Sunday, July 26, 2015

Signals and a Test For Echo

I've got that feeling again.  That waiting for the other shoe to drop feeling.  When I concentrate on it it terrifies me, for like most of you I'm only a paycheck away from being homeless.  I think I'm overreacting.  If I were going to lose my job over standing up for my daughter and trying to help her a month ago, I think they would have given me notice then or outright fired me.  Perhaps I'm just too cautious.  A nanny in their neighborhood lost her job.  I don't know the details and I'm very curious because I saw this nanny almost every day at the park when I took Beatles Boy and Flower Girl. 

One day last week I saw the nanny on the street corner of the townhouses as I was walking to my train.  She looked embarrassed and hurried as a man I'd never seen before had his hand out, waiting somewhat impatiently, for her to remove a key from her ring of keys.  I walked on by, pretending not to notice.  I didn't want to add to her embarrassment, but I felt bad that I didn't say something.  Even a smile or a wave goodbye.  Then a few days later, I saw him again at the park with the little girl and another much younger nanny.  She looked so like the little girl if I hadn't met the mother before I would have assumed she was the wife and mom.  Noticing the child, I asked the man if the nanny was sick today, and he said "No.  Something happened and she no longer works for us."  I said I was sorry for the family and introduced myself and let him know we were one door down from them and of course he then recognized the children.  And was happy to meet me. 

I'm sure I'm overreacting.  I know my family and I discussed notice when I was hired as one of the things that they felt strongly about on both sides, as they were left high and dry with no notice by their last nanny.  I think it's why they were so afraid when I wanted to help Di in what I considered an emergency.  They saw a signal from me that scared them and reminded them of the past.  And I'm sure that whatever this other nanny did, I'm not capable of doing that.  Something that would require a dismissal with no notice.  The only times I've been suddenly fired from a job involved high corporate drama, or otherwise known as corporate take overs. 

Signals that remind people of the past.  That's huge.  And I feel like its always an issue with us as humans.  We remember the fire that burned us and we fear to touch it again.  We don't want to disturb its embers for fear of a flare up, and another decade of guilt and hurt and unbearable jealousy.  Emotions that can define us and ones we never wish will.  But when the heart is broken by a love, accepting that love again can be impossible.  It's like the old test with a piece of paper.  Rip it up and then apologize.  It's not the same, and never will be.  You can tape it and glue it back together but its still not like it was before the rending...before the destruction.  This is what happens in relationships when mistakes are made or hearts broken.  And depending on the importance of the relationship it can lead to divorce, unemployment, and even shunning from your family members.  No one wants that, no matter what the reason for the rending. 

But....sometimes, I have found, that shredding up the paper and starting over with a new one is much better.  Sometimes the new paper even if it looks just like the other one, holds the ink better, is easier to write on, and the words flow out of me.  Something about a blank piece of paper.  It holds so many opportunities.  Sometimes I stare at it in frustration, sometimes it holds the ink and the script flows out of me.  It's the same with people.  You have to find the ones that it's easy with, and keep them close.  Those are the ones you don't dare rip.  Those are the ones we write very carefully with pencil so we can erase and try again. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

What Depression Taught Me

Admitting there is a problem is the first step.

There's a problem.

There.  I took a step. 

Now what?

The advice comes.  From every direction.  Some you ask for some you don't and most is wrong, no matter how well meaning.

Then you sit.  And listen. 

You think, probably too much.

You refuse 'outside' or 'social' activities.

You drink.  Or smoke.  Or whatever you do to escape.  (I play video games, and sometimes drink)

Nothing feels 'right'.

Memories invade.

Suddenly you feel alone, and disjointed, out of phase and a huge failure at life and question all the decisions you have made.  Instead of being happy with your life and where you are.  Who you are.

You remember who you were when you thought you were happy.  And you try to recreate the past.  This never works.

You buck up and try to make friends only to have no one show up.  Or be disappointed that the initial 'connection' wasn't really there.  People wear too many masks.

You decide you can only count on yourself.  And resign yourself to being alone and learning how to really enjoy your own company.

You go to plays, movies, eat out once in awhile at a nice place.  You do your errands and play your on line games, and live your life, sometimes surrounded by the wrong people and sometimes alone, but you are living a life.

See, there is no room for feeling depressed or sorry for yourself. YOU ARE ALIVE.



