Tag Archives: opportunities

Allowing myself to exhale…

I love going back and reading things I’ve written in the past.  Even more so when you realize that your life is so much better than it was.  I am still making mistakes, but different ones. I still have doubts and insecurities and dreams that aren’t very different from those of the last few years, but I’ve also been committed, optimistic, frequently more in control and well…that shit has paid off.

The other day I was sitting on the couch and looking around my new place…still thinking about what I could do with this or that, imagining how much nicer it will be once the walls are finished and the new fan goes up…admiring the little touches I’ve added.  It hit me that I still can’t believe I finally got out of the old place.  Nearly the entire 10 years I was there were spent in turmoil. I debated back and forth constantly over trying to make it my own and dumping and running away from it as fast as I could.  There was fear of course.  Where would I go? Would I even be able to afford to move? What if I moved and hated the new place even more? Is it fair to my kids to stay somewhere I don’t want to be or take them from a place they call home? Am I going to make a grown-up decision all on my own and have it turn out to be ok??  What if it’s not ok??

With all the work I do and all the proof that I’ve enjoyed in my life, I still get scared.  Still, although it sometimes takes me a while, I do take that faithful leap into the unknown…and most often land on my feet.  Right now, I’m on my feet yet still immersed in a little disbelief that I finally did it. I have my first home, bought on my own, decorated exactly the way I like it.  The quote on the wall about finding time for the things that make you feel happy, to the pictures and books on the shelves, the sparkly wall and the cow picture…it’s all mine.  I do not have the exact life I would have hoped for in the beginning of my new single life journey, however I am able to recognize that not only am I in a good place, it still has room to grow.  I am not stymied by my situation, and I am incredibly thankful for that.

There are times I find myself avoiding any down time for fear of falling back into old pattern of bullshit mental talk.  I can vividly remember too many days in the laundry room thinking about how I should have done this or that, or reliving conversations trying desperately to understand what the fuck happened or how I could have made a different ending, or preparing myself for future encounters so that I could be more in control and ready.  There was too much quiet time spent beating myself up, or crying over stupid shit, or just plain being afraid of never having a life worth a shit and wondering if I had made a serious mistake. Grrrr, I hated that laundry room.  I also hated the sleepless nights unable to turn my brain off wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

That doesn’t happen anymore. I have found some peace that I embrace with every molecule in my body.  I am grateful for it every single day. I know too, there is nothing wrong with me…there never really was, there were just wrong choices I needed to come to terms with.  Of course, there are still things to work on. I’m still growing…and that’s a good thing.  There are also still challenges…I’m ok with those too.  Who wants a boring old life where nothing ever happens to shake things up and get you out of our comfort zone.  From the looks of it, there are a lot of people like that, it’s a shame.  Challenges and setbacks are beautiful gifts we should all welcome and embrace. They are the catalysts to greater lives and there is just no way to get there without them.

The Stallion and I are growing together too.  Our relationship has blossomed into something quite beautiful.  Reading post after post about how it was time to let him go and how it was never going to be anything more than a casual encounter gives me a little twinge of pain in my chest. I know that if I had been more mature, more self-confident I would have walked away…but honestly I’m glad I stuck it out.  He is just another reason for me to be grateful every day.

My boy has started his first job, and come to terms with the fact that his choice of college major isn’t working out for him.  He’s going to take classes at a local college for a year and re-asses what he wants to do moving forward.  It’s a mixed emotional rollercoaster for the both of us, but we’re both playing it pretty cool.

The girl is making a list of colleges she wants to visit and we have our first official road trip scheduled in a few weeks.  We are going to take a couple of days to visit Memphis because she’s a bit of a music geek, I’m a super cool mom…and I’m going to miss the hell out of her when she goes away.

Life just doesn’t stop moving…and we along with it.  So be thankful for the good and bad times, acknowledge the lessons in both and give yourself some credit.  We’re all doing the best we can and it’s never wrong to give ourselves credit where credit is due.  Life is beautiful….it’s OK to exhale.

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Never let them win.

