Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New House But Not Really A Home

My friend Ann wrote recently in her blog about the places she feels most at home, whether it be her house in Austin, a great friend's house in Nashville, or some place from childhood. It really made start to think about what is "home" to me. It seems like lately I have wanted to be any place other than the place I'm supposed to call home now. I signed the papers on my first home on April 22nd, but right now it just feels like merely a house. There is nothing there that connects it to my heart and soul the way I feel when I drive past 4442 Oak Hollow where I spent the years of my childhood until my parents moved when I was in my senior college or 508 Sunset where cousins grew up more like siblings building tents and swimming until we only had enough energy left to gorge ourselves on red Koolaid and cheese dip and then falling asleep on the snuggly sectional couch in a over air conditioned living room or even on a recent trip to Waco when I drove past my fire hazard of an apartment on Speight with the beautiful hard wood floors and French doors or the duplex I shared with Ann and a revolving set of roommates on Bagby. Those places have connections to my heart mostly because of the people and experiences I had while living in each. This place, with it's cookie cutter design and its 600 square feet that I don't even enter because I don't need it, is only the place I go to sleep each night. I usually walk out the door at 7:45 each morning and don't press the button to raise the garage door until 10:30 pm later that same day. I'm so proud of myself for having the courage to take this step and buy a house, but now I don't want to be there because no part of it feels like "home." There are my personal touches all over the house, but even so, it just serves to remind me of where and who I thought I would be by this point in my life and how I'm still waiting on that "someday" to come along. I think I'm just waiting for the day when my heart doesn't sink in the pit of my stomach when I see a couple who are totally in love or when my sister-in-law and my cousin, who are more like best friends than relatives, talk about having their next babies. I don't want to be mopey or depressing about any of this, but when all of these things run through my head, especially lying bed in my house that is much more than I need but was such a steal it was too hard to pass up, I just wonder when the space between these walls will start to feel like a home and can it really feel like a "home" if you are not sharing it with anyone. There have always been family members, friends/roommates, even ex-fiances that have made the place I came to each night be a "home" to which I'm returning. Now when I raise the garage door, turn the key in the back door, and step inside all that greets me is silence and darkness. How does a house become a home?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Big Girl Life: Growin' Up and Growin' Smarter

Big changes could be coming in my world for the POSITIVE!  I made an offer on a brand spankin' new house in Midlothian last Saturday, and the crazy people took my low-ball offer!
Of course, the financing still has to be approved loan wise, and it could all still fall through; however, I feel like such a "big girl" with this decision.  I feel like, flexing my muscle and putting my fist in the air Rosie the Riveter style while singing "I Will Survive"!  Please let me live up to the "single gal doin' it on my own" cliches for a moment:)!  What is it about moments like this that make a girl feel like she can truly take on the world.  I also made the deposit on my part of the relief mission trip to Haiti this summer, research papers are graded for 2010, Spring Break is knockin' on my door, and it's almost the time of year when I get to ramble on and on about Shakespeare!  Yeah, I'm feelin' pretty good right now, and I think I deserve to a little bit!  Through the last month of my life I think I learned how to truly appreciate the little things that will bring me joy and comfort.

Don't get me wrong.  There have been some less than peaceful and calm and joyous moments recently.  I had to ball up my fists last Friday night tucking them under my pillow, put my earbuds for my iPod in my ears playing distracting music, and repeat the mantra "go to sleep" over and over to keep from writing a text or making a phone call I didn't need to make.  I think of the old movie title, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly when I think about my life right now.  No, my life has nothing to do with the story line of the movie, but the title fits it perfectly!  I'll take the bad and the ugly, if I get to have the GOOD too, even if the good takes it time showing up.

