Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday night musings

Today's lyrics are from Paperback Writer by The Beatles. I love the Beatles. Yesterday, Blackbird, Hey Jude, Let It Be are some of my favorite songs of all time. I remember when I was a kid my mom would put records on while we ate dinner (yes actual records that have two sides with grooves in them and are played by a record player with actual needles). She would also light candles and she and my dad would share a bottle of wine. So much has changed since those days.....anyway, back to the lyrics.

Dear Sir or Madam will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job so I wanted to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

I'm sitting on my love seat (because I don't have a real couch yet, that will be here on Tuesday and after like four plus years I will finally be able to lay down and stretch out while watching movies again) and listening to 80's music on Sirius radio (thank you Dish Network!). This is my wild and crazy Saturday night. You know you're jealous of me, I can almost see how green you are with envy. I just finished watching the movie "In The Land of Women" which I really enjoyed. Incidentally, is it wrong for someone in their 30's to find an 18 year old completely and utterly hot? Just wondering.

Anyway, the movie was good and while some people might have focused on the mother/daughter relationship or perhaps the grandmother/grandson relationship or even the life/death aspect, I found myself focused on the writing aspect of the movie. Because the main character is a writer (in the soft porn industry) who has wanted to write the story of his high school experience for eleven years but has yet to do so. Sometimes I feel like this guy. I have all these ideas inside my head that I just can't seem to get down on paper (or on the computer screen).

But the thing that struck me the most was how this guy, Carter, described letters he'd written to his ex-girlfriend. And how he thought that if he could write the perfect letter then maybe someone would love him and that these letters were the best writing he'd ever done. And you know what? I totally get that. I spend a lot of time when I write trying to find the perfect words, trying to find the exact turn of phrase to illustrate what I'm saying. I do this not only when I'm writing poetry and prose and blog posts, but even with e-mails I write at work. I reread everything at least once to make sure it has the right tone and feel and rhythm. I am maybe obsessed a bit with words....

Somewhere along the line I got this notion in my head that if I write something that's crafted exquisitely with great attention to detail and careful or even better yet deliberate word choices then people will immediately understand me and where I'm coming from and why. Perhaps they'll even fall in love with me. I believe in the power of words. I believe that the pen is mightier than the sword. I believe that one day the words I write will speak to someone's heart. And that is why I must be careful and deliberate when I write. I wouldn't want to miss my chance to touch someone. Wouldn't want to miss my chance to catch the attention of the right person, perhaps even the elusive "one" (or at the very least an agent or a publisher who thinks I'm brilliant).

And also in the back of my mind is the thought that my cat is playing with something in the kitchen hold on.....okay, I'm back. The cat was playing with my earring which I didn't even know was not in my ear. And here's a weird fact about me, if I take my earrings out for a few hours my holes start to close. I guess I have the power of super healing in my ears because it took me a while to get the earring back in (ouch). This is why I sleep and shower and swim, etc. with my earrings in and take them out only to clean them on occasion. Perhaps more than you needed or wanted to know about me. Okay, where was I?

Right, also in the back of my mind is the thought that if I write the perfect e-mail I can make someone fall in love with me so deeply they can't imagine their life without me. Because that's a rational thought. As if my words are so awesome they can reach right off the page and ensnare someone like that. As if me as a person and me in person has nothing at all to do with that. As if chemistry and compatibility were not factors at all. Nope, the absolute most well crafted and perfect e-mail is going to make the difference for me in that department, it will be the one thing that makes or breaks me. I bet there's a support group for people like me. I wonder when and where they meet....and if I send them the perfect e-mail maybe they'll let me join....

Really what it boils down to is my love of words. How they flow together and how the right combination of words can hold you riveted to the page while tears roll down your cheeks or while you laugh or while shivers run up and down your spine as you fight the urge to get up and make sure your doors are all locked and no one is hiding in your shower (or is that last one just me?). I want to make someone's heart swell and soul sing as they read the words I wrote to them. I know she's out there, perhaps we've already met, perhaps we have yet to meet, but she's out there and when I find her or she finds me I will write to her. And she will be my muse, the inspiration which guides my artistic vision.

