Saturday, 30 November 2013

Hey, Wait A Second

As I glanced at the calendar this morning, my brain went "damn, November's over?"

And then my brain, very quickly went "HEY!  Wait a second!" 

"Where are the advent calendars I bought?"

You guys?  I don't know the answer to this right now and it's disturbing me.

Give me strength and good searching skills.  I mean, this apartment is only so large, right?


Friday, 29 November 2013

How It Should Be

Alignment by foundimagination
I often am trying to figure out why I feel a certain way.

For example, this last week or so I've been noticeably grumpy in the afternoons and evenings.

So I sit and I ask myself why.  Is it because of the situation C-Dawg and I dealt with?  Is it because I didn't eat very well while we were away?  Is it the dark, short days?  Is it being nervous about meeting a strange guy?  Is it wishing Jay were different?  Is it me fighting off a bug?  What is it?

The other day as I was trying to figure it all out, I asked myself why.  Why did I need to know where this negative feeling came from?

Well, the answer came, so that I can avoid it in the future.  Can stay more in balance.  Can avoid the dips in mood.

But then I thought more about balance and I realized that I somehow want my personal, emotional balance to be constant. 

That I'm looking to achieve this magical, perfect internal balance that just...stays there.  Forever.  Balanced.

And I guess the more I thought about it, the more I realized balance is an active, often frustratingly difficult thing.

Like, literal balance, people who walk tightropes and things, they're constantly in motion.  Constantly adjusting, tweaking, changing according to what needs to happen so that balance can be maintained.

You don't just find balance and get to hang out there with no effort.

And that realization kind of sucked.

It sucks that balance takes so much effort.

That to be in balance, literal and emotional/mental/physical, you have to be constantly alert.  Constantly adjusting.

I just want to get there and have it stick.

But I think maybe the adjustments are worth making to be in the general area of balance.

To be trying to maintain a decent level of balance.

Just wish it was a relaxing pursuit.

Even though it sort of is.

This made much more sense in my head.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Seeking Control Of The Uncontrollable Others

So, yeah.

Been talking online with a guy who seems nice.

(Gotta love the qualifier, eh?)

He asked me if I'd like to meet and I said sure, and then didn't hear from him for a couple of days.

Which, is usually a sign something has changed.

Like, you're exchanging multiple messages a day and then bloop?  Hmmm...

So instead of assuming the worst (he ain't nothing but a jerk face.  he must have met someone else he likes better. etc.) I messaged him and said "hey, if you still want to meet, let me know, and if you've met someone you're more interested in let me know that too!  have a great day :)"

I figured I'd either get ignored, or get a message back saying, "yeah, sorry, went on a date, she's great" because that has happened to me a couple of times.  Par for the course when people are messaging and considering meeting multiple people at once.

But to my surprise he messaged me back that yes he'd still like to meet and that was when we exchanged cell numbers and have been texting back and forth since.

So I'm glad I took control of the situation and didn't let it linger or wonder if he was waiting for me to set a date or what.

We're still planning on meeting, soon, but he's got a cold (I think that happened to me with Jay when he first wanted to meet.  Must be something about this time of year?) and by the time I get off work it's usually too dark to enjoy a walk so we'll get to it, I think.

Eventually?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Process

Just A Little 'Corny by foundimagination
So, yes, I am back on the dating site, sort of vaguely. Having a few conversations that I'm not putting much stock into.  And, of course, one or two that I'm trying not to be too hopeful about.

Other than the one weirdly out of nowhere sleaze-ball (who, by the way, deleted his profile and then opened up an identical one, same name, plus a number1, same write up, same picture I guess for a clean slate?) the fellows I've been in contact with have been decent.

It's a weirdly judgmental place, an online dating site, but I do weed through pretty quickly, those I don't really want to talk to based on their profile, so I generally avoid those who seem like jerks or too terribly self-involved.

The process itself I'm used to, and I know the vagaries the men go through.

There's the initial flurry of messages once the first contact is made.

This is the time when you know they're likely messaging a number of people and you just happen to be one they've found interesting for some reason.

Those first messages either stop coming, or they continue.  The guys that stop messaging, it's always a little bit of a mystery as to why, but I usually just assume they've found someone else they're more interested in pursuing.  I used to beat myself up as to the possible reasons "she's prettier?  she's funnier?  she's younger?  she's smarter?"  but now I just figure it doesn't really matter why he's not interested in a random stranger (me.)  And I move on.

If a guy keeps messaging, it can be quite fun.

And when the guy is nice, and funny, and intelligent, it can be a lot of fun.  And I get a certain vibe through these messages too.  And often if I feel I don't want to eventually meet this person, I lay off of the messaging myself.

But if things go well in this phase, usually the guy will ask if I'd like to meet.

Sometimes we'll exchange cell numbers at this point for texting, which, as I've said, is never a concern for me privacy wise as my cell is not my main number, and, again, I've been lucky with my choices.

Once the "yeah, we should totally hang out" exchange has taken place, things change.  The dynamic shifts and I'm usually a little sad at this point.

Because once you meet the fun message exchanges stop.  Maybe the texting continues, sure, but now things aren't "I'm getting to know you via these words", it's "we've met, and do we like each other?" and now what?

Or, as these things go, sometimes you meet and you don't speak again.

Or you meet and it's not... awesome and things kind of drift off.

So for me, the fact that this nice guy and I are planning on meeting soon is kind of a bummer, because I don't know for sure if we'll go forward once we've met, or never speak again, but it does mean a change in the dynamic, and having these messages and texts with this guy have been fun and somewhat distracting.

So, yeah.  That's the process, as I see it.

