Realest me. 

As time goes by I find new and different layers of understanding and growth as I navigate this breakup. Like an onion, it has depth and flavor unknown at first glance. So my newest realization is this… I felt like the most powerful, best, realest version of myself when we were together. The self that I had only imagined I could be, was when I was with you. I felt complete. Empowered. Emboldened. Authentic. I didn’t bust out the chameleon in me to be with you. In fact, I felt free to be myself in all aspects of our relationship. I never shied away from being honest, open, and real in all of our interactions. Whether it was a serious situation or an intimate one, I felt like you accepted all of me just as I was. And I’ve never felt that before. Never in my life. Not from my parents. Not from friends. No other relationship has allowed me to feel so free to be me, exactly as I am, flaws and all. I’ve mentioned this in other posts but I also felt fully awake and alive on every level. I could feel my soul soar. I could feel the passion in my soul writhe with anticipation. I could feel my happiness swell and rise in my heart. I felt joy and peace that I’ve never experienced before. I felt strong and steady. I felt ready to take on the world with you in it and beside me. That’s the one big thing I’m gonna miss for myself, all that I felt when we were together. I miss the hell out of you for all that you are. But I miss the hell out of the me that I was when we were together. I miss her. I don’t know if I can recreate that same self without your energy. There was a symbiosis of souls between us that created a magical bond. A fusion of powers. I’ve never seen or experienced anything like it. I  just know it was rare and incredibly special. I am forever grateful to have known that depth of connection with another person.

One day I hope I will learn how to be the best version of myself without needing you. Maybe I can figure out how to harness the energy in the connection we share to fuel a permanent transformation. I don’t know. But until then, I will remember the me I was when we were together. I will remember the feeling of freedom. And I will not settle for a relationship that offers anything less.

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

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Lonely

I don’t know how many people in my life really understand how alone I really am in this world. I don’t talk about it much. I don’t complain about the fact that I am alone. In fact, I often times dismiss the concept because it sucks to face it head on. Who really wants to acknowledge that they are rolling solo in life? Who wants to feel as though people just tolerate your presence out of pity? I don’t, so I don’t talk about it. I think it’s time that I talk about it though. I think it’s time that I acknowledge that there is a vital piece of my existence that is being neglected. See, I like to be with people. I like to interact, make memories, laugh, fuss over the important parts of life and twiddle around with the less important. I like to have get togethers and have fun. Somewhere amidst my survival mode after my divorce, I stopped getting invited places, I stopped going out, I just stopped. I withdrew into my bunker of life and tried my hardest to keep my shit together. Well, I’m seven years post separation/divorce and the invites haven’t started again.

So instead of always expecting to be invited, I’ve started making my own plans and inviting people to come over or go with me. Oddly enough, few people have accepted my invites. Thanksgiving…I was alone. Christmas… I was alone. New Year’s Eve party planned…only two RSVPs out of nearly 40 people invited. Maybe I’m at an age where others have established friend groups or family traditions for these holidays. Me… well, I’m still starting over in many ways. I don’t have many friends in the area and all of my family lives out of state. Few people even travel to see me; I always have to travel to see them. When my parents come to see us they always have another agenda too (no offense, mom…I know you read this). I bought a new house last year, in fact, I closed on my home on New Year’s Eve 2015, so I thought it would be super cool to celebrate both occasions this year: a New Year and the one year anniversary of being in my new home. Only two people have said they can come and more haven’t even taken the time to say no. But worse yet, two of my dearest friends haven’t even come down to see my house much less come celebrate with me. And it hurts my soul deeply.

Bottom line: I’m alone and it sucks.

I’m tired of buying myself dinner on my birthday. I’m tired of pretending like it doesn’t hurt my feelings when people don’t come to visit. I’m tired of acting as though it doesn’t irritate the shit out of me to have to travel to see anyone. I’m tired of being alone and doing all of this life shit on my own all the time. It’s heartbreaking and sad now where it used to be liberating and inspiring. Let me tell you…everything gets old over time. Even the best of situations get irritating and hum-drum.

