2017: A Year of Many Changes

I realize that the year is only a little more than half over, and it has been a tumultuous year so far. This is my life recap:

January
Work: I began working overtime constantly. My strict adherence to trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance became impossible with the work demands. 10-11 hour days became a new a norm.

Love: My one great joy was a long weekend with Seabiscuit for his birthday: Point Cabrillo was beautiful. We went naked hot-tubbing together in Mendocino. We saw whales spouting off the coast. I had never been so happy as that special weekend with him.

Home: Chaos. My ex-boyfriend still refused to move out even though we had broken up roughly 9 months ago.

February
Work: The overtime continued. Fellow coworkers on my team began to leave the company, adding more to the workload for me and the few left behind.

Love: Seabiscuit confessed he loved me, but two weeks later he broke up with me, saying he needed to fix things in his life first before being in a relationship. I was devastated and only had consolation in that he said he still wanted to remain friends, see plays together and wanted to see a Monet exhibit together with me. I think things had gotten too serious for him (neither of us expected our relationship to become so serious so quickly) and scared him. I still think that. He also announces he is most likely going to be taking a job in Texas. A double heartbreak.

Home: After a nightmarish drama (including threats and calls to the police), the ex finally moved out the last day of the month. He took the three cats with him, and I am still sad, even now, that I never got to say goodbye to them.

March
Work: Still craziness as the team shrunk. The burnout began as I felt more and more unappreciated. My boss told me we all have to make sacrifices; her inconsistencies in her directions began. I became very unhappy with work.

Love: Heartbroken and still trying to navigate what it means to be friends now. It was a sudden shift from daily emails to maybe an email or two a week. A great light in my life was no longer there to comfort me. I cried a lot. At the end of the month, he decides against the job in Texas. I wonder then if that was also partly why he broke up: to not have me be a deciding factor in the job decision.

Home: My parents moved in next door. Literally next door. We share a wall. I begin trying to clean the mess of the apartment to make it my own home.

April
Work
: The burnout continues. I no longer know who my boss is anymore as she has become someone I don’t recognize. Our team continues to shrink. I become the sole person on the team as the only other team member left comes down with shingles. When I describe how overwhelmed I am to my boss in a one-on-one, she tells me: “What I’m hearing is this is a role fit issue for you. Maybe you should start looking for work outside of [Company].” she also tells me, “You don’t seem alive anymore.” I realize then that this place I felt was my second home for over 3 years is now a hostile environment.

Love: It is my first time seeing Seabiscuit since February. We see a play late in the month, Dog Sees God, with a couple of my friends. Before he leaves, he hugs and kisses me on the lips. I am happy about that but more confused than ever and still brokenhearted.

Home: I have ripped out cheap, built-in particle-board closet cabinets in order to remove a smelly old strip of carpet (about 60 square feet). It reeks of cat, and no carpet cleaner can get through to the strip of padding straight out of the 1960s that has been glued to the uneven concrete floor beneath it. Fun. Lots of home improvement fun. And chaos as I destroy cabinets. It’s also weird getting used to parents next door. We put in tile to replace the carpet.

May
Work: It’s all downhill. Resentment builds along with the burnout. I feel my boss throws me and the other member of our team under a bus. Despite telling me we all have to make sacrifices and that I need to work now, now apparently it’s my fault I’m burnt out and working more than 8 hours. She used to care about our team, but that care has been MIA for a while now. Our team grows, but it’s a too little, too late effort. By the end of the month, I begin considering other jobs and looking.

Love: Still struggling to understand my relationship with Seabiscuit. It is hard feeling I’ve lost him. I keep asking about when we shall see the Monet exhibit together as it ended that month. At the second to last weekend of it, we tentatively set a date to see it together. I am then heartbroken when he announces Friday he shall see it with his daughter instead but I also realize I can’t be angry with him. He wants to spend as much time with his youngest daughter before she goes to college. It is a double pain. I go to the Monet exhibit separately with a friend instead. Unbeknownst to me, the same painting that is his favorite of the exhibit becomes a painting that inspires a poem when I see it.

Home: My parents offer some comfort, but the boundaries between my apartment and theirs need to be set. While I am grateful for their help, I also feel overwhelmed by constant presence. Sometimes I just need peace and want to be alone. They help with repainting the apartment. The apartment is chaos as things get shuffled around and I haven’t replaced the cabinets I destroyed.

June
Work: At this stage, I’m having multiple moments weekly where I think to myself, “Why don’t I just get out of my seat and quit this job RIGHT NOW?” I feel it is important I quit soon. I know that I will not be able to keep giving 100% any more. The resentment is building, and I don’t want to be that asshole who quits and leaves a mess behind. I will give 100% up until my last day. I apply to a job that opens up and land it by the end of the month.

Love: Still confused. I see another play with Seabiscuit, As You Like It, and am nowhere nearer an answer to our relationship status. We kiss, hug, and hold hands while together. It is very confusing. While our email contact is still distant from what it was, he pulls through during important moments, like especially bad days at work and to help me prepare for the job interview I had. I read the book Sex with Shakespeare and am convinced Seabiscuit is my lost other half. I cry while reading the book. It is the most important book I have read in all of 2017 and might be one of the most meaningful ones in my entire life. (I am grateful for Dan Savage having mentioned it in one of his columns as well as column’s wisdom.)

