Thursday, May 21, 2015

One Year Lease

On March 27th, I moved out of the family home. The home where we brought our daughter to from the hospital when she was born, the one I painted multiple times, the one I tried to decorate, the one I cooked many Christmas cookies in, welcomed family and friends, planted flowers, celebrated birthdays and hanged pictures in. Going back to the house since then has been real tough. If I have to spend a significant amount of time there, I spin into a dark hole that is difficult to climb out of. I just cry and cry.  Luckily I have some wonderful people in my life that I can just text and help me climb my way back out. It will get easier over time.
Image result for funny farm
This brings us to my apartment. Two bed, one bath, eat in kitchen and a living room. It’s in an old apartment in an old neighborhood. It’s on a dead end street with a bunch of cute old houses.  To turn left from my street, I have to cross a busy four lane road.  There’s a hospital one block away so we hear every ambulance that drives up. We also live a block away from the fire department in the other direction, so we hear them too. There’s some asshole that honks every morning at 6am as he turns the corner (makes me feel like Andy Farmer and the crazy mail man in Funny Farm).  The neighbors to our left have like 6 dogs that although we’ve lived here 2 months, all bark at us in a frenzy even though they see us every fucking day.  They bark at everything. They bark at the wind.

This is an old house that was built in the 40s and divided into a duplex in the 70s.  Hard wood floors, an adorable (non-functioning) fireplace and mantle, all original windows and a somewhat shitty kitchen. When I looked at the apartment the first time, it had this big awkward island that the owner agreed to have some contractor re-do because it took over the whole damn kitchen. But the counters they put in were put together with bits of glue and cardboard. So much nickle and dime shit up in here. But they put in some new kitchen flooring to replace the shitty old shiny laminate. Of course, it’s super white and textured so it shows all the dirt.  This place was described as having “central air”, but of course it doesn’t push all the way to the second floor. Let’s just say I have a new appreciation for window AC units. 

This place also has a basement! It leaks when it rains. Like little rivers from all corners, straight to the sump pump. Also thankful for sump pumps! Every bug you could imagine lives down there and earlier this week I saw a little garden snake on the stairs. The basement is where the washer/dryer hook ups are.  We had to take out one of the counters to get them through the wonderfully designed kitchen and to the door to the basement. I’m hiring movers when we leave this bitch.

All of this aside, I have made it really homey for me and the Monkey.  She and I painted her room pepto pink, hanged curtains and pics and just jazzed her room up. I’ve not done much with my room but hang some photos. I decided not to paint over the beige walls. They remind me of sand at the beach and go well with my art. Also, I’m tired of painting. Did I mention I painted the entire first floor? I did and it’s a fabulous shade of light grey that really made everything feel fresh.

I’m good with calling this place home-sweet-home…for one year. One. Year.

Molly out. 

Christmas Was a Disaster...And Other Thoughts

Christmas. My sister, my girlfriend, my family, we all had a hard time getting in the mood this year for Christmas. I watched Christmas movies, I cranked up the tunes way too early for social acceptance, drove around the neighborhood with my daughter to look at lights, made cookies galore, wrapped presents, trimmed the tree.  Just...all the things. But for some reason, this year didn't really "feel" like Christmas. 
Here's an old post from December I forgot about. Cheers!
Image result for Nurse from Christmas in ConnecticutI'm a nurse, the lowest on the day-shift totem pole, so of course I had to work Christmas Eve. I won't complain about it too much, many co-workers had to work 24-26th.  I mean, come on. However, my schedule meant I had to work 22-24 and finish all the baking and wrapping and packing after working all day. Then drive to WV on Christmas day, where the running began and didn't stop until Monkey and I ran out the door to head home on Sunday. We were both so relieved. Sad and relieved. 

Upon arrival, we learned that Auntie's brand new oven caught on fire when she spilled chex mix in the bottom.  That meant mom, dad and sister had to prepare and schlep food to her house Christmas night. But dinner was divine and the company grand, despite the sweaty, hot, new kitchen only half of us could fit in. 

