Wednesday, December 30, 2015

pink hair, sparkles, and dress blacks

I am an introvert. 
I am perfectly happy alone. 
I need to be alone to recharge and find peace.

I spend most everyday surrounded by people. 
I work in an office with 800 other people.

Ermahgawd.
So many people.
Everyday.

seriously.
All the people.
Ugh.

I am good at my job. Really good at my job. At all my reviews, the only constructive criticism my supervisor had was that I could to work on on interpersonal skills. She knows I stage manage, she even has a pretty good idea of what that job entails. Over the last year she's figured out that I am capable of being not-quiet and introverted. 

Recently, I was given the opportunity to assist in training new hires to my department. My supervisor and I were talking about what I'd be doing as the "Subject Matter Expert" for the training and she made a point to let me know that it would be best if I could pretend be friendly and personable. We laughed about it.

I understood immediately.

I needed to be “stage manager Kristin.”
So I was.

For that week I was friendly, outgoing, personable and approachable. So much so that my co-workers wondered what had happened to me.

It was very tiring. It isn’t hard to be “stage-manager Kristin", I've been doing it for years. But it is very tiring.  There's a lot of effort that goes into being "stage-manager Kristin".

As soon as that training ended, I began training for a new position and spent the next four weeks in training.

I talked with the trainer a couple of times about careers and what-not; not surprisingly, he commented that I was very quiet and that it would behoove me to be more approachable and friendly.

So I was.

I flipped a switch and became “stage-manager Kristin."

I love surprising people with the drastic change in personality.  It's always such a surprise. It isn’t my natural state of being, but I can do it. 

I found that I like how people at the office respond to “stage-manager Kristin."

So, I've decided to be that Kristin at the office.

Everyday.

e-v-e-r-y d-a-y

Stage manager Kristin is a persona that I have to wear over my natural introverted self. It isn’t an easy thing to do. Stage-manager Kristin doesn’t get to hide in the back corner. 
She’s generally noticed and remembered.
I dislike being noticed.
I hate drawing attention to myself.

Hate. It.

But I can make it easier.
There are things I can do to be more comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

For years I’ve tried to add color to my wardrobe.  I naturally gravitate towards colors (black) that don’t draw attention to myself.  I’ve tried to push my comfort zone out to be okay with wearing colors that aren’t black or grey.

Enough.
Done.
Don’t like doing it, not gonna.

At work I’m pushing my comfort zone so much in order to maintain the “stage-manager” Kristin, I don’t need to push anywhere else.

I don’t need to become the complete opposite of myself to get to where I want to be at the office.

So I’m going to be as much of myself as I can. 

Stage-manager Kristin.
In dress blacks.
With pink hair and sparkles.
Pretending to be confident even when I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.
Approachable and friendly.
Standing in first position.
Ready to take over the world.

Because that is Stage Manager Kristin.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

it may snow on christmas

It’s almost Christmas.
Three more sleeps until Christmas.
Nine more days in this year.

Two days ago I closed my show.
My body decided since the show was closed it was okay to shut down and attempt to repare the neglect and abuses it’s tolerated for the past 2 months. Unfortunately I don’t have time to be sick. It’s only three more sleeps until Christmas, and I’m still working a 40 hour week at my day job.

Driving home tonight, slogging through the rain, all I could think about was how close Christmas is. How my lights aren’t up on the house and the tree isn’t decorated and how all the seasonal d├ęcor is still in festive green and red tubs.

The holidays aren’t easy for me. Haven’t been for a while. Life just seems to throw lemons at me in December.

This is not new news, it is just how it is. I’m used to it at this point. This season is actually not nearly as hard as the last few have been.

I’m not where I was.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, I’m not where I was.

Physically, I live in my almost perfect farmhouse. My almost perfect farmhouse. W’re learning each other’s quirks, and we’re falling in love.  Smitten.  Head-over-heels in love.

Mentally, I know where I am, I know where I want to be going, and I know what’s important to me.  I used to walk into a room and hope nobody noticed me. Now, I don’t give a damn if they notice, because it doesn’t matter.

Emotionally, I’m here. Here. Present. Experiencing life. Choosing to see the smiles and feel the hugs and ignore the dirty dishes and life piled everywhere.
 Tonight I walked in the door, exhausted, headachey, and freezing.  I opened the door and was floored by the waves of love that met me.

They decorated the tree.

I had told them they could, but didn’t really expect them to actually do it.  They were happy, cheerful, smiling, and they had decorated the tree.

And it is beautiful.
 This has been quite the year. Not as many tears this year. More smiles and laughing.
Which is good, very good.
And scary, so scary.

See, I don’t want a forever-someone. But, just because I don’t want  a forever someone doesn’t mean I need to hide my heart from someone who makes me happy now.

So.
I have a person.
I didn’t intend to have a person.
I really didn’t want a person.
I’ve tried my best to be as brutally honest as possible.

Yet, I still have a person.

A person I like.
A lot.
Some days I love him.