Home: It is still a neverending work in progress. Painting is still underway. The apartment feels like it will always be chaos.

July
Work: The first week of July, I’m in Alaska on a cruise. Work since then has been chaos, but I know my boss is supportive and will help me grow in ways I’d never expect. Long days, a long commute, and lots of work piles on. Despite how hard I have to work, I know things will get better.

Love: When I realize it is 5 months since Seabiscuit broke up with me and that our relationship lasted just a week or so shy of 6 months, I am very hurt and sad. One friend, whose wedding I will attend later this year, tells me to get over “Seaface”. I am more hurt. I feel people do not understand why the relationship is special. I got to see him today for our play, The Glass Menagerie. We hold hands almost the entire time. I want to talk about us, but as he tells me about his daughters, I hold back. While I am sad to not get more time with him, I am happy for him in seeing how happy he is to spend so much time with his daughters.

Home: I really gotta set boundaries with the parents. It feels intrusive, even though I know they mean well. I feel like I will always be alone if they do not give me space. And after a long day at work and a long commute, I just want my own space. Painting is mostly done but still in progress.

So as we get closer to just 5 more months left, I wonder what’s going to happen next?

You are that Kind

Well past 200 emails now, my relationship with Seabiscuit has taken quite an unexpected turn.

It is a special relationship, unlike any I’ve ever had before. We are friends and yet there is this graceful dance between us, an artful, erotic tension ever present. He has a girlfriend, and my heart is captured by another man, DJ MF, across the sea, but still that attraction lingers.

He is kind. Even when his emails are disappointing (confirmation of the girlfriend, for example), there is kindness in it. He is quite thoughtful. I’ve been given an open invitation to pursue him should I ever want. Otherwise, he will treat me with respect and as a friend in person and allow our erotic tension to play out by email.

His desire for me was a bit intense, only fully felt and revealed recently in one particular email this weekend. “But we both know you want and deserve a boyfriend,” he also wrote. And that is true. He has been very clear in not being good at the monogamy side of things–not that it bothers me as much as it might have once before.

I look back at my poetry–so much he has inspired. He is a muse! He said his mother once wrote a poem about cutting his hair. I have no doubt that he inspired her as a child, too.

I almost feel as though this is the deepest friendship I have ever had–and from Craigslist! Who knew. And still he continues to inspire me, and that artist and muse relationship continues to kindle the tension between us.

To go from who I was 6 months ago and to what a person I have become!

In a few months, I almost feel as if a phoenix risen from some ashes. I am me, and yet it as if I have been hidden in a cocoon for far too long, and here I am now: The Mistress of the Sapphire Seas.

 

In my head, I am all kinds of confused

I’m feeling it now–the loneliness has gotten to me, and it hurts.

It has been 3 months since I broke up with J. I miss relationship stuff, but not in a way that makes me miss a relationship with him. Anytime the thought of getting back together passes through my head, I immediately remember how hurt I was when he made me feel neglected and rejected, and I vow to never go back.

I am feeling lonely. I want a relationship. Hell, I want friends. Friends! Why is it so hard to find people to share life with?

I am sad to remember that C never finished “digesting my email” from June. I emailed him a week ago to ask if he finished it and if he were playing Pokémon Go now like everybody else, but only silence has followed. 

He did not wish me a happy birthday and missed that date. I am especially sad when I remember C saying he would be my friend because he knew my best friend, Guy, is moving abroad soon. So much for that. I will stop trying.
And the loneliness gnaws at me. Fuck it! I don’t care about a long term relationship! Let me just find friends I can share my life with, who will enjoy my musings, who I can exchange delightful letters with. Why should this be so hard?

Why must I keep feeling alone?

I felt inspired this morning to write Don his poem. It came to me that I should write him a ghazal, and I set to work. 

I liked what I came up with tremendously, working on it during my commute to and from work, it felt finished by the time I got home. I got my mic and recorded reading it aloud; most poetry is meant to be spoken, and especially a ghazal needs a performance.

I had asked him his birthday, but was disappointed to learn it is so far away. I can’t wait that long to give it! I emailed him the recording this evening as a belated / very merry unbirthday gift.
Will it scare him off? Will he take my poem and vanish into the night? Will I once more find myself with no one left to write?

I cried in bed earlier. I haven’t done that in a long time. I just wish I didn’t feel so alone.

Like a Virgin

I hadn’t flown in a while.

I used to feel so much anxiety about flying–not so much about the flight itself but everything else: the getting to a place and rushing to be on time to the airport, worrying about a missed flight, the tension of parting, the dread of returning back to college and another semester ahead–those were the things that gave me anxiety.

It brings back memories of late lunches with my family, often the good Southern California Mexican food (real chile rellenos!) at some restaurant on the way to Ontario airport. Then there was the return trip to campus from Oakland airport, boarding the connector bus to the train, and all the while the loneliness slowly dripped in just as the students slowly trickled back to town. I would lose my thoughts in wondering who the next roommate would be and when I would finally be able to see the familiar face of one of my few very close friends.

As I arrived at SFO for my next journey, the strangeness of it made me feel as if I had been airdropped into a foreign country: my confidence dropped to the level of a lost child. I felt unsure in my actions, questioning the logic of it all, feeling I had stumbled into a mad tea party. I was lost among the sea of connections around me, struggling as some poor insect that has become entangled in a spider’s web.

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