Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 35; Darkness

Gray, cloudy, still. The morning is calm and I'm barely up. I slept well last night, so much better than the sleep I was getting this time last summer.

This time last summer, I'd told A about S. We were in the midst of dealing with that maelstrom.

A was despondent while S and I tried to talk to figure out our next move, our plans for the future.

In my heart of hearts, I believed we were working collaboratively to figure out a way to be together. My remorse and pain for hurting A and eventually the kids was huge, but in my mind, the path to happiness and true love justified the hell I was putting everyone through.

What an awful, horrible person I was. Am. And how tragically wrong could I have been?

And yet, when I read S's words, written to me a year ago, maybe it's understandable how a lost soul like me would grasp onto whatever hope was offered.

One night, he wrote, "Darkness fell. Here I find myself again. Same as it ever was. Why is night so much harder?

I think it's because the darkness has a way of distilling feelings. Boiling them down to their base elements.

Tonight's boil has coalesced into the same thing it always does; I love you more than anything. I can't help it nor do I want to. You are the most special thing to me on this earth and I will not lose you.

You are my heart.

I love you,

Why can't I let that go? Why can't I see his actions rather than fixate on a love note written a year ago? In the end, he did lose me. Not only did he lose me, he gave me up. Willingly. If I was his heart, I am no longer.

And I don't know how to move on.

The darkness permeates still.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 34; Rainy Days

I'm agitated. I think I have been all morning and now it's sliding into the afternoon.

The thing is, I can be a really funny person, I love to laugh, but mostly I feel like Eeyore all the time, just bitching and moping about everything.

When I feel agitated, I get this feeling, like I need to shed my skin. I just can't stand things and want to pull my hair out.

But, then I feel guilty for complaining and that just piles onto the agitation.

Maybe I'm grumpy because at this very moment, it's pouring rain outside and I happen to have my own three kids, plus SEVEN more inside right now. Yes, I have TEN kids in my crackerbox of a house.

It's no wonder I'm in the midst of a mid life crisis. When the storm clears and the kids head home, I'll be out of about $100 worth of groceries and my house will look like a tornado hit it, despite my best efforts to get them to clean up.

Don't get me wrong. I wanted kids and LOVE mine. Shit, I even love the neighbors' kids, I'm just tired and mopey and want peace and quiet.

If I get inspired, I'll blog better later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 33; Petty, And I Don't Mean Tom

Today I find myself in fair to (gasp) good spirits. Mostly I think I'm happy last night I didn't down an entire bottle of wine or eat a third world country's fair share of dinner.

A and I (gasp) talked last night. Imagine that. It was one of those good talks where we both stay calm and level headed. Our eyes only welled up with tears, there was no outright crying or sobbing. Such progress.

The Reader's Digest version of the talk is that we have realized we are, essentially, roommates. He doesn't, can't feel married to me as long as I love S. Fair enough, but if I'm being honest here... if that's the case, we might have the roomie thing going on for a while.

Mostly today, I'm thinking about how petty I am. It shouldn't and doesn't make me happy or proud, but I'm going to go ahead and mention how my brain functions.

The 4th of July is coming up and we were invited to a firework viewing party by some acquaintances of ours. They're a super cool couple who I'd really like to get to know better, but with work and kids and probably my neon, flashing, scarlet "A" on my chest, it might make sense that our paths don't cross too often.

Anyway, during one of our late night talks, as roommates are wont to do, A admitted that he was sparked by another woman who I know is invited to this 4th of July party. When A and I talk about being sparked by someone, we mean that weird, butterfly feeling that makes us think there might be something more there. Chemistry, attraction, curiosity. In the past, A has avoided women he gets that feeling with and me, well...we all know what I tend to do.

So, this woman A sparks for will most likely be at the party and for two days I seriously contemplated declining our invitation and never even telling A we were invited! I don't really want to see this woman (she happens to be really pretty, funny, athletic, accomplished, yadda, yadda, yadda) and now that I know she sparks A, I don't want to have to see him around her or pretend to not want to scope out their interactions.

Petty, I know. I'm in love with another man for fuck's sake! Makes no sense at all.

For the holiday weekend, I'd been contemplating coming to Dallas to stay with Dallas while she house sits for her boss. Maybe I still will. A can just go to the party without me and spark and do whatever he feels to his little heart's delight. The fact that it even bothers me is a whole, entire, other subject for another blog. Gah!

Second petty observation. S throws a huge 4th of July party every year that pretty much dominates his life and thinking for weeks, possibly even months before the event. He and his wife and family spend hundreds of dollars, invite a ton of people out, and have what sounds like a grand old time. He coordinates contests such as skeet shooting, horseshoe tossing, fart smelling and nose picking. I don't really remember what all the games are, I just know he gets intense about everything and puts a lot of effort into it. The things that stand out to me is that he takes it all very, very seriously and it's a huge excuse for him to party like crazy. Crazy, I tell ya. Last year, I think over the course of the entire weekend, he and his wife consumed 90 beers each. EACH. I have serious concerns about the man's liver. "Gotta get thru the 4th", is what he chants, almost like a fucking mantra.

Anyway, I want it to rain on his party. Not proud to admit that, but I do. I want it to be a big, wet, nasty mess, full of mud and lightning and stench. Of course, it won't matter. They have shelter there, they're used to messy situations (internal laugh), but still, in my weak, little, petty mind, I want anything that can go wrong to go wrong.

I hate the fucking 4th of July.

Last year on the 4th of July, I sat with A in some shitty, chain restaurant outside of Dallas and listened to him tell me he wanted a divorce. We cried, gave each other back our wedding rings (we still don't wear them), and drove off in opposite directions. I wanted, needed to talk to S, but guess what? It was the 4th of July and he was probably on beer #72 by that point and was busy trying to take the lead in the ball scratching match.

Yeah, I'm petty. So what?

In the infamous words of Tom,
Someone's gonna tell you lies,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 32; Plastic Ware and Walls

A and I have had a few days of alone time, with the kids being at their grandparent's house.

I wish I could say that we really bonded or that we really decided to split and make firm plans, but in typical fashion, it's been somewhere in between.

One day, we are sure we are staying together and then the next, we are truly considering and talking divorce.

Ironically, despite blogging about roller coasters and how much I like them, I'm starting to feel a bit queasy.

For me, I see no solution that has a winning outcome. To stay means that I feel trapped in some ways, whereby I give up a few of my most basic needs in a sacrificial move because it's unfair or unreasonable to ask A to change for me. I also have to work hard to make changes in his benefit too.

It's not that I feel he is undeserving of those changes, it's just that I don't know if I have the energy or if the pay off will be worthwhile.

But, in splitting up, we break up our family. We put our kids through the ringer and I potentially lose the friend I've had for 20+ years.

I just get so confused. How much of what makes me feel the need to stay is habit? How much of our relationship can we not only salvage, but also go on to make great?

But how much of me wanting to leave is just pipe dreams or some sort of ridiculous fantasy that will bear no fruit whatsoever?

We don't share any dreams anymore, other than raising healthy, happy children. Our finances are so horrible now, we can't begin to imagine any other sort of reality. We are dejected.

And yet, leaving just throws us out into the unknown, with already strapped finances being pushed further.

There is a wall between us that we have built up. It's with us throughout our days and nights. We try to break it down, but it's like we are chipping at it with plastic ware. I need a pick ax and all I've got is a disposable fork with broken tines.

He needs me to be upbeat. He needs me to be in the moment. He would like me to help out more around the house and appreciate him more. He needs me to want him badly.

I don't know how to do all of those things at once. I don't know if I even have the energy to do them.

I don't know what to do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 30; Life is Messy

This morning, I was texting with my best friend R and we were lamenting the men that have come in and out our our lives.

I asked her, "God, why are we drawn to inept men?" and she so wisely replied, "Because we don't like mediocre existences."

Her name isn't God, but sometimes I do feel like she is connected with a higher being. She is a very wise and calming presence for me.

She continued with, "Remember what Grandma said in Parenthood about the rollercoaster?"

And I do! It's one of my all time favorite movie scenes, simply because it sums up how I've always felt about my life, but particularly moreso the older I get.

Life IS messy!

S wanted guarantees and walked away from something stellar because I couldn't give them to him. He wasn't able to trust his instincts, trust our connection, trust our love enough to jump onboard and strap into that rollercoaster to go for the ride of his life. The merry-go-round seems more his style.

It's such a shame, honestly. Those dips and drops and turns and twists are just like Grandma said.

I like the rollercoaster too.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 29: FYI

I feel weird today, although really, it's not much unlike any other day for me emotionally.

I'm alone. The kids are with their grandmother, A is at work, and I've had the house all to myself. As far as days go, it's been a good one. Went and swam laps, showered, treated myself to a pedicure, manicure and even an eyebrow wax, killed over an hour in the bookstore and am now home, still alone.

I should be content. Days like this are few and far between.