The real ass kicker of the visit was my cousins and their babies. When we were all kids, we all could fit in granny's house with room to play. But all the cousins are married with multiple babies. Screaming, ignored babies and one whiny, ignored granny. Sitting in that house two nights in a night two we (myself, sister and parents) were all so emotionally and physically exhausted we could hardly talk. Monkey and her cousins had a total blast and I'm so happy they got some play time together. But the reality is that we can't ever do that again. And my cousins just seemed to be oblivious to what we were experiencing. I suppose people see what they want to see. Hell, we will probably just do it again next year. Stay tuned for repeat bitching next Christmas, folks! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

It takes courage to be happy.

When I look back at old posts, I see a search for joy. If we can just get to ______, that's when things will get better. Once I finish my degree, things will get easier. When the monkey is out of daycare, meaning we don't have to pay for it anymore, that's when we can relax. If we move to North Carolina, life will make sense. Vacation. Christmas cookies. Goals.

All of those things are great, don't get me wrong. They are all turning points. Some of them have come and gone. I completed my degree and have the job I want. I really love my job. Monkey is out of preschool and is gearing up for Kindergarten ($700 dollars back in my pocket, BTW). We went on vacation. Christmases have come and gone. But even with all of these hallmarks, one important thing didn't ever get even remotely better: my marriage. After many years of not being happy, after awhile I figured that it was what it was always going to be. I figured everyone's marriage was like that at some point.  Eventually I came out of the fog of school and of orientation and started feeling all that depression I've been distracting myself from with said school and new job for 5 years. Then something happened that kicked my ass even harder.

I fell in love.

With a girl.

I felt all the things I've been wondering for years if I'd ever feel, emotional and physical. It was exciting and wonderful. I was honest with my husband and asked for the freedom to explore. It was granted under the agreement that it not end our marriage. She and I agreed that we would continue this wonderful thing as long as we could with no expectation of anything long term. It went on. I didn't want it to end. Love grew. For a good month or two I didn't have an appetite and slept way more than I needed.  My husband and I would touch base once in a while about where I was with everything and I'd say something reassuring. He and I would go on dates, the same quiet dates we'd been going on for years and years. Then we'd come home, he to the computer, me to the TV. I was a mess the whole time. Just so depressed, crying at work or in bed at night unable to sleep, didn't eat much, unsure of what to do. The idea of ending our marriage, our partnership, was completely overwhelming. However, I was completely unwilling to end my other relationship because it was fulfilling. I didn't think I'd be able to not live with him, leave this house, to upset my daughters world so much. What would that do to her? You know, I'd better stay in this unhappy marriage for her. So many people do that. Being so unhappy kept me from being really present and patient with her. He and I finally came to the conclusion that we needed to end our marriage. It sucked so hard. It sucks now. Its a scary thing being quiet homebodies, about to re-enter the world. But we keep talking about it, what we would like it to look like, living arrangements, how to stay a family. We are both much more at peace the idea of it now. We get along really well, like old friends. We don't want it to be an ugly, hateful thing. We still love each other, after all. Even in divorce, we are still in this thing together.

Telling the family, his and mine, was tough. I basically had to come out of the closet after being married for 10 years. My parents were really supportive. My father said "it takes courage to be happy." He couldn't be more right. Seeing our strained relationship through their eyes has been really enlightening.  His parents are taking it hard, but love me anywho. We know both sides will be there for us and Monkey and that is a relief. After dealing with it solo for 6 months, its a relief to have some support on both sides.  I've yet to tell my friends, the ones that matter. They might read this before I tell them, but I hope they forgive me. We will talk eventually.

I have a calm about me now. The tears have eased up. Monkey and I are spending lots of time together. More presence, patience and fun. Less stress and frustration. I'm starting to look at little houses to rent. I'm spending time with my Lady. I don't have to continue an endless journey to find or make joy anymore.  Its right here. It was always right here.

