Tag Archives: independence

Slowing it down…

1 Nov

A friend from high school contacted me via Facebook. I had been posting my divorce progress on there – so he sent me a nice message about how impressed he was that I was able to keep my divorce so amicable.

We chatted back and forth and he suggested we meet for a drink. Now, I’m all about drinks after work, so count me in! After all, he was someone I knew from high school, recently separated, and I figured he just wanted to find out more about the process of separation, divorce, and how to avoid throttling your ex.

Let’s call him High School Guy or HS Guy.

HS Guy met me at my favorite bar and let me just say, he is extremely charismatic in person. Tall, good looking, big smile. He has presence.

Small talk over martini’s turned into “do you remember” over martini’s which turned what-to-expect-when-you-leave-your-spouse over martini’s and before we knew it, there was a kiss.

By the time I made the 5-minute trip home, there was a text message from him saying how nice it was to see me. By the time I woke up the next day, another text wishing me a good morning. And that’s pretty much how things started with HS Guy.

I told him I was just getting out of one relationship and not looking for a new one. That while I am open to dating him, I want nothing serious and will consider dating other men as well. And given his recent separation, he shouldn’t even be thinking about starting something with me. He agreed. Sorta. I’m pretty sure he didn’t like me being so honest about seeing other people, but he was understanding. And we did agree to take it slow.

The thing about getting attention from the opposite sex is that it’s very intoxicating. It’s like a drug and you crave your next fix. It allows you to be distracted from the problems in your life, escaping into a fantasy world of sorts. Imagining life is now better and brighter because you’ve heard from someone.

We saw each other a couple weeks later for another drink and continued to get to know each other through daily phone calls and multiple text messages. A couple weeks after that, we met for lunch.

The daily calls and text messages would continue, but no more making plans to see one another. On the one hand, going s l o w l y was smart, but on the other, the continued attention made me feel we were in a relationship I wasn’t sure I was comfortable being in.

He’d share the happenings of his day, and I would keep him posted on my daily shenanigans. He’d share concerns he had with his small children, and I’d listen and offer advice (being childless, I mostly used common sense.)

And while we weren’t physically seeing one another, I made it clear that I would not become involved with a married man. Because, while he may have been living apart from his family, his family home is where I suspected his heart truly was.

In essence, we had moved into the friend zone. So when it was time for him to take some much needed time off, he promised he’d decide what he should do (does he go home, or move forward…) While he was gone, he continued to send messages and pictures of the island he was on.

The time away was good for him. He came back feeling rested and clearer-headed. But he also recognized that despite what he wants, his children are his number one priority and he wasn’t really ready to get involved with me. I thought about being just friends, but once you put the idea of starting something new with someone, going backward just doesn’t feel genuine. Instead, we agreed that when he is ready to move forward, to give me a call.

HS Guy is a great guy. I wish him well and I walked away from that friendship knowing we are both better people for having been in each other’s lives for the past couple months.

Each relationship we have, whether all-encompassing, or light-hearted, tells us something about ourselves. So what did this tell me about me? That it’s okay to hit the pause button. After all, I’m in no rush.

Slow it down


Setting up house…

27 Aug

It’s been a week since I moved into my new 1-bedroom condo. I’ve been super busy buying stuff. Which is fun, but also tedious. This new life is starting from scratch. Yes, I took some basic kitchen items from the house, but that’s pretty much it. I had the foresight to buy a bed and had it delivered on the first day I was here, but that’s about it.

So my week has been filled with tons of online shopping. Every decision I’ve made has been made alone and feels both exciting and scary. But as I press the “BUY IT” button, I’m filled with a sense of peace that each purchase puts me closer to independence and settling into this new life.

And every time the UPS guy knocks on my door, it’s like Christmas morning here. Rubbing my hands with glee, I tear into the boxes and look at all the new shiny objects I’ve bought.

Sticker shock...

