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.

Monday, September 21, 2015

I Guess You'd Call This Regression

This weekend I dyed my hair. You wouldn't think it would be that difficult a decision, but let me tell you, it was super difficult, and that's one of the biggest understatements of the year.

From the time I bought the dye, which was about a month ago, to the second I washed it out of my hair Saturday afternoon, I agonized over whether or not it should be done (and yes, I'm well aware that once I got to the point of washing the dye out of my hair, the agonizing was a total waste of time (or depending how you look at, I suppose, any time spent in agony is just one big waste of time)). Considering, though, that up until the August before the one that just passed, my hair pretty much ran the gamut of colors in a more than semi-regular rotation, the hemming and hawing doesn't seem to make much sense; after all, before I went blond and stayed there last year, at any given time, I could look like this


 or this
 or maybe possibly this
 unless I looked like this


 this
 this
 or this



or maybe even this
(um...I'm on the right)





and seriously? All of those cuts and colors? Decisions pretty much made at the drop of a hat. I mean, it's only hair, people. Hair. It grows right back.

But

this time, the decision was in no way easy. This time, I looked up picture after picture and I worried about work and I worried about skin tone and I worried about

(not being pretty)

hair condition and I worried about whether the dye would take right and I worried about

(people thinking I'm not cute)

fading and the little hairs at the nape of my neck and then finally after worrying about everything I could possible worry about, I decided I'd do it, but unlike the drastic way I usually do things, I decided I'd do it get-in-a-cold-swimming-pool style, starting with a few pieces in my bangs, maybe a curl or two in the back, nothing too dramatic, and if after a week or two I felt comfortable, I'd do more and then let things progress from there. 

And in the beginning, that's how the dye went down.

In the beginning, I really did put the color just on my bangs, albeit not just a few pieces, and I really did only paint it onto a few curls in the back, but it wasn't long until old habits took over, and before I knew it, my whole entire head was covered in color, saturated from front to back.

I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, great googly moogly, Kelly, what have you done?

And in those few hours that the dye was on my head, I was insanely nervous and tense. While I sat there, I thought about a conversation I had with some guy a million years ago, a guy who had gotten his lip pierced and was worried about how people would perceive him. At the time, I told him I was used to such things because when I was younger my hair was always colored in some way weird and the next week, I dyed it purple and blue, but Saturday as I sat there with dye in my hair, I wasn't feeling nearly as secure as I did when I'd had that talk. I was nervous and unsure and anything but secure, and as I washed my hair, right before I looked in the mirror, I was afraid--like seriously scared. What if I hated it? What if I got in trouble at work? What if any number of things from a list in my head came to pass?

And then I looked in the mirror and all the worry was gone, dissipated in a second, if it even took that much time. As I stood there looking in the mirror, fresh from the shower, hair a perfect combination of silver and lavender, I felt like I once again was the way I was supposed to be. I felt like yeah, the blond was fun, and hell yeah, guys seemed to like it, but it wasn't truly me, at least not the me that I'm supposed to be, and that got me thinking about life and about how no matter how long I stray from certain things--running, Stephen King, writing, certain friendships, the Ramones, to name just a few--and how awkward and tentative or just unsure I feel going back, when I get back to the things that are me, it's just so clear what's supposed to be. 

And clarity? I'm not gonna lie. 
It feels pretty good.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Au Revoir, Au Revoir, You Probably Don't Even Know What That Means

"The past is only the future with the lights on."
                                                                   --Mark Hoppus

Irony--an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.


I've had a really hard week. Really hard. Harder than I've had in a long, long time.

For the first matter of hard, on Tuesday I got divorced. If you read my blog, you probably don't think that's a very big deal. You probably think I've entirely moved on and am super happy about things being over, and while yes, I'm happy to finally be able to move on once and for all, I'm not happy about saying an anticlimactic goodbye to somebody who was in more than half of my life, someone I kissed goodnight probably 6,500 times (times of separation and everyday fights were taken into account when calculations were made) between 1994 and 2014, someone I have two children with, someone I used to love. I'm not happy that relationship has evolved to a text-only relationship because my (not soon-to-be, not almost, but actual) ex-husband never wants to hear my voice again, that my sort-of happily ever after ended up not happy in the least, that for the first time in almost forever, I'm entirely alone. I'm not at all happy about any of those things.

