Magic and Unicorns: The Stuff of Dating in your 30s

Today, while I should have been grading stuff, I kept reliving the last three years of my life here in the Candy Jar.

And I realize, that as 2014 is quickly coming to an end, a lot has changed in the last year.

unicornsarerealI’ve changed a lot in the last year.

I’m this odd balance of much stronger, yet much more fragile.

I have somehow beat the odds and am living an independent life.  I live in this beautiful little house that probably needs one more bedroom, but has been my first HOME in I don’t know how long.  I finally have this safe haven.  I finally have this place where I can walk in the door and breathe away the day and the outside and the people. It needs new carpet and there is always a lego on the floor or a doll wedged into some odd corner.  But, it is beautiful and safe and my first real place of grounding as a single woman.

I have work.  Granted, I fall in and out of love with my job every time the anxiety sneaks in at the end of the semester and the unknown about work next semester comes in.  Anxiety. Fear.  Frustration.   This year was a lot of anxiety. Teaching is officially my ONLY stream of income.  This time last year I had a lot of different gigs in the mix.  Nothing I am overwhelmingly proud of, but, again…nothing that I wouldn’t do again if push came to shove.  I don’t have my dream faculty job and I barely write (so, we can kiss that whole book deal off the table), but, I support myself and three kids. I get a little bit of support from their dad, which I am overwhelmingly grateful for, but, I finally feel like, “I’ve got this.”

And I do.

I am living a pretty damn normal life.

And by normal, I don’t mean mediocre.

By normal I mean just that.

We have a schedule, friends, meals, chaos, fights, hugs, love, tears, stories, struggle and celebration. We have unity.  We have goals.  We are committed.

We are a family.

And in some ways, I feel quite settled in this. I’m finally learning how to just live a normal life.

I’m not living this estranged double life that kept me away from my family and kept me away from friends.  Hiding.

Today, as I talked to my bestie about Newt, I came to the realization that he is probably the first NORMAL person I have dated since I’ve been divorced.

He had a normal job in sales.

He lived in a normal house in a very normal neighborhood.

He was in great shape, but, he was just normal.

He was good looking…but normal good looking.

I think that he was/is  attempting to create this life that people see as extraordinary – which is fine – but, I think that I liked him and the potential of him for his normalness.

I definitely was not at a place where I wanted us to be a public “Us” – but, he was the first person I didn’t intentionally HIDE from my friends and my family.

He wasn’t a secret.

I didn’t have to be a secret.

He always told me, “I want to take you out and show you off” — and it made me super uncomfortable.  For a long time, my job was to be the one you took out to show off.

I didn’t want to be his arm candy because that would make him not so normal.

Newt knew me as a suburban mom who worked at a college and as he said, “works just too damn much” for what I’m getting out of it. He knew my ex-husband.  He didn’t know any of the pieces that connected the dots.

So, the real task ahead is trying to figure out what I really want if I choose to go down this dating route again.

I’ve never done that.  The whole dating thing has been passive.  I’ve never actively sought out anyone.  People come to me.  And I guess, because I apparently have this self-deprecating way of looking at myself, I must think, “well…why not.  This might be it.”

I don’t think that I have really had any standards about what type of partner works for me. Today my bestie told me, “You’re not a dater.  You need to figure out what you want and if that motherfucker doesn’t meet your standards, go home and watch TV instead of getting wrapped up in some relationship soaked in drama that you don’t need. You need someone who is long-term like you.  You need someone as smart as you. Although he isn’t out there…you need someone that is almost as good looking as you.”

And she’s right.

I don’t actually NEED anyone.  But, I think I’m at the point where having a real-life person to share my real-life with would be nice. Someone who can meet my friends and family and hang out without me needing a second phone or a string of lies to hide.  I need someone normal.

But.

My normal isn’t mediocre.  It’s pretty fucking exceptional.

Today I met a guy running (go figure), and we talked a bit about what my day looked like and our lives and all that kinda junk and he said, “You’re impressive. How do you pull that all together every single day? And you’re here running AND smiling AND talking all at the same time”

I told him “I’m magical.  My spirit animal is a unicorn”

He laughed at my cheesy joke and said he could only hope he got to talk to me more because my magic worked.

I think I am fucking magical.

My life is a big life.  I work. I work a lot.  I am intense and I am focused. I have three kids who are all involved in a varying intensity of activities after school.   I take my gym time seriously. My house is insanely clean and picked up. My kids eat home cooked meals every night they are home with me. And somehow, somehow I still laugh and smile and find gratitude in the chaos that I sometimes think is going to overwhelm me.  I am not perfect by any tiny stretch of the imagination.  But, I’ve somehow managed to not only pick up the pieces of my life, but turn it into something I am proud of.

In some ways, I’ve moved mountains.

I’m not even slightly mediocre.

I’m a fucking Warrior Princess.

And if and when I start the whole relationship thing up, I’m taking it from a whole new perspective.

I want someone who can, or who wants, to fit into my life. I need someone who is smart.  Thoughtful. Educated.  Thankful. I need someone with a stable job and a loving support system outside of me. I want someone who is happy. Laughter.  Has goals.  I need someone that takes care of themselves…physically and emotionally. I live a fast life and I keep high standards.  I need someone who doesn’t just keep up, but motivates me to work harder, love deeper, laugh more freely and maybe, leaves me in the dust sometimes.

Today, my bestie said, “You don’t need to settle. You need someone that recognizes your energy and wants to make it bigger.  All your finding are assholes who want to take that shit from you.  Don’t give that away.”

And she’s right.

I’m pretty fucking amazing.

There really aren’t many people out there like me.  I’m starting to realize that.  It isn’t uncommon that I hear that I am ‘unique’ or ‘interesting’ or ‘impressive.’ However, what I hear most of all from people is that I am mysterious.

And I think it is because I’m a bundle of anomalies all squished into one body.  I’m not a typical anything. I fit in everywhere because I don’t really fit in anywhere.  And perhaps I’ve always been like that.  I’m not sure.  But, I’m happy here.  Deeply HAPPY with who I am.  Perhaps not all the intricacies and daily bullshit of my life.  But, who I am? I like me.

And if that isn’t a big deal, I’m not sure what it.

I can look myself in the eye and the soul and be happy with who I’ve grown into.  I couldn’t do that 10 years ago, 5 years ago, especially not 3 years ago and a year ago I was barely holding my life together.  March it imploded.

Today?

Today I’m happy.

