Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Maybe I should post an update?

This whole experience has been very weird for me. Not that I felt so strongly about someone, but that I did it so QUICKLY. The whole thing has really left me doubting myself and what I want for myself in the future. The trust issues I had after my divorce, which disappeared over time, are back in full force. I'm back to being lonely as fuck, but it's surprisingly comfortable. I guess after so long, I kind of feel like this is just where I belong.

I still think of her, and I hate myself for doing it. It's not in a sad, "I wish things were different" kind of way, though. After taking a really hard look at things, I realized that I was being used (and quite successfully, apparently). I don't know if it was something she set out to do in the very beginning (when we first me in early November), but even then he was texting her shit about me and she made it clear that he wasn't comfortable with her seeing me. I have never been in that position, where I'M making someone else jealous.

One of the things I never questioned while we were talking (I hesitate to use the word dating anymore in regards to this nonrelationship) was her honesty. I never once lied to her or misled her in any way about anything. I still don't believe she ever lied to me, but I think her honesty was very calculated and precise. While she shared what I thought were very personal, intimate details (youthful indiscretions, health concerns, childhood traumas, and even a post-divorce relationship detail), I now believe that all were shared either to get ME to leave so she wouldn't have to dirty her hands with a "break-up" or to keep me "on the hook," so to speak, with these tragic stories. As I type it out, the former seems a LOT more plausible than the latter.



But there were signs, red flags, deal breakers that I didn't notice or just ignored. The one thing I noticed that I consciously ignored was her constant communication with the ex. She explained it away, and I trusted her, but that right there should have been enough for me to say, "...nah, let's not do this, at least not right now. You've got things you need to take care of." I guess the youthful indiscretions could have been a red flag, but how many of us do things in college of which we're not proud? The fact that those indiscretions continued for a bit AFTER college, now, well...she said those days were over, and I had no reason to not believe her. I still believe her, and I still give her props for coming through that. The health concerns COULD affect me, and they've prompted me to get my first physical in I don't know how many years. Sure, she told me about it, but AFTER something could have been done to prevent anything on my end (which, honestly, I wasn't all that smart when a certain decision was made, so the blame here is 50/50. Do you like how well I'm dancing around this one?). I think the childhood trauma explains a lot about how she has dealt with past relationships, at least with what she's told me (Daddy issues much?). While not a deal breaker, I shouldn't have been so surprised with the way things ended here. I won't say anything about the post-divorce relationship (because it could really fuck her shit up) other than I should have seen that admission for the kind of person she really was.

Those were the big things. There were some little things, things that weren't big (hence being called little) but stuck with me and tickled the uncertain parts of my brain. She didn't open her mouth much when we kissed. It wasn't bad, really, but it was almost impersonal. Most of our conversations were centered on her and how she was and what she was dealing with. At the time, I didn't care. I'm a listener, it's what I do. But she rarely asked about anything deeper than surface questions. Every compliment I gave her was met with skepticism, not about the validity of the compliment, but WHY it was given. There's a difference in being guarded in a relationship (which we didn't have) and not trusting or just not giving a shit about the other person.

Toward the middle/end of March, I considered it a good day if I didn't cry. Usually it was in my car on the way to or from work, but occasionally it would be in the shower or at my desk at work (thank God I have an office with a keypad entry). But then something changed. Shortly after the blog post prior to this one, probably the following Friday, I messaged her on FB and asked if we could meet the next time she was in town. I wanted to talk, clear the air, get some closure. She wanted nothing to do with it, said she was done with both Barry and me, didn't understand why I NEEDED closure, but would answer questions if I had any. The only thing I learned was that she thought I was being too controlling, when I thought I was doing everything in my power NOT to be that way. I went back and reread the copies of the letters I wrote her (she said she DID start to read them, but she couldn't handle finishing them) and these blog posts. Well, in these writings I definitely come off as somewhat intense, and while I didn't bring much of this up while we were still talking, I guess some of it leaked out when we talked. I do tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

So that was that. It was all the closure I was going to get. Still...ugh...it didn't help much. What to do now? Move on as best I can. I tried. I'm not a strong man, so every now and then I'd check her FB page, see if there was an update. We weren't friends anymore, so all that was doing was showing me a picture of her (she's still damn sexy), which of course didn't help things. The weekend after Easter I was scrolling through Instagram, something I don't do on a regular basis, and I ran across her latest post because we were still friends through there. It was a "Happy Easter!" picture...of her and Barry together.

And that's what did it.

THAT'S what showed me that she had in fact lied to me about wanting to get back together with him, about being done with both of us to focus on the more important things. Is it any wonder I felt used?

So I made my own closure. I unfriended her and blocked her from EVERYTHING (except Spotify...I can't block users on Spotify, dammit). I know blocking her seems a bit ridiculous since she's obviously not going to be contacting me, and it certainly is reversible should I ever want to, but it's a hassle and it'll give me time to remember why I did it in the first place. Also, at least with FB, I won't see her name pop up in posts from mutual friends, and we have a decent number of those. So it's not for her, it's for me. I also took the copies of the letters I wrote her and put them in the fire pit. THAT was my closure.



I now feel like I'm back to my old self. I have more happy moments than sad ones. I'm catching up on TV shows I missed. I'm reading. I've stopped smoking (I mean it this time!). I still think of her (obviously), at least once every day. But I no longer what if. I do think it's better that it ended when it did rather than continue to limp on for God knows how long I would have allowed it to. Hell, it SHOULD have ended earlier, but I was too weak/blind/stupid.

