Life Since September: A mini-memoir about finding an apartment, love, deceit and my neighbors inability to get their laundry washed in a timely manner

Ah, being alone. Alone alone alone. When you say it enough times the word seems to lose all meaning, as with any other word.

This is a short story of my life, from September 2016. A short story of about 3,800 words that sums up my experiences this far. I felt like I had to write it, I have been so angry lately that I needed some sort of release. Painting has NOT been working, so this is the next best thing.

September, 2016

So, I had been out of Reeds place for what, a month? I found an adorable apartment, 2brs, 1ba, $750/mo with a claw foot tub. NICE.

What was not advertised: holes in windowsills, urine caked on the toilet and walls in said 1ba, lock bolted onto fridge door because its broken and won’t stay shut on its own [lol, what?!], cockroaches. I could have lived with all of the above but cockroaches? NO! Do I even have to explain myself with that one? I didn’t think so.

Anyway, I tried to get out of the lease [that I so stupidly signed BEFORE inspection – it was my first time on my own, I had no idea what I was doing or that I was being duped!] and the property managers were fucking rats. Worse than rats… cockroaches! Email after email, call after call, no response, fighting and badgering for days, they wanted to keep all my money [first and last month’s rent] and be a bag of dicks.

I spent two weeks back and forth with the attorney general, city of MPLS, legal aid, and finally a lawyer. These people were iron, but they did not know that I am the flame that melts the iron. I was not going to walk away with this big of a financial loss! I mean, I just had my heart broken, I was displaced, essentially homeless, and they were taking advantage of me! NO WAY, JOSE!

I smeared them on facebook, yelp, google, and every other social media site I could think of. I felt like I was channeling a 38 year old PTA mom with bad highlights and a Xanax addiction whose husband struggles with intimacy issues.

Finally, they agreed to “settle” and give me back 75% of my deposit. Cool.

Still on the hunt. Still living in my old boss’s guest room… my entire life condensed to Rubbermaid bins stored in a 5×7 storage unit and a cold basement.

Winter was coming. Rentals were hard to find that time of year. Everything had been rented by gremlins of the U – absorbing my potential housing like the sponges of society that they are. Fucking college kids. Go fuck yourselves.

I met a guy. Or rather, he found me. Exciting! Not my type, really, but intriguing nonetheless. He wanted to meet up. We had been chatting off and on for a while. I was nervous as hell. Why me? I am damaged goods, I am gross and unlovable, why me, dude? Oh well. Maybe I will maybe I won’t.

Focusing on work is damn near impossible. What the fuck. I was tired all the time and felt that even getting out of bed was a challenge. Showering… what is that?

New guy, we will call him *James*, attempted to meet up with me. I was so nervous and tired, and just sad still, that I ditched him. Twice. What a bitch move, Martini! Just tell the guy that you’re not ready. But, what if he’s different? He says he is… what’s the harm? It’s not like you’re going to fall in love.

He got me a birthday present – ouch. Said he would mail it to me since I didn’t want to meet up with him. Yikes. I am a bitch! What to do besides agree to meet him at this point?

Man, he’s tall, and cuter in person. Still not my type but there is coffee involved. We talk for hours, laughing and smiling, and I had fun. I kind of like him but he didn’t try to kiss me. Does he just want to be friends? Am I reading this alllllll wrong? It wouldn’t be the first time I read the signals wrong. This is going to be trouble. I went home to Rochelle’s and flopped on my bed. Coffee date at night, giggles and chain smoking in a garage. He got me a present before he even met me, I mean, he has to want to be more than friends, right?

I spend the rest of the night replaying the “date” over and over in my head, questioning my analysis of the night. I fall asleep fully clothed and wake up late for work the next day.

BAM! Lovely rental on Tyler Street, right by my favorite neighborhood of all of NE MPLS, waiting for me! ME! Way out of my price range but I was desperate. So, I put my blarney skills to the test and sat down with my laptop armed with nothing but the property manager’s email and my own determination. I needed the price to drop, a bit. I couldn’t afford my current [or previous] lifestyle with rent near $1k a month. That is stupid. I deserve to shop at LUSH Cosmetics, Sephora & every thrift shop in a 5 mile radius every week. THAT’S MY RIGHT, I earned that! I couldn’t give it up!

Two days with no response. I was feeling defeated. I figured, if I can find a place before thanksgiving life would be good. I could be on my own for the first time, decorate a cute place, and hunker down for the holidays. I had this idea that if I found my own place and was able to be on my own that it would somehow cure my broken heart. Finding my own apartment was the only thing I needed to heal. I wasn’t even thinking clearly, I at one point considered draining my savings and 401k to buy a house… lol, okaaaay, Maria!