But my mind keeps jumping between A and S and well, me. I'm angry with both of them. I'm mad that A wants me (or did) but can't figure out how to give me what I need and I'm pissed that S doesn't want me (he used to) but knows intuitively how to make me feel alive and happy.

Both of them want me to stop thinking about S, as if I can just flip a switch and in an instant, all thoughts and memories of him are gone. I'm not a machine, I'm human, with feelings and a heart and a mind and a body that still yearns.

I can't know what I've known and just let it go because of S's last email to me.

Sadly, I still check my inbox, just in case he writes me in a moment of weakness, but all I'm greeted with is the email. THE email.

FYI, is what it's entitled. FYI. For Your Information. For your information, I will tell you I love you for over a year, look at you like I've never looked at anyone in my entire life, feel things I've never known before, laugh until my belly aches and I can't breathe, but, FYI, you must stop thinking of me now, today, in this instant,forever, we are done. FYI.

Well, S. FYI from me. I can't. Not today, probably not this month, or perhaps even this year. In time I will, trust me. But it doesn't happen the way you want, when you want, how you fucking want. What a cold hearted asshole you are to even expect me to.

Cold hearted. I never pegged you for that. I could pin a lot of unsavory characteristics on you, most of which I happened to find endearing, but cold hearted was never you. Until now.

You were my best friend. You were my everything, sad as that is to admit. You were home. I wanted to move in and get to know every inch of you, every quirk, every goofy trait.

In my darkest hour, I stupidly believed I'd have you to turn to, to understand me, to help me through. For always.

Didn't you say things like that? Didn't you say in an email to me last summer...

June 8, 2009, 10:12 p.m.
Baby, I'm here, and I'm staying for as long as you'll have me, I love you. I've been in a bad mood all day, and I know that it is because I didn't get to speak to you nearly enough. That said, I can't ever speak to you, hold you or kiss you enough. You are incredibly amazing and you make me so happy.

Stay with me,

I did stay with you and boy, don't I look the fool?

So, for your information can go fuck itself. Here is how I see it.

FYI...Fuck your instincts, fuck your insight, fuck your influence, fuck your importance, fuck your impact.

I don't like being angry, but I am.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 28; Trying to Fly

I didn't end up going to Dallas last night. I stayed at my in laws house instead. I was tired, the red wine tasted good with dinner and let's be real, it left me closer to S.

My plan was to get up this morning and watch the U.S. soccer match on t.v. and then decide how the rest of my day would unfold.

Despite not going to bed very late (before midnight), I didn't wake up until 9:40 this morning. I was shocked! Holding my phone in my hand, I rubbed my eyes, did a double take and checked to make sure the time was correct. How in the world could I have slept SO late?

Before falling asleep, A and I talked on the phone and then texted back and forth. The texts were pretty damn heavy and yes, there were tears involved on my end, but the weight of the conversation was no heavier than a few other dozen I've had this past year.

Here are some excerpts from our text exchange:

K: Didn't love our conversation tonight. I'm sorry, sorry, sorry
A: Me too. But I'm not sad.
K: You're not? Why? I am. Are you already gone?
A: It doesn't make me sad anymore. It just is what it is.
K: Oh, that scares me. I'm a fool.
A: Not gone, just accepting. Not a fool.
K: Yes, I am. So, so stupid.
A: Not stupid. You gambled on love.
K: I'm going to lose best thing ever. Yes, and lost everything.
A: You took a chance.
K: B/c I can't get over an asshole who wasn't good for me in the first place.
A: I can get over the cheating
K: While you have been there
A: But I can't get over that.
K: What? That I can't get over him? That's why I say there is something wrong with me.
A: Yes.
K: I've risked losing it all over nothing. It's a flaw in my character, make up. Like OCD.
A: You don't want to get over him. Until you want it, you won't be happy and you won't be able to help anyone else be happy.
K: I just want to understand why I felt so sure but was really so wrong.
K: And how can I be sure that what we have will be what it takes to work, excluding S.
A: You can't.
K: But is there hope for it to be different?
A: You have to want it and be committed to it. You have to enjoy most of it.
K: So, it's all on me?
A: No
K: Not being snarky, just trying to understand.
A: I don't think we have much of a chance.
K: Why?
A: I don't think I want to be who you want me to be.
K: Who is that? Just curious?
A: I don't think I want someone who isn't sure about me. It's too much work, too much trouble.
K: Okay. I'm sorry.
A: It's ok.
K: I want love, I want attention, I want laughter. Doesn't feel ok to me.
A: I just think I'd rather be alone and take my chances with someone I might run into.
K: Okay, wow. What'd I do tonight?
A: I want to learn, to debate, to try to master new things. You didn't do anything.
K: I'm too stupid for you.
A: It is just amazing to me when I think about how hard I tried for you and that I fell so short.
K: You didn't fall so short.
A: I was working hard for us, for you. But I wasn't doing what you needed or wanted.
K: 22 years, 3 kids, our entire life, that's not so short.
A: No. It was worthwhile.
K: I should have told you what I needed.
A: Yes.
K: I didn't know until it was too late. Thought it was all there.
A: I don't think you knew.
K: Still doesn't make sense that it's not.
A: We don't always understand our own needs.
K: I didn't mean for you to seemingly work so hard for nothing.

And it went on a bit longer, with some joking and some trying to just move on and get past the ugly truths we were saying.

Having A talk to me honestly like that is a new thing. He followed up with these comments:

A: You need to brighten up. It's time to find your happiness. Your real joy.
K: Stop it. That makes me sob. I'm so broken.
A: I am right. You are miserable. I know that some slob dumped you, but there is more to life. It's time to begin your new life. Open your eyes.
K: Yes. So, can we do it together or do we need to part?
A: Open your heart to yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. You live, you learn. If you don't figure out what you want, at least you can figure out what you don't want.
K: True. Okay, I'll sleep on this. Please don't go anywhere in the meantime.
A: I don't want it to be fake, but after what we've been through, I need you to want me. Want me bad. If you want me, we can do it as lovers. If you don't want me bad, that's okay too. Let's just do it as friends.
K: Okay, good night.
A: Don't make me wait forever, it makes me look like a fool. Good night.

So, reading through this. It is heavier than I remembered and yes, I can see why I might sleep 9 hours straight.

What's a girl to do?

I got up this morning and before heading home, I drove past S's work. His truck was parked outside and the red of his vehicle just burns me, burns my heart. I went into the convenience store close by and imagined him in there buying his beer or some crap snack that he so loves to eat.

I even drove past his house, telling myself things like..."This was supposed to be MY drive to OUR house." Delusional much?

And then, to top it all off, as I cruise past his house, peering over my shoulder to get a better look, his wife is standing in the drive way smoking!

She already has the man I want, did she really have to ruin my drive by, "I'm not really stalking" stalking?

With my heart in my throat, beating a mile a minute, I quickly decided to scoot on down the interstate and head home.

I maintained my composure for about 45 minutes and then burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. Screaming seems to help too and at the top of my lungs I yelled "I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! Why did you do this to me? Why did you come into my life? Why did you give me what felt so fucking right, only to snatch it away from me? I HATE YOU!".

Today, in my cute, little car, I think I cried as hard as I did when my mom died. The sobs were just like waves, crashing over and over and over again. The tears stung my face, almost as if poison was being dripped on my skin. I felt such loss, such rage, such sadness.

Yeah, actually, it's no wonder I slept in today. I'm exhausted. I'm drained. I'm beaten.

The bird I've been envisioning myself to be this past year feels like her wings have been clipped. I'm grounded, trying to lift off and take flight, but falling, sadly and defeated, back to the ground.

What a day...and it's only 4:30. Trying to fly is hard work.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 27; Prayers

I have a sick feeling in my stomach as I wake up this morning. Later today, I will pile the kids into the car and drive to my in laws house to leave them for a couple of days. I'm a tad worried about having another blowout, about driving all that way on my spare tire, but what really has me feeling ill is something else altogether.

Said in laws live in the same town as S. My odds of crossing paths with him randomly are about the same as me waking up tomorrow and looking like Heidi Klum. Just won't happen. But knowing how incredibly close I am, gives me a butterflyish, squeamish, sick, hopeful feeling in my stomach.

In the past, he'd know I was coming. Somehow, someway, we'd figure out a plan to see one another, even if only for 30 minutes. There was nothing glamorous or fabulous about those visits, other than the sheer happiness I felt about getting to see him in person.

For an all too short amount of time, we'd hug and laugh and kiss and talk and stare into each other's eyes, just trying to soak up every ounce of the other person's being.

Each time I'd see him, I would naively, foolishly tell myself, "Maybe today will be the day the veil is lifted and he sees you for who you really are."

It went on, "If you are just witty enough, just pretty enough, sexy enough, smart enough, smell good enough, he will see that you are the one he wants to be with."

Waiting in my car for him to drive up, I'd tousle my hair, put on a bit of lip gloss (but not too much because I didn't want to gross him out when we kissed), check my teeth in the mirror, tousle hair one more time. I'd sniff my armpits, make sure I smelled sweet (but not too sweet, couldn't have any lingering scents on him when he left), and check my appearance one more time.