And the only thing that really matters is how you adjust to change.  Which is the only thing that you can count on.  Things change.  Nothing stays the same.  So if you don't like where you are now, hold on, you wont be there long.  And if you do, hold on tight, so you can stand tall through the changes.



BELIEVE IN YOU.  You are one of a kind and special and there is NO ONE else like you HERE.  NO ONE.   Remember this.  And walk tall.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Take Yourself A Friend - RUSH

I got the Chicago Blues.  And I'm actually getting over them, I should say I had them last week.  I don't know what it is, but lately I've been feeling more lonely and alone in the windy city than even when I first moved here.  And I'm not alone.  I have Second Daughter and her husband Second Son and their kids Ginger Snap and Sammy Bo Baggins.  But they are a family and tend to do things together with their down time.  Of course First Daughter and First Son are always just a call away but again, they are not here.  I still have my best girlfriends peppered around the country, The Poet in My Heart, and She of Little Combat Boots, and The Woman To Blame, but they are all in separate cities.  And I still have 2/3rds of the A Team although they have all been demoted to just friends unless single, Mr. Hopeful and Mr. Practical.  And I know if its important I can always talk to That Guy.  And I value each and every one of these very close friendships, but sometimes its not enough.  The distance between us all always comes crashing down around me when our chat times end.  And I wonder if I'll ever find the time and courage to put myself really out there.  I did stretch my dating muscles not long ago but that didn't go well for him, although I felt ok doing it, I still felt like I was cheating on Mr. Hopeful.  Money is also an issue right now, so it's hard to go out and have a drink or do a meet up when your broke.  I'm not an outdoor girl except for hikking and the hikking in the city is just not the same.  And this summer has been too cold to go to the beach yet.

Its not that I find it hard to make friends, its just that I've always relied on introductions to meet people.  Friends of friends.  But here, I've not found my niche yet.  My people.  And I know that lies with me.  I haven't gone to any comic stores or sci-fi events or any of the meet ups on writing or reading that I'm signed up for.  They either meet when I'm working or entry fees are too much that week.  And from what I hear most of them are retired people anyway unless stated that the club is for a certain age group.  And while I could pass, I'd hate to meet someone that I like and have them realize I started out our friendship with a lie.  And in the city its so much more dangerous to just talk to a stranger, even if it's only a train ride of time.  And those people you never see again, anyway. 

I hope money wont always be an issue for me, but I assume it will be.  I know I'll pay off my debt and acquire more, its the way my life has been, and I don't see it really changing.  Unless I win the lottery, but of course I have to actually PLAY to win and, I'm not a gambler. 

So since, I'm a nanny, I'm not going to meet anyone at work, which has worked in the past.  Nor do I go to church or have a favorite bar, and I'm not likely to meet a good friend in either of those places as I'm not a big believer or a big drinker.  Its almost like I need a neon sign that blinks, NERDS WANTED.  And see if anyone bites.  I find the majority of the people here distant. Polite when it suits them or if they are intimidated and rude when not, but I wouldn't say friendly.  But I think that's any large metropolis. 

Memory serves me well, and I'm not feeling depressed or adrift, but I wanted to put it out there that I'm very grateful for the friends I have, even if they are far away.  For without them I might not have any adult communication in my life at all.  Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself.  Maybe its my coming birthday.  Maybe its the last things Mr. Selfish said to me about ending up alone.  Maybe its missing my First Daughter.  Maybe its about the the dynamics change at work.  Or maybe its all of these things and I've been strong too long and just need a good cry.  I notice that heartfelt stories and movies make me cry a lot again. Hell I even teared up watching the ComicCon video on the new Star Wars movie just for seeing Harrison Ford in the Falcon again.  Maybe I'm just getting old and reflecting on my life too much.  Maybe it's karma.  Maybe its my shyness kicking in.  But I feel more an more like a forced hermit on the weekends instead of a choice to be a hermit.  Maybe I just need a drink. 

No.  I think RUSH has it right.  I just need a friend.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Is There Something In The Water?

