Cashing out.

Spiraling the drain. That’s the best way I can describe my state of mind right now. If I were brave, I share a picture of my studio, which would perfectly showcase the dumpsterfire raging in my head.

I spent the first part of August in the fetal position. I evenutally got out of bed and became functional, but then made the mistake of sharing a new idea I had with someone. The person claimed to support me, but didn’t. I had barely gotten the idea out before they started offering feedback (“If I were you…”) and then proceeded to steer me back towards the same traditional life path that I’ve failed at for over 40 years. People just don’t listen. So, I’m done. I’m going to tell them what they want to hear, even if it’s not true.

Yes, I am finally going to start lying.

This is a common practice for most people, but I don’t do it. It doesn’t make me feel good and it’s really hard to do. It’s like speaking a foreign language: there’s a lot of awkward pausing to figure things out, which blows my cover. I’ve told some lies successfully, over the last week. Some were big and it admittedly made my life easier. I feel bad, but since I already feel horrible, the shift wasn’t too noticable. Yeah, progress.

I also cashed out a 401k today. It’s a small sum, but it’ll pay for a trip. Locations TBD. I just took a class on ways to earn income (e.g. ecommerce) so maybe I can make some money while on the road. I want to stretch this trip through the end of the year.

But what to do with the cat. I thought he might die but he’s actually doing fine. I’d hate to leave him at a shelter, but will if it comes to that. I can’t stay here just because of him. Hmm…lying has hardened me. I definitely wouldn’t have considered that before.

So much to say (Part 1)

Dave Matthews is going on in 30 minutes. I loved him back in college. I’m numb to everything right now but decided to come anyway. I would’ve wasted the night anyway. Now I can be alone in a crowd. (Confession: I didn’t give away the second ticket. I asked a few people and then stopped trying.)

It’s been a hard week. Been listening to Rising Strong again. This passage cut me today:

“I’ve rumbled with failure and shame enough over the past decade to know this: You can do everything right. You can cheer yourself on, have all the support you can find in place, and be 100 percent ready to go, and still fail…But if you can look back during your rumble and see that you didn’t hold back—that you were all in—you will feel very different than someone who didn’t fully show up. You may have to deal with the failure, but you won’t have to wrestle with the same level of shame that we experience when our efforts were halfhearted.”

Brene Brown, “Rising Strong”

That’s horseshit. Why do people need to compare themselves to others so much? That does NOTHING for me. Knowing that someone is suffering less or more than me is irrelevant. I don’t do life like that. Like, I’m wearing a mask at the concert. Have I encountered anyone else wearing one? No. Does that affect my feelings about wearing one? No. There is not a single fuck I could find, even with the help of Randy McNally and Google Maps.

The truth is that I failed. Period. I feel like shit. Feeling slightly less shitty wouldn’t feel like an improvement right now, Brene. I was BRAVING and have nothing to show for it. Love. Work. Life. Nothing.

I don’t want to feel better; I want to feel good. Since that isn’t possible, I’m going to get wasted on ridiculously expensive drinks.

Homegoing.

This is the poem I referenced. I wrote it months before we broke up. The cadence is odd, but the exercise really pushed you to get creative. I find it interesting that I wrote about this topic, though. I was grateful for every moment because I knew it wouldn’t last.

Golden Shovel Writing Exercise: every word in Gwendolyn Brook’s original poem is used in sequence and serves as the concluding word in each of your poem’s lines.


I thought I was just alone, then we
Became real.
I learned to use warm thoughts of anticipation to protect myself from the cool,
Through hundreds of moon rotations and intention settings for we
I felt behind. Discarded. Left.

I finally chose to embrace the quiet. Because here in my school
There are lessons to be learned from everything and there is no we
Without being certain of who I am first and my shadow does not lurk
It leads me to places I would’ve never explored because the world was worried about me being late.
Without me and myself, I could’ve never given birth to we.

I don’t worry about losing myself in you or the heartbreak that will inevitably strike.
I can wander down paths that aren’t straight
Because when it ends – and it always ends – there will be plenty leftover from we.
I will first cry – longing for the sound of your voice – then use my mouth to sing
Songs of praise, redemption, and recounts our glorious sin.
I will regret nothing, from having been your we
I will hold my warm memories close and promise to keep my grievances thin
Dissolvable, drowned with a toast of whisky and gin
I pledge to be better for we.

I welcome it all, because aren’t the blues a form of jazz?
I can’t tell whether my face is wet with tears or warm raindrops in June
They’re all souvenirs that I was a once a we
Remnants of a cast lucky die
Where I emerged whole from a we, where you departed too soon.

Copyright 2022.

Stuck.

I’ve been struggling with a post for about a week. It’s a good post, but it’s not coming right now, and it’s time to move on.

Right now, I’m stuck. I’m wondering how to capture the feeling of being seen when I’m not. How to keep the magic of being in a relationship while I’m not. I don’t want to need one to have that feeling. That high. I want to give it to myself. Staying open and vulnerable is part of it, but I haven’t figured out the rest.

Thoughts on love and Planet Fitness.

Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you a planet fitness black card membership, which comes with massage chair privileges. That’s a very close second.