Not once did I ever feel ugly when I prepared to see him. Not once did I ever question my ability to make him laugh, make him feel like the most wanted person on Earth, make him feel loved. As crazy as it sounds, I never even really questioned my sanity, my love for him and belief in us was that strong.

I always wanted each time to be THE time. As I'd drive away, tears streaming down my face, I'd pray that he wouldn't be able to make it through the rest of the day without me. I'd pray that he'd go home, look at his life and find a place for me in it. I'd pray that he would choose me, want me, that I would have finally been good enough.

And with every parting, I never was.

Tonight, I'll spend the night at Dallas' house and sleep on her couch like I do any time I spend the night. I used to see S on my way out of town, after leaving her house. We would text and sometimes even talk into the night, figuring out our plan for the next day. Tonight my phone will be right next to me, but it will sit silently. No texts will come, no emails, no plans to meet and see one another.

I'll cry, I'm sure. The million pieces of my broken heart will somehow find a way to splinter again, their slivers and shards piercing me, destroying me. Sleep will be elusive tonight.

Tomorrow, I'll rise, a full day ahead of me, get in my car and pray the spare holds out another day.

I'll look into my rearview mirror and see a girl I hardly know. Will I tousle my hair? Put lip gloss on my lips? Will I even care to look at all?

Probably not. Not being good enough does something to a soul, I fear something from which I'll never escape.

Whenever I finally head home, as I drive past all the places we used to meet, instead of praying for him, for us, I'll pray for me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 26; Deep End Swimming

This morning, I woke up and the house was still quiet. I haven't been happy with how I look or feel for some time now, so I donned a swimsuit and decided to swim laps in my sister's pool.

The water was warm and welcoming and I eased in happily. It's been a long time, far too long, since I've worked out. I think when my heart is broken, rather than working out to expel the demons, I turn inward and mope and become a vegetable. Funny how that's not really working out so great for me.

The stroke I chose was the freestyle, which makes me chuckle, because it seems that as I glide through life, I freestyle or at least long to. Everything I do seems to be against the grain, sort of different from anyone else I know.

Last night I asked Dallas (I'll just start calling her that from now on, even though she doesn't live in Dallas proper) why I can't just BE happy with how things are. I texted her, "Why can't I just be in my marriage and make nice? Like S and so many others we know?"

Her response was spot on when she said, "Because they have no hope, intention or want of more. They have made their bed and are content to lie in it."

"Okay", I shot back as I let what she'd said sink in.

She followed with, "Well, they desire more but are not willing or want to take steps to change what mostly works."

It makes sense to me, even if it doesn't make me feel any better about being dumped by S for "mostly works". But how can I compete with that? How can I top "good enough"? Yeah, it makes sense, but it hurts like hell.

And why is it that mostly works just isn't good enough for me at this point in my life?

Yesterday, A reminded me of a quote by Teddy Roosevelt that I once sent him.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

I can't remember ever sending it to him, but even as I read it now, it resonates with and through me. I'm tired of being a dreamer. I'm ready to be a doer.

After I finished swimming my laps, I played around in the deep end of the pool for a while. S never liked me playing in the deep end, I suppose it made him feel uncomfortable, maybe even challenged? It always bothered me that he rarely swam out to the deep end to frolic with me. You know, you can have fun in the deep end too? Possibly even more fun.

In the deep end today, the sunshine shone through the water and made shimmering reflections along the surface of the pool. My shadow danced alongside me and I felt perfectly alone, exceedingly happy. My movements were graceful and smooth and there was no one around to hurt me or better yet, for me to hurt or disappoint. It was divine.

Swimming reminds me that there's another swimming analogy S once used to describe how he felt about me, but I'll save that one for another day.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 25: My Dance

Last night, my friend and I talked about love and loss. She is such a great friend, so quick with the truth, no matter how brutal. While it smarts a bit, it's always somehow comforting to know that with her, you always know where she stands and what she believes. You know that when she says you look good, you most likely do and when she says you don't...well, it's back to the drawing board or dressing room.

Another thing about her is that she is an amazing listener with a huge heart. One of my recent blogs brought her to tears (and she isn't a crier) and as she hugged me and held me, she told me how sorry she was for all I've been through.

For some reason, I found myself recounting to her the story of my mom's fight with cancer, so valiant and courageous and then the beauty that punctuated her ending, once she finally made peace with dying.

The impetus to tell her was the parallel I made about S and his recent email and intentions of removing himself from my life. Him being gone is the equivalent of a death for me. Except, unlike with my mom's cancer battle, which she fought for 18 months, when he decided to leave, it was like a car crash that immediately took the life of someone I loved. One day they are there, ever present, always at least a phone call or email away, the next, gone. Well, not totally gone. I suppose he's out there somewhere, living his life, day to day, but I will never know for sure. One of my greatest fears is finding out something has happened to him and it being too late for me to say goodbye, too late to look into those eyes of his that I love so much, too late to touch his weathered face, smell his amazing smell, simply too late...

But, I digress. Losing him hurts, just like losing my mom. It's a pain that never goes away, even if it does dull slowly over time. This morning, I took the boys to visit her grave. I'd forgotten that I'd placed an angel beside it. Forgotten the exact location of it in the little coutry cemetary. While the boys walked amongst the old headstones, I knelt in front of hers and gently skimmed my fingertips across her name. "Mom, I miss you," I quietly choked through my tears. "I so wish you were here to help me, even though I'm not totally sure I'd like to hear what you'd have to say."

She'd be like my friend from Dallas. Neither of them mince words, neither holds back for fear of hurting your feelings. Their gift is their honesty, because they care. I'm not sure how much patience my mom would have for me these days, but I know that she went through upheavals in her relationships, so in that way, I feel like our hearts would be aligned.

One of her favorite songs was "I Hope You Dance" and I'd like to think that that would be the essence of the advice she'd pass along to me, although far less poetic and lyrical...remember, she was a too the point sort of gal.

I think, this past year, I've done exactly what she believed in, what *I* believe in. I've followed my heart and my head, always keeping in the forefront of my mind that my time here is so incredibly finite.

My mom was taken from me at only 58 years of age. I'm 40 now...she only had 18 more years than where I find myself now. Not bad, but truly, not fair and not nearly long enough. I plan to dance. With music, especially music that moves me, I've never been able to sit still for long. I'm compelled to get up, sway, move, be.

Life is my music. I must dance.


I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance ( rolling us along)
I hope you dance (Tell me who wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance..
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance ( rolling us along )
I hope you dance (Tell me who wants to look back on their youth and wonder )
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 24; Rude Awakenings

My friend from Dallas came to visit me today so I wouldn't be all alone out in the country.

That she came is a huge surprise and I've had nothing but FUN with her, despite that fact that when we talk, it's to the heart, to the core, to the truth of the matter.

She, essentially, hates S. It's not that she is a huge A fan, it's more that she is a fan of me. She once referred to S as "diarrhea" because he was "less than shit" and I don't think her opinion of him has changed a bit.

It's very hard for me because I love her dearly, but I love him too. I want her to see all of the wonderful things he has to offer and yet, the more he shits on me and continues to break my heart, the harder it is to convince her that he is, in fact, wonderful.

And he IS wonderful, but how do I convince her of that? Especially after S continues to break my heart and let me down.

Today, in a moment of clarity and heartbreaking truth, she explained to me how S operates and what his intentions really were. It was disgustingly simple, as she used the side of the swimming pool, incorporating the rock ledge as one side (the side he showed to me) juxtaposed against the pebble walk of the other side (representing his life with is wife and family). The dividing line was the concrete seam between the two. To see her emphatically slap her hand from one side of the concrete line to the other, and talk about his thoughts and his meanings and his feelings, compeletely brought me to tears.

In her words, "I don't doubt that he loved you or that what he told you was true IN THE MOMENT, but his real truth was over here", her hand moving to the other side of the concrete divider.

Crying, tears falling from my eyes, I shook my head in denial. "No, NO!" I cried. "I know that he loves me and wants to be with me, he's just scared," I pleaded.

Except, how many times can I argue his case, defend him, especially as he leaves me out high and dry? I am the epitome of fool. The pinnacle of pitiful.

And yet, I love him still, steadfast and strong. In my mind, S is THE ONE, the one I still yearn for, the one that all the rest will have to live up to and do their best to match.

No, he doesn't want me. Nothing has changed. Each day I do my best to internalize that. Whether I finally "get it" or not, is yet to be seen.

I love S with all my heart and know that we were truly the best ever, but I can't convince him or anyone else of that, in the end. All I can do is be true to me, despite the confusion and pain.

In truth,

Finding Forty, Day 24; Broken Hearted

This blog started out with the premise of me figuring out what being 40 was like, but so far, it's been about how I plan to make it and adjust as a married woman, in love, with a broken heart.

Here is my fucking dilemma. At 40, I am experiencing my first heartbreak ever. Ever. It's uncanny, bizarre even, that I am just now experiencing a heartbreak, but it is true.