But don't--really, don't!--think I think I've made a mistake. On Tuesday night, when I cried for the first time since last summer about all this; when I listened to the playlist I made about Glenn over a year ago, Songs That Make Me Want to Kill Myself; when, in my emotional, nostalgic funk, I picked up some old pictures lying around in an attempt to feed the sadness, instead of feeding it, and being all, Oh! I remember when we did this! And Omg, look at this picture of us in Chicago! We'll never go there together anymore, what went through my mind was, There I am, pregnant in Chicago. This is the time Glenn tried to kiss my sister, and There I am, with Glenn and my best friend when we were younger. He was fucking her right around the time this picture was taken. And I knew I didn't make a mistake. I knew I didn't feel sadness for the person I lost or the specific relationship that was over but for the unexpected, unwanted turn taken in my life.

Speaking of which--

In my last post, I wrote about the best time of my life, the summer when I was twelve, and the best time of my adult life, the summer that just passed. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned something about this before, but that summer, the one I was twelve, the best time of my life? It came to a screeching halt right around September 5 when those friends I loved so much and spent every minute with decided they no longer wanted me in their lives. The friendships that had meant so much, that had given me so much not only were gone, but in true twelve-and-thirteen-year-old-mean-girl style, they decided to make my life hell by starting horrible rumors about me and getting pretty much every person at HD Perry Middle to take part in my ostracization (because you know, abandoning me completely wasn't awful enough).

Well, this past summer, the one I loved so much? A lot of it was because of my new found independence, yes, but another big part of it came from a group of friends, who, while nowhere near as close of friends as that group of friends I had when I was twelve--one of them is North Star, after all--were maybe just as significant, maybe not for any reason other than the time they appeared in my life and what was happening during it, but really for reasons I can't--or choose not to--explain at all. Really, you probably wouldn't get it even if I did.

But, anyway, those friends? I guess mean girls don't have to be twelve and thirteen. Or, for that matter, girls at all.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This Is Home

And now, like it does year after year, my summer has come to an end. School starts Monday, and as I greet it with not so open arms, I really have no choice but to face forward and tell my summer goodbye.

But first:

I'm pretty sure I've written in this blog about how much I loved being twelve, but really it's not all of twelve that I loved. It was actually only a few short months, the summer between seventh and eighth grade, that I loved and was almost definitely the best time of my life. With zero responsibility, a small group of super close friends who never left each other's sides for a second, and parents who worked all the time leaving us to do all the typical twelve-year-old stuff we did--you know, typical twelve-year-old stuff like sleeping till noon, watching hair metal videos, listening to tapes loud enough to bother the neighbors, trying to steal my father's car and drinking his Jack Daniels and little bottles of Bacardi in the middle of the day, smoking Marlboro reds that we somehow got the guy at Cumberland Farms to let us buy, sneaking out in the middle of the night, hanging out with much older boys--it's a time of my life I'll probably never top.

But this summer I very nearly did. In fact, I think it's safe to say that this summer, the summer I christened the Summer of Run, was the best time of my entire adult life.

Can I just--

(I can)

The Summer of Run

1. I'll start with the obvious. I ran. Literally, and not in the way everybody says literally now when literally isn't really what they mean. Just about every day, in fact, in almost every state up the East Coast as well as parts of the Midwest. And as you already know, it was the best.

2. I ran. Figuratively, in the sense that I was pretty much constantly having to get things done, things like searching for a hot water heater compatible with an out-of-date fuse box installed barely after I was born, taking sick dogs to the vet, going to my lawyer, going to court, running stupid errands that apparently parents have to run (who knew?) like going to two kids' worth of  pediatricians and orthodontists and dermatologists and dentists, driving Griffin all over Fort Lauderdale now that he's in love, shopping at three stupid grocery stores every stupid week, and really any other running around that comes to your mind? It was probably done.

3. I ran. Away from my marriage, away from the man I used to consider my Glenn. Away from that sadness, away from that conflict, away from that life.

4. I ran. To a new life, to a new light. To a new morning every day instead of the constant loop I used to live.

5. I ran. From here to Kansas City, to Boston and back, I went as far as I could as if distance traveled could somehow differentiate me from the girl I used to be, which in a way, it did.

6. I ran. With the new persona I created, the new Kelly I had no choice but to become. I just kept on keeping on. I made my own decisions and was entirely responsible for me, my kids, my house, my dogs, and a whole lot of stuff in between. Did it suck not having someone to help me with the day to day? Fucking duh. Do I care? Okay, well, yeah, maybe I do, maybe a lot of the time it really kinda sucks (it can't all be coffee and hydrangeas, people!).