Search profiles.  Make contact.  Exchange messages.  Either stop or keep exchanging messages.  Plan to meet.  Unknown.  Back to phase one?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Nov

This has been an odd month, and I've had odd dreams all along.

I feel like perhaps the weirdness was kicked off by Jay's accident and all the things that got torn and filtered out of and because of that.

And then online dating stuff, or not stuff.

And work things I haven't even talked about.

And weather.

And the time change darkness.

And dreams about me taking yoga classes that end up with me having to present to the group while I end up pretend making out with my childhood neighbour who randomly showed up at the yoga class and we decide once his divorce goes through we'll get married.

And one where I was on the holiday and had to speak the bible verses but really didn't want to.

And Movember, and lumps in friend's breasts and saying no and feeling guilty and how things constantly move forward, and I can't get over the idea that it's not my fault I am the age I am.

It seems quite odd to me that this month is wrapping up, and I'm nervous about getting through December emotionally unscathed.  It already feels like madness out there and I don't want that to sneak inside.

A sunny but cold month would help I think.  The brightness helps a lot in these short short days.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Inside

Holding by foundimagination
It's interesting (in retrospect) to see the things my worry-brain gets focussed on.

For example, C-Dawg and I travelled down to the States for the last (hurrah!) of our dealings with people and whatnot from the whackadoo car accident we were in a few years ago.

I was a little nervous about the process and/or what the results might be, but the thing that was really getting to me?

The fact that we would have to wake up at six on the day we were leaving to get to the transportation terminal in time.

Like, really.  I was so worried about it.  SO EARLY!  In the morning!  It's going to be awful!!!!!

It wasn't.  It was fine.  I was awake before even the alarm went off, and I was there with my awesome friend so even though it was an earlier morning, I had a friend there.

And, really, it's not a lot earlier than I get up for work anyway.

And I didn't get great sleep there so it was almost a relief to be getting up.

Now I don't even know why my brain was so fixatedly worried about having to get up that early but I was convinced it would be nasty.

And it wasn't.

It was fine.

Which frustrates me a little because when I'm IN the worry, I can't see logically out of it or through it.  I just believe it.

Like when I'm nervous to meet a new person from a dating site, say.  All I know is that I'm nervous and think that it will be uncomfortable and that it won't necessarily end in a positive way even though I know it will most likely be OK.  That, yes, it can be somewhat awkward or tiring, but that I've also had some really nice times meeting people and when I met Jay, and what's his name (Chad), it went well and ended well.  (If at least for a while...or long while.)

Sigh.

I just don't know how to get out of the worry when I'm in in in it.  You know?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dude

In the last week, I have...

- tried to put the yam fries, on the baking sheet, into the freezer instead of the oven.

- turned off the kitchen light instead of the running water

- gone to hang up the phone once the conversation was over by pressing the "off" button, but pressed the "shut down" button on my computer instead

Not sure if I'm just totally relaxed and not paying attention to things, completely distracted and not paying attention to things, or really tired and forgetting what I was doing from moment to moment.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

I Don't Know Why It Mattered

Totally Forgot There Was A Chalk Art Festival This Weekend by foundimagination
I'm really loving the pastel crayons I randomly got a few weeks ago.

Not saying that I love everything I do, but I find when I do something I like and it's in the pastels, the colours are great.

Doing this art every day has reminded me how much I enjoy it, and it's also reminded me of the art classes I took in high school.

Specifically, this one moment where my Grade 10 art teacher grumpily told me I was the messiest artist he'd ever seen.

I no longer remember what he was referring to, but I do smudge things with the side of my hand, get thumb prints where they shouldn't be, and it doesn't particularly bother me anymore.  If it ever did.  But it bothered my art teacher and I remember being hurt by his comment.

I wanted to be good.  I wanted complements.  Encouragement.  Maybe even help, guidance.  But all I remember is his anger/frustration with me.  And I maybe thought he hated me because of it.

I don't think at the time I had enough perspective to think maybe he was having a bad day/week/month, or if the students that block had annoyed him or anything other than he was telling me I was a bad artist in some way and it's stuck with me ever since.

I doubt he even remembers saying it.  Or me at all, and I'm fairly certain he didn't mean it to be a comment that stuck with me for so long, but it did.

So, I'm kind of a messy artist. 

I'm ok with that.

Even if no one else is.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Change Is The Only Constant

I'm ok, you know.  I realized this yesterday.

I think it was partly because Jay texted me saying he wished I wasn't so far away for a visit.

It's just a nice feeling to know someone out there... likes me.  You know?

Plus, I've already mourned the breaking up.  So even if we're over, sort of half again, it's not as painful as it was the first time.

And then there was the giggling.

I don't know if you remember when I mentioned that my friend and I are doing a 365 project with each other?  And mine is art-based and hers music based?

Well yesterday, the topic she gave me was "hot air balloon" and it just popped into my head... I knew what to do.

So I got home, and I printed out a photo of Jay's head.  (Well it was a photo of his shoulders, face and head, but I just cut out the head.)  And then I glued it onto a piece of paper I'd painted blue, and I drew on the wires and whatnot to make Jay into a giant hot air balloon.  Because, you know, he's full of hot air.

And I giggled the whole time.

Which was really nice.  To feel that way.

And it was nice to feel ok.

Again.

I hope it keeps going.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

You Too?

Awwww! by foundimagination
I am often having negotiations with myself inside my head.

Most often with regards to working out.

Especially on non-work days.

"Well, I don't have to work today but I'm up at a non-work time, so I should try working out in the morning, see what that's like!"

"Ok, but I could also sit and just relax and have a nice, easy morning."

"Alright.  So maybe before lunch then?"

... lunch time....

"Well, I've had a great morning.  Maybe I should just continue relaxing.  I could workout later."

