Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sunflower

Sunflower
7/10/18

I used to have a sunflower in the house.
Every morning it would open and stretch toward the window
Unfolding gently
To track the day with its gaze

I tended it with care
Making sure the soil was just right
Pruning the old leaves and petals
And watering as needed

In return I enjoyed its beauty
Lovely shades of yellow and orange
Contrasting the dark middle of its center
Flanked by large, light green leaves

It brought life to my home
A sense of joy and friendship
Keeping the air fresh
And reminding me to look toward the sun

One morning it opened late, only to close early
Then later, the next day
Then earlier, the next
Until it was barely open during the day at all

It started to shrivel, so I watered it more
It started to swell, so I watered it less
I changed the soil
But it only grew worse

It was dying.
It no longer opened at all
I tried everything I knew to help it come back
Until I knew I had done all I could

With a heavy heart, I brought it outside
Lifting its roots with gentle fingers,
I set it into the ground
Watered it once more, then walked away

I miss it dearly but cannot bring it back
For as content it is to track the day outside
I realize now -
I wanted to be the sun

Friday, July 6, 2018

Life on Pause

Whew the weeks have flown by!

I've had Matt over much of this week, and tonight my Phili partner will be arriving to stay for the weekend. I'm glad I had the foresight to schedule last night to myself in order to decompress and practice a bit of self-care. After cleaning up a bunch I allowed myself the time to paint minis while re-watching Westwood. It felt really good.

The weather has been so shitty. Hot and humid, it's almost impossible to do anything. Matt had wanted to go dancing, but we ended up rescheduling a few times until Tuesday night where it looked like there were no good clubs to go dancing at. Luckily we ended up at a BBQ for the fourth where we had a bit to drink and danced in the comfort of a friend's kitchen. I also had the chance to flirt a bit with a coworker I've had an interest in. Honestly, I greatly preferred that to being at a club, and it sounds like Matt will have more time to go dancing with friends this weekend while I'm otherwise occupied. Win-win.

Its been so wonderful finally establishing an in-person relationship with him. I still feel its far too soon for anything more committed, but it sounds like he feels the same as well. He's quite the extrovert, and as much as I love having him around, it feels a bit draining over this concentrated amount of time. The break this weekend will be perfect, as my Phili partner is similar in introversion and I'm hoping he won't feel quite as overwhelming. Then I'll look forward to seeing Matt a few more days before he takes off on Wednesday.

So far the balance has been pretty fair.

Today I'm supposed to go grocery shopping, but so far its been hard to leave the house. I just want to paint more, but there will be time enough for that next weekend. I also need to fix my sewing machine... bwuh. Oh and I hurt my knee a bit while dancing so yay... taking a break from the gym again :/ FYI don't try to romantically dip someone who is just as drunk as you and about the same size.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to feel my political spark coming back. I'm heading toward a better space in my life - mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. I feel like I've got a few more weeks until I'm at a point where I can give, again. Where I can contribute to the fight. I've tried not allowing myself to feel guilty at my lack of participation with so many awful things happening in the world right now. I know I still have work on myself to do. I know its selfish. I need to allow myself to be selfish just a bit longer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Love, Whims, and Routine

Today I'm in a better place to focus more on talking about me.

Things have mostly settled into a routine, only for that routine to become disrupted again :) Such is life!

Through bad timing and circumstances, I was out of town the first two weekends after Christian moved out. First at LARP then in Atlantic City to visit with a friend and explore. While fun and amazing, both trips left me feeling exhausted. Luckily this latest weekend had nothing going on, and I made sure to keep it that way. I ran a few errands, cleaned house, and generally felt like a successful human.

During the last few weeks of the breakup I had told friends I'd need space for a while. They were amazing at understanding that. Unfortunately, now that I'm in a better place I've been over-booking myself to make up for the lost time, and its kept me from having more downtime during the week. It'll even out eventually, but for now I don't mind expending the extra energy to see people I've been missing for over a month or more. Lisa and the new baby, Johnny who keeps insisting he's owed me lunch for ages, Dan who's been so patient about scheduling a date since long before the breakup started. Jacob and I need to catch up from LARP. I also want to be there for Amanda and her inspiring activism. I'm sad to say that current political events have left me anxious and unable to contribute right away. I keep telling myself that I need to get my "me" stuff in order first, but how long before that becomes an excuse for inaction?

I also have a partner that I met at LARP. Well, not quite a partner yet - but its the label we're discussing. He and I even had time for an online date on Sunday night. He lives in Phili, so its the perfect amount distance for me right now. We met at LARP both times but didn't find out that the other was poly until this most recent one.
One week after my breakup. Ugh, why do I always do this?