I also happen to be married and my heart isn't breaking over the loss of my husband, A. It's over losing who I thought, think, is the love of my life, S.

I never meant to fall in love with S. He was completely and totally off limits. Married, a friend of A's, seemingly unlike me in every way, nothing was ever supposed to happen.

But, you see, it did. When we reconnected after many years at our 20th high school reunion, there were immediate sparks. I had the feeling of not wanting to walk away when I was in his presence, of looking a bit too long into his eyes when we talked, perhaps of feeling his eyes on me from across the room. And it felt amazing.

What followed were friendly emails, sent to and from for months, before anything more took place. It was there we began to truly know one another, slowly, deliberately revealing one truth after another. It felt innocent enough, but every time I'd see his name pop into my inbox, my heart would flip. I loved those first months of our back and forth joking, teasing, taunting even.

Once we were finally in one another's presence again, the attraction was undeniable. I think I knew, the night we all went for drinks (me, A, and S) that I wanted to spend more time with S that night. A even says now that looking back on that night, he felt like S and I were the couple and he was the outsider, the third wheel.

I'm not proud of this, but it's true. My connection with S was always so strong, so dynamic, so unbelievably alive. And even though I knew I shouldn't, I let myself fall under his spell. Hell, I think I handed him the book of magic and told him which potions to add. I was willing and ready and it was mesmerizing.

And the spell we created was divine. Intoxicating, addictive, heady, strong, passionate, so full of love and life. Yes, I will acknowledge that it never got a test run in reality, so who's to say that it would have passed that criteria, but my belief is that it could and would have.

With S, I've never felt more alive, more happy, more me. For the first time in my life, I could say whatever I wanted and not worry about feeling stupid. I could argue a point, with fiery conviction in my voice and not fear being wrong, even when I was. And if I was, I would admit defeat and then laugh.

Oh, how we laughed. How ironic that thinking of our laughter now brings tears to my eyes, but the laughter was the best. With S, I was funny and he loved my sense of humor. The confidence I felt just seemed to grow exponentially with him and with his attentions directed at me, I felt so beautiful, so energized, so alive and thriving.

But, he took all of that away from me. Okay, I know there is something in it all where I have to take responsibility for my own feelings and reactions, but for now, I feel like he took it all away. He's the one who ended this beautiful thing we had going. Him. Not me.

And I'm left feeling ugly, stupid, defeated, dead on the inside.

I just don't get it.

Yes, it seems the nature of this blog is changing, perhaps just becoming more fine tuned and focused. I have to write and work through all of this for it to make sense to me.

Sad and heartbroken,

Friday, June 18, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 23: Everywhere, But Nowhere

"We are done. Spend no more time thinking of me. It's over. We are done. Spend no more time thinking of me. It's over. We are done..."

These words, so cold and harsh, continue to loop through my head. My heart feels ripped from my chest, the blood and gore spread everywhere.

My friends read those words just as they are, as would anyone else. What I read goes something more like this:

"Sweet Pea, I love you, but we have to stop this. The only way for you to heal is to do your best to stop thinking about us and the love we share. It's time to move on."

I can see him while he says this, see the pain on his face, hear him choke back the tears as they stumble and fall in the base of his throat.

He looks at me and I see the depths of emotion, his inner struggle with knowing a truth and love as incredible as ours and being tied to a life that he likes just enough to not be willing to give it up or scooch over a bit to let me in.

I'm pretty good at the fantasy. This is how I want to imagine it happening. The cold, dead, lifeless words that he chose instead were to protect me and make a clean break. He wouldn't be that mean and blunt to me. He loves me. He was supposed to protect me, not hurt me, not take life from me.

But how is a clean break possible? Just a handful of days before he sent that email and deleted our account we talked on the phone, several times, totalling a few hours. We laughed, squabbled, breezed through our conversations with a comfort and ease that was amazing. We could talk for hours and even then, in those last conversations, he'd tell me he loved me. He felt like home to me and when I'd get down, I could envision myself engulfed in his arms, my head resting on his chest, as I inhaled his being.

That my heart would be ripped to shreds seems understandable, right? That my mind would be so completely and utterly confused, that makes sense, no?

"Spend no more time thinking of me..."

How do I do that when we've spent the last 20 months having some form of communication on a regular basis?

How do I do that when I see him everywhere I look? I wrote this a few months ago and it holds true still today.

He's nowhere
I keep looking in all the familiar places
But he's nowhere

Except he's everywhere

I can't escape him
Hard as I try

He's everywhere I turn
Every song on the radio
Every truck on the highway
Every pink and orange of every sunset

As I close my eyes
Each and every night
Hoping to find him in my dreams
He's nowhere

Come back

I used to sit in his lap when we were together. He's bigger than me, bigger than A, and he made me feel feminine and sexy. I'd lay my legs across his lap, sitting sideways and drape my arms around his neck. With our faces just inches apart, I'd study each and every line around his sweet, soulful eyes. He'd cup my face in his hands and traces the lines of it with his rough thumbs. We'd kiss and talk, but mostly we'd just look at each other and understand, without words, that what we were holding in that moment was something amazing. Something bigger and better, stronger and deeper than we could articulate.

"Spend no more time thinking of me..."

I have to laugh through these tears that fall. I never liked him telling me what to do and he knows that. I'd squeeze him for that, if only I could.

But, what's a girl to do? You can't make people love you or do anything they don't want to do. And, he's made it crystal clear, with those words, that he indeed doesn't want me.

Trying to unknow,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 22; 180

My sister and her crew are off on their vacation. I'm officially alone in the country with 5 little boys. Okay, I'm not totally alone. We have 3 dogs, 18 chickens, a rooster, and God knows how many fucking snakes to keep us company while we're here. Oh, yeah, and we have F protecting us at night. He's the 18 year old kid who's lived with my sister for 2 years now but wasn't able to go on the trip. I like being alone during the day, but am thankful he'll be here at night.

So, last night, while trying to get everyone packed, I started observing the dynamics between my sister and her husband. They are loud, sarcastic, biting, playful. At first glance, it sounds horrible, but the more you are in their presence, the more you realize how great it works for them. And it broke my heart. It was very much the way S and I communicated and the exact opposite of how A and I talk.

Wistfully, perhaps stupidly, I made a comment about it to my sister.

"It's really ironic isn't it? The way you two talk seems like you wouldn't work, but in fact, you do. Meanwhile, A and I never talk this way. We are polite and cordial and respectful (on the surface) and look at all our problems," I pondered out loud.

"Yeah, that is funny," she distractedly answered.

"You know, this is very much how S and I talked with one another. The same energy, the same passion was there." I pointed out, with I'm suspecting, a bit too much sadness and longing in my voice.

At those words, she wheeled around on her heels and looked at me, the anger flashing in her eyes. With contempt in her voice, she said, "And yes, K, all of that was a fucking lie!"

I felt like the wind had been knocked out of my sails or someone had punched me in the throat. Holding back tears, I explained, "No, it WASN'T lies. It was real. Whatever happened with us, I know when we talked it was real."

My voice cracked as I pleaded my case. The track playing in my head went something like this..."I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy. I know he meant what he said, I know I saw the truth in his eyes, heard it in his voice, in the roll of his laugther. I know I'm not crazy."

"Well," she continued, "If he wasn't lying to you, he was fucking lying to his wife."

Ever the peacemaker, I clarified, "Yes, I agree, he lied. To me, to her, to himself even. But I know that the way we talked was real and felt different than what I've known before. I was just trying to make a point about how people talk to each other," I said with defeat lacing my words.

Then, she softened and her eyes teared up as well. "Kate, I'm sorry. You have to know the anger in my voice is my defensiveness for you. He just makes me so mad," she explained. She went on, "But I've listened to you since you've been here and you need to just get divorced. Get divorced, Kate. You are in love with another man and that is not fair to A. Just get divorced and move on. I hope you are able to find happiness with someone who makes you feel the way S makes you feel, just not him." she stated. "Stop letting your fear of being alone keep you in something unhealthy."

I didn't know what to say next. I wanted the Earth to just open up so that I could fall into a hole and float, mindlessly for a bit through a stretch of blissful nothingness. Instead, I mumbled a weak "yeah".

Her stance on what she thought I should do with my life had taken a 180 degree turn since this all exploded last summer. It all came into focus for her when she saw A and I interacting at Christmas. The unhappiness permeated the air. She never saw S and I together, but I know she'd have seen something that would have won her over to him. Of that I'm certain.

180, that number haunts me. Apparently, it's the distance between where S lives and where I live. One hundred and eighty fucking miles. My love was so strong, I would have walked it, nude, in a pair of smoking hot, Louboutin pumps. S wasn't even willing to try driving it a weekend or two a month for a while until we figured out something better. Asshole.

I kept hoping S would do a 180 degree turn on his actions, not his feelings. I'm convinced his feelings don't put his back to me, but his fear and his life keep him turned. I feel him slipping out of my grasp and I will mourn losing him, most likely, forever.