Not everyday.
Just some days.
 More importantly,
most significantly,
I realized that it’s okay to let him love me.
regardless of how I feel, it's okay to let him love me.

Simple, no strings, no long term plans.

Just enjoying life until it doesn’t work anymore.

Yes, it’s gonna hurt when it’s done.
 But I’m happy.
Happier than I’ve been for a while.

and my phone says it might be snow on Friday.

IT MIGHT SNOW ON CHRISTMAS.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

today is not tomorrow


Practically impractical. 
Unexpected. 
So strange.  To know.
Suddenly. 

Silently.
Knowing the truth. 
Feeling the joy. 

Quietly. 
Keep the truth.
Hide the joy. 

Today it is time
To live and laugh
To laugh and love
To love and be loved.

Always 
cherish the truth.
harbour the hope. 
Remember the joy. 

Always.
Remember the joy. 

One day it might be time.
To ask and know.
To know and choose.
To choose and be loved.

Tomorrow it may be time.
To love and be loved
for always. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I had a week

Last month, I had a week.

Two of my six said goodbye in the same week. 
What a week.
I think it was the same week I bought Little Car.

big week
...long week.
...huh...
.......just realized I spent time with four of my six in the same week. 
pretty impressive given that they are usually so scattered.

anyway, I digress. 
where was I?

oh. right.

Two of my six said goodbye in the same week.
don’t know when I’m going to see either of them again.

Both carved time out of their crazy schedules for me.

I expected one to be harder than the other.
....I was right.

One was harder than the other.

but the one I thought would be hard wasn’t, 
and the one that wasn’t supposed to be, was.

Life is funny that way.

Both times, the drinks were drunk,
the smiles and laughter shared,
the goodbyes said.

Both times,
I drove away remembering all the little ways they helped rebuild my shattered self-confidence,
hoping they knew how much they had done.

I am so very glad they made time for me.
I do wish we had had more time.
I so want more time.

Eventually, I usually get what I want.
just hope I don't have to wait another fifteen years.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

my side of a conversation

Hey. Babe.

Just a reminder.
This is all you get.
This.

This see-me-once-an-week-or-so.
This is it.

This not-one-of-the-most-important-things-in-my-life.
This is it.

We are never going to be more.
Ever.

It's not that I don't want more, it's that I don't have more. What I give is all I'm capable of giving.

This. Is. All. I. Have.

I enjoy the time we spend together.
I look forward it, very much so.

But what give is all I've got to give.
All I'm capable of giving.

I will never depend on a someone again. Ever.

I will never marry again.
I will not.
Ever.

I will never ask someone to promise to be mine forever.
Any someone.
Ever.

Are we 'destined to fail?'

Yes. Absolutely. Except I don't see it as failing, because this was never meant to be forever.

From day one I've made that perfectly clear.

I realize now that I shouldn't have used that thing I wanted so very much to do as an out, but I did.

For that I am sorry.

Then the thing didn't pan out. So suddenly there wasn't any "reason" to be done. No easy out. No deadline.

I thought about calling it.
Being done, because it's best for you.

I knew you were hoping I'd change my mind. I also knew that wasn't going to happen.

Any time I thought about doing "what's best for you" I'd realize that it drives me batty when someone else decides what's best for me.

No one knows you better than you. You should be able to make that call for yourself.

So, I continued to be open and honest. I continued to remind you that this was it.

And this time it stuck,
this time you believe me.
Maybe it was the circumstances,
maybe I used different words.

Maybe it was that I was so vehement about it. So absolutely certain.

I'm glad you finally heard me.
I'm glad you finally listened.
I'm glad you finally believe me.

If that means you're ready to be done, I will understand.

I will be sad,
but I won't be surprised.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I wish it

I wish
     
       I wish


Oh, I don't know what I wish.


I don't even know what to wish.
It's all tangled and tied together.


I wish practical things like distance and time and responsibilities would just melt away.

I wish I didn't miss him quite so often.

I wish it wasn't quite so complicated.



I wish it.

So much.
So very,
         very much.


Then I remember.

How much joy is in my little corner of the world.

So I sigh,
close my eyes
 and hide my wishes away.


Because
I am loved
having what I have
knowing what I know
feeling what I feel
And it is enough.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

don't wanna, can't make me

I have five half done posts.  

Half written, half sorted out.  
Half.  Five half done sort of equals two done, right?  
Except that I have five beginnings, five middles, and zero endings. 

I don’t wanna finish any of them. 
Don’t wanna, can’t make me.

Things are good right now. Really good.  
Like income > expenses good.
Like relaxing on the couch next to a someone good.

But, life.

Wrapped up inside the really good are hard things. Hard things I can’t change, situations beyond my control.  Some really, really good things and some, not so much.  all, hard.

I really don’t wanna work through that hard right now.
  
I don’t want to write about hard.  Writing about hard means that I’ve accepted that hard. 

And I don’t wanna.  
So the writing trails off. 

In each post

it

 just

stops.

I get to a certain point, and then I can’t type any more.  My brain just stops.