I'm still lonely, and still horny as fuck ;) but now's not the time to get into something new. I don't need to get into something with someone else while this is still fresh (and it is, even though I AM over her), because I don't want to do to someone else what she did to me. It's unfair, and frankly, it's mean. I sound so juvenile saying that, but it's true.



I pronounce it aluminium,
'Cause there's an I next to the U and M
Now write it down slowly and read it out fast
She's got eyes, preposterous eyes
I've never had a lover who's my sister or my brother before

I've been counting on the wrong things
To make life feel alright
You could be my acid queen
Until the end of time
'Cause you can have it all
You're stuck in the middle
Raise them one and all
I was born on a horse thats all

I like to think I'm just a thouroughbred
In all but name and with no horses flesh
We're galloping slowly through this broken glass
She's got hooves, preposterous hooves
I've never had a lover who's my sister or my brother before

I've been counting on the wrong things
To make life feel alright
You could be my acid queen
Until the end of time
'Cause you can have it all
You're stuck in the middle
Raise them one and all
I was born on a horse thats all

'Cause you can have it all
You're stuck in the middle
Raise them one and all
I was born on a horse thats all

Monday, March 14, 2016

What's Wrong with Me?

Why can't I get over this, get past it? I'll go for days at a time thinking "Yeah, I got this, I'm getting better." Then out of nowhere I think of her, and she's ALL I can think about.

As I was deleting everything, all Snapchat screen grabs, all texts, all Facebook messages, all emails, and even unfriending her on Facebook (still can't bring myself to block her...I don't see a point in that), I've discovered I'm an emotional hoarder. I hold onto letters, pictures, texts...every part of a relationship that can recall a memory. Songs, even. She was starting to get me into Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley, and I can't listen to them anymore. So I've purged everything.

It's helped a bit, but then something happens. I bought Girl Scout cookies (two boxes of Thin Mints, because they're the best; a box of Tagalongs because sometimes you just want something plain; and two boxes of Samoas because they're Stephanie's favorite and I wanted to have some in the house when she visited) months ago from her daughter, the both of thinking I'd get them when Stephanie came to Gallatin or I went to Martin. Well, then life happened. When she posted on FB that they arrived, I messaged her and said she can drop them off the next time she's in Sumner County and I'd make sure not to be around, or she could just mail me a check. She said she'd get them to me. I messaged her on Thursday to see what the ETA was (the initial conversation about the cookies was at least two weeks prior), and she said they should be there on Friday. They showed up on Saturday. It was just a Priority Mail box with five boxes of cookies (I told her she could keep the Samoas since they were bought for her anyways...guess she wants absolutely nothing from me), nothing else. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe a note? Some kind of acknowledgment? I poured my heart and soul out to her, and I received nothing in return. I realize that. I realize that she was selfish, but yet...

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with me? Why did I jump "all in" so quickly? Why do I want wish that she'd get in touch, say it was all a mistake and we can hit the reset button? Does that make me weak? I feel weak. I'm a 38-year-old divorced single father. My kids are awesome (little shits sometimes, but still extremely awesome), I've got great friends and family...but I'm so lonely. Is that all this is? Was it that, for about two months she filled this lonely hole inside of me that when she left all that loneliness was sucked back in like a hull breach on space ship?

I spend so much time in my own head. I have such a problem with focusing on what might be or what could have been that I can't really focus on the present, on the moment. I hate this.



[Verse 1]
I got to know that your heart beats fast and
I got to know I'm the only one for you
What have I become?
I'm a fucking monster
When all I wanted was something beautiful

[Pre-Chorus]
My love too much
Your love not enough
My love too much
Your love...

[Chorus]
Oh, what it takes out of me to lay by your side
Oh, how it aches and it aches
You make me wanna die
I gotta kill you, my love
I gotta kill you, my love
Oh, what it takes out of me to lay by your side

[Verse 2]
You said forever
Now you look right through me
You said forever
Did your words fall short like you
What have I done?
I'm a fucking monster
When all I wanted was something beautiful

[Pre-Chorus]
My love too much
Your love not enough
My love too much
Your love...

[Chorus]
Oh, what it takes out of me to lay by your side
Oh, how it aches and it aches
You make me wanna die
I gotta kill you, my love
I gotta kill you, my love
Oh, what it takes out of me to lay by your side

[Pre-Chorus]
My love too much
Your love not enough
My love too much
Your love...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mental Health Day

Shhh...I'm playing hooky today. I needed a day just to myself, no kids and no work, so I can have a ME day. How am I spending it? Glad you asked! I'm going to dwell a bit on the Stephanie of it all...of course I am, it's pretty much all I've been thinking about since the beginning of November. I'm going to blast some Spotify in the house while I finish the kitchen deep clean, and hopefully I'll be able to move onto the living room. I'll watch some TV. I'll probably have a cigarette or two. Don't judge me. I haven't had a day just to recharge since New Year's Day. Every day after that one was nothing but stress that I didn't deal with, and I'm finding out that I don't know HOW to deal with it. Work and kids just push it aside and give me something else to focus on.

Although she was only here a couple of times, the ghost of Stephanie is still here...hence today's song: "The Ghost of You" by My Chemical Romance. I see her every time I look out on the patio, standing there with a cigarette. Sitting on the couch, her jet black hair framing her face while she looks at me with the most beautiful and intense eyes I've ever seen. Laying in my bed, listening to Spotify, talking.



I never
Said I'd lie in wait forever
If I died
We'd be together

I can't always just forget her
But she could try

At the end of the world
Or the last thing I see
You are never coming home, never coming home
Could I? Should I?