... neighbour asks me to join her and her kids for a walk to the park.  I do.  I come home....

"Hmm... see, now, technically I've exercised.  I don't really have to do any more.  But it might feel good if I do."

"Or I might tweak my back more (current excuse.)"

"But I'd feel prouder of myself if I did."

"Yeah, but it's dark out now."  (As if that matters if I'm just going to throw on an exercise video.)

"But you have to work tomorrow and you might not have time to get in a workout at all so maybe just do it today because you have the extra time."

"Maybe I'll just watch another show and then see how I feel.  Seeing as I don't really have to do anything."

And then some days I get annoyed with myself for putting it off and I go ARGH FINE and I get up off the couch and go the damn exercise workout.  Or maybe I tell myself that if I do I can watch that last episode and I'll feel good about having worked out and... well, yeah, these are the moments when it helps if there's been some physical evidence of change.

Like if I can say "ooh, well you know that I'm down two pounds and that's because I'm working at it and so I should go work at it now too."

These aren't the only negotiations/debates I have with myself.  I try to get out of doing groceries.  Cleaning.  Washing my hair.  (Can I get through one more day? Sure, but I'll feel better and feel prettier if I wash it tonight.  Ugh.)  Right now I'm on a "OMG please make it end I want to murder someone" no treats/sweets/chocolate eating plan but usually there are "well, if I just have one now" sweets negotiations too.

Maybe these conversations are what will power is all about, I don't know.  I just know some days I drive myself crazy with it, and some days it's easier to just do the thing rather than to have to listen to the negotiations continue.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Someone Else's Perspective

Vince texted me, he does fairly regularly, just to check in, see how things are going.

I told him about Jay, the accident, the injury, the rest of it.  Vince, like my other guy friend who knows pretty much the whole Jay story said a similar thing to that other friend.  "Jay told you from the start he was going to be a dick. (My other friend just said "this way")"  Yes, I guess he did.

I took risks with Jay.  Pushed past things I wasn't comfortable with because I thought the risk might be worth it.  I saw things in him I valued, and I wanted to see how it would play out.

And I suppose now I know. And I get to choose.

I also told Vince about the online guy who took things down the sleazy path.  Vince's reaction made me smile.

"Tell him that the sexual position you like is him in handcuffs and you with pepper spray."

I like that Vince is on my side, that all my guy friends are, really, but Vince is different because he used to be a boyfriend, so when he's on my side it's easier to believe he really means it.

"You're so much better than all these guys, remember that.  You're smarter, and above them in every other way.  Let them know from the get go.  If you think this guy's a schlep, tell him!"

I don't quite agree with him, I don't see myself quite that way, but it was still nice to hear.  A boost I needed when I'm not feeling so hot about things.

Sometimes hearing what someone else has to say can help shake you out of feeling a certain way, and it's those little moments of providence that remind me that life is ever changing.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Pushing Past The Blahs

Along The Wall by foundimagination
In an attempt to un-do the backfiring somewhat, to drag myself out of the unhappy the last few days got me stuck in, I a) forced myself to exercise even though I felt far too heavy (emotionally) to do so and I b) hunkered down and went back on the site.

I still don't know if the site will ever work for me, the whole process post messaging doesn't suit me, as I keep saying here, but as I said to my friend, it's not a door I'm 100% sure I want to shut, because I really don't have a lot of interaction with potential dates in my day to day life.

I'm sort of half debating messaging back the maybe-just-hookup guy to see if ... I don't know, he'd want to hang out, knowing I'm not up for cheap sex?  Maybe I embarrassed him by taking things the wrong way, I don't know.  But I haven't yet, because... I'm not sure.  Just haven't.  Can't quite figure it out, just more often than not it doesn't feel like the right thing to do.

I did come across a guy I'd met at a pre-Burning Man BBQ and then saw on the dating site, so I dropped him a line to ask how his burn went.  I think at the very least I could meet him and have things to talk about since we do have Burning Man in common now.

I don't know, it can be really frustrating to be online.  It can be really disheartening.

But, technically, I did find Jay that way... ironically, about a year ago almost exactly... so maybe it's just about ignoring the disheartening and frustrating.

Or maybe it's just a distraction while I do my best to keep moving away from missing whatever good there was with Jay and I.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Backfired

Well that whole "I'll see what's on the dating site" idea really backfired on me.

I thought I'd move onwards and upwards from Jay, but instead I found a guy who just wanted a hookup, and another nice guy who is a part-time smoker and yet another guy who never returned my messages after I shared my photo with him.

And after my crying meltdown all I wanted to do was call Jay and have him make me feel better.

Because I would feel better, for a bit if I talked to him, connected with him.

And then I'd be no further ahead, but I also wouldn't be quite so sad and hurt.

Don't want to get stuck in "I'll be single forever" self-pity, but man... it's kind of not hard to feel that way right now.

Everything feels pretty sucky right now and that's no way to feel.

At all.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Aww F**k

And So Castles Made Of Sand by foundimagination
I usually tell myself to breathe before I type out a post when I'm this hurt, but I don't care right now.  The it's so heavy to be this sad blanket has just been thrown over me and I've stopped crying long enough to be able to try to form thoughts.

I decided that I would be kind of "girl power" and I went back to the online dating site.  I was just going to look around and see, but then there were a few good looking guys with nice profiles who seemed like good people so I messaged them.

A couple of them got back to me, and I started messaging back and forth with one yesterday.

And that's always the fun part, seeing what they'll say when they message you back.  Or how long it takes them to get back to you, and if they seem funny, or interesting, or whatever.

And so we were chatting a bit and then somehow things, from his end, turned flirty.

"Do you like showers or baths?"

