Friday, March 18, 2011


i've been afraid of changing
'cause i built my life around you
but time makes you bolder
children get older
i'm getting older, too.
 - "landslide," fleetwood mac (or about six million other people)

i always thought i owed it to the past, to what's happened in my life, to try to maintain a positive relationship with my ex-husband. we grew up together. kind of, anyway. at any rate, we lived together, shared so much for so long. i felt it proper and right to make the effort to normalize relations. and honestly, the marriage didn't end because he sucked as a companion; he sucked as a partner, which is completely different. but i realized something yesterday: what i thought was good-faith progress towards detente, and possibly even enjoying one another's company again, was a lie, an elaborate ruse designed to manipulate me. i'm fond of using the line someday, you will ache like i ache when i'm angry, stung. he has apparently decided to use it to bring me to his level. he hurts. he's mad. i broke his dream. so because i did these things, i should suffer the way he did. it's only fair.

yeah, funny thing. i'm sorry for his pain, legitimately. i did not set out to injure him in saving myself from mediocrity and discomfort. but that's how this works.  you're happy, aren't you? his words stung. he informed me, in no uncertain terms, that if i won't take him back, he doesn't want to be friends. oh, and then he hands me three envelopes with goodbye notes. one for my dad. one for my stepmom.

one for the man.

yeah, that happened. so i brought the envelope to him, and he read the contents. as i poured out the hurt and the heartache, then demanded to read the parting shot my ex-husband threw at his (unbeknownst to him) replacement, the tears flowed. again. one. more. time. the man dealt with it. again. one. more. time. we talked, and as we did, it finally hit me, the knives that have been twisted into my side, the pain that's been wielded like so many bludgeons. i parroted his words to me in my talk with the man: you're happy, aren't you? the man responded, so what if you are?

it was the quintessential saul-on-the-road-to-damascus moment. just like that, the scales fell from my eyes, and i saw exactly what he'd done to me. i owe him NOTHING, not after he treated me like this. i did everything right, and my reward was twisted manipulation. so guess what? you get what you wished for. if we can't be lovers, and we MOST ASSUREDLY cannot, we can't be friends.

i was afraid of changing, of thoroughly abandoning that relationship, because my adulthood had been completely confected around that relationship. he was all i knew of grown-up life. but time has passed, and lo and behold, i got the nerve to let it go. i'm better than a cheap manipulation thrust into my most tender places. i've gotten older, aged a lifetime in the space of a night, and i've gotten bolder. so i'll take the machete to my past, because i owe it to my present. more vitally, i owe it to my future. i owe it to that gloriously loyal, reasonable man who's been left far too many times to rebuild what my wounded, rage-crazed ex husband has sought to destroy.

for you, my love, i let it all go. wash it all away. never, ever again. i promise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

just a brief list.

i need this off my chest:

1) i want my life to settle the hell down. this up and down is going to kill me.

2) i humbly ask the universe to continue this unexpected rain of job-related kindness and intrigue. it is much, much appreciated.

3) i really, really, REALLY miss having my own car. rolling metal = freedom.

4) i love my profession. i really do.

5) if that's the way you want it, he who will not be named, that's the way you're going to get it. but you know full good and well that you're being unkind, petty and ridiculous. and i might be using a platform that you don't have to call you out, but frankly, i don't care. it didn't have to be this way. it's how you made it.

6) march madness is an amazing, beautiful thing. one shining moment after another.

i'm scattered tonight. thanks for dealing. more coherence later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

straight from the heart

i love this cheesy, god-awful pop song. i just love it (though i'd love the studio version on youtube a lot more than this one, bryan. jeez). it's a fabulous shower-singing song, when you're sure you're 100% alone and no one can hear you belting out lyrics like you're on stage at carnegie hall. it's been on my mind pretty much nonstop today, too, which would seem kinda random... except that last night, the man and i had THE TALK HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD. ok, i'm being a trifle overdramatic. but y'all made me think, you fabulous readers you. why should i just stew in my own juices (or vent to y'all)? he's a grown-up. moreover, he loves me. he wants me happy and satisfied. he also doesn't want me to worry. so let's talk about some stuff.

so after dinner last night, we went back to my house and sat down. i started with the uncertain and wide-casting job search in which i find myself in the middle. from there... well, the road was long, and the topics were many. we actually (gasp!) got serious for once. and of course, my honesty and openness was well rewarded. why wouldn't it? i got a lot of concerns answered, a lot of questions settled, and many reassurances, given to me in his own inimitable way.

one of the things that's been weighing on my soul is the distinct possibility that the job i take will make me have to move. i've been trying for weeks now to figure out his position on this subject. it's an opinion that, while not make-or-break, is pretty freaking important. i've done a long-distance relationship before. i do not enjoy them. i think they're stressful. so what would we do then? ('course, because this is me, i ended up traipsing headlong into related subjects that won't be discussed in public, which further complicated the matter.) this has always been a huge concern for me.