I know, I know… Some people would kill to be alone and get to call all their own shots all the time. And isn’t the grass so fucking green? Well, I would kill to not have such green grass for just a month or two. Let me come home to talk to an adult who can hug me and help me make dinner. Let me come home to a man who cares about the stupid bugs crawling in my grass and the ant hill next to the house and will get up and go do something about it. Sure I can do all this shit on my own, but I’m tired. I don’t want to do it all by myself anymore. And dammit, I wanna be celebrated like I deserve to be on my birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. I want friends and family to come hang out and watch stupid movies with me. I want to have long nights by the fire pit outside drinking adult beverages until we’re all stupid. I just want to have people in my life who care and can spend time enjoying life. I don’t need fancy vacations or weekend getaways. I just need friends who can sit back and relax.

While, I’m at it though…I also need people to recognize that I am alone. I need people to step the hell up and be present in my life. Maybe I haven’t demanded that before, and maybe I shouldn’t have to, but I am asking now for people to be available. I want my clan, my crew, my “ride or die” people to share life with me. I’m kind of dying inside. I’m losing my human touch. I’m losing myself somewhere in this bubble of crap that only seems to have me in it. I don’t wanna lose myself or lose my connection with others. I fear I know where people get so many psychological disorders from…isolation. A person’s mind can go bat-shit crazy without human interaction.

I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I want friends to enjoy life with and I would love a significant other to share life with. I want my table full, my heart running out of space, and my life rich with good people.

And I definitely don’t want to write anymore posts like this.

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

Over. 

It’s sad when you learn where you truly stand with someone. People who call you friend but aren’t there for you when you need them. People who have a big temper tantrum if you don’t call or drop everything when they need you yet have no consideration for what life may be handing you in your own court. So, you know shit happens, right? Friendships ebb and flow. Relationships change. But after quite a few years of the same steady stream of drama and unrealistic expectations you just have to call bullshit. This isn’t friendship. This is not even a relationship. It’s a phone-a-friend hotline. Calls aren’t returned. Text messages are ignored entirely. Plans are cancelled on a regular basis. Sudden shifts in conversation as though anything you have to share is annoying and inconsequential. I feel like I’ve been understanding and supportive. I have always thought that one day my day would come and my friends would be available to me for whatever I needed in that moment. But that’s not true. I’m a burden. I’m annoying and my problems aren’t tolerable. This does not match my definition of friendship. 

I feel like so many people these days are spending so much time caught up in their own sagas to consider someone else’s situation. It should all be mutual over time. Give and take. Support and be supported. There comes a time though when no matter the excuses or the rationale, the relationship has to end. It doesn’t need to be any big deal. No break up messages needed. No confrontation necessary. Just let it be what it is. And what it is is over. 

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

Adulting.

Do you ever find it interesting when several significant things occur in your life that have great meaning but you have no words to make sense of them? When one thing after another impacts a certain aspect of your life and you simply don’t know why it’s all happening the way it is?  I find myself in this rather peculiar predicament this weekend.

A first date. An awkward encounter. Silence that is deafening and maddening. Desire but a greater need for patience. Friendship but newness that is raw. Being single amongst the married. Any one of these things happening in the course of a day is enough to make the psychologically sound take pause and reflect, but all of these occurring in the course of 36 hours is like declaring psychological warfare on oneself!

I find it hard to consider any one component in a singular way as so many things are interconnected. It’s hard to make heads or tails of anything right now. I know what happened and I know how I reacted to it in the moment but I don’t know if it was the right thing or the wrong, if it was good or bad, if it was devastating or redeeming.

The one thing I can talk about in some coherent way is about being single amongst the married. I went to a wine tasting event this weekend with a dear friend. Her coworker hosted the event at her home and was very inviting. Her home is well decorated and clean, very orderly yet homey. She was delightful. I quickly realized though that the women I was sharing my time with were all happily married women. I was the only single mother in the room. I don’t know much about other single moms and how they handle their friendships with married people but I don’t usually have issue. This weekend however I found myself more socially awkward and feeling as though I was making inappropriate comments. I don’t know if it was because I am in a bit of a drought or if my humor is changing or if I am just not interested in being fake and acting like someone I am not. I don’t know. But weird silences and a change of conversation followed my comments. sigh… Who knows. I like to think I am socially mature and able to discern what is appropriate and what isn’t. Maybe I have work to do in this area. Regardless, I feel weird. I feel like I’m the only one who likes sex and can talk about it without reserve but I haven’t had sex in almost three years and these women have sex on a regular basis. Is it because I’m single that I’m not supposed to discuss sex? I’m so confused by this. Anyway…I will survive. And I will continue being me while remaining single for the foreseeable future.