I know that doesn't seem too flirty, but I've been around the block before, and I know when things are going in a particular direction.

"Well that totally depends.  Both can be good."  I wasn't entirely comfortable with going down that road so I politely steered away.    "Which tv show is your favourite out of these two?" 

"The first one.  A shower can work for two... so can a bath.  Top or bottom?"

At this point I was feeling rather uncomfortable.  I'm not on the site for hookups.  Generally people who are indicate it in their profile.  Maybe I was just... over-reacting a little and it was all in good fun?

"Well, you're just going to make me blush."

But he didn't take that out either.  Gave me his number, told me I could call or text him.

I didn't want to, until I'd cleared things up a little.

"Hey, just wondering why you took the conversation that way when we haven't met yet.  Felt a little like you were looking for a hookup?  That's not my thing, by the way."

And then he deleted all our messages.

Which, I guess is an answer in and of itself.

But it was just enough to send me over the edge.

Jay is a selfish guy.  Selfish and self-centered.  But he was never sleazy.  He may not be good to me, but at least he cared (as best he was able.)

I try to move on and all I do is run into a guy who seems great, but also only seems to want to get into someone's pants.

I feel like I just can't win.

And all I want is to be loved and to love.

This just made me want to go running back to Jay and take the devil I know.

I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow but right now I'm just so sad and upset and hurt.  Men are not my favourite right now. At all.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

. . .

I guess I'm glad I was trying not to jump too far into the future, but what happened next was still a complete shock.

Less than an hour after Jay thanked me for my help, he sent me a text.

How would I feel about him going on a date with someone?

I was stunned.

Not because he wanted to go out with someone, but because he was bringing this up now.  As he lay in a hospital bed, a week or so before coming to stay at my place to recover from this major injury, he asks me this?

I know we split up.  I know we never really got back together, but what kind of timing is this?

I told him as much.  Told him I'd been worried sick about him and this was terrible timing.

I told myself that his judgement was perhaps slightly impaired by the narcotics, but still, I was so bewildered.  Hurt.  Confused.

And, yes, I told him so.

Jay always falls back on "I'm being open, honest, and transparent with you."  And in many ways I appreciate that more than someone who would go behind my back, but as I said to him... I had just opened my house to him to come and heal in and he was telling me he wanted to fall in love with other people.  These two things are not compatible in my heart.  Or my brain.

I don't understand his timing.

"I wouldn't be dating them when I was staying with you.  Or really at all in my current state, but I just wanted to let you know that there's interest there."

And perhaps he gets points somewhere in the karmic universe for his honesty, but all I see is someone using someone else.  And that someone else being me.

It was a slap in the face for me.  A shocking reminder of what I mean to Jay.  Or, I suppose, what I don't.

The reaction from the friends I shared the text conversation with were sobering.

"He is a terrible representation of men.  It's guys like him that make the rest of us look bad.  What a douche."

"He wants his cake and to eat it too."

"What a dick.  I hope you never speak to him again.  Done."

I'm just baffled that he doesn't see the other side of things.

That he doesn't see how he is using me.

That he doesn't see how people react to him and his choices.

Because as I've said before, I know him, I know some of his motivation, and I know why he thinks what he does is ok.  Some of what he does I just don't think he understands.  Doesn't understand how human beings treat each other, although he cares for humanity, works towards bettering the world.

One of the thoughts that has been going through my head is that he was never, has never been a good enough boyfriend for me to put up with this kind of thing.

Like, if he were an amazing, thoughtful, kind, generous, supportive, wonderful boyfriend and partner, then maybe I would be ok with him wanting to date other people.  Maybe I would put up with some of his less than wonderful sides because it would be worth it.  But he is not.

I don't understand how he thinks he is so amazing that I would do all this for him, with nothing in return.  Nothing at all in return except the pleasure of caring for him?

I am no Mother Theresa and he is no helpless waif.

I give all day in my work.  I love selflessly day in day out.

I will not do it for someone who thinks so little of me they do not even have the common decency to show me even an ounce of what I deserve.

I am sure a trained psychologist could analyze the crap out of him and find out the mental games he's playing with himself and why, but I feel like he just lost the last chance I can handle giving him.

We made up a month after we broke up.  We were partners for a lot of Burning Man.  We reconnected again once Burning Man was over.

I ended things when he left for Vancouver and showed himself to be an unkind, thoughtless, selfish man.  I did not want to ever see him again after the night at Burning Man when he, again, showed me he was the most selfish person I have ever met.  And now, when I opened my home and my heart to him, yet again, he reminded me that he did not want to be my partner.

Let me tell you... if the days of worrying about him weren't hard enough?  The day he asked me how I felt about him dating other people?  That was a hard day.

That was a crying at work, pulling myself together, and crying at work again kind of day.



It's been a few days since that day now.

I think, (I hope, I pray) that I'm done.  Whatever generous feelings I had towards him are certainly gone.

If he asks to stay at my place once his Mom returns back home (she's flying out to take care of him his first week or so after being released) I will be saying no.

I emailed Jay, asked him to keep me appraised of his well being.  I see no need to cut off communication at this point.

Now I need to turn my attention elsewhere.

I wish him well, I hope he recovers speedily, and maybe some day we'll be friends of some kind, maybe not.

He called me last night, all doped up... I didn't have anything to say other than politely listening to him talk.

Whatever warm feelings I had for him have been shut off.  Not saying they won't sneak back on, but right now... he's just somebody I used to know.

See, what I keep feeling the need to reiterate here is that there are always two sides to a story.  At least.

And I found, with Jay, there is no point getting into a debate about the semantics.

Sure, we're not together.  We're not officially exclusive, so he's just letting me know he's interested in someone so I'm aware and can make choices.