Beep.

Email.

A response! Its him, Landlord Jon with the Tyler Street apartment! He spoke with the property owner and they had agreed to come down on the rental price, over $100, to fit my budget! GET. THE. FUCK. OUT. It happened! My dreams were coming to reality! Now, I would be able to be free and could focus on living again. Focus on myself, my “career”, my friends and family, life. Fuck. This was good.

–              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –

Moving sucks and is exhausting. Complications with the apartment being move-in ready on time put a wrench in all my plans. I am a planner. Very anal, like things to be done my way, on my timeline. So, naturally my anxiety was flying high – I felt like my blood pressure was so high that at any point one of my arteries would just explode and I would die, bleeding out in the vitamin isle at Target. That never happened.

It was kind of sad seeing all my belongings stuffed into the back of an empty cargo van. Is this what I am? Are I the sum of all of my possessions? I mean, as I packed and look through all my things I wondered what people would think of me if they were clearing out my storage unit. I have watched a few episodes of that show where they auction off abandoned storage units and have a super anti-climactic reveal of the contents inside. I would try to make up stories about the people who left these items behind. They all had different reasons, of course, but who were they? You can’t really judge a person based on the things they left behind… but, would people judge me? A dresser. Cheap storage cubes. One plant stand. Three old paintings curated from Savers. A Christmas tree stand. A kitchen aid mixer. But no one would get the chance to judge me, or make up a story about me because I was taking my life with me.

I fought with Comcast for two days. They attempted to charge me for internet that I wasn’t even able to use as I didn’t even have the modem… what? Go fuck yourselves, too, Comcast. I was not charged, although they continued trying to overcharge me for three months following, each month I called and berated the agent on the line, knowing full well that they were just doing their job. I broke the Call Center Employee Code by doing that, but whatever, it was necessary. I do not regret what I did.

Now I have internet. WOoo hooo!

My first night in the apartment wasn’t sad or lonely. It was chilly, and I was tired from moving for two weeks.

New guy is still around. It’s been about a month and he’s definitely interested – in what, I am not sure. He’s a flirt, seems like he could really be trouble. We’ve gone on a few dates.

He asked me what I was looking for in a partner one night after he brought me home. We sat in his truck, chain smoking, talking politics. I was almost stumped, I couldn’t really think of a solid answer. I made it easier and told him what I wasn’t looking for: dishonesty, cockiness, dick heads, cheaters, mean guys. He wanted passion, love, a partner, someone to have a family with.

I told him I was crazy. I know he didn’t believe me.

We sat there together, for an hour maybe, parked under a streetlamp, staring into nothingness. Just chatting about love and romance, loss, dreams, hopes… a potential future… together?

He wanted to be my boyfriend, but I just wasn’t sure about that. He promised me the world. I was game.

–              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –

CHRISTMAS TIME! Snow is falling in big fluffy flakes, dusting the great state of Minnesota with a shiny white layer of cold dreariness. I love it. Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s the holiday season!

I dig through my two giant bins of Christmas décor and spend hours outfitting my apartment into a winter wonderland, like the Macys 8th Floor display vomited a bit into my home. It was great! James volunteered to take me to get a tree. How sweet! Things are going okay, with him.  I like him, a lot! He is sweet, and taking me to see A Christmas Carol! We set up the tree, he kissed me goodbye, and I sat in the glow of Christmas cheer.

It took a day for the tree to settle enough to put ornaments on it and I was able to fashion a nice cover for it so that Elton wouldn’t get sick drinking out of the basin. Good thing I kept that damn tree stand, huh?

I’m not so lonely, anymore. I am settling too, like the damn tree, and it feels really good. I don’t feel like I am such an unlovable pile of shit. I feel like life is finally agreeing to stop punching me and is trying to be my friend. I am happy. Work is going a bit better, I am feeling alive. I am eating, I am sleeping… wow, this is kind of cool.

And then it hits me, in the face, with a brick. He is trolling Instagram for other chicks. Wow. I guess maybe he wasn’t so swell after all? What does this mean? Were the past couple months all a lie? What the fuck? Is there something wrong with me? Why is he doing this? He swears up and down that he’s not looking for another woman but how can I be sure? He found me on Instagram, that’s how our relationship started… he wouldn’t be the first guy to use it as a pick up instrument… yikes.

I’m hurt and angry and he promises to stop, after a couple weeks of arguing about it. Weeks. Yes. Red flag one. I should have known.

He never stopped.

For months, he was hooking up with other chicks and lying to me about it. His solution to the problem of his infidelity was to just block me, and tell me to get over it. He just wanted me to get over it. One of those “what she doesn’t know wont hurt her”. He just continued looking for other women for months, lying to my face and telling me he loved me, all the while hooking up with other women. Ouch. He had no intention of being faithful, he expected me to be alright with being used.

