Monday, April 11, 2016

Coming Out (Semi) Swinging

It's been forever since I've written because it's been forever since I've had anything to say. I took a kind of moratorium after I stopped seeing the guy I wrote about in my last blog--you know, the one who made me forget about C--not just from this blog, but from life. After we stopped seeing each other I pretty much stopped thinking about kissing and sex and boys, everything that makes me who I really am, not because he hurt me because he didn't--I seriously barely even liked him--but because life did. The way I saw it, that guy, whose name was Bo, by the way (and in a crazy coincidence, the brother of the drummer in one of my ex-Glenn's bands, the first guy I convinced him to let me make out with), was part of a bigger picture, of a pattern that I no longer wanted to be a part of, so I just stopped being part of the design. I didn't do it consciously, of course, but retrospectively, I can now see the last couple of months for what they were: my conceding in the perpetual game that is Kismet versus life. 

But...do you remember this blog post about the disaster that was Griffin's birthday cake? The one about all my fuck ups and how somehow, at some point, I find a way to thrive? Well, I wouldn't exactly go shouting my happiness from the rooftops, but the swing is definitely of the upward kind, and best of all, it's not because of a boy.

A few years ago, one of the times when my ex-Glenn and I were separated before this last one, I dropped Griffin off at some party or some carnival, and not wanting to drive all the way home decided to go out to eat. 

Alone. 

I'm writing about this because it was a very big deal. I brought a book with me, posted on Facebook about it for encouragement, and basically had to be coaxed into doing it before I had the nerve to go into the restaurant. 

A few months ago, when Griffin and Keifer were out every weekend, Kei at his father's house and Griffin out with Alex, I was horribly sad. I spent every Friday and sometimes Saturday in a constant cloud of sadness and loneliness wondering what I was supposed to do.

Alone.

I'm writing about this not because it was a very big deal but because it felt like one. It felt like the end of everything, a glimpse of the loneliness that was bound to be my destiny, a life filled with nothing but my aimless shuffling back and forth in my house, looking for something to do. 

Well.

I'm sure I don't need to have put in any foreshadowing for you to figure out that these two examples are what my life was instead of what it is. I go out to eat alone without a second thought now, not even needing the extra security of a phone or a book, and when Griffin and Keifer are in the house on the weekends, I kind of want them gone. At some point in the past few months, I've become comfortable in my alone-ness, so much so that a lot of the time I now want to be by myself. 

I no longer want a guy like Bo, who I knew wasn't the guy for me at all, around just to have somebody there. I'm learning, thanks to that pattern of which I refuse to be part of the design, that at least for now, I'm really everything I need.

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's the End of the World as I Know It, and I Feel Fine

You have no idea how unproductive it is to fall in and out of you as often as I do
and lately I've been feeling gray but today I'm all right no thanks to you
                                                                  --The Story So Far

Seriously, I couldn't tell you how long C has consumed my life if I tried. Okay, that's not true. When it comes to C, I could probably tell you everything that's happened, ever. I just don't want to. What I will say, though, is if we were a math problem with an answer that had to be rounded, the story of us would equal ten.

I have no choice to admit, honest girl that I am, that for a very long time, C has been omnipresent.

***

A Dramatization of My Life for the Last Rounded to Ten Years

Part I

The Marriage 

Me: I don't want to be married anymore!

*Separation*
*Text C. Sex with C. No more C.*
*Marriage reconciled*
*Thoughts of C*
*Fights revolving around C*
*C-related residue*

1-2 years later

Me: This is not working!

*Separation*
*Text C. Sex with C. No more C.*
*Marriage reconciled*
*Thoughts of C*
*Fights revolving around C*
*C-related residue*

1-2 years later

Me: I just can't do this!