But I'm pretty sure I'll be all right.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Don't Ever Look Back, Again

On July 7, what will be exactly a year ago tomorrow, I wrote about finishing the Runners World Run Streak and what I learned from it in the post Don't Ever Look Back. Well, this year I ran the Run Streak again, and--surprise, surprise--I'm going to do the exact same thing.  Like Happy Holiday, You Bastard! 2014Happy Holiday, You Bastard! Take Two, and Happy Holiday, You Bastard!, you can expect this to be a regular thing.

What I learned from running from the day before Memorial Day to the Fourth of July, forty-two--forty-two!--days in a row. In a list.

1. I am so much better than I was last year.

Last year when I wrote about the Run Streak, I talked about how incredibly injury prone I am and how I couldn't possibly run every day because if I did, I'd end up hurting myself and not be able to run at all, which was absolutely, positively true. Now, I'm not saying I no longer get hurt--dear God, I'm not saying that, and if I end up sidelined tomorrow, I suppose I have nobody to blame but myself for jinxing myself on this post--but the 55 miles I ran with some rest days last year did turn into 97 miles without rest this one. What I'm saying, I suppose, is that I'm stronger. I'm stronger than I was, and I'm also more determined, which brings me to number 2.

2. I'm ridiculously dedicated and pretty damn determined.

So during the Run Streak, this:

A. I went to Kansas City for eight days, where I worked from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. scoring hundreds of essays without a day off. Maybe that doesn't seem like such a big deal to you, but any teacher or professor reading this understands just how difficult a task it really is.

B. I drove over 3,000 miles, from South Florida to Charleston to Washington DC to Boston to Philadelphia, with two teenagers, one of whom wouldn't shut the fuck up about how much he missed his girlfriend and how he didn't appreciate my taking him on the trip, and two dogs who barked so much we almost got kicked out of a hotel. Both Boston and Philadelphia were grassless--grassless!--and I had to walk four blocks to a park each time the dogs needed to go out, in Boston through Florida-winter weather and pouring rain.

C. I experienced hill running for the first time. Kansas City, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, South Carolina--nothing but hills. Is Florida the only flat place on earth?

D. I totally twisted my ankle running down a hill in Santee, South Carolina, where we spent the night on the drive back home, badly enough that I had to sit down on the ground, force myself not to cry, and worry about how I was going to get back to the hotel. And you know how I did? I ran. Slowly. Three days away from the end of the streak with .65 miles completed for the day, no fucking way I was going to stop.

Despite A-D and anything else I didn't mention, I got my ass up, and I ran every motherfucking day. In Kansas City when I had to catch the bus by 7:30 to get to the scoring place by 8, I woke up by 6 so I could run, even on days when I'd run at midnight the night before; in Washington when I felt like my legs couldn't possibly carry me back up a hill, I ran up the goddamn motherfucking hill; in Boston, after sitting in a car for a thousand-plus-mile drive, I ran; when I got home with my twisted ankle, I wore the ankle brace I limped into CVS to buy, set the treadmill on a lower speed than normal, and I ran though the pain. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to get in the way of my finishing the Run Streak. And it didn't.

3. I can get accustomed to anything.

Okay, so I already said I'm a better runner than I was last year, but there's more. It's like, when I used to run, and when I say used to run, I mean prior to last year's streak and my final separation with Glenn because if I had to pick a distinct separation of my two (running) lives, that would be it, if I ran on the treadmill I set it at 5.5, and if I ran outside, my miles were somewhere around 11 minutes. I also missed days all the time. Now, if I run at 5.5 I pretty much feel like I'm walking, if I run an 11-minute mile I--actually, that would never happen, so I don't even know--and if I miss a day, I feel like something is wrong. I guess the lesson learned here is that if I stick to something--anything--I'll succeed.

4. Happy can be found in unexpected places.

I never thought running would be such a huge part of my life, that it would make me as happy as it does, because it's always been a struggle, but it is and it does. While I used to dread running, now I look forward to it every single day. I don't have very much to say about this one except that even something that initially causes despair can bring happiness if people let it.

5. No matter what's going wrong in my life, I always feel better after a run.

I often think while I'm running that I don't understand why in the world anybody would ever do a drug, that very little feels better than this. Of course my problems are still there after I finish, but they never look as bad.

6. The harder the better.

Yes, sometimes I run easy and sometimes I run long, but by far the runs that feel the most right to me are the runs when I run hard. Putting all my effort into something, pushing myself until I feel like I can't be pushed anymore just feels amazing.

