Tag Archives: moving forward

A new life…

3 Jan

I took the past year off. From a lot of things. From my music to singing to guitar. From things that made me happy. Like writing. I didn’t do this on purpose of course. I did it without even thinking. It’s been a year. A lot has changed in the past year. And in many ways, nothing has changed.

My e-pen to e-paper writing skills are still a bit e-rusty, so this post should be short. Sweet perhaps, but maybe a bit salty too.

My beloved mother passed away on 12/27/13 – for those of you that haven’t read or knew about this – just recapping. She was quite a woman. Solid, humorous, outrageous – with a huge sparkly personality only outmatched by her love of huge sparkly jewelry. I did sing at her service, and while (to me) it was out of tune, and I sang through tears in my throat, it was really just for her. And it was OK. The rain that January day let up enough for us to send balloons up to greet her. The message on my balloon was simple: “I’ll never forget you.”

On Memorial Day, I planted the seed paper we gave at the service along with her ash dust. On Labor Day, she bloomed.

Mom flowers
Us 006Rockstar stood next to me at every change.

Held me close and made me believe in hope.

His life took an amazing turn in 2014. With his life rising from the ashes, my phoenix and I made plans to start ours afresh.

We took the next step and moved in together just after our 3rd year anniversary trip to Hawaii in June.

Since then, we’ve settled into “new couple” patterns. You know, kissing and cuddling, bickering over chores, cooking together, and dog duty.

The usual shenanigans. It’s been a hell of a ride. A good one. A very happy one!

I spent most of the summer getting a tattoo of all things. It all started when I decided to tattoo my mom’s thumbprint somewhere and ended with a pretty big back piece. Ain’t gonna lie, this hurt a LOT. The thumbprint is actually inside a frame on my lower left thigh.

After I sold my mother’s house, and paid off her debt, and split what remained, I started asking myself what I should do with my share. What she would want me to do. Well, she’d want me to invest in a face lift, I’M SURE, but that’s just not my way. However, Botox is something that I can always get behind.

She always said she loved talking with me about stuff because I always listened to her and gave her good advice. I think she’d be proud that I’m using her legacy to go back to school to get a degree in Psychology. I start on Monday (Jan 5). Wish me luck because while I took the past year off from some things, work isn’t one of them.

2015 will bring a lot of change for me. I turn 50 this year. I have wonderful friends who fill my life with laughter. I have the most loving man whose smile lights up my day. I have memories, voice mails, and maybe a video or two of my mom and while I can’t quite yet listen or watch, they are there for me when I’m ready. In the meantime, I can and will squeeze every ounce of life from and to this life I have now.

The Hollywood kiss…

2 Nov

Four years ago, my best friend lost her mother – as in, she died. Long struggle with brain cancer. She wanted me and the hubby there as support so of course we went.

It was there I met HIM the first time. HE was her brother’s best friend. Like me, HE was married too. We sat next to each other and over idle chit chat, we found a love of fine wine and good food. And maybe more, but we were both married at the time.

Fast forward two years.

I met HIM again at his best friend’s (my best friend’s brother’s) fall music festival in Sonoma. HE was now divorced, and I was recently separated. We caught up on each other’s failed marriages and found some laughter. But since I was dating Rock at the time, that’s all there was.

Fast forward two years.

About a month ago, I returned to the fall music festival in Sonoma with a group of girls and HE was there. Single. And so was I. Single.

We connected. Kissed. Laughed. Talked. Shared good wine, and good food. Over some Pad Thai, and later some Paella, we talked about us. The trouble with this one is this – he lives in Hollywood. I live in the burbs of San Francisco.

That afternoon, we agreed to see where this would lead. For starters, he would bring me to his neck of the woods and we would go from there. About a week later, we agreed on the weekend and he sent me a ticket.

I wasn’t nervous. At least, not until that morning, when all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I was going to visit a man I barely knew for two nights and he was, well, living amongst the rich and famous. Since he was my best friend’s brother by choice (she grew up knowing him), I wasn’t worried in any other regard.