*Separation*
*Text C. Sex with C. No more C.*
*Marriage reconciled*
*Thoughts of C*
*Fights revolving around C*
*C-related issue residue*

Part II

Not Verbatim Transcript from a Snapchat Conversation with a Friend, September 2015

Me: We're not anything anymore. I asked him if the reason we can't be anything real is my age, and he said yes. He said he doesn't know why it matters, but he's been thinking about it a lot lately, and it does. 

A Friend: I'm so sorry. Are you okay?

Me: No. I want to die.

A Friend: I know it feels awful now, but you're going to feel better soon. You'll see.

Me: I don't know. I don't think I'm capable of getting over him. Look how long it's been, and I never have.

A Friend: But I kind of feel like you never wanted to get over him before. 

Part III

The Immediate and Almost-Immediate After

October: Fine, first guy post-C. Let's make out. Oh, I'm sorry that I started CRYING HYSTERICALLY while kissing you and thinking of C. My bad. 

November: Okay, second guy post-C. Let me try this again. I didn't feel anything, but that's better than crying, right? And since you didn't see me crying on my bed when I got home that night, it doesn't count, does it?

December: Third guy post-C, I hope it doesn't matter that I did absolutely nothing but think about C the entire time we were making out. I'm sorry, your name was what? 

***

So, as should be pretty clear from that too-much-information post, C--

pretty much an all-consuming aspect of my life.

But two weekends ago something incredible happened. Something astounding. Something stupendous.

I made out with a guy, and C didn't even cross my mind. Not once. Until later that night, it was almost like C didn't even exist. Like, he was nowhere. Just...

gone.

What I had been holding onto for years, for so many years they would be rounded to ten if we were a math problem, was gone. And although my friend was right when she said that I didn't want to get over him; although I didn't want to feel better, ever; although I wanted to carry my pain and devotion like a badge, proof that I loved him harder than anybody ever had and anybody ever could; although the artist inside my soul sought the torment that only loving somebody I wouldn't have wanted to mourn forever; although I perceived letting go of my constant longing and sadness, longing and sadness that had been sitting by my side for what would be rounded to ten years if I were rounding, to be almost as tragic as the loss of C himself--

wait, where was I going with this?

Oh, yeah...

I feel fucking fine.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

At Least I'm Not as Sad as I Used to Be

Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?

Buffy: Me.
                    --Becoming, Part 2

I feel like my blog has given the impression that throughout this whole divorce ordeal, my life has been a party a minute, that I've been nothing other than thrilled to be footloose and fancy free, and while yes, there has been a lot of excitement and a lot of good, that's not the truth at all.

Much closer to the truth would be if I were to say I've had a hard couple of months. A really, really hard couple of months. No, few. Maybe even several. (Actually, just count back to August. That's how many months of hard I've had.) I haven't been able to write. I've barely been able to run. I stopped reading. My diet went to crap.

And it was all over a boy. Well, two boys, really. Possibly even three (but I don't like to admit that third one hurts at all, so we'll just pretend that he didn't, doesn't, and never will).

But those hard months? They're ending now. Albeit slowly, the sad chapter is coming to a close.

In mid December, I started running regularly again, and this year I'm on track to run 600 miles, which is 97 miles more than I ran this one. Here I am writing right this second. I read a book over Christmas break. I lost five pounds.

It took until the middle of January, but I'm finally in the mood to live.

Speaking of which...

As of today, I've been doing just that--l-i-v-i-n--for 41 years.

Today, the Earth has orbited the sun for the 41st time since I was born.

In other words, people, it's my birthday, and well, even though it's nothing like last year's

--I have no 5k to run, no chance of a PR.
--I have no one to send nearly naked pictures.
--I have no desire to have sex with everyone on the field at Miramar Regional Park.
--I have no Jordan Catalano wishing me a happy birthday at twelve on the dot.

I'm finally getting back to having me, and so, because it does no good to kvetch and feel sorry for myself, to 41, I have to say only one thing:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Spent November Writing Blogs About Getting Better and If I'm Being Honest, I'm Getting There

A little less than a month ago, I posted, in One Maniac at a Time, about how I was going to spend November doing things not in my comfort zone. Now that November is over, I'm here to report on whether or not that went down.