Also on the subject of writing I would like to know where my blog to book deal is. Have you seen it? Because I feel as though I am behind the eight ball on this. I mean I've been blogging for a few months now so clearly I should be getting a book deal out of it right? Wait, what's that you say? You mean more than like four people need to be reading my blog for me to be getting a book deal out of it? Huh. I'll have to work on that. I'll add it to my goals list for 2009.

And in more exciting news....Maggie climbed the stairs on her own!!! I know I haven't talked about her at all really since her surgery three months ago, but she's doing great (a fact for which I am extremely grateful every single day). We've been going to hydrotherapy a couple times a week (okay, okay SHE'S been going to hydrotherapy I have merely been chauffeuring her there and back). I came home from work yesterday and left her down stairs when I went up to change my clothes. I heard her nails on the floor in the hallway and was so happy to see her little face turn the corner and come into the bedroom as though it was nothing, as though it was a piece of cake and she hadn't ever had extensive surgery to repair the chronic herniated disc in her back. She's repeated the feat a couple times since which is a great sign. She still won't go down the stairs on her own, perhaps in time, perhaps not. But I've gotten very adroit at carrying her under one arm and lots of stuff with the other. It's a darned good thing she's a small dog and that I'm not too clumsy!

I don't think she'll ever know how much she means to me. I didn't used to understand the phrase "heart dog" but I certainly do now. Maggie is my heart dog, that once in a lifetime dog. I have a list longer than you can imagine of people who want to take her from me. I'm beginning to wonder if the folks at her hydrotherapists are just not going to give her back to me someday because they all love her so much. You know what they say about getting between a momma bear and her cub? Like just don't do it? Well, I'm the momma bear and Maggie is my cub. And though she cannot read I know that she understands me when I talk to her and that my words touch her soul like her wagging tail and goofy smile touch mine.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The scars

Sometimes I am amazed at where my mind travels. Other times those travels seem like completely logical thought progressions. I'm not sure which category tonight's blog post falls under not that it really matters I suppose. I spent a fair amount of time finding lyrics for tonight's post, partially because I wanted to make sure they were just right and partially because I needed some time to process my thought process.

So, without further ado, I give you Peachy by Missy Higgins (who is pretty darned good for her age, if she keeps at it I think she could have a heck of a career).

It's not my fault, it can't be my fault
That you speak to me the way you do.
Now I'm split in two, I'm half me half you
But I hate us both, don't you?

No, of course you don't, of course you don't
You say life is peachy without me
Of course you don't, of course you don't
You say life is peachy without me

And it's not your fault, it can't be your fault
That I let you crawl inside my head

Tonight I was watching an episode of the L Word that I DVR'd last night. Usually I watch it the night it airs since it's one of my favorite shows, but yesterday I was just plain tired and fell asleep on the couch trying to finish a movie so I didn't get a chance to watch it. Anyway, there was a scene in this episode where Helena chases after Dylan (who we haven't seen in a looonnngggg time) and basically gives her hell for what she did to her a couple seasons ago (it involved Dylan framing her and extorting money based on a false sexual harrassment claim which then nearly ruined her life in case you wanted to know). And that short scene my dear readers (all both of you) is what spawned this post tonight.

While I was watching it I got to thinking that Ms. Ex really did some damage to me emotionally, she left scars that I really hope will fade one day. Because even though I wanted more than anything to fight for my relationship with FMHW I didn't do it. And the reason I didn't is because of Ms. Ex. Not because I want to be with her or anything super crazy like that (I shudder at the mere thought!), rather because she taught me to crawl into this tiny place inside myself and just shut the fuck up when I had something to say.