Number 7 isn't really a lesson learned because I wrote the same thing last year, but it's something I must copy, paste, and repeat:

7. Running is a metaphor for absolutely everything.

But that one I already knew.

Monday, June 8, 2015

What Were You So Scared Of?

At twenty-one or twenty-two years old, I made North Star promise me she wouldn't let me marry Glenn. 

At twenty-three, I broke up with him for about the tenth time. Kicked him out of my parents' house and said it was time for us to move on. 

At twenty-three and about three months, we got back together. At twenty-three and about three months and a couple of weeks, I told him we should just get married because it seemed like no matter how many times I broke up with him, we ended up back together. 

A week before twenty-three and four months, our wedding.

Before two months had passed, I wanted a divorce. Got an apartment, packed up my stuff, and moved out.

Alone in an apartment and life for the first time ever, I freaked out. Glenn moved me back in the next day.

At twenty-seven, I had two kids under four and a strong desire for a divorce. My mother convinced me single motherhood would be too hard, and I needed to stay.

At thirty-four, Glenn and I finally separated for real. That one could have been for good if I didn't cave after finding out he had a girlfriend and ask him--beg him--to move back in. 

At thirty-five, Glenn and I separated again. Instead of my mother, it was a therapist's doing this time, but the result was the same: she told me life would be too hard on my own and I needed to stay.

At thirty-seven, the separation lasted two months. That time I even went so far as to pay for an attorney, but old habits, you know?

Not even six months later, when I was still thirty-seven years old, another separation. That one went for six months, but those goddamn motherfucking same old fears.

At thirty-nine, we separated for the last time. At forty, I'm waiting for the divorce to officially be a thing. 

I have never been so happy in my entire life.

Two weeks ago, while I was intensely making out with some super cute guy who I'd just met walking down the street--because I'm totally allowed to do that--a girl stopped and interrupted us while she was walking by.

I love your spark! she said. 
I looked over at her. What? I asked, surprised.
Your spark! she said to me, picking up her hand and waving it around as if to indicate an aura surrounding my being. Then she glanced at the guy I had been kissing seconds before. Yours is nice, too, but hers is amazing. I love it!

I love it, too. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lie to Me

Every time I run, I start out with a plan. I have a set number of miles I intend to go, two to two-and-a-half for an easy run, three for a normal one, and five for a long. Sometimes my run unfolds in the best way imaginable, everything feeling perfect right from the start, my feet hitting the ground in sync with my music as I energetically bounce down the street or the belt of the treadmill at my stupid gym.

Sometimes, though--a lot of the time--that's not the case.

Sometimes--a lot of the time--things start out wrong. My gait feels awkward, my breathing doesn't feel right, the playlist I have on isn't working for the tempo my body chose. On days like this, I want to stop almost as soon as I start, so it's on days like this that I always end up doing the same thing:

I lie.

Depending on the distance, the numbers vary a little, but the inner dialogue pretty much stays the same. For the sake of a more thorough simulation, let's have a look at the convo I had during my last long run.

Okay, five miles is not going to happen. Just run for one, and you can make up the miles later in the week. 

One.

You've already gone one mile, and you're not ever supposed to run less than two. Just run one more stupid mile, and then you can stop. A workout doesn't even do anything if it doesn't last for twenty minutes. Just keep running.

Two.

One more mile. One more stupid mile, and you can stop. What is that, ten minutes of your stupid life? Go the mile so you do at least three.

Three.

You can't stop in the middle of a song, and this is a pretty long one, so by the time it's over, you'll have gone three and a half. Just run for the rest of this song. It's like you're dancing!

Three and an almost half.

It's stupid to stop at a half. It's five measly minutes. Five minutes! Think about how little five minutes is. Imagine how fast five minutes would go if you were having sex.

Four.

Four miles! You've run four miles. Stopping now would be stupid when you're so close to your goal. Do you know how mad you'll be if you stop now?

Five.

You made it! Aren't you happy that you didn't stop?

***

Sometimes--not always, but a lot--it just doesn't behoove us to tell the truth, even

(especially especially especially especially especially especially)

to ourselves.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Not Feeling This

How did I love Tom DeLonge? Let me count the ways:

I loved him with black hair
I loved him with brown
I loved him on guitar
I loved him singing songs
I loved him with a lip ring
--actually, I loved him with a lip ring so much, we'll just stop right here, but in case you'd like a deeper look into my love, click on this handy dandy link to A Little Bit Peter and at the very least read the end.