And all the things that you never ever told me
And all the smiles that are ever ever

Ever get the feeling that you're never all alone?
And I remember now
At the top of my lungs in my arms she dies
She dies

At the end of the world
Or the last thing I see
You are never coming home, never coming home
Could I? Should I?

And all the things that you never ever told me
And all the smiles that are ever gonna haunt me
Never coming home, never coming home
Could I? Should I?

And all the wounds that are ever gonna scar me
For all the ghosts that are never gonna catch me

If I fall
If I fall
(Down)

At the end of the world
Or the last thing I see
You are never coming home, never coming home
Never coming home, never coming home

And all the things that you never ever told me
And all the smiles that are ever gonna haunt me
Never coming home, never coming home
Could I? Should I?

And all the wounds that are ever gonna scar me
For all the ghosts that are never gonna

Monday, February 22, 2016

THAT'S why it was so easy to stop smoking

I've mentioned before that I was having a more difficult time quitting smoking this go around, and I couldn't figure out why. Was it that I was a little older? Were the cigarettes more addictive? Surely the stress of a young relationship ending couldn't have been worse than the stress of my divorce, right? Well, Saturday night, as I was hunched over the toilet in my bathroom, vomiting up an insanely good burger I made for dinner (along with some Ore-Ida oven-baked cheddar chips), I remembered why it was so easy to quit last time: it made me sick.

I guess my body knows when enough is enough. Between around Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, every time I had a cigarette I got ill. On Saturday morning it just started with nausea and an utter lack of enjoyment of the chemicals I was inhaling. The vomiting started Saturday night (the last one I had that night) and continued with the three I had on Sunday...and none of the ones I smoked made it past the half-way point. The taste was bad, the buzz was bad, and the nausea and eventual throwing up was bad. THAT'S why it was so easy to stop smoking last time, and that's why it's going to be easy now. Just thinking about having another one gets me a little queasy.

So that's it, I'm done. I won't say for good, but I will say for now and the foreseeable future. Hopefully I don't have to go through any stress like that again.

And I'll toss in a quick update in regards to everything that started all of this. Wednesday was the last time we had any contact. Earlier in the week we discussed attempting to go back to how things were after we got back in touch but before we started dating. I thought we had become good friends pretty quickly, and I didn't want to lose that. I could talk with her like I couldn't talk to anyone else.

So I figured it was safe to go back to liking things on Facebooks: song posts, picture uploads, status updates, etc. I'm always on Facebook, or at least my phone is always with me so I see notifications as soon as their posted. So when she posted a pic, I liked it. Not long after that, her ex-husband commented, "26.2 seconds." Since it was so soon after I liked the picture, I could only assume it was in reference to how quickly I liked the pic. Well, THAT was a dick move. But then Stephanie liked the comment, and later on BARRY liked the comment. WTF? So now I'm apparently a joke between the girl I'm in love with, her ex-husband, and her ex (?) boyfriend. Awwwwwwwesome. That's when my sadness and pitifulness started to change to, well, not necessarily anger, but disappointment? Maybe a bit of anger? Despite how it ended, I never thought I'd be a joke to her.

And you know what's sad? I'd try it again. I do still love her. I can't turn this stuff on and off on a whim. I wish I could, to make things easier and allow me to move on. But at the same time, I'm glad I'm like this. Yeah, I get emotional and my feelings are intense, but I'd rather feel too much than nothing at all.

I was listening to a Motion City Soundtrack mix CD on the way to work this morning, so you get a MCS video. As usual, lyrics are below.



I got the message long before you said you knew
There was no chance of us at all
With no velocity and empty-headed hard and far-too-long
I spent two years alone with you
Just when I thought I had forgotten
You came back soft without a sound

You said we were an accident
With accidents you’ll never know what could have been
So we were an accident
You’ll always be my favorite one

You hit the road and left me an ocean
I can't swim in the silence of your skin-skin please let me in
Side the times we never had right
Inside two years alone with you

You said we were an accident
With accidents you’ll never know what could have been
So we were an accident
You’ll always be my favorite one

We could have been (We could have been again)
Instead of accidental running always running (why can’t you believe)
We could have been (We could have been again)

Long winded promises of future company
Up close the sound remains the same
Without the reign of terror over every momentary change
We are exactly as before

You hit the road and left me an ocean
I can't swim in the silence of your skin-skin please let me in
Side the time I had to forget you
Inside no chance of us at all

Monday, February 15, 2016

I don't know what to write about anymore.

I started writing on here again because it was a way to get through some difficult relationship feelings and emotions. Now that that's over...now what? In all honesty, I would like to believe that there's still a chance for us down the line. Maybe I've just watched too many "will they/won't they" shows on TV, but really, it's not a door that I want closed forever. We're remaining friends. We entered into this thing as friends. We got close and shared things pretty quickly, and in all honesty, that's what I miss the most. I really don't have any friends who I can talk with about the stress of being a single parent, headaches from work, AND the ridiculousness of our former significant others. I told her things I didn't tell ANYBODY. If nothing else, we're working on getting that friendship back. But weeks, months, years down the road...who knows? Maybe she's my lobster.

But I'm not waiting around. I've re-registered on Tinder (don't judge...it's where WE ended up getting back in touch) and OK Cupid. I didn't have much luck before, and I'm not holding my breath for much luck NOW, but I'm putting myself out there. If it's going to happen, it'll happen. If not, then it won't. But I can't wait around forever. I do still love her. She's the last most recent out of four girls I've ever been in love with. Except for one (the first), I still have a little bit of love in my heart for all of them. And if I can rekindle this love down the line before it ends up dying out, then what's wrong with that? Until then, though, I will live my life, and she will live hers, and we'll be good friends who talk about things, and that'll be okay.