I say that she taught me this but maybe it was more that I learned it was the easier way to deal with her rather than her actually teaching me this. Who knows and the point is really moot now anyway since the damage is done and I am left to heal these wounds on my own. Anyway, Ms. Ex used to tell me that I was "justifying" all the time when I tried to explain my feelings to her. God how I hate that word now (also I hate the word amazing, but that is for another post). I thought explaining my side of the story was a perfectly reasonable thing to do until she'd throw one word at me. "Justification!" she'd say and then expect that would be the end of it. And after a while it was the end of it and after a little while longer I just stopped trying to explain myself all together. Because she didn't want to hear it no matter how much I needed or wanted to tell her. Because my feelings and thoughts and emotions weren't important enough to her for her to hear my side of things. I know, I know, this should have been clue number one million and fifty two that we were just bad together, but it wasn't, at least not at the time.

And while I was learning NOT to explain myself I was also learning how not to show emotions to anyone; learning how to jam a cork on those emotions until I was alone and could pop the cork in private. Or not pop the cork at all and just leave those emotions to fester and broil and turn putrid in my soul. I learned how to do this fun little trick because if we were having a "discussion" and I cried (for any reason) she would call me a baby just like how an elementary school bully calls their chosen target a baby. "Don't be such a baby" she'd say. A grown woman calling another grown woman a baby for having emotions and letting them show. I am a very sensitive person. I cry at commercials, I cry at books, I cry at movies, I cry at songs, I cry from thoughts. Hell I even cried one time when asking for a raise! If something touches me I cry, I can't help it, it's who I am. But when you're called a baby enough times you learn how to bottle your emotions pretty damn quickly. I can swallow tears and hide behind a fake smile with the best of them.

These are the things that the woman who supposedly loved me taught me. These are the things I let her teach me. These are the things I now have to unlearn, the wounds, the scars that I have to heal. This is my baggage, at least a part of it.

So, when I should have yelled or cried or shown the slightest hint of irrational emotion with FMHW I didn't. I told her that I understood, that it was okay even though I was mad as hell and really just wanted to cry and ask her why because frankly even though intellectually I understood, emotionally I sure as hell did NOT understand (still don't actually). I simply listened to her talk and then hugged her to let her know it was okay. And now I am left to wonder if showing emotion, showing that I cared like Helena chasing after Dylan and yelling at her, would have made any difference at all. It probably wouldn't have but I'll never know because Ms. Ex made me scared to express myself in that way.

If you've never had someone treat you like this you really have no idea how much of an effect it can have on you. And when you are the person that is treated that way you don't see the affects until you've gained some distance and perspective. But how do you heal these scars? How do you learn how to "justify" again? How do you learn how to cry in front of someone? How do you unlearn these lessons? I suppose it involves stepping out of your comfort zone and actually explaining to someone how you feel even though you can still hear "Justification!" in her voice in your head. It probably involves allowing yourself to get angry and show someone that you're angry no matter how you think they might react to that anger and emotion. It probably involves accepting yourself for who you are and how your emotions work and just saying to hell with what other people may think of you for it.

For now though I can tell you that those wounds remain. The scars are still fresh and pretty vivid reddish purple color.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I have to wonder if these things happen to other people. Really, do they? Or is it just me?

It snowed last night and throughout the morning. I didn't clear my driveway until later this afternoon and then had to go out and feed a co-worker's cat. I decided that first I'd head over to Wal-Mart and take a tour around the store. I wanted to look at a few things and besides sometimes it's nice to just get out of the house and be surrounded by strangers buying crap they don't need.

As I pulled into the parking lot I saw three cop cars parked outside which is strange. When I walked into the store I saw two teenage girls being escorted out of the store in handcuffs and surrounded by police officers. The girl in front had this smug sort of shit eating grin on her face as though she was HAPPY to be led out of the store in handcuffs. This would have been enough of a story for me but of course that wasn't enough for the Universe. Nope, not enough for today.

After walking past the cops escorting the shop lifters from the store I headed back to the electronics section to look for something which I did not find. So, I left that department and headed back toward the front of the store. And who do I see headed in my direction? The woman from Coffee Date Number One of course! The one who e-mailed me a few hours after our "date" to say she'd like to get to know me better and to which I have not responded. I made a quick change in direction and headed for a hiding place. Because that is the grown up thing to do right?