But my sister's words make sense and have been resonating below my surface for some time now. My fear of being alone cannot keep me in a relationship that doesn't do anyone any favors. It's not fair to A, it's not fair to my kids, to me. Luckily, I have a few days of solitude here to continue to think on this, although, admittedly, I've been thinking on this for almost 2 years now. I hate being so scared, angry, sad, worried.

Spinning and turning,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 21; Situations

It's only 8:42 a.m. and I feel spent. Wish I could say it was from mind blowing sex, but despite the high probability of starting my day out that way, somehow I got derailed.

Okay, somehow is a lie. I know exactly how. Even though A and I have troubles, our sex life thrives. When he woke up with his morning wood and I felt squirmy between my legs, well, odds were pretty good that we'd soon be getting it on.

Until, that is, he dipped his hand below the waist of my boy short panties and noticed my newly waxed bikini zone. Feeling fresh and sexy, I anticipated his response. As his fingers began to explore, he laughed. Yes, laughed. And I don't mean a nervous, sort of shy or excited giggle. It was just an all out laugh.

What? My mind sort of did a mental double take and my brow furrowed. Did he just LAUGH at my newly waxed love box? Why yes, yes he did. And in that instant, a switch flipped and I no longer felt sexy or hot or in any frame of mind to fuck him. But, in typical fashion, I pushed my resentment and uncertainty down. I stifled it. Until he started trying to finger me and it hurt. It wasn't just uncomfortable, it hurt. We'd had really rough sex the day before and maybe it was related to that, but I truly think it was because his laughter had ruined the moment for me.

"Ouch, that hurts!" I exclaimed as I sort of scooted away. "Oh, I'm sorry, maybe I was going too fast?" he wondered out loud.

I knew he wasn't going too fast. When I want sex, I'm wet in no time. I take pride in my ability to never need lube. I just didn't want it anymore.

You see, I was letting myself get into my head. During my therapy session yesterday, we talked about how I have an overwhelming tendency to escape reality. When things don't go as I hope or if I'm bored, I slide into a fantasy land where I can construct things any way I like. I can't deny that I do this and have done it all my life. Apparently the first step in overcoming it is realizing it happens, beyond that, I have no idea how to quit.

So, there I was, in bed, hoping to fuck my brains out this morning, but being thwarted by a laugh and my mental state.

What happened was that I flash backed to the first time S and I truly made out. After passionate, breathless kissing, his hands made their way under my skirt and into my panties. It felt so good and so fucking hot, I readily squirmed until my panties were down around my knees. And S's response is what is seared in my mind. "Mmmm" he moaned (he's a moaner), "look at that perfect pussy!" And he devoured it both in spirit and in person. His obvious attraction was a complete turn on.

Throughout the course of our affair, his love of my pussy was a big topic, or at least it came up quite often. And I always felt completely comfortable describing the current state of my "situation", as we called it. He loved it and I loved him loving it and was willing and planning to give it to him the rest of my life.

I'd never given thought to the state of my pussy, other than that it had birthed three kids and I was convinced it was ragged out and past it's prime. I also knew that S was into porn, so he sees a LOT of pussy and for him to love mine, well, I was flattered. Yes, as ridiculous as that sounds, I was flattered that he adored the looks of my sex organ.

Flash forward to this morning and I get laughter. I don't mean to compare and I know I can't. It's not fair and it's not even valid.

Any asshole with a dick can admire a woman's pussy, especially when she's practically shoving it in his face. I realized that wasn't that much of a stretch.

Of course, the moment was ruined for us in bed this morning. Without going into too much brutal detail, it was obvious that he'd let me down. What followed was an hour long conversation about love and protection and fragile egos and life.

A told me he's just tired. Tired of everything in his life never going right. Tired of feeling like a failure. He says I'm more trouble than I'm worth and that I'm exhausting. I just listened. What could I say? How could I argue? I knew what he was saying was right and hard as I tried, I was still working on getting over my disappointment at his weird reaction to my pussy.

It all ended with us crying, me cradling his head in my chest as he cried all over my breasts as they overflowed out of the top of my shirt. You know, when he saw what I'd slept in last night, he said..."I bet your breasts look amazing in that shirt without a bra".

We should have started there. A is a total breast man and I bet starting at the top wouldn't have ruined the moment.

Live and learn.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 20; Scared

When do you stop being scared? Do you ever outgrow fear? My thinking on this is, probably not.

My sister just called to tell me about a string of robberies around her house. She lives out in the country, so it's very isolated and fairly common for thieves to take advantage of that. She's been robbed twice in the past few years. But this time, it's different. In one case, the perpetrators entered the house while the couple was at home, tied them up, and proceeded to rob them. I don't want to be scared, but tomorrow I leave to go watch my nephews while the rest of her family goes on vacation. Can a 40 year old woman and a band of little boys take on thieves?

I was already worried about getting scared at her house at night, when the pitch black darkness creeps in and the dogs bark at seemingly nothing. You feel as if you're a sitting duck. Now I have to add the worry of burglars to the mix. Great.

But beyond burglars and nightfall, my life, my future, they scare me. It's not that I want or need a crystal ball to show me everything that's coming up, I just wish I had a general sense that all will be well.

My love scares me. The way I still love S, despite everything I've let him do to me, truly terrifies me. I cannot fathom being released from the choke hold he has on me, can't even get to where I want to and that is just fucked up. Time and time again he's pushed me away, and all I can do is hold on to the fact that I've seen his love for me in his eyes. It's a look that can't be disguised, can't be fabricated and it is deeper and truer than even he cares to admit. He's casting me aside, but I know he loves me. And that scares me.

I scare me. I'm impetuous, intense, emotional for sure. Last night I drank an entire bottle of red wine as I sobbed and blubbered and hosted my very own pity party. This morning, my eyes were crusted shut. I had to wash my face so they'd open properly. Even still, at almost noon, they are swollen and red. My appearance surely is frightening, but I'm a survivor. I'll get by.

But I'm not sure I want to and that really scares me. Sometimes I just want to give up and give in and lay down and essentially die. I have these scenes in my head, like movies, of me being sick or dying and S coming to the realization, all too late, that he lost the greatest thing he ever knew. Not healthy, I know, and I don't walk around entertaining such nonsense all day long. But in the darkness of my mind, I do.

I have to let go. Admit defeat. Move on.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 19; Ripping the Band Aid

Today, S ripped the band-aid and this time, I feel certain it's for good. Our affair started last spring and was "officially" over a year ago, well...a year ago today, to be exact.

For three months last year, we lived and loved and laughed in secret. And when I thought I knew the truest workings of my heart, I confessed and told A about the two of us.

Yes, I blindsided A. Yes, I blindsided S. I sincerely believed that S and I were meant to be together and was willing to do anything it took to make that truth happen.

In the 365 days since that admission, our lives have been the most intense roller coaster ride you could imagine. S and I try to go without talking and up until this point, we simply haven't been able to do it. One of us will cave, most likely me, and the other is pulled in like a moth to a flame, magnetic and more powerful than anything I've ever known before.

You see, I cannot accept that we are over. I can't believe that what we shared actually isn't meant to be. I refuse to believe that two people who, I thought, knew one another so intimately, can be apart. Our connection seemed larger than us.

If he hadn't told me the things he told me, maybe I'd be able to let go and move on.

Because I write, words are treasures to me. Each one is a beautiful gem in an adorned box that I can pull out in the solitude of my mind and heart and gently caress through my fingers. Words can't be lies, and I never wanted to believe they could hurt, wound, pierce a soul like they do. But they do. They kill.

S wrote this last June, the 27th to be exact.

"Know this:
I love you, miss you, want you too. You are wonderful, and smart, and funny, and loving, and beautiful, and different. Don't ever forget it, don't ever question it, and don't ever change. You go against the grain and sometimes people don't know how to react to that. Don't ever let them convince you that you have a problem and need fixin'. The they's of the world who get so bound up and hogtied by life, by their path, by societal expectations, would do themselves some good to be more like you. I think they're secretly jealous. They can all suck it!

I love you,

Who wouldn't want to believe those words? Who wouldn't store them away, holding onto their magic? This is just a small example of a myriad of love notes I have from him. I believed them and sadly, still want to and because of that I feel like such an incredible, fragile fool.

Today, this is the email I received.

"FYI Just so you know, I deleted the other account, it is no more. We are done. Spend no more time thinking about me, it's over. I hope you get your life together. I hope you learn to love A the way you should. I hope you can realize what you have before it's really too late. Good luck."

He ripped the band aid right off and yes, he's told me things like this before, but today feels different.

Can you see how I might feel crazy?

Today's email pisses me off! I don't even know where to begin with how it breaks my heart and boils my blood. He hopes I get my life together? As if HIS isn't completely and totally fucked up? He hopes I learn to love A the "way I should?" What the fuck does that mean and who is he to tell me how to love anyone? Those words just reek with self righteousness and an astounding level of hypocrisy.

