Thoughts on a breakup part 39.5 (or however many times I’ve written on getting dumped)

I got dumped Saturday night at 1am. It’s now Monday at 11am. I’ve done some reflecting and now I need to do some writing.

A – He isn’t a bad guy, he just isn’t a good guy for me. I’m not a failure as a partner, I was just not the right fit for him. We began dating during the pandemic. The world was weird and uncertain and small, closed off, feeling. And in that, we found each other. And it was so good. It was happy and safe and stable when so many things were not. We were home bodies, happily nesting in, because there was no where to go. And then the world started shifting back. Places and people are available. Life is back on, you know? (Not making light of covid, at all here, please know that). And ya know what… he and I are both really good at living our lives, but our lives are just really not good at living with each other and we kind of just now got to really see that under a bright glaring light.

B – I cannot blame him for not liking me (or whatever crazy insecure post break up thought might pop up), when I was not being fully myself, I can only blame myself for that. It’s weird how slowly and subtly someone can shrink themselves. I’m a big lifer. Full ass, remember? And that’s not how everyone conducts themselves, and that’s totally okay, though I’m pretty sure I’m having more fun. BUT, I woke up today 30 some hours after getting dumped and I felt relief. I felt lighter. I have plans with friends. I feel more confident about sticking to personal resolutions. It’s not that the guy stopped me from those things. Just having someone else that was filling space and time in the way our relationship functioned, prevented it a bit. And that’s on me. I think I’m really finally learning how to set boundaries, for future relationships. I will prioritize my life, because that’s what I’m still living when/if that person and I stop working out.

C – It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be okay. Processing and coping and healing can take many shapes and shades. Last time I went through a breakup, it destroyed me. I went off the fucking rails, which ended up with me getting into a terrible car accident and losing my license for a bit. So.. this time, just no. This time I have definitely relied on my friends, who are angels, but I’ve kept myself in check. Let me vent, don’t let me binge. And I see so much growth in how I’m handling things this time and you know what, I’m so fucking proud of me. And that is sort of over riding some of the more negative things that pop up, post breakup.

My life is my responsibility. My choices are my own. My priorities are my decision. I need to take some time and be selfish so that may not allow time or space for a romantic partner and that’s okay. Love yourself.

Celebrate the Streak!

I’ve mentioned on here before about starting to go grey. I’m 36 years old. I’m kind of genuinely surprised I’m still alive. I’ve made bad choices and mistakes and like… yeah, it’s been questionable at times if/ how successfully I was gonna get on. But, I’m still here. And I’m going grey. And it feels like an accomplishment.

I’m not going full on grey. I literally have a lil cluster of maybe 30 strands of white hair coming up over my left eye. I refer to it as my Bride of Frankenstein streak and I genuinely love it. I think our society is finally shifting away from grey shaming. People, more specially women, are starting to feel some more acceptance for natural “aging” hair. For a minute “silver” hair was trendy. Note, it was never called grey, it was called silver, but it was like… the same color so…

I use to dye my hair. Bright black was my shade. It was this gorgeous color that shifted in sunlight from black to blue, like a ravens feather. It was stunning. And sometimes I miss it. How it made my pale skin seem even paler, how good bright colored eye shadow looked. It was a whole mood. But it was work, it was upkeep and maintenance and it was somewhat damaging to my hair. So, I’ve been rocking my natural color for several years now and with that, comes grey.

I think there is a major difference between accepting something and embracing something. I embrace the grey. My feelings may change as I get older and the grey spreads more. I hope not, though. I hope I always wear it with pride. I hope I never feel pressure to conceal my age, or downplay how much life I’ve been able to live. I hope the beauty/physical side of aging is never something I merely tolerate, but that I consciously decide to celebrate.

Happy New Month!

Okay, I admit “Happy New Month” doesn’t flow quite as well as, “Happy New Year” but hear me out.

A.) Why wait until January 1st to make positive changes? I get it. New year, new you. That’s so so so great. But.. like… why not New Month, new you? Fuck it, why not New Day, new you? Like… why wait, why delay, why deny the opportunity to improve or change or grow? I love the drama of the ultimate fresh start, but I got shit to work on, and imma start today. July 1st, baby.

B.) Why do we place less importance on the start of a month, than we do the start of the year? Like.. there are a few calenders floating around out there, January 1st ain’t the be all, end all, in every culture, you know? Some of the other new years don’t even have an exact date, it just depends on the year to when it’s celebrated. Like… this is the only July 1st, 2021 you’re gonna get, ever. That makes it significant, I think.

So, in conclusion (or something…) today is amazing, you are amazing, start new goals on a random Thursday and live your best life every day.