Friday, March 5, 2010

"And Miles to Go Before I Sleep"

Between reading Eat, Pray, Love in my "spare time" (term used very loosely), watching Simon Birch with my students, and breathing deeply and contemplatively during an hour and half yoga session last night, my emotions are raw and on the very brink at the moment.  It brings to mind the quiet and the solitude of the lines from that beautifully and achingly lonely (my interpretation here) Robert Frost poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening."  Yes, I know spring is knocking on the door of Mother Nature right now asking to be invited in to spend some warm afternoons laughing and singing its bird song and wind tunes in the leaves, but my heart longs to feel more like those quiet, dark woods on that wintry evening so long ago.  The woods in the poem are tempting, and if you have ever stood in the stillness of a snow covered, winter evening surrounded by unadulterated nature, you know the immensity and the peace that can be found in that one, quiet, still moment.  I want to be able to enjoy quiet and stillness again, but last night, I sat alone in my car in the parking lot of the fitness center where I take yoga, and I could not hold back the tears anymore that were trying to push themselves free during final relaxation.  I drove home, only to find a dark, empty house, put my car in reverse, and headed over to my brother's.  As he opened the door, I was wrapped in his strong hug only a brother can provide and felt the freedom to just weep.

I will admit this week has been a tough one.  Phone calls, texts, and invitations from various sources have forced me to realize that instead of grieving and dealing with these events and emotions, I have been stuffing them down for them to erupt almost vomit like to the surface whenever there is trigger, and there were multitudinous triggers this week.  The time has come to begin processing, grieving, and truly dealing!  This scares the CRAP out of me!!!  I'm not sure what I am going to find, but I have to cross this bridge in order to find the peace on the other side.  I need to be able to be alone again and not feel anxious.  I need for my thoughts to quiet themselves, or I need to quiet them.  This is ugly, and it is challenging; however, I believe it is beyond necessary.  Family is helping, friends are helping, yoga is helping, but I think the time has come that it just needs to be me.  I have questions, and I may or may not find the answers.  If I don't ask and I don't talk, I'm not going to get past this, EVER!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Literary Journey to the Heart of Me

First of all, I have to admit that my motivation for the picking up the book I am currently reading has less than pure influences.

It was the book that my ex told his ex through a facebook message that I hacked into (oops..but don't worry we shared each others' passwords) that he was reading in the message in which he also informed her that he would be ending our engagement in the next week, that would be four days before I got the same news.  The book is entitled Eat, Pray, Love, and despite the fact that my motives for procuring this book last night at Barnes and Nobel were less than pure, all I can say about the twenty chapters of the first part of the book I have read so far is WOW!!!  I feel like in so many instances this woman is speaking straight from my heart as she speaks so nakedly honestly from her own.  Let me share a few of my highlights thus far:

"I don't want to be married anymore.  I don't want to live in [a] big house.  I don't want to have a baby."

"[A]s  my twenties had come to a close, that deadline of THIRTY had loomed over me like a death sentence, and I discovered that I did not want to be pregnant.  I kept waiting to want to have a baby, but it didn't happen.  And I know what it feels like to want, believe me.  I know well what desire feels like.  But it wasn't there...And every month when I got my period I would find myself whispering furtively in the bathroom: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me one more month to live..."

"I had actively participated in every moment of the creation of this life--so why did I feel like none it resembled me?  Why did I feel so overwhelmed with duty[?]"

"He'd already been watching me fall apart for months now, watching me behave like a madwoman (we both agreed on that word), and I only exhausted him.  We both knew there was something wrong with me, and he's been losing patience with it.  We'd been fighting and crying, and we were weary in that way that only a couple whose [engagement] is collapsing can be weary.  We had the eyes of refugees."

"God waited me out.  I pulled myself together enough to go on: 'I am not an expert in praying, as you know.  But can you please help me?  I am in desperate need of help.  I don't know what to do.  I need an answer.  Please tell me what to do.  Please tell me what to do.  Please tell me what to do...And so that prayer narrowed itself down to a simple entreaty--Please tell me what to do --repeated over and over again.  I don't know how many times I begged.  I know that I only begged like someone who was pleading for her life."