With courage,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Partner in Crime

Jesse and Frank
When it comes to making big family decisions and you have a life partner, you work together with said partner. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don't. The major decision that is weighing heavy on my heart right now is whether or not to have a second baby. I'm ready. My husband is very reluctant due to our current financial situation. We have a credit card to pay off and I have student loans to figure out and start paying down. I'm happy to pay down the credit card. The student loans are another story. I'm working on finding government student loan forgiveness programs and utilizing tuition reimbursement at work. Basically, I'm giving it 6 months to a year to make a major dent in those things by working overtime twice a month. That should give me reasonable ability to make large payments.  But in the mean time I'm pretty heart broken about it. Well, less heart broken, more major depression. Time is ticking away faster than I want. The age gap between my first and my second (if we get there) is getting wider and wider. This reality adds to the stress of the whole thing. What I know in my heart of hearts is that my kid needs a partner in crime and the only way to give her one for life is through a sibling. Now, I just have to work toward making it happen.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Garbage Tale

You see, when you have a kid, you have (well, most people) have a fundamental shift in how they see the world. You basically go from "I wonder what I'll do with all my free time this afternoon after work. I wonder how I"ll feel about it. Ohhh, I'm going to stop at the library and piddle around and maybe I'll try a new recipe and have a drink...or maybe I'll work out for 2 hours." to someone who thinks, mostly, about nothing other than how to protect and cultivate that child in to someone who has a healthy level of happiness and can go out and handle the world without becoming an embittered cynic. You have to be clear with people, lots of people, about what rules are in place when dealing with your kid and about the barriers you have set in place. These people could range from close family members to teachers to friends and neighbors. Then you have to enforce those rules and barriers, regardless of how those things make anyone of those people feel. That last part is the hardest part for me as a parent. I don't like confrontation, especially with family members. I also don't like to hurt people and sometimes during confrontation, I just fucking blow it. I've done it with my sister in the past and now I've done it with my sister in law.  The words don't come out right and they come at me swinging and I can't take it just is a horrible situation. Let me explain it.

My husband confronted my sister in law about how we aren't yet comfortable with Lilly hanging out with her new boyfriend. We just aren't ready. We have only been in the room with this guy twice. I'm not saying that my husband had this conversation to the best of his ability. Naturally, it came out alllllll wrong. My SIL has translated this in to "We don't trust you. We think you have poor judgement about people. You are a horrible person who dates potential pedophiles." She thinks that because she undoubtedly trusts this guy that she's been dating for 6 weeks that we should automatically trust him too. But you see, when my kid is involved, I don't have to trust anyone. Anyone. Its not about her, its about my setting some clear boundaries.
Now here's the garbage part. We were desperate for a baby sitter this weekend. Her boyfriend is in town, which I didn't know. So Derek asked her to watch Lilly on Saturday for a few hours while I slept and he went and made a video. I wasn't aware until a few days ago that she was planning on taking him, the boyfriend, along. She basically said that he goes or she's unavailable. And so of course, he said he wasn't happy but he didn't feel he had a choice.  I would have asked if she could leave him at the apartment for a few hours, but that didn't happen until the pinnacle of our horrible conversation on the phone today. So our willingness to go along with it this one time kind of reneged the whole premise of our concern. Does that make sense? I agree. Its stupid. In the end, after much ado, tears, compromise and some really horrible texts, we cancelled. Derek changed the time of his gig (imagine the horrible situation that could have saved us). So, we're taking a little break from all of this. Putting some time and distance between us might help us heal. My fear is that we have irrevocably ruined our relationship with her. But hopefully, like with my sister, it'll get better.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

30 Helens Agree, Fall is Awesome

Who doesn't love fall?  Fall is refreshing and full of sun, blue skies and cool air. For all my pals on FB, fall = stuff in crock pots, pumpkin scented candles, and some fancy drinks at Starschmucks.  For me, Fall = The Pretenders blasted loud in my car with the windows down, Kids in the Hall, pumpkins in the front yard and being outside. It also means my kids birthday, she was born on a hot fall day 5 years ago today. Despite my husbands insisting there was 0% chance she'd be a redhead like her mama, out she came with a wisp of red hair and lots of attitude. She has been rocking my world ever since.

