Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Still. Sick.

I have managed to (mostly) get over the flu.
I am still exhausted.  The right side of my face is swollen and painful - and my teeth hurt when I cough.  I think it's just a holdover from the virus...An errant swollen gland that is there to remind me to not be too cocky about my health.
C offered to watch my last two hours so I can go home, but I honestly don't even have the energy to do that.  It seems less taxing to just sit in my classrooms and watch my students work. 
Surely there is more to work than this.  I am incredibly unmotivated, and incredibly behind with the office-y stuff (grand surprise, that).  I feel like if I could just get caught up and get enough rest I would be a fabulously inspiring teacher.  Of course, that keeps me from having to actually do anything, because I'll never be motivated to get completely caught up.  This was supposed to be a soft place to land and figure out what my next move should be.  This place has not been soft.  Softer than the Evil Empire, of course, but not soft enough.
It seems like something should stick.  Some job/career should just call to me, or I should be drawn to it.  Something that will be exciting and interesting... something that will use my skills and inspire me to greatness.
Or something.
Some girls dream of big houses and sweet men.  I dream of a fulfilling job.  And sweet men.  I mean, seriously, who doesn't dream about someone sweet to love??
I've fallen off the dating cliff... I'm becoming too complacent.  Being single is just too easy.  Too safe.  I like my napping, and my unfettered weekends.  I like my cats and my books. 
But I am finding that the longer I'm single the more impossible my choice in men becomes.  This is how I end up dating married bosses and man children... It's like I'm TOO single to date appropriately.  Is that a thing??  Maybe it's just me.   The available, appropriate men are hidden (in plain sight, I assume) and all I can see are the men who are destined to not live up to my expectations and break my heart.
There is a current man child - and he is impossible.  I don't think anything will come of this - too many boundaries, too much denial.  And even if we were to somehow magically navigate all of that, he is a man child, and I would have to boss him around.  I'm no good at that.  I'd like to say I'm too easy going, but the reality is that I'm just plain too fucking tired to manage anyone but myself.  I'm too fucking tired to even manage myself, really.  Maybe I could boss him into bossing me around?  Within reason, you know. 
Sometimes I think I really am the "single friend," and that's just how it is going to be.  I am the anecdote that my married and otherwise coupled friends bring up to talk about how hard dating is.  I am the slightly scandalous singleton with the good "bad date" stories. 
Maybe it's just that the holidays have me down.  All of my paired-up friends... it's so easy to feel so very alone.
And the flu... that has me down. 
And my job.
And my messy, falling apart little house.

Baby steps to right where I started. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year?

     I'm getting over the flu.  I spent the weekend in bed with fever dreams (ask pretty much anyone I talked to about the "fever rabbits" that kept coming back).  So I don't feel refreshed or renewed or like this is a "new" anything.  Maybe that will come in time.  I don't really do resolutions as such, because there is only one of those I've manager to keep more than 6 hours past midnight.  Almost twenty years ago I resolved to never say anything mean about someone else - unless it was funny.  That one I've kept.  It didn't make me nicer, but it certainly made me funnier.

     I do have areas in which I would like to see some improvement and I am focusing on those.  They're the same ones I keep coming back to: be more organized, eat better, write more, smoke less, exercise.  Yawn, right?  I know.  But real life is boring.  And baby steps are not dramatic at all.

      Getting over the flu?  Also boring and sloooooooow.  I did celebrate New Year's Eve with some friends - J made a turkey (seriously good) and brought it over to K's house.  Our little party was K and her husband (who is also getting over the flu) and J and I and the kids... Bean included.  We ate and drank a lot (alcohol kills germs, yo) and played Trivial Pursuit.  Not the flashiest of New Years, but it was really nice.  I even got a kiss at midnight that did NOT come from a friend's nice husband taking pity on the sad singleton.  It was not a date, but if you squinted and looked at it sideways it almost looked like one.  And that's all I have to say about that.

         It snowed New Year's Day, so that was pretty.  Bean and I lounged around in the morning and then had a nice lunch with Em and her parents.  I took Bean to her boyfriend's house and I did laundry and watched a dumb movie and then we went home.  I was wiped out - even though nothing in my day was strenuous - so I went to bed.

