Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Living Up the Last of Summer--Quick Updates

I have spent time away from my blog because I have just been so crazy busy living life! And that is not such a bad reason for not having posted in a bit. But I do want to touch on a few things as August comes to a close and the school year kicks it into high gear.

  1. Summer Reading Program--I pitched an idea to support literacy development for children receiving long-term care at the children's hospital. And with some continued talk, I got hired to create and implement an eight week pilot summer reading program! One part involves sharing fabulous children's literature by featuring three books each week in a read aloud/booktalk. These were done in the library at the hospital and at bedside. If the child liked the book, they got to keep it. (If it was not of their taste, then I had a stash of other books from which to choose.) The second part was to encourage the kids to spend a certain amount of time reading independently to earn fabulous, cheesy prizes. It has been an awesome job! I am basically like a book fairy. I get the kids excited to read and then surprise them with getting to keep books for free. Some of the parents have gotten just as much into listening to me read as the kids. Do not underestimate how much people of all ages love to listen to some read aloud. And it is something that I will be able to get some grad credits for some of the evaluation work that I do with it this fall!
  2. Kickball--Our team was crazy good in the spring--second place in the play-offs. But then with a few roster changes this summer, our team was terrible. We won only the last game of the season. But we still rocked our bubble gum pink t-shirts and enjoyed in a ton of laughs. This season was a little more fun for me because my finger finally healed enough that I was able to be moved to playing second base instead of catcher.
  3. Pool Time/Girl Time--August has gone by so quickly that I think I actually spent more time swimming in July than I did in August. But what I will say about pool time in August is that I have had some good girlfriend time there. I've enjoyed lounging around the pool and having that time to have some meaningful girl talk, both with new friends and old friends. It is like the water just has a way of freeing you, to let you be more open for things to drift out. It is then that you realize you are caught up in something deeper than you might have expected and learn something new about the other person. And I have had some great girl time away from the pool, too. I am just so happy to be blessed with some great friendships. The best times are when you walk away feeling that rich connection and you just feel so good about yourself. It feels awesome when you know that friendship is being reciprocated and that you are able to give back to your friend.
  4. New Guy--Yep, we're still dating and I am enjoying that! We have been spending more time together and he makes me smile. It is the little things that tickle me and really start to add up. And it is fun to know that you are being thought of during the moments away. It is not to say that we haven't had a few ups and downs, but I think we make an effort to talk about things openly and honestly. My favorite times are the trips to Home Depot, walking around in his neighborhood of the city--Little Italy, and cooking together. Life still feels like being on an adventure with him (i.e. caught my first trout last weekend) and he has a touch of a romantic in him that I love to observe in his ways.
  5. Fall Classes at Pitt Begin--This time around I will be a full-time student! I am excited and nervous. But when I start to get nervous, I just focus on what a wonderful opportunity I have at hand and to take it one step at a time. I really love what I am studying and grad school is so much more fulfilling, deeper, and richer than undergrad. I think having time and experience from which to draw upon make the classes more meaningful. I just really want to make the most of my experience while I am back at school.
I know there is more and I know there is a greater depth that some of these things deserve. But for now, this is what I have. I also want to thank a friend who gave me some good advise in that I don't have to publish all of my posts and that some can just be for me. I am really glad that I did that because sometimes it is just about getting the thoughts out of your head so that you can look at them better. And in another blog, I carefully read some good advise to be mindful of respecting other people who may appear in my blog so as not to over share about them. Some things need to be kept to myself, both out of respect and for a little mystery.

I wonder what the fall will bring. I have not wanted summer to end, but I think I am in a better place to accept some of the changes and to remind myself to go with the flow.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A True Friend

I have to say that yesterday could have been a terrible day. It was a day with sadness and hurt of the past, but I let myself feel it and then carry on with my day. I did not fight the thoughts that passed in and out of my mind.

But one of the big things that helped most was a phone call that I got from one of my dearest best friends. Karen called me in the morning. I had an essay to write and I thought for a moment of not picking up the phone because I was in a good writing groove and the thoughts of what would have been my ten year anniversary were looming in my head. But then I thought, no, pick up the phone.

As Karen and I were talking, I asked her why she called and she said, "Just because."

She asked how I was feeling and then I stopped. I told her not so good and I asked her, "Did you call because you knew it was my anniversary?"

She said, "Yes, I figured today would be a hard day for you."