Becoming a parent has been difficult on many different levels. Its been hard on my bank account, hard on my marriage, resulted in a desire for a career change and, subsequently, the need for a new degree. I wanted to do something she could be proud of. The path I was on was not leading toward growth, career opportunities or job satisfaction. I didn't want her to see me at 50, bitter, in the same dead end job. So off I went, back to college. I can honestly say I did it for myself and for her. I love this job so much. It was the right move. And when its time to do something different, there will be plenty of options: Educator, Administrator, Management. My daughter will get to see me move into different jobs, utilize my brain, continue my education and hopefully make a difference.

Almost all of the women in my family are career women. My mom's mother, Mary, went off to Business School after high school in the 40s. She worked, helping to support her family, until she got married.  When her kids were small, my grandfather got cancer in his leg and had to have it removed. For a period of time, his income as a salesman stopped and my grandmother went right back to work. Her mother and aunt were educated and were teachers. My mother is a nurse. My aunts have careers in law, IT, education and banking.  My dads mother raised 5 kids and did hair on the side. If you look at my family tree, on both sides, the farther out you go on both sides, the more clear it is = I come from a long line of career minded women.

Of course being a parent with a career has certain sacrifices and guilt involved. And I think that guilt element is more specific to women. Men were never told they were supposed to be home with the kids, not out trying to be like a man. But even now, we all still have to work past that bullshit. I may not get to spend every day, all day with my child, but the time we do spend together is full of love...usually. And now that I have school behind me, I can enjoy my kid a lot more and with less stress on my shoulders for the first time in 4 years. Hopefully she doesn't remember my absence too much, just the good together times.

Happy Fall, y'all.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rock n Roll Nurse

If I had a million bucks, I'd create a Rock N' Roll school for kids and adults where they could come and play instruments in sound proof rooms, take classes, attend panels and special lectures by industry people and educators. We would have a room filled with records, record players with head phones and big comfortable chairs.  It would be fun.  It would cost almost nothing to be there. I could still be a nurse. Please give me a million dollars.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Musical Time Travel

When it comes to music, I tend to find something I really like and then over do it for a while. Then I stop listening to that for a few years because I can no longer stand it. I've burnt my self out on it. For example, in high school, I was in deep for U2.  I was madly in love. I had every album. I listened to every album.  They could do no wrong. Then I went to college. I would walk by myself all over campus in the middle of the night with my diskman (a giant contraption by today's standards) listening over and over again to that Best of the B-Sides album. However, one day, I could listen no more. That lasted until about this year, which was 1999-2013, just to help you with the math. I can finally, in small doses, listen to my once favorite band. The band that changed the trajectory of my life. The band that lead me to this place, right here and now. Their music takes me back to the 13 year old girl, stowed away in her room, listening to Achtung Baby!, and for the first time having a tearful reaction to a song, Wild Horses. I knew right then and there that I had to do something music related. 

Today I was at the library and came across a Fiest album. Fiest is someone I was listening to the year my baby was born. When I put the CD in my car and the music came on, it took me back immediately. It took me back to that dreamy young woman, driving to Cincinnati to look for cool nursery decorations at antique malls and Old Time Pottery. A girl dreaming of what it would be like to finally be a mother. It also hit home just how much I want a second baby. I have an amazing child, so perfect and full of love,  and she deserves to have a life that includes a sibling. Someone to roll her eyes with when her mom and dad are not being cool and someone to help make important decisions with regarding our end of life care. She needs it. I see it more and more every day. She asks for it once in a while. One way or another, I am going to make it happen for my girl. Now, I just have to talk my old man into it.

Do you experience musical time travel? Tell me all about it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I don't know what to call this post.

It's been a while. How ya been? Howsyamama?

Lets catch up. The last time we met I had sworn off the internet. I had nothing left to say. I was about to enter my final and most difficult year of nursing school. I was coming down from a somewhat let-down vacation. I was flat broke. You know, life stuff.