So--

Whether or Not That Went Down

Well, I won't say every day was a do-things-that-freak-the-fuck-out-of-Kismet fest, but since the day of not wearing a bra, I did do a lot of things that in the past, I wouldn't normally have done.

I

went into a mosh pit
left a birthday present on a car
had coffee with a guy I met online
went to dinner alone
invited, and entertained, people who were (are) practically strangers over for Thanksgiving
asked David Knox from Real Friends for a hug
approached Kyle Fasel and Eric Haines from Real friends and asked for a picture
actually answered honestly when a friend asked me why we'd never had sex and if I was interested
thought about going to L.A. at about 10:00 last night and booked a flight about fifteen minutes later

Okay, so the last one is obviously the biggest, but every one of these things seriously was difficult for me to do, and you know what? I did them. I did them, and nothing bad happened: I didn't die (sorry, anonymous poster), the world didn't stop, people didn't stop and point. But you know what did happen? I did things! Things I wanted to do! Yes, I felt weird at first or uncomfortable or scared, but in the end, I felt happy and fulfilled and a million times better than I would have if I hadn't done them at all. I mean, I hugged 1/5 of Real Friends for fuck's sake! And put my arms around another 2/5! Because of my new found nerve, I touched 3/5 of Real Friends! And I'm going to L.A.!

Self-fulfillment as a result of having the nerve to do the things I want for a change and gratification from the things I've done?

It sounds like a win win to me.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Holiday, You Bastard! 2015

As you probably know, every year on Thanksgiving I write a what-I'm-thankful-for blog, complete with a list of, well, things for which I'm especially thankful. This year will be no different, not only because as a Capricorn (on the cusp of Aquarius like Buffy if you must know (and you must. I insist)) I'm really fond of routines but also because when I stop and think about it--or actually don't stop, but run and think about it because that's usually when I do this sort of thinking--I really do have so much to be thankful for, even if it feels pretty much the opposite a lot of the time.

And so because Thanksgiving is dangerously close to being over:

Things That I'm Thankful For, 2015

1. Griffin and Keifer and the little family unit that is us. I'm often pretty thankful for this one--though admittedly, I'm often not--and am sure I've mentioned it before, but last week at The Wonder Years concert, my appreciation for them, for us, for the way we fit together just hit me so hard. The band was playing The Devil in My Bloodstream, a song that drives Griffin to tears every time he hears it, and although his irrationally emotional reaction to The Wonder Years has become a joke to all of us, it's also kind of rubbed off on us, too, and so, the second Dan uttered the words, "We wiped out all the buffalo," I pushed my way through the crowd to Keifer, who put his around me, and we both grabbed Griffin's hand and there we stood, the three of us holding on to each other in the midst of the madness. In less than two years Griffin will be gone, and in just about four Keifer will be, too, but moments like that will be with me for the rest of my life.

2. My summer with C. Okay, so maybe things ended badly again (sixth time is a charm?), but before it did, to play around with the tense of some Front Bottoms' lyrics, when I was sad, I was sad, but oh God, when I was happy, I was happy. There's not much to say about this--okay, that's not true, there's so much to say about this, but it's not going to be said--but I will say, is there anything better than waking up next to the person you love?

3. Alex. For those of you who don't know, Alex is Griffin's girl, and she came at a time when he really, really needed her to come. I'm thankful for Alex because of the happiness she brings to Griffin, and isn't seeing the people you love find happiness what life is really about?

4. Kat, Kevin, Chad and the Halloween party they didn't want me to find out about. I'll spare you all the details, but I was enmeshed in the middle of some real live high school drama at the end of October. It was super hurtful, yes, and while I'm not thankful for the pain, in retrospect, I am thankful for the incident. Sometimes something really big is necessary to push us in the right direction. This was that necessary something big.