Since I’m speaking of singledom, I believe this might be a great segue to the first date I had yesterday. So, I met this fella at the gym the other night after a grueling day of teaching, grading, planning, and then open house. It was sometime after 9pm when I went to finally work out and this gentleman made a joke about my peeking at the display on the elliptical machine. (Side note: I have to put mind over matter and not look at the display on cardio machines so I cover them with a towel while I exercise.) Once I finished working out and after a lengthy conversation, he asked for my number. He’s nearly 50. He has a daughter and is recently divorced after being married for more than 20 years. He’s an Air Force veteran and we have similar personalities. It’s all good stuff. Here’s the catch. I’m so not ready for dating anyone. I know I can’t say no, and I can’t wait until I’m ready because if I keep putting off meeting new people I will be 65 years old and single still. And here’s another catch. I’m madly, deeply in love with someone else. And I shouldn’t be. Let me cry for just a minute…

Have you ever loved someone so much it didn’t make any sense? Have you ever wanted to love them for so long and so deeply that nothing else in the world mattered as much as loving them? It doesn’t make any sense at all. In fact, it makes such little sense that I find myself vacillating between hysterical bouts of sadness and glorious dreams of lifelong love that endures all. Uncanny. I want to let him go so that he can be free to live a full happy life and yet I want to hold him so close to me and keep him because I have such hope for how wonderful our life would be together. Our life would be phenomenal. A love that would be the thing of love songs and movies. A love that classic romance novels are cast after. Earth shattering, mountain top singing, glorious love. And my hope for that with this wonderful man is what keeps me from letting him go. I equate my letting him go with losing my hope for an amazing love. I might just be broken forever if I lose that. Which brings me back to my date… as nice as this guy is, he isn’t ready for dating so soon after a serious divorce, he deserves to date someone who is truly available to him when he finds himself ready to do so, and I am not ready to let go of my love. The hard truth is that I may be forced to let go instead of doing so by choice which will definitely be harder. Can you see the stupendous conundrum?!

sigh. breathe. cry. feel. sigh.

I know that somewhere in the universe this all makes sense. I know the gods are giggling at my missteps and reveling in my discontent. In the end, all that matters is that I loved, I lived, I tried, I gave freely, and wished good upon all of God’s creatures. In the meantime, I will handle as many issues as I can with grace and dignity no matter how saddening they may be. My life cannot be a tragedy.

At the end of the day, being an adult is hard. Life isn’t simple but it’s beautiful. Change is uncomfortable but necessary. Love is magical but complicated. And I wouldn’t change any of it one bit.

Hopefully,

The Repressed Peach

Lessons in life

At times in life we have an upswing in the amount of lessons we get to learn. Some people would call it trials and tragedy but I take the opportunity to call it growth. I’m in an upswing. Lessons are coming at me faster than I care to recount and I don’t have a lot of time to process one growth opportunity before I am flung into the next. Writing is my therapy and my stability. I need my fix.

Death sucks.

People die. Death is not prejudice; it will take four month old babies and it will consume the elderly. Death is no longer just for the old of age person who has lived a long, full, lovely life. No. Death can, and will, take anyone at any age for any reason. We are not immune. It’s a terrifying feeling really. It’s unnerving in so many ways because I truly hate death. It makes me angry. But, I can do little to control it. All I can do is love my friends and family as much as I possibly can without the neuroticism of fearing their untimely death, or my own. I am not immune to death.

Life isn’t fair.