Know what? 

The neat thing about being an adult is that I don’t have to finish those posts right now. I don’t have to untangle the knots in my head.  The chaos can still percolate. They’ll get finished. I’ll sort it all out. 

The these tangles aren't going anywhere. They are what they are. Whether I sort it all out tomorrow, next week or next month, the these hard things aren’t going to change any time soon. 


I’ll continue to write, I’ll work on getting to the bottom of it all.

And when I do, I’ll share.


Probably.

Monday, June 15, 2015

15, 13, 11, 10, forever.

In 15 days I will drive away from my little slice of heaven for the last time.

In 13 days I will get the keys to my almost perfect farmhouse. I will then spend the rest of the evening cleaning my empty farmhouse and making it mine.

In 11 days I will sign my name half a hundred times, agreeing to be solely responsible for repaying the generous loan my mortgage lender provided for my almost perfect farmhouse.

In 10 days I will sign my name, accepting payment, putting a price, on my little slice of heaven.

In the midst of all this, life is still going on. 
all the normal life stuff,
all the complicated Kristin stuff. 

My brain is full, 
my heart is full. 

I’m figuring out how to process all the things.
Pack all the things.
Sort all the things.
Clean all the things.

Let go of all the things.


This forever is done.


 I have a whole lifetime of forevers ahead of me.

Whether they last one second,
six months 
or six years, 
I will enjoy every moment of every forever.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

friending


Friending when you’re a kid is easy.  In the fall you meet a group of people you will spend a substantial amount of time with. You find the few that don’t annoy the crap out of you and you spend time together. At school. At recess.  At lunch.

It gets a bit more complicated as you get into high school.  Mostly because suddenly there are hormones and hurt feelings and people not talking to each other.  No one says what they mean, or means what they say. It's messy. If you’re lucky you’ll have a good friend or two.

Friending as an adult is hard. I didn’t really bother with it until after.  It’s a lot of work. There’s effort involved.  Lives no longer match up everyday.  You have to make time. You have to remember they’re there. People change, make choices you wouldn’t, take different paths. Adults don’t stay put.  Distance puts a damper on actually spending time with them. New interests come in, people fall in and out of love. Occasionally, you find someone.  A human who gets you.  When you find one, make the effort.  It’s worth it.

I have more “real” friends than I ever imagined possible, they've seen me at my best, they've seen me at my worst. And they still like me.

Brother-mine.
M’Amy.
Always-Friend.
Sister-of-My-Heart.
My-Friday-Ladies.

I love each and every one of you with all my heart.

I cannot thank you enough for your friendship, nor can I express what your laughter, hugs, and sarcasm has meant to me.  What it continues to mean to me.  By the end of the summer, you'll be scattered across the globe.   Know that whatever adventure you choose, wherever life takes you, I am here.

Always.  With a couch, a shoulder, a bottle of whiskey, a smile and a hug.
I’m not going anywhere.
I am always here, my friends, when you need a break from the world, when you want a laugh, when you want to forget, or you want to remember.

I will always make time for you.

Text at 2am? Sure. Drinks at 5:15pm on a Wednesday? I can make that happen.  

I’ve leaned on each of you, your support has gotten me through some of the roughest bits of my adult life.  Each of you has helped me to realize who I am, and together, you’ve beaten it into me.

I get it.

I’m a good person.
It’s okay to care.
I’m not too much.
Doing it my way is perfect for me.
What's right for me is right for me. Ignore what everyone else thinks.

I think about each of you every day.
I miss each of you every day.
I wish each of you happiness every day.

Thank you, my friends.

I do love you so.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

a tangled mess of changes

I think I may have gotten to a point where there is only one big change in progress. I think I can get ya'll caught up.  I kept sitting down to write, only to realize there was no point, as there was still more things to be sorted out, one way or another, and they were all intertwined together, a tangled mess.

When to start….I think this whirlwind started in April-ish.  

My eldest turned 13 at the end of April.
Since then…well.  
It’s been a chaotic mess.  Possibilties and choices constantly were popping up, forcing me to reevaluate my direction. repeatedly.

A rundown:

I don’t have a brain tumor, nor a thyroid problem. My brain is very pretty, I saw pictures.

I did not go to part time at the call center and sign on to stage manage the season. Couldn’t of gotten approved for a mortgage if I changed anything. Timing. It’s a bitch.

I did not get a different position in my department.  Applied and interviewed though.  Helped me realize that I really like my department, and don’t really want to move to a different one.

Enough with the did nots.

I did adjust my diet to limit salt and water. Realized I really like salty foods. Really lots.

I got the house ready to sell.  I worked on the half-finished projects with the man I was married to.  The man who helped build this little slice of heaven. That was hard. I do not wish we hadn’t gone our separate ways, I’m much happier now.  But it was still very hard to let go of this forever.  Of the cherry trees, paving bricks, homemade chicken coops.  The unfinished front step. (it’s finished now)

I listed my little slice of heaven. The “for sale” sign was set in the front yard.

