My last week of freedom

st0290

Next week, I go back to work.  I’m excited and nervous and overall, feeling thrilled!  And I’m busy doing all the things I need to do in order to prepare to go back.  Got a haircut, researching trains or public transit vs. parking, need to pick up some shoes… things like that.  I’m also spending time enjoying the newest member of our family.  Onyx.  He is a very tiny, very sweet little black kitten with grey/blue eyes that we rescued this weekend.  George, my 9 year old Siamese is still reserving his judgement, but I’d say he seems OK with it.

This weekend, the kids and I will go to the pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin or two. I’m excited to go and enjoy a little fall.  🙂

linus-sign-pumpkin-patch

I’ve been in hibernation mode for a few weeks.  I’m not doing it on purpose, but I can’t seem to help myself.  Part of it is the change of seasons, but there is certainly more to it.  I will say tho, I am looking forward to our first holidays here in the new house.  I can’t wait to decorate and make a little bit of a fuss.  I look forward to making and bottling Kahlua for Christmas gifts (although this year, I’m also making candles for folks!) and doing Christmas with the kids the way we want to.  I’m also hopeful to get at least a little snow this year.  I’d bet the houses in my neighborhood would be so pretty.  It’s these dreams and ideas that are keeping my head up.  🙂  Actually, sometimes I feel a little guilty.  Life is pretty good these days.  New job, enjoying my new home, I had an amazing summer, my kids are enjoying school… I have it better than a lot of folks, and I’m truly thankful and appreciative of it all.  Knowing that, it’s sometimes hard to allow myself to be down in the dumps this time of year.  There’s so much life to enjoy!  But then I think back… 7 years ago… I was huge as a house and just ready for my pregnancy to be complete.  I didn’t know that in 10 days, I would meet a little man that would completely change my life and who I am.  There is not a single day that goes by that I do not think about him.  Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes I happily reminisce, and other times it hurts deep down at the core of who I am.

25301deab21eb20f9e154ceefbf9c9de

I’m doing well tho… gosh that almost sounds contrite, but that is the truth.  I’ve spent the last year or so really looking at my life, my behaviors and choices, and my patterns.  I’ve looked at my relationships with others and have chosen paths to help ensure that only healthy relationships are what I surround myself with (to the best of my ability).  I’ve learned to be alone and to be content with that.  Honestly, it feels good and I’m proud of where I am at.  Although, I am a little frustrated with my village these days.  It’s gotten a lot smaller over the past year – some of my own choosing and some not.  I’d love to make some new friends – but at the same time… now that my core inner circle has been shaken up so much, I’m hesitant to open up and take in new people.  I’m unsure of who to trust – and I realize it takes time.  I suppose finding new friends can be a bit like dating at times. LOL.  And that’s just not my idea of fun!  So, I guess it means that my village will stay small.  🙂   It will be a different holiday season for me this year, that is certain.

Well – that’s my update for now.  Have a nice day Neverland!  Love ya!

lipstick kiss

Advertisements

Fall is here

th

I know – not a very imaginative title.  I may or may not change it.  Tonight, I need you Neverland.  I love it here.  It’s a place that I feel safe to let anything out.  Vulnerabilities and all.  I like to posture and say that by sharing my vulnerabilities, it gives me strength.  It’s a bunch of BS tho.  I’m still not very strong.  Today especially.

Today, I feel lost.  Lost in a sea of my own making to some extent, as my life is my own, and the choices I’ve made over my life were mine.  Part of me thinks, well.. Jen, it IS fall.  You always get this way leading up to Ben’s birthday.  But I don’t think this is just a bit of grief.  Not having a job right now is frustrating.  I’m antsy and starting to worry over my financial responsibilities.  It’s a strange feeling – first time in 12 years I’ve been unemployed.  I won’t lie – I’m a little scared.

kittycathat

Fall is really here.  It’s getting colder, more brisk in the mornings.  The leaves are changing.  It’s one of my favorite times of the year.  And yet – it’s also a time of year that typically has me feeling anxious, and even a little down.  This is the time of year, that I want to hibernate.  Who knows, maybe I was a bear in another life? 🙂  This is the time of year that I’m often hit with a lot of memories from my past.  I dreamed of Ben the other night.  Grayson asked about him the other day – as we have his picture up on one of the bookshelves in the living room.  I don’t cry very much anymore, but there is still a deep ache.  The kind of ache in the chest that if you dwelled for too long, the tears would well up behind the eyes, the flood threatening to flow down the cheek.  Some wounds are too deep to really heal.