Anyway--

if you're a reader of me, you probably know I'm as big on change as I am on the scale going up, and if you know me personally, you most likely know that I'd rather spend an afternoon being anally probed than experience change where relationships are concerned. I'm trying, if not to embrace the concept that not all people are meant to be in our lives forever, to at least accept it, but for some reason, for me, that truth is particularly hard. I feel like once a close relationship is established, the loss of that relationship is one of the worst things possible, and I'd be lying by omission if I didn't admit that I actually have the timeline of a former close friend hidden on Facebook because it pains me too much to see her living her life without me. Logically, I know that a Chasing Amy ending is often inevitable as people grow up and grow apart, but emotionally, it's something that for whatever reason, I'm not yet able to accept.

Obviously, I know Tom and I didn't have a relationship--I may be crazy, but I'm not delusional--
but
I followed him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; watched interviews with him on YouTube; read articles about his life; listened to his songs; and yes, even have his words tattooed on my back. What he had to say actually meant that much.

Maybe Tom didn't know me, but I knew Tom.

And I fucking adored him.

But then one day, not so long ago, something changed. I was driving home from work and there in my Facebook feed came a post by Blink-182 about his leaving the band, and then, immediately after, there came a post by Tom himself stating it wasn't true. Internet drama ensued, and sure enough, when all was said and done, Tom was a part of Blink no more. AVA and other things were more important to him than Blink, and his attention was directed somewhere else.

Annoying, yes, but annoying enough to love Tom no more? As if! A love like mine for Tom couldn't be broken as easily as that.

But then one day, not so long after the whole forsaking-Blink-for-other-pursuits-and-then-being-a-lying-douche-about-it thing, the alien thing started to trend.

Okay, so those of you who don't know Tom as well as I do may not know this, but Tom is obsessed with life on other planets, and when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed with a big fat capital O. He wrote the song Aliens Exist years and years ago, which, whatever, it was a song and his preoccupation with aliens was cute, and he's openly expressed his interest in aliens ever since, which also wasn't a big deal, but then, in February, he came across as pretty insane, talking about being visited by aliens in Area 51, his phone being tapped by the government because of his deep knowledge of alien-related info, and being warned by some really smart engineer not to ever get into a stranger's car.

Apparently, Tom had gone bonkers.

So, if we add the abandoning-Blink thing to the crazy-alien thing and put it together with the business-magnate-Tom-has-become thing, selling absolutely anything and everything he possible could in the least punk rock way possible, and compound that with a bunch of other little things that have occurred throughout the years, what we essentially have is what I very regretfully find to be an unlovable Tom.

Now.

When I love, I love hard:

Someone I love can do one obnoxious or horrendous thing and my love will remain intact; someone I love can do two, maybe even three, or sadly, as I've shown in my day, a whole slew of obnoxious or horrendous things, and my love will never waver, but there comes a point when I just no longer can take anymore and just like that, well, poof!

My love is gone.

And as sad as it makes me, that's where I now am.

Things have gotten so bad, I scroll past his Facebook posts and sneer when I come across an Instagram picture. Everything he does makes me mad, and just hearing his name makes me roll my eyes.

All the love I had for him? Gone. The happy feeling he gave me on the inside? Memories.

And that--that change, that loss, that what-used-to-be-and-no-longer-is--

to me, that's the saddest thing that can be. It's not that I don't love him that hurts.

It's that I used to and no longer do.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I'm Not Just a Girl

It was just about a year ago that I wrote a blog freaking out about going to Chicago with Griffin and Keifer alone, and by alone I mean in the absence of what I thought of as an actual adult instead of someone masquerading as one, and by someone masquerading as one, I of course mean me. It's funny what a difference not even a year makes because just a few days ago, I finalized plans for a road trip with the kids to Boston with stops in Charleston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia along the way, places that, unlike Chicago where I grew up and have visited umpteen times in the time since I moved, I've never gone.

And I'm not even scared.

Holy shit.

I don't think I've ever uttered those words in my life. Let me do it again:

I'm not
even
scared.

Wait. Let me think this through.

I'm driving over two thousand miles, visiting a bunch of places I know nothing about, and I'm not afraid, yet when I flew to Chicago, a place I know pretty damn well, I was terrified. I felt like an incapable kid being thrust into the real world with no guidance and direction, and I was sure the trip would be a disaster. Now, however, despite the state of know nothing I'm going to be in, I feel sure everything is going to be fine.

I'd force you to come along on an exploration of what's different this time around, but I already know. This time, the difference is me.