I discovered I don’t like a spotless home.  I missed the clutter and muddy footprints. The dog kisses on the windows.

I found my new place.  A house that is truly all kinds of Kristin.  A farmhouse about 5 minutes my current home, built in 1900.  Cute. Quirky. Truly, all kinds of Kristin.

I wrote an offer for my almost perfect farmhouse. They accepted.

I accepted an offer on my little slice of heaven.

I had very honest conversations with important people. Conversations that left me hurt and bewildered until I sorted myself out.  Once I sorted thru all the feelings, I realized that those conversations restored quite a bit of my self esteem.  I was honest, and received honesty in return. Granted, there was alcohol involved in loosening the tongues enough to let the honesty out.  Honesty is amazing. So much simpler to move forward. Not easier, but way much better. No guessing games. Again, timing. She's a bitch.

What else….oh.

I went on a date.  He paid for food and the movie.   It was fun.  He’s a nice guy, a bit younger than me. Fun and silly. I’ve been all kinds of honest with him.
About where he falls in the order of priorities.
About how much I’m willing to give.
About how it he’ll not spend time with my kids or family for a long while.
About how I will always be honest, bluntly so, and he’ll probably not like all the words I say.

He accepted all my words, and he insists he likes my honesty, even when he doesn’t like the words.


So what’s going on right now?

I’m packing. Sorting, purging, remembering all the memories associated with all of the things.

I’m planning.  I’ve got a friend lined up to help me take the almost perfect farmhouse kitchen from 90s oak and faux granite back to homey farmhouse kitchen.

I’m settling in at work.  Only took seven months. I’m realizing the department I’m is better than the others, even if I don’t like my job, it’s tolerable and it does pay the bills.

I’m learning it’s okay to care, even though I know it’s gonna end and that’ll be sad, even when it does end, and timing’s truly a bitch. Eventually, our timing will line up. Just not today.

But caring....caring is a lovely feeling, very much worthy of the hurt that follows the caring.

And

I’m saying goodbye.  To the bits I’ll miss.  The blackberry blossoms. The scent of fresh cut wild grasses. The purple grasses that are taller than I am.  The old apple tree with branches that droop to the ground. To the sound of the wind through the tall grass, gently blowing ripples across the fields.  Truly, amber waves of grain.  To the pink sunsets and foggy grey-green sunrises.

I’m remembering it all. 
Taking it all in, for the next 29 days.
Taking in as much of the peace as I can, while it’s still mine.

So there, that’s me.  That’s what’s going on, been going on.  And I’m sure there’s many, many posts worth of words in my head about each of these things.  Some will get written, some will even be polished enough to post. And some will stay swirling about in the chaos of my memories.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

redbreast, dalwhinnie and me

One of my favorite places to be when I'm falling apart and I just want to give up is inside the hug of a man who cares.

I cannot describe the comfort I feel there. I miss it. For almost twenty years I had arms to hold me whenever the world tried to beat me up.

Then, those arms were gone. I stood alone. When it got to be too much I wrapped myself in a quilt and hid from the world. But there were no arms. No steady heartbeat. No forehead kisses. No chin resting on the top of my head. No quiet strength. No protector.

I survived, wrapped in my quilt, Tommy-dog at my side.

Today I stood in the kitchen, exhausted, contemplating my options. I wanted a bit of whiskey, but I couldn't decide which I was in the mood for. 

Life's been...a lot the last fortnight or so and I don't see an end.
I knew what I wanted. 
I wanted arms. 
I wanted comfort. 
I wanted to feel safe and warm. 
I wanted to know somewhere there was a man who cares. Really cares. About me. About Kristin.
My eyes landed on a particular bottle of liquid sunshine and I smiled slightly.

I have arms.
Amazingly, there are two sets of arms.
Two good guys. 
Two who know me for me.  
Two who will tell me when I'm being stupid. 
Two who care. 

They aren't here, and they aren't mine, but I have arms when I need them.

When boys are stupid and life is hard, I can close my eyes and sip the whisky I drank with them and hide in a remembered hug.
x

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

no one stays

I am myself, unapologetically myself. I'm complicated. I'm blunt and honest. I am a lot.

No one stays.
This is the truth.
I accept this.

I know that every connection is temporary.  They all leave.

So, I have choices.

I can avoid all attachments to anyone. I can build a wall of ice around myself, i can keep everyone away and avoid all possible hurt.

Or

I can enjoy the connections. 
I can treasure the moments of bliss and happiness. 

I'd rather enjoy the brief moments of happiness and connection than not to have any connections at all.

I treasure the smiles and laughter. The closeness and comfort.  And when they walk away, I let them. I let go. 

Accepting that they choose to walk away is hard.  It would be safer to push everyone away. It certainly would hurt less. But, everything would be less. Memories that make me smile wouldn't be there, memories of being cherished, wanted, chosen, even for a little bit, would be missing.

I know they care. I know they leave because they care.

