This one thing

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The right words

And here I sit, staring at the screen just like you are, with a thousand thoughts whirling around. If only I could put the letters in the right order and combine the right words, I would speak directly to your heart and soul. Prose like honey under carefully placed fingertips. Since that is still a work in progress, this is what I came up with instead:

I finally went skiing yesterday, and the wind, the snow, and the equipment the dude hooked me up with = a pure escape from the stress of my work week and the seasonal depression. A little adventure was exactly what I needed. I used dark goggles so I could push it harder and feel less fear, and it was a blast. The dude is fun to hang out with, we talk about whatever, and just kind of run around and do our thing. I like that he challenges me in some good ways. It’s nice to not feel like I’m going to start a battle if I bring up the wrong thing like with the other dude. Just having some chill companionship is what I thought it was all about. There are a zillion interpersonal battles to be had everywhere on the planet, I treasure each oasis of friendship.

My fiance always loved to say that when you paddle whitewater, if you know what you’re doing, the most dangerous part was driving to the river and hiking your boat down to the water. I guess for skiing, it’s walking through the parking lot and loading gear. Not the new mogul section or the windy chairlift, or even the slippery wet floor of my friend’s mountain cabin. I count it as a great adventure if there are no doctors/hospital/urgent clinic visits immediately following, and I’m sure not going in for a sprain so that counts. The swelling will go down eventually. It was worth it.

SOTD
May We All – FGL

 

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The rush

The snow is falling, gusting down in fat, wet flakes and I’m so happy about it. I want to go out hiking in it, basking in the beauty of it, enjoying how quiet it makes the city, wishing I could help everyone have food and cozy shelter on such a cold night. What messy humans we are, against the background of such a beautiful planet.

Splurging on a personal trainer is proving to be miraculous for my mood. I completely appreciate the external encouragement as she pushes me farther than I think I can go and it never hurts as much as I expect. The rush of adrenaline and endorphins helps me re-calibrate my brain and try to make some sense out of the world around me.

My trainer thinks it’s funny that I’m her only client who has ever loved the rowing machine.  It’s because I pretend I’m paddling whitewater again. My labored, former-smoker breathing becomes the roar of spring runoff pouring into a narrow, punchy set of rapids. The machine dials become the horizon line of my favorite waterfall, stomach clenching, paddling hard for the drop.

Unfortunately I’m in my mid-winter hibernation weight, when all the holiday cookies interfere with my kayak roll and self rescues, even if my boats were in working order. Looks like lots of gym, with maybe some skiing and hopefully snowshoeing as well. Anything to help recover from the stress of work and realizing that I’m doing much better, but can I rally enough passion and dedication to get me where I actually want to go?

Daily depression scale, with zero the least and ten the worst ever: 2 to 4
Panic/anxiety on same scale: 6

SOTD – Old playlists
Cure For Pain – Morphine
A Girl Like You – The Smithereens
Peace In Our Time – Eddie Money
I Will Be You – Pseudo Echo
Love Cries – Stage Dolls
All This I Should Have Known – Breathe
Abandon – Dare
Where Did Your Heart Go? – Wham
What’s It To You – Clay Walker
Somebody New – Billy Ray Cyrus
Ocean Drive – Duke Dumont

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This is what happens

Oh hell yes I wrote to his mother. He never saw that coming. I fell in love with his parents when he took me home for Christmas years ago – such warm, sweet people. How they spawned a son like him is a mystery I don’t care to solve. Despite his relentless, completely dishonest pursuit of me when he wanted to get laid, he somehow never expected me to strike back or resist in any way. This is why you don’t fuck with a crazy woman; she’ll write a letter calling you out to your mom.

I wonder how it went down. His parents didn’t deserve any distress so I tried to be gentle when I asked for them to help him stay away from me. I didn’t go into detail, merely kept it simple. I’m 99% sure that he’s living with someone else and in a long term relationship. They say that all is fair in love and war, but if you are cheating, it’s instantly war. 5 and a half years he’s been jerking me around, and nothing I say seems to make a difference, so I figured writing to his family might have more of an effect. It;s fighting a little dirty, but I don’t feel bad about it at all.

I appreciate not having his drama and negativity around as I know how dangerous it is to my mental health. I fought too hard to get on an even keel and to have moderation and balance in my life. Besides, I refuse to be the option he sees on the side. Yes I am damn good in bed and sorry you can’t seem to stay away from that temptation (and yes I still have a hard time saying no). Here, let me help you exit out of my life.