But, I think that the drama with Newt has taught me that I need to not let someone’s light take away my natural essence.  I’ve lived in the shadows of men I have tried to make bigger than they are for most of my life. I was never ME, I was always someone attached to someone else.   Then I hid in shadow because I was afraid and I didn’t want anyone to see me.

Maybe now I just need to embrace the fact that even with my imperfections and chaotic life, I’m oddly living a perfect life. I have amazing health, my body works exceptionally well, I am intelligent, I am kind. I am compassionate. I am passionate. I have family. Such beautiful family.  Healthy kids.  Healthy parents.  I have promise for tomorrow.  I am ready to welcome the future from this place of self-value instead of the cloak of doubt and fear I carry with me.

I think that Newt-Drama somehow taught me that I don’t need to be afraid anymore. I’m an amazing woman.  I have no need to hide. I have nothing TO hide anymore.

It’s like this rare opportunity of raw breath.

Clean air – refreshing my spirit somehow.

Freeing.

So, what does this mean if I dare venture into the world of dating?

I need someone who believes in magic and unicorns.

When I find him, I’m pretty sure I’ll have found the one.

Posted in Dating, moving forward, relationships and dating | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Knock Knock

Scared ShutJust as I thought, there was a brief knocking on the door.

And I let the past weekend turn into a conversation.

I couldn’t get past the why.

I didn’t really care about the who…I knew it was someone who was at least a decade older than me and living a life much closer to what his life would be without me.  I guess that is what happens when the people you pick and choose to be with are nearly 15 years older than you.

To him, she was still a younger woman.

To me?  Someone I couldn’t compete with.  And frankly have no intention of competing with.  There is nobody in the world sacrificing a decade of my life is worth.  I want, and need, to be me living the life I have in the now.

The other woman?

She was older…probably settled in a career and had kids long grown and out of the house…or at least on their way out.

If that is the reality he needs…then she is the right choice.

And that is exactly what I told him.

And that is exactly the why behind it all.

He has time. I have three kids and a career.

He needed more.

More than I was comfortable giving.

He wanted to be the ‘hero’ and I needed space to breathe.

So, he lied.

He cheated.

He got caught.

He got cold feet.

“Every day I knew I needed to call.  But, every day I just got more embarrassed.  I was scared. Scared of THIS. Scared of THIS conversation.”

Well, guess what.

When you spend the weekend fucking another woman while I’m at home waiting for you, you have the conversation or you go home.

I’m at a crossroads.

Last night was a long night of talking. Tears. Fear.Unknown.  Doubt.  Bruised egos and broken trust.

Is it worth moving on?

Or has shit been so broken it is easier to close up shop and move on to the next venture?

I don’t know.

Relationships are hard.  And people fuck up.  He fucked up. And in a way, I fucked up.

He fucked up more…don’t get me wrong…and he dealt with an “us” problem by seeking solace in the arms of another woman.

But, I also know that as he tried to get closer, I got scared and pushed him away.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Mistakes and fuck-ups should be forgivable.

I just am trying to figure out if this one is worth forgiving.

In our conversation, we had to talk about a lot of the hard stuff.  And it was uncomfortable.  And it was scary.

And I know that for us to move on and move forward, we need to do so intentionally.

But, we need to commit to figuring it out.

We need to commit to hacking through the bullshit and the hard to stuff and create a really strong front of “US”

And I’m not sure where commitment lies.

I’m admittedly drowning in a sea of unknown.  It has been almost a week since I’ve been able to stomach more than a protein bar eaten in bits and pieces throughout the day. I haven’t slept for more than an hour or two a night since Friday.

This is hard.

Hard living in a space where I am just waiting.

Waiting to see if I should close court and move on or if this is something worth fighting for.

I think I want to know that he thinks I’m worth fighting for.

I’m not sure he does.

I want him to.

I want to FEEL what it feels like to be picked.

I’m never the one people pick.

Always second best.

Always the back up plan.

I thought, before Friday, I WAS worth fighting for.

I thought he wanted me.

And accepted me.

And would fight to keep me.

Today?

I don’t know.

Last night was a hard night.

But.

He came.

He talked.

I hope he listened.

And now, today, it is a waiting game.

The hours of a work day stretch and my anxiety extends even further than the arms of a ticking clock reach.

And even in writing, I almost feel like I’m painting this picture of him being in control.  Like, he gets to choose.

And in a way, it is up to him.

We both have to be all in, all cards on the table, if we are going to make this work.

His cards aren’t on the table.

And frankly, I’m not sure I have even looked at my cards.

The whole thing makes me nervous.

What if we aren’t on the same page?

What if we work to figure this shit out and he does it again?

What if I close him off again?

What if?

Or, what if it is amazing?

I don’t know.

I’m honestly too scared to know.

I’m afraid to put myself out there, only to be rejected.

Again.

But, I also know – If I’m not willing, nothing will happen.

And I need more than nothing.

Deep rooted issues we both have surfaced last night.

Are we grown up enough to face them together and move on?

Fight on?

Together.

Honestly.

Let go of ourselves and leave a piece of trust in the other person.

I don’t know.

And not knowing is hard.

I’m ready for the hours to pass and the day to move into evening and to see.

Waiting.

Breathing.

Time.

Always an enemy in the unknown.

Waiting.

Waiting for another knock.

Waiting to see if I am ready to answer.

Knock Knock.

Posted in Dating, relationships and dating | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Invisible

I don't date“Look for the Invisible Ones, like Poppie”

That’s what my mom told me tonight after I told her the man I’ve been dating . . . and dating to a place of seriousness where our families were slowly starting to merge together, was with another woman.

When I caught him, he said, “Oh…I’m watching football”

Me: “Really?  With someone who drives a white Mercedes parked in your drive way? With the downstairs of your house dark? With a candle burning in the hallway? And candle glow from the master suite? With a woman’s running shoes and sports bag on the stair well? That’s interesting.  My calls go right to voicemail? You aren’t answering your texts? Right. That’s it.  Football.  You realize that is ME downstairs, right now…right?”

Last night I knew something was off. After his happy hour drinks with his friends, I never heard from him again.

I knew something was wrong.  But, I don’t like to meddle.  I like to think I can trust.

Trust.

And in the morning a half-assed text.

The first weekend he was in town when we were both “kid free” since we met and he was oddly unavailable.

Nothing.

Nothing at all.

And I knew.

So, I went to his house.

I almost vomited on my own heart beating in my throat, but  I walked up to the door.