There has been a theme lately with one particular friend about paybacks.  This has been a lesson hard learned for me, but one I have a complete grasp.

Yes, I would love to punch that bitch in the face.  What I wouldn’t give to tell that asshole to go fuck himself. Oooohhhh, yes there are people and moments that take me to a place of total hate.

What I have learned, the most hard and unpleasant of ways, is that when dealing with people that think you are crazy, for lack of a better word, then there is nothing in this world that pleases them more than for you to go crazy. If you don’t already know, I am fluent in the ways of the narcissist.  Yes, it’s a gift that has been bestowed upon me more often that I care to admit.  The two most prevalent examples of this are my mother and my ex-husband.  Let me give you an example with each that demonstrates exactly the type of behavior they love to elicit from me.

This story was laid out in detail on the blog many many (OMG like YEARS ago) years ago.  For those who may have missed it here is the cliff notes version of the incident.

I was freshly divorced, maybe a year.  It was Christmas, and she had made it abundantly clear that if I didn’t want to join her for Christmas, she wasn’t interested in joining me.  I had decided to make a care package of gifts to give her, one of which was a picture of me and her when I was little playing around with a toy Santa sleigh.  I wanted to remind her of our bond, in hopes to help mend things. This setting boundaries thing was still pretty new to me (us) and I was just getting the hang of standing by them, while she tried to butcher them to pieces.  So, I was still trying to “bring her around” without actually setting foot in the lions’ den.  Plus, I think it merits mentioning that the first Christmas after my divorce (or actually during) her gift to me was a donation to a local charity…in her name…but presented to me. (???)

Before I had a chance to mail it she showed up on my doorstep, uninvited…unannounced.  As I said, I was still learning how to hold my own and keep my boundaries firmly in place at this time, and it didn’t take long for this visit to turn ugly.  She started out pretty cool, offering me a check (sizeable I might add) and telling me she missed me.  I can’t remember everything verbatim, but it was quickly followed by her saying I was a jerk (that is NOT the word she used, but it encompasses the feeling of her intent), to which I replied “but look, I have a box all ready for you filled with gifts!!”  Awww, I was so naive at that time. That gesture catapulted the conversation up a few dozen notches, she got in my face, I told her to back up, she wouldn’t, I told her to leave, more ugly words… As she was leaving I remember asking her “What do you want???”  Her reply “For you to apologize.”  Ok…so I said “I’m sorry if my actions hurt you.”  To which she slapped back with…”It doesn’t count if I have to ask for it.”

There were a few other choice words, I was trying to get her to see that the block between us was her…but she wasn’t having it (see what I mean about my being naïve) and then I snapped.  I grabbed the box, ripped it open, pulled out the framed picture and said “SEE!!! SEE WHAT I HAVE HER FOR YOU!! THIS IS HOW MUCH I CARE!!”  I do not remember what she said after that but I took that frame, smashed in on the sidewalk told her to fuck off and never come back.

The look on her face was all I needed to see to know…she won.  Yep, I gave her exactly what she wanted.  Me, losing my shit.  I just gave her the confirmation (in her own head) that I am so full of hate and anger that I cannot let go and I am the reason we cannot have a relationship.  Let me tell you, in the  moment of seeing the look on her face I knew that I had fucked up.  I went in the house and instead of being mad at her, I was completely and totally pissed at myself.  I know this scenario.  This is what I have been working on, preparing for, and I fucked it up.  Dammit, dammit dammit.

That was the last time I was ever going to lose my shit in front of her, no matter how dirty she got.  She pokes, she tries, but no matter what, all I have to do is look at her face and I can see her trying to get me and I won’t let her.  She will NEVER win that battle again.

Yes…that was the long cliff notes version.  On to the next scenario….