With that I teared up and out poured all of what I had been feeling about the day. And I told Karen about it and she just listened. And then I cried some more because it was so incredibly sensitive and insightful for her to call me on this day to check on me. Not many people remember anniversaries, or at least it seems like something more celebrated by the couple. And I would think the dates would easily slip out of some one's mind once the marriage is over. I was so touched that she not only remembered, but that she was also brave and supportive enough to call. It was exactly what I needed--to be heard and to be understood. I didn't even fully realize it until the end of the day. Karen allowed me to say out loud what I had been feeling so that it could escape from my reeling unconscious. It freed me to let the day be whatever it was to be. And actually, it turned out to be a pretty good day.

Thank you, Karen! You were my maid of honor and you certainly have never wavered in our long friendship. You are like a sister to me and know me so very well. You amaze me. You are a dear, sweet friend with a heart as big as the moon! I love you, girl!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago I got married to a man who I thought I would spend the rest of my life. This was the anniversary I wondered about in what we would have done and accomplished in our lives together. I looked forward to making it to ten with a house, children, satisfaction in our careers, rich with family memories, and still being madly in love. I looked forward to that milestone and thinking that we would still be pretty young and being set to enjoy the prime of our lives. Not that I wanted to skip all of the years between, but I could really envision a future with him.

I am so very sad and hurt today, on what would have been our wedding anniversary. I don't want to be with him anymore. But today just really sucks. I am angry that he cheated on me. I am angry that I am thinking about my past with him. The loss of the happy memories makes me feel sad. I feel so mixed up and I would rather just forget about today.

Part of me wants to just curl up in bed and stay there all day. Part of me wants to treat the day as any other. But ten years just seems like too much to ignore. I thought last year would be difficult and it was. But I thought this year might have been easier and it is not. I am tired of hurting. I am tired of this day haunting me. It is too big for me, I want to give up this burden and to be free.

Another Crappy Thing...

I am mad and frustrated. It seems that there can be a misalignment in the progression of my life and how it may be perceived by others in my life. It is kind of like having a distant relative that always seems to think of you as the six year old you and not the adult you. It does not give credit to the time and experiences you have had since being six years old and that you are a different person.

So as I have written before, I have been dating. I may tell some of my family and friends about some of what has happened, but I may not get into a ton of detail. This is particularly true for the guys I dated in the spring. I understood it was new and did not carry expectations that it would go very far. I slowly let it leak out that I was starting to date so that my family and friends could get used to the idea that I was taking this step in my life. It seems so odd to have to let other people get used to the idea of me dating when it was not something that I was jumping into or doing as a way to prove my worth as a woman to myself or anyone. I really believe that when I started dating, I was really ready. And I know this from how I have felt about my experiences. It was not too soon or forced or rushed. I spent a lot of time thinking things through and was patient with myself to wait and to heal.

So it ticks me off when I feel like I am being judged about dating, whether it is too soon or if I would really be ready to see someone more exclusively. It is like some of my family and friends do not trust my own judgment on if I really know what I am doing or if I have any business in a relationship right now. But this isn't about if they are comfortable with me seeing someone exclusive. Guess what? I am ready and I want to enjoy the experience. It makes me mad when someone cannot share in my happiness.

I guess these feelings are amplified because I met this really great guy and I want to introduce him to the important people in my life. Since he is the first guy I have seen exclusively, I think some of my family and friends have been hard on him. And I don't believe it has anything to do with him and that this reaction would be the same if I inserted another guy. But to tell you the truth, by questioning my readiness for dating, they are missing out on a great person in my life. I feel badly for him to have to be the first and be put through this crap.

I should also say that most of my family and long-time friends are out of state. So they do not see me from day-to-day and cannot fully appreciate the changes in me. It is like there is this version of me that is stuck in their mind and I have to wait for them to realize that is not the current me. It is like I have to take these extra steps to prep them before introducing them to my new guy.

I am just thankful that my friends who are local are happy for me. I think they have a better idea of the current me. They have seen me at my lowest, but they have also seen me as I have picked myself back up in real-time. They have trust in me and that is so important. And I would have to say that is true of my BBC friends, too. These ladies have been reading and writing with me every step of the way. I am so grateful for their support, as well.

New guy, I am sorry you are being put through a lot. It is not a reflection on you and it is not fair. But please know that I think you are awesome, full of positive energy, and I am happy that you are sharing in my life and that I get to share in yours.