How can it be?

Can someone please explain how it’s possible to experience both, or even all sides of a spectrum at the same time?

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On one hand… I’m doing better than ever.  My kids are happier than ever.  Work is starting to take shape and I’m finding that I might even have made myself a role in the company that I can be excited about.  My side business is growing and the more I dive into it, the happier and more content I seem to get.  The holidays are coming up and I’m looking forward to them.  I have so much hope for the near future and what it holds for me personally.  And yet…

On the other hand… I have moments when I feel scared and lost and alone.  Wow – I won’t lie – that took a lot for me to type.  I think I’ve been trying to ignore it.  It’s this thing that’s been sitting on my shoulder for a few weeks and I’ve been doing my best to pretend it’s just not there – but like an elephant in a room that is too small, it can’t be completely ignored.  I give myself these silly pep talks occasionally.  Trying to give myself the courage to keep getting out of bed, to keep doing what I have to do, when sometimes… all I really want to do is sit down and hide, or find a friend and just cry and let it out.  Tho – truthfully – even THAT doesn’t seem to do much for me these days.  I’ve just never been much of a crier.  It doesn’t actually solve anything, and a lot of the times, only makes me feel worse in the long run because I tend to get headaches afterwards.

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I’m grateful that I got this job, as the bills were piling up.   As it is, it’s going to take me until mid December to fully be caught up and not be living paycheck to paycheck.  It’s kind of a foreign feeling.  To be working but not make enough to cover what needs to be covered.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been in those shoes.  Helped remind me of how good I have it.

Maybe that’s part of my problem.  I know – compared to many – I have it good.  I live comfortably, my life isn’t full of drama or crazy levels of stress.  If anything – I’ve been leading a pretty boring life these days – as I’ve been busy working on my business when I have any spare time, so I feel guilty when I start to feel down.  What do I have to feel down about?!  And that’s the crux of the issue – I DO have things to feel down about.  People often think of me as this chipper and enthusiastic girl, “Ra! Ra! Be happy!  Stay positive! Go Team!”, what they don’t realize is that often, I do that more for myself.  To keep myself from feeling down.  That or I joke around – make people laugh. It’s only in the last 3 years that i’ve learned to allow myself to have moments where feeling down is ok.  Often, by feeling it – sitting with it for a little while – I move forward from it easier.  That is my hope tonight… I had a good day.  Not entirely sure I even understand how this mood crept up on me, but there it is.

My son is already tucked into bed, and my daughter is busy watching a show on netflix… and yet all I seem to want to do is swoop them both up and cuddle with them.  Instead, I’m sitting on my bed with my laptop writing here baffled at why I’m suddenly feeling so sad? Is it possible that I feel like I’ve just been lacking in hugs?  Is it wrong that a hug from my children… lately… isn’t quite satisfying enough?  Don’t misunderstand – I love hugging my kids… but it’s just not enough.

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Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you tonight.  Stay safe, wherever you are… and know that even tho we haven’t met, and we don’t know each other – you have my love.  🙂

There’s a lot on my mind tonight

So I will apologize right now if I am a little all over the place.  It’s been a lovely weekend overall.  One full of friends and lively conversation, good food and even dancing! 🙂

One of my best female friends, J, planned a party.  A formal black and red party at a local beerhall.  The rules – must wear formal attire – in black or red, and no drama or attitudes from anyone in attendance.  🙂  So I dragged my other girl (R) out.  It was nice to get all gussied up and go out.  It’s something I don’t do very often, although I have a feeling that will change now that J has successfully managed to get me to attend.  🙂 Here’s pics of R and J and myself that night.  🙂  R and I had a blast, 2 single ladies without a care in the world.  We ate oysters and mussels and just enjoyed being out.

It was good for me to attend.  I’m still coming back out of my shell.  And truthfully, this time of year, I don’t usually come out of my shell much at all.  But Saturday was fun and gave me a much needed boost of energy, I danced and sang and made some new friends and caught up with some old friends.  Tonight, I spent the evening with my daughter cooking good food and watching a movie she picked out before my son came home from his dads house.

