Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My life in quotes

Pain is always equal to the force of our denial and effort we spend to hang onto that which is bad for us.
A very wise and dear friend said that to me the other night. Pretty effing profound, wouldn't you say? He knows of what he speaks.

So my life is reduced to quotes. Live with it.

The babbling brook would lose its song
if you removed the rocks.

Don't cry because it's over.

Smile because it happened.
Pain and Suffering are inevitable,
but Misery is optional

Another dear friend sent me an e-card with this message:
To believe is to know in your heart that life is happening
exactly as it is meant to.

To believe is to look for hidden gifts in every new day.

To believe is to trust everything is going to be all right.

I went back to the middle of the state this week to help a friend in her husband's doctor's office. Lots of filing and faxing. But it taught me a valuable lesson... Just when you think your life sucks (jobless, homeless, loveless), I highly recommend you check out other people's lives and be very thankful for your health. I was amazed and blown away by the people my age who are on multiple meds for multiple maladies. I really have nothing to complain about. The one that brought me to tears was the woman with MS already in a wheelchair... at 28. She found out her diagnosis her senior year in college. Her mother also has it. Quitcher bitchin'.

We went shopping one day and everywhere I turned, sailboats, seascapes, beaches, bubble bath named Sea Island Cotton and Dancing Waters, summer themes. My sister said the same thing happened to her after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She said she saw boobs everywhere. So now when I see things that remind me of Sailor Boy, I say, "Boobs. Everywhere, boobs." It makes me giggle. And it makes people wonder.

Went to dinner with my former priest from back home. A wonderful and wise man who has known me since I was 12. Baptized my daughter. Memorialized my mother. He is retired now, and we still stay in touch. At first we skirted around the many issues in my life because I was on the verge of tears at every question. We met on the day the house closed, and I was very emotional. Once we started to talk about my life in transition, he said, "Men and women see love and passion differently. Maybe you weren't madly and passionately in love at all." (I thought it curious that he used the cliche that I had used all year.) He said, "Maybe... maybe... you were just horny." And instead of tears, I burst out laughing in the restaurant. He turned a mild shade of pink, having forgotten who he was or who I was to him, and we laughed out loud together. It felt good to laugh.

I pre-signed last week without the ex, and it was traumatic. The woman at the title company was, perhaps, the rudest, most unprofessional person I have ever done business with. The ex would not allow me to get in one last time to say "good bye." (I know, I can be maudlin, can't I?) But eventually the real estate agent reminded him that it was my right and she had a key. I am glad I got to see it so I would not romanticize what it once meant to me. It was filthy (again), dog fur and dust everywhere, and the smell of dog urine throughout the basement (again). The place was no longer my home. The whole weekend was very emotional, but especially Tuesday at 10:30 when I knew it was over. Yes, I am glad to be out from under the mortgage, but it truly was the last piece of the puzzle. It is the only house I have known as an adult, and the only house in which we raised the girls. I highly recommend you change houses every so many years so you don't pack all your memories into one location. And I am reminded, especially when others tell of how quickly their house sold, that it took 15 months for this house to sell, and it did so on the weekend I broke up with Sailor Boy. It was what was keeping me here and not moving to be with him. Or was it? Was God my real estate agent? That's another blog post.

Went to see Sex and the City (the movie) with the girls. I thought it was a great movie, but don't ask me for an honest review. I was very vulnerable and cried through much of it. (Caution: Spoilers coming.) No, I was not left at the altar. No, my husband did not have an affair. No, I wasn't tempted by a gorgeous hunk in LA. No, I didn't give birth. But there were many other emotions that I could relate to throughout the movie. The 2 1/2 hrs went by fast. I was never bored. The costuming was incredible and fun. And, damn, there were some fine butts shown on the silver screen.

They'll be good times again for me and you,
But we just can't stay together,
don't you feel it too.

Still I'm glad for what we had
and how I once loved you.

It's too late, Baby, now it's too late.