At night, I stare at the stars in the darkness, little twinkling bits of glitter in the deep black sky.  It's too beautiful, too perfect. My heart hurts because I remember a tiny moment of perfection I shared with someone who cared. Yesterday, last month, three years ago, or almost twenty years ago.  All the tiny moments of perfection are branded on my brain, and cause a ache I cannot ignore in my heart. 

Yet, I still search for the stars at night, still, i turn my face to the east at dawn, still, i watch the rain streak down the window. 

Little bits of beauty and perfection that remind me that even the briefest moments of connection have lasting impact, and I am a more complete person for having shared all the moments together. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fly On My Wall - yes. let's drink

yes.
let's drink.

let's find a quiet booth in a public place 
and drink 
and laugh 
and just be us.

let's drink until reality fades.
let's drink until the truth doesn't hurt quite so much and the filters fall away.
let's drink until all the words spill out in a jumbled heap on the table.
let's drink until the words make sense.


let's drink.
let's talk.
let's just be us.


let's drink until the world falls away.
let's hide in the perfection found amid not enough sleep, too much time apart and just enough whiskey.
let's talk until they kick us out and we stand in the parking lot not wanting it to end.
let's stand there until I'm shivering and you're laughing because I'm always cold.

then, let's say goodbye.
let's say until next time.
let's promise a next time.

yes.
let's drink.

Monday, March 16, 2015

a bit of a rant

I’m done.
Done.

For the last two years, I've been constantly defending my choices.  Constantly explaining why I made that choice. Any choice.  Every choice.

So, I'm done.
Done.

This is what I want.

I want my littles to be prepared for whatever life is going to throw at them.
I want them to be happy.
and I want to be happy.

Period.

Every choice I make, I make with those goals in mind. In that order. Those goals are always on my mind. Always. I am not capable of making choices without thinking about the effects on those goals. I am not capable of making choices that lead away from those goals.

I CANNOT do it. I spend days, weeks, months examining every option and how it affects me and mine.  I am not capable of making a poor choice. I can't. I've been on the verge of making choices that were...very, very poor choices, but would've been so very, very gratifying. I couldn’t do it, every time. I cannot knowingly hurt those I care about. 

I don’t care if you agree with those choices. 
I don’t care if you understand those choices.
and I certainly don’t care what choices you would make for me.

I am not you.  I am me, and I am not impulsive.  If a choice feels rushed, it is because I don’t share, not because I am jumping without looking.  No one is going to push me into making a decision before I'm ready.  No one. I can be stubborn. I will do things when I decide to. When I decide to.

One more thing:

I'm not settling. I'm not picking "good enough."  I don’t want a forever. This isn't just something I am telling myself.  This is a truth I feel so deeply I cannot express it.

I have exactly what I want.
exactly. 
what. 
i. 
want.


Honestly.  
I don’t want more.
I’m happy as things are.

If I weren't happy, it wouldn't be worth my time and energy. Between the littles, the animals, the house and the full time job, there isn't a whole lot of time or energy left at the end of the day.  I wouldn't waste it on something that I didn't enjoy.  I like talking about him. I'll happily tell you about him. 

But I’m done defending our friendship.
Done.  

I'm done explaining it.
Done. 

My littles understand it.  
No one else needs to.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

a single-parent day

Today is what I call a “single-parent day.” A single-parent day is a day that really reinforces the fact that I’m the only adult in my household.  It doesn’t matter what I want, what I need, or how I feel.   My littles still need me to function enough to get dinner going and facilitate the evening.

I wanted to do was drive straight home from work, put on sweats and pull the blankets over my head.

But. No.

I’m the only adult in my house.  So, I have to adult.
Every day. No choice. Not adult-ing is not an option.

I stopped at the store and got necessary items.  
When I got home the kids promptly turned off the video games.  They picked up their messes when I asked and went to play in their rooms, where they wouldn’t be noisy.

I love my littles.

I picked up the kitchen and started making dinner. 
It’s Wednesday.  Pancake night.  Easy dinner.

As I pulled clothes out of the dryer I realized this was the first single-parent day I’ve had in a very long time.  A year ago every day was a single-parent day.  It was a trial to get through every day.  

Every day was hard.

I can’t remember the last single-parent day I’ve had.

I marveled at this as I dumped the clothes on the ever-growing pile of clean clothes.
Today was hard.
Is hard. 

I want nothing so much as someone to kiss my forehead and hug me tight. 

Hugging a warm pile of clothes works.
Kinda. 
Yeah, not really.

I realized that even though today was a single parent day, it still wasn’t quite so overwhelming.

The eldest took care of the chickens. I didn’t have to.
The boy took out the garbage. I didn’t have to.
The littlest fed the dog and started the dishwasher. I didn’t have to.

All this was done before I got home from work. Amazing, my littles.

“All” I needed to do was make dinner, do the dishes, are facilitate our evening routine.

And keep the laundry going. 

Because. Laundry.

So, even though today is a single-parent day, even though the world is too much and all I want is no responsibilities and no one to take care of, it's not as bad as it's been.  