     I made it halfway through my day today and then took a knee.  My first and second hours are basically babysitting, and I have planning period third hour, so I got someone to babysit for me and I went home at 2:30 and slept for four hours.  I'm still exhausted, but I only have another hour to go and I feel like I might actually make it without lying down on the floor and asking my class to leave me alone to weep.  The only thing saving me right now is that tomorrow is Thursday, and except for some pesky grading that is super late and also super unfinished I can go home and sleep Friday away.  I'm covering classes for J tomorrow, so I won't be able to take an extended lunch again.  With any luck I will feel as much improvement tomorrow as I did today. 

     And yes, wanting to lie down and weep is an improvement.  This flu?  Really bad.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fault Lines

It is interesting to me that we are beings of constant change and growth and yet sometimes it feels there is very little that is different from year to year.  Does that make sense at all?  Sometimes transformation seems protected - a caterpillar in a cocoon; other times it is jarring - tectonic plates scraping along fault lines.  

I am, once again, in a situation in which my job is in jeopardy.  And once again, it is an arbitrary thing thought up by 'corporate' that I have to butt against and hope for mercy of some sort.  If I were not so careless these things would not keep happening.  I know that.  Last month a friend stated that I seemed "surprised" by the consequences of my actions.  I'm not, really.  I'm more surprised at the things that turn out to be more important than I thought.  I am surprised when my success or failure rests on something other than whether I am doing my job, let alone doing it well.

I am, six or so months after my last post, no closer to bliss.  My house is not in any better order than it has been, I did have a savings account briefly, but that has been wiped clean to fix a random act of vandalism.  There have been, in fact, several very unlucky things that have happened recently, and my only option seems to be wait and see.

I hate wait and see.

I also have a half-failed relationship smouldering behind me.  I say "half-failed" because the smoke has not yet cleared, and there may be good news there after all.  Again, it's a wait and see game. 


After five years of being unable (unwilling) to look more than a month into the future it was nice to be able to think about what I might want.  When he left I thought he took that with him, but I can still see a  future and I can still see some of the things I want.  I can see how things would be if he does come back, and I can see how things would be if he doesn't.  I will be forever grateful to him for reminding me to face the future head on.  He questioned my fear all the time.  He could not understand why I would hide from something that is completely unavoidable.  I think he understands it a little better these days, but he is still fearless as ever.  I'm trying to be fearless. 

Some of my friends are taking it as a good sign that I put myself out there at all and was even in a position to have a half-failed relationship.  Others view this latest man as another example of how I am spiraling out of control and must be stopped.  My thoughts on the relationship vary, but generally speaking I am leaning toward the fact that it really is a positive step to allow someone to break through my various and impressive  walls.  My friend C says, "That man is not done with you yet; you have got to give him time to clear up his shit."  C is not usually wrong.  She also thinks that relationships tend to end the way they began - and since this one began out of the blue and progressed very quickly so did its end.  This way we get to start over in a way.  If we want to.  You know, once the smoke clears and we are thinking clearly.

We have been able to salvage a friendship of sorts - though some days it seems more like survivors of an accident shivering together under and emergency blanket.

There is impulse in him, but no real malice.  Certainly not toward me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Plus qui change...

I have a new job now. I'm teaching at a career college and I am so much happier. I am relieved that I made it to this point, relieved that I lasted as long as I did at The Evil Empire. It feels like a bad dream.

I have some experience with bad dreams these days. Two weekends ago I was recuperating from a cold that turned violent and I slept for four days, waking to hydrate and eat noodles. And cry.

The dreams were terrible, not always about Jeff, but always relative. I would wake confused and grieving, gasping for air and sanity. I showered, bracing myself on the walls and try to force air through the congestion and tightness in my chest. Cough so hard I would be sick and then dress in soft, clean clothes and crawl back into bed.

I was afraid to take Xanax along with the cold medicine.

