Free to roam

In the past month or so, I’ve been attempting something a bit unusual for me.  At night, instead of wearing my pajamas or nightgowns, I’ve been doing the sports bra and undies thing.  For one, it’s hot.  But more than that, it’s my attempt at learning to become more comfortable and confident in my own body.

Now some of you may be thinking … “what’s the big deal?”

Let me try and explain.  I have never lived alone before.  There was always someone else in the home.. be it a family member, a significant other, a roommate and if not one of those, most definitely a child or two. Privacy is just something I don’t get a lot of, so the idea of wandering my house naked isn’t really a fantasy that I have.  And lastly – I’ve just never been that comfortable in my own skin.  I’ve never been the girl to feel confident living in my own body.  I hate my post-babies tummy… and the idea of baring it, even to myself just isn’t something that I’ve EVER been comfortable with.

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I’ve been tossing and turning.  I can’t sleep.  I hurt too much.  Apparently I have a cracked rib and the discomfort is keeping me from getting much sleep.  I got up and wandered to the kitchen for something to drink and for the first time in my life, I didn’t put on a robe.  I just wandered out there, grabbed the tea and swigged a big gulp straight from the jug.  And as I walked back into my room, I caught a glimpse of myself… and smiled.  I’m looking good!

I may not be at a point where I’d feel comfortable with the world seeing me like that, I’m content enough knowing that I like what I see in the  mirror these days.  That girl staring back at me … she’s a pretty cool chick.  🙂

Damn…. life is good – even if I AM awake at 3:30 in the morning.

Good night Neverland.  Sleep well.

Healthy Relationship Goals

When I was young… I sought out relationships.  I perhaps wasn’t always as choosy as I should have been.  Years of being made to feel like I wasn’t ever going to be good enough led me down a path where I happily accepted anything and everything that came my way – be it friendships and significant others.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be more choosy in who I allow to enter my world.  I’ve learned that it’s not the number of friends, it’s the quality and health of the overall relationships that really matter.

I’ve always been the person who rushes into everything.  I’m impulsive.  Granted, I DO have self control… but I’m finding, at least lately, that the one quality I used to be proud of in myself… I’m holding back now.  That impulsive passion and enthusiasm that I get, about everything …. be it learning something new, a new project at work, a new friendship or new hobby or love… I’m learning to keep that in check a bit.  Taking things slow.  Learning to be someone’s friend LONG before even considering getting physical with them.  I mean, seriously – what IS the rush for?  If the people who enter your life are really meant to stay … then why are we in such a damn hurry to get across the finish line.  It’s not like the race ever really ends… and what on earth would you get for crossing it?  What… a wedding ring?  A child?  A divorce?  lol.

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It’s challenging… especially in today’s society.  And it’s not like a girl doesn’t have needs.  lol, but I’m feeling a little bit burnt out.  I’m finally starting to really like living alone.  I’m learning ME.  I’m immensely proud of myself and it’s strange because this isn’t really something you can share with others without sounding a bit foolish.  We’re taught to find a man, to settle down, get married, have kids…. that pressure is out there on us all on a daily basis.  Sometimes, it’s so subtle, I don’t even notice it at all.  But it’s still there.  And what’s funny – at least, for me, is that I’ve HAD all of that.  I’ve settled down, I got married, I had kids, I’ve been susie home maker and I’ve been the power suit wearing corporate working mom.  I have literally tasted ALL that society asks us to pursue.

Perhaps that’s why I’m enjoying this bit of soul searching I’ve done since buying this house.  I’ve been trying to figure out what the next big dream is.  I’ve been really enjoying the notion of holding off, on all fronts…. taking a moment to find and secure my footing before I do anything to shake up my world.  It’s certainly never anything I’ve done before.  It all feels healthy.  My goals for my life have shifted in new ways I wasn’t quite expecting.  I find myself just wanting a healthy relationship.  Keyword there is Healthy.  🙂  And for the first time in my life…. I feel like I’m certainly on the right path to eventually get there.  I’m learning to communicate my needs and wants and feelings in better ways.  I’m actively figuring me out.  And it’s really kinda awesome!