Life has its unfair share of upheavals. Some are dramatic, some are annoying, others are blessings in disguise. But at the end of the day, the disruption causes us to lose our proverbial shit for some time. It sucks. Life isn’t fair. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how good of a person you are, shit will happen to you that makes you question “WHY ME??!!” You will scream, utter, sigh, type, or pray those words into existence at some point in time in your life. You won’t have answers. You won’t know why. You will just live through it. Or you won’t. And in which case, refer to my previous point about “Death sucks.” Cars get keyed for some unknown reason. You will eat bad food and have the shits for hours while throwing up in a five gallon bucket. You will have strep throat on a day when you have to give your big speech. It will rain on your wedding day. Plans will be scratched and friends will fall short of your expectations. Par for the course? Well, maybe, but not fun any way you slice it. Regardless of any redeeming characteristics you think you might have, life will strike you between your eyes and leave you spinning. And you won’t even see it coming.

Adults are asses.

I don’t care who you are, we all know someone who is an “adult” who is the biggest wimp you ever did see and they want the world to forgive them for being an ass all the time. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Grow the hell up and behave. You’re an adult now. You don’t get to cry in your Wheaties for some stupid bullshit that you have no control over. You don’t get to skip out on work because you’re being too big of a wuss to put your big girl panties on. You don’t get to treat kids badly because you can’t control your mouth. You don’t get to get away with being an asshole just because your mom and dad aren’t around to ground your ass or put a bar of soap in your mouth for being disrespectful to your elders or cursing around children. Nope. Not around me. Just don’t do it. We are all grown. I am now 36 years old and I refuse to be put in the same category as some of my peers because they are the biggest assholes the adult world ever encountered. Refer to points above and then: Stop being asses!

Being real is dope.

I cannot say enough about the person who is real beyond real and asks no apologies. I strive to be this person. I fall short all the time because I care too much but I truly work on being as real as possible without being an ass. I haven’t perfected my craft yet, but I am edging closer and closer!! There is so much liberty in honesty. You don’t have to second guess yourself or worry about how another person feels in relation to your thought/opinion. You get to just own your own feelings and reactions and defend them in the face of question when you’re blissfully authentic. I’m not a fan of fake. I’m not a fan of telling you what you want to hear because you’re too much of an ass as an adult to handle the God’s honest truth about your piss poor decision making skills because you haven’t matured past the age of 13! Grow the hell up! And brace yourself for the damn truth. You may not want to hear it, but someone has to tell you when you’re making shitty decisions if you haven’t figured it out for yourself. And I’m guessing that if you’re bellyaching about the truth being told then you’re one who would bitch about your friends not being there for you when you need them the most. Honestly, they are there for you because they are holding you to a higher standard than you set for yourself. So man up…woman up…person up…adult up…whatever pronoun you prefer to go by! Just get up! Do better. Be more. Stop being a wuss. Be real.

I have so much more I could say, but nearly everything else falls into one of the four main points above. Who wants a blabber mouth or enjoys redundancy? Me neither. So…our takeaway from the evening: death sucks and sometimes life isn’t much better but if we’re adults about it and we are authentic, then we might be able to salvage some precious time together. Maybe, it will all be worthwhile if we can find the right balance.

Namaste.

The Repressed Peach

Purge Part I

Random ideas, thoughts, emotions are running through my mind. I can’t really find a single stream of consistency or reason, but I feel full to the brim. The following is my purge.

Recalcitrance. What does that word mean?

The guy looking at me as I walk into my local Starbucks… upon what do you gaze?

Dropping my tithe check into the box at church. The resulting goosebumps and spiritual shivers that run through me. Obedience to God’s word and hoping that the act of faith doesn’t come back to me empty or void. Blessings will surely follow, right?

The tears blazing my cheeks as they singe the soft fuzz of peachy flesh while I remember a dear friend whom I left words unsaid. A song that gripped my heart and made me recount our last conversation and the soon to follow funeral.

The unexpected yet warm grip of the baby hand that wraps around my finger while we pray and sing our way out of church.

The rain pattering lightly upon the windshield of my car as I make my way to solitude among the populace to think, but I can’t be alone and I need the distraction of people while I hone my thoughts. Home is safe and comfort but I need space and the weight of the world to suss out all this energy.

The desire to hold and lift myself upon a person who cannot be available to me.

The desire for change yet knowing the change isn’t mine to dictate. I’m leaving so much to God’s capable hands and I know it is all best placed there. Career, home, car, relationships; all possible areas for change yet nothing that can be done immediately.