He wants me to "fix" things and "make nice" so that all of our lives can just go on as before and we can sweep this shit right under the rug. Certainly that's what he has chosen to do in his life which is oh, so together. And in me doing the same, it alleviates some or most of his guilt. He can wipe his hands clean of me and feel justified that he's done right by himself and the rest of the world. How convenient.

Whether I stay with A, though, is none of S's concern and has NOTHING to do with him, no matter how much he'd like to think so. The problems A and I have were born before S was even an idea. To borrow a phrase I've heard a time or two, if S is thinking I'm going to have an epiphany about A, he's just flattering himself.

So, the band aid is ripped. The email account is deleted. We still know where and how to get in touch with one another, but I know he won't contact me and I'll do my damndest not to contact him.

Maybe our paths will cross again, maybe they won't. It's out of my control. I know my heart and I know I'm right. The rest falls on him.

Feeling the pain,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 18; Alone

Today I asked A not to read this blog.

He readily agreed. He told me that the blog was a source of trouble for him because he always felt like I was pissed at him for either not reading it soon enough or not acting like he wanted to read it, which, he assured me he always did.

I just asked him not to read it because I was beginning to feel like I had to censor myself and hold back on things I wanted to say because I knew he'd be reading it. So, I asked him not to.

Interestingly enough, if the shoes were on the other feet, I would not be able to comply. For me, being asked not to pry or delve into someone's inner most thoughts is an absolute invitation for me to do so. I'm horrible about that, but I know A in that regard and he won't pry. And you know what? If he does, then so be it.

As for S, he doesn't read my blog anyway (as far as I know), so I feel safe in being my true and honest self.

For you others, is still hard to put myself totally out there, but I must. I mostly pretend like no one is reading anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

And, that is where I find myself tonight. Feeling ready to be as honest as possible in the most public arena there is, the world wide web. Interesting how talking to 'no one' or 'strangers' is easier than talking to someone face to face.

It's Sunday evening and we've had a good weekend, but it's been punctuated with moments of stark reality, the reality where it dawns on us that for over a year now I've been in love with another man. The brutal realization that if not for S breaking my heart, I would have jumped wholeheartedly into his arms. That doesn't leave a very strong foundation for what A and I have, despite all of our years together.

Why am I so scared? Why can I not see the path in 20/20 vision? Everywhere I look, there is fog and mist and gray, somber clouds.

My fear is that if I stay and try to work on things with A, my heart will always pine for S. Every sunset, every new experience, every good and bad time, I will be holding out a part of me that should have been shared with him. That is not the way to live, not the way to give to your spouse. A deserves better.

But then, I panic and fear that the greatest person I have ever known would be leaving my life for good, at least in that role. And how could I ever live with that?

Limbo land is hell. Hell on Earth.

So, you see? I can't have A reading this. I have to figure all of this out on my own and make the best decision for everyone involved.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 17; Kenya

Tonight I'm taking a break. I don't want to talk about my heart, my head, my body, anything really of substance at all.

Thai food is on the way (Red Curry!) and I just want to savor my spicy food and lose myself in a movie.

I have an appointment to see my therapist on Tuesday and I'd sort of like to put everything on hold until after I can talk to her. Not sure why I place that much hope on an hourlong session with essentially a total stranger, but there's always been something comforting about her to me.

Sadly, I heard through the grapevine that she is moving (or is it just going) to Kenya! I will definitely have to find out Tuesday afternoon.

Three days til I can see her and hopefully gain insight.

I can drift for three more days.

Putting it over there,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 16; Stupid Smart Girl

My life is like a broken record, skipping, getting stuck on the same part of my song.   Each and every time it happens, I pick the needle up and start the song over, thinking this time will be different.  I tell myself that instead of the vinyl being marred, surely it must be lint, just a fleck of something that can be blown away.   Slowly, I inhale and blow.   I put the record back on the player and try again.  And I get to the same spot of the same bittersweet song and the same thing happens.

I'm smart.   I know I shouldn't have to say that, but sometimes I feel so incredibly stupid.   My head tells me one thing and it makes perfect sense, but just like playing the  scratched record, I keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again.

I've become one of those idiot girls in love.   I hated how my friends in high school became stupid for some asshole of a guy who treated them like crap.    And everyone could see it, except for my doe eyed friend who just kept going back for more.    That's been me.    I think it's the closest thing to drug addiction I could imagine.    And I can't decipher what part of it all is real or is some fantasy or fabricated existence. 

A never hurt me.    His only crime was working too hard, being too busy and not knowing how to reach out to me or see how lonely I had become.   We talk serious, we ponder our lives and their paths, but we aren't silly and we don't laugh easily or readily.   With A, I've always felt a tad inferior, never quite comfortable in my skin, always a bit afraid I was going to let him down.   Turns out that was just me, he never felt that way about me at all.  He  has always been my rock, the one I turn to in my times of trouble, my voice of reason, my safe harbor.

S hurt me profoundly.   To the core of my being.  His crime was telling me amazing things that I believed, things that made me feel loved and alive and like there was the possibility of a future together that would be incredible. And then he took it all  away.  He told me that while he meant everything he said, he never was really all that unhappy in his life.  We talk with the greatest of ease and laugh until we cry and with him I felt like an equal and completely comfortable in my skin.   I believed in us.   Maybe I still do.

So, you see?   I'm that stupid girl.   I'm a girl who built a life, a good life, with a wonderful man who loves me unconditionally and then pissed it all away on what I believed to be true love, a love that looked "good enough" squarely in the eyes and said..."fuck you".      I bore the brunt of public humiliation, verbal and emotional lashings from well meaning friends and family, loss of friendships, and in the end, the potential loss of my marriage. 

I'm too smart to be this dysfunctional.    Too smart to feel this lost.   I don't know why I can't just BE.   Or like Nike says...Just Do It.   Whatever the fuck "it" is. 

Yesterday, I stumbled across a new song that has been leaked early by Eminem that features Rihanna.   I love him and I don't give a shit what anyone else says about him.  He speaks to me, albeit graphically and in a life language that isn't in my realm of experience.   Or could it be? 

While NEVER a victim of domestic violence, this song touches me, I understand the language, I understand the pain and the extremes that humans go to for love.    It's haunting, especially the parts Rihanna sings.

Yours Truly,
The Stupid Smart Girl

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 15; When It Don't Come Easy

The past 24 hours have been hard.   I don't really feel like going into it, but suffice to say, I'm numb.

In the grand scheme of things, the ones I love are fine.   We are healthy.    We have a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs.   Those are the blessings I will focus on tonight.

This evening, as I sat in my car crying, I started wondering about tears.    It's amazing to me the ability I have to generate them and the sheer volume I can produce.   And how is it that they are directly tied to emotions?

I then started pondering the words tear and tear.    It's no wonder that as your heart feels like it's being torn from your chest, tears fall from your eyes.

In the past year, I've gotten myself and my heart in a real bind.   While married to an amazing man, I fell in love with another.     I sit here tonight having potentially lost both of them.   It's probably what I deserve, but never what I intended.   Naively, I thought my love had run it's course with A and that S was absolutely the man for me.

S then broke my heart into a million pieces and in my inability to move on, I pushed A away.

I really do love them both and yes, I realize how utterly and totally selfish that is.  I can't have them both, I can't have it both ways.    Quite possibly, I can't have either of them. 

In trying to figure out myself and my life, I've managed to appear untrustworthy, fickle and hurtful.   I never meant to be that way, never wanted it.

I'm sorry for all the pain I've caused.   I'm sorry for my confusion and my inability to understand what I need and want.

Patty Griffin is one of my favorite artists and I can't get one of her songs out of my head tonight...

I love the lyrics.    I'm such a lyrics girl and these just make me weep.   

Red lights are flashing on the highway
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home tonight
Everywhere the waters getting rough
Your best intentions may not be enough
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home tonight

But if you break down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

I don't know nothing except change will come
Year after year what we do is undone
Time keeps moving from a crawl to a run
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home

You're out there walking down a highway
And all of the signs got blown away
Sometimes you wonder if you're walking in the wrong direction

But if you break down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

So many things that I had before
That don't matter to me now
Tonight I cry for the love that I've lost
And the love I've never found
When the last bird falls
And the last siren sounds
Someone will say what's been said before

It's only love we were looking for

But if you break down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

I've tried so hard this year to get it right.   With A, with S, with myself.   And here I sit tonight, alone, with tears streaming down my face. 

When it don't come easy.

It's not easy,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 14: Disclaimers

I probably should have done this from the beginning and maybe I did, but can't recall.   I need  to add some disclaimers to this blog.

First of all, when I write, I speak MY truth.   What I say is truly what I'm feeling in that moment, but it should be duly noted that when I write about others, I fully realize that they aren't able to present their version of the story.   I will try to be as cognizant of the truth and the actual events when I retell things as I possibly can,  but there will be many observations that are just my own.    I'm okay with that, it's my blog after all.     This goes for retellings of things that happen in my life, experiences with others, and my beliefs on topics like religion, politics, and sex.   Definitely sex.