Oh, the emotions are still there. 
I’m exhausted, my neck and shoulders ache, and I'm three and a half minutes from tears..
I’m counting down the minutes until I’ve tucked-in the smaller two and switched the laundry one more time so I can lock up and go to bed. 

Because.  Laundry.

Sleep will not come easily, never does. But curling up under my pile of quilts, surrounded by my pillows and listening to a good book will be enough.  Going to bed alone won’t add to my list of sorrows.


And tomorrow I’ll wake up and do it all again.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

time to go

I used to be able to see decades into the future. I had a pretty picture of two rockers on the porch with grandkids playing in the yard. 

Four years ago my then-husband and I found our little slice of heaven in the country.

Three years ago we moved our family into the home we built, planning to grow old together.

Two years ago that forever bubble popped and rockers on the porch were gone.  

I found myself unable to see past tomorrow. I had no sense of where I would be in two years, let alone twenty.

For months I let life wash over me. I kept my head above water, mostly.  I struggled to get through every day, finding the little happinesses  and trying not to think about what comes next.  Life settled into a predicable series of trials to get through and pleasures to enjoy.  But under it all, I was still overwhelmed.  I was completely overwhelmed.

Bills. Feeling like I was drowning in debt.
Three months of no employment will do that.

Keeping house. I can never get caught up.
Three littles, a big dog, a little cat, a firstful of chickens and an acre of grass and mud will do that.

I love my acre of grass and mud, my chickens, cat and dog.
I love the sunrise in the winter and the milky way at midnight.
I love it.

But.

I do not love the house.
We built this house for us, our forever house.
There is a whole lot of “us” in this house.

It's too big for me, there's too much space.
When it’s just me, I get swallowed by the space.

We built it for big family gatherings and room to grow.
Instead of filling the house with laughter and joy, we rattle around.
There's just me and my littles.
I need less. I want less. 

But could I? 
Could I really pack up and move?
Financially, emotionally, realistically, was it even possible?

So. I stewed.
I mulled.
I tossed and turned.
Then, I decided.

Yes.

This is right. This feels right.
This is not my home. 
This house is not my home any longer. 
It’s time to go.




In a few months I'll be putting this house on the market.

I'm starting a new chapter.
I’ll be finding a home.
A home that's all kinds of Kristin.

Just me and my littles. And the dog. And the cat. And a few chickens.

It certainly won't be a new home, It will probably be old, little and quirky.
I like little. I like quirky.  
All kinds of Kristin.

I’m still not sure how it's all going to play out.  I'll be talking with a mortgage broker. I’m a single mom with a mountain of student loans and a bit of credit card debt.  I'm not in the best shape, credit wise.
Divorce tends to do that.

I honestly don't expect many possibilities, but I've got other options.
Go until they say no, Right?

So.
There you have it.
Changes are coming.

Big changes.
Really big changes.

Scary.



Anyone got any boxes?
Or any clue how to downsize my clutter to fit in a house half the size of what I'm in now?


Saturday, February 21, 2015

talking to myself

My irrational fear of new.
It’s stupid. It’s irrational.  But it is predictable, for the most part.
Anxiety blows.

I manage it the best I can, without medication at this point.  What I do works for me.  I’d rather deal with the anxiety than the side effects of more medication.
My choice.

We have a unique relationship,
 my subconscious and I. 
Enjoy.

*A note – being this is pretty much an internal monologue, there’s some language in it that I don’t generally use when I post.*


He wanted to take me out for a nice dinner.
I honestly can’t remember the last nice dinner I went to.
It was very sweet. 

Bastard.

I was doing fine.  Really. despite having worked eight days in a row and not sleeping well. I was fine.
well, I was pretty damn tired.
But.  
Looking forward to seeing him. 
I went to pick him up from where he was staying.



This when our story begins.

Me, in my car figuring out where I'm picking him from


Not new.  Done that before.
Wait! You’ve not picked him up from the house before.
There will be people there!
You’ll have to meet people. 
And be social and polite with people you don’t know.
You don’t know what he’s told them about you!
Aaaaagggghhhhh.

Holy marigolds. Dammit. Fucking hell.


I drove past the house twice before I forced myself to park.


This is stupid.
It’s a house, you've been into houses.
Just get out of the car.

NO.
the car is safe.  
OUTSIDE is not safe. 
If you get out you'll have to walk to the door.

G E T.
OUT.
of the
C A R.

Fine.  Out. Happy?

Ah hell.  I have to knock on the door.

Nonononononono.
if you knock on the door you’ll have to GO IN.

Shut.
The.
Fuck.
Up.

*silence*

I’m knocking.
*silence*

He answered.  

See. Just him.  Not new.
Grumblegrumblegrumble.


AHHHHH
See, you have to meet someone.
I was right!
This is terrible.
We’re gonna die!

Shut up.
I am not going to die.
Actually I think I've met this person before.
You’re lying.


Introductions were made.
I didn’t die.
Comments on pink hair were made.