And at last, radio silence from the dude. Looks like my letter worked; what a relief. Still got a new phone number just in case and damn him anyway.

SOTD
Don’t Take The Girl – Tim McGraw
Tearing Me Up – Bob Moses
Lonely Town – Brandon Flowers

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How you remind me

He’s still the most amazing man I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a few. I Googled him recently out of curiosity, and he’s doing the incredible things we all expected. What’s not to love about a wicked smart man who has taken a vow to devote his life to service? I thought he was my friend, even when he was looking so handsome, flirting outrageously, and telling me how incompatible my bf and I were. I always knew he’d marry his heiress girlfriend, no matter how much he told me that they were struggling and that he had “carte blanche” to have affairs. I told him no on that since I don’t break the cardinal rule – he was my fiance’s best friend from Duke. We all used to go climbing together, it was perfect until he started flirting and confusing me.

His girlfriend was unreal too; A-list old money, Harvard educated, super beautiful and cool. There was no competing with that. They’re both wildly successful doctors now and I’m glad. We even worked together briefly in the VA ER when he was finishing up his residency. He was never arrogant, just quietly confident and the best ER doc I ever saw. Those were days I discreetly cried a lot at work. I eventually split with my fiance for a number of reasons and I knew he would never break up with his gf for me. I was just a fling he tried to have. It worked out for the best though, and I hope the two of them can fully use their gifts to make the world a better place for a long time to come.

I wonder if any of them get curious about me or Google me. I’d guess not and frankly I rather hope not. I’m not wreckage, but people like that judge your success by particular social markers, and they aren’t the same ones I use for my life.

SOTD
Maybe It Was Memphis – Pam Tillis
How You Remind Me – Nickelback

 

 

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Art lessons

Art night with a bunch of creative types and a few construction types = fantastic creations. My friends cooked dinner and had us all over to work on an unusual project. I love how doing any art can stimulate your brain in new, previously unknown directions – and this project was hilarious for that. Lots of giggling and painting, which is nearly my favorite thing on the whole planet.

When the world looks like it’s going to shit, violence everywhere, prospects seem dimmer by the minute; that’s when art give me hope that we can come up with creative solutions to problems, and it reminds me that there are many different ways to grow as humans.

Group projects do some wicked cool things for my creativity levels and all of a sudden I feel inspired and recharged, ready to burst forth in full power.

SOTD
Wish I Knew You – The Revivalists

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Fear of catastrophic gear failure

My friend just bought a sweet, $4700 mountain bike. I couldn’t help but drool a little, even if such equipment is way beyond my means. Frankly, it’s way too fancy for my skills too. Trail riding and single track are a blast and I love them passionately, but I’m not that advanced as a rider. And my basic skills are arguably more limited by my gear.  I’ve been riding a bike that’s way too small because it was all I could afford (but love how maneuverable it is, I can toss it around super easy), and it’s not really rated for the riding I like to do. Plus I’ve worn the hell out of it, stuff is breaking, rusting, and falling apart.

In the interests of safety and sanity, I picked out a reasonable new bike. I’ve been dreaming of springy shocks that make riding down stairs dreamy again. Gears that shift dependably and quietly, and the ability to go bombing down the steep sections without the fear of catastrophic gear failure. Other than the normal risks of course. I love my adrenaline, love the adventure, but I prefer my risks to be limited and at least a tiny bit calculated. Luckily, there’s totally a bike for that.

If I’m lucky, perhaps I can get some slippery sliding snowy riding in. The white stuff makes me incredibly happy; whether it’s if I’m biking, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, walking, driving, viewing holiday lights, or just hanging out watching it fall in puffy sparkly beauty. It goes a long ways towards balancing out the insanity of a world that seems sicker every day. If we’re plunging headlong into destruction, I might as well try and get some air time on the way down, and at this time of year, the snow cushions the landing a bit. There’s nothing like hitting the perfect landing. I say that after lots of experience crashing. Scars are proof of life.

