I’m a Failure, But Don’t Judge Me

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Recently I was wasting a bit of time on Facebook and came across some “Happy Anniversary, baby” posts. There were a lot of “I’m married to the greatest man and the most wonderful father,” and “I’m so lucky to have married my soulmate.” Indeed! I’m a sucker for romance and for a happy ending. I admit I get envious at these lucky-in-love stories, but I love them all the same. It gives me hope that true love can last.

While these posts make me smile, one of these social media contributors took it a step further into the judgment zone. For example, she wrote of her wonderful “hubby” and how “blessed” she was to be married to him and went on to say that they’ve “survived some MAJOR setback and some SERIOUS tribulations” within their marriage. She actually said: “A weaker couple would head for their divorce attorneys,” but this golden couple stuck it out and they are happy as all get out. She went on to say that the poor saps that chose divorce are just “quitters” and are “failures” at relationships. Really, the message I took from this is that in a nutshell, divorced people suck.

Yes, I am a failure. I take half of the blame for my marriage ending. I won’t go into the ins and outs of why it ended (besides, I’ve waxed poetically on that many times in previous blog posts). TruthfullyI don’t feel I need to justify anything. However, I will say this: I have failed, but no one should judge my decisions unless they walk in my shoes. If you were to experience what happens behind closed doors in my home then perhaps you’d have a better understanding.

And I’ve gotta say this: Shame on you for judging anything you don’t understand. It’s not your business. It’s not your life.

When I walked down the aisle over 9 years ago I certainly didn’t expect my marriage to implode. I was in it for the ever after. Does anyone choose a life of uncertainty, pain for their children, financial insecurity and overall angst and loneliness? Hell, no! Sadly, some people are unwilling (or don’t know how) to change. We are all flawed human beings.

I don’t even judge my future ex-husband. He’s got his shit to work through. Clearly with all of our marriage counseling, interventions and at times me begging him with tear-stained cheeks to please just be nicer and be more patient with our son, he just couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. It all comes down to not being the right match. I truly hope one day he meets that woman that will turn his life around and inspire him to be the man that I know he can be, if only he takes the time to work through his issues. I want him to be whole and happy so he is a better father to our son.

I walk away knowing I did it all. It’s difficult and sad and scary, but it’s the right decision. Because, by the way, my other decision is to stick it out which would have meant continuing to living with a stranger whose own family is a low priority (first priority: partying) and who sees no need to work at our marriage. No thanks. I won’t be imprisoned in a depressing and static situation because some people may judge me. It’s wonderful if two people work together to make their marriage the best it can be. Sadly, I have not found that partner yet who is willing to do that. Dating is certainly not a good indicator of how someone will be as a spouse and both partners must be ready to cherish their love and treat it like that magical gift that it is.

If this isn’t enough for you smuggy judgers let me say this: I am happy that you are with someone who respects and adores you and who is willing to work with you through the tough times. That is to be celebrated. Hold onto that person and never let go.

However, I am an intelligent human being and know when to leave well enough alone. There comes a point when one cannot take the pain anymore. Don’t judge me for my well-thought out decisions. If you still don’t get it, you need to realize relationships take work by both partners.

In the end, if someone chooses to judge me, I really don’t give a f&@#.

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Suspicious Fish

fishI had a dream about parmesan fish
Floating in a tomato red dish
It all seems so very suspish
Someone tell me what this means

They were up above the world so high
Those cheesy fish could really fly
Still, this is no excuse to cry
Perhaps my brain is rebelling

It makes me feel all itchy
And wrong and mean and bitchy
I can be more than just a little witchy
I am not myself at all

I hate it when I get like this
My soul seems to be quite amiss
Perhaps I just need a little kiss
This is really messing with my head

I’m not the angel I was raised to be
And for that I am truly sorry
Someday I hope to be a better me
No, I don’t know what it means

Just let me close my eyes and sleep
Forget this day, forget this dream
Payback I’ve learned can be very steep
I’m just a woman so please forgive me

Star Diving

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When are you going to stop analyzing and just jump in?

I can’t promise that I’ll catch you

You may take a long, long fall

But the stars will light your way

There will be magic

and terror

and passion

and loneliness

and truth

and sparks

and sweetness

And a tune that will never leave your head

And poetry that will never leave you lonely

And your mind will never be the same

And thankfully,

Neither will your heart.

John Tesh Thinks He Knows About Love

Image I was listening to the radio (something I rarely do unless it’s NPR) when Mr. John Tesh was on. I was driving in the rain and his voice broke through the thrum of the wipers and the splashes of my tires through the puddles. He was talking about love. Of course I was interested. Of course I couldn’t turn it off.

He gave advice on how to talk to the opposite sex. It actually made me giggle.

Guys, you should know that if you want to get a girl’s attention, just ask her where the nearest museum is.

Yes, really.