I’ve had some pretty major shakeups with friends and family in the last couple of weeks.  That combined with the kids starting school, healing from my injuries and the lack of work… I can’t lie to myself anymore, I’m on the edge of depression.  And I know I’ll pull out of it – I always do – but the past couple of weeks have been hard.  I’m really proud of me tho.  I’m doing it all.  I’m managing to figure all of this out, slowly but surely.  I have to remind myself that courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid… it means you’re afraid but still take a step forward.

I have to remind myself that it’s ok to take some time for myself right now.  To be quiet and hibernate a little in my home.  It’s ok to feel a little lost and scared and lonely.  I’m lucky really.  I know how good I have it and I know that I’m one tough cookie who’ll find a way to  continue to have it good for a long time yet to come.  I’ve never been a fan of limbo – and that’s all this is.  A strange state where the path that lies ahead of me is a bit hazy and unclear.  It’s ok.  Although – I won’t lie – it would be nice if someone would join me with a flashlight and a map.  🙂

flmp.jpg

I need to get some of this out

I’ve been hiding from my phone for the past couple of days.  Ok, maybe not hiding, but I plug it in and walk away from it.  I don’t want to be near it.  Families… weddings… I swear, weddings, funerals and babies bring out the crazy in people.  And typically – when the crazy comes out – someone gets hurt.

deborah-lee-tindle-11

I guess this time… that person is me.  I’m hurt.  Reeling actually.  I feel as if I’ve been singed and cut by someone I never thought I’d have to fear.

My “bro”.  He’s not related to me by blood, but we call each other “brother” and “sister”.  We met 13 years ago, he was my neighbor who lived with his then-girlfriend across the hall.  I swear, the first time I met him, I knew he was my brother from another mother. LOL.  We’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the years, but we were always there for each other.  He’s always been there for me.

I knew, as his wedding day approached that our friendship was about to change in a big way.  Ideally, I’d gain a cool sister out of the deal.  But she has never seemed to have much interest in that, we don’t share a lot of the same ideals, so I get it. Actually – I wish she understood exactly just how much I get it.  The Bro’s life is about to change in a pretty serious way.  His life now must be with her.  Up until recently, I’ve been excited to think about what is in store for their future… moving in together, babies, eventually buying a house, doing all the things that I know he wants to accomplish.  And I knew that our friendship would move to the very back… like nosebleed seats.  And I’m cool with that – hell – I’ve been pushing him in this direction.  I guess I figured we’d get through his wedding day first.  I was wrong.  And truly, I’m not sure our friendship can recover from this.  And if I’m honest, After all that was said, I’m not entirely sure I want it to.

I won’t spill all the details here… but I will say that I wish I could help some people see how much their words can damage.  How their tone and the way they approach other people will directly impact how their words are received.  I will also say that it takes a very brave and yet rather stupid man to judge another.  My bro laid out many of the decisions I’d made over the course of my life … pointing out my mistakes, effectively rubbing my nose in the areas he felt I didn’t measure up.  Not just in my past, but even now.  But he did all of this, only knowing bits and pieces of the story.  He judged me… and it came across with anger, disdain, disappointment and shame. His soon to be wife even joined in the “fun”.  She’d verbally attacked me prior to my bro letting me have it.  Screamed at me and said I was a horrible “best man”.  Ironic she did that when I was putting finishing touches on some bachelor party related stuff earlier that evening.  It was a hard hitting 1-2 verbal sucker punch from them as a couple.