So, I am still hurt, and angry. Why? I mean fuck, I am sure it was the chase, he took my “I am emotionally vulnerable and not sure if I can handle another heartbreak” as “I am playing hard to get, please use me and throw me away like a piece of trash”… not okay, but what the hell am I going to do about it?

My friend read an article about women just. Like. Me. Used, abused, damaged. We attract the same type of men over and over again, we don’t ditch when we see the red flags because we so desperately want love that we are willing to believe that people can change… pathetic. I don’t want to believe it but deep down I really do. I don’t like thinking of myself as pathetic, or desperate, but based on my actions, my thoughts, my feelings, I pretty much am. It’s okay for now. I am working on it. It takes time to become a stronger person.

–              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –

Sunday: I wake up to my neighbor playing his guitar. Look at the clock. Its 7:30 am on Sunday. Okay? He doesn’t seem to understand “quiet hours” etiquette. He is usually jamming on that thing at the worst time. Midnight on a Tuesday. 7:30 am on a Sunday.

I get out of bed and stomp to the kitchen to brew ungodly amounts of coffee. I stomp to be passive aggressive so he can hear that there is life outside of unit 2, but also partially because I have had exceptional pain in my right foot for the past week.

I hobble down to the basement. I need to do laundry, I’ve had to do laundry, and I want to check to see if my bum neighbors took their clothes out yet. Nope. Still there. Both washer and dryer are full of clothes, after two days. Inconvenienced. I slam the washer lid three times like a dick because I am irritated and I want my oblivious neighbors to know. Why is there one washer/dryer in this building?

I’ve got my coffee now. Staring out the window at the gloomy Sunday that I was given. Okay, really, for a day off. I’m lazy so it’s not like I had any intention to go outside and enjoy life in any way. The window is good enough, my portal to the living, breathing world around me. LIFE! EXUBERANT LIFE! OH, how I don’t envy thee! I am perfectly content sitting here, presuming life is bullshit and terrifying, that no one can actually be as happy as they claim. Fuck them. Liars.

I am upset. I thought I was in love. Yea, AGAIN. Whatever. I mean, I knew that I was moving too fast. I knew I needed time from the last relationship… but he was nice. He seemed nice. He was an asshole. A lying asshole.

Now I am even more upset. What do I do? I mean, I have been texting and calling him non-stop for a week with absolutely no response… why am I doing this? So pathetic. I send three more lame “please tell me why” texts before my blood is boiling and I feel my palms start to sweat. What to do with the anger? DUH – break shit.

Alright.

Sit down. Light a candle. Put on some music – downtempo dinner on Pandora is my go-to lately. Close my eyes. Deep breaths. Super deep breaths. Sigh. Let it out. Stretch my neck. Ready.

I’m sitting awkwardly on the floor with my stupid cripple-leg propped up. Somehow I have my favorite stationary out with my charcoal Pentel Sign Pen… I write him a letter. WOW, I am crying, tears are weird. I feel abandoned. He said he loved me, that he wasn’t like all the other guys, that he wouldn’t hurt me… liars lie, you know?

He gave me a lovely black cat print for my birthday. I get up and I take the frame off the wall and gingerly pull it out. I caress the paper. How pretty, the cat is so cute. It was such a great gesture of affection. I remember him giving it to me. How I felt butterflies. I wanted to kiss him but we weren’t “there” yet. I set it down. I’m not sobbing, but it’s more than a couple delicate tears. How sad is this? Why did he do this? I am holding the print, ready? Am I really ready? Do I keep it? NOPE. Tear. I tear it once, I tear it twice. Three times. Four times. It’s practically shredded now, little bits of inked paper scattered across the floor.

What else? We were together for such a short while so I don’t have much but I still feel this incredible need to destroy every memory of him.

The alarm clock. He gave me a pretty fantastic alarm clock for Christmas. It would light up like the sun to help you wake up. Yep. That’s gotta go!

I grab some kitchen scissors, the ones made to cut through chicken bones. I cut the cord. Once, twice, three times, good, that’s good! The alarm clock itself was a little difficult. I was able to snap the base into pieces no problem. The “face”… that thing was sturdy. I grabbed my cigarettes & my car keys.

Flash-forward the 3 minutes it took me to get down the two flights of stairs… cigarette lit, car running, in reverse…. Alarm clock placed perfectly… under the rear drivers side wheel. YES BITCH! Back and forth, four times. It’s smashed now. I’m not sure if my neighbors saw, if they did, would they even care? Do I care if they saw? Nope. They can suck my dick.

I decide I want to bag all of this shit and throw it at his front door. Good idea, Martini. Feed the crazy.

