October 10, 2018

Life is exhausting. I know I’m the first person to notice that, so you’re welcome for mentioning it.

On a happier note, I stood up for myself at work and it went well. I didn’t trip or pee myself or run into a wall. I didn’t stumble (too badly) over my words. I didn’t break down hysterically crying. I DID mention how uncomfortable I was, but that’s pretty much as good/bad as it got. My boss is awesome.

Anyway, that went well and then I got chicken for dinner and fell asleep on the couch so in case you were wondering, I’m a depressed, divorced, 50 year old man who’s about to have his reawakening in a mediocre rom-com.

I hope life is a movie.

Day 122 – Rom com hopes

September 24, 2018

I had a terrible dream. I was desperately begging someone not to do something and they kept doing it. I’ve never felt that desperate before. I was crying and begging and watching him ignore me. I felt powerless and hopeless simultaneously. It was the worst.

But then I woke up like: Oh, thank god, that was just a dream.

But no. The reality is so much worse. I woke my boyfriend up to comfort me because I was completely losing it.

To realize that your real life is worse than your worst nightmare??? Fuck me.

Day 106 – Waking Nightmare

September 11, 2018

11th of September. Grief is universal. I don’t want anyone to feel what I feel (EVER) but I know for sure that some do. They probably feel the same gnawing fear that (more) people they love will get hurt or sick. They probably experience the same worried turning in their stomachs and frequent heart palpitations that come from nowhere. They probably suffer from insomnia. They probably feel like the world is closing in around them, like an elephant is sitting on their chest, like they will drown in bittersweet memories. Or, more accurately, crushingnostalgicsadlove memories. (That’s not a word, apparently. Microsoft wants me to change it to something else.)

That felt oddly dramatic. Pain is dramatic, but I try to make jokes usually to cover it up. Here’s a fact, not a joke: another woman started working at the same time as me, doing the same job. I went into her office today to figure out what she was doing (because I didn’t want to be wasting time but had no idea what to do) and she was doing a combination of looking for a new apartment and Gchatting her old coworkers about how she wasn’t doing anything. So. I’m not the worst employee?!

I sat back at my desk and with no work distractions, the memories came back. I swiveled in my chair to the memories of Thanksgiving meals with family in Oklahoma and being chased by our puppy when we first got him and how supportive he was when we were playing tennis or doing anything, really.

For once in my life, I was INCREDIBLY thankful when a meeting came up.

Day 93 – Thanks for the memories (I’m crying again)

August 22, 2018

I feel like most people are torn between doing something great and world-changing and trying to stay under the radar so they can continue to wear pajamas to the store. IF you are not one of those people, then you must be living a pretty happy life.

Time has come to be that person. Make those differences. Take off the pajamas. (And then put on other clothes.)

As I say this, I’m wearing (dirty) pajamas. Some of this is essentially self-talk to convince myself to stop crying and start doing. It’s easier said than done, but maybe if I send this message out into the universe, I’ll be more likely to do it. Or does that make it less likely? I’ve heard it both ways.

I want to take charge of my life and get going. Like, yesterday. But I let sadness get in the way. I let guilt get in the way. I let invented, invisible obstacles get in the way. I let fear get in the way. I don’t want to fail. I’m a perfectionist. I want to succeed with flying colors. I want to sweep the entire world off its feet. And I DEFINITELY don’t want anyone to say anything mean to me. Ever. So, basically, I can’t leave my house if I never want to fail, if I’m afraid, and if I don’t want criticism. Which is why I’m in my house in pajamas. Makes sense…

Day 73 – Do It

June 17, 2018

I skipped a trip to Vegas partially because I felt bad that I hadn’t seen certain friends of mine for a while. But then they ended up working all day today so… I spent the entire day on my couch. Oh, until I went to Complete Foods to get cookies and brownies saying to myself “I’ll eat one today and one tomorrow,” and then ate two brownies and three cookies and now here we are.

Instead of doing something useful, I watched a documentary, then a romantic comedy, then more Parks and Recreation. And ate junk food. I don’t know how to do this right.

I called my dad for Father’s Day and he complained and talked a lot and then hung up on me when he got out of the car because “I don’t know how to get the dang thing off my car once I’m talking on it.”

The movie I watched was about a woman who is a writer who struggles to get her work seen and find love. But of course, within one hour of watching time and one month of movie time, that all changes. Love, work, friendship, success, career satisfaction, and the meaning of life all get worked out in one movie month and it’s, you know, a little disheartening to realize that if I were just a movie character instead of a real person, my shit would get figured out a whole lot faster.