5. The Summer of Run.

6. My new found independence.

7. Manic Panic.

8. My car. Mermaid is her name, getting me wherever I want to go is her game. Actually, though, now that I think about it, it's not just Mermaid, it's cars in general--whether it be The Black Bullet, Foxy, The Green Goblin, or a rental car, cars have always gotten me where I needed to be. This summer, it was a rental that took me up the entire East Coast, on Tuesday it was Mermaid who took me to Orlando to see The Front Bottoms and Real Friends. Without reliable transportation, my life would be so much different than it's now turning out to be, which brings me to

9. The way my life is turning out to be. My life is different now--as if you didn't know--but not just in a now-I'm-divorced kind of way. It's different in an I'm-finally-living-my-life kind of way. Like the summer of 2014 when I drove to Savannah because I'd just seen Forrest Gump and wanted to see the bench where most of the movie takes place? And this summer, the way I drove to Boston just because I wanted to? And last week, when I went to The Wonder Years and went in the pit? And Tuesday, the way I drove to Orlando because I wanted to see two shows? The old me, the pre-Kismet me, wanted to do a lot of things, sure, but rarely did them. Now, the post-Kelly Kis? She realizes life is meant to be lived, not looked up on a computer, which brings me to

10. Real Friends, who actually kind of changed my life. As we all know, the songs we grow to like never stick at first, which is how it was with Real Friends, but they mean a crazy amount to me now. When the summer ended and with it, so did my pseudo relationship with C, their lyrics just became so relevant, which led to me listening to them more and more, which led to me finding the song Monday, which led to number 9, the way my life is turning out to be (see it? Right before number 10?).

11. Katie. One, not many people get me, but my cousin Katie does one-hundred percent, and two, I think family is super important, and I love that I have an actual relationship with someone in mine.

12. Shout (the stain zapper, not the song). I am such a fucking slob.

13. The feeling I get when a kid opens up to me or says something about how nice it is that my students feel comfortable talking to me. I think we all know teaching isn't one of my favorite things in the world, but forging relationships with kids who need adults to care about them is.

14. Sarcasm. It's supposedly the lowest form of wit, but I'd barely open my mouth without it. If that makes me low, well then consider me low.

15. Just washed pillow cases and sheets.

16.  Perfume.

17. Dental floss. Although I think it's completely ridiculous that with technology we still have to do it, I like that I can.

18. My pink glasses. (If only you knew.)

19. Heather, and no, I don't mean the one I'm related to. About a month or so ago, my refrigerator broke. Water was everywhere, and although it wouldn't stop coming out, I couldn't tell where it was coming from. I tried to order a new fridge only to find that one couldn't be delivered for days. At my wit's end, panic mode started setting in pretty badly. Through the whole ordeal, though, and the ordeal went on for hours, Heather (figuratively) stayed by my side. Through a series of texts and videos, she was able to teach me what to do to stop the leaking, not only leading to no more water, but to happiness due to no more water, which ultimately led to a feeling of empowerment that I don't often feel.

20. The people at Trader Joe's. They make me feel so loved.

21. Internet dating sites like OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish for showing me exactly how I don't want to meet a guy which leads me to

22. The guys who want me. I might not want them back, but it's nice to know I'm wanted.

23. My birth control pills. This one's a love/hate. I hate some of the things they do to me. I love knowing exactly when I'm going to get my period and getting it for only three days.

24. My crazy obsession with running to the dermatologist at the drop of a hat. People think I'm insane, but if it weren't for my obsession, I'd have a pre-cancerous dot on my collarbone, and everyone knows what comes after pre.

25. My education. The doors, people. The doors!

26. Finishing my book! Yes, I still have to revise it, but after six years of hemming and hawing, the first draft is finally done!

