Facebook has this wonderful little feature that notifies you that “You have memories … to look back on today.”

I use Facebook to amuse myself first, posting whatever absurdity I’m thinking and all of the pictures I love to take; so I really enjoy that feature. For the most part, nothing I put up is in any way negative; I don’t do politics, I don’t air my dirty laundry (at least, not my dirtiest). It’s my playground. I say and post whatever I want. Because I can.

I post my blog on Facebook, too. My blog posts are a little different from my normal Facebook posts, because some of them are actually serious (just some!) and I write about me.

Today, Facebook reminded me about a blog I wrote one year ago today that was not just serious, but seriously sad (Exposing Myself). I remember writing it, and I remember exactly what I was going through; I was at a very low point over a breakup. It wasn’t even just the breakup that had me down, it was my attitude about how I felt I was (or wasn’t) dealing with it.

I went to open the link to re-read it and hesitated; I was concerned that I would read my own words and condemn myself all over again for feeling that low, or feel embarrassed that I let it all out, letting everyone see that I was as big as the idiot I had thought myself to be.

When I finally did read it, I actually smiled.

I’m not there anymore.

It’s been a long year, and I won’t get into the further insanity I let myself sink to (I don’t have to; I continued to publish it).

And in many ways, it’s been a very good year.

Let me backtrack a moment: I took a short break from Facebook after I posted that blog to try to re-center myself. I posted the blog with this introduction:

“Hello, friends! I’m not going to be playing here for a while, until can get my head out of my ass and accept the fact that I’m human. I’ll be off in a corner, hiding til I can get over myself. I will be back (because this is my favorite playground), and hopefully smarter. In the meantime, here’s something for you to line the birdcage with, or read along, accompanied by your tiny violins:
(cue dramatic exit)
Be well.”

(Now that wasn’t so dramatic, was it?)

I kept the break short so that I wouldn’t be inclined to wallow further. I continued to play as best as I could; still continued to take pictures and post them. But I would look at the pictures of me and all I could see was my sadness, even when I was smiling. I don’t know if anyone else could see it – not that it mattered; I saw it.

This picture I posted at the top of the blog was taken three days ago. I happen to think it’s a GREAT picture, not just because to me it’s one of my more flattering ones, but because I don’t just look happy, I am happy – and I see it.

This picture was taken just before one of my 30th high school reunions. I went to two high schools, and this one happened to be for the one I actually graduated from, in California. I hadn’t made it back to any of the reunions there, because I couldn’t afford the trip from Massachusetts.

But I did it this year.

I also took my kids on vacation to Maine last month. It wasn’t an actual vacation for me because I still had to work (although it was nice to be near the ocean), but I did it.

I did it.

I have a wonderful support system around me, in every way possible. Maybe I got help in certain areas, a boost in others, but ultimately it was what I did that made it all possible and good.

I don’t know when exactly it began to happen, but I began to enjoy myself again, fully. This was not a result of being able to get away, because you can never get away from yourself. This was a result of what I was doing on my own to make things happen, and to be happy again. Really happy, without wearing those other feelings.

My girlfriends were able to come with us to Maine –

Girls – friends – should always make it a point to do things like that, married or not; no one is or should allow themselves be defined by specific details of their lives, not marital status, not kids, not jobs. To be whole, we need to nurture every aspect of our lives, with equal focus on each individual facet. Be inclusive of all that we are. This and that.

Ok, off of that soapbox (for now).

While we were in Maine, I took a walk along the beach with one of them, and tried to explain as best as I could what I was feeling right then and there.

Basically, I was happy – and it took me a lot of words and a lot of different descriptions to be able to explain it to her, because while I was talking, I still wasn’t aware of what I was feeling. I did know that I felt good. And I realized that not only was I feeling happy then in that moment, but I was happy in general. That was a huge realization.

I did it.

I did it.

I did it.

It’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s okay – actually, it’s more than ok. It’s good.

And *I* did it.

Any help I may have received for anything would not have mattered if I let my thoughts limit how much I enjoyed or appreciated anything.

Not only did I realize that I was happy, but I realized I had been happy for some time. I got excited about my work, began new writing projects, planning more, and just began enjoying life more – the little things as much as the bigger things. And I did it on my own. I’m still single, too. I did it on my own, proving what I already knew but couldn’t fully grasp: I am in control of my thoughts, my validation, my life, my happiness.

