Solstice

Happy Solstice!! And on Saturday, it will be one year since my divorce. Feeling pretty good, coasting right along. Continuing to get feet under me – apparently I have more feet than a centipede. Vaguely surprised I’m still not dating, but they say “give yourself a month for every year of the marriage”, so I’ve still got several months to go by that measure… or if we go by how long the marriage was firm and stable, well, it’s probably about enough now. lol I’m juuuust about ready, I think. Starting to seriously look around, to seriously entertain the idea. To think about kissing again, to remember how fine that was. The firm sweet slide of someone else’s lips against your own… the tremor of anticipation mixed with excitement…

Oh, man. Yeah. That was just fine. I wouldn’t mind another first kiss. :} Or a second. Or a third. :D

Yup yup.

In any case, this weekend, for my divorceiversary, I’ll be teaching at my biggest ever event to date. Should be amazing. I’m a little nervous, but I’m ready and prepping and hoping to just knock it out of the freaking park, so I can relax and enjoy the weekend for what it is. And note the passage of time, but not dwell on it.

Here’s to the passage of time making this better. :}

Building up to letting go

Once again, Fall is upon us. If I were being “trite but clever”, I might write, “Fall is falling upon us”, but it really isn’t this year. It did sock my neighborhood pretty hard last week, with sudden cold temperatures and a shock of cold, pelting rain that was followed by three days of unrelenting chilly drizzle… but hey, that’s Fall. Now we’ve settled into a pleasant Autumnal pattern of mid-to-upper 60 degree sunny days with white puffy clouds, cold nights (my mom used to call it “good sleeping weather”), and soon-to-be-frosty mornings. The dog does his business much more quickly now, and I’m thinking, “oh, buddy… get ready. This is nothing.” If it stays like this for another month or two, I’ll be ok with it. :} Implicit in that comment, however, is the duality of doubt. More than doubt. Certainty: it won’t. Dammit. lol

So I’m getting ready for another milestone here: Mom and Dad are getting ready for their annual decampment to Florida for 6 months, and I’m frankly dreading it. Trying not to, trying to simply experience that feeling without judgement and let it go and all that good stuff, but I can’t help remembering that this is when it all started to fall apart last year. This is when it all… just… went south (so to speak). The beginning of my darkness.

Now, I’m in a completely different place emotionally and mentally. And spiritually. But I haven’t built a support system yet. Still looking for a job (about to take some new steps there, but that’s another story for another day).

However! I’m enjoying these last 3 weeks with them before they go, and I’m trying to build myself up. Get ready for it. Be positive. Tell myself that despite what happened this year, when Mom’s gone this time, she won’t get cancer again. Because that – something happening to them while they’re so far away – is my biggest fear. Ugh. OK. And if it does, well then. We’ll answer it when it comes. We’ll do what we must, when we must. (And I love how I am speaking as though I have companionship, because that makes the fear seem less.) I’ll do what I have to. What has to happen, will happen. Because there are no alternatives. I’ll just keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other.

Yup. So I need to make this “letting go” not about letting Mom and Dad go South, but about letting go of my fear of the future. It’s out there, and it’s unalterable. I can’t change it, I can’t fix it. I can prepare for it, but I refuse to live my life braced and in a bomb shelter. That’s horrible. So I’m going to try to shake the stiffness and the cramps out of my limbs, and just… let go.

Narratives

So, I was going to write more frequently, and that didn’t happen. :\ Sorry… Here’s what’s going on in my head these days.

I’m really trying hard not to write self-pitying narratives (or angry narratives, or whatever construct comes up) about my life right now. With everything that went down in 2013 – early 2014, I created a massive narrative and it calcified, gained weight, and pressed me pretty much flat for a bit. And I was getting tired of carrying it around, to be frank… it was a lot to support.

So I’m trying to be more present in the moment, and whenever I find myself building a story about my life — and that’s really what WP was about, for me, a place to tell these stories — I stop myself and try to release whatever emotional damage I’m doing to myself at that moment. I try to *not* build another intricate but heavy flying buttress onto the cathedral of All That Shit That Was Last Year. And it seems to be working.