But really, where do you hide in a Wal-Mart? I found a support pole on the other side of the store and leaned myself up against it nonchalantly for a minute while I texted a friend to tell her about my situation. Then I pretended to "shop" for a few minutes while I figured out what to do next. "Shopping" involved me peeking around aisles trying to make sure I wouldn't bump into her unexpectedly. And what to do next of course was try to see if I could find her in the store without her seeing me. Because it's better to be the hunter than the hunted right? What I really wanted to do was leave, but I didn't want to risk her seeing me which could have led to an awkward encounter. Because what do you say to the person who sent you an e-mail a week ago to which you have not responded? Especially if you really aren't intersted in that person? Would it go something like this?

Me: Um hi.
Her: Hey, so I sent you a message. I had a good time the other night.
Me: Um, yeah about that. I've been really busy and haven't had a chance to respond. Sorry about that.
Her: So, would you like to get together again soon?
Me: Um, yeah so about that.....

And then I would stutter and try to figure out how to let her down easily which would of course turn into us getting together again sometime this coming week followed by a relationship. So, obvioulsy trying to hide from her was the better choice.

And hiding from her is of course what led to me standing at the end of an aisle mostly hidden by some shelving and watching her check out and leave the store. And it was blatantly obvious to anyone watching me that I was up to something, or at least it felt like that to me. I guess I should be thankful that the cops had already left with the shoplifters.....but I don't think she saw me.

Once I was sure she was gone and had had enough time to get in her car I got the heck out of dodge. And no, I did not buy anything. Do things like this happen to other people? And now it's been a week since she e-mailed me and I really don't know what to say to her (which is I guess an answer for both of us). And what if she DID see me? What then? Oy vey.

I don't even have a song for this post so I'm just going to open my iTunes and pick something, anything.

So, I give you Roll With It, Ani DiFranco.

She says my ass hurts
When I sit down
She says my feet hurt
From just standing around
I think my body is as restless as my mind
And I don't know if I can roll with it this time

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coffee Date #2

Well, Coffee Date Number Two was last night. A friend e-mailed me while I was out hoping all was going well with my "hot date." As I told her in my e-mail response tonight the date was anything but hot in all senses of the word. Starting of course with the fact that it was barely above zero outside.

Let me sum up the entire date for you in three words....OH. MY. GOD. And not in a good way. I knew from the second I saw her through the window of the restaurant that it was going to be one of those things you just sit through to get it over with. My intuition is pretty good damned good and it did not fail me last night.

Where to begin? How about with the two positives that I have been able to come up with for the evening? First, she was even earlier than I was having already been seated when I arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes early. Second, I liked her haircut. In fact I think it might even be cute on me.

But, then there was the strange speech impediment which almost sounded as though she had a hearing issue but was more likely caused by the fact that her face was shaped kind of funky and maybe that misshapenness makes speech more difficult for her. And then there were her eyes which were just slightly, um, off. I don't know how else to describe it. Like if you took a ruler and held it level/horizontal one of her pupils would be higher than the other and one of them was just the tiniest bit lazy (as in just lazy enough for me to notice but not lazy enough to be blatantly obvious). And the same could be said for her mouth too. It was just, well, off.

And of course it's not all about looks and I seem really shallow if you're just reading what I wrote above, but her looks weren't the only issue. The main issue is that, you know, I just wouldn't ever choose to hang out with her. Like if we worked together I wouldn't say "hey, let's do lunch" or whatever. And if I met her at a party I'd have found a way to avoid her after I talked to her for a few minutes. And she referenced her church and the church youth group she's trying to get going again many many times. I am very much NOT a church person. It's not my thing at all. And not something I want a partner to be VERY HEAVILY active in. And then there was her apologizing in advance for using a vulgarity while recounting a story. She said "ass" and she only said it because she was relating something someone had said to her. I have been known to swear a blue streak and use the f word far more frequently than is necessary.

She got up to use the restroom and I honestly considered just leaving money for my hot chocolate on our table and high tailing it out of there. If you know me then you know that's not like me at all! But I honestly could not wait to get the heck out of dodge.