I would love it if someone would randomly ask me that question. I would probably answer that the nearest museum of interest is due east in Chicago (being a big fan of the Art Institute). Usually only homeless men talk to me, but that’s a whole other story.

I suppose Mr. Tesh is saying that one will appear cultured by asking that question. But it seems really silly to have a canned question on hand to ask some cutie. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever just gone up to someone (in a sober state) that I found attractive and fed them a line or tried to start a conversation. I suppose I have but usually a few minute conversation occurs and then I’ve moved on to more pressing matters like paying for the groceries.

So, where does one meet someone? A bar? A bookstore? At the laundromat? These all sound like intriguing places but going out and searching isn’t going to help you find “the one” any sooner. I truly believe that things happen as they are meant to, in their own time. Sometimes things happen that aren’t so lovely to help us grow and to find that love within ourselves.

The love from my son, my friends, my family, my dog, even from strangers is what fills my heart. And by traveling on a tough road I’ve grown stronger and learned what I deserve and what I will never settle for again. Magic happens when you surround yourself with positive, loving people who accept you and lift you up. When the time is right I won’t need a line or a certain place to meet the person who I will fall in love with. It’ll happen in due time when it’s right, with or without John Tesh.

I know that in my heart.

Wow…humbled!!

I have been nominated by the fabulous and scintillating Sex & The Cincy for the Liebster Award. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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I will answer her questions:

Ten Questions for My Nominee

  1. What is your most memorable or favorite blog piece you have written? Why? My Soulmates article. Love consumes me. It is with no doubt the most important and life-changing emotion. I believe people come into our lives for a reason and we learn from every single one of them. No matter how many times I’ve been let down or heartbroken I will never ever stop believing there is someone out there for me. There is someone perfect out there for everyone.
  2. Who inspires you? My son. He has witnessed his father and I go through tough times. I want to show him that through hard work and determination I will get us out of the situation and move on to better things. And that no matter how I’ve been hurt my love remains hopeful and young. I want to inspire him.
  3. What is your favorite quote? “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anais Nin
  4. How would you describe yourself in five words? Passionate, loving, sensitive, romantic, silly
  5. If you could meet any blogger, who would it be? I would love to hang out with Sex in the Cincy. I think we’d have a blast! I love her bluntness and I love a strong woman. She’s funny, too, which is a must!
  6. If your blog was a food or dessert, what would it be? Well, my blogs run the gambit, but the main theme is loving oneself and never giving up and your dream and never settling. I believe we were put on this earth to love greatly – anything less is just an appetizer. So, I’m going to say the food be would sensual French fare with lots of sparkling wine. And decadent creme brûlée for dessert.
  7. What is your favorite love/romantic movie? Well, Walk the Line is up there. But, The English Patient is extraordinary. It is filled with longing and never-ending love. I adore Casablanca but I’m not into a stoic man. I like one who isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. I understand that Rick has been hurt by Ilsa, but I wanted them to just throw it all aside and say, “You are for me, no matter what. Let’s do this.” Yes, the circumstances weren’t ideal and he saved her in he end. I just would have liked a tear or two shed by Mr. Bogart. I like sensitive boys.
  8. What is your best and worst quality? My best qualities are that I’m compassionate and romantic. My worst is that I give people too many chances. I need to be tougher. I also push away those that I shouldn’t (nice guys). It will take a strong man to prove his love is the real deal.
  9. Where is your favorite place to write? Lying on my bed with my MacBook.
  10. What is your dream job? Part-time teacher and then volunteering with at-risk youth to encourage them to tap into their artistic side. Writing, music and expression has saved my life many times.

I am nominating

Sex and the Cincy – Because she was one of the first blogs I read. I immediately thought I need to meet this chick and I think we’d have a fabulous time. She’s fierce and funny and I loo forward to her posts!

One Tiny Violet – Angela is a kind woman who lives by her convictions. She is a very talented writer. While I may not be Catholic, her writing speaks to me. I feel a connection with her. I think she’s amazing.

Rebels for Consciousness – In another life I’d like to be a rebel for consciousness. Well I certainly can be one now, but it seems with all the adventures they are having would be tough as a single mom with a 6-year-old. Anyway, they are an inspiration. They make me want to pump my fist in the air and yell a rallying cry for all women on the move!

Adventures Under My Pirate Flag – I adore this blog because I can totally relate. Since I am going through many of my own life changes it is refreshing to read about someone else’s struggles and know that I am not alone!

Where Do I end and You Begin? – I love poetry and this deals with obsession, depression, longing, loneliness, heartbreak, lust, doubt…. every human emotion when it comes to relationships. I feel better after reading this.

Live Hard, Love Hard – Great advice that I need to hear again and again. I love how she describes herself as: “Hellfire and honey sweet. Opinionated. Unapologetically authentic and vulnerable. Hardcore woowoo self-loving goddess lady. Mwah.” Don’t we all need someone like this in our lives??