And I wasn’t surprised by what I found.

But, it made me sad.

My mom said, “Well, he was maybe just too good to be true”

My best friend said, “That motherfucking asshole, I’m gonna slash his tires”

They both agreed that he’d realize he fucked up as soon as I wasn’t in his life.

And, you know, the important men in my life,  that is the truth.

Ex-husband:  Regret.

Navy Boy: Regret

The God Father:  Regret

Blue Eyes:  Won’t let it go even through we long let it go.

Google: Regret

The Burkster: Regret

Newt:  Time will tell.

Interestingly, they all leave for greener grass.  And they all learn the grass isn’t greener.

For the most part, I move on.

I’m done being married.  The divorce and in fact, the marriage was so devastating that I don’t think I could survive that again.  I think, now that I look back, I was so cracked and frail by the time he left, I shattered immediately because I wasn’t enough of anything to hold myself together.

Navy Boy?  The best friend ever.  He is someone I love so deeply and fully that somehow our lives are inextricably combined and I can’t imagine, and do not want to imagine, life without any semblance of him. He breathes an air of life into me  every time I deflate.  He is far.  I am tied here.  We are an impossibility.  He has been with me from the worst days of my life to the best.  He has seen me fall, get punched, cry, crumble and has cheered me on as I climbed mountains and conquered worldly goals.  He is a pillar when I need one and a pillow to cuddle with when I need him.  He made me look at myself as a strong, intelligent, beautiful force to be reckoned with when I met him.  He made me believe I had a place in the world.  He made me believe I was more than just a divorced and broken mother of three.  He taught me I wasn’t an failure. Maybe it is the impossibility that keeps us longing for the other person to create stability and constancy in the other’s life. Regardless.  He met someone.  I found out because I have mad skills of intuition. It made me sad. On the other hand, the God Father made him sad, too.

The God Father was a pipedream and a life vest.  I loved him.  I love him now.  I love him because his dysfunction made my fucked up life seem so normal.  His drama and his over the top way of living was so NOT normal.  He drove a Ferrari to pick his son up from school and would tip baristas at Starbucks $200 at the drive through and was probably the smartest, quickest thinking bullshitter on the planet.  He kept me on my toes and he kept grounded.  He was my balance.  We lived a beautifully secret life together for nearly 2 years.   My friends all HATED HIM.  And I know, deeply, that he was trouble. And not just mischievous…but, trouble where suburban mothers shouldn’t stick their noses or ask too many questions.  And that worked for me.  We had this ideal little bubble together where the only thing that existed was this fantasy we created that held no strings to real world we would have to return to.  He was the most constant thing in my life for a long time.  It was a dysfunctional constant…but constant and I need constant.  I knew what to expect…even when I didn’t like it…I could trust it would happen.  But, I think there was a lot of narcissistic, sociopathic tendencies that were not healthy.  But, I loved past that. I loved him from a comfortable distance.  And then he moved.  Without me. And he hasn’t been able to lure me back into his world.  But, I hear from him regularly.  He wants us back.  Unfortunately…it just doesn’t work that way.

Blue Eyes was fun.  We laughed and laughed and laughed and could sit and drink tequila and solve world problems, flip properties, plan vacations and laugh and laugh and laugh.   We’d make soup and bread and binge watch TV.  We were normal.  Like, a real-life, normal relationship.   Except for the fact he was seeing someone else.  Kinda. Ish.  Enough for him to start questioning if he could handle us both.  I answered it for him.  NO.  No he couldn’t. I wasn’t interested in being Second Best. I was always second best.  With my husband.  With the God Father.  And Navy Boy and I couldn’t create a reality….for him I just wasn’t enough.  Blue Eyes and I didn’t speak for months.  Yet, we saw each other everyday and then his texts started and the conversations and the little remarks and the hinting.   Now, we still laugh and smile and pass secret looks everyday.  I think out of habit.  And sometimes when you share a special connection with someone that connection just doesn’t go away.  But, he doesn’t get me back, either.  It just doesn’t work that way.

Google was a good catch. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I WANTED Google to be a good catch.  Google was so damn smart and so freaking wealthy, he didn’t know how to exist normally.  Like, his reality was different.  Did I mention he was from Europe, too?  He was too much for me.  Too different.  He overwhelmed me.  I couldn’t live in his world…even when all the money in the world was at my fingertips.  How’s that for NOT being a gold digger?

The Burkster.  He was big and strong and blond and had these amazing muscles.  And he was smart.  And worked hard.  And was so passionate about his life.  And generous.  We basically met on his birthday and interestingly, we met in line at a grocery store and he was buying tequila and I was buying a cake and we decided because it was his birthday and he had booze and I had a cake, we should just bail on our plans and drink tequila and eat cake together.   And we did.  And we spent many weekends drinking tequila and exploring the world. Hikes, day trips, baseball games, strip clubs (where, let me tell you, I am apparently highly employable and can make some fast cash! Who knew?!).  It was easy.  We were an adventure.  But.  He wasn’t honest.  Unlike the God Father who was honest, but shady, The Burkster was, is, a Good Guy.  But, he is a liar and I don’t trust him.   He drinks too much and makes bad choices.  Oh. Did I mention he’s married?  I learned that the hard way.  After a long night which entailed my best friend picking me up from a seedy ass neighborhood at like 2 in the morning.  I’ve learned that a white girl who speaks fluidly in Spanish and has an ass like JoLo is a plus on nights like those.  But, he kept calling and texting and leaving apology notes anywhere and everywhere he could.  Like EVERY OTHER man before him, I heard the words, “I really fucked up. I’m sorry.  Can we try again” tumble out of his mouth over and over again.

And No.

It just doesn’t work that way.

And that brings us to Newt.  Newt is an interesting one.  Mind you. I keep men at a safe arms distance away. I trust slowly…like molasses on a cold day in Alaska.  Men have repeatedly shown me that they aren’t to be trusted.  They lie.  They manipulate.  The twist the truth.  So, I liked him. But, I liked him cautiously.