Retroperspective

I ran into an ex of mine the other night. To say the relationship I had with him was toxic is an understatement. We nearly killed ourselves being together. But that was a few years back now. So, I’m at a bar and.. he’s there. We haven’t seen each other for probably a year or so. And I’ve changed. For the better. I’ve worked hard and focused and buckled down and… yeah. I’m not the same person he dated two years ago or bumped into a year ago, even. I think 2020 changed a lot of people, hopefully for the better.

So, he sees me, greets me, hugs, great. I’m having a beer. I did 95 days of full on sobriety a handful of months ago and it changed how/what I drink, again for the better. I am much more in control of my drinking habits now. And that is an amazing, wonderful thing that I’m extraordinarily proud of, because I fought for it and worked at it and it wasn’t always easy, but I’m in a much better place now. He buys a round of shots for the table. I decline. I don’t really do shots anymore. I don’t want to. They typically don’t taste good and I don’t need liquor in me, especially if I’ll be driving.

(Please note, I love alcohol. This is in no way bashing drinking or booze. Right now at the bfs place I have 2 make you own 6 packs of beer I can’t wait to try, and two bottles of wine waiting for me. And I fully plan on enjoying every sip of all of that – minus what I decide to share with him. I bought my favorite brand of rum a few weeks ago to enjoy. I drink. I just drink differently)

I totaled my car and completely rerouted my life a few years ago getting a DUI/OVI. It was a mistake. It was dumb. I’m solely responsible for it. I made bad choices, they had bad consequences. My ex kept bringing it up the other night. He was at the bar I was at the night of my accident. I guess he holds himself responsible. I don’t. He didn’t hold a gun to my head and force me to take those shots that night. He didn’t take my phone from me and deny me access to lyft or uber. I chose to drink to much, I chose to drive that night. That’s all on me and I never have and never will displace any responsibility onto anyone else, ever.

He again pressed for us to do a shot together. I again, politely, declined. He got angry and said I wouldn’t do a shot “because I was scared.” And that so struck me. I didn’t have time to fully unpack it there at the bar, but I’ve been digesting it for a few days now and… no.

No. It’s not that I don’t do shots now because I’m scared. It’s that I use to do shots because I was. I was scared of not drinking enough and being seen as a stick in the mud, of not keeping up, of not being cool. But I, in the most solid way possible, simply do not give a single shit about that, at all, anymore so.. no, I’m not doing shots now simply because I don’t want to.

I think being in control can look like acting out of fear to people who live a very reactionary lifestyle. I choose moderation because it feels better. I love not having hangovers. I love not (thankfully) waking up in time to roll over, vomit on half of my belongings, before passing back out. I love not slamming my car into a tree. I love not stumbling into my house at 4am, disturbing my family on multiple levels. I am not afraid of those things, per se, but especially after 3 months of existing as a complete non-drinker, I actively, mindfully, choose better for myself, regardless of how it appears to others, because I’m not afraid, or even concerned, about what they are thinking.

My post-DUI life has been a lot. Court dates, drunk camp, lots of money. I don’t think fear is stopping me from getting shitfaced and trying to drive home, I think having learned lessons, having gone through it, having put my family through it… it’s not fear, it’s love. I love myself too much now to do that. When I was out 7 nights a week, sleeping 3 hours a day, living off sugar free redbull and liquor… I didn’t love me, at all. And I see that now.

I know this post isn’t clever or funny or profound. But it’s real. And I needed to get it out. I’m glad I ran into my ex. I’m glad he’s the exact same. I’m glad I’m able to have perspective. I’m delighted at seeing my growth. I’m proud of me. (Also, yesterday was my birthday)

The power of word choice

I’ve been struggling. A lot. My body feels like it’s been breaking down. (Lots of muscles freaking out, stomach disturbances, sleep issues, etc.) My mental health plummeted. (The anger and true meanness I’ve been displaying has been ultra gross). And I can blame outside crap all I want but when I kind of reassess these past few weeks that led up to me having to take time off work to recoup and recover, ultimately, it’s on me.

So I need to fix it.

I know I need to fix my habits or daily rituals. But I lowkey hate both of those words. Habits feel like chores. It feels heavy, and boring, maybe because I associate it with a nuns outfit. And rituals feels like buying yoni eggs from Gwyneth Paltrow’s website to shove in my va-jay-jay to remove toxic vibes from my life. (They are real things, look em up if you want). And I’m sorta woo-woo, but not to that level. And I know it sounds silly but, my hatred of those words, makes it harder to be pumped about enforcing and sticking to the idea, you know?

So, with this quandary heavy on my brain, I go to my dictionary app, use the thesaurus part and I search “habit” and “ritual”. And I find it. The word that fits, that hits. Groove. That’s the mindset. So, I’m shifting my daily existence from my habits or my rituals (shudder) to my #grooveofgreatness. I love aliterations. And a groove feels fun and funky and like something I can be excited about.