So to all of you out there…. single… looking for love… I highly encourage you to look at the opportunities you have to seek out what’s really healthy, thinking long term.  🙂  And to those of you who are settled down… or settling down… still racing… I ask you… What are you racing for and if/when you get it… what comes next?

Much love to you all.  Happy Thursday!

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Dear Ben…

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Dear Ben…

I miss you.  I think about you… Every. Single. Day.  I don’t think that will ever change.  Some days, it’s just a quiet note in the back of my mind, and other days, it’s heavy and thick, a cloud (not necessarily a bad one) that hovers at the forefront of my thoughts.

6 years ago, you died in my arms, and it would be honest of me to admit that a part of me died that day too.  I’m ok now.  I don’t often come to tears about all that happened anymore.  And that’s not what this post is about… it’s about something else.

You see, I made a promise to you.  I promised that I would get happy and healthy and on track.  And in many, many ways, I have done just that.  But sometimes, I feel like it’s not enough.  That I just don’t measure up to my own expectations… or anyone else’s.  I know, logically, that that is not the truth.  That any outsider looking into my life would call “Bollocks!” on me.  I have a good life, a nice house, a car, great kids, great friends.  I’m losing weight steadily.  Doing all the things I promised to do.

Where I’m lacking … is really just in one place.  My love life.  And for the most part, I do a pretty good job of not focusing on it and instead staying involved in a bazillion other things.  Hobbies are good!  Heck, there are definitely times when I enjoy being single, with no strings attached to anyone. But every so often… I can’t help but think…

“What’s wrong with me?”  “Why do I struggle to find the right person for me?”

I get feedback all the time from a variety of people that I’m a cool chick.  Good with conversation, kind, sweet, smart, funny, pretty… so what’s the deal?  I’m trying to tell myself that perhaps it’s just not the right time.  That things happen when they are supposed to.  Who knows… maybe I’ve had my happiness?  I guess I could be ok with that, but it certainly feels off to me.

I know that you’re with me.  As odd as it may sound, sometimes, I swear I feel your presence with me.  It’s these moments that I wish I could talk to you.  You show up in my dreams sometimes… not as a little boy – but a grown man.   In my dreams, I know you’re dead, but we still have these amazing conversations.  Somehow, I know you would have been an amazing man to be around.  I see it in Grayson sometimes too.  I know he’s going to be a good man.  Someone who is both ambitious and patient and loving.  I’m lucky in the kids department.  My daughter is growing up to be a woman that I’d want to be friends with, someone I’d admire.  Yea, she has areas she’s going to struggle with, and lessons she needs to learn that will also help change and guide her down her path, but I see it.  A glimmer of who she will become.

I regret that I won’t get to see that in you.  Some people say that it’s the brightest lights that get called to return home.  Maybe that’s why you weren’t long for this world… but I certainly long for you.

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I don’t pray to god anymore.  I haven’t in 6 years.  Oddly – I pray to you.  My Ben.  And right now – I’m putting this little prayer into writing.  I’d like some help finding peace with the idea that perhaps I’m not meant to find another relationship.  Perhaps my path leads me somewhere entirely different.  And more than anything, I’d like to come to place where I’m content with that.

I miss you.  I will always miss you.  And if I haven’t said it yet today – I love you.  Mommy always will.

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F That Noise!

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Not going to lie… I’m frustrated.  More frustrated than I’ve been in a while.  You would think that I would get used to feeling frustrated, especially when my family is involved… and yet, here I am, feeling a bit blindsided once again.

So it’s been a busy week.  I’ve had a few phone interviews, all materializing into in person ones next week.  On the “Find Jen a new Job” front… things are moving along.  But I also got a letter from unemployment this week.  They are reviewing my application and it could take 3-5 weeks to be completed.  So until then… no money for me.  And my severance money from my previous job will not be mailed out until the end of august.  That money will be a good chunk of money to keep me going until spring should I so desire.

