Once again, I’m sideways.

I often have this sense that I’m askew. That I’m, somehow… sideways. At a party, I often feel I’m the one standing apart, aside, observing, not really part of the group. Or if I am part of the group, it’s often through a concerted effort. An intentional meld. I get the jokes a second too early, or a minute too late, or not at all. Or I get them wrong, somehow. Oops.

I’ve been watching “Parade’s End”, which is wonderful. Just wonderful. But I just finished it, and the happy ending left me… crying. Miserable. Askew. Because although I’m happy for Christopher and Valentine, and despite having zero sympathy at all for Sylvia, I am left wondering: was I the desperate, horrible wife who didn’t *understand* my ex-husband? Who didn’t *get* him, who didn’t try to meet him halfway, who refused to love him or understand the things he loved and then finally, just… lost him? Had to go, had to move aside to make room for him, his fresh new girl and his fresh, unspoiled, happy, UNCONFLICTED new beginning? Was I his horrible past?

And even though, no, I truly do not believe that, I find it difficult right now to watch such things with an unblemished enjoyment. It’s a blow. It’s a sorrow. Because I am the wife, watching my husband – who grew cold, and quiet, and uncommunicative with me in the final years – find a new life and a new joy with a younger woman. And it is hard to see that relationship played out as a triumph – even though I know, intellectually, that it’s not me, not me, not me.

It still, somehow, hurts me. Is me. Is him. Is her. (I never really knew her before, but all the years of photos of her in his lap, under his arm, snuggled against him, before we were divorced – the fact that he took her out for New Year’s two days after I broke my ribs in Florida in the car accident, just over a week after The Incident in India that was really the final end of our marriage, so while I was laid up in pain at my parents’ house, he was out with her for New Year’s… I think all of that has made her a “Her” in my head. I regret that. I think she is probably not a bad person. However, there it is. “She” is “Her”, and probably will be so for a good long while.)

Anyway. I was thinking about this, and wondering when I started to notice this particular slant in myself. And I realized, it was “Love, Actually”.

I saw it with my mom. It was supposed to be this great feel-good movie — but I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed through everything after Alan Rickman cheats, because I had just, shortly before I saw it, truly understood that Ex’s behavior had crossed a line. Before, it had been suspicions and discontent. Gossip and concerned warnings from other people. But shortly before I saw “Love”, the feeling in the pit of my stomach congealed into a horrified surety that wouldn’t properly leave me until… well. I still feel that way, sometimes, even though we’re divorced, when I’m surprised by a photo of him with her. I breathe and smile and let it go, because that was the whole *purpose* of the divorce. But it’s hard to retrain your heart and your glands and whatever part of your brain processes feelings of betrayal.

Anyway, I couldn’t tell my mom what was going on, because I’d started the long – oh SOOOO long – process of lying, of hiding what was happening, of making Ex look good to everyone around while dying inside… so I just sobbed and sniveled into my Kleenex and tried to pretend it was just sentimentality. So many people love that movie. I hated it. To me, the movie boils down to that one storyline; and it’s not about love. It’s about betrayal, and failure, and being utterly sad and alone in a crowd of happy people. It’s about the terror of truly understanding for the first time that someone who’s supposed to be the closest to you really doesn’t care at all, and is going to hang you out to dry, and you’d better figure out a way to make it work, and triple-quick, because otherwise people are going to notice and ask questions. And then there’ll be trouble.

It’s the story of my life from then until the end of my marriage. Thank god I am rewriting the story now.

Anyway — back to Parade’s End. I’m in a much better place now, and I did enjoy the mini-series a great deal. I think Benedict Cumberbatch is wonderful in it – the whole cast is, really (OMG, anybody else who watched “Boardwalk Empire”, did you recognize the actor who played Al Capone / MacMasters?!?!?!!!?!?!!!! I about died when I figured out that was who that actor was!!) and all in all, I enjoyed it more than “Love”. But… I can’t wait until I can just watch love stories again without that pang, or without the possibility of them just going completely sideways. I’m wistful about it. I know the day will come. I’m hopeful it’s sooner rather than later. :}

Another Day, Another Dude I Can’t Date

Was supposed to return to my own home from my parents’ yesterday, but lingered to attend a concert with them, and my sister. It was lovely: on a patio, by a river, and one of the musicians was a friend I’ve not seen in – brace yourself – 22 years. (Yes, that’s two twos there. He was counting it out, and I said, “no, don’t, really,” and he finished the sentence with “it’s been twenty-two YEARS!!” and I believe I actually wheezed aloud. Lord.)