"I would say if you really want to STOP knowing someone, you have to divorce [obviously it was just an engagement] him.  Or her...I believe we shocked each other by how swiftly we went from being the people who knew each other best in the world to being a pair of the most mutually  incomprehensible strangers who ever lived."

"Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully dressed, shoes and all.  He's going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it."

"When you're lost in the woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost.  For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you have just wandered off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now.  Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it's time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don't even know from which direction the sun rises anymore."

"When a friend complimented my new look, all I could say, grimly, was, 'Operation Self-Esteem--Day [Effing] One.'"

"What I write in journal tonight is that I am weak and full of fear.  I explain that [Anxiety] and Loneliness have shown up, and I am scared that they will never leave..I'm terrified that I will never really pull my life together."

This is where I am in the book so far.  There is much to digest as I read through this woman's journey that seems to so closely mirror mine at this stage of the book.  I'm intrigued, to say the least, to see where her journey takes her physically and more importantly emotionally and spiritually, as I am also intrigued to see where my complimentary journal also takes me.  I can say that I can't honestly see him finishing a book such as this, but I've been wrong about things concerning him before.  I do hope he can go on a journey of his own along the path of self-discovery and discovery of the heart; however, this journey that I find myself on of literary and spiritual proportions is mine and no one else's.  The valleys are more than likely going to be low and the mountain tops will be contrastingly high.  There will be tears, and there will be pain  But there will also be moments of clarity and moments of peace in the midst of what feels like a raging storm.  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Showers, tears, and rainy days

The weekend that started off with so many laughs and smiles ended in tears last night.  I hadn't cried in quite awhile, but after attending the bridal shower of the bride-elect of someone I will always remember as scrawny little kid playing in my Mama Lou's pool and encountering certain people at said shower, the thoughts and the questions and the emotions were hitting me like a tsunami!  I guess I'm not processing through this as much as I thought I was, or maybe this just triggered the next round.  Who knows?  Funny that right now while my 3rd period works, the cheesy song by Cher "Believe" is playing via the internet radio in the background ...yes I do believe in life after love Cher, but man it SUCKS at times.  Last night was one of those times.  As the tears rolled down my face in bed last night and as I awoke this morning from a crazy dream of reconciliation that truly I don't really want shattered ring(symbolism much???) and all, the rain coming down outside reflected my emotional turmoil.

I'm looking forward to getting through some work related responsibilities, both local and state related, and this weekend holds the promise of hanging out with a dear, dear friend in AUSTIN! YAY!!! Keeping busy seems to be one of my great forms of solace these days.  I'm not sure if that constitutes avoidance or moving on with my life and not wallowing in the muck and the mire!  Whichever it is, it has definitely been entertaining hanging with friends and sharing those fun times and laughs, and singing at the top of our lungs at Pete's Piano Bar Friday night was most assuredly cathartic!  

I'm heading to B and N this afternoon to pick up some DVDs for my classroom and some new reading material for my psyche.  There are few things in life that bring a smile to my face like wandering through a bookstore, no matter how commercial that bookstore may be, with an over-priced, designer coffee in my hand choosing my next literary adventure.  Then, there will be a play-off basketball game in my future this evening as well, going to support the blue and white.  I'm looking forward to seeing what this week brings, ups and downs!  

Friday, February 26, 2010

Festive Friday Fun

Since I have embraced my newly self-appointed role of social coordinator of all things awesome (yes, that's an official title), I have re-discovered some friends from my past that are still just as great as they used to be back in the day, if not better than ever!  Plus, I have these amazing new friends that make life just as fabulous!  As far as festive Friday fun goes, we are heading out to Cow Town tonight to see what kind of havoc we twenty and thirty-somethings can wreak upon the unsuspecting streets and establishments of good ol' Fort Worth.  It's been about four-five years since I have had fun out there.  It should be good times with great friends tonight!