S.W. May Charms – Mr. William describes what Charms are – something new to this writer. What you will find is witty, intelligent, CHARMing writing that will sometimes make you catch your breath and think, “That’s is something completely new. Wow.” Also, his profile pic is dapper – added bonus. “Be charmed! Never harmed, armed nor needlessly med-icated.” S.W. May

A Pilgrim in Time – I love the quotes, I love the photographs that take you on a journey of historical fiction. This is a blog I visit again and again.

Nishita’s Rants and Raves – I’m a girl who loves a good rant and rave. This blog is an eclectic mix. She covers 50 Shades of Grey, Food (with delish photographs), Harry Potter, celebrity, you name it. It’s eye candy and food for the brain. I love it!!

Reading in Bed – As one who loves reading in bed under my cool Egyptian cotton sheets, this is the perfect blog for me. Read reviews, stories, tidbits about books. I’m always up for a good recommendation and this site won’t disappoint!!

Ten Questions for My Nominee

  1. What is your most memorable or favorite blog piece you have written? Why?
  2. What one person would you love to meet (dead or alive) and why?
  3. What is your life’s philosophy?
  4. How would you describe yourself in five words?
  5. If you could meet any blogger, who would it be?
  6. If you could change what thing about yourself what would it be?
  7. What is your favorite song and why?
  8. What is your best and worst quality?
  9. Name a moment in your life that helped to define you?
  10. When you are not blogging what do you like to do?

Now, in order to formally accept this award you must:

  1. Link back the person who nominated you (me!)
  2. Answer the 10 questions which were given to you by the nominator (above)
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Spread the word, fellow bloggers! Thanks again to Sex & The Cincy. I am thrilled and humbled to accept the nomination!

Time After Time

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“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” – Henry Van Dyke

Things happen in their own time. And Time really doesn’t care.

We have choices. We choose what we cook for breakfast. We choose what color socks we put on. We choose how we treat others. We choose how hard we work. We choose whether we seek the beauty in life or not.

However, some things are out of our hands. And that is really fucking hard to deal with. I like to plan, make lists, get shit done. I don’t think I’m a control freak (as I can be quite zen and just let things be as they may). But, that’s when things are going my way. When things are all out of whack and I’m not getting what I desire, it really pisses me off. Then the fiery side of me comes out and I yell and kick and scream at Time:

“How can you be so cold? Can’t you hear me?!”

Time never responds. Time is too busy moving on. She’s got too much shit to do.

I’ve learned that we cannot plan our lives out. I have a very clear idea of where I’d like my life to be, but the universe, God, the angels, fate, Buddha and/or some naughty garden gnomes have different ideas. I don’t just sit by and dream, either. I work hard for what I want in every aspect of my life. My love life, friendships, career, finances, etc., will line up as they should. I just don’t know when.

I guess I’ll just hang out and enjoy the ride until then.

Taking the Long Way

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Everyone has adversity. We all handle it differently. Some things seem insurmountable, but eventually we get through it and make it to the other side.

Eventually.

Some things, no matter how badly you want them, no matter how hard you work for them, just don’t happen when you want them to. I’d like to think things happen for a reason. The only reason I can come up with for current events is that Life is teaching me patience.

I just want to start a new life. I want to move out of the house that my future ex-husband, my son and I share.

It doesn’t matter that I filed for divorce over 9 months ago. It doesn’t matter that I quit my teaching job to move to a new state for my husband and his job. It doesn’t matter that my husband can be emotionally and verbally abusive. The hard fact is that there just is not enough money for us to move out until I secure full-time employment.

My lawyer laid that out for me yesterday. It was a hard pill to swallow but not all that surprising.  If I didn’t have a beautiful 6-year-old I could live in a crappy apartment or my car. I could move back to my home state and live with family. None of these are options for me at the moment. Even on a full-time teacher’s salary, I will only be able to rent a decent apartment. Certainly with only a part-time job I could only afford a stinky one room dwelling on campus, if that. Obviously I don’t want my son to live in squalor.

Certainly I filed for divorce because things just became so unbearable, so toxic, that I had to end things. So, imagine adding to that the confession to my husband that, “I don’t want to be married to you anymore.” Things can be a wee bit tense. I will say; however, that things have been slightly better than I expected. I suspect that my husband’s lawyer has advised him to keep things kosher so he isn’t forced out of the house. And as crappy of a father that he can be, our son loves him. Throughout our relationship I have always been the one to “keep the peace,” and I continue in that role. It’s a tough balancing act, but I refuse to make things more tense for my son.