e8546102553cdb5a735fc63c0e0773cc

I won’t lie, that first 24 hours after they both let me have it… I was a wreck.  I broke down.  I bawled and went quiet.  I crawled inside my world and licked my wounds.  I wasn’t even angry, I was self-reflective.  I had to check myself… make sure that what he’d said wasn’t true.  I guess because I’ve been actively working on self-improvement, I had to really take a good look and make sure that there weren’t areas of his feedback that I needed to consider.  The next day, we spoke again and he apologized and tried to sweep it under the rug.  Even tried to deny some of what he’d said the night before.  I thanked him for the apology but stated that for me to feel comfortable attending the wedding and the festivities, that I would like an apology from his fiance/soon to be wife.    He agreed that I deserved it, but warned that I might not get it from her right away.  He laid out various reasons and excuses for why I should just let it go.  About 15 minutes after he said he’d talk to her and get back to me, my phone rang.  It was her, and I answered it pleasantly, as I didn’t want to start things off on the wrong foot.  She immediately started yelling – even yelled an apology.  Yea – cuz THAT feels totally sincere.  I hung up on her, and texted her that perhaps it would be better to move to text.  Honestly, I just didn’t want to be yelled at anymore.  We texted a little – but I pretty quickly gave up on that too.  So here I sit, no sincere apology and still feeling incredibly upset and uneasy a few days later.

6bda672003cfde83b48b1485315daaa6

Yes, I could back down… I could suck it up and be there for him on his wedding day.  And likely – I will do this.  More for me than him.  I don’t want to feel guilty 10 years from now for not showing up.  And I’ll go into it knowing there’s the potential for drama, or daggers being thrown at me, there will be the potential for awkward uncomfortable silences, and even worse, a high chance that I will end up feeling used or insulted by the end of all of this.  I will suck it up, BUT… I’m done.  Or at least I think I am.  I’m going to just keep going down my own life’s path… because I’m dying to see what happens in the next chapters of my life.  To get thru this, i’m going to keep telling myself that it’s not my circus, and not my monkeys.

I’m a grown woman who’s made a successful, full and happy life for herself.  I’m a woman who has good, sweet, smart children who may stumble or struggle in their life in places, but who know without a shadow of a doubt that their momma loves them and would do anything to see that they are safe and well cared for.  I don’t deserve to be talked to or treated in that manner.  Especially when what is being said isn’t true.  At least I had that going for me, I knew, deep down in my heart that nothing they said was true about me… that it was being said out of spite and anger and jealousy.  But here’s the thing, even knowing that… it still hurt.  It was a different hurt tho.  This hurt came from knowing that the someone I trusted over the years is now throwing daggers… they are no longer worthy of my trust.  That perhaps I’d misjudged him all along.

So … because of all of this… I’ve been avoiding my phone. I’ve been staying off social media and just kind of hiding in my world.  I’ve had some shifts in a few friendships in the last few months… each of them shook me to my core for various reasons.  This one is no different.  What is interesting to me is that when I promised myself that I’d get healthy, even if that meant cutting toxic situations out of my life… I guess I didn’t realize how many of my relationships had toxic layers woven into them.  Maybe living on my own and staying single for a while truly WAS the best thing I could have done for myself.  I’m so glad I’ve done it up to this point.  I’ll have to watch myself moving forward… I’m putting up my walls with everyone – unintentionally.  And I don’t mean to.  I am just unsure on who to trust, vs. who will judge me or hurt me.  Easier to just put up the walls a bit.

I had an interview today – it went quite well.  I felt confident, for the first time in months actually.  A genuine confidence, not the kind where you fake it till you hopefully make it.  Maybe being shaken to my core this weekend was good for me.  Helped remind me who I am.  Where I’ve been, and more importantly, where I am headed.

hiding-animal_3-jpeg

Sunday night thoughts

tea-light-candles-in-the-dark-preview-image

Tonight I spent some time quietly just sitting and reflecting.  Truthfully, I don’t do this enough.  It has been a busy weekend.  We had friends and their children stay the weekend with us.  I don’t think the house has ever had that many people in it, let alone sleeping in it.  It was a lovely weekend, high in energy.  Today, some friends came over for a visit, we watched movies and played Uno.  It was a lovely way to finish out the busy weekend, but I think what really helped to calm and center me was simply to light a few candles and sit cross-legged on my couch and just be in the moment.