This time, the difference is that I'm no longer a person who lived in her parents' house until, at 23, she moved into an apartment with her husband and then pretty much followed his sovereign law for the rest of her time alive. This time, I'm a person who lived in her parents' house until, at 23, she moved into an apartment with her husband, pretty much followed his sovereign law until she was 39, and then went on to live the most recent year of her life on her own, making her own decisions, taking almost sole care of her children, paying her own bills (although, as you all probably know, the money stuff has been mine for a lot longer than the freedom has), and with the exception of having to live in a house with someone who absolutely refuses to leave, living her life the way she wants to live it. This time around, I'm used to making my own decisions, solving my own problems, and being absolutely free to be absolutely me.

This time around, I don't need no stinkin' grownup
because this time around, the grownup is me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happiness is a Warm Gun?

Nightmares.

They're bad, right?

I mean, like, by definition, they're bad.

So bad that when something really, really bad happens, it's often described as a nightmare.

Like, for instance, say you're with your very new kind-of boyfriend who we'll call James after a particularly bad breakup with a significant other we'll call Louie who you dated for a significant period of time and let's say you and your very new kind-of boyfriend who we're calling James and his friends want to get something to eat and let's say it's pretty late and you're only eighteen so you don't know any better and end up at Denny's where it's really crowded and they go to sit you and your very new kind-of boyfriend who we're calling James and his friends at one of those big oval booths with two tables that can be connected by a leaf and usually are reserved for big parties but could be used for two separate ones in a pinch, like if it's really busy, and when you get to that table that's pretty much connected to another table, which no matter what, makes for an uncomfortable meal if you're sitting with people who aren't in your party, you see that not only are you going to be sitting with people who aren't in your party, but you're going to be sitting with the significant other who we're calling Louie, the one you just had the really bad breakup with and--wait for it--the girl he cheated on you with. If something like that were to happen to you, it would be so bad that when describing it later to everyone you'd ever met, you just might call it a nightmare.

Unless, of course, you don't think nightmares are bad.

Wait.
What?

There are people who don't think nightmares are bad?

That's what I thought, too, because, as we've just been through with my crazy convoluted, highly unlikely--yet totally true--story,
nightmares = bad.

But listen to this:

A few days ago when Griffin, his friend, N, and I were talking, the subject of nightmares came up. Griffin talked about the worst nightmare he'd ever had and how scary it was, and N, in a totally unprecedented reply, said that he loves nightmares.

Yes, you read that right. N loves nightmares.

Being scared is awesome, N said, and you get to be terrified and have that scared feeling, but nothing bad is going to happen you. I hope I have a nightmare tonight, he said as the nightmare talk concluded.

Okay, so let me just repeat--
Wait.
What?

It's crazy, yes?

Except don't we hear things like The glass could either be half empty or half full; it doesn't matter what you're looking at, it matters what you see; and perception is everything* all the time?

*All aphorisms are paraphrased due to laziness

We do, or at least I do, but despite hearing them, it's never really occurred to me how much of a difference the way someone looks at something could make on his or her life, but then here's this kid taking something that most people think is horrific and traumatizing and acting like it's awesome. Actually, no, that's wrong. He's not acting like it's awesome; he really thinks it is awesome. To him, nightmares--nightmares!--are good.

How fucking inspirational and amazing is that?

(The answer is pretty fucking inspirational and amazing, in case you didn't know.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When It Starts to Thunder, They All Stare

I've never been a fan of the outro.

I still remember, to this day, lying on my bed late one night when I was a teenager, trying to go to sleep but being unable to because something stupid I had done was keeping me awake, when "Hey Jude" came on the radio. It started out innocuously enough, with Paul telling Jude not to make it bad, to take a sad song and make it better, but before I knew it, I was enmeshed in a quagmire of na na na's and hey Jude's that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't escape. You think I'm exaggerating, I know, but it's the truth. I'm talking, I changed the radio station and listened to entire songs, I went to the bathroom, I read War and Peace. No matter what I did, every time I went back to what was most likely BIG 105.9 but may have been 103 SHE, Paul was still going on and on to Jude.

I wanted to blow my brains out.

To this day, I can't listen to that fucking song without being traumatized, and maybe as a result of that night or maybe because I was just built to not like the outro, I can't stand songs that take a long time to end.

Take Angels and Airwaves, even. My love for AVA can't be denied, but some of their songs are like Hey Jude Juniors, and sometimes, I have no choice but to cut them short. I listen until Tom says what he has to say, and then I skip to the next song, only to do the same thing when the end of the next song starts prattling on.