I have a huge respect for trying to do the right thing, Karma sucks and the fourth of July is my date for paying back Karma.  Back in the day, which for me is the mid 1980's, with the help of Mr. Selfish, my third husband, I made a life choice that destroyed two lives.  One was a young man that just wanted to marry me, Guezzo, and the second was my second husband, Darth Vader.  Now thankfully I paid back the Karma due Darth and he is now very happy in his second marriage, but Guezzo, no one knows what happened to him.  If he finally drank himself to death or if he's happy living the American Dream away from all the ones he has great reason to hate.  That's July 4th for me, a memory of breaking his heart over fireworks and running off with Mr. Selfish who would in turn, in nine years break my heart in much the same way by falling in love with a younger woman.  Destroying our family. 

But wait there's more.

July second is also a banner date in time for it was the last time I saw Mr. Hopeful.  Now I don't mean saw like in the grocery store, I mean saw, as in being together and being able to express all those wonderful feelings we have for each other.  But that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away as well.  But it doesn't make my July 4th any easier.  It bookends July 3rd quite nicely.  The last happy day with Guezzo. 

So lets just say this whole holiday is usually a bust for me and a weekend where I enjoy my hermit solitude of reflection.  Where I heavily weigh the costs of my rash decision making in my past. 

But this year there must be something in the water, something that is only effecting men.  Because this year, it seems a lot of my past mistakes are bubbling back to the surface to remind me how much karma I still have to pay.  Or maybe they are chances to right past wrongs. Lets see how I did. 

Last month Mr. Confident tried to get me to hook up to him the day before he posted a save the date for his upcomming marriage.  I told him basically to stuff it.  But much nicer.  My standard, "Yes, only a drink unless your single." Line which shuts him up.  Score one for mending karma, I said no. 

Then right before that Mr. Practical, contacts me with a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' to try to be friends.  Just friends, like we were before the 'greatest kiss of all time' five years ago.  And after setting up many boundries that I wanted as much as he, for I do miss his friendship, I said yes.  But if he flirts with me or tries anything he doesn't feel comfortable saying with his wife in the room, then I'm done again.  And will back off to save their marriage.  Score another one for mending karma, I agreed to the relationship we always should have had.

Then on July 3rd this year, Mr. Selfish hits on me.  WTF?!  Mr. Shelfish, who never talks to me anymore and hasn't in years.  I think the last good conversation we had face to face was when First Daughter went off to college. That's eight years ago.  And he doesn't know me nor has he been in my life as even a friend in 21 years.  Hits on me!  On July 3rd of all dates!  Now I know he was drinking and he mentioned a lot about time and how we'll both end up alone and isn't being with someone better than that, and that Mr. Hopeful has nothing on our history, and now much he could pleasure me even at our ages.  WOW. What a sweet talker!  I think Satan said it best when his response to Mr. Selfish trying anything with me, was, "He never knew what he wanted except to be waited on, and he's a psychopathic destroyer."  Even First Daughter said I owned her dad nothing, and First Son said he sounds lonely.  Well he may be right, but welcome to your Karma, Mr. Selfish.  My response to this insulting settling for who was once the love of his life, was this:  I was nice for First Daughter's sake, I asked questions about what was really wrong, and how he was handling the death of his father six months ago, I told him my heart lay in someone else's caring hands, and that he should remember how that felt when it was directed at him, and he had the balls to say he'd leave this thread open in case I ever wanted it.  Not likely.  The next morning when he tried to apologize I told him he got a free pass for being someone I've known all my life, but that I hoped he wasn't serious about any of it, because I would never trust my heart to him again.   Score another one for mending Karma, I said no and kept my voice strong rather than going back to old patterns in the tapestry that were not good for me.  For when I was his wife I was invisible, with no voice of my own, and no thought to what my choices did to others.  I lost a lot of 'me' married to him and it's taken me many decades to find again.  Some important things I regained only after the great pain of Mr. Charisma and the triggers. 

And then there is Mr. Hopeful who is the only person that made me laugh about the entire thing, on a holiday that I'd much rather wallow in grief and loss.  When he heard what Mr. Selfish did, he said only this, "You're irresistible." 

In two words he showed his heart and how he sees me with an explanation that should explain it all away.  And he made me smile fondly as I sat from my third story window and watched the neighborhood fire works of Chicago.  By my vantage I was able to see three different shows in my PJ's tucked into my 'inter-nest'.  It was a happy 4th in the end and I didn't wallow even though I was alone. I was too insulted by Mr. Selfish to wallow; and unlike Mr. Selfish, I'm alright with ending up alone.  I like me.  Score another one for mending Karma and not needing anyone to complete me or validate what I feel or who I am.