It’s interesting, society spends so much time trying to distract themselves from living in the moment.  Movies, video games, social media, food, alcohol, drugs…. all of these things we use to disappear into.  Trying desperately to fill a hole in their lives that they may not even fully realize is there, let alone have the know-how on filling it.  It would be a lie to say that I’m not one of those people.  But every now and then, typically after I’ve had a loud, overstimulating few days, I have to just stop everything and just breathe.

I think I know how to fill it.  I think it comes with time and age, and just learning to understand who you are at the core of your being.  And accepting it for what is. But I’m also good at trying to fill a void.  🙂  And there are a few for me… more than a few.  I have a rich and full life.  A wonderfully large family, whom I see often, a variety of friends who are as near and dear to me as family should be, I have my children who I have very close relationships with… even loving pets whom I adore.   And yet, sometimes, I’m lonely.  It’s silly really – as I rarely have alone time, so how on earth can one feel lonely… but it’s the honest truth.

I spent some time thinking about that too tonight.  Why do we desire to share our lives with someone else… especially when we think about the fact that the journey we each walk down is ours and ours alone.  So logically, if that’s the case, then you will never truly be able to share your life with someone.  OR… I suppose you could look at it the other way – you share your life with anyone and everyone who touches it… to what degree and the depth that you share will vary and depend on a variety of variables.  My god I sound like an engineer.  I know, I overthink everything! 🙂

I’ve been in the new house almost 3 months now.  It’s amazing how time flies.  Sometimes it feels like I’ve been here so much longer than that, and other times, it feels like it was just yesterday that we moved in.  I think a part of that is just because of the swirl of other tests life has thrown at me since we got here.  I’m so proud to be here.  To own my own place.  I have a solid plan in motion on getting it paid off, and in a few years, I intend to invest in something additional – either property or business-wise.  It’s fun, knowing that those goals are not only in front of me, but very much attainable.  🙂

I’m looking forward to the summer.  Between my little garden (next year’s will be bigger if I have anything to say about it), my art, my children, my work and my new kayaks… I think the summer days will be quite filled with a lot of fun.

I’m building a full on art studio in my house.  It’s been quite a thrill so far to start putting together.  When I’m finished, I think I will finally have my dream studio space.  It’ll take me a couple of years to really get it where I want to, but I will get there.  🙂  I’m even making one of the rooms a photography studio – something I’ve been dreaming of having for about 5 years now.

Little pieces of my life, long-loved interests and hobbies are all finally starting to come together and find a place in my life.  It’s interesting to me.  I’d never have guessed that it would take me risking everything and breaking out on my own in order to find confidence in being myself.  At my core, I always saw myself as being fairly confident… but it’s only the last 5 months or so that I really feel like I’ve come into my own.  I see myself now.  All of me.  Not just the good parts and not just the bad.  I care about my own well-being.  Funny, I think I’d stopped.  Maybe I had given up?  Maybe losing Ben and my husband and my family and my friends did more to me than I gave it credit for.

rain_0

In the last few weeks, I feel a bit like Andy, from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”; when he climbs out of the sewer pipe and strips himself from the final rags from the prison and just stands in the pouring rain, drinking it all in.  Living life, even with all the scary parts, with all the pain, or insecurities, the grief, … is a spectacular thing.  I wouldn’t give up a single moment of it.  And I refuse to be one of those people who sit by and just accept the monotonous daily grind… especially when adventures can begin anywhere with anything.

My daughter is learning about gardening this year.  She has a few plants that she is growing all on her own, and even something as simple as a strawberry plant… watching it grow from seed to plant, growing and tending it, and now… the joy of the first few berries… has been an adventure for us all.  Researching a new subject for a painting or cartoon is an adventure.  Going on a weekend to explore a new city is an adventure.  Exploring the nearby lakes with my new kayak, all the wildlife and amazing scenery – these are all the adventures I’ve got going on in my world these days.  And it’s these types of adventures… that continue to fuel me and bring me so much happiness.