But.  Something was a bit too intense about him.  In fact, EVERYTHING was intense about him.  And when he wanted something, he wanted it NOW.  Which, in all honesty, made me freak out.  People who pressure you that much have something to hide or are running from something they don’t want you to find out about.   Admittedly, he overwhelmed me.  I liked him, but I think I felt like I needed to like him more than I did or something bad would happen.  I started to deal with really debilitating anxiety again.  I started to feel fat and insecure about my physicality.  I started to question my job and my career and pretty much everything in my life and the decisions I’ve made.  He lives by this slogan “I don’t do mediocre” — which, is fine. But, I think medicore is OK.  We all can’t be brilliant and perfect.  And sometimes we don’t like to shove our strengths in people’s faces.   Sometimes we like to live in gratitude instead of gloating in existence.   But, he was a warm body and supportive and protective.  Like, I felt safe with him.  Like, life was going to be OK.  I started to feel like I really could trust him…because he was consistent and persistent. And because he ‘adored’ me.  He told me constantly how much he adored me.  He was in love and over the top within hours of meeting.  And it only got more intense.  And I couldn’t figure out why, WHY didn’t I immediately want him fully to myself?  He ADORED me.  He LOVED me.  Maybe I should have run to the wedding chapel and called it another marriage.

But, the pieces didn’t add up and I caught him in a lie and…again, with another woman.  Maybe had I thrown caution to the wind, the other woman never would have made her way into his bed.

“She was nice.  And I was bored out of my mind being alone all the time!”  Well..that is what he said anyway.  Not to mention he worked, and I worked, and he travels every other weekend and shared custody of his son.  Yeah….bored.  Alone.  I think he is just an asshole.

Newt is a recent case of ‘the grass is greener’ – so we will see what happens.

My experience?

Everyone comes back.

I am trying to understand this whole phenomenon of men.  They say they want a strong, intelligent, fit, sexy woman who is independent and loving and warm.

I’m THAT.

Not because I’m tooting my own horn…but, I AM that woman.

The biggest flaw?

To BE that woman, it means you dedicate a lot of your time to being strong, fit, sexy, independent, loving and warm.

And that means you can’t center your life on the man.

Men want someone who is this globally amazing woman…yet, don’t get that to GET that woman, they have to sacrifice something too.

They don’t get that.

And they walk. Looking for a better life with someone else. And perhaps they may find it.  In most cases, I HOPE they find it.

But, I am tired of hearing how spectacular I am and then find out spectacular isn’t enough for them.

Who the FUCK do they think they are?

Not one of the men I listed above has everything.  You embrace people for their imperfections and you celebrate their contributions.  You celebrate them.

My best friend and I have commonly had the conversation that I am the woman men like to fuck but are afraid to commit to because I overwhelm them because I am smart and educated and kinda have my shit together.

That might be the case.

I think that men who are out and looking for women are just asshole liars. My experiences tell me that men who claim they care about me and want to be a part of my life and make me life easier/happier/whatever are all lying motherfuckers.

Lying motherfuckers who come back with their tails between their legs because I’m pretty fucking awesome.

But, dealing with the deception and the trust thing is hard for me.

I’m human.  Words hurt.

Newt told me every night he loved me.

Every.

Single.

Night.

The GodFather tells me he loves me.

Every.

Single.

Day.

I think Navy Boy does love me.

But, he might be the exception to the case.

Google told me I would fall in love with him.

And maybe I would.

But the life lesson is that no matter how amazing you are, you aren’t going to be enough for someone.

You aren’t going to be enough for a LOT of someones.

After I told my mom about Newt and his adventurous penis, she told me, like any good mom would, that he would regret it because I’m awesome.

I told her I was done with men and that I was closing off the whole dating bullshit and returning to the world of arm candy because then dating meant all I had to be was a pretty face and an intelligent conversation from 7pm until midnight, and then much like Cinderella, my gown would turn to tatters and I’d be swept from the sparkling streets of the city to my humdrum suburban life. Then dating was an arrangement. A job. No emotions. Just smiles.  Correct nods, smiles and air-kisses.  A pretty dress and a fancy car to ride in. But no expectations of tomorrow or next week.  No charade of being a couple and negotiating a shared reality.  No strings attached.  Just safe relationships I could trust. A contract.

Real men in real life hurt me.  I’ve been hurt physically. I’ve been hurt mentally. I’ve been hurt emotionally.

And it is draining.

And I fear I am going to get caught up in the negative spiral of self-hate and unworthiness because of the way I am treated.

I don’t want to be that broken girl anymore.

Yet, the only time I am faced with this overwhelming sense of ‘not enough’ is when people who I meet and create these great bonds with lie. Trust is obliterated.

I don’t want to pick up the pieces.

And as I told my mom this, I think her heart broke a little bit.

Just yesterday she told me I FINALLY was back. She said I looked healthier.  I was happier.  I was normal again.

I think she was happy I finally met someone who was a Good Guy.

I think she was happy I was finally turning the corner into living a very ‘normal’ life.

No shady men. No shady jobs.  No shade.

Just me and the sunshine.

And I think she liked that.

Tonight she told me, “There are still good men out there. Look for the invisible ones.  You will meet him. And tell Newt he is uninvited to Thanksgiving.”

And she is right.

But, I’m invisible.

I tried to be invisible for years because it was safer.

Every time I peak out of my invisible cloak, I get hurt.

I hurt.

And I bleed.

And it gets really hard to breathe.

So, I disappear.

Trying to find peace again.

Trying to find breath again.

Perhaps grasping for hope that maybe one day I’ll get to be Someone.

Just Being.

I hope that one day I can exist fully without fear.

Being invisible is where I belong.

Maybe the problem isn’t that I’m looking for the obvious. I haven’t been looking for any of these men…they all found me.

Maybe the men who should be seeking me aren’t looking for the invisible.

And maybe I only become visible to them after they walk away and leave me broken. Perhaps I sparkle and call their attention as the shards of me glint and glimmer in the sun.

Maybe I am my brokenness.

Maybe being broken is what would make men stay.

So they had something to fix.

And maybe, just maybe, that is BULLSHIT.

There is a saying that claims, “If you don’t love me at my lowest, you don’t deserve me at my best”

Perhaps, in my case, it should read, “If you don’t love me at my strongest, you don’t deserve me at my lowest”

Either way.

I don’t get it.

I don’t understand the lies.

I don’t understand the lack of respect.

I don’t understand.

What I do know is that regardless of the motherfuckers that only make me stronger, more invisible yes…but stronger absolutely, is that I have a pretty amazing family I should focus my energy on.

Yea.  A boy is nice to have around.

But, what matters is my kids and my parents and my bestest friends.  There is so much love and support in my life that being sad about another liar just shouldn’t faze me. I have a mother that would move mountains for me. I have a best friend that would build bombs and throw them through candlelit bedroom windows for me. I have kids that deserve to be raised in a home that is full of all this love.

