Friendships and a leap of faith

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Today was a rough one for me and for a multitude of reasons.

Work.  Family.  Loved Ones.  All three have weighed pretty heavy on the mind today.

I took a leap of faith at work today.  I took a stand on something.  I ignored the chain of command and spoke from the heart.  It’s something I feel passionately about, and have hit many brick walls when beating the drum lower down the chain.  I don’t know yet, what’s going to happen.  I can sit and play the what if game – and yea, I did that plenty today; breaking down the options in all directions, both positive and negative.  Got very upset over it actually.  Got very stressed over it too.  My career is something I’m very proud of.  The longer I do this, the more I come to realize just how little I still know.  How junior I still am – even though I’m not.  If this goes the way I think it will, I will find myself in a position to lead in a new way.  I don’t know how I feel about that.  I hate politics.  I don’t want to play.

I was stressed to the max about it all and ended up going and having coffee with a new friend.  I’ve gone out with her only a couple of times but I already like her.  She’s a very cool person.  I almost cancelled on her, not wanting to show her the grumpy side of Jen.  But when I walked into the coffee shop – she confessed that she was in a grump mood herself, so I laughed and thought – how perfect is that?!  We pulled each other out of the angry grumpy mood with laughter and girl chat and mooning a gym (story for another day).  I needed it, and was so grateful to have had that time with her.

Tomorrow I get to go see my real brother graduate from high school.  I’m proud of him and so happy that he asked that I attend.  How could I possibly say no?  BUT.. going also means I see my father.  And that always has a price.  Usually an emotional one on me.  I need to find a way to put it away.  To forgive and move forward on this one.  I know part of it is that it will just take some time…but I also know that I have to be willing to call a spade a spade and move forward.  I just hope that when faced with it, I can do just that because quite frankly, I’m sick of feeling hurt over it all.  I’m a different woman now, someone he doesn’t even really know.

I grieved a little bit tonight.  I didn’t mean to.  Ha, that sounds funny.  I was hanging with one of my closest girlfriend’s, we’ll call her R, we’d had dinner and dessert and were drinking a bit of amazing port wine she’d picked up.  We’d been talking and laughing over all sorts of things, I’d shared my stress about work, we talked about boys (hey, sometimes girl talk is so much fun!) and because she recently lost a family member, we also were talking about grief.   I ended up confessing to her why I think I’ve been in a bit of a funk.  I reminisced a bit, cried a bunch…

This is the 5 year mark.  Ben’s birthday in October will mark 5 years.  Just writing that makes me gulp for air a bit.  Odd.  Why is this anniversary bothering me so much?  I’ve been stewing over it for a few days and I have a few ideas around it.

When my son passed away, he was in my arms.  I remember watching as he took his last breath.  So calm.  And so still afterwards.  I whispered to him before he went, that I loved him with all my heart, and that I swore to him that I’d get healthy and find happiness.  I must have sat there and watched for 20 minutes just praying I’d see his chest move or hear him breathe on his own.  He was so warm still, he looked like he was just sleeping.  When I finally put him down, I couldn’t leave the room.  I remember watching as my mom packed up some of his stuffed animals, and thinking “What are you doing?!  He needs those!”  I felt like my feet were full of lead, or like I was literally grounded to the floor.  The nurse saw me and told me to breathe.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t remember how.  Shock.  And then I looked around the room and saw my husband crumbling.  I saw his mom and my mom, my grandparents, my family and friends in grief and just breaking.  I put it away.  Somehow.  I don’t know how.  I knew that one of us had to stay strong.  I put on my smile and hugged my daughter and step son.

I put in a CD on the way home, just grabbed one, I doubt I even had the desire to read the cover.  It was the Fray.  Everyone cried the whole way home, but I just listened to the music.  Numb but calm.  That CD would become a very important one to me… I listened to it over and over and over.  It helped me sort through what was going on in my head.  I buried myself in work.  Bringing money in was the one thing I could do to ensure that even though everyone was breaking, at least we’d have a home and food and electricity.  I put up the xmas tree in the place where his crib was.  This is why every year on Ben’s birthday – we put up the xmas tree.  It’s weird I know…. to have a xmas tree up before Halloween… but it brought light and sparkle to a place in the house that suddenly felt very dark.  I continued that numb calm state for 3 years.  Always the strong one.  Never happy.  And getting unhealthier by the day.  When I finally decided to divorce, that first anniversary – was interesting.  I wrote about it on this blog.  This year will be my second anniversary alone.   I’m a LOT healthier than I was.  Still working on that one a bit I’ll admit, but progress is progress.  And happiness.  I embrace it, every day.  I spread it around as often as I possibly can.  It was my promise to Ben.

All of that said – I haven’t grieved.  I know this.  I’ve known it for a long time.  I want to honor him this year.  In some way.  Plant a tree or float flowers down a river, donate to Children’s Hospital or something.  I feel like this October could be tough on me.  But maybe if I plan something to honor, the grief won’t overtake.  He wouldn’t want me to grieve.  He’d want me to find a way to bring about happiness.  I refuse to become another workaholic – as I know that is also not the answer.

I’d texted “T” that I was having a rough moment.  I was going to leave it at that.  But in a rare moment, and after some confirmation from R that I wasn’t being dumb… I also added that I needed to be honest, and that I really kind of needed my support system.  You see, I don’t’ often ask for help.  I HATE doing that actually.  I admitted that I was being stupid and needy and clingy.  And that quite frankly, no one should have to put up with THAT.  LOL.  I hate hearing about clingy, annoying, attention-seeking dumb females.  I don’t want to be ANY of those adjectives…especially to him.  But, I’m also trying to work on speaking up and communicating.  In allowing myself to be vulnerable to the people closest to me, and trusting that I’ll be safe with them.  And to be honest, T is becoming one of my best friends.  He’s someone I care about in a way I haven’t cared about someone for a very long time.  He’s someone I find myself hoping will be in my life for a very long time.  We’ve spent tons of time together and always have a blast.  But, becoming best friends takes time…. and I have no expectations for anything from any of my friends.  I certainly didn’t think he’d drop what he was doing and come over, but he did, such a sweet, caring man.  I was already feeling a lot better about my day, but that really helped bring me back to feeling whole again.  I feel truly blessed to have the people in my life that I do.

Well – I need sleep.  Goodnight Neverland.

XXO!

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