Actually, though--

Movies don't have outros in the same way that a song does (except maybe that one Lord of the Rings movie that ended over and over and over), but they do have endings, and some of them are entirely misguided and twelve hours too long (GoodfellasBoogie Nights, and Titanic, I'm talking to you). Some movie endings, like long outros, I just can't stand.

(Conversely, some movie endings I like so much, I watch them and nothing else from the movie. Can't Hardly Wait? An Officer and a Gentleman? Love, ActuallyNever Been Kissed? Do better things exist?)

It's funny. I never saw the connection before, but I always kid around with Griffin and Keifer that there's a finite number of X and once someone has reached that point, there's just no more of X that can be done. Example:

My longstanding favorite is There's a finite number of essays that someone could grade throughout life, and once that number has been graded, there's just no more grading that could be done.

And my new one is There's a finite number of miles that someone could run, and once those miles have been reached, that person is physically unable to run any more.

Those are jokes, of course, but they do reinforce the same idea, the same notion, the same value, that my inability to stick around for long outros does.

When things are meant to

end--

(STOP)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cracked Rearview

The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts. It never helps. You fight through that shit. 'Cause a year from now, when you're kicking it in the Caribbean, you gonna say to yourself, 'Marsellus Wallace was right.'
                                                                             --Pulp Fiction

What do you do?

Do you act like Butch, reckless and crazy? Fuck common sense and anything close?

Do you ignore the sting?

Because you know you're gonna feel the sting.

Butch heeded the sting, and we all know what happened to him.

Do you end up in a basement with your hands tied together, rubber ball in your mouth, awaiting your turn to be fucked in the ass while the gimp watches, all because you didn't ignore the sting?

You know you're no Butch; you know you might not make it out alive.

Or do you listen to Marsellus and fuck it? Fight through it so a year from now you could kick it in the Caribbean?

Because even though you hate the sun, the thought of a Caribbean in the future is kind of nice.

Do you ignore
the identical blank and the blank who won't blank and the blank he took away and the blank who doesn't know or doesn't care?

Or do you write about them here?

What do you
What do you
What do I
do?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Glimmer Like Bolan in the Morning Sun

Because it was so cold on Thursday night, I had to run at the gym instead of outside. I started out by running what was, by my counting of laps, a mile on the inside track, but by my Nike +'s calculations, .8 miles. I know I know how to count, and I know 16 laps around the track is just short of a mile, so I was fairly certain about my distance, but just to be sure, I decided to run on a treadmill instead. 

Ugh.

Fuck.

I HATE the treadmill.

I used to run on one all the time. For years after I started running, it was my go to--probably because Glenn hates running outside and it's his go to--and I had no problem with it at all. Every once in a while I'd run outside, like if the weather was particularly nice or I was on vacation somewhere, but for most of my running life, if you were to find me running, you'd find me on a treadmill, listening to music while alternating between watching myself in the mirror, the silent TVs on the wall above my head, and other gym people walking in and out of the room.

I don't know exactly how I transitioned to running outside, but I guess it must have something to do with not being with Glenn anymore since now, looking back, I'm realizing that anytime the two of us are off, I do most of my running outside, and then once we get back on, I resume my running on that insipid machine.

This time, though, the relationship isn't resuming and the treadmill isn't, either.

The crappy thing about the treadmill isn't that it's so boring, even though it is, or the notion that if you're on it, you're running and running but not getting anywhere, like people used to say to me, although that's true, too. The thing about the treadmill is that it's so damn uninspired; so repetitive; so mechanical; so predictable. When I used to run on it, I'd get in my car, drive to the gym, walk to the cardio room, put in my ear buds, set the treadmill to the speed I was running that day, set the timer to the amount of time I planned to run, start the treadmill, and run. Hisshisshiss. Boom. Hisshisshiss. Boom. Hisshisshiss. Boom. If my music wasn't loud enough, I'd hear the whir of the machine as the belt continuously looped and the sound of my foot strike every however many seconds or so. The speed never really changed unless I had an interval day scheduled, the conditions in the room never really changed unless a particularly smelly or loud person was in the vicinity, and I never really changed, in mind, in body, or in soul. The treadmill was, and I'm sure still is, a harbinger of sameness.