You can't help when you meet someone, and he's 100% understanding my need for distance. We just clicked so quickly, it was hard to say no to. Especially since I had been missing an emotional and romantic connection for years now. Someone wants to be around me? Someone thinks I'm awesome? Well damn. Initially, I had the inkling it'd be a one-time fling or rebound, but now it looks like it could develop into more. Luckily, being poly, neither one of us feels the pull to "keep each other waiting" until I'm ready for more commitment. He'll be pursuing others at his leisure, in addition to his primary partner. No pressure on me - just an open door sitting there whenever I'm ready. And even if that door closes? No hard feelings. Gods, it's so freeing.

Its similar with Matt up in Canada. He and I had been building a connection for several months now, so it was far less... disruptive? than my spark with the potential-partner in Phili. Cautious every step of the way, we both made sure that our mutual affection wasn't rooted in the ending of our primary relationships. Compassionate, attentive, logical, and rational, we've evaluated every step along the way. It still feels good. It still makes sense. Do we feel this way because we feel this way? Or because it feels good to feel this way? Always checking in. It's definitely still the former.

They're both visiting in July. Thus, my routine will be disrupted again for a bit. It's so terrible :)
I might even end up skipping a gym visit! *gasp*

All joking aside, its been wonderful having a solid rhythm again. Three days a week in the gym, with every other week seeing my personal trainer. Evenings with friends or cleaning at home. I still have a long task list to complete before I'll be fully satisfied with the house. Clean under the sink, bleach the bathroom, sort the pantry... Once all that is done I'll be able to relax more.

I did force myself to relax a bit more yesterday. It was close to 90F, and I'd had a rough day at work. Got home a little early and set myself up on the hammock with a glass of wine (The new Apothic coffee wine!). I was able to relax, knit a while, and listen to Handmaids Tale on audiobook. You wouldn't think that'd be relaxing to listen to, but I'm so captivated by Margaret Atwood's descriptions and similes. I mean, just read this:

“The tulips along the border are redder than ever, opening, no longer wine cups but chalices; thrusting themselves up, to what end? They are, after all, empty. When they are old they turn themselves inside out, explode slowly, the petals thrown like shards.”

Poetry. That whole book is front to back poetry. It also amuses me to find differences between the book and the show. There are more than I'd have expected for a show so highly acclaimed.

My mornings are slower now. I get up early with the summer light; most window blinds left open from the night before to allow the house to wake up before me. I open the door and both cats immediately run in for attention, fighting for the best sunbeam on the bed. There are golden Peruvian Lillies outside my bathroom window. I'll open the blinds and window fully and let in more light. Living in a basement apartment can have drawbacks, but I'm very fortunate to have full windows. I take advantage of it where I can.

On the days I don't go to the gym (like this one), I come in early and take care of personal tasks before truly starting my work day. Today it felt good to write for the sake of writing. No obligations.

I am a creature of whims. Its time I let myself be just that.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Planning the End - April 2018


This is the last of  my unpublished posts. I have a bunch of other old drafts, but nothing really relationship related. If I do find something I missed I'll share it in the future.

An unpublished post from 4/19/18

***


I'm tired of his continual aversion to intimacy. Its as if his avoidance of conflict goes hand in hand with his avoidance of love. Every night we go to sleep, and unless I'm the first to say "good night," then nothing is said at all. Its just silence until he falls asleep. I can't continue on with a partner I'm constantly reminding to love me.
I can't recall the last time he did something for me that 1. I didn't ask him to do or 2. He didn't mess up in some way by his inability to think about my feelings.
He didn't even ask why I called into work today. Everything he does (or more accurately, doesn't do) screams "I don't give a shit about you." He displays a bare minimum of affection, and only when it's convenient or pleases him somehow. I'm lost and forgotten.

I called in because I finally made up my mind to leave. It had been knocking around in my head since my failed birthday adventure and his inability to make up for mistakes. He genuinely doesn't care, and thats not me trying to get reassurance or sound like I'm putting myself down. He just doesn't. I'm trying not to be angry that he kept lying to me for so long about it.

It was a combination of a few things that helped me decide. My birthday was the first step - I asked him to take me to Providence for the day and explore. He didn't bother to find a place to park in advance, so we drove around for 20 minutes before settling in only to have to move the car in two hours. Over half the places he planned on taking me were closed since it was the weekend. Not to mention very few places were actually within walking distance of the car, so we even had to Lyft from one part to the other. I was so let down. I just wanted one day where I felt cared for. Just one where I didn't have to do everything.

There were a few more events in between then and now. I'm so mentally exhausted I can't even think of them. All his failures and neglect tend to blend together after a while.

The final straw seems somewhat silly on the surface. He told me that he never looked at my travel photos when I was on my road trip. He said he'd wanted me to go through them with him or some such excuse, when that was nearly three years ago now. He didn't even bother to make up a convincing lie. At least he stopped trying to convince me he thought I was interesting.