But for some reason I have to figure out my own shit. What a crock. No one tells you about that. When I was a kid, no one sat me down and said, “hey, when you move out of here, you’ll have to pay for literally everything yourself, you cannot actually do anything you set your mind to (people have to hire you and to get hired, that’s called nepotism), and success is but a construct that everyone else you know will fulfill except you. Oh, and someone will invent Facebook and Instagram and people will start to pretend they’re perfect so you’ll get to contend with that. Good luck.”

I made a pizza, a to-do list, and washed dishes today. I also put on real pants (leggings). Where’s my gold star?

I checked my steps counter on my phone. 1700 steps. That’s not even a mile.

Day Seven – Well, I cried at a clip of someone singing on America’s Got Talent. If that tells you anything…

June 11, 2018

Almost two years have passed. Actually, 23 months and 17 days. I thought that every minute that ticked by, every day I put pants on one leg at a time and buttoned them (they became stretchy pants instead of jeans after a while), every grocery trip to the store where I made it through the aisles of over-priced organic products, I was healing. I was healing one stoplight, one alarm clock that I didn’t snooze, one chocolate chip cookie at a time.

It is complete and utter bullshit. I am not healing. I am ignoring. I am distracting myself. I am lying to myself more convincingly than Paul Ryan lied to his constituents or OJ Simpson lied to the world. So today is the first day – 11:08 PM on June 11, 2018 – that I will face my new reality. I will do it from my couch. In my pajamas. With unbrushed teeth and an overly full stomach.

So what did I do today? Well, I took my dog to the vet and found out that all 5.4 pounds of her are perfectly healthy, except for her teeth, which have to come out. And just like that, at six years old, my adorable, beautiful companion will sit with her tongue hanging out, drooling uncontrollably onto my Goodwill couch.

What else? I applied for jobs. And got rejected. Isn’t rejection just the swift kick in the pants you never need? Then someone reached out to me about a job, and I got excited by the possibility, and then discovered that he wanted to pay me $8 to buy his sunglasses off Amazon and leave him a glowing review in their place – as long as I have Amazon Prime and he won’t have to refund me for shipping. I didn’t even bother to turn that one down. I might need $8 tomorrow. I haven’t checked my account yet (too afraid).

I also moved my friend’s car to the correct side of the street for street sweeping tomorrow. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, neither does anyone else. It’s some lie where they drive giant brooms around and pretend to “clean up the street” (on the second and fourth Mondays of the month – I never know what number Monday it is, to which my parking tickets will attest), though it’s rarely dirty before and never any cleaner after. For the record, I’ve never seen a street sweeper in action. They’re like the male protagonist in a romance novel: good in theory, but doesn’t actually exist.

I ate a banana for lunch. I told myself I was going to go work out and then took a nap. I applied to a few more jobs before giving up and driving around aimlessly. I took a walk around a lake in a maxi dress (long, maidenly dress that’s only appealing on Heidi Klum) and promptly got it covered in dirt and algae (I got too close to the water – “slippery slope” signs with their image of a person sliding down the hill into the water, be damned). I downloaded Abode onto my computer when I realized I couldn’t convert my old resume (that I’d been sending out all day) from Word into a PDF.

 

What makes today unlike any other day? I discovered that I am disappointing the only person who has truly supported and understood me. He’s stood by me for 19 months and hasn’t said anything the whole time about my obvious (to him) struggles. When I tell him over a chicken burger he bought me that I need him to sacrifice more for me, a sadness rolls over his face like a cloud blocking out the sun. Try as I might, I can’t ignore the pained look he’s giving me (I’m REALLY, EXTRAORDINARILY good at ignoring reality).

By bedtime I manage to get past my own hurt and selfishness and really ask him what he sees in me (he doesn’t answer) and what I’ve done to bring this on (he doesn’t answer) and how I can solve it. He says, “Grieve. Just let yourself grieve. You’ve never grieved and I think it’s time. Take a year. Let yourself grieve.”

Take a year… I cry unrestrained at the idea that I haven’t grieved yet and it’s been almost two years. I cry those really unattractive, hiccuping sobs onto his green Bucks and Trucks t-shirt. I wipe my eyes on a pair of pajama shorts I find on the floor that I apparently never put away. Tears fall again immediately onto his bedspread, t-shirt, legs, anywhere and everywhere they can find a surface to land on. I don’t know who the pretty, contained, big green-eyed criers who look sexy when they’re sad are, but fuck them because I look like I got rained on and simultaneously melted on a hot and humid summer day. He takes all this in stride, rubbing my hair the wrong way while he comforts me and creating a tangled mess. I resist the urge to correct him.

I leave the room because I need to process this. He follows me. He hugs me.

“Okay,” I breathe out into his chest.

Okay.

This is the start of that year. One year. To see if I can survive the grieving process.

Just as I am about to post this, I cough so hard I pee my pants.