I made it two blocks before I realized this was not a good idea. Am I growing as a person? Turn around, go home. Leave the bag of broken dreams in the back seat of my car with the piles of shit I cleared out of my OTHER ex’s home last week. I’m too tired to haul it all upstairs. I guess there is no better place to store all the memories of my failed relationships.

Hobble to the basement… it’s been an hour [plus two days] so they might have cleared out their shit by now. Nope. Still in there.

My foot hurts. I should have breakfast. More coffee will do. I rummage through my cupboards for something easy, chocolate will do.

Sprawled across the couch. I throw my sketchbook across the room. The sight of it annoys me. A reminder that my creative juices have stopped flowing. The only thing flowing these days are tears and rage.

Netflix! That will save me! Netflix, coffee, chocolate and more painkillers. There is a show called “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce”… I’m not going through a divorce but a breakup is like the same thing, almost. Can’t hurt.

I text him, again. I wasn’t expecting a response, it’s been a week since he’s acknowledged my existence. I tell him what I did, smashing the clock and tearing up the picture. HE RESPONDS!

Maria: So, I went crazy and smashed the alarm clock you gave me for Christmas. I tore up that adorable black cat print for you got me for my birthday. I wrote you a lovely letter and I planned to bag it all up and throw it at your house but I can’t feel my foot, so I got high instead. You won again, Devil Man.

James: I think we should take a break from communicating for a while.

Not satisfying, in any way. What a loser. Him. He is the loser. I mean, yea… I am a bit neurotic, emotional… but he’s a liar. A lying loser who manipulates women to get what he wants before he tears their hearts out and shits in the void that he created. Pig. Pig man. Why am I so upset?

I guess, really, I am so upset because I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I allowed myself to believe him, even with all the red flags. I just hopped on the “manipu-train” and let him lead me on for months. That’s why I am upset. Not with him, he doesn’t know better. This is how he was raised, to be a lying man whore. He doesn’t know any better. But, I do, and I let it happen. I am upset with myself.

Sigh.

Martini, get your head on straight, girl!

Work.

I don’t even want to go there.

Call Center Manager. Sounds simple enough. If I were working for a company that wasn’t 10 years behind the technology game. My boss said it best… “we are working with string and duct tape”… I always compared the company I work for to the Red Green Show… you know what I am talking about, and if you don’t, google it and watch a couple episodes on YouTube and then you will understand.

I am “project manager” for updating to a new phone system that will integrate with our current [shitty] CRM. What the fuck for? I have literally NO experience with any of this shit.

This is my first time working in an office setting, 7 years here, and everything I know I learned from this business. How am I supposed to know what a DNIS or FTP is? Excuse?

We are on a super tight almost unreasonable timeline to get this integration and training completed and I am basically shitting myself. I feel so overwhelmed! How the hell am I going to pull this off? How the hell did I even get this job, with no training and no experience?

That’s kind of impressive… I made a place for myself with no education or experience. I was a bum, chain smoking and painting bedrooms for rich bored housewives and all of a sudden I have a salary and a 13 day European adventure booked for August.

Life happens like that for some people. I forget sometimes that I have to take a step back and appreciate what I do have. Where I am, what I have accomplished. Appreciate my friends and the people who do love me, unconditionally without exception, people who hold me up when I feel like I am drowning. I have to love that I have a juicer now. I have to remember that I have a fluffly, adorable cat who chooses to cuddle up with me every night and hold my arm while we fall asleep. That, my friends, is the truest love I have ever known.

I want a sandwich.

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Constantly wearing a tear in my belt loops

Like… when you pull your pants up from the belt loops all the time, and they rip out from under your fingers. 

Now you’re left with this big ugly tear on your hips and a floppy shitty belt loop. 

https://youtu.be/3B2DC12vAJk

“Wear and tear is damage that naturally and inevitably occurs as a result of normal wear or aging. It is used in a legal context for such areas as warranty contracts from manufacturers, which usually stipulate that damage from wear and tear will not be covered.”

After a while, after all of that wear and wear and wear… what happens??! 

Natrally… damage. 

Is there ever any coming back from all that? 

I mean, in the business I’m in I hear a lot (from one person in particular actually, it’s his line) This phrase:

If you dent your car and take it to a car wash the dent will still be there. It will be clean, but the dent is still there. You can’t clean damage.

Interesting. True. Simple. Real.

So, how do you repair damage to the mind and soul? 

Therapy. Medication, maybe. Meditation. Exercise. Great and ridiculously amazing food. Rest. Relaxation. Vacation. Dreaming. 

What if you’re not sure what’s damaged?

What if you’re not sure when it was damaged?