My groove of greatness is gonna be different from yours. For sure. For me, it’s writing more, it’s reading and learning more, beauty/physical self-care/self-love stuff, it’s hydration and tea. It’s gonna be good. And I’m done with daily to do lists. I don’t want that kinda drudgery. From now on, I’m focusing on my daily Groove Gazette.

So. I encourage you to come up with your own #grooveofgreatness and to get up in your daily Groove Gazette. I also encourage you to see if there is like… some small change, like swapping out a word, that can shift your overall mindset towards a thing or situation. A workout becomes super hero training. A diet becomes a culinary adventure. I don’t know. A task is now a mission. Your shitty job as a third shift waitress is now your metier, which sounds way more boujee. Take a day. Find the leaks in your happiness boat and patch up em using a thesaurus. Words are important, and hold power, and I implore you to weild it like a flaming sword of fabulous living.

Dancing Like a Stripper…

We’ve all either heard someone say, or have said ourselves, “I’m gonna quit this job and become a stripper”

Y’all.

Years ago I was married (gasp!) and we bought a house, and then like a month after that purchase, my husband lost his job. So, I became a stripper.

He and I had gone to this club several times as customers, we were always treated well, always had a good time. The girls had joked around, asking when I was gonna come work there. So, when your former 2-income household becomes one, and your brand new mortgage is due… I needed work quick, without a stupid long time for training or waiting for background checks… I needed paychecks, now. (Some clubs might have training and background checks set up, mine definitely did not)

And you know what? It’s hard work.

I’m sure eventually you get use to it (I only worked there for a month), but that first week, your feet are on fire, your legs feel like you’ve been running a marathon, you can’t lift your arms over your head. Imagine attempting to go from couch slug to olympic athlete overnight. That’s pretty much what it’s like.

And that’s just the physical side.

I was very lucky. Most of my customers were amazing. I had a construction crew that came in once a week, on pay day. Half a dozen guys. As respectful as patrons at a strip club can be. One night as I was getting off work, my windshield was frozen over and one of the guys came out, in the cold and scraped it for me. So, please know I’m not saying it’s all bad.

But I had a coworker who had a guy who asked her to shit, in a cup, for 20 dollars. So you have that too.

Also, everyone thinks all strippers make bank. And I’m sure some do very well. I didn’t. I had another full time job at the time, working overnights in a call center, so between my availability and also being the new girl at the club, I was on day shift. Noon to 8pm. Not exactly prime time at a strip club.

You get the older men who don’t want to sit alone at home, they’d rather sit alone at the club. It gives the illusion of being social, even if they barely mumble a word, as they sip beer all day. You get the more awkward younger guys who are maybe too intimidating to roll up to the club on a busy Friday night. It is the island of misfit toys, y’all. And these pockets of people aren’t here for the champagne room (my club didn’t even have one), they aren’t here for a bachelor party, they aren’t making it rain. So, you are busting your ass, sometimes literally, for a few bucks. And I don’t think people really understand that.

The next time you’re like… wanting to grumble about how crappy your current job is, and you’re just gonna go “be a stripper” realize what you’re saying.

Dreams (not the song by Fleetwood Mac)

Now here I go again…

I never ever ever ever ever remember my dreams. Ever. Until this past week. I’ve not only remembered, but also upon waking, still physically felt, my dreams.

I haven’t changed my sleep hours or length or anything. I’m still, give or take, falling asleep around the same time. I’m occasionally getting up earlier so.. I haven’t prolonged sleep, or added any. If anything the past few days, specifically, I’ve been short on it. So, I don’t really know about like… R.E.M and sleep cycles and what stage you need to be in to dream, but I’ve somehow started going there again, all of a sudden.

And they are vivid. And not super strange, no flying or super powers but like… just weird enough to make me pause a few extra minutes when mulling then over when I wake up.

What has been kind of exceedingly odd though is like… real life dreams have returned too. Goals, focus, ideas have started coming in, like the tide, these past couple weeks. I commented somewhere on Facebook that, for the first time in a long ass time, I’m excited about life again.

I’ve tried to be more consistent with my writing. I actually, physically, hand write out one side of one piece of notebook paper a day. I lowkey love my sloppy handwriting and spelling mistakes. It adds an extra layer of messy authenticity, I think. I don’t use writing prompts, it’s just kind of an off the cuff brain dump. It’s like what I do here but even more jumbled and chaotic. But, I’ve been writing the dreams down there. And I’m having like… an Inception moment half the time. I’m having dreams that are telling me to chase and live and pursue my dreams. Which is not bad, but it is unsettling, for some reason.

