The important dynamics of a varied friendship group

Ok – I’ll admit it… that title doesn’t sound like me. But it’s something I’ve spent the past few moments mulling around in my head and I just decided to go with it. In the past month that I’ve put together my new commercial studio space (which by the way – i’m 95% done with and it’s AMAZING!) I’ve met so very many of my sister’s friends, plus people in the building, and some of my friends have come to visit as well…. it’s been a month of PEOPLE. 🙂 And I say that with delight and joy – because after spending so very much time in my home with the quarantines, this new energy has truly been a delight for me and is helping when it comes to giving me inspiration with my comics.

Something I’ve learned this month tho, is that it’s so important to have a well-rounded group of friends. One of the things I cherish so much about my own friend group is how eclectic it is – we’re a bunch of misfits in our own ways- but if an outsider were to label each of us – they’d be surprised that we’re all friends. And everyone comes from a different background – some from all over the world – and everyone also seems to be at different stages of their own life journey.

There have been moments in my life when I wished I had someone who was on a similar journey as me. Thinking that perhaps then I’d feel understood. But what I realized this morning is that it’s because of the incredibly varied perspectives of those who I surround myself with that I feel free enough to break through the constraints that I had on me.

I had someone I was chatting with recently share their passion and drive for their career. At first – I glommed onto that and used that to carry the conversation a bit – and it was an enjoyable chat. But later, as I reflected on how nice it was to talk to someone who has a lot of drive in their career, I also reminded myself that that was once me – but i’m not in that place anymore. I no longer live to work. Not at all. I reminded myself how once upon a time, I would put a lot of weight on someone’s worth being tied to their job or their career accomplishments. And now? I just don’t care anymore. Are they happy? Are they content and healthy and balanced?

I’d have never changed my way of thinking if it weren’t for my diverse group of friends who were both kind and brave enough to share their own perspectives in order to widen mine. I’m so grateful to have them in my life – and am hopeful that I’ll continue to grow in these ways. 🙂

I do hope you are all doing well out there! Stop in and leave a note below and tell me what has been on your mind today? Happy Tuesday!

“Staying in your lane”

My sister says this to people. A lot. And sometimes I agree with her, and other times, not so much. You see, if I had “stayed in my lane” my entire life, then I wouldn’t be where I am. In fact, I’d wager, had she said that to me long ago – i’d have found a way to kindly tell her to go fuck herself because you can’t stay in one lane when you own the pool. 😀 But I digress. I get why she says it – it’s to help someone know when they are slipping from their path – or losing focus. It is a signal, to reel it in and double check yourself. How often do people even DO that anymore? I find that I do it often – and perhaps maybe need to just let it loose a little more. Granted – that does beg the question – what happens if you don’t know what lane you’re even in? Maybe you’re actually swimming diagonally across the pool?! Maybe you don’t believe in lanes! 😀 Hehe.

This week – I really need to stay in my lane when it comes to work focus. I’ve got lots to do, both for my day job and for my comic. I also just generally need to recover from a full weekend of shenanigans. The sister and I went to Portland for a short overnight getaway. The weekend was filled with a mix of things – shopping, self care, good food, strippers!, new friends, old friends… you name it. And while I had fun – a blast actually during most of it – I’m feeling a bit overly crispy around the edges today. Like – stick a fork in me already – i’m done. I may take a bit of a nap later and see if it re-energizes me.

My comic work is coming about slowly and steadily. At least on “Bar Tales”. My Mom book however I’m still stuck on. I need to just suck it up and start drawing the main character and not stop until i can do her consistently. But the problem is – she is me. And i’m still learning to see myself. It’s hard. My view of myself changes constantly – perhaps that’s why I feel like I own the pool rather than a single lane. I’ve written about this in the past and it still feels true today – we wear a lot of masks in society – and I’m not entirely convinced that all of us have figured out who we are without them.

Well, I better get back to my work morning – but here’s me wishing you a happy week!

Good morning Neverland!

And just like that… everything changed.

 

I’m not even sure if I will be brave enough to post this. But I need to let it out somewhere all the same. I’m so ashamed. So hurt. My whole world has come crashing down in the course of just 36 hours. It started with a message from someone I didn’t know. She was reaching out because I seemed sweet, and she felt I deserved to know the truth.

My husband was cheating on me. And she had proof.

From there, it was a fall down the rabbit hole. And I’m beyond devastated. I rather stupidly thought I’d be capable of going to work today. I think I made it about 15 minutes before I broke down into gut wrenching sobs and just lost it. I’m grateful for the couple of coworkers who were there to offer comfort and consoling as I poured my heart out and recounted the past 18 hours.