Also, I bought my final (I REALLY hope) two packs of cigarettes on Friday. I'll probably finish one of them tomorrow, and the other is going to work with me. I'm going to do my best to ween. Now that the stress of the relationship is over, I can focus on this. After tomorrow, there will be no cigarettes smoked at home. I'll slowly work my way off of them at work. Keep me honest, people!



I know I should get next to you
You got a look that makes me think you're cool
But it's just sexual attraction
Not somethin' real so I'd rather keep wackin'

Why bother?
It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me
This happened to me twice before
It won't happen to me anymore


I've known a lot of girls before
What's the harm in knowin' one more?
Maybe we could even get together
Maybe you could break my heart next summer

Why bother?
It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me
This happened to me twice before
It won't happen to me anymore

It's a crying shame I'm all alone
Not with you, nor her, nor anyone
Won't you knock me on my head
Crack it open let me outta here.

Why bother?
It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me
This happened to me twice before
It won't happen to me anymore

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bright Side

We shared a lot of great music. I get to see Deadpool opening weekend. Drowning my sorrows at the Flying Saucer. When the grief passes I hope we can still be good friends...it started out that way. I realized that I can in fact love someone again, and that was a big question I had after my divorce. The romance within me did not in fact die. And as long as she's happy with herself and her life, that's really all that matters to me.

Edited to add: I've also got some fucking awesome friends.

Edited again to add: Due to the stress I've been under the past month or so I've lost a pretty decent amount of weight, and I really look better than I have in a long time. Double-edged sword?

Well, that's over

Nothing else to say, I guess. Maybe Deadpool and a trip to the Flying Saucer on Saturday will help. I doubt it, but maybe.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Snow Day(s) Slow Down

Apologies for no updates for the past few days. I've been at home with the kids while they're out of school for snow (today is day #3 and they're with my parents so I can get some work done), and I tried to spend the time at home relaxing, catching up on some TV, finishing the deep-clean of my bathroom and bedroom in case I have some overnight company this weekend...and smoking. I have learned that I'd rather be at work where it's easier to get bogged down in, well, work, than it is at home. There, I just stay in my head all day, pretty much preparing for the end of this relationship. As hopeful as I am (hopeless, maybe?) in believing this can work and that she'll want this to work, the past couple of weeks have really prepared me for it ending. I don't want it to, but is it futile to fight if the other person clearly doesn't want to be there fighting along side you?

Today's Song of the Day is Ok Go's new one, with another incredible video.



Upside down and inside out
And you can feel it
Upside down and inside out
And you can feel it, feel it
Don't know where your eyes are
But they're not doin' what you said
Don't know where your mind is baby
But you're better off without it

Inside down and upside out
And you can feel it
Don't stop
Can't stop
It's like an airplane goin' down
I wish I had said the things you thought that I had said
Gravity's just a habit that you're really sure you can't break

So when you met the new you
Were you scared?
Were you cold?
Were you kind?
Yeah when you met the new you
Did someone die inside?

Don't stop
Can't stop
It's like a freight train
Don't stop
Can't stop
It's like an airplane goin' down
Don't know where your eyes are
But they're not doin' what you said
Don't know where your mind is baby
But you're better off without it

Looks like it's time to decide
Are you here?
Are you now?
Is this it?
All of those selves that you tried;
Wasn't one of 'em good enough?

Cause you're upside down and inside out
And you can feel it
Inside down and upside out
And you can feel it, feel it

Don't stop
Can't stop
It's like a freight train
Don't stop
Can't stop
Until you feel it goin' down
I wish I had said the things you thought that I had said
Gravity's just a habit that you're really sure you can't break

Upside down and inside out
And you can feel it
Don't stop
Can't stop
Until you feel it goin' down
Upside down and inside out
And you can feel it
Don't stop
Can't stop
Until you feel it goin' down

Monday, February 8, 2016

Disappointing Update

Disappointing because there really isn't an update. Stephanie messaged me Friday afternoon and we had a VERY brief exchange, and that was it. She did go to the concert on Saturday, and I can only assume she went with him. That got me thinking about the space she needs to figure out her life before she tries to deal with any relationships. Am I the only person she needs space from? Is she getting space from him? I'm not going to ask, and I'm not going to drive myself crazy by checking Snapchat totals (that way lies madness), but I do have to wonder.

I texted her on Sunday morning saying that we'll have to talk later in the week. Her reply was one word: Why? My reply was also one word: Saturday. I didn't receive a reply. We have plans for Saturday night. She's coming into town, I have reservations at Sambuca, and she's spending the night. Now, before you start thinking dirty thoughts, I'm sleeping on the couch and giving her my bed (I've been in extreme cleaning mode for my bedroom and bathroom for the last couple of weekends...I've even cleaned the baseboards!). Cross my heart. We did the same thing on New Year's Eve. With things as up in the air as they are, sex would only complicate and confuse things.

I'm smoking again. I just can't handle the quitting while going through this relationship mess. During the week, I'm having one in the morning when I get to work and one after lunch. It calms me down. I'll try quitting again once this thing with Stephanie is resolved.

I listened to a lot of honeyhoney this weekend while in the car. "Sugarcane" resonated with me the most the past few days. I can look at it from Suzanne's point of view or the point of view of whoever she's singing about/too. Lyrics below, with the relevant ones highlighted.