I get it.  I get his side.  His take.

I just know he doesn't get mine.

This blog almost always only presents my side of things, and then I get upset when people defend me and attack the other side because I know I've only half represented things.

This is my forum to vent.  To share my hurts and pains and joys and successes.

I don't know if Jay will ever understand where I'm coming from, or if he'll ever understand why so many people are so angry at what he did, and when.

I still think that's what gets me.  His timing.

I don't understand.  Except maybe he needs to keep me at a safe emotional distance.  Maybe he needs to remind me he's running the show.

I don't know.  This has just been an incredibly long, emotionally exhausting week and I just want to be in love with someone who really, truly loves me back.

Friday, 15 November 2013

From One Moment To The Next

Mother Nature Dressed Up For Hallowe'en Too! by foundimagination
In some ways I don't know what to say.

Or, I know what to say, but not where to start.

Or I know what to say and where to start but I don't know how many layers I should open.  Unravel.  Reveal.

Jay was in an accident.

Quite a serious one.  I won't explain what happened.  I always try to keep my anonymity, and the anonymity of those I choose to write about here, so I'll just say I'm not sure he should have survived.

But he did.  And he's very lucky.

Quite seriously injured.  But, again, not as injured as he should/could/might have been.

It's been a week.

A week where I was worried sick.

Couldn't sleep the night I found out.  The night after I got the text from him telling me he was in the hospital.

The text that made me wonder would I have ever found out if he'd died?

Because what do you do when someone dies?  Does someone go through their contact list and text/email/call everyone on the list?  I don't think so.

So what if this accident had happened and he'd died and I'd never heard.  Just... would have stopped hearing from him.

I suppose I would have googled his name eventually, and maybe there would have been a story about it, but... yes...would I have known if he'd died?

We texted back and forth a few times that day, and the next.  I offered him to come stay with me in the first few weeks of his recovery, before I even knew what was injured...what was wrong.

I just knew that where he lives in Vancouver isn't a great place for someone who's been hurt, and that he's not good at taking care of himself in the best of times.  And that were he here, I could help.  And that that's what you do when you care about someone.  Even if you're not really in love with them anymore.

I was pretty overwhelmed those first two or three days, after talking to him and hearing how badly off he is, and wondering how it would all work out.  Could we even get him here, physically?  Would he be able to travel?  Get up the stairs to my apartment? 

And then my brain, as it does, started jumping ahead.  His contract was ending.  What would he do for work?  What would he be able to do for work?  What about next summer?  Would he be able to ride his bike at Burning Man?  Would he do stupid things and re-injure himself?  Do worse damage?  Would he ever be back to feeling ok again?

I tried so hard to just stay in the moment.  "I'm safe at home here.  Jay is getting excellent care in a hospital.  That's where we are right now.  Right now is all there is.  Stop thinking about anything other than right now."

The research I did on his injury really showed me how lucky he was.  Is.  He isn't needing surgery, would be in a brace of sorts for months, but other than that, he'd be released in a week most likely. 

Lucky.

I tried my hardest not to fret too much, but I started thinking about making plans to have him here.  He wouldn't be driving, so we didn't have to worry about his car.  I'd make sure I took wires and rugs off the floor so there was nothing for him to trip over. 

We would figure out about any physio or rehab and get him a followup doctor here, and, yeah, we'd figure it out.  I'd manage.  I'd make sure I took time to myself and I would give him tough love.  Not let him get stuck in feeling sorry for himself.  Help him get better, and stronger.  It would be ok.

I worried about him.  My parents, who have never met him, but know I cared for him, loved him, they worried.  My friends in the medical field assured me he was getting excellent care, it would be long and slow but he'd be ok.  My friends checked in, made sure I was ok, asked how he was.  I coped.

I got through the days.  Checked in on him.  Tried not to worry when I didn't hear back from him.

I sent him love and good healing vibes and thoughts.

Jay thanked me, a few days post accident, for some help I gave him finishing a last minute work deadline.  He said he couldn't have done it without me, and I glowed.... he'd never thanked me before and it had been hard.  Hard pushing him to do the work while I knew he was in pain, and on a lot of painkillers and just wanting to sleep. 

But he thanked me.

And that meant a lot.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Stereotypes

It often makes me chuckle (or sometimes roll my eyes, depending on my mood) when people refer to Canada and its MASSIVE amounts of snow.  SNOW SNOW SNOW!  Canadians are covered in snow!

Except...no.

Some of us have had snow, but so have some of the States.

Many of us?  No snow at all.

And some of us?  Ie.  where I live?  We may not get any snow at all this winter.

So when I see people in some of the States talking about how they're getting their first snowfall, I just kind of want to say, see?  It's not us... it's you!  You're the people covered in snow!

Here?  I know a guy who wears shorts all year round.

(But he's a little crazy too!)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

'Verted.

Marketing by foundimagination
I got a text from the "few dates before Burning Man" guy.

He said he'd just thought of me and how was I?

We chatted back and forth a bit and then he asked if I'd like to catch up over coffee.

I told him that I didn't want to just now, but maybe in a bit.

He assured me he wasn't asking as a date, but just in a friendly way and I told him that that was fine, I was just being a bit of a social hermit right now.

He said he understood, but that as a major extrovert, he was finding his current studies were keeping him very much away from people, and would I like to switch to his quiet lifestyle and he to mine?  (My job calls on me to be extroverted, hence my need and desire, as a more introverted personality, to sometimes just be alone in my down time.)

We left it on a friendly note but I was thinking about it the next day. 

Part of what I'd found difficult about "dating" him was his energy.  And it may be an introvert-extrovert thing.