My God-son’s tiny body tucked warmly into the cradle of my arm nestled against my tummy and snoozing so peacefully.

A long conversation with a teenager who is finding his way in a confusing world but can’t find hope or pride inside himself and looks outside to feel fulfilled. The tears and weight of his confusion settle inside my heart and I feel burdened with much more to do in this world.

I sit and watch cars pass by the windows of the urban structure and all I want to see is that one car, that one person, that one world that I wish I could step into and be part of. But then I feel sad and unworthy because I feel like I have so little to offer.

Faith, family, friends are what matter to me most. I want those things to offer my partner in life yet when I find that person I fear I won’t have all that to give. I am alone in this big city. Yet even as I type, I remember my son’s birthday party and I question the validity of this fear.

Friendships are hard to make and even harder to keep. People come from so many different backgrounds and value systems which makes trusting people really hard to do. Am I too principled in my reasoning and logic? People are interesting and the life of the world, but so many ugly things happen in the world. I feel the need to protect myself and my boy.

Energy. Energy between two people is confounding. There is a transfer of electrical energy that is palpable. Connections are made. Connections are questioned. Is it sexual? Is it empathy? Is it spiritual? Where does the energy go? When I touch, I pray for some good energy to be passed from me to them. I pray for my energy to go forward and multiply within and throughout. I pray for goodness to come of the energy I share. Health, healing, wisdom, love, bravery, triumph, happiness; I pray for these things to come of my touch.

Why do I like to give so much of myself?

So much thinking and so much feeling happening all at the same time. I know tears are near, I feel the weight growing behind my eyes. I am comfortable crying. It’s a cleansing of the soul and all the energy misspent and unused. It’s my emotional form of aerobic activity…burn the toxins, clear the mind, achieve homeostasis.

Expressly,

The Repressed Peach

This, too, shall pass

Waves of grief wash over me after a simple thought enters my mind. I’m sitting in church, the safest of places, the warmest of warm, the haven for hope when suddenly a single thought snares my mind and slips through my facade. Now I’m crying. To the people close by, I am crying because the hymn we are singing strikes a chord with me. Not the case today though. I’m crying because a memory of my friend and co-worker Milyse entered my mind and I unravelled. I smiled carefully to myself as I felt the thought blossom and I thought I may be able to just think the thought and let it go. But that song, that song was my undoing. And then the pastor’s message. The pastor’s message was about death and the coming of the Lord. The message started last weekend when we started reading John, chapter 11 and we finished it today. I let the tears flow. I didn’t stop them. I bowed my head and stopping singing to let the words and love of God’s hymn wash over and through me. I stayed in that moment for the remainder of the song just to be in the present. I just needed to accept my grief and be right where I was in order to feel like I could move on. I stopped crying for brief moments until I felt Milyse’ spirit with me. Then the waves came crashing through me again. It was a good cry; the therapeutic kind that just comes from the center of your soul. I’m glad I can cry. I’m glad I listen to my heart. I’m grateful I have a church home where people will hug me and console me without trying to stymie the tears. I’m thankful for the connections I make with them as I cry and they hug me because they have a great way of following up with me in future weeks to see that I am well. I am so grateful.