So many lies. So much that I didn’t know. Stuff that I don’t fully know how to wrap my head around. And I am truly trying to. And now, this evening, after a day of struggling to even clear my head from the dark clouds that have taken over, he shared that he was frustrated because he’d said he was sorry and he’s done a bunch of what I’d asked for in order for me to feel more comfortable and yet I was still upset. Well excuse ME! Just because I was calm and quiet for the first 5 hours of me learning everything doesn’t mean the storm wasn’t going to come. I have never lied to him. I’ve never been unfaithful or disrespectful. I’ve never done anything to deserve all that has been laid at my feet in the past couple days. I’ve been a good wife. A good person.

I wasn’t angry when I found out…. a few small outbursts in that first hour or so, but overall – I just haven’t been angry. I’ve experienced shock, hurt, shame, disappointment, and now… after learning that he’s frustrated with me, I am now Furious!

Are you kidding me right now?!

He’s seen me suffering all day – came home from work early…crying, talking to my counselor…crying. I went to bed after saying something along the lines of “You cannot tell me that you love me, if you did, this wouldn’t have been going on since the beginning. You don’t love me.” You know what his response was? “Not the whole time!” and then he went silent for a good 5 minutes or so. This upset me and is when he shared his frustration. I had to clarify with him to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood his meaning, to which he confirmed that he had said he was sorry – what more did I want?

And he didn’t even finish doing the things we’d agreed to do to help me feel comfortable. He’s working on it – but his progress is slower than it should be for someone who says they’re going to work on things. I got out of bed after I handed him my wedding ring.

And now I’m sitting on my couch in the dark. Writing this with music playing softly. The dog is snoring in her crate.

There are no more tears. I know what I’m worth… and this is not it.

Love, getting older, and trust

I’ve spent some time with my grandparents within the past month.  Real time.  Where we sat and chat and had no time restraints.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take the time to prioritize my family in that way.  I love them with all my heart.

Something that has struck me and left me processing for a bit now, is what I see in their relationship to each other.  They are all they have left, of a life that was rich with friends and loved ones.  They are now at an age, where they watch who’s left of their friends pass away.  Moving on to bigger adventures in the grand circle of life.  It’s a sad, lonely, and quite frankly, a depressing time of one’s life it would seem.  So of course, the love my grandparents share is magnified that much more.  They’ve been through everything together.  They hold hands when they get their hair cut.  They are constantly talking about each other and thinking about each other when they are apart.

It’s left me thinking about my own future a little bit.  For one, I feel this sudden urge to make sure my retirement accounts are healthy – holy moly does that level of care cost a FORTUNE or what?!  But beyond that, I can’t help but wonder what my future as an old lady will be like?  Will I live in a nice assisted living place like my grandparents?  What will I be like when I’m an old lady?  Will I be more cantankerous?  More kooky?  More sweet?  🙂

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Who will be by my side?

Of course, when you start to look ahead, you can’t help but also look behind.  I think about the fact that so much in my life has changed from where I was 10, even 15 years ago.  How young and innocent I was.  Naive to much of what life could, and would throw my way; but I’ve always handled it all.  I’m damn proud of that.  And I don’t think I’d trade anything from it.  EXCEPT one thing.  Well – ok maybe two.  One – I’d love to have my body back from my early twenties.  Uh… yes Please!?!  But two… Somewhere along the lines I’ve lost my ability to trust someone else completely.  And I miss that.

I sat today and tried to pinpoint when I lost it.  Like it was a coin from my pocket that had somehow slipped out and run about loose.  But it wasn’t like that.  I think it was more like how a rocky cliffside will slowly erode away from the ocean waves that pound on it.  The more people I’ve put faith and trust in over the years who’ve let me down, have made it so that I’m a bit leery to be blindly handing out my trust anymore.  And that’s really quite a sad thing.  That’s me changing and adapting due to shitty people.  It’s perfectly normal of course, life experiences teach you, after all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about  weddings and relationships.  I think it’s because of something my grandmother brought up. 70+ years together.  Just Wow.  I was admiring their wedding photo and couldn’t help but think that they both, for sure, upheld their wedding vows.

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I always upheld mine.  That I can say without uncertainty.  When I think about my own future, it’s dawned on me that I’ve never really thought about what I’d want someone to say to me now.  Because of my own experiences – I think I’d want to write them – rather than have someone say them for me.  Because the standard I will love, honor, cherish, obey …. insert the rest of the standard bit here… isn’t quite right for me anymore.

Yes, I would hope to be loved, honored, cherished… i’m pretty sure they cut out obey now… so i won’t get into that one… but I think I’d also want a few other guidelines in there.  Ones I would hope would be a mutually spoken thing of course.

8 Vow additions for a future husband & wife:

I promise to Respect.
I would hope that my future husband would promise to always respect me and our relationship.

I promise to Trust and never do anything to cause that level of trust to falter.

I promise to always put your needs at the same priority level as my own.  If I’m going to be “selfish” it will be for us – not just myself.