I don't want to spend my free time with someone who is BIG and ENERGETIC all the time.  I need a calm, quiet energy for my "me" time.

And I'm sure this guy has his quiet moments, but being around him was just too much work. 

That'll maybe only make sense to those of you on the introverted side of things.

I have another great friend who's the same.  Sometimes he'll call me and I just don't feel like I want to answer the phone because I know the conversation will take a certain amount of energy I just don't always have.

It's interested to have had this realization and I wonder if this fellow would appreciate hearing that it's a personality thing, not a "you're not a cool guy" thing.

Or maybe it's just as easy to let it go.

But then I remember that I saw him smoking and...well, yeah.  Anyway.

It may also be part of why online dating has been harder for me than for others.  I think the meeting a stranger for a blind first date thing is much, much easier for natural extroverts than it is for those of us who need quiet down time.  It's not that we are shy or quiet, just that it's a lot to be out there and charming in a new situation, especially if we're in a day to day job or lifestyle that requires a lot of energy and out-there-ness already.

I need to feel relaxed when I meet a potential partner and I'm not at all relaxed with these first dates.

Something for me to think on, I guess.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Protagonist

It's funny, I came across this... statement randomly somewhere this summer and it got stuck in my head.

Everyone is the protagonist of their own story.

Liv even said something similar in a comment last month...  We're all the center of our own lives.

We are the heroes of our life's story.

And that somehow makes it easier to not care about imagined slights against you.

Like when we say it's not you it's me.  It kind of really is.

When you think about the times you've felt ignored or left out of something, it's probably because they're running their story, not yours.

Maybe that's what I always hope for in a long-term relationship.  That someone will come along and want me to be the co-hero in their story.  That our story lines will combine and we'll be co-protagonists.

But... maybe I should just see what it's like if *I* start to treat myself as the main character in my life. 

I wonder what that would feel like?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance

Blessed Are The by foundimagination
I'm not sure how it got to be this far into November so quickly, but here we are.

Although it seems the stores would like to hustle us on to the end of December already, today's a day of Remembrance and thanks.

It's not a holiday of celebration, but I'm not sure those who went to war would want us to be sombre.

So perhaps today I'll try to go out and breathe some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of where I live because I can.

And I'll remember that not everyone in the world is living in peace right now, and not everyone in the world is as lucky as I am.

And I'll take a moment to give thanks to those who've died in service of our country, and to those who still choose to serve.

I hope that one day we'll have a world more at peace, and more understanding and kind.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Tenth

Doesn't really seem fair to just stick a post in on my usual days off to say "hey, I posted, just in case I want to post every day for November"  but... hey... I posted.

But, here's a bit of extra randomness just to fill in the blank space and make me feel less guilty for the non-post post.

I keep smelling Playa around ever since I noticed that the pastel pencils smell like it.  Weird.

I used my "got it with VISA points" paraffin wax hand and foot bath.  It was fine.  I think it's better when they do it at a fancy spa.  (Go figure.)

No matter what good intentions I may have the night before, once it comes to morning and wake up time?  I'll take another couple of snooze-button hits any day.  It might be easier if I was waking up and it was sunny and bright out every day at 5am.  Or something.

I love sunny days.  Especially after dreary ones.

The foot doctor says my toe is getting better, slowly.  So that's got to be good, right?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Closer To Fine

A dear friend introduced me to the Indigo Girls in first year University.

We used to sit and sing their songs, her beautiful voice and guitar, and me singing my heart out next to her.

So this song, which I sometimes forget about and then am completely re-inspired by popped up again the weeks before Burning Man, and saw me through some of the fears I had around going.

I think its message will always remind me to keep reaching for the person I want to be.  That ever elusive better me.

Listen and be happy:


Indigo Girls - Closer to Fine

I'm trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all
Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper
And I was free.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

We go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine

Friday, 8 November 2013

Caught In The Moment

First by foundimagination
I've found photos, for me, have an almost magical ability to take me directly back to the moment I took them.

I suppose also, photos from my childhood and youth remind me of those situations and maybe even the feeling surrounding them, but for photos I've taken?  Some of them I can remember the moment the shutter clicked.

Like this photo.

It was the first real sort of date Jay and I went on.  It was also my first time at this park.

It was a little on the chilly side, but not cold.  I had on just the right amount of layers. 

Jay was bounding, literally, up ahead and onto the tall rocks. 

I was nervous.  Nervous of the slipperyness, and nervous of the growing height, and nervous of getting stuck or hurting myself.

I stopped at this rock, to take some calming breaths and see if I was able to go any further, through a tight crevasse Jay had just slipped through, and I saw this rock with the moss on it and I stopped and took this photo.  I remember the moment very clearly.

It also brings back some other moments throughout that little trip, like us lying on the railway trellis in the sun, or making the mini rock man on the grassy plateau on the way down.

It reminds me of the moment Jay wanted to run down the straight, steep embankment and I told him I wasn't able to but that I'd meet him at the car... at some point, and he turned around and came back and found a way for both of us to travel.  A way that was a little less exciting for him, but still a little scary for me.  "It shows how much I love you." I remember him saying.  "My last few relationships?  If she hadn't have wanted to come down this way?  I would have just gone ahead and left her.  For you?  I came back."

I remember having mixed feelings about what he'd said.  That he had it in him to leave a partner in a situation where it might have been unsafe for her, but I suppose I thought it was sweet that he'd grown enough as a person and was thoughtful enough to come back and help me feel safe.

But, that's not what I came here to say in this post.

I just came here to say that a lot of the photos I took, I can clearly remember the moment.  I don't know if that feeling will last forever, or maybe some day in the future I'll just see the picture and not quite remember the moment, or if that's one of the magical blessings of being behind a lens for me. 