27. Orgasms.

28. Growth. I'm changing so much as a person, and I love it. I used to not want to change; I thought I was fine the way that I was. I wasn't. I was grumpy, I was judgmental, and I was just an all-around cantankerous cunt. I'm finding, in my ever-growing wisdom, that life is so much better when we're nice.

29. Dancing. Few things make me feel as good (but if you're looking for something that does, see number 27).

30. What seems to be an inability to completely grow up. Call me immature, call me inappropriate, call me stunted, call me weird. Call me whatever you want because when it comes to this, I really don't care. From the outside, I know it doesn't seem normal for someone my age to look and act like me, and maybe it's not, but from the inside, it looks great. I love that I can see things from different perspectives, that I feel and act like I'm in my twenties, and that I have the friends that I do. I love that rather than conform to the standards of society, I'm who I really want to be.

And with that, readers who I love so much, I bid you a Happy Thanksgiving--okay, technically it's not Thanksgiving anymore, but Kismet Wisdom says it's not a new day until you wake up after having gone to sleep--and wish you all love and peace.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One Maniac at a Time


I suppose calling November my nemesis wouldn't really be accurate since it's a month, and a month can't technically be one's enemy, but if it were a person, I'd want to punch it in its face. As you may or may not know, November and I have a not-so-happy history that goes way back, a not-so-happy history that as October came to an end, seemed destined to repeat itself once again. Tonight, though, I decided that's not going to happen. Tonight I decided I'm taking back November.

Really, despite having made the decision tonight, the movement to reclaim the month started on Sunday. Okay, kind of on Saturday, but not entirely.

An explanation, of course:

I spent last weekend in Gainesville chaperoning a field trip for debate. On Saturday, while out to lunch with some students, one of the kids I was with asked what name he should give when ordering his food. You're gonna give a fake name? I asked. Saying that he was, we started discussing the possibilities. Never once did I consider giving a fake name instead of mine, yet when I went up to the counter, ordered my food, and gave my name, Kelly is not what came out, nor is it what came out, unplanned, the next day at Starbucks, and when I sat down I made a decision: it was time to start again. To be stupid, mopey Kelly, the girl who devoted her life to the pursuit of one boy no more, the girl who let people who don't even matter, matter way too much, no more.

It was time to be reborn.

It was time to choose who I would become, and since I so ardently believe that fate and destiny have played, and continue to play, such a weighty role in my life, becoming Kismet was one of the easiest decisions of my life, far easier than the decision I made tonight, the one that made me decide I was taking back the month.

And that decision, people, ridiculous as it may sound, was to not wear a bra when I left the house.

An explanation, of course:

Since I've become a fat ass as of late, my bra was bothering me, so when I got home from work, I took it off. Not long after, when I just couldn't take blowing my nose in toilet paper instead of tissue anymore, I faced the fact that as much as I didn't feel like leaving the house, I had to go to the grocery store.

But I didn't want to put on my bra.

I also didn't feel comfortable going to Publix without one.

A conundrum ensued.

Not go to Publix? Put on a bra and go to Publix? Go to Publix without the bra? I just couldn't decide what to do.

On the one hand, I really wanted to go to Publix, but on the other hand, I really didn't want to put on a bra. On the other hand still (you know, 'cause I have three), going to Publix without a bra isn't like not wearing one while walking the dog. Going to a public place without one is just not acceptable, or at least, like I said, something I felt comfortable doing; in fact, after almost four years of breast feeding resulting in my not having the most perfect chest in the world (although a guy I dated earlier this year did tell me I had French-girl breasts and absolutely loved them, which I have to admit was pretty nice), it's something I felt downright uncomfortable doing.

But I did it anyway.

I did it anyway--and then I walked to Whole Foods sans bra after I got home--and surprise, surprise, despite my reservations and fear, it turned out just fine.