And last night, I had a nightmare. My dream was chasing me. And that’s a weird twist. And the character chasing me was Chris Crocker (went viral years ago with his LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE video, but is hella funny and poignant nowadays too, find him on social media, you deserve his content in your life). A few hours before I went to bed, he’d posted a thing about sobriety, and authenticity and finding your purpose, and then, in my crazy dream world, he’s holding me hostage and running me down. So, not him, but the concepts my brain were still linking to him. My dreams tell me to follow my dreams and if I don’t I’ll be chased down by feelings of inauthenticity and purposelessness.

And maybe this is all mumbo jumbo. But like… I’m okay with that. It’s my mumbo jumbo. Maybe it means nothing and I’m reaching to ascribe meaning to it but like… couldn’t the same be said for like… almost everything in life?

When the rain washes you clean you’ll know.

The Girl with the Potato Necklace

I’m a very physical, visual person. I think that’s part of why I like tattoos (I’ve got 12 so far) and tarot cards (I’ve legit lost count of the number of decks I own). Having interesting images tell stories. Being able to touch something. I live in my head way too much sometimes and I need reminders I can see and put my hands on, that can pull me back into the really real physical world.

So I bought a potato. From a fantastic Etsy seller, in Lithuania. Like you do. 🙂

Clay Creations ForEver has a multitude of adorable items. But when I saw the fancy potato, I knew. I’ve never believed in love at first sight until this guy.

I don’t know the accuracy of this but, I’ve always heard that, when cooking, if you over-salt something (a soup or whatever) you can toss in a potato and it’ll absorb some of the extra saltiness. Again, my food knowledge mostly comes from watching Chopped, it’s not hands on, so please fact check this before yelling at me about a recipe not turning out right.

So, this lil guy is my real, physical, adorable, reminder to myself to not be so salty. Yes, I realize it is supremely silly, but like… that’s part of why it works. I’ve had more than one customer comment and/or question the potato and the dialog that follows is just great. I explain my reasoning, my little spud keeps me in line, in check, preventing me from becoming an overly salty bitch. And customers laugh and it does make things better.

A part of me wants to encourage you to buy a potato pendant, really. But another part of me wants you to find the weird thing that speaks to you. (I also have a tardigrade necklace and a giraffe necklace for different reminders, but the idea of wearing a mindset minder is the same). The sillier, the weirder, the more ridiculous, kind of the better. Wear it for you. And display it for the conversations and connections that it can forge. You never know when someone else needs the reminder as well.

Armageddon via Llama (or, finding contentment where you least expect it)

So, a movie exists called Llamageddon. Really. It’s real. It’s available for streaming on Prime right now. Yep. And it’s… something. I don’t even know if I recommend it. But…

I watched it the other night with my boyfriend. I love bad, B-horror movies. Killer Piñata, the one with the sofa, the zombie sheep movie… bring it on. Him, not so much. But, we ended up watching it. Shortly after it ended I was on Facebook (of course) looking at my memories and two years ago, on that day, a now former coworker of mine had posted on my timeline the trailer for Llamageddon.

I’m pretty sure 2 years ago you had to pay to watch it so I was like, “nah” and then in between the movie with the tire that kills people via telekinesis and “documentaries” about aliens, I lost track of Llamageddon. I have mostly been streaming cartoons, honestly. Shorter, mindless, content has been my pandemic default entertainment. But browsing on Prime brought Llamageddon squarely back into my thoughts and I latched on this time.

There is so much uncertainty right now. Am I, or a loved one, going to get sick? Will my workplace still even be open for business in a few weeks? What M. Night Shyamalan-esque plot twist(s) does this year still hold? It’s hard to tell if we’re coming or going, or where we are headed, at all. And with such profound unrest, I found a bizarre bubble of solace in my armageddon synchronicity. (The only fitting synchronicity for this year, truly)

730 days, 2 years, exactly, after someone told me about that movie, I just so happened to watch it. Not on any of the other 729 days. Not on day 731, when it wouldn’t have been in my online memories. No. On that day. I don’t always know where I fall in the predetermined fate vs. free will conversation but I do sometimes feel like there are signs, or coincidences, that hit just a little to correctly to be dismissed. Mine just so happened to be a low budget horror film.

I’ve been very on the fence with a lot of things recently. I’ve had so many forks in my road these past few weeks my life was looking like a cutlery drawer. And making any choice is hard. I get caught up in what-ifs, a lot. What if I had never met that person? What if I had taken that opportunity? And it’s so hard. We don’t get the cliche tv episode where we’re able to see/live out each path, usually coming to the heart warming conclusion that we are already exactly where we’re supposed to be.

But sometimes you have a really good day, that you find a really quirky synchronicity in, and you are able to have that feeling of contentment. You are able to breathe and assess, even if only for that evening, that you’ve made enough right choices to be kinda close to where you belong. And in these unprecedented times, that is a miracle. For me, it was a miracle with terrible CGI, a ridiculous storyline, and a llama from outer space with glowing red eyes, which sort of makes it feels that much more miraculous.