I'm the salt in your sugar cane
But it's not the taste that I blame
It's not you or I
Because we tried tried tried
The more we change
The more things stay the same

Your eyes were red
Mine painted black
My thin blue dress
Slid down my back
You held me close and you cried cried cried
Cause we both knew I wasn't coming back

And maybe I have always been the one to say good-bye
And I won't no lie, no, If I don't stick around

You're not gonna die
You're not gonna die

She was sweet when you were down
I hope what you need is just what you found
You say you're fine, then you sigh sigh sigh
So when I fuck around don't ask me why

Maybe I have always been the one to say good-bye
I won't lie, no, If I don't stick around

You're not gonna die
You're not gonna die

Now you're here and your jeans are ripped
A cigarette, between your lips
But you don't smoke I guess now you do do do
Cause what you want I just can't give to you

Cause what you want I just can't give to you

Friday, February 5, 2016

Making It

I haven't had a cigarette now in almost 52 hours, and I feel a lot better than I did this time yesterday. My anxiety mostly dissolved when I left work. That said, I haven't communicated to Stephanie since Wednesday night, and I feel absolutely terrible about that. But she wants space, so I'm giving her her space. If she wants to text or talk with me, she knows I'll jump at the chance. I'm just scared, though, that the more time that passes when we do finally talk, it'll be our last time. I'd like to hope she'll call tonight, but I'm not holding my breath. I know we won't speak tomorrow. Tomorrow she'll be in Nashville with him going to a concert. I'm not threatened by him anymore. He was NEVER a threat to me. Anything that happens is Stephanie's decision. Sunday, though, I'm expecting we'll have a HUGE conversation. Be prepared for a happy or tear-filled post on Monday.

I'm comforted by a couple of things, though. One, she hasn't called it off yet. She's REALLY thinking about things. I can't imagine everything that's going through her mind, but whatever she's going through and thinking about, she hasn't called it off yet. Two, less than two weeks ago she told me that she did in fact miss me, and that had she could she would have run right to me. There are feelings there. I, of course, don't know exactly what they are, and I'm sure she's taking this time to figure out for herself what they are. But they. Are. There.

I listened to I Fight Dragons in the car last night and this morning, and I'm having a difficult time choosing a song to post. I'm considering their cover of the Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing," their cover of John Mayer's "Heart of Life," "With You," and a handful more. Y'know what? Screw it. It's Friday, it's my blog, I like the songs...so you're getting all of 'em.



Link to lyrics.

You tell me that you've heard every sound there is
And your bird can swing
But you can't hear me, you can't hear me





There are two versions of this song. Link to lyrics.

Maybe we will be everything we say
Maybe all that we dream will fade to gray
Either way, I will stay with you



Link to lyrics.

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good




Link to lyrics.

Jet black hair and eyes like the tiger
But when her eyes meet mine
I can see inside
Oh She knows she got a hold on me
Oh she's sacrilege and destiny
Oh it's more than what the eye can see
Secretly
I know she
She's got sorcery



Link to lyrics.

Everyone you know will lie
Those you trust will make you cry
All "hello"s end with goodbye
So, who's afraid to love?
Not I



Link to lyrics.

Disaster has a way of remaking our hearts
Long after all the thunder and scars
Days pass and bit by bit we begin to restart
Our disaster hearts



Link to lyrics.

Now and forever true
If you'll be mine then I will fight for you



Link to lyrics.

Tonight you look like a dream
Then again, you always do to me
After everything we've been through
I still just love to look at you

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.

It's been 29 hours since my last cigarette. I know I only picked this back up two months ago, but that doesn't mean I didn't jump back into it with both feet. Looks like I do that with a lot of things.

Stephanie and I (well, pretty much her) killed our Snapchats. That was something she and the other guy started, and she introduced me to it. She was the only one I ever Snapchatted with, and there's a good chance I'll delete the app if/when we stop seeing each other. I wasn't a big fan of it other than providing me with a daily picture of her between actually being able to see her. The thought had actually crossed my mind a few weeks ago to stop communicating that way, but I didn't want to relinquish those infrequent glimpses of her.

We haven't talked since Sunday. Since we started talking, it's the longest break we've had. I don't like it. We've only text for a handful of minutes since Monday night. I'm hoping this space I'm giving her is helpful. She said she's been doing a lot of constructive thinking, and that's good. To me, though, it feels like I'm falling into this space and I can't stop. This happened a couple of weeks ago when I tried to stop smoking, so I know my anxiety isn't totally about our relationship. That's why I'm pushing through this and not bumming a cigarette from a co-worker, no matter how much I'd like to. I know that how I'm feeling and reacting right now fly in the face of everything I typed out yesterday, but yesterday I had a cigarette and was clear-headed. Again, I know the majority of this anxiety is from the nicotine withdrawal. That DOES make me feel better; at least I know I'm not going crazy. I just don't know how long this is going to last. I don't even remember going through this a few years ago. If it lasts through the weekend, though, at least it's my weekend with the kids and I won't be at home all alone.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mindset Reset

I did a LOT of thinking yesterday. A LOT. About who I am, what I'm doing, what I want, what kind of relationship I want, how I handle relationships, and who I want to have a relationship with.

I thought I had spent the last six years recovering from my separation and divorce by finding out who I am, but I've learned that what I've done is just packed that relationship person away until it was time to bring him out again. I jumped into this thing with both feet. When it started, I thought we were on the same page. After a couple weeks it was evident we were moving TOO fast, and she wanted to slow it down. That was fine with me, but I didn't really know how to do that. I had already fallen pretty damn hard for her, so it was difficult to apply my brakes and slow it down. How do you do that when you have such strong feelings for someone?