I’m hard-working and a very good teacher. I have been applying for teaching jobs since last fall. I’ve had interviews but no offers. It’s deeply frustrating. I live in a small college town. I have my Master’s degree and 8 years of full-time teaching experience. Unfortunately, in this economy, that seems to be working against me. There are plenty of fresh-faced college kids that the district can pay much less to than to hire me. I’ve heard from more than one principal to “keep applying,” and that I “will find a job – any school will be lucky” to have me. These seem like empty words when the people telling me this chose to hire someone else.

There are now slightly less than 3 weeks before school starts. I have not given up hope because jobs continue to be posted. However, I haven’t had a call this week for an interview. I am confident in my ability to teach but that doesn’t mean it’s not a bitch to find a job. However, I keep plugging along.

As difficult as this situation is, the human spirit is stronger. I strive to stay positive and grateful for what I do have. I have family that my son and I can go visit to get away. I have friends that are understanding and take my calls at odd hours. My son is healthy. I had the strength to start this process and I have the strength to finish it. Things may not be resolved on my timeline, but eventually it will all fall into place.

Forgotten

Some people make an impression on your heart
Their lips, their hands
Even their boot;
The boot that tracks the mud
and mixes with your blood
And they walk around and drag your essence around
Watered down

And you sort of forget who you are.

Serendipity and Happenstance

Few things are worse than having a sick child. You are left with an utterly helpless feeling because your child thinks you can kiss awaycomfort boo-boos, dry tears and make him feel better just by holding him. When I first had my own child I finally understood the plain truth in saying to your child (as my parents had said to me so many times), “I would take this pain from you, I would bear this illness if I could.”

My son has caught a virus that gives him fevers at night and a dry cough, which was probably picked up at day camp. He is a slightly muted form of his effervescent self during the day, although his loss of appetite and declarations of, “I’m tired!” after dinner shows that he’s just not himself (I mean, what 6-year-old ever admits to being tired?).

My family has implored me to stay away from my little guy so that I do not get whatever he has. Obviously, surgeons want you to come in as healthy and strong as possible before they perform the taxing procedure to your body. I’ve done my best by only kissing him on the forehead and washing my hands until they are raw.

For the last 6 weeks I have felt useless, guilty and paralyzed as a mother. I am supposed to be his caregiver. I am supposed to be up and playing with him during these humid days, matching his laughter and sweat and imaginative adventures. Instead, I’ve been mostly stuck in my bed, feeling drained and outside of my body, which has failed and confounded me.

Last night I heard my son’s faint little cries which quickly grew louder. He must have been jolted awake by a coughing fit and wanted his mommy. I have about 15 nicknames for him, so he has come up with one for me, because he says, it sounds like “Mommy.” He has reassured me it has nothing to do with bovines.

“Moo, Moo,” he cried out. I flew out of my bed, opened his door and saw him sitting up in his bed.

“Moo, I want to sleep next to me.”

“Honey, you know I can’t get sick. Let me find your chicken.” (A disheveled mess of fur, beak and a single eye; the aptly named Chicken is his beloved companion and source of comfort.)

“Please, Moo,” he begged.

No good mother would ever deny her child comfort in times of sickness. I laid right next to him, and he promptly grabbed my free arm, wrapping it around himself. He coughed a bit more, but then fell into a peaceful, deep sleep. After sleeping next to him for several hours, I woke up as I usually do at an ungodly hour. I surveyed the scene: the boy was still sleeping serenely and the humidifier and vaporizer were still running at full-bore. I kissed him on the cheek and quietly retreated to my own bed, leaving his and my doors ajar in case of further calls for comfort.

The last thing I want is for my child to be sick, especially since I go into the hospital tomorrow for at least a week. I’ll miss him with an undeniable fervor, worrying and wondering how he’s getting along. I’m sure he’ll be fine, but every parent has these irrational fears when away from their child.

I’m realizing now what a paradox last night was. My son was ill and I felt helpless because I was unable to cure him. However, for the first time in over a month, I was able to be his mother; not the ailing version he’s seen, but the one he knows that helps make everything better. I felt needed and was able to fulfill my role; something I haven’t been able to do, which has left a constant ache in my heart.

Last night was a small moment, just a simple gesture that any parent would do. But to me it felt important and moving and serendipitous. The last memory my son will have of me before I go into the hospital and begin my long journey of healing is simply of me being his mother. This little circumstance gives me the strength to go through hell and come back renewed.

One Blue Boot

One blue boot300f17213d7c00b5506df68f1cc7c965
Rests atop the frozen ground
Surrounded by the falling snow
Fated to becoming buried, perchance
And forgotten.

One blue boot
Sits all alone until the morrow
When sunlight will gaze upon it
And create a collage of contrast
In color.

One blue boot
Too big for the foot, torn clumsily
While crawling through freshly-made forts
Tears slip into the snow, concealed
By whiteness.

One blue boot
Exemplifies a father’s love and protection
As he carries his little girl with one boot
Promises are kept, tears are dried and
Love uncloaked.