Somehow taking a photo of the moment often lets me relive it, over and over again.  Even if it's just remembering that walk I went on that one day when I looked up and saw that image that I wanted to capture.

Even if it's just remembering taking the picture, and how the air felt when I saw it.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Semi-Annual "ARGH! Time Change!" Post

Really?  Are we going to keep doing this?

Come on.  It was already getting dark early and now? 

Booooo!  BOOOOOO!

And those aren't scary ghost "boos".  Those are pitchfork carrying, angry crowd boos, damnit!

Le sigh.

I still just wish we could keep the clocks at one time.  Please?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Remember The Day?

Accidental Rainbow! by foundimagination
You know how Blockbuster and other video rental stores had a really hard time for a while and then just started... disappearing?

Well, I'm thinking that next in line is going to be movie theaters.

I know I haven't been to one in a while, and on top of that, I haven't really watched a movie at all in a while.  I'm more interested in investing in characters that are going to be around for a season.  For 14 episodes.

Almost like a bunch of movies.

I don't know, it's not a super scientific analysis by any means.  I just think movie theaters are going to start going the way of video stores.

Just kind of a gut feeling.

Me?  I still miss drive ins.  And I only went to one once.

Maybe I'd go to movies more if I had a date.  What do I know?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Reminiscing

It was Halloween last week, (when was it.... Thursday?) and I had lots of thoughts. . . for whatever reason.

This was the first Halloween where I haven't had any treats.  No nothing.  I mean, I did have about five scotch mints because I was dying with all the candy around and just wanted something.  But I didn't have anything else.  No mini chocolate bars.  And it was really really hard.  I think mainly because they were everywhere, and I just wanted some.  It was... different.  And not easy.

It's always fun to see people in costumes.  Except when you see someone and you're not sure they're in a costume.  Like, hey, is that guy with the bow tie dressed up as Bill Nye the Science Guy or is he just wearing a bow tie to work?  Or, is that lady dressed all in white because that's what she likes to wear or is it some kind of costume and I just don't quite get it? 

It can be a little awkward when you're not quite sure.

Driving home, I saw a fellow in an electric wheelchair dressed like the pope.  (Or maybe a cardinal or something.  The purple hat guy?)  And I thought it was hilarious and suddenly it made me think of Burning Man, because I thought, man, wouldn't it be fun if people wore costumes every day that made you smile?  And my brain went "yeah, like at Burning Man."

I guess Burning Man is a little like Halloween every day for a week.  People wear fun stuff, dress up if they want, wear crazy cool makeup if they want.  And other people give away things for free.  Like candy.  Or food.  Or booze.  Or hugs.  Or whatever.  And you can party if you want, or just be mellow if you want and kids are welcome and, yeah, it's all just fun.  All day every day for a week.  Awesomeness.

I also had a chat with a co-worker of mine who said this was going to be her last year handing out candy.  "I've been handing out candy for twenty five years" she said.  And I guess I never really thought about that.

I don't hand out candy at my apartment, and when I lived with my folks, they'd do the candy buying and handing out, so it's not something I've ever done, or had to do.

Which made me start to think about my parents and Halloween.  I feel like they switched off who stayed home each year and who went out with us when we were too young to go out on our own.  But... which was the better year?  Did they want to stay home and answer the door and see the neighbourhood kids in costumes?  Or was it more fun to go out and see the neighbours and enjoy the evening?  I imagine the walking would have been tiring, and chilly.  (I seem to remember Halloween nights with frost.  Or probably at least one with rain I'd guess.)

It also reminded me of the year I was too sick to go out.  I think I had bronchitis or something, but whatever it was, I wasn't going out into the cold, and I was disappointed.  I remember whatever parent I was home with (my guess is my Mom) let me "trick or treat" in the house that day a few times.  I'd go around the side of the divider in our family room and knock on it, stepping out and saying trick or treat and my Mom would make some comment about my costume and give me candy.

I don't know if my brother had to share his candy with me that year or if my parents put some extra aside for me, but even then, I felt special that my folks had tried to still make Halloween special for me even though I wasn't well and couldn't go out.

I often wonder if parents know how much a little thing like that can mean to a kid.  Or to an adult, thinking back on it, years later.

But, yeah.  Those are some of the things I found myself thinking about last week on All Hallow's Eve.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Wishing Away

It's That Time Of Year by foundimagination
I half mentioned it a few days ago (I think) but I feel like I would benefit from a getaway.

I can't take vacation time right now, or for a while, but perhaps I could go away for a weekend.  Go camp up Island, or to the resort C-Dawg and I went to a couple of years ago.  Just something that's not...here.  Something away.  Something different.  Something for me.

I talked to my brother about it, about maybe going away over Christmas (although I'd like to go away much sooner than that.)  I said that part of it was that I didn't want to go by myself, that that was no fun.

Didn't I have a friend I could go with, he asked?

And, no.  I don't.  My friends all have kids.  And spouses.  They don't/can't just go on a getaway with me.

"I have Jay."  I said, and my brother quietly said something about how that wasn't the healthiest of things and we both nodded and moved on. 

I texted Jay later that night.  I need a getaway, I said.  Would he want to come with me for a weekend somewhere?

No, he said, always honest.  He's been travelling so much, he just wants to be home.

And I get that.  I'm not in that place, but I so know that feeling.  And I haven't been away from home for as long or as often as Jay has, so I imagine I'm only slightly able to understand where he's coming from.

But, anyway, that's not the point.

The point is that while I know I can always trust Jay, because he is always honest, it also means I am regularly reminded of what I knew all along.

I was really never a large consideration in Jay's life.

I thought I was, for a while, before we met.  And I thought I would be, when we met.