I didn't see what my sad attempts at slowing down were doing to her. In my blindness/hubris/selfishness, I thought her issues were only in dealing with her ex-boyfriend. I thought her leftover feelings combined with him stringing her along were causing her stress. I didn't see that, although I was adamant about not pressuring her into making any decisions, my constant BEING THERE through texting and social media was doing what I didn't want to do. I was pressuring her.

Earlier this week was her breaking point, I think, and it took that for me to fully see that, yep, my gung-ho attitude about this was as much of a factor as his lackadaisical attitude. Hence my deep introspection yesterday.

My life is not defined by my relationships. My relationships should ENHANCE my life. My relationship with my kids, my parents and sister, the rest of my family, my friends, and those I fall in love with...these relationships cannot control who I am, what I do, or how I think. They are here to build me up and fill me with love, but I'll never be completely full if I don't love myself. Yeah, that sounds way to New Agey for me, but it's true.

I let my kids get under my skin too much without stepping back and really appreciating them for who they are and how they're growing up. #1 is so fucking smart. I was a very above-average student, but I didn't apply myself, so I skated through everything. #1 soaks up knowledge wherever he can. He DOES things. He's got more going on as a 6th grader than I did in middle school and high school combined. He plays the saxophone because I did, and with less than a year under his belt, he's better than I was at his age (and I was pretty darn good). He's got a really good group of friends, and he loves being a Boy Scout. I fucking admire him so much. But he's also incredibly emotional, and I think that's what I see of me in him the most. He's quick to anger, especially at his younger brother (which, to be honest, is justified a lot of the time). Out of the three of them, he's the only who will ever remember his mom and me married. He had to grow up very fast when she left the four of us, and it just makes me sad.

#2 is so much a girl. She likes make-up (although I don't let her wear any yet), dresses, Barbies, babies...yeah, very much a girly girl. And that's not something I pushed, but she chose it, and I'm okay with it. I tried to get her into nerd stuff via comics and TV and movies, but she's not into it and that's fine...she's blazing her own path. She tried gymnastics and cheerleading for a few years, but that started to bore her. She's always loved music (there's my girl!) and singing, and after she showed me a song she wrote (holy shit, it was amazing for 9-year-old), her mom and I decided it was time to talk about music lessons. But we left it up to her. She was currently in Girl Scouts, and she ended up choosing singing and piano lessons over that. I cannot wait to she her grow as a musician. She has so much talent and heart that I just know she's going to do incredible things.

#3 probably has the most of me in him. He's energetic, but he also loves to spend tons of time on the computer (closely monitored by me, don't worry). He's not nerdy like me (that's all #1), but he's also crazy smart...but he doesn't do anything with it. He does his work, does it well, but beyond that he doesn't enjoy learning like his older brother does. He also changes gears pretty quickly. He did "ninja" class for almost a year before getting bored. He plays basketball, but he really has no idea what he's doing. He's in Cub Scouts, but I think he goes just to see friends and go camping every now and then. His emotions are always just under the surface too, but it's more about frustration and sadness as opposed to #1's anger. He tears up easily if he gets yelled at (which I tend to do more often than I should. That said, he is also the sweetest boy. He wakes up every morning with a smile. He's quick with hugs and kisses on the cheek. He is probably biggest headache causer out of the three, but sometimes he's the easiest to forgive.

Why do I let these wonderful kids get under my skin so much? Why do I get exasperated with them? They make my life better just by being here. When they're with their mother every other weekend, my house is quiet and still and lonely. I really don't know what to do with myself when they're gone. Then along comes Stephanie.

Stephanie is also a single mother with kids Bobby's age. Somehow, miraculously, when we started going out we discovered our kid-free weekends synced up. How perfect was that? The last two weekends we didn't see each other, though, and I kind of spiraled into a "what am I going to do with myself?" mode. There was smoking, and there was drinking. Looking back, I can see that my relationships with my kids and with Stephanie were dictating my attitude and feelings. They weren't there, so I couldn't be happy? Bullshit. That's just bullshit, and I'm just now realizing that. I cherish every second (despite headaches and tantrums and sibling spats) with these people I love, but just because they're not around doesn't mean I still can't be happy. I have friends. I have interests. I have hobbies. I have a house that has been neglected for far too long. I have OTHER THINGS.

My life is not defined by my relationships. Stephanie and I have been talking constantly since the beginning of October. For better or worse, that's when the relationship really started. But in that time, we've seen each other a total of five times. Only. Five. Times. Five times does not a boyfriend/girlfriend make. SHE knows that...it's just taken me this long to figure it out.

I'm still in love with her. I won't say that won't ever change, because things happen and it's very early in this messed up little relationship we have. But being in love with someone shouldn't make you or them sad. I honestly can't say with any certainty that we'll make it. I'd like to think we will, but as with all relationships, if it does end I know I'll be taking good things away from our time together, things about me that I've realized and can put to use (which I'm already starting to do) in my life and, hopefully, in future relationships. But right now I'm going to do whatever I can to make this work, and right now that means giving her space. I think I spoke on that in yesterday's post. I was pretty successful yesterday I think, and I hope it wasn't the cigarettes helping with that, because I crumpled up the remainder of my pack and threw them in a dumpster this morning (I did save ONE to have before starting work...hopefully my last one ever) so I can't rely on their calming effects anymore. They were just a crutch anyways. As far as communication with her goes, I'm mostly following her lead. I'll text in the morning with a "Have a good day!" and possibly send out a Snapchat if we're still trying to keep our streak going, but daytime contact will be instigated by her only (my decision). I'll text in the evening to see how her day was, and if she wants to continue texting or talking once the kids are in bed, then that's her call. If she doesn't text or Snapchat during the day, then that's no problem. She's got stuff to do, I've got stuff to do...and we've only been out five times. Her frequency of contact does not determine my happiness or who I am.