Also, I don't claim to always be, well, anything really.  I can't always be witty, interesting, poignant or deep.   My main goal is to just write, with the particular focus on what my life is like as a 40 year old.  So, last night's laundry list of my bodily ailments probably made me sound like my late grandmother, but that was what came to mind when I sat down to type.

I don't always want to bitch and moan and whine about my love life or my loss of direction as I enter this next stage of my existence.   I'm sure it gets old for you, I know it gets old for me.    I've been told, more than once and by more than one person that I "think too much", "talk too much", and am a "real downer", so in an effort to bring more sunshine to other people's lives, I think I', who am I kidding?   That's just how I am.   Like it or lump it.   I don't mean to be that way and I don't always enjoy it, but if I've learned anything about myself in the past year or so it's that I can't NOT be me.   The harder I try to be things I'm not, the more off the handle I fly.   It makes me miserable.   Of course, liking and accepting who I am is quite another story.

So, there are my disclaimers.

Oh!  I forgot to add that I use foul language, if you haven't already figured it out.   I am sorry if it offends, but again, it's not going to go away.


Respectfully yours,

P.S.   Any name that shows up in this blog has been changed to protect the (not so) innocent.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 13; Laundry List

Earlier today I researched a medical condition I have, which is not serious, but does alter my quality of life, at least for a short time each month.   It can most likely be alleviated with a medical procedure, but I just can't really embrace the idea.

All of this got me to thinking about my 40 year old state of being.   I feel like I'm in good health, but for kicks I thought I'd make a laundry list of everything that's going on with this "over the hill" body.

Bear in mind that most of these are self diagnosed, but really, who knows my body better?

To begin with, I think I'm in perimenopause.   Already I'm experiencing several of the symptoms, including hot flashes (these just started this past weekend and trust me they will earn a spot for their very own blog), worsening of PMS (see blog from 2 days ago), irregular periods (see below), mood swings (see every other blog I write), and difficulty sleeping.   If my mom were still alive I could confirm with her that she went through it earlier than most and I feel like I'm following in her footsteps.   Honestly, none of this is a big deal as long as my precious libido stays intact.  Oh how I do love me some sex.

To piggy back off the irregular periods, I have menorrhagia, which is a fancy way of saying I have severely heavy periods.   I always have, but the older I get, the worse it is.   Each month I can look forward to seriously fun adventures as I orchestrate my days around the unpredictability of this condition.   Those of you close to me know how this effects my life and can attest to the upheaval I go through.   This is to what I was referring earlier and I might possibly have an endometrial ablation before summer's end.   Again, that's another blog for another day.

My back hurts all the time and I just can't figure it out.  Admittedly, I've gained about 8 pounds in a year, but really could that cause the chronic lower back pain  I have?   I wouldn't think so, but this has jacked up my exercise, my ability to sleep well, and my faith that I'm indestructible.   Okay, I knew I wasn't indestructible, but I like to pretend.

My right arm is numb, which could be residual from an "elevated first rib" diagnosis from last year.  Don't even ask me.  I had NO idea you had a freaking rib in your neck, but the pain starts there and pulsates down my arm.   Seeing how my exercise routine lately has been shit, I feel certain my arm is numb from carrying around my beautiful, but ridiculous purse.   It's insane how much the thing weighs and I'm embarrassed to imagine all of the crap I keep in it.  I'd surely make Mary Poppins look like a lightweight.

Speaking of weight, I also have to add weight gain to the list.   As stated, it's hovering around 8 pounds in a year and I'm having a bitch of a time getting it off.  Granted, my stress and emotional status has been launched to Jupiter and back, but damn, you'd think a girl could drop a pound or ten and keep the fuckers off! 

On my face I have perioral dermatitis.   It's basically this lovely rash that is splotched right above my lip, next to my nose.  At first I thought it was acne, but then it didn't go away.  After battling it for a month, I went to the dermatologist and was prescribed a topical antibiotic.   Apparently, it can take weeks before I'll know if the medicine works.   Nice.   I'll just buy stock in concealer and do my best to hide it.

Let's see...what else?   My blood pressure is always great, heart seems fine, digestion system is like clockwork (considered blogging about that once),  only get headaches after a big cry (which sadly means I have them quite often, but at least I know what triggers them).    Overall, I'd say I'm pretty darn lucky.

As for my emotional health, well...I used to call myself crazy, but I think I'm leaving all that in the past.   The more I ponder life and my place in it, the healthier I feel.   I may  make people uncomfortable with my frank take on things, but I try my best not to hide or run from the truths I know that exist for me.  Some might call me crazy and if they do, I don't mind.   It's kind of exciting to know that I unsettle people.  But if crazy is bad, then, no, that's not me.

40.   Not too bad.  Not yet as great as I'd envisioned, but hey, the year's just getting started.  I've got plenty of time to hang this laundry out to dry.

With healthy thoughts,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 12: Fire and Ice

Tonight I bought sourdough bread bowls and warmed up canned soup to serve in them.   It was the cheapo alternative to taking the family to Panera for dinner.   Mind you, Panera isn't all that expensive, but eating out with a family of 5 really adds up, especially in this economy.

All was fine and well until I was taking a bowl of soup out of the microwave and it sloshed over the side and burned my finger.   Even now, 3 hours later, my finger burns as if it just happened seconds ago and all the ice and cold water in the world doesn't seem to be helping.   I hate to be a baby, but this HURTS.  

Burns ache.  They scald and singe and have an intensity that just doesn't seem to ever go away.   I keep trying to imagine my finger, tomorrow, further along the road to healing, with this horrible pain gone. 

It strikes me that I burned A badly this past year.   Instead of being a mesmerizing,beautiful, intoxicating flame, I leapt out of bounds and struck him when he least expected it.  I can picture his recoil, the contortion of anguish on his face, the shock, the utter and complete pain.  

I recognize it because I allowed it to happen to him and then witnessed it again as it happened to me, later in the year, at the hand's of S.   Like A, I was also burned.   Terribly.    In my case, I completely forgot all I had learned about being on fire.   I couldn't think to stop, drop, and roll.   I ran for dear life, screaming and crying and fighting the tragedy that was my existence.

For both of us, the scars seared straight to our hearts.   Outward appearances, for the most part, belie the pain we've suffered, the mangled, charred flesh that now envelopes our beings.    We are the walking wounded and yet, most people would never even know.

Tonight I've been icing my finger and still it hurts.    It's funny, because when I think of my burned heart, I realize I've let ice start to build up around it as well.   Surrounding my fragile being is now a wall of frost, growing thicker and stronger each day.   I'm a stronger person these days, but also a bit colder as well.   Ironically, ice can burn too and that distinction isn't lost on me.

Fire and ice.   Ice and fire.    Both are amazing elements, but in the wrong hands or used for purposes other than their true intentions, they become painful weapons.  

I've lived it and live it still.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 11; Portrait of PMS

I'm writing earlier today than I usually do.   The past two nights, I've resisted writing and only at A's insistence have I sat down and knocked something out.

Today I'm here because I'm in the middle of fat girl in the closet meltdown and  had to step away before I did something dangerous and drastic.

We are getting ready to go out for errands and I'm attempting to get dressed.   What should be a 3 to 5 minute routine endeavor just took me close to 15 minutes.  

First I grabbed my "go to" white shorts.   Fresh from the laundry, they are my comfortable, but sassy friends.    Not today.   Slowly, I zipped the zipper but the button was resisting meeting the button hole.  It was like magnets repelling one another.   Finally, I forced the button through the hole.  Instantly, my muffin top oozed over the sides of the shorts.   My panties peeked over the waistline and rolled down in an annoyingly submissive move, most likely at the insistence of my belly fat.  My only saving grace was that the fabric around my ample thighs didn't feel squeezy or tight.   Gee, there's a silver lining!

I mentally ran through the list of all the blousy tops I had in my closet that I could wear to hide the atrocity  and realized, no matter how big the tent, the circus act underneath would be too annoying to deal with all day long, especially in this heat.

Plan B...I resorted to my old lady shorts.   They're the longer style shorts that I can wear to work and truly despise having to bust out on the weekend.  Even they were a bit snug, but I really have no other option today.    After three different shirt attempt and aborts, I've finally decided on a white tank top with an A line  knit top over it.  I feel ok.  Not great, not even all that good, just ok.   Whatever.

This is purely PMS.   Well, okay, it's PMS and two margaritas at lunch yesterday.  

For those of you fortunate enough to not get to experience PMS first hand, I'd like to paint a brief portrait.  I realize you get to live it vicariously through the lovely ladies in your life, but I have to put a voice to what 40 year old PMS feels like today.

I want to rip my face off.   It feels greasy and itchy, despite me washing it last night and this morning.  My skin goes insane when I PMS.    Let's not leave out the lovely zits that pop up, literally, overnight when I am PMSing.    At 40, for the first time in my life, I have an acne problem.   Lovely.

