who are there to hang out, go dancing, or whatever all the time.  The best part about being single is listening to them bitch about their husbands and boyfriends and then going home happy because nobody is making me miserable.  I think the "making me miserable" statement is one worth exploring.  As a single mom, I do a lot. I work, cook, clean, go shopping, take care of the kids.  You name it, it's all me.  When you have a man around, you end up taking care of him too.  And when he sits there with that jackass look on his face like he just can't possibly leave the tv or computer to help you do dishes or fold laundry or mop the floor, there comes some resentment.  I'm not a housewife.  I'm not even YOUR wife, not that it would matter.  If two adults live in a house then they should take care of it and that is the end of that conversation.  You can't expect someone to take care of you and your kids simply because your ass is in their house.  This is how husbands get their junk cut off in the middle of the night and I really don't need to make the news.
Am I willing to do everything to take care of my kids? 100% yes. Am I willing to wait on some man and his kids as well in exchange for him being my friend and putting out?  I'm gonna say no. In fact, I'm going to say fuck no.  I haven't written in two months.  That's such a long time.  I'm tired.  I feel like I say that more and more.  There are days that I wonder how much people can use me before I am all used up.  I'm still beating myself up over a conversation I had with my girlfriend a few weeks ago who just wanted to talk about her boyfriend. I eventually lost patience and told her she was talking to the wrong person because I don't believe in relationships and I was really sorry but I couldn't see why you would stay with someone who puts you through so much drama and misery.  Run! Run for your life and be free and happy and don't let some fucking man hold the key to whether you smile or feel worthy or not.  And you should see this smart, funny, amazing, bad ass bitch.  Seriously.
I need to do a better job raising my daughter than my mother did for me.  Fuck that fairy tale.  It gets warped from a white horse and dragon slaying into some bozo who comes home from work when you do and helps do half the chores so you can both relax together for an hour before bed.  It's a lie.  The mythical unicorn that never appears.  Did you know that rainbows are actually spherical too? Yeah, there's no end.  They're a circle.  How hilarious is that?  I'm getting a tattoo of a queen crown on my left arm tomorrow. I've started wearing a queen crown on my finger.  When my daughter noticed it, she said "Well, you're the queen. That's right." Because I am the fucking queen.  And I don't need some asshole with a king crown to match.  I don't need anyone to match, validate, or support what I'm doing or what I want.  I painted my bathroom pink because I can. Not asking permission or opinion is a beautiful fucking thing.  Spending that downtime at lunch or after the kids go to bed relaxing reading, doing my nails, or watching tv is amazing.  How about yoga and trips to the beach to just BREATH when my kids aren't with me?
I'm so tired. I think I'll drink a cup of mint tea, do my nails, and watch New Girl because I can and stop thinking about all of this nonsense because that's what it is. Imaginary necessary bullshit that nobody has time for.  Especially me.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The dark period

Last month my family came to visit for xmas and it was glorious.  When I really think about it, I can't put my finger on a single thing to complain about, which is pretty normal for me.  I like to remember the good stuff and forget anything terrible happened.  I got to see my nephews and niece, I got alone time, there was steak and crab legs, plus I deep cleaned my whole house. Clearly the best part was seeing my sister and her husband since they live across the country.  There has been one solitary comment that has been in the back of my mind since the visit and it was one that was made from my brother to the guy I've started dating.  It wasn't even said to me, so really, I don't even know what the actual comment is.  Just what the guy I'm dating remembered and mentioned offhandedly when I asked what they talked about.  And to clarify, I'm not upset or bothered, because if I was I would've just called my brother to talk about it like emotionally well adjusted adults do.  Apparently at some point in the conversation, he had referred to my single years as "the dark period".
It's funny to see an outsider's perspective on your life, isn't it?  Maybe there is a disconnect between how things look and how things are.  Certainly this blog only made things worse because I poured out my miserable, black heart here and hated the world and everyone in it.  It was pretty dark.  In fact, I think I referred to myself as hidden from the sun several times there.  Now I want to talk about something else in relation to that period now since it's on my mind.
Let me tell you what it was really like after the divorce from my daughter's father when I was single.  In the beginning, it was scary. I was alone in a house with a baby and I had nobody that I felt I could call to save me.  Was that true? No, it was not. If there was an emergency, I could've called my ex and he would've been there in 2 seconds to protect his daughter and make sure I was still alive, despite living with his new gf.  But I was scared.  And heartbroken.  I had lost my best friend.  The man who had promised to stand by my side forever was now standing next to someone else in a house that we had built to fill with our babies and driving a car that I had bought to say thank you for being such a wonderful partner for our anniversary.  But I did not stay like that for years until I was married again. Quite the contrary, I mark those years as some of the happiest and most free of my life thus far.