Kiss me like you mean it...

Kiss me like you mean it…

When I arrived, he gave me what I lovingly refer to as a Hollywood kiss – you know the kind… Bags drop, full embrace, lips lock. It was very nice. Smiling still, thinking about it.

His plan for the first night was to bring me to his place, meet his cute little puppy, have a martini, then go to a swanky little French restaurant on Sunset. So up we go, through various canyons and into the hills. He happens to live in the Hollywood Hills you see, and since I’m not really sure what that meant before going there, let me tell you… Stars live there. As we pass Kanye West’s abode, with security crew outside, I start to realize what I might have got myself into. You see, HE lives a few doors down.

After a stiff martini, he opens a lovely bottle of french wine. It speaks to me as I’m a huge wine whore. And it relaxes me. But alas, we must leave his surreal digs and venure out to dinner. As we passed the Chateau Marmont, the Viper Room, and yes, the Pink Taco, all within minutes of his home, I started to feel this was still as surreal as I thought.

Over oysters and more wine, we meet two lovely older ladies and laughed and took pictures. Now, this is what I’m used to. Having silly fun and being me. It was a wonderful night and it felt very special.

The next morning, I awakened without the dreaded red wine hang over. Yay me! He was making breakfast for us, and I promised, while I’m not a huge morning eater, I would definitely try what he made. He made sweet potato pancakes with creme fraische and caviar and heirloom tomatoes with burrata cheese. WHAT’S NOT LOVE THERE??? Except I could only eat half, because, well, I don’t eat that much in the morning.

For lunch, he drove us up the coast to Malibu. He’s still regretting his choice of fried food, but we spent the entire time both on the drive and in the place laughing and talking. Afterward, we went to a swanky bar for a martini on the ocean and met some wonderful couple celebrating her birthday.

When we got back to his place, we took his little puppy out for a walk and chatted with some neighbors. I sorta forgot where I was. You know, Hollywood Hills. I felt a kinship with this woman about my age who is about to go to Tibet for 12 weeks on some mission (Hell, people in Berkeley do that all the time right??) and asked her to come over for a glass of wine. She said maybe next time – in a very sweet way – and it wasn’t until I got back to HIS place that I realized, this was an actress who probably thought I was insane.

HE was charming the entire weekend and we clearly like each other. A lot. As he dropped me back off at the airport on Sunday, we once again share a Hollywood style kiss.  We shall see where this bi-coastal friendship will go. Like I said in my earlier post, I’m in no rush.

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Post-note… I wasn’t feeling so hot after so much wine and martini’s that weekend. I was sorta hungover on Sunday. HE sent me a gift afterward… A beautiful luxurious chenille robe to comfort me. I got it last Wednesday, just in time to enjoy while I was suffering a head cold.

Next time, he visits my hood and sees how simply I live. 🙂

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

My voice within…

25 Sep

About a week ago, after several days of not eating properly, I decided to make dinner. I felt somewhat up to it. Lately, food has just been ‘meh’ for me. So I grilled myself a piece of fish and made a salad. It was tasty, but I wasn’t very hungry. But Sparky was, so I shared.

Afterward, he was restless, and who could blame him. I was being quite the mole over those past two weeks. So we left the condo for yet another mini-walk around the block.

He knows the route – out the door, to the left, down the walkway… A couple doors down, he starts to bark. Embarrassed, I apologize to the neighbor for my little “Barky”, but it wasn’t actually my neighbor, it was in fact, my ex-boyfriend, Rock. I double-take. Then, as only I can do, when faced with incredible stress, start to laugh. Not full on belly laughs, just nervous giggles. First, I was looking glamorous in my lounge pants, no makeup, hair in a bun. Second, I had major facial bruises from some novcane shots in my upper and lower jaws. And third, the shock of seeing him had me a bit freaked out.

Me: through giggles still “Why are you here?”

Rock: (Seriously, I have no idea what he said at that point). His eyes widened when he saw my face and through my final giggles, assured him it wasn’t what he thought.