Is it really that extraordinary?


not important.
get back to the van.
Backtothevanbacktothevanbacktothevan.


My subconscious shut up at that point, but I knew it was just waiting.
Just.
Waiting.


He met the kids. And the dog. 
He introduced himself to the dog before my kids. 

Priorities, Silly boy.

Dropping the kids off at their dad’s.
More introductions.

My subconscious was still ominously silent.

Then

DINNER


HA. NO.
Terrible idea. 
eating is stupid.  

Shut up.
I am going to dinner
AND
I’m going to damn well enjoy it.


"Wait, can we get scotch first?"
"Sure."

Newnewnewnewnewnewnewnew.

Yes, this liquor store is new. Deal.


Didn’t have what he wanted.
see?  
new is not good. 
told you.

Finally found what he wanted,
then on to dinner

 The parking lot was full. 

Never parked in this lot before.
I’ve parked before. Deal.

If parking is not new, why are you so terrible at it?

Great. 
my subconscious is giving me shit about my parking skills.


RESTUARANT

NEW

NOT NEW.  
Dammit. 
You’ve been here before.  
It’s attached the gaddamn bar I Friday at. 

NOT NEW.

Him? New?

No. not new.

But, New.

Yes, okay, in this context new - ish.
He’s fun. I like him.

*grudging acceptance*

ORDERING

A bit of discussion about what I don’t like.  
At this point he kinda took pity on me and didn’t ask me to make any decisions about starters.  
For which, I am eternally grateful because I couldn’t have made any more decisions.


DRINKS


NO NEW.  
Nonononono.
SHUT UP.
I WANT new.
This is new and he is new
and  
I WANT NEW.

*silence*

Look, that one.  
It has bourbon.  
Bourbon is whiskey. 
Whiskey is not new.
okay.

My usual coping mechanism when dealing with stressful situations is to not eat.
That was not going to work.

I’m eating.
All this new food.
So you can just deal with it.
no. 
can't
really.
too much.

Fine.
I’m going to taste it all.
Deal?


Deal.

I did taste it all.
It was yummy.
My anxiety didn’t go away, it just sorta gave up.
I wonder if I ran out of adrenalin.


I have a few friends that make the anxiety lose its intensity.
One of them sat across from me, completely unaware he was making it better.
He is aware new is hard for me, but that didn't stop him from pushing my limits. 
If I want to spend time with him, it’s all gonna be new.

I have no idea what he thought of the whole adventure, but I’m sure I wasn’t engaging company.
I certainly don’t remember much of what we talked about.
I do remember smiling and having a good time.
At some point he threatened to find my big-little-brother and insist take me skydiving.

new.new.new.scary.new

he's joking....I think.


I remember other things about dinner, but they’re my things to remember.



I half expected him to just ask me to take him home after dinner. 
There’s no way I had been anything other than shy and awkward.
I’m all kinds of awkward at the best of times, add exhaustion and anxiety and I’m sure I wasn’t very much fun at all.



But he didn’t.

yay, new!

Friday, February 20, 2015

always friends, sometimes more

I made the decision a while ago to be myself. It’s stupid not to be.  Blunt and honest. No games and no pretending.  I’m pretty good at being me.  I’ve gotten lots of self confidence beaten into my head over the last two years. People enjoy my company. I don’t understand it, but I don’t question it. 

Where I lack self-confidence is in myself as a woman.  I don’t get hit on when I go out.  I don’t ever get approached.  I’ve not been on a date since I was seventeen.
 Eighteen years ago.

When I was seventeen I started dating the man who would become my husband.  We spent the next seventeen years together.  Since our marriage ended two people have expressed interest in me. 
Two.

Neither of those two people would be up for me and my complicatedness.

Last summer I reconnected with a friend from a life time ago.  I took a chance and we had a conversation.  Since that conversation we've had quite a lot of conversations.  He’s spent the last six months pointing out the flaws in my reasoning, making me smile, being there for me when he’s able.  

I like him. Always did, it just never happened, before.

We were finally in the same place at the same time.  We carved out a bit of time to spend together.  I looked forward to it. Very much so. I looked forward to spending time with someone who knew all of my complicated-ness and still wasn’t scared off. 
Really, almost too good to true.

That's when my subconscious started.
Yep. 
Its too good to be true. 
He’s going to realize I’m a lot and decide I’m not worth his time.

That thought kept going in circles in my brain.   
Too good to be true. Too good to be true.  Too good to be true.

That, and I was afraid.

Very.

I was very afraid that I had been terribly wrong.
I was afraid that in spite of my bone-deep certainty that I didn't want a forever I was really just hiding from myself.
I was afraid that others were right and I really did want a forever, a someone to cling to, lean on.  
I was afraid that I was hiding from the truth because I was afraid of getting hurt.  
I was afraid I’d just gotten so used to sleeping alone that I didn't remember how nice it was not to be alone.  
I was afraid that I going back to always-friends after sometimes-more was not going to be easy. 
I was afraid there would be a hole in my heart when he left.