The scariest of all – what if the damage can’t be fixed? 

I mean, how do you know if “this is it”… “this is your life now, girl”… know what I mean? 

I’m enjoying life. Lifeeeeeeee is good, like all those fucking tshirts, bumper stickers and keychains say. Life’s a garden: dig it. Ain’t that the fucking truth??

Like, I feel so good! I’m happy, it’s great, I’m good.  

But

I’m

Really

Fucking

Scared

It always turns around. My life has been soooo cyclical and it’s soooo fucking sick but it’s soooo fucking true. 

It’s so true. Life has its ups and it’s downs, and I get that. The whole cliche that you can’t appreciate the good without the bad blaaaah blaaah blah bleeehp.

Is it a self fulfilling prophesy? 

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.

Giiiirllll… maybe? How does one just “let the fuck go”..?

More therapy? Medication? I want to say no, my doctor says yes! But I still want to say no. 

Am I the only thing standing in my way? I know ultimately my fear is my biggest weakness in life, now, and that I let it get the best of me. How do people live without fear? Lol – I totally laugh out loud at this! I mean, for real! I cling to my fear like a jacket in a storm. Why? Why am I so eager to be sick? Why do I let it consume me? How am I supposed to know if my fear is stronger than me or if I am just… a bitch? 

Life mottos I’ve attempted to live 

Happily Ever After


This isn’t what I had in mind. This isn’t the “me” I had dreamt of. 

This is what the cosmos had in store for me. 

This was written in the stars, this is what was supposed to be.

Everyone said “adulting is hard”… well, okay thanks for the great advice? Not really a whole lot more than that was offered. Oh you know, the standard “it will be okay” and “save your money” and of course the classic (which is my favorite) “this is time for you to focus on yourself”… I don’t know if I expected some miracle advice or if I thought someone older and wiser would have the answers I was looking for. 
I didn’t even know what questions I was asking. I just felt LOST. And now…

This is my life now. So, so fucking good. 

It’s not as hard or as scary as everyone made it out to be, this whole “living alone” .. being alone thing. 

ON THE CONTRARTY!! It’s quite awesome… fucking fantastic, shit.

I can sing to Elton all I want. Wander naked in front of the windows without being told not to. I can lay in bed and read all day without feeling any guilt from not washing the two coffee mugs in the sink.

It’s quiet, that’s for sure, but I have always enjoyed quiet. 

It’s expensive, too. Haha, but I have always enjoyed spending money! My budget is definitely a bit tighter than it used to be. I was mostly afraid of not being able to throw cash at the ladies at Sephora, Lush, Target and DSW as I once did. I am pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty  sure with some finagling & fine tuning I can still be as ridiculius as I need to be with my shopping habits. Will I continue to buy expensive jewelry for myself on a whim? Most likely. I’m an asshole. 

Groceries are a lot less expensive than I remember them being and this is mostly because:

a) I had pretty much stopped eating and the mere thought of food would send me into a dry heaving fit. I lost 20lbs since August. 

b) I’m not a fucking monster and I don’t eat the (expensive) flesh of innocent beings and I’m not buying it anymore. And, NO!! I am NOT morally superior to you, yet. Once I stop eating dairy (cheese 👿) I’ll be able to brag a whole lot more about how amazing and selfless I am. Don’t worry, that’s a 2017 goal so it will come quick. 

I am soooo digging my new apartment. The old school charm of windows that don’t fucking work, the lovely hardwood floors. The fact that my neighbors keep their heat so high that I don’t have to turn mine on (I pay for heat, here, so that’s a budget saver right there! I figure a week with no heat = shopping)…

It’s quiet, and I love the Audobon Park neighborhood. Lovely houses with adorable landscaping and a beautiful park, my favorite coffee shop up the road and CHIMBORAZO JUST TWO BLOCKS AWAY!!! Ahhh, Chimbies. I’m so close that my phone always wants to “check in” there. Did I mention that Chimborazo is one of my favorite places?

This journey of self discovery has been revealing in an awful lot of ways. It’s afforded me the grand opportunity to be as selfish as I want to be (which was never hard for me bacuse I’ve always been spoiled – sigh) and I get to make up my own rules! 

Meeting new people.. that has been nothing short of interesting! Reconnecting with some from my past, intriguing. Who next? Where to next? Who will I bump into? Who do I make time for? Do I even want to? Do I even care? 

It’s so exciting to be a young, single woman “in the city”. And yes, NEMPLS is kind of the city and YESSSSSSS 30 is still fucking young, gimme a break. IM FINALLY able to live out my Sex and the City fantasy! The fantasy where I spend all my rent $$ on expensive shoes, obsess over an emotionally unavailable older man who has been stringing me on for years, and eat at swanky new clubs/restaurants with my girlfriends who are mostly gay men, and gossip about life, love, sex and fashion. The thrill of it all! 