This was a pretty big revelation for me, so I guess this post ended up being a lot longer than I originally intended. If you read the whole thing, I appreciate it. If you're coming here for pop culture reviews, I apologize for the abrupt change in posting topics, all this is very therapeutic for me, and obviously it's helping. I wonder who IS reading this, though? Do I know you? If not, how did you stumble upon this? I know Stephanie used to read it, at least when I was going through my divorce and posting links on my Facebook page. She hasn't mentioned anything about it, so probably not?

Time to work. Thank you all for reading. Here's my favorite Paramore song, as a treat (lyrics copied below the video with the relevant ones bolded).



When I was younger
I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind
He broke his own heart
And I watched
As he tried to reassemble it

And my momma swore
That she would never let herself forget
And that was the day that I promised
I'd never sing of love
If it does not exist, but darlin'

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

Maybe I know, somewhere
Deep in my soul
That love never lasts
And we've got to find other ways
To make it alone
But keep a straight face

And I've always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable, distance
And up until now
I had sworn to myself that I'm content
With loneliness

Because none of it was ever worth the risk

But, you are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

I've got a tight grip on reality
But I can't let go of what's in front of me here
I know your leaving in the morning, when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream, oh

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

And I'm on my way to believing
Oh, and I'm on my way to believing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Working and thinking, thinking and working

That's what I'll be doing today (see this post's title).

I need to immerse myself in work today. I never have a lack of it, but I need to get out of my head for a bit. That said, I also REALLY need to do some thinking.

Yesterday I shared a little motivational pic/quote to her Facebook wall and commented that it was directly related to something we had talked about on the phone the night before. That pissed her off. She thought I posted it on her wall as opposed to texting it to her just so HE'D see it and know that we talked. We talk almost every night. Is that why I did it? Was I subconsciously "marking my territory"? I don't know. I don't think so, but now I'm second guessing myself.

So she's pretty upset that there seems to be a pissing match between him and me over her, and she's made it clear (to me, at least...God knows what they talk about in limited Snapchat shares) that she's not mine or his. And you know what? I get that. I really do. She's not a prize to be won. She's not a trophy. She's not a THING. She's a strong, beautiful woman who I fell in love with, and each day it's just more and more difficult for me to be the only one who's really into this relationship.

So I don't know if I'll be able to make it to Valentine's Day, less than two weeks away. I just...don't...know.

I'm taking a communication break from her today. No Snapchats, no texts, more than likely no phone call tonight. I think we both need it. So I'm going to listen to Spotify (with the Friend Feed turned off), do my work, think my thoughts, and ultimately I'll have to change something. At best, I'll have to change my mindset about this relationship. At worst, I'll just have to let it all go.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Back-Up Boyfriend

I don't want to type out everything I'm thinking or feeling right now...not here. I'm about to start a letter to Stephanie (it's been almost a week since my last one, so I've figured out that when I'm in a good place, the letters stop). I do want to put a few things out there, though, and maybe get some advice or thoughts from anyone reading this. I won't necessarily TAKE that advice, but I'd like to hear it anyways.

Right now I feel like a back-up boyfriend. I'm almost kind of okay with that, but mostly I'm not. I try to take solace in the fact that she's with me, as much as two people who live three hours apart and can maybe only see each other every other weekend can be with each other. But as much as she's with me, as much as we talk or text or Snapchat, her heart is still with him.

Two weekends ago I started to feel better about our situation, or at least her situation with him. From what she was saying, he was doing all he could to push her away, and she was starting to go. She told me she missed me. It was the first time she had ever done that. That was HUGE. She said that if our situations had been different that weekend (we both had our kids), she would have run right to me. THAT was huge. For the first time since our relationship started, I actually felt wanted...not just needed, but WANTED. I haven't felt like that in so long, and coming from her, well, it was one of the best feelings ever.

Later in the week he continued to piss her off. She called me at work to vent (and vent she did!), and while I was happy to be able to let her do that...it was all about him. Sure, she was pissed and I could see the end of them continuing, but the fact that she was venting about her ex-non-boyfriend to her current, I don't even know, guy she's dating (I think we're a ways away from boyfriend/girlfriend labels), it hurt me a LOT. I was hoping I'd be able to go to Martin on Saturday and see her and just be there for her, but on Saturday morning she was still upset and wanted a weekend alone. I can't fault her for that...she had things to get through, and although I missed her terribly, I wanted her to have her space. But then she bought some furniture and spent part of the day on Sunday with HIM and told me, as we were on the phone last night, that her previous upset was out of context and the situation was different than she had assumed.

So now it seems they're back to, fuck, I don't even know. THEY don't even know.

There's a HUGE war going on right now between my head, my heart, and my gut, and it's terrible not only because they're fighting, but because they constantly change sides and views. My head knows that I should get out. She still has very strong feelings for him and me being "around" can't be helping her figure out exactly what those feelings are. My heart says to end it because it's constantly breaking, every time she says his name and gives him another chance to be noncommittal. My gut, though, is is the stalwart hopeful optimist telling me to hang in there, that she does see how much you care for her (love her...she's not stupid...she knows how I feel even though I haven't directly come out and said it) and ultimately she's strong and smart enough to see through all his bullshit and posturing and immature games. So then the gut talks to my heart and he says, yeah, that's right, I do love her. I can work through the pain and I can mend the heartbreak and when this all does work out for the better (because my heart is full of hope), we'll be stronger and closer and we'll know better how we both think and feel. My head is a little less forgiving, but when the heart and gut team up, he softens up a little. He just tells me to be cautious and not put SO MUCH out there because it still might not work out...but he's still supportive.