Actually, it turned out better than fine. It turned out that because I faced that immediate fear or discomfort or whatever you want to call it, I got the idea to do more of the same throughout the rest of November, that soon-to-be former nemesis of mine. I got the idea that I have to--have to--do things that make me nervous or uncomfortable or sort of scared or downright terrified as much as possible this month, every day if I can.

Throughout the month, I have to force myself to do things I normally wouldn't because comfort zones? They're for Kels.

And Kismet is not a Kel.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Quiet Things That No One Needs to Know

I may have told you this already, but one day several years ago when my ex-Glenn, who's run thousands upon thousands of miles, was running on the treadmill at the gym, a girl came up to him and asked him something like, Don't you ever just want to stop? and he answered something like, I want to stop all the time. But I don't. Maybe it was I want to stop all the time. But I keep going, but either way, you get the gist. The diction's a little different, but the meaning's not.

I think about that exchange often while I'm running, specifically, of course, when I'm ready--but not really ready--to stop. When I need something extra to get me through, I think about it, and I think about my ex-Glenn, who up until he relayed that conversation I thought had the easiest time running ever, and I repeat the first version over and over in my head like a mantra. I want to stop all the time. But I don't. And like my ex-Glenn, I keep on running, like it or not.

Well, last night was one of those nights when I had to pull the mantra out. It was humid, I was tired, I hadn't run outside in what seemed to be ages, my feet hurt, and dammit it all to hell, I wanted to stop. I wanted to stop, so in my head--

I want to stop all the time. But I don't.
I want to stop all the time. But I don't.
I want to stop all the time. But I don't.
I don't. I don't. I don't.

And then it happened. The running-induced epiphany of which I've written.

A few months ago, my mom said something about how strong I am, a statement that I disputed immediately (and a sentiment I still fail to see). What exactly prompted that statement, I have no idea, but the divorce, the restraining order, the threats from my ex-Glenn, the sole responsibility of my house and kids, the unethical lawyer who's 5,000 dollars richer while I'm that amount poorer--all of that had something to do with it, I'm sure. Really, it doesn't matter why the statement was made, only that it was.

So strong how? I asked (antagonistically, I'm sure).

Because, she told me not in these exact words, despite all the bad stuff happening to you, you're keeping it all together. You're taking care of the kids, taking care of the house, taking care of yourself.

Yes, but what choice do I have? It has nothing to do with strong. 

I wouldn't get out of bed. When your father left for ten days when you and your sister were little, I didn't get out of bed once and Tante, Paulette, and Aunt Carla had to come and take care of you.

Well, I'm not you.

I know that. I'm just telling you what I would do and why I think you're strong.

Again, I want to reiterate that I really don't think myself to be strong. If you have kids and a job and things that have to be done, well, you have kids and a job and things that need to be done. But while I was running last night, when I wanted to stop, when I thought my usual thought--I want to stop all the time. But I don't, it segued to my thinking other thoughts.

I thought about the last couple of weeks. I thought about my ex-Glenn taking my Hudson. I thought about his harassing my friends through both Facebook Messenger and text. I thought about a son who refuses to wake up when he needs to, making me rush like a maniac to get another son to school and myself to work on time every day. I thought about how once I get to work, already rushed and feeling harried, I working seven periods straight, teach two college classes, and have to be two grades' department head, and my days are such a blur that holy shit! it's already the middle of October and I don't even know how that occurred. I thought about a recently ended relationship that I wasn't ready to end. I thought about how much in the last month or so I really needed a friend but my two best ones disappeared, one to college and one to wherever friends go when they decide an intermission must be had.

I thought about those things, and I thought about how so many times in the last couple weeks I wanted nothing more than to climb into bed, clutch the stupid t-shirt-come-security blanket I sleep with every night, and never get out. I thought about all the times I wanted to call into work but got up and went anyway, all the times I wanted to give my students something to keep them busy but taught regardless. I thought about those things, and the next time I want to stop all the time. But I don't ran through my mind, it entirely meant something else.