Oh and I nearly forgot! One of our topics of conversation last night was reconnecting with people on Facebook (conversation which I might add did not flow freely and easily and I found myself searching for topics and ways to keep it going). So, when I got home I of course had to search her e-mail address in Facebook and OH MY GOD SHE IS FRIENDS WITH A COWORKER OF MINE WHO I AM ALSO FRIENDS WITH ON FACEBOOK! I'm pretty sure she knows where I work, I do believe it came up in a previous e-mail exchange, but she's never mentioned knowing my coworker. I'm stumped by that. Maybe she isn't aware of where my coworker works because Facebook tells me they're friends via some group they were in together, BUT OH MY GOD! Really? Does this happen to other people? I mean it would be cool if I liked her and wanted to see her again, but I don't. I don't even want to e-mail with her anymore because I feel like it would just be a waste of my time. I really hope she got the same vibe.

I guess the good thing that has come out of this for me is the fact that it reassures me that I do not in fact fall for anyone who shows an interest in me which is something that I am often afraid I do. Apparently I am more discerning and do pay attention to chemistry and attraction more than I've ever given myself credit for.

So, Coffee Date Number Two was a total, complete and utter bust. I should have just stayed home in my warm house in my jammies and watched a movie. At least I've got two of these damn things out of the way for now. And it could have been worse, but it sure as hell could have been better!

Today's lyrics are from a song I consider to be a classic and also one of my favorites, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2 from their Joshua Tree album.

I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls,
these city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coffee Date #1

Well, Coffee Date Number One happened on Sunday evening. This one only lasted three hours and the woman had very nice teeth so that was a plus. And she was a minute or two early (I was like 10 minutes early because that is how I am with everything, except work for some reason....anyway....), so she definitely got bonus points for that.

But, (you did you know there would be a but coming didn't you?) there just wasn't a spark for me. I wasn't left wanting more. It was just eh, like chatting with someone you'll never see again while you're waiting for a train or a plane or the dentist. And while I didn't want to run screaming from Starbucks I also was not left wondering what kind of impression I'd made on her and whether or not she'd want to see me again and what kind of china we'd pick out when we moved in together....

Don't get me wrong she was very nice and decent looking (although it seemed like she was born with unfortunately tight dirty blond curls that she doesn't really know what to do with, but it was hard to tell what with her hair being pulled back into a very tight pony tail). I'd venture to say she was attractive even, but I was not attracted to her. So even though the conversation was fun I have no desire to go for round two with her. Even with the possibility that we might talk more about how Satan controls the temperature in Hell. Yes, you read that right. That was one of the things we talked about on Sunday.

But how do I tell her that I pass on round two? Because, this is me we're talking about and this is hard for me. And also because she e-mailed me later Sunday night to say that she'd had a good time and wants to get to know me better. I know that honesty is the best policy and I know that I should just tell her "hey it was great talking with you, but for me at least friends is as far as it might ever get." It's not that hard to type those words out. I mean I just did it right? And it's not as though she'll be heartbroken and never get over me. We don't even know each other. Why do I find this so hard??? So, I am doing what I seem to do so well at times which is avoid responding for a while. I like to think I'm just taking my time to formulate an appropriate and well thought out response. But I can call a spade a spade when need be and in this case I am avoiding pure and simple.

It was hard for me to figure out what lyrics to post with this entry. How do you find a song that describes an "eh" coffee date? So instead of lyrics about that I'm going with lyrics that describe my day at work. Well sort of at least....

So I present to you Crazy by Gnarls Barkley.

Come on now who do you
who do you who do you who do you think you are
ha ha ha bless your soul
you really think you're in control
but I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
just like me

Monday, January 5, 2009

Anxiety or did I bite of more than I can chew or holy crap how did I get myself into this or BREATHE, just BREATHE!

I'll get to the lyrics for this post at some point. I promise. I'll work them in, I will. After all that is my theme right? But right now I have to remember to breathe. Deep, calming breaths so I don't freak out.