My moods swing more than a five year old at the park or bored, suburban couples who drink too much on the weekends.   One minute I'm calm, even keeled, dare I say...happy?  The next,  I'm pissed and angry or weepy and sad.   I never know which mood will emerge and how long it will last.   It's annoying, even to me.  I feel sorry for those in my path.

PMS is awesome for my weight too!   I have probably gained 5 pounds in two days, although you couldn't pay me any amount of money to get on the scale today.   It's most likely water weight.   I've already torn the medicine cabinet upside down looking for a water pill to take, in hopes that I can piss much of this bloat away today, but came up empty handed.   Next,  I downed two full glasses of water in a healthier effort to push it out.   When I am like this, I tell myself..."Ok, you ate a normal breakfast but eat light the rest of the day to help alleviate this", all the while knowing that by lunch time I'll be ravenous again.   It really disgusts me.

Sex is a blast when you're PMSing.   It's like your vagina goes on vacation and forgets to tell your head.   You think you're in the mood,  but then realize what you've got to offer is the Sahara freaking desert.    You proceed, because you know how great sex can be, despite not wanting to be kissed, caressed, or actually even looked at, lights on and/or off.   Instead of enjoying the moment, you're fixated on how many fat rolls your stomach creates, even while on your back!   Fun, fun times, I assure you.

What else can I say about PMS?   For me, it seems that the older I get, the sooner these symptoms start creeping into my day.    What once happened the few days before I started now seems to be present for a week or more before the big event.   What a great gift, thanks.   Also, as D day creeps closer, the symptoms intensify, as if a volcano is about to erupt.

People can discount PMS all they want, but I know it to be true.  My life, my routine, does not change enough throughout the course of the month to instigate the changes I experience as my body adjusts to the hormonal shifts it's experiencing.

In a word... crazy!

My apologies to all of you who have to be in my presence as this metamorphosis takes place.

It's always my fervent hope that the person who emerges on the other side is at the very least, tolerable and sane.

Wish me (and those all around me) luck!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 10; Snapshots

It's after 10 and I'm tired.   I want to crawl into bed, pull the covers up to my chin and sleep soundly until morning.   The likelihood of that happening is slim to none.   But I'm exhausted to my bones.   Never underestimate the draining powers of emotional stress.

Tonight A and I watched "It's Complicated" which is mostly a romantic comedy about a divorced couple, but naturally had enough tender moments about love and relationships and parenting to make me cry.    And those who know me know that once I let the first tears slip past the floodgates that are my eyes, I have a hard time stopping.

Mind you, I'm not sobbing.  I just fall into this funk, where my mind wanders to all of the moments of my life.  They fade in and out of my memory like snapshots in a slide show.  S calls it "wallerin' and he's probably right, but for me it's always been cathartic and I usually feel better if I get it all out rather than hold back.

Tonight I'm running  through some of the more poignant times in my life...trying to conjure memories of my own parents in moments of happiness together, as well as happiness apart.  For the most part, I can reach that.  Once, in college, after my parents had already divorced, they ended up in Austin at the same time.  Maybe it was when I graduated.   A and I took them bowling and we all four had the best time.   My mom was spunky and cute and had the most beautiful smile ever.  My dad, so cheeky and funny, was the ham.   But they laughed and joked and really, truly had a good time.  A and I still talk about their connection that night.    It should have made me happy and it did, but it was also tinged with sadness.

I also have snapshots of angry, tense moments with my parents arguing.   My sister used to run into the middle of things and try to make peace.    From around the corner, out of sight, but not out of hearing distance, I would stand alone in the darkness and cry.  

What do my kids see and hear?  What do they think?   What snapshots are we making and leaving behind to be added to the scrapbook of their lives?  A and I don't argue often.   We are friendly and still share a love that is complex.     We aren't divorcing, but staying together is proving harder than we ever thought or dreamed it would be when we first started out on this journey all those years ago.   Every day is a new challenge, but I am proud of how hard we are working no matter what the final outcome may be.  People are complicated, relationships even more so.    Much like the movie tonight, although I know how dangerous Hollywood comparisons can be.

As I close this, I will turn the pages of my mind to the happy times.   My face is salty from the dried tears and now all I have left is a bit of a runny nose.

Maybe the little cry I had tonight will help bring on the sleep I've been hoping for.

Sweet dreams,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 9: Onward

Tonight I feel like I have nothing to say that is in any way focused or seamless.   And for the record,   I'm sober, tired, and completely pmsing.

We met A's sister downtown for drinks tonight and it was an interesting experience.   She is newly (in the past year) divorced and in all honesty, when I sit across from her, I feel this tide of jealousy washing over me.   I'm envious of her ability to just make a decision and move forward.   I'm envious that the new love she found was single and stable and is ever present in her life.   I'm envious that her turmoil, for the most part, is over and done with.    And yet, as jealous as I am, I can't see myself in her shoes or anywhere near.

On the drive home, A started talking about something he'd heard or read about kids who lose a parent while growing up.   Granted,  I didn't lose my mom as a child, but in my heart, I still felt a child.   When I visited her, I still let her mother me, with her cooking all of my meals, gathering all of my dirty clothes to wash before packing up to head home, kissing me goodnight with puckered lips before going to bed.   While chronologically, I was 33 when she died, I still felt like an unsure, insecure 10 year old.

Having someone so close to  you really fucks you up.   I know that sounds like I'm stating the obvious, but because life moves on (and it must), it really is hard to gauge all the subtle ways that losing someone so incredibly special to you affects you.    Clearly, I am still dealing with the fall out from her death.  I still look to her for guidance, seek her comfort and pray for her to visit me at night, while I dream, to help bring some clarity to this mess that is my life.

Because I know the piercing pain of loss, I constantly grapple with these questions.  Should I be grasping onto every opportunity as if it were my last?   Should I dance and live like tomorrow might be my last day?   Or do I turn inward and give thanks for all of the blessings before me, never longing for more than what I've got?  

Most likely, the answer lies somewhere in between, but that is so hard to see and believe when  you're in the midst of the storm.

I'm melancholy tonight.   I feel stupid and confused.  If I could will myself to feel certain things, believe specific beliefs, orchestrate certain outcomes,  I would.

I want to push through this impasse and start working on the next stage of this mess called life.

Moving onward,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 8: Confessions

Part of this blog is my attempt to "find" myself, whatever the hell that means.   I never knew I was lost until one day I woke up and felt like a foreigner in my life.   The scenery was the same, the people hadn't changed, but I couldn't recognize me.  

Why, seemingly all of a sudden, did the things I once cherished and longed for not spark me or grasp me the way they always had?

I suppose I'm having a mid life crisis.   I'm not looking for anyone's pity, although admittedly, I want no one's spite either.   It just is what it is.

I can't force myself to be something I'm not.   I can't pretend for any great length of time.  And honestly, for me, doing that is just downright disrespectful to those around me.    It's as if I'd be saying "I don't trust you to manage your feelings or emotions or thought processes enough for me to be honest with you.   Let me try to pretend to be what I'm not so that you don't have to deal with anything bad or negative in the slightest bit". 

Having said that, I don't want to be a selfish bitch either.  And therein lies my problem.  When you are a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, you have people who depend on you to be a certain way, a way that makes their life feel safe and warm and lovely.   Problem is, I can't figure out how to be and do all those things while maintaining my sanity either.

You see, last year I had an affair.   It wasn't a random, one off event.   It evolved slowly over witty, open, flirtatious emails and then manifested itself into a passionate romance.   Without cruel intentions, I allowed it to consume me and take on a life of it's own.    For many months, my lover, S,  and I talked daily on the phone or though texts or emails.  He became my everything, filling every void I didn't even know existed in my heart and soul.   He was my my missing piece, my missing peace.   I would have abandoned my marriage for him, and did.   Except once I freed myself up for him, he got cold feet and backed out.  

Devastated and broken, I retreated back to my marriage (yes, A took me back) and we've limped along for months now trying to figure out our next move, all the while examining the workings of our hearts and minds.

Moving forward is so very hard. 

S once told me that you can't unknow.   And you can't.   I can't unknow the love I feel for him, the way he made me feel in his arms, the way we spar when we talk, the way we laugh and laugh until tears slide from our eyes. 

And yet, somehow over time, I "unknew" how A made me feel.  I unknew the love we shared, the commitment I made to him, the promises, the shared life we built for over two decades now.

So you see, it's no wonder I'm searching for myself.   Who the hell am I?   How can this person who's lived the life I've lived this past year be the same one who started out as a bright eyed and hopeful 18 year old with A?

I feel so lost.  

Can looking back help?   Today I read my journal from when I was a teenager, so naive and so seriously introspective.

Are there answers there, in that emergent woman?   Are there?   I certainly can't find the answers here, in this mid life person I've become.    In upcoming blogs, I plan to share the words I wrote so long ago to see if any glimmer of insight is offered there.   At the very least, I'll get to revisit my thoughts from an earlier time in my life.

I know the answers are here, I'm here, I just have to keep looking.