But while I’m loving buying new stuff, I also hate it. You see, I gave myself a pretty low budget to set this place up. And every time I buy something it whittles away this seed money of mine. In the past, I didn’t give a rat’s ass how much money I was spending. I wanted something, I bought it. Now, I have to actually pay attention to things like comparison shopping and putting back something I want because I’m on a budget.


But alas, I am. Instead of buying my kitchen table at Ethan Allen, I bought it at a discount furniture place. The chair legs don’t feel that sturdy, but it’s within my budget. Instead of buying teak patio furniture, I bought aluminum zero gravity chairs, which actually are kinda comfy, but not what I’m used to.

I’m not complaining though. Here’s why: I am realizing that I don’t need the things I used to have. And while I might miss my Le Cruset pots, my food tastes just as good cooked in a cheap pot. And as I look around my mostly empty condo, I start to feel like I’m home.

Post Script: I did buy two new pairs of stilettos. Cuz after all, I’m a dirty shoe whore still.

It feels right…

15 Aug

I’ve never lived alone. I married young and moved from my mother’s place to my husbands. And while I’ve been renting a room for the last couple of months, it’s just a room – no kitchen – and is part of the Valley Hillbillies house. So doesn’t qualify in my humble opinion as “living alone”.

But at long last, I found the place that I will call my home for the next year. It’s a condo close to my office and not in the biggity O (for those that have followed my urban vision quest.) My mother is happy knowing that I have reduced the chance of rape and murder. She’s optimistic this way.

Anyhoohaw, I move in this Friday and I’m getting pretty excited. I bought a brand new bed and stuff and plan to cook my first meal that night. Comcast and PG&E are ready to go so I’ll have lights and wifi! Oh, and I’m taking the Jura Capressa Impressa Z5 espresso machine from the hubby. #cuziamacoffeewhore

Possibly the biggest decision I’ll have to make is what the hell to cook for my first night there. Must decide if I splurge before Friday and buy a gas grill for the patio, because I reallyreallyreally want grilled lamb chops (marinated in good olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon). And a greek salad. And maybe some chocolate for dessert. I can live without a couch, kitchen table and lamps on day 1 – but must have in no particular order: good food, vodka, coffee. The rest will work itself out over time.

Of course, The Rockstar offered to cook for me, cuz he haz mad skillz in the kitchen. But for my first night, I’ll be pickled and tickled and doing it for me, my way, hell yes. Rockstar can cook Saturday!! (Please and thanks!)

The idea of my very own place, with just me in it, fills me with satisfaction and fear. It’s been a rocky couple of weeks, with the reality of my separation settling in and warring against the newness of not being married and dependent. I’ve been making a good number of decisions lately based on instinct. I’ve been saying “you just know”. I think people need to listen to themselves more and stop questioning so much.

My life. One day at a time. It just feels right.

Independence day…

4 Jul

What does it mean to have freedom? I’ve been gone 19 days now. But I’m not sure I’m independent. Not yet.

Over these last 19 days, I’ve been doing quite a bit of social buzzing. Keeping myself very busy and distracted. I’ve seen almost all of my girlfriends for drinks and am spending time with someone who has been helping me a lot. To forget a little and to be okay.

And I'll kill my own damn spiders too...

My main reason for leaving was and is pretty simple. I didn’t feel like me anymore and yet I’m not sure who I am. I know who I used to be as a teenager and who I was as a wife, but as a woman in her forties with sudden freedom, I’m finding my possibilities are pretty damned wide open. And confusing as hell. I actually have said “I want to kill my own spiders” which is ironic since I’m renting a room in someone’s house in the hills with lots of spiders.

But here’s what else: I want to learn to play the guitar. I want to renew my love of photography. I want to take yoga and I absolutely want to resume my singing. And my laughing. And most important to me is to NOT repeat the dis-empowering behaviors of my past.

Freedom comes with a price, and for now I’m paying it living in a single room with no kitchen, but as I came through my sliding glass door this afternoon, it felt like a place where I belonged.  So today being Independence Day and I live in a world now full of freedom, I can pursue any and all of the above. And still ask for help but learn to be independent.