I’m really starting to feel better about being invisible.

For years I hid because it was safe.

Now, I think I hide because I can be whole.

I like being whole.

I am complete.

And if a man can’t handle a woman who is complete, they  might as well go and water someone else’s grass.

They’ll eventually learn they can’t water it and keep it greener than mine is without them.

I think I’ll jump up onto my pedestal now and bow into a place of solitude.

Cover myself in a sparkling shroud of invisibility.

Untouchable.

Out of reach.

Invisibly desirable.

Posted in Dating | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Contingapthy? Adjuntapathy? Welcome to the New Higher Education

Contingapthy?

Is that really a word?

I was thinking, initially, adjuntapathy….

But, I’m not quite sure that is a word either.

What do they mean?

That the adjunct, or contingent, faculty member teaching approximately 73% of all classes in higher education is facing a moment of apathy.

Or, at least this one is.

And quite deeply.

I’ve struggled with my love-hate relationship with my contingent work for about 3 years.  I really like, for the most part, my students and the energy they bring to the classes and the lessons they walk away with.  I like being a part of higher education, and for as much as people downplay the role of community colleges, I really REALLY like working in the community college environment.

But, following basic social theory of cost-benefit analysis, I think that finally the disadvantages of working as an adjunct faculty member are grossly outweighing the benefits….

And, even though I’m not a brilliant numbers person, I know that when the bad overwhelms the good, it is probably time to get the good goin’ before I drown in the bad.

I think I have stayed past my expiration date as an adjunct.

I kinda just don’t care much about my job anymore.

I care just enough to not get fired and get a paycheck.

And by paycheck, I mean enough money to qualify for every social service program in the country.

Is that really what we want out higher education teachers to be qualified as?

The newest welfare worker.

The newest Pink Collar career path.

The adjunct.

Luckily, because I have five (yes FIVE jobs), I don’t need to dig into the county coffers to pay my bills and feed my kids — but, I’m done having 5 jobs.

I’m burnt out.

And I’m apathetic.

And teachers, educators, should NEVER be apathetic.  We don’t do our jobs well when we stop caring.

I partially don’t care because I finally have realized I’m worth more than the institution counts me for.  And that isn’t just a paycheck.  It’s what I contribute.  What I do in the name of the college.  How I support my students.  How I add richness to the college’s culture.

They don’t care what I do or how I do it…and frankly, I’m starting to think they really don’t care if I do it anyway.

It’s hard to care when nobody else does.

There is a HUGE adjunct movement now that is starting to make an impact and starting to stir the pot. They are called The New Faculty Majority  and they are doing important work for higher education and everyone who is impacted by higher education (i.e. EVERYONE).

Part of me wants to start a movement in California.  Start a non-profit that really starts to fight for legislation that supports higher education faculty and starts to eliminate this whole bullshit standard of adjunct faculty. I can talk for hours about it.  I have researched it. I have published it.  I have studied it.  I have talked the talk in numerous national conferences about it.

It matters.

But.

I think I might be so disenfranchised that I don’t even care.

Part of the lessons I have learned going to through programming to overcome abusive relationships is that at some point, you have to learn how to disconnect yourself from the emotion that drives you to behave and relearn new behaviors that support your health and well-being, and in many cases, safety, to be able – or strong enough, to move forward.

I feel like I need to recover from my work as an adjunct.

Signs that you are in an abusive relationship include things such as

  1. Feel afraid to engage with your partner
  2. Avoid certain topics out of fear
  3. Feel you aren’t doing anything right
  4. Being humiliated,
  5. Being criticized
  6. Being treated your so badly you are embarrassed for your family or friends to see
  7. You are objectified
  8. You start to feel emotionally numb
  9. You feel helpless
  10. You have limited your access to money and basic resources
  11. Use of threats to get compliance and submission
  12. Isolate you

These are all parts of life as an adjunct.

I KNOW deeply that I am a really good teacher. I know DEEPLY I am very smart.  I know DEEPLY that students learn in my classes because I see how their strategies change in my classes.  I know I am an asset to my institution. I have no doubt.

Yet.

I am afraid to engage with my ‘manager.’  I am afraid because I know that he will make excuses for his behavior (another sign of abuse) and continue on to use those excuses in a manner that is degrading, objectifying, and frankly -embarrassing.

I avoid him at all costs.  And when I do see him, I go in armed with a shield of bitterness and disengage completely.

No longer do we have access to other adjunct faculty in our department. No longer do we feel we have any control over the direction of our lives.

He makes it clear that I don’t count.

I have learned that in a personal relationship, none of those outlined 13 things are acceptable.  In my programs, I have tediously gone over the places where my marriage screwed me up.  I have talked and written until I was blue in the face about things I thought were “normal” and “expected” and learned that I was so deeply embedded in a marriage cloaked in normalcy and soaking wet in dysfunction, that I lost my compass of healthy and normal and acceptable.

In that process, I completely lost any sense of self value.

And in this process, I somehow was so fucked up, that I sought actively, chances to prove that my marriage wasn’t dysfunctional…or that it was unsafe or unhealthy or even abusive that I actively sought relationships that would prove my marriage was actually OK.

And those little forays into dark and ugly places, I realized that even there, I had more control over my life and my choices and my opportunities than I did when I was married.

I’ve learned a lot this last year.

Much of it because I couldn’t deny choices I had made in the past anymore.  And I couldn’t deny the ugly my life was when I was married.

The facade crumbled.

It broke in this ugly explosion of booze soaked reality with nearly everyone I loved present.

And in the aftermath, I came to realize, that continuing to work as an adjunct is just perpetuating this cycle of abuse and self-hate.

Crazy connection, right?

I got my PhD to prove myself to the world.

Only to realize that even a PhD won’t save me.

Even in higher education, where a PhD is the holy grail…it still makes me a victim of the system.

It keeps me in a powerless position.

And I think I am ready to let it go.

I’ve emotionally disconnected.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’ll go through the motions.  Show up for class (well, most of the time – I do have about 200 hours of sick leave that needs my urgent attention), give lectures, talk about theory and relevant articles, grade papers and be present.

I’ll pretend until I have an out.

Which will be sooner rather than later.

I don’t want to work somewhere where I am apathetic and the organization surrounding me ignores me until they belittle me.

I want to work somewhere where I make enough money to support myself without having to work 4 other jobs.

I want a career where potential for living and breathing is an option.