After he said that and gave a lame excuse, I just felt a click. Everything fell into place. Even then - even in the first year of our relationship, he wasn't excited to be with me. He missed me as an abstract concept, but not enough to invest in me. I grew cold and angry. I think I snapped at him, but I don't remember what I said. I walked into the other room, cried a moment and composed myself. I was done wasting my time. I gave him so much, over and over to prove he's worthy of love. To make him feel like an equal partner in the relationship. This whole time he never cared about making me feel the same.

I just have to get the timing right. I still love him, and want him to succeed. I'll wait until his finals are over in May. That way I'll have plenty of time to set things in motion, and allow for a possible change of heart if he gets his shit together before then. I just can't see how that'd happen.

He hasn't fought for me once during the course of our whole relationship. Nothing I can say or do will make him fight for me now. If I tell him I want to leave, he won't ask me to stay.

I'm ready to get on with my life.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Everything Wrong - Sept 2016


An  unpublished post from September 2016

***

Some days it feels like he gets everything wrong.
It sounds so petty and ridiculous, but when it adds up its maddening.

When he planned my birthday get-away, he didn't take into account that everything would be closed at Martha's Vinyard. We drove around in the rain for a few hours and there were no shops, restaurants, or anything. All the tourist places were closed. We did manage to find a Tex-Mex place where a few locals were getting out for the day, and they were really surprised to see tourists so early in the season. He said we were there to "see the sights" but when I asked him what sights he was talking about, he didn't have an answer.

Its not that I'm not grateful he set the trip up in the first place. I mean, I did have to ask him to set up a trip for my birthday, but beyond that the choices were left up to him. It just felt like he didn't put much time into it.

I'd been searching for Crystal Pepsi for days, but everyone was out. Christian made it sound like he found some but it was regular pepsi. How do you get that wrong? Again. Minor, petty shit. But the yo-yo of emotions gets frustrating.

He said he'd let me know the moment event tickets went on sale. He didn't mention it for a day and when I quickly logged in to purchase them we ended up with crappy seats.

He schedules a vet appointment when we'll be out of town. I had to ask him to reschedule. When the appointment DOES happen, it ends up being $200 more than he said it'd be. There go the holidays.

When I was gone on business, he couldn't be bothered to pick up paper towels or toothpaste. He even forgot to brush his teeth one day. How does someone forget to brush their teeth? I didn't expect him to cook any decent meals or prep food for me when I got back, but he barely took care of himself.

Every time he goes shopping, he comes home with something wrong.

I constantly feel like he's not asking all he can of financial aid either. I'm always asking him "Have you tried this? Asked this? Done this?" and I usually get a neutral "oh, I didn't think of that." He just doesn't seem interested in trying, and now I'll have to bear the financial burden for his lack of effort.

After over two years of this it's hard to rely on him for much. "Its just easier to do it myself" I say. That way I know I'll get it right. 

Either he didn't hear me, didn't see my message, or didn't remember. Either way, I end up feeling like what I say or need isn't important to him. Its exhausting having to constantly keep track of my tasks as well as his.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Settling - June 2016


An unpublished post from June 2016

***

I don't want to have to settle.

At this rate, that's what I'll be doing.

Christian will be the detached husband, never doing anything romantic and always forgetting our anniversary. He'll go to work, come home, eat dinner, then do his own thing until bed. I'll have been cleaning the house all day, taking care of the kids, and other domestic chores. He wont even think to do any on his own. If he does, it'll be to help me instead of being a responsible adult.

On mothers day he'll suddenly have an interest in the kids and chores, just to give me a day off. Then I'll thank him. I'll thank him for doing shit for one day. The shit that I do all the time. His contributing will be an act of kindness.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, the thought of being that kind of partner makes me want to cut myself.

This kind of partner

At least now I know for certain that I never want children. I can thank him for helping me come to that decision.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lost in Translation - Aug 2015

Another unpublished post, this one from August 2015

Never understanding how to adult.


A conversation we had the other day:

"Hey how about I make dinner?"
I perk up a bit "Really? I'd love that. Something light maybe - not too greasy"
"Sure how about some oatmeal?"
"..."
"Or I could make you a peanut butter and jelly!"
"..."

Apparently, that's "making dinner."
How the hell has he lived on his own for the last 8 years?


***

On not getting ready for Burning Man

"Why didn't you ask me sooner?"

I did. Several times I asked you to start getting ready for burning man, and you didnt. If you had started participating AFTER I was mad, it would have only been because I was mad and NOT because you actually wanted to get ready. I stopped asking you because I was sick of doing so. (I shouldn't even had to have asked you in the first place). I tried guiding you by the hand. What I refuse to do is drag you kicking and screaming down the road. You should have done it sooner, and I wont help you now. Its time for you to learn radical self reliance.

I shouldn't have to ask you to take care of yourself.