Thankfully, I saved some for a rainy day.  It’s enough to cover my house payment.  Which – obviously means it’s not enough – but at least I had that.  I’ve never been out of work for very long, and I am confident that I’ll land one of these jobs.  But I’m frustrated with this strange place of finding myself in a bind.

This morning, I sucked up my pride and I called my dad.  Perhaps he could loan me a little in order to float until I get my severance.  Hell – charge me interest I don’t care.  He wasn’t available to talk to and I put it out of my head.  This evening, I got an earful.  A guilt trip piled on extra thick.  He even ended it with pressuring me to sell the house.

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I’m sorry what?!

… FUCK that!

I’ve come too far… I’ve fought too long and too hard… that is absolute BULLSHIT right there.  And where the hell is the faith Dad?!  I’ve been out of work once in 12 years.  And that one time… it took me approximately 45 days to land a job that made 40K more than the one I’d lost.  If only I had my severance right now… but it’s coming!  I’m not a TOTAL loser here!!  Why does it always feel like my family thinks the absolute worst of me?  What the hell do I have to do to prove to these people that I’m not a fuck up?  I may screw up here and there, but overall… I’m more often than not on a solid positive track in the right direction.

I came home, pouted and cried a little… paced and stewed a little… and figured I’d let some of it out here.  I don’t know, maybe this is my dad’s form of tough love, but honestly, between him and my mom – I’ve had all the tough love I can possibly stand.  I’d just like some real, genuine love for a little bit.  Is that too much to ask?  Some support, a kind word of encouragement and the faith to know that I’ve got this handled… ok so yea, maybe there’s a small blip in things thanks to our government right now… but damn it… I’ve got this.  Ok?!

Goodnight Neverland.  🙂

An adventure

I’m sitting at the airport waiting to go home. I took a short flight up to Calgary for the weekend. I went up there to relax, meet a new friend and just have a little adventure and boy did I definitely get one.

On Saturday morning, I was feeling pretty down, because my friend ditched out on our plans, so I got a massage. Afterwards, I went down to hotel bar and had a scotch. The two lady bartenders ended up talking with me and became good friends. They kept free scotch flowing in my glass.

They introduced me to a nice guy who ended up taking me to a jazz club where I danced with a 65 year old tuba player. He showed me pictures of his wife and told me stories of his own adventures.  The ladies from the bar ended up meeting up with me later and we tasted some amazing foods and walked all over Calgary.

I had a lovely conversation with a chef about canadian cheeses and even recieved an invite from her to come back and play in the kitchen the next time I am here.  She must have brought out 15 different cheeses for me to taste and try.

Then we hit a hipster bar, and I met a local art dealer. We got into a passionate debate about art and American politics.

To finish the night, the nice guy who I met told me how beautiful and kind and smart I am, and kissed me goodnight under the stars.  I didn’t get a phone number… I didn’t want it. I’m just going to keep focusing on me for a while, but these people here were lovely. They cheered me up when I was feeling pretty lost and sorry for myself and it turned out pretty amazing in the end. Should my 2 new lady friends ever come to Seattle, I will be sure to be a gracious host to them.

I was messaging my best friend as I was packing up, saying how much of a flop this weekend had turned out to be when it really dawned on me. It wasn’t a flop at all. It was exactly what I came for… an adventure.  A chance to see and do something new.  Funny, how so often in my life, I fail to recognize my own bravery and strength.  My friend pointed out some of the adventurous highlights from my life. I started a business… picked a random career… have traveled a lot and have made some amazing friendships. I have seen and experienced so many things that so many overlook or don’t take the time to experience.

And to my friend… you really missed out on an amazing weekend. I think I did your town justice tho.  Thank you for inspiring me to visit. And it’s ok that we didn’t hang out. While I don’t fully understand what happened, I can recognize that sometimes, things have to go a certain way for a reason.  I can forgive and move forward, because I care…about you, about me, about the direction that my life goes.

Hugs to you Neverland, thanks for always being there.