I am grateful I have a job. Don’t get me wrong.

But, the time has come.

The final bells of my career in higher education are seemingly coming to a close.

Almost a sad day.

But, I have learned that when you are not longer surrounded by dysfunction, the world opens up.

I’m not ready to cut ties.

But, the facts of leaving are hitting home.

And they don’t feel suffocating or scary like they did before.

The idea of leaving is refreshing.

Perhaps I’ll find another job at another college.

But, probably not.

And I think that is a good thing.

It is time to leave the rank of the adjuntapathy.

support adjuncts

Posted in education, moving forward | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Just because someone asked

I haven’t visited the Candy Jar for a long time.

I haven’t peaked in, checked stats, responded to comments, emails or even Facebook messages.

I’ve pretended the Candy Jar was obsolete.

And, in many ways, it is.

I opened shop when my life fell apart and the only thing that I could understand, and perhaps control, was the written word.

Words in a place controlled by me — nothing came in or went out without my stamp of approval.

I spit fire, bled tears and think I did a lot of growing up.

I grew thick skin and suffered deeply when the layers were slowly peeled off – or were just not thick enough to protect me from my choices.

But, then I grew out of the Candy Jar.

I had a lot of really regular readers.  I loved it here.  A safe space. A supportive space. A land of sweet opportunity and existence that didn’t exist anywhere else.

It was a place that allowed me to exist just enough to not have to be present anywhere else in life.

I was OK blending into nowhere outside of the Candy Jar when I knew I had a platform to be important here.

And maybe because life changed and the winds of reality changed, I found I didn’t really need to live in the Candy Jar anymore to exist.

Today, I wonder if it is because I became comfortable – perhaps safe, knowing I didn’t need – or even want – to be more than a joke and a smile in passing in reality.

And had no more interest in existing as more than that shell of a person.

Other days it is because I think that I have finally found a safe place to exist in life and am finally content.

Either way.

I’m not here.

And was not really sure if I ever intended too.

But, then I received a very direct question today from a friend who said, “You need to start writing again. Why aren’t you?”

I think she followed up by saying, “You ain’t got shit else to do”…but, I digress.

Or perhaps she was saying, “You’re acting really fucking crazy again…maybe you should write your way through the insanity and out of the crazy house.”

ON one hand, I think she is right. I do need to write more.  The less I write, the less intentional I am about the decisions I make in my life.  The less intentional I am, the less I care…apathy takes precedence — which means I am handing away my power to someone else – without really knowing who that person is.

The last 6 months have been strife with the consequences of intentional decisions that I didn’t know how to conclude.

I’ve met people who I shouldn’t have  and haunted many places I shouldn’t be. I’ve made more deals with the devil to get by and get ahead than any educated woman should have to make.

Shit, I’ve made more deals than ANY woman should have to make…or many for that matter.

And perhaps I’ve hidden away from the Candy Jar because how does one write about a reality you don’t really accept you’ve been living?

You don’t.

So, I haven’t written.  And now, I’m not quite sure I have much to write about.

I haven’t fully left the dark corners of life.

And in all honestly, it is a nearly daily struggle to not sink right back into it.

Why leave when the dark is what creates safety?

Why leave when following the rules of society pushed me so deeply into a corner of solitude, destitution, stagnation, defenselessness and hopelessness that my only way to survive was to sit down and let life beat down on me?

Living in the shadows – beyond the lights and rules of the community that condemned me – is a land of opportunity.

Not to get rich.

Not to become famous.

Not to make a mark on the world.   Not to lead. Not to inspire. Not to motivate.

Living is the shadows is a strategy of survival.

To pay the rent.  Buy food.  Make sure my kids don’t realize how destitute life would be if their mother played by the rules.

I have hidden to give my kids a chance at life that the society which claims to protect them has swiped away from them.

I live darkly, in a well-light house in a cute little suburban neighborhood, to live the American Dream.

It isn’t a forever place.

Fuck.  It isn’t even a job.

It’s a mindset and a survivor mentality.

My life is beautiful to the naked eye.

It is inspiring to the astute eye.

It is devastating to those who have seen the truth.

It is only accepted to those who love me beyond my pile of rubble and ash.

But, in the realm of life -

we all live a little bit of devastation to hold up a facade of bliss.

So – to respond…I’m not sure of the future of the Candy Jar.

It makes me a little bit sad to close shop.  It creates a bit of anxiety, in fact, since this is the tiny world that helped me pick up the pieces of the past.

Perhaps it is a place that might allow me to accept the change I need to process to leave behind the destruction of the lingering past, the shadowing of today and tentatively step into an unknown future.

Perhaps.

But as for writing in a public forum where people I know read, appreciate, and say I have ‘made their lives better’ or ‘helped them survive’ — I’m not quite sure I’m qualified.

Or willing.

Or brave enough.

Today,  a lovely man I happened to meet at the park told me, “Hold on to your youth. You are a beautiful, healthy young woman in the prime of her life.  I can see you’re getting tired.  Don’t let life wear you out.  Don’t let life take that last sparkle I can see glimmer when you laugh.  Don’t let your life change you.  It will get better.  Easier. I promise.”

I am tired.

I think life already changed me.

I guess only time will tell how all that fits into the Candy Jar.

As for now.

This is just a pit stop.

Perhaps to show my respects.

Perhaps to vent.

Perhaps to validate.

Perhaps to get me back into the habit of writing.  Nearly three years ago I made the Candy Jar public and sat and wrote every single night.  I wrote before school work. I wrote before grading papers.  I wrote before anything.  I wrote because I knew somehow, some way, it would help me rebuild.

In real life, I’m at a phase of rebuilding.  New relationships.  New jobs. New projects.  New intentions.  New goals.

New is scary to me.  Perhaps my writing today is a reminder to write my way back to a place of bravery.

It worked before.  It might work again.

If I am strong enough to stop hiding.

Step out of the safety of the shadows.

Perhaps, as they say, into the light of a Brave New World.

 

 

 

 

Posted in moving forward | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Flying Pigs…Or at Least a Flying Elephant

DumboSometimes we find ourselves doing things that we never thought we would do.  We find ourselves living and breathing an impossibility that lived beyond the highest mountains and deepest oceans of our fears.  We find ourselves looking the enemy in the face and realizing, “Well shit.  Haven’t times changed.  I’ve been hiding in a cloud of fear that isn’t really the home of fear anymore.  It’s just a cloud…my fear is just an illusion.”