This is me now. Candace Bushnell… you saved my fucking life.

They say that breaking up is hard to do

Its not the breaking up that is hard. No. Its the inevitable hurricane of emotion that follows that is “hard to do”.

After my recent break up I was left feeling completely devastated. Confused. Lost. Sad. Angry. All of those swirling, icky feelings that are associated with breaking up. I was consumed by depression and a belief that “I’m worthless. I’m not good enough. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not”

In my heart I clung to the idea that perhaps it wasn’t real, that it was just a thing, he wasn’t serious, he would come around. He didn’t just fall out of love with me. That stuff was all just some bad dream and any second now he’d be here, wanting me, desperate to take me into his arms and love me forever.

Wow.

My head knew it was all too real. My head knew that it was the end – I had lost my love. All the dreams we had, the future we had created for ourselves, it was all gone and I knew it. I just didn’t want to believe it.

I lied to myself for weeks. I told myself it’s not real! It’s not happening! I continued living in this deluded world where he was my soul mate and that he knew this, he felt the same way, and that he was dying to be with me, too. 

Why did I continue this lie for so long?

Part of it was sheer embarrassment. Do people see me as less than? Do they think I’m a loser? Here I am, pining over a man who kicked me out – booted me to the curb and said he was no longer in love and I am crying over him. Pathetic. No strong woman would be feeling this way! No strong woman would be laying in a pile of used tissue, sobbing over her phone and the worthless text messages he had sent.

I felt like an idiot. Was it all a lie? Was the past 5 years just some fucking joke? Did I make up this happy relationship just like I had made up the idea that he still loved me? Holy shit. Why did all of this happen? What did I do wrong? Did I not see the signs? Were there signs? I bet there were but I was too lost in love to notice that he was just lost? What could I do to change, to make it better? I begged him to love me. I went there. I said I wouldn’t and I did, I caved and I actually begged him to love me. That was low, so so so low.

Most of it was sadness. So much incredible sadness – I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was drowning – trapped in a pit of endless despair. I felt like a soaking wet rag being wrung out by a really aggressive person with strong hands. I was being twisted and life was escaping me. He was my love. My future. He just… was. And then he just… wasn’t, and I didn’t want it to be happening. I loved him so deeply. I never imagined a life without him because he said I didn’t have to, and he changed his mind.

Holy shit.

This whole amazingly crazy awesome cool part of my life was ripped away from me all too suddenly. I didn’t focus any of my time to really process what was happening. I started reading shitty blogs highlighting the top 8 things to do after a break up, the top 15 songs to listen to after a breakup, the top everything related to breakups that are supposed to help you feel like less of a worthless piece of shit. It was all garbage. I didn’t want to read shitty poetry and listen to shitty 90’s R&B and shitty shitty shitty.

It was all shitty.

And then. THEN.

I wanted to beat the shit out of him.

I wanted to drive my car directly into his fucking house.

I wanted to destroy his life.

Those feelings were fleeting, lasting a quick day, and then I realized it was just another dumb ass part of the whole grieving process. Whatever. Anger felt right. Anger always feels good on me. I look good in rage.

Acceptance. Sitting in my grungy pajamas on the guest bed in my old bosses house, watching Sex and the City wondering what I will do next. According to Charlotte [I think I’m a Carrie/Miranda hybrid] it will take me approximately 1/2 the time we were together to get over the loss of the relationship.

5 years = 2.5 years?! I mean… interesting. Right now it seems almost quite realistic. I still have trouble sleeping. I think of him throughout the day, I still hope for a call. I’m not still hoping but I am still hurting. Even though the relationship dissolved without me noticing I still love the man. 2.5 years seems so excessive. This is just silly.

2.5 years to accept reality? That sounds insane.

I feel like maybe some great pizza, friends and a shopping spree will help immensely. Will it take 2.5 years? I fucking hope not. Will it be quick and easy? No, and I am slowly becoming kind of OK with that.

Now… now I just have to keep on keepin’ on.

 

Good vs Good

Where do we go from here? It seems like the nation is stuck in a davistating loop of violence and hate. Turning on the news or checking social media is a guarantee to see some sort of violence – police crimes and/or hate crimes.

I’ve read reports – national surveys – saying that Donald Trump is more trustworthy (according to voters) than Hilary Clinton. Has there been a national survey about trust of the police? I don’t think the outcome would be good. I have to respect the police, because I was raised that way, but I do not have to believe that they are all good and just. I do not have to believe that they DONT need help.