That most recent picture summed it up for me with my first thought the moment I saw it:


Now watch how far I’m going to go.



I’m looking forward to next year’s reminder on Facebook!

(How low did she go? You can view the train wreck from a safe distance here!)


On Jumping In and Regret

Both feet
(from Versification of…)

“She made a choice
She decided to jump in
all in 
with both feet
but nobody seemed to care that she jumped
and the water was colder than she expected
she made her way to the edge
exuberance waning
as she climbed the ladder to get out
she took one last look at the pool
still seeing how nice it could have been
then lifted herself out out
wishing she’d just toe’d in.”

I remember writing this over a year ago, and I remember why. That seemed so long ago, written about something entirely different, and so minor compared to how I feel now–yet the words are just as true for my situation now. It’s a funny thing, reading something you wrote yourself and connecting with it later on another level.

We open ourselves to vulnerability when we give ourselves to another person. This was not my first dance, and I had thought I was wiser and would make better decisions. Instead, I found that I could be hurt on a much deeper level. In one respect, it can be wonderful to learn your own capacity for emotion; but the flip side is hell. Stupid emotions.

I’m going on with my life not just because I have to, but because I want to. I have so many possibilities open to me, and I’m going to explore them all. Nothing will stop that.

But what bothers me is the depth of hurt that I still feel. Every person has to live their own life, and I do respect that. I cannot make anyone’s decisions for them, and I cannot make anyone feel a certain way; we are all allowed to do that on our own. Yet even knowing that, and even having experienced real loss before, this I can’t seem to get past. I would think that my own adult understanding would have helped, but it doesn’t. So what does all of this mean? If this was a lesson just to prove to me that I wasn’t as untouchable as I had thought, it is only making me moreso now in the protective wall I’ve tried not to build but realize is there, anyway. We’ve all been duped in relationships–and it’s usually our own voluntary blindness that aids that; but I can honestly say there weren’t any of those signs–and I’ve looked back enough to make sure. I was so against relationships before this, that I was hyper-aware of making sure I wasn’t making that same mistake of glossing over things that could be indicative of problems later. Until, of course, the end, when he backed off with no explanation, no apology, and no willingness to talk anymore. (If I’d seen that first, the story would definitely have been different!)

What bothers me most is that I’m still affected; still hurting. I’m moving forward, doing what I have to do, yet the slightest event can trigger the pain to be as fresh as when I realized what was going on (and still fought it). As fresh. Un-fucking-believable. Going on four months since he said anything real to me, and it still hurts. Aren’t I supposed to be too adult for this? Especially since, in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing? There are so many terrible things happening all around me, yet this hurts? I’m ashamed of myself because of that. So many people are out there suffering with real problems, and this is one I can’t shake?

I am not a weak person. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being single. My future plans never included a partner. And then I met someone I thought was different…my match, I suppose. It was all different. Effortless. Real. Like it should be. And I jumped in, all in, totally, with both feet. I introduced him to my kids, my family. I let him in further than anyone else. Anyone.

I have a few regrets, as everyone does; but right now I regret nothing as much as I regret that he ever came to see me a year ago. How dare he take down a strong woman?

How dare a strong woman let him?

I laugh at myself a lot lately; especially when I think like that. I know how strong I am (or how strong I thought I was), and I know that I will get past this. But I want it to be done with now. I cannot accept or forgive myself this weakness. And I’m fucking tired of those stupid, fucking triggers that take my breath away with pain, that surprise me with how raw they make me feel. I had one of those moments yesterday (of course, it always happens when I’ve just congratulated myself on the steps I’ve made in getting over it), and it took hours for that painful, hollow, empty ache to even lessen — I know exactly how long it took; I would see the time and could not believe it was still as strong. Obviously, I’m still feeling it now…somewhat. (I can be the Queen of Understatement.)

I want it to be over. I want it to be done. I hate (HATE) feeling this. I hate being hurt. I hate not knowing why he did this, or why it had to happen at all. This is so fucking stupid. I have better things to waste my time on. I am so tired of this; so fucking sick of myself.

A good friend showed up at my house this morning and she just sat there, patiently listening to me yell at myself. (My friends have such patience with me.) Before she left she actually said to me that I was the strongest person she knew.

I told her she may want to set the bar higher.