Ben has been on my brain this week.  Actually – there’s a lot that’s been on my brain this week.  Things that have been rattling around in there range from Ben and his birthday anniversary that is coming up, to love and relationships, friendships, and just life in general.  Had someone told me 10 years ago, that this is where I’d be… I would have never believed it.  Any change or turn along my path, and things would be different.  I wouldn’t trade it, I know that things happen for a reason.  I’m ok with it… well – ok that’s not quite the right way to word it either – I accept it.  That’s enough.  Every year – around this time, I make a pact to myself – that I will not make any major decisions (if I can help it), in the months of Oct – Dec.  Grief is a funny thing – and I’ve learned my lesson in this respect.  In most cases – I can hold off until the new year on most things.  Patience is something I’ve learned to channel at this time of year.  I  miss my son.  Weird to miss some one that you only had for a short while.  And even tho it’s certainly been long enough – I still think on him and wonder.

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I gave R some advice this weekend.  She was wrestling with her feelings about a man.  She knew she was falling in love, but didn’t want to be the first person to say it.  She’s loved him for a very long time.  I told her something my Nana told me when I was young.  If you feel love – you should speak it.  It cannot be held for very long on the tongue.  And if you express it… you have a better chance of working past that strange anxious feeling that you get before you’ve said it to someone for the first time- because if it is returned, then something new can grow and blossom.  And if the love is not returned, then now you know and can move forward and move on.    It’s funny – as a teenager or even in my twenties… I didn’t put much stock in Nana’s advice… but looking back now – I couldn’t agree with her more.   I’ve always said I don’t say I love you to hear it back… I say it to make sure they know.  That’s enough.

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I’m going to start planning my next vacation.  I will probably go in April 2017 time frame.  I’d like to disappear for a week.  I haven’t decided yet where I want to go.  I have an idea of who all I’d like to invite to join me, but we’ll see if they have the desire to vacation with me.  🙂  I want to explore and get away.  Travel has most certainly had an enormous impact in my life, and I look forward to being able to continue to experience it.  I think my next trip will likely be a cruise, as it’s something I have not done yet.  My instinct says I won’t like it as much as I enjoy traveling as a local – but I want to experience it regardless.  It’s something Nana and Granddad would do when I was younger.  I remember them telling me stories and showing me pictures from all their many excursions.  Or try on the jewelry that was often purchased on these trips.  I’d picture the ports and destinations, the food and the events that were often a part of their stories.  My grandparents truly led amazing lives.  🙂

Can’t travel without a job.  I’m trying to not count my chickens – but I am hoping to hear good news on the job front this week.  Fingers crossed that I’ll have news either way by Wednesday!  🙂

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At the end of the day – I got some news from my mom, that my grandparents aren’t doing very well health-wise.  It has me a bit worried and anxious.  I know as they continue to get older and older that at some point, I will have to say my good byes to them.  But they are mine damn it!  Haha.  But in all seriousness, I’m not ready to even think about losing them.  It makes me sad to think about. Hopefully, things will be just fine and I’ll be allowed to put my head back in the sand on this particular subject.  At least for now.

Well – it’s time to get some sleep.  Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you!!

Fall is here

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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.

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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.  🙂

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Free to roam

In the past month or so, I’ve been attempting something a bit unusual for me.  At night, instead of wearing my pajamas or nightgowns, I’ve been doing the sports bra and undies thing.  For one, it’s hot.  But more than that, it’s my attempt at learning to become more comfortable and confident in my own body.

Now some of you may be thinking … “what’s the big deal?”

Let me try and explain.  I have never lived alone before.  There was always someone else in the home.. be it a family member, a significant other, a roommate and if not one of those, most definitely a child or two. Privacy is just something I don’t get a lot of, so the idea of wandering my house naked isn’t really a fantasy that I have.  And lastly – I’ve just never been that comfortable in my own skin.  I’ve never been the girl to feel confident living in my own body.  I hate my post-babies tummy… and the idea of baring it, even to myself just isn’t something that I’ve EVER been comfortable with.

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I’ve been tossing and turning.  I can’t sleep.  I hurt too much.  Apparently I have a cracked rib and the discomfort is keeping me from getting much sleep.  I got up and wandered to the kitchen for something to drink and for the first time in my life, I didn’t put on a robe.  I just wandered out there, grabbed the tea and swigged a big gulp straight from the jug.  And as I walked back into my room, I caught a glimpse of myself… and smiled.  I’m looking good!

I may not be at a point where I’d feel comfortable with the world seeing me like that, I’m content enough knowing that I like what I see in the  mirror these days.  That girl staring back at me … she’s a pretty cool chick.  🙂

Damn…. life is good – even if I AM awake at 3:30 in the morning.

Good night Neverland.  Sleep well.