So to you, Neverland, go have an adventure this week.  I know I will.  🙂

lipstick kiss

Betrayal

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 10.50.14 PM

Today I met with a friend for brunch and manicures and pedicures.  It was overall, a lovely morning.  However, the conversation turned to some things she’d been told recently about me.  To say that I was appalled and hurt is a massive understatement.  I put my side out there and later, she agreed that what she’d been told was a lot of untruths and had absolutely no merit…. but it made me VERY upset. Thankfully, the get together ended on happy notes.  She wants to get together again very soon, as she’s moved nearby and we will be close.  She confessed that I have been an inspiration to her in her life… and that she doesn’t believe the things that were said.

The things that were said were so far from the truth, part of me wanted to laugh at their absurdity.  But the other part of me was simply horrified that anyone would say or think anything like that about me.  It cut me deeper than anything has cut me in a very, very, long time. The words that were said cut down the core of my character, of my morals, and made me sound like a villain.  It proved to me that anyone who would think these things… was never my friend to begin with.

I stewed on it all afternoon and around 8pm I decided to practice my new abilities in being a better communicator.  I called and confronted the person who’d said these horrible things.  The goal wasn’t to cut him back with my words… it was to understand why they were said.

I don’t know if everything he said was truth or not… as lord knows he wasn’t expecting me to call and confront him.  I reminded him that the next time he says something to a friend, to make sure that friend is loyal to him first.  That it’s a small town, and word gets around quickly in certain circles.  According to him, it was a mix of a few things… misunderstandings, assumptions, and hearing things from another “friend”. I asked him who his source was, so that I could confront them too…

R.  The one person who’s hurt me more than she could realize.  A woman who was like a sister to me.  Honestly – I still don’t fully understand how things went so wrong with her… but I know very well the moment that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I could no longer be her friend.  It shook me to my core and yet it was a very calm, resigned knowledge that we were done.  I would never, and have never, said anything bad or negative about her.  I have not and would not share the secrets that I hold that she shared with me.  Just because we are no longer friends, doesn’t mean I didn’t love her at one point in my life.  What we are now, doesn’t erase the promises or the sincerity that I felt towards her back then.

06eb024340283aa0c532a66ad08e8cde

Apparently, she does not feel the same way.  I don’t know if I will confront her or not.  I know that I likely should.  But, I don’t honestly think she’d care.  I think that the reaction I would get would be cold and indifferent.  Or worse.  I don’t need that kind of drama or bullshit in my life.  I’ve been through enough.

I value my reputation.  I’ve worked hard to ensure that I show myself to other people and that I honor myself, my family, my friends and the others around me.  So I take a lot of pride in my good reputation, and finding out that someone who I once trusted, someone who I helped time after time and supported and loved… is now spreading horrible things about me…. hurts like nothing I’ve experienced before.

Now I realize – that what others think or say about me shouldn’t affect me.  That ultimately, they’ve just validated for me, why I walked away… they’ve proven without a shadow of a doubt that they do not deserve a right to be in my inner circle.  And I’m ok with that.

resized_picard-wtf-meme-generator-radar-broken-i-told-you-this-was-gonna-happen-d41d8c

What I’m not okay with – is that this also proves to me that my radar is off.  I’ve always thought of myself as a good judge of character.  That I’m good at reading people… and yet I obviously made a very large mistake in judging these two people.  If my radar is THAT off…perhaps it’s better for me to pull away a bit.  Put up my guard a bit more.  Maybe I have no business trying to read people or trying to decipher character simply because my normal meter is broken.  I’m going to keep watch on my inner circle … I don’t want to be put in a position to be hurt anymore.  But I also realize that might be counter-intuitive considering some of my other goals and dreams.  That to succeed OR fail… you must first be willing to risk.  I think it’s best that I continue to focus on me… getting healthy, finding happiness, working towards the things I want and dream for in life.

I had a few moments this weekend when it dawned on me how much I’m enjoying life these days.  I need to stay in that head space… keep positive.  Keep focused.   Stay away from drama. I know that I’m a good person… and maybe that’s enough.

Goodnight neverland.  Much love to you all.