“They” say that time heals all wounds.  And in many regards, I don’t think that “they” could be any farther from the truth.  Time changes our perceptions. Time flattens our emotions.  Time scabs wounds that once bled freely.  But, time doesn’t really heal the wounds in and of themselves.

After three years, I’m still wounded in many ways.  I live quietly in my own shadow more often than not and have cemented the belief that people are not to be trusted.  Instead of believing that people are inherently good, I believe that people try to be good, but, perhaps in their own superessendam modus, do what they need to do to save their own face, disregarding promises or the utmost intentions of good.

Three years later I am still broken.  And there are pieces that will forever remain broken in me – perhaps by choice – but as an active reminder of the impermanence of life, relationships, trusts, value and opportunity.  I guess for many people, these wounds would be a warrior’s call to building lasting and meaningful relationships; a lesson to value what you have and who you have and appreciate them while they last.   For me, the jagged pieces of a life once lived are a reminder that I am alone.  Alone by choice.  But alone.  Alone because I know deeply that when the tornado of life starts to kick up wind and twirl and toss me around in her chaos, I am the only one who can save me and my family.  Me alone.

Because people won’t be there when you need them.

Even when they pledge forever and even when they pledge to always be there to help.

I know they won’t be.

On the other hand, three years later, I am strong.

And that alone is a powerful statement.

I am strong and a survivor.

Independent.

And aware.

And in my near state of solitude, I can say I am content with my life.

I’ll even make a reach and say overwhelmingly content.

After three years of searching furiously, trying to understand and fix my life, I have found an odd place of peace.

I have made choices, many of them unconventional, and many that have created their own torrents of upheaval and heartbreak.

But, I’d make them again.

And what is the culmination, you ask?

That I have finally reached a point where I am no longer looking back.

No longer holding on to the tail of sadness or the thread of bitterness.

I no longer have a red string tied to my finger to remind me of the pain of yesterday.

And that has created a very safe place for my kids.

When I graduated from college, my mom, dad and their ‘others’ along with my little brother and I went out to a celebratory meal.

My little brother, at the end of the meal said, “That was hella awkward, but the only meal I have ever had with mom and dad together.”

My parents had a blow-out, legal nightmare of a divorce that lasted the entirety of my little brother’s life.  I think they divorced when he was three and the battles ended when he turned 18.

I didn’t want that for my kids. I didn’t want to repeat history. I didn’t want my kids growing up knowing that their parents hated each other.  I didn’t want my son, who was 3 when we separated to say at his college graduation, “That was hella awkward, but  the only meal I have ever had with mom and dad together.”

My parent’s divorce was uniquely theirs and they each made decisions they felt were in our best interest as kids.   I don’t judge or pick sides…especially now that I have gone through the same process.

The emotions that come with divorce are overwhelming and destructive. And it is so easy to see how I got swept up, and even driven, by the remaining emotions of loss, bitterness, anger and contempt my parents still had from their divorce that were perhaps reignited and brought back to life during mine. Seeing the clarity of of Divorce in retrospect gives me a different perspective of respect for my parents because I “GET” it now.  And I get it deeply and darkly and in ways I don’t think my siblings, who have never married or had kids, will ever get.

However, now that time has passed, I have also taken a long time to reflect on how I want my kids to think of parents and marriage, and perhaps most importantly, divorce.

Eckhart Tolle once said, “Life will give you whatever experience is the most helpful to your consciousness”

Divorce, and the emotions and the spirals that followed, I believe, were the experiences I needed.

I don’t think that “need” is the correct word, but, I have learned a new way to value the fights of my parents, their choices – and the implications of their choices, and how I fit into it all.  In that circle of value, I have taken really powerful lessons from both of my parents.

Perhaps the most important lesson is that you do what is right for your kids.

So, what is right? And how does that fit in with flying elephants?

Disneyland.

Last weekend, my ex-husband and I took the kids to Disneyland together.

And you know what?

It was good.

I mean, it was horrible with temper tantrums and fighting and the exhaustion of bringing little kids to Disneyland – but it was good.

The ex and I got along fine.

We were good.

There were no fights. There were not harsh words.  There was support.  Kindness. And perhaps a new kind of respect for the roles each of us plays in our kids lives.

It was  big trip.

It was an important trip.

The lesson I want to teach my kids is that even when the people you trust the most let you down, perhaps in devastating and unfixable ways, there is hope.

Life will never go back to the way it was.

And I am not just “ok” with that, I am deeply happy with that.

And the relationship that imploded will never be the same.

But, what can carry on is an appreciation for family.

An appreciation for being together because we have three kids that deserve to have a life with parents who can not just have 1 meal together every decade, but to have a life where it is OK to love both parents.  Where it is OK to be happy with both parents.   Where creating memories can be WITH both parents and not just on “mommy days” or “daddy days.”

It’s a gift.

It is a gift that my kids will not have to live to separate lives they feel like they have to keep secret from the other parents…in an act of protection and love.

My parents gave me a gift through their divorce.  My ex-husband gave me a gift in creating the opportunity to learn from my parents.

This unconventional ‘family vacation’ to Disneyland made me feel like the last three years of emotional turmoil were worth it.  Had I not tumbled and stumbled through life, I might not have realized how important is to make the ‘broken’ family of my kids whole again.

The kids’ dad and I will never get married again.  We will never date. We will never be a ‘thing.’

But, I don’t want my kids to be from a Broken Family.

I don’t want my kids to feel like They are Broken because their parents failed grossly at marriage.

And this trip to Disneyland proves they won’t be.

Their parents aren’t married.  But, their parents can be united as parents.

And if that ain’t what this whole parenting thing is all about, I’m not quite sure what is.

Had we remained married, we never would have been united.

Had we let our egos and the emotions that drive our egos keep us from sucking it up and planning this trip, we never would have been united.

And I’m not predicting smooth sailing and perfection.

But, now I know we can do it.

It seems, that through my journey of learning not to trust people, I’ve learned I can trust in my kids’ future.

And that, my friends, is how I know pigs are flying somewhere.

 

 

 

 

Posted in adulthood, children, divorce, family, marriage, moving forward | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Stealing the Woodshed

The Candy Jar A few months ago, one of my dear friends posted on Facebook that she is going to the woodshed…and taking a hiatus from social media.

Here is what she wrote,

(and I hope you don’t mind me stealing this!)

Once upon a time, when I was a wee musician my music teacher told me that in order to improve one’s skills, one needs to occasionally take themselves “out to the woodshed.” 

