Impending Arrival

Today is the day.  R arrives at 7:30 this evening.  I feel like this blog has become very focused on this situation but honestly it's the main thing on my mind lately!

My hopes for this visit include:  noticing how it feels to be around one another now; exploring past and present experiences more fully in-person; discovering whether we have any potential for a future with one another-similar goals and enough in common etc.; and having fun!  I feel excited.

The common goal most in question came up a couple days ago.  I had mentioned there was a big topic I wanted to talk about when he was here and of course, as anyone including me would do, he started thinking a lot about it and guessed correctly.  I felt really vulnerable, even though he did not react badly, just said he thought we should talk about it in person and that he had some things to say about it.

The next morning we talked on the phone, and I was surprised at a wave of sadness that came over me.  We talked about it and at first I blurted out that if he didn't want to come that was okay, we could take a huge step back, that I didn't feel good about talking about it and it was too early but partly I brought it up because of some of the serious things he had said so it was his fault too.  Yeah, did I mention I was feeling vulnerable?  sheesh!

He was cute and asked, "You don't want me to come?" in a sad way.  I admitted it was a reaction to thinking of HIS reaction and that he might be freaking out.  He said no he wasn't and encouraged me to talk to him if I have these thoughts instead of letting them build and that we should have a rule that we have to do that.  Cute.  I felt happy and warm to hear this and we got of the phone in a good place, refocused on the visit seeing how things are between us.  So anyway, I am looking forward to his arrival and will let you all know how things go.

In other, less compelling news, I went to my Interplay Theatre class last night and had a fabulous time. Big group of people, many different exercises and partner matches.  Lots of movement and movement paired with short story telling.  My body and soul feel happier when I leave.

Also, I am going running for the seventh time (yes I am counting) this afternoon.  Thanks again to R and my brother's wedding providing motivational energy.  I can't tell a huge difference yet but I do feel more toned, which will hopefully translate into a bit more confidence for the big meeting tonight!


Like Frankie said, "I did it my way."

This song from my authentic life soundtrack has been running through my head the past couple of days, so I thought I would share the magic.  Okay, so it's not an especially deep or complex song, but for whatever reason I feel strong and kind of badass when I hear it.
Five more days until R arrives.  He will be here from Wednesday evening until Monday morning.  I feel like I can be myself with him and he accepts me (even my PMS, edgy side!), which makes me happy.  I decided I am not going to ask him directly if he is open to having another child (he has three already) until he is here with me.  I have a sense he will be open but time will tell.  Will post again soon about recent developments. . .


Bullets and Blue Sky

I think I will indulge in my first "bulleted list" post, as that is my mood.  A few updates:

  1. Valentine's Day was pleasant and relatively uneventful.  Went on a walk, then ate pizza with my platonic male housemate, watched some TV, then talked to R until 1a.m.  Really fun and relaxed conversation, which left me feeling closer to him.
  2. One other Valentine's activity: making cut out Valentine for my Interplay theatre teacher.  I let my inner child come out and play and had a fabulous time with the decorative paper, fancy scissors, and glue stick. Yay!  Need to do this more often.  Had everyone in class sign it last night and delivered to her at closing circle.  She said she hadn't gotten a Valentine in a long time, which made it all the more fun.
  3. Conversations between R and I have definitely shifted from majority processing to majority getting to know each other and sharing feelings.  In one conversation when I suggested we share our intentions for the visit, he busted out with, "Well, I hope that everything goes well and we end up finding a way to be together."  or something like that.  Intense!  One the one hand, I like knowing he wants that outcome, and on the other hand it's a little scary.  Over time, I have come to mistrust immediate intensity (and he is part of that mistrust!), so even though we have years of previous history, I am really trying to keep to the "one step at a time" approach.  But I can't deny that feelings are growing on both sides the more we talk.
  4. His visit has fueled my motivation to get in better shape.  I would like to lose 15-20 pounds.  Do you think this is possible in two weeks?  haha  But I figure I can make a bit of headway and feel a little more toned.  So I have been doing sit-ups and stretching every day and went running for the fourth time yesterday.  I already feel a difference, though a girl at my Sunday dance group said she couldn't see any change. :(
  5. Received relief-giving news yesterday when I FINALLY got ahold of the Employment Development Department and a lovely man informed me I am eligible for unemployment extensions until July, at which point I need to reapply. . .and would then likely receive continuing benefits.  Now believe me, unemployment compensation is not cushy income (I don't think it should be), and I am barely getting by.  I definitely intend to find a new job asap, both for the purpose of feeling productive and purposeful and for the more adequate income/health benefits, but it is a relief to know my safety net will not give way when this extension ends in a couple of weeks.

That's all the excitement for now.  That and we just had a huge hailstorm, leading to sun and blue sky.  Hoping that this week does not drag on and on and on. . .


Guess Who's Coming to Visit?

Guess who is coming to visit in two weeks?  Yep, it's R.  I was planning on visiting him after my brother's wedding at the end of March, but as we have continued to talk just about every day, we decided that waiting a month and a half felt like too long.

I am definitely not ready to open up to dating him again, but I am excited to see him and continue our dialogue in person. . .excited to see what our dynamic is like now, so many years later, when we are hopefully older and wiser and are clearly more available to actually be with each other.

Our dialogue about the long ago past has continued in earnest, and likely will continue up to and through his visit.  (though we are not talking only about the past but are sharing current content from our lives, as well).

It was important for me to get clear that I would have gone forward with the pregnancy if he would have been supportive and wanted to help me.  I had been thinking I did not know for sure what I would have done if he had not pressured me about what he wanted me to do, but I do know what I would have done in that instance. . .and for whatever reason, that clarity feels good.  I appreciated that he was able to listen and be there for me as I shared this with him. 