I promise to always be stubborn and to never quit trying and putting effort into us and our lives we’re building together.  Even when things get tough or tense.

I promise to always communicate and be transparent. You are the one person I am not allowed to hide anything from.  I will always try and make sure that we are communicating in a healthy manner.

I promise to never judge you.  I will always empathize with you, and try and understand from your perspective.

I promise to always prioritize our sex life.  To be affectionate with you.  To touch you and hug you and love you. Because this is something I will also need and crave.

I also promise to adventure with you, to make you laugh, to sing to you, to lift you up and encourage you to spread your wings.  To be your cheerleader when you need it, and a silent gaming partner when you need that too.

 

Hmm… yea, I suppose that covers quite a bit.  Makes me wonder how people end their vows these days – and yes, I realize I could go search that.  Do they say till death do us part anymore?  Or is it till divorce or death do us part?  LOL.  Ok, ok, I shouldn’t laugh at that – divorce is no laughing matter at all.  As obviously, I speak from personal experience there.  But do people work loopholes into their vows now?

Can you imagine what some of the worst vows out there could be like?  I take you… till death, divorce, sickness, fatness, or a really cute rich guy comes along…

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Ugh.  I would certainly hope that doesn’t happen.  Would seem like a sad state of affairs for the “sanctity of marriage”.

Is it wrong for me to long for this to be a more simple thing?  I suppose there is no such thing.  All you can do is hope for the best.  Hope that the right person will come along and sweep you off your feet.  That they’ll be the one to open your eyes to everything that’s good and wonderful in the world.  And who knows – maybe they’ll even be a master at making grilled cheese.  😉

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you.

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Expectations, Anxieties & Getting Older

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My friend M would be proud that I’ve decided to write about this.  It’s a topic he’s bringing up to me on a regular basis and really, I’ve yet to talk about it much here.  The art of managing your own expectations.  According to M, expectations lead to unhealthy behaviors; and ultimately, he’s not wrong.  But, life experience, years of instincts, science in general, and being good observers has taught us all to expect certain behaviors or outcomes.  So I often say it’s a losing battle.  In fact, I often tell him that he’s silly for thinking he can even obtain that goal.  But today – I can’t help but wonder if he’s right.  We all build up expectations in our heads.  How we think someone should react or how we think something should go.  Perhaps he’s right – the act of having those expectations in our minds only serves the purpose of disappointing us when things go differently than we’d hoped or anticipated?

I have, on a number of occasions in my life, been disappointed by my expectations going wonky.  Sometimes, it’s when I don’t speak my own needs what I’m thinking and then come to find out that I’m on a different page from someone else.  Sometimes it’s when I think I’ll get a certain reaction about something, and find I’m seeing the opposite.  Either way, I end up disappointed.

So who’s fault is that?  Mine.  Because somehow, somewhere, I took a misstep and either failed to communicate, or failed to listen.  That actually could be the key there, that second bit.  Listening.  How often do we really listen to what someone else is saying.  So often, we’re only “listening” in order to wait for our turn to speak again.  How often can we really say that we listen with the intent to actually HEAR what someone else has to say?  To actually put ourselves in their shoes and understand what they are trying to tell us?  I’d say it’s not very often at all.

I found myself struggling a little tonight, with my expectations of someone else.  Someone I care deeply for.  But I think what I’m coming to process is that my disappointment over their lack of reaction is on me.  I had an expectation that perhaps I didn’t even know that I had… and when they gave me their honest reaction.

It’ll be ok.  It’s always ok.

What’s interesting tho… what triggered me to write this out, is that my anxiety went up as I sat and processed all of this.  As I tried to contain my disappointment and frustration and simply try and understand.  I’m still struggling a little.  Not because I don’t understand their point of view – I actually do.  But because regardless of my level of understanding – it means caving on something that I’m not sure I want to cave on.  It means lowering my own expectations – whether I knew they were there originally or not, and compromising.  And perhaps, on this, I don’t want to compromise.

Funny, my brother and I were talking about anxiety today.  He called me on my way home and was telling me how surprising it is to him that as he gets older, his anxiety gets more pronounced.  He started out in his younger years with little to no anxiety – and now that he’s in his 40’s, he’s finding that he actually struggles with it at times.

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It made me feel better somehow.  I don’t remember being an anxious child or teenager.  Heck, I’m not even sure I’d have said I was anxious in my twenties.  It’s only been as I’ve gotten older that I’ve recognized my own anxieties for what they are.  They are of course, manageable.  No one would likely even know that I have them.  But I do.  They are with me always.  Not sure I’m comforted by that.

Well neverland, thanks for letting me spit this out and process it.  I’m not sure I’ve figured it all out yet, but I’m getting there.  Yay for that.  Although, in truth, I’mnot sure I ever really will.  Goodnight Neverland.  Dream sweet when you get there.

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