I learned how to make friends.  Good friends, and with women. I developed new hobbies, had brunch, traveled out of town to see friends, started reading again, decided I liked makeup and nail polish, and ate way too much dessert to even out all the effort I was putting in at the gym.  I was a mom and I was sexy. I called all of the shots.  I was on a path to be the best version of myself and do the right thing and it all seemed to pay off.  I became friends with my ex again and I am happy to say I am now very close to his fiance as well.  Honestly, they are family to me and I don't know what I would do without them in respect to both of my kids.  Why were these years perceived as so dark?  Because my health was failing and my husband left me?  Those are dark things.  But I was by far happier than I had ever been.
If I were to call anything the dark period, I would say it has been these recent years.  I have felt more sadness, betrayal, desperation, anxiety, and hopelessness in the last 2-3 years than I have ever experienced.  And this is with an army of people behind me to listen, buy clothes and food for my kids, literally give me money, and show up to hold my hand when I need it.  When I look at the happy vs sad times in my life, it has been the married/relationship years that have brought the most sadness and loneliness.  I was never lonely when I was single.  How could I be? I had so much to do, people to see, places to go. Life was a constant party and I was blissfully happy with my little girl.  I can only imagine (and pray) that once this current divorce is final that I will finally exhale and revert back to my happy, optimistic self instead of having anxiety every time my phone sounds that an email has been received.  It's like a joke.  Most days I believe I am meant to be alone to raise my kids in peace, even thought I do enjoy having a man go to the movies with me, make dinner, or snuggle when I'm cold.
I've always thought it was an impossible thing to find two human beings with very different brains and thoughts and try to smash them together into a relationship.  It produces more misery than good.  And my brain and heart have been broken after this last disaster.  I have found myself for the first time not believing in relationships anymore and thinking marriage is a joke.  Honestly, it makes me sad.  It is the darkest my mind has ever been.  Me not believe in the power of love? It's like I'm not me anymore!  Well, maybe I'm not. Maybe I finally grew up, wised up, or had the truth forcibly beat into me with 10k in attorney bills that continue to pour in.  I don't know.  I think people can love each other, I just don't think it counts for anything.  I've had men who love me hit me and cheat on me.  I've had them go after money and possessions with no regard for what is right or fair.  So what difference does love make if it doesn't protect you from the evils of the world?  I think people are lonely and they don't want to be by themselves.  I don't suffer from that problem.  I don't mind being alone, making the decisions, and doing what I want.  The world is too big with too many people in it to feel alone.  What makes me feel alone is having a person stand in front of me who doesn't know me, doesn't care about my feelings, and focuses on what they want first.  I don't treat people like that. But I have learned that people like me are few and far between.
I'm 35 now.  I've been around the block (and alter) more times than I'd like to admit.  I know that everyone has by my age. It makes dating so bleak and marriage even more so.  People hold the sins of their exes against you. They are set in their ways.  If they have been divorced, they understand it's an acceptable option when you are married.  It shouldn't be.  If you know you can survive without someone, it's really hard to pretend to need them and people want to feel needed.  It doesn't mean you don't appreciate them, but that never seems to be enough.  Men want your body, blood, and soul.  Sorry, but I can't give you that.  You don't get to own me or use me.  You can't take advantage of me and break me.  I have kids to raise, so they get all that good stuff.  Mom doesn't lose her mind, job, responsibilities, and common sense.  She makes dinner, does the dishes, and then shaves her legs and for sexy time before bed at a reasonable hour.  I don't call in sick to work because I need my job to pay the mortgage and your tantrum can wait.  Way back before...well, I would've called in sick to work to make sure my man was ok because our relationship came first above my job.  What a wonderful world that was. Good thing my job was still there after he left me with our baby, huh? Not one husband, but two.
Today is one of those days when I want to reread my blog and see where those dark years are.  When I look back with my fond memories, I don't see dark times in my single years.  I see them in my married ones and that makes me sad.  People ask me all the time if I'm ever going to get married again and it makes me so angry.  Why is every so fixated on that?  Do you want to see the 8 wedding dresses I've purchased?  How about pictures of me wearing countless promise and engagement rings.  I've had enough. Cake, pictures, dresses, diamonds, broken promises, lies, STDs, all of it.  And I don't want to feel this way.  The dark period is now and I pray for it to be gone every day. If I could snap my fingers and renew my faith in men and marriage, I would.  On January 1, I made a list of 10 things I was going to pray for this year for my life and people in it.  This was at the top of the list.  I don't want to get married to fix my life.  I'm not sure I will ever get married again.  I want the heaviness on my heart to be lifted.  I want to believe in love and happiness and honesty again in relationships instead of assuming the worst because "99% of men are that way". I want this dark period that has consumed my heart to be over.
You got it wrong, little brother. It was not when I was single.  The dark period is very much here and now.  If you didn't know that, then maybe I have been doing a better job of hiding it than I thought and that's ok.  Don't look back and wish those days had never happened.  Look at me now and wish these ones are gone.