All I really know is this. He looked haunted. Sad. Way too thin. He wanted answers about what changed in our relationship. I honestly didn’t know what to say. I invited him inside so we could talk – he reluctantly agreed. I offered him a drink, but he only wanted water. It felt very polite, yet impossibly awkward. I tried to explain what had been going on in my head, but even to me, it made little sense.

It doesn’t matter what our conversation was; there would be no answers that would help him. He believes I’m once again in a pattern with men. His insight is that I became bored with the hubby and rather than talk about what was wrong and working on fixing it, I simply left. And I’ve done that again with him. And apparently worse is that he doesn’t think I even know what I’m doing.

It made me stop and think. Am I really repeating the same pattern over and over? Will I change? Have I changed? I know I am complicated – I own that. And I know I’m a mess inside. I guess I’m a bit like a set of Matyroshka dolls these days, hiding many versions of myself within. Take the time to get me to open up, you’ll find another puzzle inside to solve. Point is: It’s my turn to figure me out. Plain and simple.

I know what I don’t know. But I know what I know as well. And my hope is this: my inner selves have their shit together. Each facet of me knows what we need and want. Soon, we all will.

And the little one inside… she knows what she’s doing. I trust her. She’s not just my core, she’s my soul. She is whispering to the others, reminding us what and who we are. I like her.

My inner voice is tatted and has angel wings to guide her journey...

My inner voice is tatted and has angel wings to guide her journey…

My voice within…

Don’t cry
Your tears will dry, you’ll soon be free to fly

When there’s no one else, look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within
Then you’ll find the strength that will guide your way
You’ll learn to begin to trust the voice within

Moths and flames…

2 Sep

When I filed the final divorce papers, something inside me clicked. It was a very freeing experience; like a physical weight being lifted off my shoulders. I hadn’t even recognized that I was carrying something so heavy around.

This sense of freedom had me a bit undone. It wasn’t just about the ex-hubby however. I started to recognize that my current relationship with Rock wasn’t exactly right anymore.

He subscribes to this blog and I, in no way, want to hurt him. He’d been such a powerful force in my life. I decided I needed to go back to the beginning and ask the hard questions about what it was the drew me so quickly and so completely and what changed for me now.

In the beginning

We met through a mutual friend on Twitter of all places. We struck up an easy rapport via text and discovered we had much in common, from what foods we liked to what we did for a living. Our first phone conversation lasted over 5 hours! When we met in person for the first time, I think I gave it all of 15 seconds before I dove right in and kissed his socks off. The zsa zsa zou was off the freaking charts!

Then things changed

The passion and lust was still there but there were serious problems that lead us to continually break up. I found myself in a horrible pattern of forgiving him, for reasons I will not share here. Each time I took him back, something chipped away at my trust. This lead me to doubt not just him, but me as well. I found myself living in fear that it was only a matter of time before it all imploded again.

Over the early part of the summer, we had several fights that made me question more consciously why it was so easy for me to discard him. I didn’t like that about me but as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I sometimes fail to see the signs and course correct until it’s too late. I knew I was lost once again, and yet, I didn’t know how to go back or how to go forward.

Rinse or Repeat

I created this blog to explore how my suddenly single (after 23 years of marriage) world would be different. Would I continue to make the same mistakes I had made in my marriage? It turns out, with Rock, I made the same mistakes as when I was married. Knowing something wasn’t as it should be and ignoring or not allowing my feelings to be recognized until it was too late.

Breaking up is hard to do – how cliche, but still true. This man loved me with his whole being. When we broke up, he told me he didn’t believe that I ever really loved him. That he felt I held back. I suppose that is very true. I think I did hold back. And if he is reading this post, I hope he knows how very sorry I am.

Chemistry. Zsa zsa zou, intense attraction. Whatever you want to call it, we had it.

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Dangerous allure

Dangerous allure

Recently, I was talking to someone about this mysterious chemistry that attracts one to another. You might meet someone who is beautiful, approach them and find this immediate attraction that makes you want to rip their clothes off. You then meet another equally beautiful person, strike up a conversation and pffft, nothing. Why is that?