Though we really did try to make it.

Something inside has died and I can't hide it,
I just can't fake it.

It's too late, now Darling.
It's too late.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

I may vomit

Wow! A little melodramatic, are we?

Seriously, why is it that our kids can zero into our vulnerabilities without even trying. I mean, she does not mean to be making me sick to my stomach with worry. Daughter #2 has waited to the last minute to figure out housing not only for the coming school year but this summer. Officially, she is homeless as of right now. Both her car and my car are packed with all her worldy goods. I can't even pack my stuff in my car to leave town on Friday because I have all of her stuff in there with no place to put it.

Some things were out of Dorothy's control. Trouble with roommates. And by trouble, I mean one girl decided not to come back to school and another has a cat. So at her b'day celebration last night (She turned 20 yesterday, the last day of finals!), she talked to a couple of other students who need housing (Is procrastination contagious?) or who need a roommate or who waited till the last minute. We have a few plans in the works, but for right now, both of us are close to vomiting at any point.

And this is just feeding into my inadequacies as a mother. If I had a place in town for her to stay while she got her act together? If I had a place back in St. Louis for her to stay till summer school started and she found a place to live. If I had my friggin' act together. If, If, If... for a moment last week I even questioned why I left her father for a new life. Ok, that was a brief moment, but it was a moment of panic and worry. I'm past it.

I leave town in 5 days. No job. I'm lucky to have my sister to live with while looking for work. I know that. I am not homeless, but I sure feel terribly disheveled, uprooted, uncertain. The broken heart, you ask? Still breaking into a million pieces. Some days bad, some better, some days tearful, some heartsick, some angry. That can't be helping any. My head does know it's the best thing, but letting go is so damn hard. I feel vulnerable and alone.

I can't sleep and I'm starting to have panic attacks. Don't know if it's from the broken heart, the fear of the future and the unknown, saying good-bye to this town and the few people I have gotten so close to in the past 18 months, or a kid who has no place to live. I know a friend whose son has a brain tumor. I know a family who lost their son last month in a car accident. I know people with much bigger problems. But this is what I am dealing with right now.

I've always had a strong stomach, but I feel like I could vomit at any moment.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wanted: One single man with benefits

And not those kinds of benefits. Not friends with benefits. Nope, not those. I mean health care benefits.

First, I interviewed with my current organization on the affiliate in St. Louis. There is an educator position available, but they are turning it into 2 part time positions. You wonder why? Wonder no more. You don't have to pay part time people benefits. When I raised the concern yesterday (as in , don't bother interviewing me if you can't offer me benefits) the HR person said we could discuss more during the phone interview. What she meant was "Are you willing to help us out PRN until you get full time work?" Bull shit.

So I drove off to St. Louis, had lunch with 2 former work friends from my publishing days and got 2 books I worked on for my interview. Hated driving in the big city again after 18 months of small college town driving. Found the place for the interview. I was great. She loved me. I was about to meet the CEO when she said, "Oh, by the way, we offer a retirement plan but no healthcare benefits. Is that a deal breaker?" WHAT??? Are you kidding me??? I said, "Yes, it's a deal breaker." She said, "Well, I heard you say 'divorce' and thought it might be," and I wanted to say, "Did you think my ex had benefits when we were married??? Because he never had a job with bennies. It was all me!" I gathered my things, and she apologized for having me drive in all this way for the interview. She did ask if I had looked into obtaining health care benefits on my own, and I told her that was a bust when I was unemployed (and freelancing) years ago because I have pre-existing conditions. I mentioned high cholesterol but did not mention depression so she wouldn't think I would come back and go "postal" on her. "Maybe," she said, "I should have mentioned this earlier?" Do ya think???? I was furious. One vacation day and 2 tanks of gas later and this is the sign of the times. I am still fuming. I know it's the beginning of my job search and that the job sounded boring, but damn it, what do they expect in this day and age???

So if you know of any single men out there with great benefits, let me know. Will marry for insurance.