And then we met and I was sort of confused.  But I made allowances.  Tried to, perhaps make excuses.  He was in an in-between situation... we were new to each other.  Etc.  etc.

But, see, while it's totally reasonable that Jay doesn't want to get away anywhere.  I still wish his response was more along the lines of "wow, a weekend spent with you sounds great!  When and where?"

And it's not.

Never will be.  I don't think that's who Jay is.

Or maybe he is that, but not with me.

So that's the only part that hurts.  Not that he wants to stick close to home.  But that I am not a draw.

That he does not want to spend time with me.  Unless it fits within his plans and comfort zone.

Because Jay did ask, did I want to come stay with him?

And perhaps I do.

Perhaps that would be enough of a short getaway to change up things.

But still.

That's my half of the story... wanting a change.  And wondering if a momentary physical change will help with that feeling.

Jay's half of this particular story is that Jay does what best pleases Jay.  And what Jay wants and needs.

And spending time somewhere away with me does not please him, is not what he wants, or needs.

Hard not to take that personally, even though I'm imagining it's not really about me.  And I'm imagining there are people out there who would like to spend a weekend away with me.

I bet some of my girlfriends would love it.

And maybe there's even some special guy out there who would love it too.

And would be excited at the prospect.

And would look forward to it.

Maybe I'll even get to meet him.

Who knows.

Now, I'm being a little unfair to Jay here, I realize.  I think it would be less jarring were Jay to speak more carefully in general.  If, say, he would have said "Hey, I'd love to go away with you but right now I really feel like I want to just stick close to home and not travel.  Would you consider coming over here?"  I would have felt differently.  But I also can't put words into his mouth.  So, there's that.

But then I remind myself that it's not about him.  It's about me.  And while moments like this remind me of how much energy, time and emotion I should put into Jay and whatever, the scales are still tipped towards "it's better to have this small something than nothing at all."

See, I know better, I do.  Trust me. But this is what I'm going to stick with for a while.  Just have to keep knowing that it's not more than what it is.

Which is nothing much at all.  No matter how I wish it were otherwise.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Meh

This is the day where I write a post just in case I decide to post every day for the month of November (a la NaBloPoMo) or... just not.

I dunno.

It's sunny this morning though, so that's nice!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

A Hobby

There.  I finished off a week of "A" titles.  Because once I noticed, I couldn't not keep going.  Anyway.

When I was last in the art store, I chatted with the girl at the counter about how easy it was to just keep picking up cool things to buy.  (Like the mechanical pencil with purple coloured lead.  What?  Or the mechanical eraser.  Which I did not buy.  Unlike the purple leaded mechanical pencil.  That I bought.  Anyhoo.)

She said that yes, Art wasn't an inexpensive hobby.

I smiled and left with my purchases, but my mind was still twirling.

What hobby IS inexpensive?

Running?  Should be free, right?

Well, except you probably want decent runners, and once it gets colder, some warm gear.  And if you're going to run at night, some reflective gear.  Or shorts when it's warmer, etc.

And I haven't yet been able to come up with a hobby that's inexpensive if you want to have good gear.

I mean, sure, you could draw with a 25 cent pencil on super cheap paper, but that'll usually end up with paper that tears when you try to erase it and a pencil that doesn't do what you'd like it to do.

And you could run in twenty dollar runners, but that might hurt.  And I know lots of people run barefoot, but you're going to want clothing that lets you run, not your jean short shorts and hoodie.

I wonder what hobbies, if any, let you do them without much financial outlay.

Games, perhaps.  Like you only have to buy a deck of cards once to play Bridge, right?  One cribbage board and you're set for life.

So maybe games are the cheapest hobby... unless they don't count as a "hobby" at all and then I'm back to square one.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A Noticing

My Poor Boots by foundimagination
A week or so ago, when I went to the art supply store to buy, whatever it was I felt I needed at that time... a new notebook maybe?... Anyway, when I went there, I wandered around, which, in most hobby stores, is a dangerous thing to do.

Especially if you're feeling a little low or lonely.  And you're me.  Because sometimes I'm convinced that if I buy that something I might feel a little bit better.

And I can do in the moment. Until I go home and balance my checkbook.  Sigh.

But anyway, I bought, on a whim, some pastel crayons, something I've not used before.  I've used pastels a bit way in the past, but thought these were worth trying, and that I'd be able to add some colour to my drawings. 

I've used them a bit over the last week, always starting with just a pencil drawing, because somehow I feel that's important, but then doing another one, when it seems right, with the pastel pencils.

I've liked a few of the colourful drawings I've ended up with, and I think this weekend I did two or three pages worth of pastels in a row.

I also, this weekend, put away some of the things I've bought or made in anticipation of my next trip to Burning Man, be it this year or... another.  And because the giant Rubbermaid bin I'm keeping things in has things in it that went with me this year to Black Rock City, when I take the lid off it smells like Playa dust.

Not that I'd say that I noticed the smell of the Playa dust there, exactly, but once home, in this moisture-filled, fresh, sea level air, the dust has a distinctly different smell to it.

And here's where these two seemingly unrelated stories meet.

Sunday night, I went and grabbed my notebook (sketch book?) to attempt to draw some Arbutus tree bark.  (I quite like how it turned out, but that's a different story.) 

As I flipped open the book, and past the pages of pastel drawings I'd done earlier that same weekend, I noticed the smell.

Playa.

Apparently Playa dust smells like pastel pencils.  Or pastel pencils smell like Playa dust.  Or both.

I'm sure there's a reason why.  I just thought it was kind of cool.  And I wonder if I'd noticed if I hadn't opened up that bin this weekend and noticed the similarities.

Cool.
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2016 and then some.) Kay? Kay.