SOTD
Move – Saint Motel
The More You Live, The More You Love – AFOS
All This I Should Have Known – Breathe
Cuts You Up – Peter Murphy
Holding On For Life – Broken Bells
Fly Me Courageous – Drivin ‘n Cryin
I Ain’t Breaking – Steve Holy
Come Back – J. Geils Band

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Moments of breathtaking beauty

A Fred Astaire movie always makes me feel better, and it was just what I needed tonight. He’s so civilized, so romantic, so unlike reality. I’d love to be sung to, danced with, but even more than that – treated with such chivalry by someone who knows how to dress and act and love so completely.  I’m not suited for modern dating, it’s just a wretched experience. I think that in a past life I was a USO bride, meeting some dashing man in uniform one Friday at a dance, marrying in a week, and spending years writing him love letters and praying he comes back safely, followed by a lifetime of devotion. This time around, nothing feels right or easy and I’m pretty reconciled to a hermit-like existence. That’s fine though, better alone than with a terrible match.

I’m so grateful for everything I have, for the blessings and beauty all around me. But holy shit I’m sometimes still so sad, it takes my breath away. I don’t like to talk about it, there’s no one to tell anyway. But on the nights when I’m exhausted after nights of bad sleep and work stress, trying not to worry  about a million things – I wonder if it’s too late for any kind of happy ending. Then I remember; very few people have that, it’s just a myth, and the secret is to find happiness in the vast volume of little things that are everywhere. Case in point: Fred Astaire movies, because I love him so much.

SOTD

Don’t Take The Girl – Tim McGraw
Red Earth and Pouring Rain – Bear’s Den
Summer in Berlin – Alphaville

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15 minutes

The restaurant was nice, but I wanted to tell my date that he would have had a lot more luck cooking me something. I know he likes me a lot, and… I appreciate how fun and active he is. Unlike the last one, this one is super social and inclusive, he’s always doing something like skiing, building something, fixing things, mountain biking, and at least he tries hard.

And the electrician has been blowing up my phone the whole time I’m trying to move on, date healthy nicer men. This is the worst time of year anyway, and I feel like I’m always going to be stuck with these bad habits from my past, like I will never be able to do better than this POS who treated me like a convenience. He sent me a picture of himself last night all dressed up surrounded by other women – a reminder of so many awful things about him. Then he starts in with how he wants to fuck me in the ass – just the romantic loveliness that every woman wants to hear. Especially when I’m bleeding and feeling super depressed and vulnerable. It actually helped me tell him off once again – not that he ever listens to me. Like so many men, it’s all about him and where and when he can stick his dick in something.

I’m so ready for this year to be over. Destructive douchebags seem to be winning, and  I feel like I have zero chance, no matter how hard I fought to get here. Oh depression, you hurt me so much. You and PTSD make it the worst threesome I’ve ever had

On a more positive note, I’m going to play on the mountain next weekend, and by god, there will be a newer, better mountain bike in my near future. Everything else I’m taking 15 minutes at a time.

SOTD
Simple Song – The Shins
Red Earth and Pouring Rain – Bear’s Den

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Sometimes the moment passes

And it does, gone forever.

Last night I had dinner with my ex-boyfriend’s mom. I’ve known her for a very long time and haven’t seen her in a while – I went to high school with two of her kids, and dated her older son for 6 years. They were my first true introduction to a family that had good communication skills, healthy boundaries, and respect for each other. Holidays at their house were like the holidays I grew up with, with a house full of decorations, parties and people everywhere playing games, wrapping presents, eating tons of yummy food – just celebrating like happy humans do. The only difference in their family holidays from mine was the lack of molesting older brothers and constant sense of fear and trying to appear calm.  It was a revelation to experience, and one I treasured.

Now, all these years later, she’s been married for 50 years, and her kids are a mess. Divorces, custody battles, alcoholism – even my ex is heading into a second marriage. The concept of marriage and commitment has changed drastically, and in some ways it’s good. Why stay with a partner who abuses you? Then again, there’s no longer compelling incentives to work through difficult issues, or to find a way to navigate the heartbreaking times. I have a hard time letting go, which is why I avoid commitment entirely; it’s difficult to give up on something I’m invested in. Besides, I’m deathly afraid of marrying a man like my paternal unit – better to not take that chance.

I have freedom and adventures and lots of fun. But I miss having a family, imperfect and messy though they always are. Time has slipped away, and so many moments and opportunities have passed. I wonder sometimes what life would have been like if I did go through with my wedding, but I’m sure it would have ended in divorce just like so many others – even the ones that seemed so strong and loving.

SOTD
One Minute More – Capital Cities
Young Girls – Bruno Mars

 

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