No, actually it’s a tie. Because the chair doesn’t require reciprocity, so it gets bonus points.

I also tempted fate and used the hydromassage bed. God save the Queen. I walked out of there feeling lighter than ever.


Money also can buy you books you can’t find in the library.

I was drawn to the this one during a Wednesday night stroll through Barnes & Noble. I’m ready for my next love, although I realize it may be years before I meet him. I’ve already been fortunate to have one before John. I hope the book is right and this third love will be my last. More on that later.

I’m not as sad as I thought I’d be about losing John. It’s been almost a month since we broke up and I’m okay. I have moments of anger and hurt from being misunderstood, but I don’t really miss him. I miss who I was with the “him” who showed up, which it turns out who he really was. I’m forever grateful to him for participating in our post-breakup debrief because I might have held him on a pedestal, otherwise. Hearing him speak so negatively about me was like a light switch. My brain quarantined the cute pictures and fun memories and extracted any feelings of love like a Dyson vacuum. The love is still there, but it’s for a man he’s not ready to be.

But why am I better than okay? I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but I love a good process inquiry. I thought about it and have come to this conclusion: I’ve been abandoned so many times that I think I’m used to it by now. Yet – and this is key – I chose to love John wholeheartedly from the beginning, despite knowing that it would inevitably end. (I wrote a poem about this a few months ago. I’ll have to find it…) I didn’t waste energy holding anything back. I treated that space with him with the utmost respect and affection. I lived IN every moment and didn’t waste a single one. I have no regrets about anything. Maybe that means no missing him, either?

AND, I acknowledge that this could all be a gloriously epic, manic coping mechanism to deal with my pain, but six of one, right?

Resigned.

I did it. I turned in my notice today, to be effective tomorrow. I was supposed to come back from medical leave today. I wasn’t sure if I would. Then, I got a work email this morning about an issue that’s been ongoing for almost two years. All because no one backed me up in a meeting. The problem rolled downhill and became a huge mess. The request was asking me to provide backup of the situation, which I’d done numerous times before.

Two years. That was all I needed. I had asked God earlier for some nudge to know that I wasn’t being a Lone Ranger without a cause. That I was off track. But that email, about this specific issue, less than 4 hours after returning….😶 Sore spot doesn’t begin to describe it. I’m proud of myself for being very direct about why I’m leaving, citing this incident that I feel is tied to race and gender. They won’t care. I don’t expect them to. I needed to say it out loud for me.

So I’m at peace. Unemployed, but at peace.

Well, that not entirely true. Technically, I’m the president of my new company. I have paperwork to prove it! I think as my first revenue stream, I’ll set up a Patreon account. I’ll use it to share more personal items (like my resignation letter, maybe?). I don’t expect anyone to pay for it, though; it just gives me a good excuse to mess around with new software. Yes, I am a nerd.

Foot traffic.

I’ve walked 52.2 miles since last Sunday. I did 13.7 miles, yesterday. Maybe I’ll look into training for a half marathon.

I am not a walker. Or anything resembling an athlete. I have a lot on my mind and waking makes me feel productive. Although, I’m not because I can literally only walk while walking. Surprisingly, my body is taking it fairly well. You know, for someone who barely moves at all.


Tomorrow is the day. What is it called when you’re no longer surprised or disappointed when things don’t work out? Numb? Disenchanted?

At least I have this beautiful view in the backyard. They can’t take that away from me. I’m grateful for the view. This is not a bad place to be at all.

Date night.

Dear John – screw you for making me go on another first date. I hate that man. (Not really, though. I’m just hurt and disappointed.)

Post-Date Update: I had a great time with Walker at the Umstead. We had drinks, amazing parm fries, and great conversation. I think Walker likes me. As he should. 😒 I’m a great dating partner. I don’t know what in the hell was wrong with John. 🙄 I’m engaging, downright enchanting, and pleasant to look at. I didn’t have the last one to fall back on until recently so I had 40+ years to develop a great personality.

I want to make the men I’m dating feel good. Just feed me dammit and we’ll get along fine. John is a dumb-butt.


I almost passed out on my date with DB, the night before. We first went out last Friday and he was my first date post-John. We had a great time at Dave & Busters so I decided to roll the dice again.

And I honestly almost passed out. That’s not an exaggeration. I was underfueled for my 4 mile walk, earlier in the day. Then, I walked another 1+ miles at First Friday – following a zero carb dinner 🤦🏽‍♀️ – and almost fainted in artist Paul Gala’s studio. Hypoglycemia is a beast.

I need to send Paul and his wife, Linda, flowers. They were incredibly kind. I appreciate them taking care of me. My date too! Although, I think he was afraid that our meal caused what happened. I knew that wasn’t it, but I was working to hard to not vomit or crap myself to articulate what was happening. I’m happy to report that I only vomited a little, into a pail, so all is well and I can return to Art Space at some point in the future.

Anyway, Paul’s art is phenomenal. Before I almost died, we were having a great conversation about how an art piece is never really “done”. They’re just abandoned. He works on 5-6 pieces at a time so he’s not too committed to a single one. He also mentioned that he’ll still change pieces that have been framed and shown! A lot to think about.

Paul Gala
https://www.paulgalafineart.com