Just after the divorce, the ex and I were getting along fairly well.  I was doing what most new divorcee’s do, going out with friends and having a good time (on the weekends the kids were with him anyway). One day I was at his place and he mentioned a picture someone told him about me on Facebook (he doesn’t have FB he thinks it’s the devil).  It was a pretty innocent picture, some guy pretending to grab my boob and me looking all surprised.  There was not touching, my boob was not hanging out…and I was not dressed like a $2 whore.  Picture was just that… HE did not see the picture.  HE was only told about the picture and apparently it gave the impression that I was nothing but a 2 bit whore and I should keep that shit to myself.

I started off pretty calm about it…I mean, I knew the picture and I would not have been embarrassed to show anyone, my kids included who would have more than likely just rolled their eyes.  As I laughed it off, he got more agitated…that’s when the whore (that is not exactly how he put it) and watching my self comment came up.  Guess who snapped??? Well, I started to go off and as he stood in front of me I could see this calm look of satisfaction come over his face.  That mutherfucker….

I didn’t even finish my sentence…at that moment I turned and walked out.  You almost won that one asshole…but I’m getting quicker.  I knew then, he would never win that fight with me again.  That is, as a matter of fact, one of the reasons I asked for the divorce.  He has given me a few chances to lose my shit since then, but, thankfully I’ve learned to stay firm and remember what his end game is…and I will not fall for it.

So when this friend tells me stories of people treating him poorly, attacking his credibility or just disrespecting him in general (and trust me these are minor infractions) he adds how much he wants to take them down.  My response to him…never let them win.  They want to paint you as the asshole, then they poke you and piss on you until you get all huffy and become and asshole…they win.  If you throw the first punch, they win.  If you tell them they are and always have been a liar…they win.

Anytime some jackass pokes you to the point that you lose your shit…they win.  That is their end game.  That is their drug of choice….to poke you till you explode, then sit back and say “See…I told you he was an asshole.”

Is it hard to sit back while they call you names, make up lies, threaten you…yes it is.  Do they deserve to get put in their place either physically or verbally…hell the fuck yes.  If you do that, will they finally stop making up lies about you?  Threatening you?  Nope…they will probably never stop.  It may lessen, but they will never stop trying to make you into something ugly because that’s just who they are.  Ugly, sad people, lacking in confidence or even human decency.  That’s them, and it has not a god damn thing to do with you…unless you fall for the shit.  If you can take a moment and remember who you are dealing with, remember that they have nothing better to do than to see how far they can go before you lose your shit, then maybe you can step back and let them try, without a single fucking response from you.

Here’s the picture I want you to see.  This crazy fucker is trying desperately to get the world to believe that you are the biggest asshole that has ever walked the earth.  They will bring up ugly parts of your past, they will pull shit out of their ass, they will do anything and everything they can till you snap and lose your shit.  Then, they will sit back with the most calm look on their face and point….See, I told you so.  You might as well just throw those fuckers a parade because if you give them that…they win, and that’s all they want.

BUT…same scene, with you just standing there laughing lightly, maybe chuckle, look them in the face with not one negative thought word or expression. You just let them go until they are blue in the face…suddenly they look like the crazy one.  You win that one hot stuff. You win.

So please…please when dealing with nut-jobs, remember who you’re dealing with and

Never Let Them Win

First comes the epiphany…then comes the negotiations.

Here I am all proud of cracking the code to my deep seeded need to self-sabotage.  How do you celebrate such and epiphany??  Do you throw out all the junk food and start doing laps around the neighborhood? Do you throw out all your “fat” clothes?  Do you high five yourself while you do 1000 crunches and tell yourself that those fuckers who thought you were a failure are going to have to eat shit?

If you are me, you have two (homemade mind you) bacon, avocado cheese burgers.  Yep…now we start the negotiations.

Excuse one: I am fucking tired and besides I ate good all day and I am hangry for a cheeseburger.

Excuse two: I don’t have to start today.  I can just be happy knowing I got a grip and will soon be putting myself to work.

Excuse three-infinity: You have time and you need to finish up some stuff…and there’s this and that and how can you expect to have the time right now. Geez.