We use so many sayings in society that are meant to ease the pain of one’s grief; “This too shall pass”, “I’m so sorry for your loss”, “Don’t dwell on it, just be grateful it was a peaceful death”, “They lived a good long, happy life”, “They aren’t in pain anymore”, “They’ve ascended to glory”, etc. In reality, those sayings are just said because we don’t know what else to say. We don’t talk about death at all, we just try to pacify the pain. But damn it, I want to talk about it! I want to talk about all the aspects of death that transcend my consciousness. I want to talk about how pissed off I am that the strong woman Milyse was is now relegated to a pile of sad, lonely ashes in a box tucked away inside a stone monument at a cemetery. I want to talk about the fact that Milyse was only 52 and died far too soon for my liking and that I am angry she won’t see another sunrise or coach another basketball game. I want to holler, scream, and yell about how angry I am at myself for not telling her how I felt about her while she was alive and that all I have is hope that she hears my cries in heaven. I want to talk about these aspects with people who can handle listening to the tough stuff. I am not a sissy about these things. I face them head on and get messy with it! I want to talk about the human side of death and not so much about the spiritual. Some may argue that this is where I go wrong and why I can’t heal faster from the number of people who have died in the last two years, but I feel like I need to just grab hold of this death concept and shake it until all the plinko chips fall into place for me. I absolutely despise death. I hate it. I fear it. I tremble at it. I know it’s a fact of life, but not one I am quick to accept. My spiritual self knows where I will go once I’m called home, but I am so far from ready for that. I have so much left that I want to do. So much life I want to live. So many dreams I want to see come to fruition. A son who I want to see graduate high school, go to college, fulfill his dreams, and become the man God intends him to be. I want to get married again one day and feel the warmth of love in my heart. I want so much. Yet I feel so fragile. All these great people who lived so wonderfully and loved the Lord have left the earth and left their dreams behind. They left their hopes, dreams, and loved ones behind. Not like it was their choice or anything…surely they wouldn’t have chosen to leave so soon if they’d had their way, but nonetheless, one moment here, the next moment ascended to glory. What saves me from this same fate? Absolutely nothing. I am not in control of this part of life and maybe that is what scares the shit out of me. As our pastor said today, “each breath you take, every heartbeat is only by permission of the Lord your God.” Life is so fragile. Too fragile. Yet, we are asked to live life fully. We can find inspirational quotes and wall hangings in any department store that speak to this, “Live the life you have imagined”, “Live, Love, Laugh”, and more. I want to live fully and I intend to do just that but in the meantime (ironically enough) I need to get over this being sad part of my life. Those who know me would likely say that I am the eternal optimist. I see the silver lining in all situations and I am a beacon of hope in the darkest of storms. But in my storms, in my dark times, who is my beacon? Who is my rock, upon whom shall I rest? Where shall I find hope when my hope is tattered and torn to itty bits? I don’t know. I don’t have this answer. If I did I would likely feel a lot better. But, in my current state, I have my God. And only my God. Now, in theory, this is fantastic. I have a strong, wise, omnipotent God who loves me and has died for me and my sins so that I can find my place in heaven alongside God. My spiritual self is comforted in this knowledge. My human side, the side which could use a strong hug and warm laugh shared with people who love and adore me, doesn’t feel so much comfort quite yet. I need. And I’m not a needer. I am a giver. The people in my life probably don’t understand how much I need right now. They don’t understand because this isn’t my usual modus operandi. I am the giver. I am the healer. I am the therapist. I am not the needer. Please know something, my lovelies, please know I need too. I am just as human as you when pain gets the best of me. I need phone calls and hugs and love even though I seem strong. Don’t placate me and don’t dismiss me. My sadness, when I feel it, is heavy and burdensome. I am not an easy person to have a conversation with because I go places people don’t like to go. But be brave for me. Let’s go deep and get to the root of all things so I can heal. Let’s dig right down to the heart of the matter and suss out all the messy details together. And I promise, if you go there with me, I will bring you back safe and sound. I just need to travel with a person to the edges of my understanding. I need to contemplate all the many wonders of a subject and explore the unturned stones usually more than once. Sometimes I don’t trust my travels alone. I need company and another brain to go with me as a compass for the navigation. Traveling at night is scary if you don’t know where you’re going or where you’ll end up. It’s called the buddy system for a reason.

I’m just not good at this part of life — accepting death. It’s so contrary to all that I am and all that I believe in. Hysterical in some ways, right? Sounds foolish to me as I sit here and type it while I shake my head and grin sheepishly. I know better, yet here I am, in an existential dilemma because people I care about have died and I didn’t give them permission to do so. God, I’m shaking my head at you, but I’m praying for your patience with me while I get right about this. Loved ones, be present for me. Be with me as I travel this road of uncertainty and too many questions. Let me be the needer during this time and you take your turn in giving. I don’t ever ask for it, but just this once, will you try to give back to me? I need strength to be restored to me. If all you have to give is prayer, I will be grateful. If you have more, I will be indebted.

This, too, shall pass.

Mournfully,

The Repressed Peach