Well, I graduated from nursing school in May and successfully passed the NCLEX.  Not long after that I got the job I wanted, a great new grad nursing position in oncology at a highly respected cancer center. I can't tell you much about being a nurse and that's OK. What I can tell you is that nursing is fucking hard. Every nurse I've ever met says that first year of nursing is hell. I usually don't sleep much the night before a shift because I am anxious about it. I am anxious about the level of stress involved, about having to make decisions and trying to keep incredibly immune suppressed people on the right side of the teeter-totter. It is a tough job, but it is what I am supposed to do and my heart knows it. It knows it hard.

As far as all that other shit goes, here's the sweet and skinny version. I still hate facebook, but its where everyone I know and love is. Its annoying, but I can see baby pictures and say Happy Birthday and know what in the hell is happening in peoples lives. I've shut down tumbler and retired from podcasting.  Twitter is happening, but only a personal account, nothing associated with this blog. I just want to continue to try to unfold myself from these stressful years.  I wanna do shit like sleep and go to the library.  I mean, I've lived in this town for 7 years and I've not even been to a horse race, let alone the Kentucky Derby. Hell, I've not even been to a Derby party. It is time to channel my inner whatevers and live like a whatever. 

Now, about this blog. In the end, I need an outlet to get out some of these things on my chest and just do some fun writing. There's no place I'd rather do that very thing that right here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Same Ocean, Different Beach

We had a great week at Edisto Beach.  Its a sweet little island in South Carolina.  No hustle and bustle, just families, beach houses and ocean. The actual beach sucked because the beach it self was super short, meaning we were cramped with everyone else on the beach, and the sand was super saturated and shell-covered as hell, resulting no non-optimal beach strolling conditions.  But it had a great bike path all the way around the island and tons of trees and foliage, especially those big cypress trees with the hanging moss.  I took pics on the old Canon A-1, keeping my fingers crossed that they turned out alright.  The food was amazing, but I did not get enough boiled peanuts (my own damn fault).

We had a rainy yet beautiful drive back to Kentucky.  Whats not to love about driving through the Smokey Mountains?  You can't turn around and not see lush green jutting toward the sky. One of these days, we are just going there to vacation. As is expected, I had a  little time to reflect and get some perspective.  Vacation is my new years as far as those things go.  The result is that I feel like I'm too tied into the internet.  I really don't know what to do with myself here anymore.  I know I have some things I want to journal and say but I don't think it makes sense to do it so publicly.  I have even started the process of eliminating myself from Facebook, a challenge that I'm sure just about anyone can relate to. Facebook is something I used to revel in, but I don't get anything out of it but that constant pull to see if anyone sees me.  People just post random shit that I couldn't care less about.  I have over 200 friends, but I only want to hear from about 30 of them.  I know damn well that I could hide everyone, but there's still the issue of my personal damn business out there that makes me nuts, along with the pull of not being present in the world and the ability to just fucking looking up and out once in a while.  All I see when I walk around any public place is people looking down at the their screens and for what purpose? 

When I was a kid on vacation, some of the best parts of the trip were listing to my walkman/discman, reading a book and just looking out the window at the scenery. We drove through mountains, big cities, long bridges and rural beach towns to get to our vacation spots.  My parents took me to various spots on the Outer Banks like Kill Devil Hills to fly kites and for my dad to fly over the dunes and jet ski the sound.  And there's also Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Avon, Duck, Sunset Beach and Pawleys Island, SC.  They are all treasured memories, even the bad parts.  I'm lucky to have had such wonderfully adventurous parents.  They gave me a world that filled my imagination, dreams that are all still fresh in my brain but may be slipping away to make room for all the junk I have been filling it with via the internet.

The result of all of this pondering: I'm pulling out for now.  I don't think I add anything of use to anyone here on this blog for the time being.  At the end of this week, if I haven't changed my mind, I'm going to click the "un-publish" button in blogger.  I'm also going to turn off everything else as well: my old blog Funny Farm, Facebook, tumblr, LinkedIn, podcastin stuff and Twitter. 

I wonder how much brain power and time I'm giving myself.  Maybe that'll be my first post on the next chapter of this or a new blog. In the mean time, put your phone down and look up once in a while, would ya?

Until we meet again, 
Live long and prosper,