Though I am a bit embarrassed to admit it now, I never understood what this meant. Figuring it didn’t apply to me (a forward-thinking city girl without a woodshed to speak of) I didn’t seek clarification either, and ended up missing out on a huge learning opportunity. 

Until the idiom found its way to me again.

Today, I realized three things: one, a woodshed by definition isn’t simply a place to store wood, but can also mean “a place, means, or session for administering discipline” (as according to Merriam Webster); two, I’m rather slow to learn some lessons; three, if you want something bad enough, you have to make sacrifices. 

In general, I love social media. It has provided me with an observational window to the outside world, and a point of connection for friends both old and new. Within the past seventeen months especially, it has served as my thinking place, my workspace, and my virtual mountain top to scream from when my skin grows too tight to be comfortable in.

But, over the course of these months, I’ve also allowed it to eat up precious time. Something that I do not have in abundance between four kids (three of them school-aged and on the spectrum, and the fourth an adventurous five moth old), a Hero who works full time while growing his own business, and all the obligations I need to fulfill in between there in order to hold it all together–housekeeper and motivational speaker, boo-boo kisser and teacher, chauffeur and entertainer. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I chose my life, and would choose it again if given the option. However, any time left in my day–that much needed, much desired, prized above all, bit of time reserved for myself, alone? 

Social media filled that time slot. 

My outlets for creativity and deep thoughts and themes and better worlds and beautiful words have been been devoured by this wonderful time suck, and I haven’t had the kind of discipline required to do any more than what I’ve been doing already–working on projects not mine, while letting the guilt chew me apart for filling my writing time with other things.

I know this isn’t about you FB, not really. It’s about me. Your social media numbs with feel good Zimbo quizzes and amusing memes, and within the last seventeen months I’ve recognized my need for diversion as desperation to not think, to not feel, anything that I couldn’t dress up with sensible words to make it easier to live in my own head space. 

Hundreds of thousands of words written on FB, while not a one for the many unfinished projects on my desk. Several books worth of ideas, but only half-hearted attempts in their execution. It seems I’ve been lost for so long now. Something’s gotta give.

So, this is me, taking myself out to the woodshed, you guys. I don’t know when I will return, but expect me to be away for some time. “

Wish me luck.”

So -that take me to here.

About a 4 months ago, I wrote a “Good bye” letter to the Candy Jar.

But.

I never published it and I filled empty pages with Flash Fiction.

Thinking that if I flashed more words on the page, my fingers would remember their purpose and I would begin to write.

And, I’ve flashed.

And, I’ve enjoyed it.

But, then thought it perhaps was time for me to revert to my own little Woodshed as well.

And ever since I’ve just let the Candy Jar empty itself out…follower after follower slowly disappearing.

And escape from social media and the blogosphere for awhile.

But – like most things in life, I can’t commit to that.

Or I haven’t been able to anyway.

I’m afraid that if I lose the premise of being part of something, – even a virtual, mediated, and quite false ‘something,’ I also lose my last tiny strain of attachment to relationships.

Because at this point in my life, a false relationship online is very similar to the relationships I foster in ‘real life.’

And there is this tiny piece of gut that tells me to rebuild a sense of self in the ‘real world,’ I need to disconnect from the fake one.

My life the last 3 years has been a long, endless, painful walk.

A lost marriage that was preceded with lost pregnancies and ideals of family and expectations of future.

A divorce that shattered any pretense of normal and love and trust and hope and forever.

A divorce that shattered my sense of self and value.

And perhaps, most importantly, trust.

And not just because of the man who left the marriage, but because of the friendships I lost, the judgments that were passed, and the dysfunctional legal system that validated years of abuse, inequity and hopelessness.

As I slowly outgrew the shame and even the bitterness my divorce left me with, I grew into a shell.

The shell grew thicker as I protected myself from relevancy with dysfunctional relationships, absurd amounts of work and excuses that allowed me to avoid existing in a truthful and raw place.

As I graduated out of school and was left with nothing but a degree and three beautiful kids and two precious friends, I began to spin profusely out of control.

But, my shell kept my life an airtight place of normal and serenity while I unraveled inside.

As my best friend would say, “We fuck up. We stand up. We move the fuck on. That’s what humans do.  Deal.”

And I need to deal.

Deal with my empty shell.

Not to fill it.

Filling it now means filling it with toxic people and dysfunction.

And I need less.

Less people.

Less dysfunction.

I guess it is finally time I deal with my graveyard.

I guess it is finally time to deal with the remnants of life I have been tip-toeing around and the un-bury the skeletons I thought I had buried so well.

And to do all that, I think that it means returning to the proverbial woodshed.

Return to a place of “administering discipline”

A place to shut the doors and come to terms with the dark corners I have brought myself to over the last 10 months.

In fact…11 months exactly this month is when I began my most recent slide into Never Never Land.

So. It’s time for me to move on.

I think that the life of the Candy Jar has run its course.

It was a platform for me to find peace during a period of turmoil and loss.

I’ve met amazing women.

I can’t deeply thank Red for throwing out the initial lifeline and for keeping me afloat for so long.

I can’t thank the most amazingly beautiful, powerful and inspiring Val for the nonstop support and virtual hugs and invitations and kicks in the ass when I need them.

Two women who continually remind me to “Stand the fuck up” and move on all the time.

And over the last few months…the months in which I have stayed miles away from the Candy Jar, I realized that I needed to write to hack through life.

So – I’m back.

Potentially.

Fearful as I know some of the people who have betrayed me deeply read.  I know that people who I learned to love and trust have ripped off the top layer of skin I grew over the last few years. The  hard-earned scar-tissue that was allowing me to learn to not only trust myself and my judgement – but trust anyone.

I teach my students that the only way to overcome irrational fear to to face it.

So – here I am.  In an attempt to build my loyal and robust readership back up from the dust.  I am here in an attempt to once again lift myself out of a shattered reality and try again.  Dust myself off…pick the tiny pieces of glass out of my knees and the soles of my feet and walk on.

The people that hurt me and read this are grossly aware who they are.  My guess is that there is denial.  My guess is that there are fingers pointing at me – blaming me for yet another downward spiral.

But – the woodshed isn’t the place for me.   Withdrawing and finding new balance won’t work if I am withdrawing in fear.

I have found comfort in words.  I have found comfort in my blogging community.

So – I am reaching out.

It is an open invitation.

The Candy Jar is back open again and I can only hope people come to visit.

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