So I actually feel somewhat complete in my dialogue with him about that for now, though I imagine more might come up when I see him.

More recently, I have tried talking with him about the roller coaster nature of our relationship: how he held all the power and how he "pulled the rug out from under me" several times versus making a decision and sticking to it.

Just as with the other issue, as I talk through my anger and hurt towards him, I see my own responsibility, or more accurately feel it at a deeper level.  Because of course I know I was an adult, though I was young, and I made my own decisions.  I chose to continue being with him, even when he had shown me that the risk and potential for pain was extremely high.  I was definitely hooked.

I wonder if part of me was/is mad at him for dashing my belief in us as "meant to be," my romantic conviction that our love was "destiny" - a belief that he expressed as well, many times.  Each time that he "pulled the rug out," it chipped away at my convictions.

The last time we got together, I was no longer working with him and had for all intents and purposes moved on.  I had just started seeing another guy even.  And then he began calling again, and eventually I chose to give it another try with him.

Now why I didn't insist he end his marriage first before I saw him, I cannot imagine.  Still pretty stupid I guess.  But he had promised he was going to and then. . . well, then he didn't.  But I sort of sabotaged things too.  I think that at that point, I just didn't trust him and didn't trust what we had any more, even though I wanted to. . .

I think overall, my experiences with him did make me mistrust that feeling of intense attraction and connection with someone.  I know that no relationship I have had since has come close to the level of connection I felt with him.  I am not naive enough to think that a relationship can be built on that feeling (in fact I spent a lot of time in a 12 Step Program that pathologized it), but, after many relationships without it, I have also come to appreciate that feeling more; to believe that it can act as glue and help people WANT to work through things/maintain intimacy.

What I don't know yet, is whether I could trust him again, and whether we have enough mental/spiritual connection to build lasting intimacy.  Oh yeah, and the elephant in the room, whether he would want to have a child with me.  This trip will hopefully give us a good opportunity to start those explorations.


Time Waits for No Woman

I am in a "liminal space."  The space between.  Having left one shore but not yet reached the other.

And sometimes I am fine with that and revel in the rich abundance of time and space: to think, to explore, to research and ruminate.  But other times, especially when my mind turns to conception, I just feel s-t-u-c-k.  And I begin to hear the ticking. . .

Retro modern wall clock.JPG
As I have talked about, I am currently work-challenged, without proper employ, job searching, financially disadvantaged, etc.  Unemployment offers me enough to live on, barely, until something (such as my brother's wedding in March) arises calling for greater resources.  Then I enter a stressed state of pulling from here, cutting from there, and trying to perform small miracles.

My groomswoman - yes I am proud to say I will be my brother's "groomswoman" - dress was about $200, the plane ticket is about $200, plus shoes/accessories and inevitable travel expenses. . .all money that I really don't have but am hoping to magically create as we go along.  

Which bring me to trying to conceive.  I have not been talking about that topic much yet on this blog because I am frustratingly stuck in that arena, due to said financial limitations.

And if I think about it too much, I start to get really tense because the clock does not stop for periods of unemployment.  So my strategy has been to let go, put it in the back of my mind, trust that my path will become clear in time and I am not losing my chance.

But what if I'm wrong?  I turned 42 in December and even though I feel younger, statistics show my eggs may not be on the same wavelength.  If you have any ideas, personal stories, reassurances, or prodding, I would welcome hearing any and all responses.


Work: Professional, Relational, Communal

I am sitting outside on our back deck (I live with a housemate) in the blazing sun, couldn't be more happy with our local East Bay climate right now!

I had an interview yesterday with a homeless shelter for families, mainly female head-of-household.  The job would involve running the career center and providing individual career assessment and counseling, as well as other enrichment activities to build confidence, self-awareness, and life balance.

The positives:  considerable creative license in terms of activities and tools, would use my strongest skills of counseling/training/creativity, and the program director seems really cool.

Negatives: my own confidence is not super high working with this population mainly because I haven't done it before (will I be competent in establishing trust and credibility?), the environment sounds like it is often crisis-driven and intense, and it doesn't sound like they have a lot of well-established structure/resources in place for career readiness/education purposes.

The interview seemed to go well overall, and she said I would hear back in a few weeks.  Just getting an interview in the first place feels encouraging and I appreciate the opportunity to keep my skills sharp.

In other news, dialogue continues with R.  So I guess his relationship was really on the outs. . .Since last posting he has found an apartment and plans to move later this month.  He asked about my trip to Oregon for my brother's wedding the weekend of March 19th.  I said I had thought about basically coming for the weekend since I was clear I didn't want to see him if he was in a relationship.  Right.

But since he won't be, then the possibility of us spending time together is opened up.   We both agreed that if we get together, we would like it to be for several days so that we have time to reconnect, relax, and talk through things in an unrushed way.

We have continued to have "processing" conversations, which I don't want to get into right now, but I did share more of my feelings, including that I am angry and sad with my own choices and abilities at the time.  I still carry some guilt of my own.

I would love to have a spiritual leader to talk with right now and be given some sort of amends or penance to perform as a process of working through guilt and receiving forgiveness.  I'm not really a religious person,  though am very spiritual, but sometimes I would like more structure and guidance around these things.  Anyway, just trying to stay in the moment with it all.

Friday night, we are having another meeting of my "Heart and Soul" Transition Towns Group, with whom I did the Work that Reconnects workshop.  This is our second official meeting and potluck, and I look forward to connecting more with these folks - to talking about possibilities of how to build heart connections.  And how to support ourselves and the larger community around transitioning to a more local/sustainable way of living.