Yeah. That’s me.  I feel like what I need is to put a life size cut out of my mother and my ex-husband giving me that stupid fucking “See, we knew you couldn’t do it” face right in the middle of my living room.  Maybe that would be motivating.  Since cutting those two out of my life (for the most part) it’s nice not having to look at their face, or listen to the negativity.  Nope, now all I have to listen to is me…and me ain’t saying too much to get my shit going.

I won’t be beating myself up for too long. Right now I’m still absorbing the message and kind of laughing at myself.  At least it’s with a kind heart, not like when the other shit-heads used to. I also have to acknowledge that I am not sitting around on my ass not doing anything but stuffing my face and complaining about my jiggly parts.  There is work to be done…and so it must be done.  I am not leaving myself behind, I’m taking care of shit, before I take care of MY shit.

Planning is important, but doing is the key.  So, while I am not doing the “eat healthy and exercise” shit right now, I’m trying not to negotiate with my inner dumbass about why I don’t really need to be doing this today. Or tomorrow.  Or why it would be ok if I just started next week.

No, I’m keeping my mind on the prize. I’m acknowledging the slip and reminding myself that I am important…and how I feel is important.  I’m not giving up the good fight. I’m not throwing in the towel.

I’m going to end this post and head into the kitchen and start putting together some delightful meals to grab and go for the next few days.  I’m also reminding myself that I have tools at my disposal that are not in the least bit overwhelming…

Negotiations can be tough, especially if those negotiations are with a voice in your head that has been some what in charge for a hugly (hahaha)  part of your life.  She has won enough times…now it’s time for a new champion. A champion who can’t wait to stop bitching about not finding anything comfortable to wear.

 

 

Life is a little weird…but so am I

Wouldn’t it be nice if things just worked out like they were supposed to?

Well…actually they do.  What they don’t always do it work out the way WE think they are supposed to.

That is exactly what trips most of us up.  The expectation of how something is supposed to be.  Like for instance…you put your house on the market after 10 long agonizing years and 60 days of blood, sweat and tears just to get an offer within less than 48 hours with a 6 week closing date.  You feel so good knowing that by Christmas you will be in your new place, or at the very least out of this one.  You say a little thank you, panic just a little and start trying to figure out where the fuck you are going to live in 6 weeks.  Then shit happens.  There is a problem with the buyers loan, no biggie just a set back. Then there is another set back.  Now instead of being out before Christmas, you’ll be out before the end of the year.  Woot….a new year and a new place!! Honestly it’s like all the rainbows and sunshine are filling my world.

During all this we searched for a place to land.  I was not going to settle for just anything that I could afford…it was going to have to be the right place.  Being a person of faith and gut I knew that when we found it…we would know.  My daughter was not so sure.  She was starting to settle, “This one is ok.” “I could live with this.” “I don’t need to have…”.  There was no fucking way that I had waited this long only to jump into something that I was going to regret, or that would make me feel like I didn’t belong, again.  Just have faith…it’s coming. As the closing date grew closer I have to admit, I started to worry myself.  I made arrangements to rent so that we wouldn’t feel rushed to find a place.  My realtor was getting to know my preferences and we saw a lot of cute places that just were not fitting as a whole.  One had NO yard for the dog. One was out of the school district.  One didn’t have space for the boy.  So on and so on.

Every week I would send a list of potentials to the realtor and we would visit…always coming up a little short.  One day I sent her a listing that had been on the market for a little over a month, “why haven’t we looked at this one?”. Neither of us had a clue.  It was in the school district, two bedroom duplex with a basement, two baths, small yard and super clean.  Almost as soon as we got in the door I knew I would be making an offer.  My daughter joined us shortly after and when asked what she thought she said “IT’S A 10”.  That meant, make an offer.  Now…just because I think everyone needs to understand why I believe the things I do, I’m going to tell you what I was telling my realtor the whole time.  “Carmen, I’ll find it a week before the closing.”  She laughed, but as it got closer she would tell me that she was beginning to believe me.  I put the offer in on the house and after 2 days of negotiating the offer was accepted and they were willing and able to close the same day as mine.  This was one week before the closing on my house.  Don’t doubt me people, I know my shit.