 At some point, lying in the dark, listening to him sleep, I realized  that I had been right.  I know myself better than anyone else. My fears were groundless.

I don’t want a forever. 

Love him?  Nope.
Wish he lived here? Nope.

My subconscious relaxed and I was finally able to sleep.

I don’t want him to stay.
I am so happy I don’t want him to stay.

Oh, I want more time with him.  I'll take as much as he can give me. 
I want him to come back, as long as he wants to come back.

He says he does, he even said when he’ll be back. 

I’m having a hard time believing him. Oh, I think I’m pleasing to look at, but I’m a lot.  Being more, even just a sometimes-more, means accepting all of me.

But. Trying not to question it.

So, until he visits again,   I’ll enjoy being always-friends.  His messages will make me smile and I’ll look forward to actual time together.  And if he changes his mind and I’m too much, so be it. We’ll still be always-friends.  I’ll just have to buy my own dinner. And sleep alone.

I know that as long as he can say, “I will be back on this date and I want to see you” I’ll look forward to that time and anyone else will have to be pretty amazing for me to be willing to let go of my sometimes-more.

There is a point that he won’t be able to say that though.  He’ll be starting a new adventure later this year that means it will probably be two-ish years before he’s back. 
He doesn’t know.
I don’t know. 

A lot can happen in two years and nothing can happen in two years.



Tomorrow will take care of tomorrow.

I’m gonna enjoy today.

Friday, February 6, 2015

i don't want a forever...and that's okay

Relationships.

Sometimes I think it would be easier if I wanted to follow the storybook path of how things generally happen.

But I don't want that.

It took me a long time to figure out what I want. First I had to figure who I am.  For 17 years I'd been part of a couple. I really didn't know who I was. - am - who I am.  

I figured it out.  

I am Kristin Michelle

At first I wanted a future with a someone. After 17 years it was hard to adjust to not having someone there. No one there to catch me when I fell, or help me run a household, to turn to when all I wanted was to forget the world for a couple of hours.

But, at my core I knew I wasn't ready for any sort of relationship. 
So I found my friends.  Friends I can laugh with and call when things weren't going right. Friends who never need to ask if they can invade my bubble.  

M'Amy.
My Friday ladies.
and
My Younger-Than-Me Big Brother

Alone, I dealt with frozen pipes, scary noises in the dark, car trouble, bills. 

Alone. I made all the decisions. 
I did what I thought was best.

and I liked being alone.  I was thriving being alone.
Sure, I missed having a someone around sometimes.   Watching movies curled up next to someone is much nicer than watching movies alone.  But I want to have that time on my own terms.  I want to share my space on my terms.

I don't want a forever.

There's nothing wrong with not wanting a forever.


I repeat.

I don't want a forever.  and that's okay.

I was driving my eldest home from somewhere a while back.  Out of the blue she commented that I was happy.  She went on to elaborate that different people need different things.  She was happy that her Daddy had found someone.  And she was happy that I didn't need to find someone.

I was taken aback a bit.  She's twelve.  She's watched her dad and I take to very different paths.  Both are good paths.  They're just completely different paths.   By this point, I had serendipitously found my sometimes-someone.  So she was watching that unfold, very slowly unfold.

My twelve year saw the truth before I did.

My heart isn't broken and just needing time to mend. 

I just don't need a forever. 
I'm happier being just me.

I like being alone.
Alone is not lonely.
It can be, but being "alone" doesn't immediately means you're lonely.

I like being the only adult in my house, making all my own decisions. I love the independence that comes with being alone. I like going out with friends and not worrying about what time I need to be home, or sitting at home wondering how late he's going to be.  


I like having the freedom to just be.

My Facebook feed is full of couples. Couples who've been married for decades, couples struggling to stay together, newly made couples looking forward to a bright future together.


I'm very happy for them all, they've found what's best for them.

I don't want to be part of a couple, but, it still...
well...
I still feel it...
that little ache of "oh...I wish that would make me happy."

But it won't.

Forever won't make me happy.

But I know what will.
It's complicated.
I'm complicated. 
My life is complicated. 
There isn't anything about me that isn't complicated. 
Except for maybe my infatuation with whiskey. That's not complicated.

It's easier to say
 what I don't want.


I don't want a bunch of notches

I can't do notches. 

Even if I wanted to, I couldn't. 
My subconscious doesn't do well with "new."  
Essentially, that's what a notch is - New, every time.

Um. No. 

Wish I could. Really do.
because, in the very wise words of one of my friday girls, "Sometimes you just need a notch, ya know?"

But, I can't.  So I won't.

What do I want?  If we stick with my furniture analogies, I guess I want a broken table. Sort of. 

It's confusing, I know. 

like I said, complicated.

You know what I else don't want?

I don't want is to marry again.
Ever. 
Nope. 
It was great, just not for me. 

I know that now.


I don't want to be that important to someone, ever again. 




"You complete me" isn't for me. 



I complete me.