Because I'm trying the online dating thing again. It worked last time with FMHW so why not try again right? I mean the whole thing is kind of weird (paying money to find Ms. Right, or Ms. Right Now? kind of strange really) and I try to think of it as a social experiment and fodder for future writing endeavors, but at the same time deep down I still want to meet my soul mate. I think that's what most people want deep down really. And since I don't do the bar or club scene and most of my friends (love you guys!) are straight with straight friends of their own it's really really hard for me to meet potential love interests just casually.

Except I have this problem when it comes to online dating. See, when it comes to actually MEETING the people I start e-mailing with I freak out. Panic sets in and I don't know how to act or what to do. I am BAD at this part. I am BAD at social situations where I don't know anyone. I am uncomfortable and don't know what to say or how to act or any of that stuff so I basically sit there and quietly observe. Which is totally fine in a big group or even in a smaller group, but so not fine when there are just two of you. Because I will have to talk at some point and try not to sound stupid. Or stumble over my words. Or accidentally make a reference to something painful in their past that I have no way of knowing about but will feel stupid and guilty for referencing anyway.

For almost all of my adult life I have been in one relationship or another and haven't really ever just dated so this stuff is all new to me. My first coffee date ever (which was a year ago) lasted five long hours because I didn't know how to make it stop. Seriously, I could not end the damn thing. And she had orange teeth, more like burnt sienna teeth really, thanks for that color description Koshie. And her definition of smoking occasionally was a cigarette every few hours which does not match up with my definition of occasionally which matches the dictionary's definition of occasionally which is "done irregularly or infrequently" and NOT in fact "done first thing when you get up in the morning, and then again on your way to work and then a couple times while you're working and then of course in the car on the way home, and again a time or two before you go to bed." And I am NOT into smokers. And then burnt sienna teeth girl text messaged me less than an hour after we parted ways to tell me that she had a good time and "PS I find you aesthetically pleasing." Fantastic! My next coffee date about two months later (so, at the beginning of last March) ended up in a five month relationship (FMHW). And that brings us back to today. Quick recap in case you weren't following along. I have had TWO coffee dates in all of my 33 years. I have spent about 16 of my 33 years in relationships of one kind or another. You do the math.

And as of today I have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR freaking women who all decided in the last three days that NOW would be a great time for us to meet. I panic at the thought of doing this whole thing once, but FOUR times. OH MY FUCKING GOD! Please sedate me or give me a glass and a half of wine (which is enough to get me really really tipsy, yes I am a lightweight thank you very much) or something, anything to make me feel a little less freaked out.

I of course dealt with this in the appropriate grown up way. I put off e-mailing all of them until the weekend was over and it would be potentially be harder for us to get together quickly so I have a little time to deal with reconciling all this in my head. Because I do not just jump into things. I like to have a plan and I am a control enthusiast in a lot of ways. And in addition to the avoiding of the e-mailing I also made sure to make plans for two nights this week (maybe even three!) so I could be busy and make it harder to meet people. Normally I make plans for two nights a month at the most. Because avoiding meeting people is exactly how you make new friends and find your soulmate. I told you I am BAD at all this.

Oh and here I can work in lyrics! Today's song is The Diner by Ani DiFranco. The lyrics:

I'm calling from the diner
the diner on the corner
I ordered two coffees
one is for you
the cups are so close
the steam is rising
in one stream
how are you

So, why are these dates always for coffee? And why are they at Starbucks? Is it simply because Starbucks are so prevalent? Is it because people are supposedly in love with Starbucks? I don't really drink a lot of coffee (read like a cup or two a month, and then usually decaf) and I don't drink coffee at night or in the evening if I can help it because if I do I will be up ALL night. And if I'm going to be up all night I'd rather be doing something else if you know what I mean, not just feeling my heart race because I had coffee too late for my body. And honestly, I don't love Starbucks coffee. I don't like the way it tastes at all. Even loaded down with sugar and cream it's still kind of yucky in my opinion. So, why Starbucks and why coffee? Is that just a lesbian thing? Does the same thing happen in the straight online dating world?