Everything was a go…until the buyers had more issues with their loan.  Now we were looking at somewhere in January.  Fuck. I’m going to have to spend another Christmas if this fucking house.  I’m going to have to spend New Years in this fucking house.  Ugh….I’m going to lose MY house.  This is where it get’s tough, and where you have got to have fucking faith that things will work out exactly the way they are supposed to…and not the way you want them too.

Not only were my sellers cooperative, but everything was FINALLY falling into place.  We had a REAL closing date, both scheduled on the same day.  Even though we did not get to spend Christmas in the new place, or New Years…there was a sweet perk to closing after the first of the year.  Apparently when a home is held by a senior, they get a lock on their taxes so they don’t go up. This is assessed every year.  Every January.  Even though I am NOT a senior I get to benefit from that for the whole year.  My taxes will stay the same as the previous owner for the first year.  See…that’s how this fucking shit works.

This was going to turn out to an even bigger blessing than I originally thought, because after just one month in my new home I found myself unemployed. Jesus grab the wheel cause this girl is going to crash hard.

I guess this is where I should have been committed to the psych ward, because just when I was feeling like it was ok to exhale and relax, it wasn’t. Not even fucking close.

****More hokey shit****

When we bought our first home waaaaay back when I was just a baby (ok l I was 22), I said we would be in that house for 5 years.

Year 5 we moved and bought a bigger place just in time to find out I was preggers with baby blessing number one.  I said we would be in that house for 10 years.

At the 10 year mark I was settled into it and thought it would be ok to stay longer. The place fit, I felt relaxed (sort of anyway, for someone who was depressed and failing at marriage).  That was when the In Laws decided to move away and sell their house and when the hubs thought it was a brilliant idea to fucking buy his childhood home.  Fuck.

After the months and months of crying over moving into this house I was starting to feel like I had to embrace this hole as a stepping stone to a better life, I said 7 years.

3 years later I was divorced.  At year 7 I had been divorced for 4 years, in a shitty job, in a not so good relationship and there was no way I was getting out of there.  WTF??? Where did this 7 year commitment come from??? How the fuck can I be right soooo often only to come up short this time???

By the time I moved out I realized that I had been in that house as a single parent for exactly 7 years.

BOOM.  That’s insane right???? Hahaha…yeah, I told you to trust me.

So I’m sure you are wondering…how long in this new house?  As of today I still don’t have a clue.  Nothing is coming to me, not a single nudge.  I have a few theories on why that is, but right now, this post is long as shit.

I am reminded again that every moment, every encounter is a lesson.   Sometimes those lessons are not as clear as we would like.  Sometimes the lesson doesn’t reveal itself right away. Sometimes, you think you’ve got a grip on the lesson, only to learn it is something completely different.

 

This weekend I had an situation that I completely misread.  At first I believed that this was the Universe handing me chance to take advantage of a missed opportunity.  Something that I wished I had taken advantage of some time ago, but allowed self-doubt to hold me back.  So naturally when this opportunity was presented again, I jumped at the chance!  It was a comedy of errors that lead to this moment….surely it was “meant to be”.

 

I have relied on my intuition for some time, if there is something off in any situation I feel it.  Of course there have been times that I have chosen to ignore my instincts….Which usually results in solidifying my resolve to listen to that inner voice, cause it has my back always. I can’t recall a time where there wasn’t even a little warning.  I’ve gone over and over in my mind trying to figure out what I missed.  Nothing.  There was not one sign that said “Turn and run”.  I’m at a loss.

 

So now, what I thought was a lesson in missed opportunities, turned out to be quite the opposite. Honestly, I’m really not sure the clear message I need to get from this.  Maybe it’s that I should have accepted that the two previous missed opportunities were missed for a reason.   Is it that my instincts are off?  Did I somehow turn off my natural intuition that I have relied on for so long?  Is it that I should walk away from opportunities that are represented to me? 

 

I guess I’m going to have to thank on this awhile longer.  Something tells me this might be about a little self-control…and learning to just say “no”.