Running outside, though--that's something else completely. Running outside is running free. It's energy. It's hope. It's bounding down the street with a spring in my shoes, the endless sidewalk in front of me, and the world all around. It's Tom and Mark and Gerard and Vic and Patrick and Nate sing screaming in my ears, urging me on. The speed and intensity, so unlike when on the treadmill, follows my body's natural rhythms: if I feel like I need to run fast, I run fast; if I feel like I need to run slow, I run slow; if I feel bouncy or like taking big strides, I bounce or widen my strides; if I feel like I need to go easy and shorten my strides, I do that, too.

Outside, as opposed to on the treadmill, I don't need to do what the machine tells me.

I don't need to strike, strike, strike, repeat.

Outside, I can bounce, glide, shuffle, and soar.

The treadmill is okay for some people--I guess--but it's not

okay--

for me.  

Saturday, January 31, 2015

She Said It Stopped Being Fun, I Just Bring Her Down

Where am I?

The Pit of Despair. Don't even think about trying to escape.
                                                                            
                                                                                 --The Princess Bride


When I was sixteen and had been dating Louie for about a year, his parents put him in some residential mental facility called The Retreat for about a month and then when he got out, withdrew him from the school where we went together and put him in a new one, away from me. This was, appropriately enough, around March, the beginning of spring.

I remember not long after Louie went in, my friend Stork--our friend, actually, Louie's and mine, although I don't know how good a friend he was to Louie since we started having sex not long after Louie's and my final breakup--telling me that I was so much better without Louie. He said when I was with him, I was fat and dreary, and when I was without him, I was cute and happy. It's true that I lost a little bit of weight, about ten pounds (without even trying! An amazing side effect of breakups throughout my life), and cut my hair, both of which likely contributed to the cuteness, but I think the main thing contributing to the positive change in me was the loss of Louie.

I'm not going to pretend I didn't love him because oh my God, did I love him, and I won't act like I'm glad he was gone because I seriously felt like I was a character in a tragedy after his parents shipped him away, but somehow, despite the sadness and despair I felt, I found a way to be happy--happier, certainly, than when I was with him and found out every other week he'd cheated on me or heard his parents or sister had said something awful about me or learned that he'd done some drug I didn't want him to do; happier than when we'd fight for hours about something absolutely insignificant and then make up for just as long; happier than when I was stressed twenty-four hours of every day of my entire life.

(Go figure, right?)

Anyway, the point is, when Louie disappeared, albeit temporarily (because any parents who think they can keep teenagers apart who don't want to be that way are stupid with a capital S), I felt like I'd never feel good again, but without even trying and without even realizing I was getting happier, I did until one day I was just a happy person. Being forced to step away from my crazy situation enabled me to find happiness I didn't even know I didn't have.

And the best part? Or at least the most significant?

It wasn't even because of some other boy or any external force that I found the happy that I did.

It was entirely me.

Sometimes, I just love how life works.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

It's My Party

So.

It's my birthday today.

40.

Kind of a big one.

Can we look at 39 for a minute, please?

(The birthday, I mean, not the entire year.That's a fiasco I'm in no mood for.)

Depressed for weeks leading up to it.

Depressed at work.

Depressed when Glenn gave me the headphones he bought me for my birthday.

Depressed when I lay in my bedroom with the lights out and sobbed for about an hour or so.

Depressed when trying to figure out what to do.

Depressed when finally deciding on pizza and beer.

Depressed when reflecting on how alone and unloved I felt, especially on my birthday, but pretty much all the time.

Now can we look at 40?

Happy when I got a text at twelve o'clock on the dot last night from my very own Jordan Catalano (information forthcoming. Maybe) because he wanted to be the very first person to wish me a happy birthday.

Ecstatic when I achieved a running goal I've had for the past at least five years (and surprisingly nonplussed when being handed my second place award by the mayor who it was handed to by C's mom).

Happy when--okay, wait.

Stop.

This isn't working.

I can't make a list for this one. For this one, there's no really breaking down the parts, there's only the omnipresent feeling of happiness. Of excitement. Of positivity.

Of a new journey.

Of love--both loving and being loved.

The difference in my life from last year at this time to now is unreal.

All right, before I jinx myself--

enough.

I have a vegan dinner to get to (no wondering what to do with myself this year!); can I just say I love everyone and call it a day?

Or how about this?

A few days ago, I said that if I ran my 5k in under 30 minutes, I'd be so happy, I'd have sex with everyone on the field, and while I didn't end up spending countless hours on my back, the sentiment is still there.

I know I have my own weird logic and way of looking at things, and that statement probably doesn't make the slightest bit of sense to you, but that's how happy I'm finally starting to feel.