Thursday, July 7, 2016

Don't Settle Because You're Scared of Being Alone

Not so long ago, somebody commented on my blog about how transparent I've been through my whole divorce process. It made me feel good, but it also made me think: Am I really transparent? Do I depict things as they truly are? Make things seem better? Or maybe worse (we all know I have a tendency to veer toward the melodramatic)? The answers, respectively, are yes; at the moment of writing; I don't try to; and I don't think so. Still, thinking about past posts, I can't help but think there's a lot I've left out.

Two days ago was the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Sitting on my couch alone that night, watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I couldn't help but think about the symbolism of the holiday in relation to my life. I have my independence now, all right, I thought to myself, and I'm honestly glad to have it, but along with that independence comes a lot of things for which I didn't plan: isolation, loneliness, and depression among them.

What I've realized since being alone is that I absolutely hate being alone. I've had discussions with people who have said, and read articles in a similar vein,that people have to truly like themselves and if they do, they'll like spending time alone, and to that, I have to say, bull. Maybe not for everybody, of course, but certainly for me, and if for me, then surely for others as well.

Here's the thing. I like myself just fine. I think I'm smart and funny and pretty and fun; I admire the originality of my thoughts; I have damn good musical taste; I go places and do things and finally live, live, live my life. If I weren't me, I'd totally be in love (and kind of have a hard time understanding how everybody is not). But I am me, and as much as I'm sitting here patting myself on the back for who I am, I'm not my friend. Spending time with myself is exactly that. It's spending time alone.

As I spent time alone on the Fourth of July--which is really no different from how I spend most of my time--I thought about my life circumstances and how I got here. I thought about having a husband for almost twenty years, very good friends who have moved away, a very good friend who drifted away, people I valued as my friends who didn't value me, lovers I've had since my divorce who I didn't care about at all, and I realized that despite how happy I am to have this new life, I'm also really sad.

But then, as I was watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I thought about something my mom said to me either earlier that night or the day before regarding C.

Don't you wish you could just turn your feelings off? she asked, which now that I think about it may actually have been what led me to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

No, I said. I don't.

Why? You like liking him? she asked.

I don't remember what I said, but I can answer that now with a resounding no. Of course I don't like liking someone who it makes me miserable to like. Despite that, though, I would never turn my feelings off, and I certainly never would, like in the movie, opt to forget they existed in the first place.

And that doesn't go for just C.

That goes for everything I've ever felt, good or bad, even this horrible bout of sadness in which I'm currently immersed. These things are what make me the me I'm so smitten with (albeit not entertained by), and I'm not interested in being anyone else. Plus, according to the movie, we're all going to just end up where we were anyway, memories or not. Some things are just meant to be.

At the moment, it just so happens I'm not sure exactly of my specific meant to be, but sure or not, I know that it's something. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

If You Can't Be with the One You Love, Honey

I haven't mentioned this--probably because I never write anymore--but in mid-January, I got into a car accident. It was pretty tiny as far as car accidents go, but still--I got hurt. Not badly hurt, really closer to barely hurt, like barely enough that if I weren't a runner, I wouldn't even have known I was hurt, but I am, so I did.

The pain started the first time I ran after the accident, about half a mile into my run. I finished running, took a few days off, and then ran again. The same thing happened. A perfectly timed series of events got me going to physical therapy for about a month, during which I couldn't run, but also during which my calf started feeling way better, so once my month was up, I ran. The first time was great; the second not so much. I had to stop running again.

Over the next few months my runs were sporadic. I went from running almost every day prior to the accident to running twice in February, six times in March, eleven times in April, and thirteen times in May. I'd run, things would go good for a while, I'd get all excited, I'd think everything was completely fine and dandy, and then in the middle of a run, the pain.

Last week during a three-hour conversation from here to Kansas City, the subject rolled around to exercise. At the time of the flight, I hadn't run since May 28. It was June 10. When I told the man sitting next to me about my injury, he asked me what I do now. Be depressed, I said. He laughed. No, he said, I meant for exercise. 

Embarrassed, I didn't say anything for a few seconds.

Nothing. 

I thought about it for a minute.

Nothing.

The rest of the plane ride, my response kept popping back into my head. I thought about it on the ride to my hotel; while I unpacked; while I waited for my friend, Danielle.

Nothing.

When Danielle picked me up, I told her the story, and we talked about it. We talked about how I love to exercise, and I love to be healthy, but because I can't do one specific exercise--my specific exercise--I don't do anything at all.

I have this image of myself, and in that image, I'm a runner. I'm not a walker, I'm not a swimmer, I'm not an exercise-bike bicyclist, I'm not a lady who ellipts. I'm a woman who runs, and in the past however many years, it's shaped my sense of self, and when I no longer could do it, instead of finding an alternative, I got depressed and gave up.

If I couldn't run, I wanted to do nothing at all.

How silly of me. Ridiculous, really. Dumb.

A sad fact of life is that sometimes we don't get what we want, but that doesn't mean we're supposed to stop living altogether.

***

I ellipted this morning.



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.