Maybe I shared too much, I don't know. I do know that I love her, truly, madly, and deeply. If I didn't have these strong feelings for her, I know I would end it. But I do, and I don't think I can. Two big weekends are coming up: next week they're coming to Nashville for a concert, the week after that she's coming back to see her family and spend some time with me for Valentine's weekend. We'll see how both of those nights go. At least I'll have my kids to distract me this coming Saturday, at least until they're in bed, then it'll just be me alone with my thoughts, and that tends to be a horrible combination.

I'm going to leave you with a song I heard for the first time as I was typing this. It's by Rilo Kiley, who I had heard before but didn't really take to. They, along with Jenny Lewis' solo work, have gotten a new respect from me thanks to some song shares from Stephanie (one of which was sent to her by him, which she then sent me...this is all just very weird to me). It's the first verse that really gets me. Song with lyrics to follow:





There are worse ways for a guy to spend his time

Than to sit and think of you
I think I'd marry you
Just your smile
Keeps me satisfied
Though you're not mine



So for the rest of my life
I'm gonna search for someone just like you



And we tend the garden all day long
Watching history unfold
And I'd be enough
And you'd be enough
And we'd grow old



So for the rest of my life
I'm gonna search for someone just like you



For the rest of my life
I'm gonna search for someone just like you



Yeah, for the rest of my life
I'm gonna search for someone just like you


I hope I don't have to search for someone just like her. I've found her, I love her, and she's all I want.

Updated to add a title.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Two months ago today...

...was my first date with Stephanie. It's kind of weird, the whole relationship thing. My feelings and intentions are out in the open...she knows that, and you know that. She's still going through some feelings for her previous...whatever it was...so that occasionally makes things a little tense between us. But things are still nice. I miss her horribly, though. We haven't seen each other since New Years Day, and there's a good chance we won't see each other again until the day before Valentine's Day. That'll be six weeks. I don't like that. I'm hoping I'll be able to drive to Martin on Saturday so we can spend a little time together, but that all depends on her ex-husband and what day (Friday or Saturday) he is able to keep their kids. Then the following weekend she's coming to Nashville for a concert with her previous whatever it was. That hurts me. She says it's not a date, just there and back on Saturday night, but yeah, it still hurts. Now, I've taken girls to concerts before and they weren't dates...but they were kind of trials for possibly dating. So I don't know if I'm being hypocritical or judging this on my experience, but the concerts we went to, neither of us were dating anyone else, and we weren't exes (well, not recent ones...just 20 years ago in high school for about a minute, and that's not the same).

Her song of the day today was "Trouble" by Cage the Elephant. Here's the song:



We both love music. We need it to function. If I'm awake, I'm listening to music...at work, in the car, fixing dinner, cleaning the house, mowing the yard...whatever. She's the same way. We also occasionally share on Facebook the songs we're really into at the time. When we do that, there's always something MORE about it. It's how we're feeling/felt/want to feel; it's directed at someone; it's cathartic.

So I listened to this song as soon as she posted it on Facebook. I was on the balcony outside my office smoking my only cigarette of the day (I promise!). It was cold, and my hand was kind of freezing, but listening to the song, I felt it wasn't meant for me. It felt like it was meant for whatever-it-was guy. And the thing is? I could totally share this to her from me.

Here are the lyrics:

We were at the table by the window with the view
Casting shadows, the sun was pushed through
Spoke a lot of words, I don't know if I spoke the truth

Got so much to lose
Got so much to prove
God, don't let me lose my mind

Trouble on my left, trouble on my right
I've been facing trouble almost all my life
My sweet love, won't you pull me through
Everywhere I look I catch a glimpse of you
I said it was love and I did it for life, do do it for you

Will I come to pass or will I pass the test
You know what they say, yeah, the wicked get no rest
You can have my heart any place, any time

Got so much to lose
Got so much to prove
God, don't let me lose my mind

Trouble on my left, trouble on my right
I've been facing trouble almost all my life
My sweet love, won't you pull me through
Everywhere I look I catch a glimpse of you
I said it was love and I did it for life, do do it for you

Trouble on my left, trouble on my right
I've been facing trouble almost all my life
My sweet love, won't you pull me through
Everywhere I look I catch a glimpse of you
I said it was love and I did it for life, do do it for you

Got so much to lose
Got so much to prove
God, don't let me lose my mind

I haven't told her I love her yet, but I've told you, and if she reads the blog (she used to...it's how we got back in touch after more than a decade since the last time we saw each other), she knows but hasn't said anything to me about it. But I do love her...I have for most of these past two months. I fell fast, and I fell hard.

She hasn't come out and said that she was in love with whatever-it-was guy, but with us actually dating and them NOT and her still having feelings, I can't imagine that she wasn't. From talking with her just this past week, though, it sounds like she's starting to turn a corner and is almost prepared to put him in her past. We've had some GREAT talks over the past week. She's said a couple things that took me by surprise and I wasn't expecting to hear so soon. So, I still feel good. I'm confident. I do realize I might be setting myself up for a long fall (fake Internet points for anyone who can tell me where this comes from without looking: "How come the only way to know how high you get me is to see how far I fall? God only knows how much I'd love you if you let me, but I can't break through at all."), but the biggest rewards always come with the biggest risks, right? I'm ready to take the risk.