Well. I didn’t know he’d be there, and I’d been practicing dance right up until the moment Mom said, “Really? Are you not ready YET?” and no, of course I wasn’t, I hadn’t showered or anything; so I put up my (greasy) hair and threw on a pair of jeans and a dark jacket over my dark T-shirt and put on some lipstick, because, OK, that’s something — lol — I really didn’t want to lose a moment of dancing time… so there I was, disreputable and not looking *at all* my best, when… around the corner, and I SWEAR it was in slow motion, sashays this tan, suave, formerly-dorky kid I used to know (DID I MENTION IT WAS 22 FRIKKING YEARS AGO?) in college. Daaaaaaaaaaaaang. He was looking foine.

(If you do not know this word, it is “foine”: like “fine”, but finer. When “fine” smells good, and is shaking its butt a little when it walks, and smiling that gorgeous confident smile, and has a twinkle in its eye, and radiating goodness from the inside, but just a little bit of the naughty attitude? That, my friends, is how I define “foine”. And you say it like it’s typed. Oh. And you have to make this face:
ohnoyoudint
–and yes, I keep that photo laying around. I’m not wearing that much makeup tonight. I tried taking the photo tonight and it looked variously like I was drunk, having a pleasurable but one-sided seizure, or having sexual congress with a mallard. So I whipped out the stock photo. VANITY, THY NAME IS GIGGLEPANTS.)

I digress. Hotty McTrafficStopper had just swung around the corner, earrings glinting in the sunlight, the cherubim and seraphim were whistling in approbation and St. Michael had dropped his coffee on Satan’s foot, which Satan had completely failed to notice because he was busily arranging his features into the “DAYUM that boy is FOINE” face, and I was really wishing I’d taken a shower. Oh, well!! I’d have to make do with my charm and just a soupçon of pheremones and DAMMIT, was that a wedding ring, oh bugger me standing, yes. Yes, it was.

Well, shit.

Sigh.

I was still SO HAPPY to see him! We chatted, and yes: he is happily married after 20 years (oof, there’s another one of those 2s) and has daughters, they’re gorgeous, and he’s still a great guy. And YES, I made a total idiot of myself babbling, because he IS an old friend and I was happy to see him. However… I am pleased to say my brain made the transition over to, “maybe he’s got a friend since he’s not available” without too much grey matter carnage.

But really.

lol

Poopsicles.

One Bite At A Time

It’s the answer to the old (and now, completely politically incorrect) question: “How do you eat an elephant?” — meaning, of course, “how do you tackle a large project?”

One bite at a time.

I’ve been trying to think of how to put this year’s transitions, fits and false starts into words, how to convey the immensity of my internal shifts, and at the same time the intransigence of my *self* in the face of inexorable coming change… and all of this has led to deadlock. I’ve spent most of 2014 wringing my hands and either babbling — which is my norm — or reduced to uncharacteristic silence.

This blog is one of the places I’ve fallen silent. The ability to say things that really matter has proven too great a burden: what to say, then? And where to begin? And how can I be sure that what I type so earnestly, now, will still be true tomorrow, next week, in a month?

Tonight, I’ve decided to lift that exigency from myself. I’m simply going to start. To type. To tell, at least about my inability to tell. :} It’s as good a place as any to start.

And tomorrow, or the day after, I’m going to make myself tell you some more. Maybe not about the state of my heart; maybe just about the play of the wind chimes in the window, or the slow roll of condensation down my glass. But *something*.

To communicate again. One word at a time. One post at a time. Fingers crossed.

My secret job title

So, wow. I haven’t blogged in almost a full month, and it’s not for any bad reason. It’s because there’s been so much going on. 

There’s a guy… kind of. Online guy. Far away. We’re not going past the “hey, I think you’re cool. We should meet up someday” stage right now, despite the fact that we’ve been talking for a while… and that’s just fine. Maybe sometime we will. I think I’d like that. We’ll see. :} In the meantime, it’s fun. He’s fun. And it’s undemanding, which is just perfect. 

My job is… insufficiently lucrative, but I’m working at it nice and hard. So that’s good. I’m finally present enough to put in the kind of effort I haven’t been able to in a long time, and I’ve started protecting myself enough to put this effort into my own business and my own work instead of someone else’s (and then getting blamed for doing it wrong, or not enough, or whatever). 