I’m lighter, less burdened. Less unwieldy. Sleep comes more easily, because my brain isn’t running as many circles around itself and its embedded despair. I’m more able to enjoy small moments of serendipity. All of this is great. However… I’ve always been a small-time raconteur, the Girl With The Story. And now, I’m just the girl floating down the river.

No story. Just me, existing.

It’s a little strange, to be honest. I’m not sure I was meant to be quite this Zen. I may have to find a happy medium. — On the other hand, what was this year about if not redefining myself? (You can’t see me right now, but I’m striking a Freudian pose and stroking my non-existent goatee. It’s attractive. snicker)

So I may need to figure out what to do as people ask me “how was your weekend?” and, instead of launching into a story about someone’s bra becoming a boomerang during a wedding ceremony, I simply say, “Fine” and smile at them happily… then awkward silence ensues. lol Oops. Sorry. I was supposed to do my trick there, wasn’t I? :D Well, why don’t you tell me a story? I’m all ears. (and Freudian goatee. I may have to get one, because seriously people. I love having an imaginary one. And the faux German accent is tits. Tits, I tell you.)

My Very Own Guilty Pleasure

The magical package -- so sparkly!!

The magical package — so sparkly!!

Recently, I received a gift in the post. A lovely gift. A delicious treasure, really. It makes me sigh and squee, all at once, and smile, and that is a not insignificant gift. <3

For those of you who don’t know (are there any of you out there?), I am an admirer of actor Richard Armitage. I think he’s pretty cool.

The Armitage. Yum.

The Armitage. Yum.

I also love Bollywood films, Middle Eastern dance, and all sorts of intersections of these phenomena.

So when Guylty (http://guylty.wordpress.com/) wrote that she had a Bollywood shrine with my name on it, I was – to say the least – tremblingly excited. I clapped my hands and did a happy jig and all sorts of celebrations ensued. So…

…we come to the point of today’s post, which is to pay tribute to this lovely artist and her glamorous and useful creations. You can find a more complete posting here: http://guylty.wordpress.com/guylty-shrines/

Mine is, of course, not only a tribute to Mr. Armitage, but also an hommage to Bollywood and its kitsch. And I love it oh, so very much. So I opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate its arrival, lit the candles, and watched some snippets of my favorite Armitage and Bollywood vehicles to celebrate. <3 <3 <3

But here’s what we’re all really interested in: photos. THANK YOU, Guylty. This is such a grand gift. I truly love it, and think of you every time I see it. And it really makes me smile, a goofy/happy/giddy smile. You rock.

Snaps tries to help me open the package -- no, buddy. It's not for you!!

Snaps tries to help me open the package — no, buddy. It’s not for you!!

Everything else that came in the box!! OMG, gorgeousness. And swoonage. And deliciousness. <3

Everything else that came in the box!! OMG, gorgeousness. And swoonage. And deliciousness. <3

The RA Pocket Shrine, exterior!!

The RA Pocket Shrine, exterior!!

A very sparkly Guy of Gisborne or John Porter, disco-ing the night away. Whichever. LOVE LOVE LOVE THE BACKGROUND!!! I love this. Words cannot express.

A very sparkly Guy of Gisborne or John Porter, disco-ing the night away. Whichever. LOVE LOVE LOVE THE BACKGROUND!!! I love this. Words cannot express.

So fancy!! So dancy!! It's our very own RA as himself, in both good and bad photoshoots. It is, however, the very quintessence of Bollywood. ADORE. Also on a mirrored background. :D

So fancy!! So dancy!! It’s our very own RA as himself, in both good and bad photos. It is also the very quintessence of Bollywood dance moves. ADORE. Also on a mirrored background. :D

Here's where I turned the lights down low, poured a glass of champagne, brought out the mini Oriental rug, and lit the candles so I could contemplate this gem properly. *sigh*

Here’s where I turned the lights down low, poured a glass of champagne, brought out the mini Oriental rug, and lit the candles so I could contemplate this gem properly. *sigh*

Guylty, I love this, and I love you. Thank you so much. <3

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.