Is it that police officers are bad? Is it that police officers are RACIST? Is it that police officers don’t have enough training? What is it? People have been saying that “we only see a fraction of reality, that police aren’t killing JUST BLACK MEN”… but… so police are killing a lot more people and we just don’t see it? Ok, but that makes me feel WORSE knowing there are people dying at the hands of police that we did not know about. How is that ok?

Also, is that supposed to make it ok that there are BLACK MEN BEING MURDERED at routine traffic stops? I have been pulled over quite a few times (I’m not the best driver) and never in my wildest dreams would I imagine my own demise. 

I had never been afraid of the police. 

Until now. 

BUT my fear is not for me!! I am a white woman! I am no threat to the police. I fear for my BLACK friends and their BLACK families! My fear is for the BLACK population entirely, not just the people I know. 

My fear is that this hate, this sickness, is going to be allowed to continue, allowed to grow, allowed to darken. 

As I laid in bed last night I read comments of people choosing to defend the police actions, choosing to “wait to pass judgement”… This is not about us as civilians passing judgment, we are not a jury or judge. It is about US as civilians standing up – uniting – and saying NO MORE! 

What more evidence is required for you to see that in less than 1 week two black men were gunned down needlessly? How is that fact, that two men are now dead, not enough? 

Now there are sniper shootings at protests.

Why? 

I don’t really have much to say, I don’t really know what to do. I’m not feeling eloquent or articulate, but I had to just say something, somewhere.

“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” (1958)

West Coast Adventure 2016

A summary of our 2016 friends trip from MPLS TO Portland, OR to celebrate Mandi and Eugenes BDays! 

Wishing I could be on Cape Mears – in Tillamook – but now I have something to look forward to! 

Left MPLS on Saturday June 25th – only 1hr late- left at 7:30am. I drove from MPLS to Jamestown, ND. Boring drive but safe! Roads got scary in Montana! We Stayed in a Buddha house on top of a hill with mountain views in Livingston. Took us like forever to find the house, that was embarrassing. Tested my vegetarian morals with tons of beef jerky temptation. I took a small piece (size of a broken pencil lead and chewed it and spit it out. I’m still a vegetarian. 

No coffee creamer at the first place to no coffee in the am – drank chai tea on the balcony staring at the mountains. Ate great pizza & brunch in Livingston, MT @ Gills Goods! Got a Birkenstock tan. Saw The Garden of 1,000 Buddhas. Got a free rock there. Saw a deer poop in a field outside of Billings, MT. 

Decided 1/2 way to Spokane that I need a pop up camper & that I needed to take Reed across the country with me. The mountains in Idaho are scary as hell – “just because the speed limit is 80 doesn’t mean you gotta go 80” – pretty but scary. I used a nasty dirty rest stop potty. Used a lot of hand sanitizer. Didn’t see any: deer, mountain goats, bear or other wildlife. 

We stayed in a cozy house in Spokane. Shopped for groceries at a discount market with mostly almost expired food. Met a puppy and a cat. Took some fun pictures and passed out while the gang played monopoly deal. Someone made breakfast & had coffee before we drove off through the mountains – we made it without accident (whew).  

Left my glasses in Spokane 😦

Got off track after a random rest stop and ended up getting routed through a mint farm – we rolled down the windows and enjoyed the wonderful smell! Drove through Portland for our next rental, in Cape Mears/Tillamook, it was fun to get a sneak peak. 

We had a drive through Tillamook State Forest to get to Tillamook which was gorgeous and like an hour drive. Wanted to hike a bit wish we could have. 

Tillamook is the cutest place ever. A lot of cows of course so it smelled like manure which both Cory and Eugene agreed smelled aiiight. 

Stayed in a beach cabin on the ocean at Cape Mears. Decided the beach is ALWAYS the place to be. Used a wood burning stove to warm up the house. Cory became the worlds best lighthouse operator. Played games all night and chatted about stuff. Cory and I shared a room. I had a funky lopsided bed and slept with the windows open while listening to the ocean. The air was salty. It remained in the low 60’s during the day about low 50’s at night so basically my kinda weather. “Sweather weather” according to Cory! 

We all sat on a bench outside of the ocean our first night and listened to the waves. We discovered that Cory would make an excellent lighthouse with the flashlight his mother got him.

Had some great coffee from Seattle with breakfast – cinnamon rolls – dropped one on the floor and Eugene ate it anyway. Drove up the coast on the PCH —Amazing drive, peaceful and serene on the PCH – 101? – awesome views of cliffs, oceans, bluffs, hills and forests. Visited Cannon Beach where we screamed “Goonies Never Say Die” with the sand in our toes and splashed in the freezing water. Saw a starfish. Had fresh seafood in Astoria. Drove over a lot of bridges. Had a bonfire on the beach and listened to Prince and the Beach Boys while making smores and laughing. Got scared on the beach. Danced down the street in the moonlight with flashlights listening to Robyn. 