And now I head up to bed where I have a feeling I'll have an anxiety dream tonight. Fun times. I have finally replied to everyone who wants to meet and we'll see what happens. One has already replied to my response and is all gung ho to meet this week! EEK! Perhaps I'll post about these meet ups (dates? meetings? get togethers?). And who knows maybe it'll be love at first sight and a year from now I'll be writing about how blissfully happy I am with some woman I met for the first time at a Starbucks. A girl can dream right?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dining and sleeping and numbness

Todays' song is Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. And the lyrics for today are:

Now I got that feeling once again.
I can't explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.

When I first moved into my house it would be kind to say the place was a shit hole. It smelled. Reeked really. So badly in fact that I swear you could almost see the blue haze in the air from the stench. The smell was from the dog urine (at least I pray to god it was dog urine and not people urine) from the previous owners dog which thoroughly soaked the carpet in the master bedroom and the family room. And it probably soaked the carpet in the living room and dining room judging by the stains on the hardwood floor in those rooms, but that carpet was ripped out before I moved in (although the carpet could be seen in the photos of my house online when I was looking at listings).

The cabinets in my kitchen were sticky inside and out. The floors were filthy and there were mouse droppings every where (yes, even in the kitchen). My mother worked really hard to clean the kitchen out so that it was sanitary and usable and ready for the appliances that were going to be delivered in a couple days. My dad and I worked on pulling the carpets up and getting them out of the house and to the dump.

The first night in my new house, the one I moved into after the torturous 18 month breakup with Ms. Ex, I had to sleep in my dining room because of the urine soaked carpet in my master bedroom. In fact I didn't sleep in my master bedroom until five months after I moved into my house because of the damage to the floors. But that first night my parents were in my guest room on an air mattress and I was in my dining room on an air mattress. Not the most auspicious start to a new chapter in life that's for sure.

I was sort of numb for the first few weeks or maybe even months after I moved into my house. I don't think I'd say I was comfortably numb, but numb indeed. The end of my relationship with Ms. Ex still didn't feel quite real and I felt completely lost and while I don't think I wanted to get back together with her because even then I knew that the end of our relationship was for the best, I think I still wanted her to come crawling back begging for me to take her back, to forgive her, saying she'd seen the error of her ways.

I threw myself into making this house I'd bought first inhabitable and second my home. And for a while the numbness and the projects kept the deep depression at bay. But that only lasted so long. Actually I think it lasted just short of four months. I believe the depression really started the day that Ms. Ex told me she'd started seeing someone new. She chose to do this six days before Christmas after they'd already been seeing each other for over a month. Ms. Ex has great timing, no?

Somehow I managed to get through the holidays okay and even the first couple weeks of January. Then I did something stupid. I took a week of vacation and stayed home to work on house projects. Alone. By myself. Without people. This is NOT the best thing to do when your mental state is extremely fragile and you're feeling down and alone already. This is when the numbness completely wore off and I was finally able to get in touch with my inner pain. And there was a lot of pain. A LOT of pain.

But now it's nearly a year later. And I've had quite a long stretch of time off, not nine days straight like last January, but enough, and I haven't had all that much interaction with people one on one. And you know what? I'm fine. I've spent a lot of time over the last three days repainting my living room and dining room. Lots of uninterrupted time by myself and its all good. I'm perfectly okay. I don't have the urge to burst into tears every other second. I don't feel like I'm in this black hole with no way out. I don't feel the terrible pain of depression. The physical pain which makes you feel as though you're carrying 100 pound weights on your shoulders. Instead my only pain is from the soreness in my arms from all the painting and my neck which is all out of whack and desperately needs someone to rub it.

And my dining room, the room where I spent the first night in my house, doesn't even look like the same room now. I still have a ways to go (like painting all the trim, and ripping out and replacing the *horrible* fireplace mantel), but it's on the right track now, just like me. I love my formerly disgusting and smelly house. I love my home. And I love myself, something that I don't think I could have honestly said a year ago. It's amazing how much can change in a year. I wonder where I'll be this time next year?