People often refer to this intense attraction with the analogy of a moth being drawn to a flame. Moths are compelled toward the light, even to their own demise. I suppose like moths and flames, we are sometimes drawn to something so over-powering, so all consuming, that we don’t recognize how dangerous it will be.

It’s judgment day…

14 Aug

Although the ex-hubby and I have acquired a lot of property and assets (and debts), we agreed early on about how we would split the goods. And because we’ve been friendly during this whole time, we decided to forego mediators or divorce attorneys. After all, I’m very good at filling out forms, right?! I mean, how hard could it be to check some boxes, document the decisions, and be done with it?

California law mandates that a divorce cannot be final until a minimum of six months and one day has passed. In my mind, that felt like a short amount of time – but also like I had a lot of time! I should have kept a log of how many times I visited the court. How many hours I spent sitting on a hard bench waiting for my number to be called. How many times I had to amend my amended documents.

Now I understand why people hire others to do that shit for them. I’m wicked smart, but oh good gawd, did I make mistakes! This whole process also has also been more of an after thought for me – I agreed to do all of the paperwork and out of respect, I moved the process along as fast as my busy schedule would allow.

So I was surprised by what happened today. Since I filed all the right documents after countless tries, I was eligible to go to the court today and attend a workshop that would help me finish the process. Two hours with someone who would guide me through the right boxes to check – how easy would that be?

Actually, it was very easy – what was hard was sitting in a room hearing the other petitioners feeling joy over their upcoming freedom dates. The facilitator actually filled out a “cheat sheet” for each of us, identifying significant facts, like the date we filed, the date we separated, whether we had agreements or disputes. When I looked down and saw the date she wrote for me, for my judgment date, I choked up. Then I started tearing up. I didn’t have any tissue and there was none around. I mean, I guess they wouldn’t have tissue in this room, because after all, most petitioners are relieved and excited about being ‘free’.

I took my glasses off, carefully, but not surreptitiously, wipes the tears away from my eyes. I refused to look around and see if anyone was looking at me. I didn’t want to spoil their happiness with my sorrow.

I left him.

I chose this.

I didn’t want to be married anymore.

So why was I so upset? I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m still not ready for it to be over. Knowing that my last bond with such a wonderful man will end soon. Sooner than I thought.  And then what? Is he really out of my life? Weird how I’m looking forward to all the aftermath paperwork of title transfers, quit claims, and whatever else is needed to finish the process. Having been married to him for so long, I guess I want to prolong the inevitable.

Tomorrow, we will meet and sign our marital settlement agreement. It’ll be the last time I see him before he is free. I am not ready to think of myself as free, because my ghosts haunt me.

Judgment day is expected to be next Thursday, August 22. Or as I am now thinking of it: D-Day.Happily never after

A thousand words…

30 Jun

With the divorce underway, and decisions on how we’ll split the assets agreed upon, it was time to put the house up for sale.  The ex did all the heavy lifting with getting the house ready, finding the realtor, and putting it up on the market.  In fact, when it sold, he did all the packing and moving.

He let me take whatever I wanted of course, but naturally, I didn’t want the photo albums of our 23 years together.

So when he said “hey there are a lot of cool pics in there, lets get them converted to digital!” I said “okay!”.  But the catch was, I’d have to get them converted, and he’d pay me half. Sounded reasonable…

Until I sat down with the albums and started going through them. I flipped through page after page of pictures of happier times, viewed through my tear filled eyes. I think I got through 5 pages before taking them back to the garage.

For the past year, I’ve kept one photo of he and I framed and hung on my photo wall. It’s of a time when we were last truly happy. We had just bought our vacation home in the mountains and were golfing that afternoon. We were leaving in a few days to go on a three week trip to Spain. Life was grand back then and we felt blessed for what we had and our future together.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I suppose that’s true. Maybe one day, I’ll be ready to hear them again. For now, they need to be left in that dusty corridor of my memory for now.

Happier times - thankful for them...

Happier times – thankful for them, but still…