Woke up and cleaned up and had more cinnamon rolls on our last day in Tillamook. Adventures the beach and found a fort made of driftwood. Saw a bunch of jellyfish. Decided that Reed would love Tillamook and that we will go here someday. Seymour chased a bird into the ocean.. It was scary.

Stopped at the Cape outlook to see the octopus tree and lighthouse. Never saw the lighthouse but saw the big octopus tree and wandered the edge of the cliff to get pics of the bay. 

Went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and had amazing cheese curds and grilled cheese. Bullied a little boy about the souvenir penny machines. 

Drove to Portland and saw a scary screaming man on the side of the road in downtown, obviously mentally disturbed and or high on drugs. Discovered Oregon is pronounced “OR-eh-GUN”. 

Went out on the town while the van was running and unlocked for over two hours. 

Ate some great food and laughed.

Had a great ass brunch at The Waffle Window (10/10) … Watched GOT season finale. Went thrifting and got cool stuff (KILL sweatshirt!) went to an art festival and saw giant bubble blowers. Ate two dinners, one at a rice shop and one at home – veggie hot dogs.. We stayed up late & played “The real game of LIFE” and Eugene won – I almost won! Didn’t sleep well! 

Slept in and Eugene made French toast for everyone, and coffee. It was delicious!! Bummed around. Walked to get coffee and tea and bakery tasty stuff (Eugene got a Bavarian cream filled popover from a bakery owned by an intergenerational gay couple). Eugene and I explored the neighborhood and picked out houses we’d want to live in. 

Went zip lining an hour away from Portland and saw 2 waterfalls on the way. Laughed at Eugene for trying to zip when he wasn’t suppose to. Bummed around some more when we got back. 

Went out to dinner and got amazing French cuisine at a small Portland bistro (Petite Provence) we all shared our dishes – fries, marrow, salads, salmon, shrimp, pork, steak & some other fish, a ton of amazing amazing desserts) got an after dinner cappuccino to pair with my Black Beauty triple chocolate cake. Ate too much and had to hold my food baby while walking 6 blocks home. Left my favorite jean jacket (got it when I was 16) at the bistro and our server ran two blocks to catch up to me to return it. 

Laughed a lot. Got upset because I was too full to eat Corys homemade guacamole. 

Picked poems out of a collection of Shel Silverstein books to read aloud – we recorded our poetry. Laughed more. Packed – took pictures and looked at pictures. Stayed up way too late and finally crawled into bed around 12:30am. Got up around 1:00am to tell Cory and Eugene to be quiet and then just stayed up even later gabbing with them. 

We all overslept and got a late start to get on the road! Well Mandi woke up but decided to go back to bed! Stopped for gas and breakfast an hour out of Portland and some guy was upset that we were blocking a gas pump.Oh yea, it’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon! Whoops.

Stayed on the Missouri River in Montana for a night. Took a bunch of pics of the sunset. The house was next to a street called “old woman’s grave road”, not creepy. We watched an episode of friends while eating garbage pizza and gummy bears. Smoked a cigarette by the river with Eugene and let a ton of bugs into the rental. Slept very well. 

Got a late start in the am and spent hours on the road. I drove 86mph for 2.5 hrs into North Dakota. Listened to hot JAMZ and laughed told stories. Texted Bre a bunch. Watched fireworks in the country during the drive. Stargazed while listening to Lou Reed. Almost hit two deer on the side of the road. 

Made it home around 2am on July 4th! 

XoXo

The deed has been done!

First clue of the PP Treasure Hunt and I am beyond stoked! I know for sure that at least one other member of my crew is stoked as well. I only say that because the rest of the crew is still sleeping. We really need a crew name. We’ve come up with some pretty lame garbage ones in the past. Maybe that’s why we have never found the medallion? My god. We’ve been so close every year. This is it! I am so sad that I am going out of town for the weekend, though. Excited to see my grandma and spend time with her and my mother… SO SAD to miss out on 48hrs of hunting time. Yikes. I hope that doesn’t make or break us this year.

Oh well. Deep breaths!

I have an easy to-do list today:

1. Brunch – this is non-negotiable. We have no groceries and I need food.
2. Grocery shop – mmm hmmm!
3. Tear up the gym – abs today (yikes!)
4. Spruce – the house doesn’t require too much work but some chores are definitely overdue.
5. Whatever!

I left my planner at work 😩 so I can’t plan my week out in it. I’m feeling itchy because of it. I can work it out on paper and in my phone but it’s not the same when it’s not in my planner! Ehhhhhhghhhhhh!!!!