I have SO many ideas in my head right now that I’m having trouble finding enough time in the day for them all. For example, because money is tight, I’m learning how to budget properly for the first time EVER. I know. Hush. Some of us come late to the party. – I’m also elbows-deep in another idea for a complicated future project I’m starting to shepherd into… well. Not into life. Maybe into gestation. I’m still thinking it through. Not certain what it’s going to be yet. But the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together, sort of, I think. – Meanwhile, I have workshops and seminars scheduled from here to three states from here almost every weekend from now until the end of June. And there are a million little line items I’m supposed to be taking care of, and I’m sure I’m dropping balls right left and center. Oy. I’m making lists like a fiend. We’ll see, at the and of the summer, how I did. :}

Anyway. 

The reason I’m here typing tonight, when I had no intention to be doing any such thing, is this. I was reading a blog and a question came up and slapped me between the eyes. It’s something I need to think about, and I think best when writing. So, lucky you guys, you get to hear this through with me. The question was the second one here: it’s easy to define a “public” job title, certainly as it pertains to a job. As such a job description pertains to your life and the work you really want to be doing in your life, 1) Do you feel you’re doing that work? (my answer is yes) and if so: 2) What is your “secret” job title, the one no-one knows, but that you’re truly trying to live out day to day? Do you feel you’re living it, and if not, how can you live it more fully? 

So, here goes. 

My “public” job title, of course (or maybe not so “of course” if you didn’t know) is Dance Teacher. I joyously and gently shepherd teen-through-adult students into knowledge of ethnic dance forms. I am not the teacher who kicks your ass; I am the teacher who understands that you have a wonky knee and no sense of rhythm, and who will help you modify the movements or even just let you do your own free-spirited version of what the class is doing. I want to include you, to fold you into the experience, to let you exist in a space of less stress and more breath, and hopefully with a sense that you’ve been part of a community for an hour. That is my mission, my goal, and my pride. 

A “secret” job title is harder to define. Although, now that I’ve typed that… it would read like the paragraph above and would be “Joy Facilitator”. Or maybe “Love Facilitator”. Ooh. There. I want people to feel more love. Not only romantic love, but also love for themselves, for other humans in general. Love as self-esteem and also as tenderness for their own flaws and errors and sins, both of omission and commission. I feel like everybody tries. And if you’re not trying, well, that’s probably the most you can do at that moment. Been there, done that, failed to launder the T-shirt. 

Does that make sense?

Oh!! Speaking of laundry I didn’t do today… I’d better go do a load, before this Love Facilitator can’t facilitate underpants for tomorrow. :} 

Love yourself, if you can. If you can’t do that… try to hate yourself a little less, or to have a little less fear. That is my wish for you tonight. <3 Light a candle, pour a glass of wine, watch your favorite movie. Give yourself a hug (if you must, do it where nobody can see you). Dance a little happy dance at your favorite part, even if it’s the gory part. For me, it’d be the part where they FINALLY SMOOCH. Sigh. Awwww. xoxoxo

There And Back Again release date moved to July 2015?

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/04/01/87992-there-and-back-again-moves-to-july-2015-world-premiere-at-comic-con/

For real?

(examines calendar to be certain it isn’t April 1, finds that it is, sucks teeth glumly)

Ha. Very ha.

Also, “The Legend Of Bilbo Baggins” as the ending credits song was a good one. — Actually, that would be a stitch, as long as it followed something that went with the end of the Battle of the Five Armies. This was what made my Spidey-sense twitch big time. lol

Damn you, April Fool’s Day.  And The One Ring.net, I love you. But today I love you kind of like you love your little brother.  ;)

Wearing It So Well

Wearing It So Well

Edited by 3 In The AM — wearing a bit of a worldly, victorious, but not jaded air. It’s delicious, because it’s still joyous, and somehow still wholesome yet naughty. Still him. And all I can think when I see this version of Richard Armitage is “Naked. Here. Now.” Sorry. It’s a bit graphic. But it is the first thing that goes through my head every time I see him at just this point in his career.

It probably has a lot more to do with my psyche than with him… and if he were actually to show up on my doorstep, I’m sure I’d run and get the keys to the car so I could show him all of the cool things about my hometown, rather than dodging to get my most exciting underthings. lol But the brain is a curious and shady implement and mine, right now, is reacting to his smirk by flopping onto its (metaphorical) back.

Silly brain. Richards are for the movies. Well, and for the iPod, in a month or so! (fist pump into the air, can’t wait for Hamlet)

(sigh) Smirkitage. Delicious.

** I finally had to post this photo, and my reaction to it, after seeing it several times on Armitage Agonistes; but if anyone (Perry?) has a click-through link to the image itself handy, I’d appreciate it. I did a cursory search but couldn’t quickly find it, and couldn’t afford to get bogged down on a long look. Thanks!!  — UPDATE — thanks to Perry for the link! Click through for the Tumblr-y goodness, now. **