when the time comes, he said, we'll make the decision as to what we're going to do. but until then, apply where you want, do what you want. i'm not going to tell you that you can't do something. wow, love, i thought. was that so hard? so i said to him, what if the only thing i get is far away? what then? he kissed me and said, do you really think i'd let you take off somewhere and leave me here?

answers. straight from the heart. your humble blog proprietor is one happy woman today. and all i had to do was ask. y'all are smart. thanks. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

sleeps with butterflies

you say the word, you know i will find you
or if you need some time, i don't mind
i won't hold on to the tail of your kite
i'm not like the girls that you've known
but i believe i'm worth coming home to...
so go on and fly, boy
 - sleeps with butterflies, tori amos

one of the central themes of my life, and if you'd known me at age fourteen you'd never have seen this coming, is non-stop male companionship. i have not been single since june 7, 1998. one boy bled into another boy, who bled into the man, and that was it. now, obviously, that span is DOMINATED by my relationship with my ex-husband, which ran from september of 1998 until very, very recently. but the fact of the matter is, i've been half of a whole for thirteen years.

needless to say, this probably explains why i am not particularly fond of sleeping alone. i just haven't done it very much, and i got damn used to having the sound of breathing/snoring/dreaming next to me as i drift off. when the man took off to africa last month, one of the main things i hated about it (besides the whole exposure to malaria, being way too close to sectarian violence for comfort thing) was that i'd be on my own for all that time. but that distaste for alone-ness brought a cold, stark and really unattractive truth home.

i am clingy.

yeah, that's just not something you want to face as a grown woman. so i am faced with a serious dilemma: own the clinginess and risk pushing him away from me through the sheer burden of being more intense about us than he is, or enforce a romantic austerity program that will cause me sheer and unadulterated pain, all in the name of changing things. talk about a hobson's choice, eh? 'course, i suppose i could just bring all of this up to him, but honestly, he's not going to have a clue in hell how to deal with this. in fact, i'm sure he has no opinion on the matter whatsoever. he's very much a cloud, so to speak: he prefers to float along, doing whatever, in this regard. if he can avoid being wedded to a plan, so much the better.

did i mention i also overthink the hell out of everything?

yeah, so i think i'm just going to work on not worrying so much. on that score, the man has a very definite opinion: don't worry about it. don't worry so much. i'd ask you not to worry, but i know better. i just need to toughen up a bit, get a thicker skin, and oh yeah, learn to enjoy my alone time. just because there's not a man next to me as i lay me down to sleep doesn't mean something's wrong. (and it also doesn't mean the man doesn't miss me, either. food for my own personal thought.) i am worth coming home to, and both of us know it. so i don't have to cling so hard to the tail of his kite; he's not going anywhere. breathe in, breathe out, and relax.

besides, it's easier to sleep without the snoring. i think we can all agree on that.

Monday, March 14, 2011

a woman of letters

i am an excessively educated woman. i started school at age three, in pre-kindergarten, in the fall of 1984. i was in school without interruption until the spring of 2002 (for those keeping score at home, that's eighteen years). i took five years off to find myself, then went back in the fall of 2007. i am still here. four more years of education gives me a grand total of twenty-two years in school of a total of thirty years of life. i will have the following credentials when i am done:

1) a high school diploma, advanced with honors
2) international baccalaureate diploma, which means i took six tests at the end of twelfth grade, wrote a couple of papers and did some community service to earn an extra piece of paper that proves that i really, really learned a lot in high school
3) bachelor of arts degree, american history
4) juris doctor degree (my law degree)
5) graduate diploma in civil law (my special louisiana law diploma)
6) master of laws in taxation (my second law degree)

that'll make me magnolia, B.A., JD/DCL, LL.M., esq. that's an alphabet soup of credentials. i say all this not to brag on myself, but to pose a question. i've spent a lot of money and a TRUCKLOAD of time over my life attaining knowledge. book learnin', if you will. but why is it that this automatically makes me "smarter" than other people? i've had a couple of conversations over time with brilliant people who don't have these credentials. the basic idea that's been posed to me is, you have brains; i have wit. um, no; we both know that's not true, you have just as much "brains" as i do. but you've got the education, and that makes you smart.

does it? i mean, i'm not going to sit here and tell you all that i am not an intelligent person. i've learned a lot in my life, and i'm hungry to learn more, more, more. but what makes me smart isn't the fact that people in robes have handed me pieces of paper with categories on them. it's the fact that i think, i read, and i consider. you don't need special training to be smart. why don't we value intelligence gained in other ways? there are so many circumstances to consider as to why people don't tack the letters onto the back of their names. why is it that we've just decided that the one way to be "smart" is to do it? that's unfair, and it costs us a lot in terms of societal ignorance of people without these benchmarks.

i love my education. but there's more than one way to smart. we'd all be better off if we remembered that.