Last weekend I had improved physically, but my emotional progress was on an inverse arc. I woke screaming and covered in sweat early Saturday morning and it took five minutes to get a Xanax down, two hours to stop shaking and regain even minimal control over myself. I don't remember the dream, not really, but I was responsible for keeping him safe. I was responsible for keeping others safe from him. And I failed. Over and over I failed.

Once the dream passed and I could breathe normally, think normally, the question I kept coming back to was, how can I ever share my life with another person if I still wake up screaming? How is that ever going to be fair to someone else? Who would ever forgive the fact that I will always be tied to him, always love him. I will never be able to let him go.

I taught a knitting lesson, had lunch with some friends... I went home and shaved my legs and put clean sheets on the bed. My out-of-town friend was scheduled to visit and if nothing else I needed him there to hold me through whatever time we had together.

And he was comforting to me. Very sweet and he absorbed my grief the way I knew he would. He is my best friend, and in another life we would be amazing together. I asked him the questions that had me awake in the dark hours of the morning. How would I ever be able to share my life with another man? How would this new person feel about the dreams that can't stay quiet?

He said, "Anyone who loves you would understand, and would comfort you in any way you would let him."

He's right.
Anyone who loves me would understand.

I just need to find someone who loves me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Find Me

My Greek Chorus says I need to drop the person who only gives half in order to find the one who will complete me. If only it could be that simple.

I could write my dreams on tissue paper and burn them, scattering the ashes in the winds of my wild prairie... That would only leave me weeping and covered in black.

I could stand in the produce aisle cradling an eggplant in the palm of my hand, willing love to become fascinated by my fascination with the smooth, tough skin.

Under a full moon I could transform myself into an entirely different woman: pious and quiet in a church or sly and blinking under the weight of my mascara in a bar. But as the moon shifted so would I and the illusions would fail us both.

A lovely friend told me its no use looking at all. He will be deposited in front of me when I least expect it. Which, of course, means I am always expecting it. Scanning left hands in the checkout line, paying special attention to the way strangers gesture and smile.

This is no good. No good at all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I want to be ok.
Some days I really believe I can be ok.
Today is not that day.

Today I feel both small and fat.
Today I feel like I am failing in so many small ways.
Today I feel that I deserve my horrible, soul sucking job.
Today I feel so very alone.

I think this is ok... I think there are just going to be days like this and I'm just going to have to power through this.
I don't have a lot in reserve, so I hope I cycle up soon.

I hope for a lot of things, and hope is exhausting too.

Friday, December 30, 2011


I've done it again.

Its almost New Year's Eve. I've planned a lovely party with some of my favorite people and my house is a disaster. The dishes have piled in disgusting stacks. Laundry is clean, but not folded, let alone put away (and frankly, there is no room in the closets or drawers). I haven't swept or mopped the floors in longer than I should admit, and the dining room table is covered in empty grocery bags and miscellaneous crap. The cat boxes are disgraceful.

I know that keeping an orderly house is a great thing and that I am capable of many great things. I know that when my house is clean I am happier. I know that I enjoy having friends over.

I just can't seem to keep up with the upkeep.

With a disastrous mess it becomes exhausting to clean completely. We start to cut corners and just hide things in order to be done before the first guest arrives... There is, right this second, a growing pile of clean laundry at the foot of my bed. This pile has been transferred from the living room couch. There is no time to fold everything and put it away because there are no clean dishes, I haven't started the food preparations and it is midnight.

Right now I just want to go to bed and sleep for a long, long time. I want to cancel the party and buy a pint of Ben and Jerry's and crawl into my bed for the weekend.

I also want a lovely evening with good friends and good food.

Of course, after the party we are usually exhausted by the manic cleaning and the party itself. So we won't continue the cleaning.

We will let it slide.

At least, that is our usual routine.

This time I want to try to fix this. I want to be the kind of person whose house is always open to friends. I want to be the kind of person you can call when you're in the neighborhood and who can produce coffee or wine and snacks as needed.

We will keep cleaning.

At noon I will drive an hour each way to pick up my brother and then I will clean some more. And Sunday? I will clean some more. And Monday? I will straighten the rooms in my house and fold laundry.

Maybe next weekend I'll clean out a drawer or two.