I love the outlook my eyes have these days and the ever shrinking waistline around my middle. Between yoga and just plain ol' sweatin' running, my stress level is pretty much non-existent, and I even have dreaded research papers to grade.  I had forgotten how great it feels to have that regular feeling of health in my life.  Don't worry I'm not going to become a tree hugging, health-nut, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned.  I'm looking forward to just being a down right healthy, down home country girl who stills loves to embrace the FUN that life can bring sometimes, cheese puffs and keyrock included:)!!!  

These are my festive Friday fun ramblings.  I hope they find you well and livin' it up in your own way!!!

Peace out homefries!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Are you okay?

This seems to be the question most asked of me lately.  While this is completely understandable given the circumstances, what I want to shout from the rooftops (to be completely cliche) is I am FABULOUS!  I have moved through the sadness part of the roller coaster, pretty much moved through the anger part of the same ride, and I am now finding this peace that I didn't know could exist.

There are more moments now when I have to stop and pause and remind myself that the past year and a month of my life really did happen because there are days when it just feels like a dream that started out great but ended up a nightmare. To be honest, it doesn't feel real 99 percent of the time.  I have never really had the capacity to block something out like this before, but I think part of my subconscious knew it was never right.  I'm thinking that part of my brain is helping me through this along with family, friends, and some great musical artists.  

I have once again found my roots, and I don't plan on turning from them again any time soon, if ever.  If this was the wake-up call that I needed, as stubborn as I am, to get my head on straight and focus on things that should have been priorities for such a long time, then I have to welcome this recent event in my life no matter the pain and heartache it brought with it initially. 

Someone very important in my life recently asked if I had had that "whew" (make gesture of wiping my brow) moment as far as all this is concerned yet, and the answer is, "Yes, I have." The phrase "dodging a bullet" has also been used.  We weren't right, we both had our faults, and we both made our mistakes.  We did not need to be together.  I can say that now with all honesty, THANK GOD!  Do I wish things had been handled in a much more responsible and mature manner?  YES!!!  Will we ever have that, "we eventually became friends," moment? NO, not only NO, HELL NO!!!  There is too much water under the bridge for me as I am sure there is for the other party too.  With all of this said, I leave the blogosphere with these Sugarland lyrics as my words of parting:

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything, yeah

With some good red wine and my brand new shoes
Gonna dance a blue streak around my living room
Take a chance on love and try how it feels
With my heart wide open yeah you know I will
Find what it means to be the girl
Who'll change her mind and change her world

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything

This is how I see things now.  I'm not settling, and I was about to do that because I just wanted it sooooo badly.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Trio: Three Things to Ponder

Un: When did I move back to Colorado because this weather is definitely messing with my head?

Deux: Why can I say things literally what feels like a million times, yet it doesn't register with certain individuals of the teenage persuasion whom I encounter daily?

Trois: Why are some people so passive aggressive to the point it actually becomes a source of humor in my life, not frustration as it should, to see the lengths to which they will take this behavior when it is really not necessary at all?

Ponder or respond if you so choose.  I hope this post finds all well in your worlds!

Over and out: Cat

Monday, February 22, 2010

Scratch it's reasons I'm taking care of me!

I got a heads up from a former student that my blog needed an update, and yes, it does.  The last time I posted something here I was looking forward to the promise of a future with someone who recently decided he didn't want that future anymore.  Now, it's time to focus on me, and I can't tell you how excited I am about that.  I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and as much as I ride the emotional roller coaster these days, the ride has already become an exciting learning process.

I can tell you that I learned the true meaning of family and friendship throughout this whole ordeal. I have amazing people who continue to stand by me and help me find strength I never knew I had. When you have people in your life that will let you cry, let you scream, let you vent (and help out a little with that know who you are peeps), and make you laugh through the tears, you have some amazing people in your life. Although this has been ONE of the toughest times in my life, I can't give it the distinction of being the toughest, and  I know the character building and the changes that have already begun to occur are going to make this ride called life so much sweeter in the present and so much more exciting in the future! Therefore, whenever you get a chance, wherever you are, and however you are a part of my life, raise your glasses in celebration of the sweetness that is today and the promise and excitement that the future holds for all of us!!!