Turning the Page

Dear 2014:

I am ready for you to go. Not kidding. After the happiness, contentment and sense of belonging that I felt throughout 2013, you were quite the shock to the system. Oh, I know for a lot of folks you were a long awaited season of breakthroughs and blessings: pregnancies, marriages, new jobs/better jobs, new homes, pure happiness, new loves, and all things great and wonderful. Unfortunately, I am not among those people…I got the sucky end of the spectrum. Not saying you sucked all the time, but you sucked hard enough and often enough, I really felt like I could not get a break.

You began with the revelation that Prince Charming was a liar, a cheater and leading a double life. I fought against that for at least the first 6 weeks of our time together and to this day, will still find reasons and justifications for the man’s behavior, mainly because 2013 showed me that someone who I fell for could and would actually want to fall for me. But, nooo…2014 was not having that…you were determined to show me who the man really was…forget what 2013 presented to me, I had to see and know who he ended being. Who he really was.

And you weren’t done there…heartbreak wasn’t enough and apparently it is never too early to add insult to injury. During my last argument with Prince Charming (hell, our last give and take communication) you had to announce Dottie’s arrival in a most unceremonious way, and you did so with perfect timing to show me just how toxic PC was to me….I still say (as do some Panel members) that the man caused me to have a stroke. So now in addition to heartbreak, I have to deal with and manage an illness.

So let’s see: you have so far wreaked havoc in my personal life and with my physical/medical…why not move on to the professional? You brought the Sherriff to town and I knew when I saw him he was going to be a game-changer…and he was. Granted, the man was not all bad…he dealt with my convoluted sense of time, he overlooked my outbursts and paid no attention to the Incident but the man could not deal with my straight shooting and while I could put up with his indifference (towards me at least) and sneakiness, I couldn’t let his passive aggressive insinuations about my ability to do my job and do it well pass by. We parted ways; I would like to think with grace and friendliness but he wasn’t there when he pushed my exit date up four days.

But, you replaced the financial aspect of an assignment rather quickly and while I was bored to death without my friends/team and being able to interact with people on a constant basis I was able to pay bills and shop. Until it went away at the worst possible moment (still not angry about that) and I found myself wasting my time with recruiters whose job I could do better than they could. And I wasn’t too worried because I had a safety net…until you went and found a pair of scissors to cut strategic holes in it and had me scrambling for a lifeboat

I am dubbing you the Year of Lessons Learned because that it was what you were. It is as if all the previous years that sucked got together and decided that 2014 would be the Year I learned, and if it had to be the hard way, so be it. It has been a hard, tough and sucky time with you. You have made me cry and too many times I wanted to just give up completely. Not saying I wanted to kill myself but I no longer wanted to be here…because of you. 2014, you continuously threw hard lessons at me BUT this year has changed who I am inside and out. And when I think back on it, deeply and objectively…maybe I don’t want you to leave.

Because of you, I have confidence and self-esteem back; I can look at the men I was ready to commit myself mind, body and soul to and see that they weren’t for me. They weren’t strong enough, decisive enough and did not have the character I thought they did. I see it is not me and never was me…their choices (a big tittied hooker and a high mileage border jumper) show me what they are capable of handling….and they way they are treating them/being treated by them tells me even more.

Because of 2014, I know better how to conduct myself with decorum, discretion and professionalism in an office…okay, that is a lie but I do know better how to deal with management. I know that in my safety net I had a blessing and a gift that I did not know how to respect and use to my advantage (in a positive way) and because of Dottie, I am learning more and more every day to both appreciate and respect my body and what I put into it.

Because of 2014, I am losing weight and gaining self everythings; I am seeing and learning the woman I am becoming…the woman I was meant to be all along. Strong, sexy and classy. A woman who is tired of settling for less than and the transient when it comes to men; a woman who wants and needs to be recognized for her hard work and efforts…I don’t mind being passed over but don’t belittle me in the process. A woman who has her own and actually wants to be responsible for it. A woman ready to take control of her life and face life and whatever it has with courage and a sense of adventure. A woman ready to break out of her comfort zone and start fresh.

I know you have to go 2014, but you have laid the groundwork to make 2015 the Year of Purpose. You were a hard a task master but you taught me well. Dare I say….I’ll miss you.

Due South

It is Christmas Eve, and I have not one drop of holiday spirit. Not sure why I don’t…granted, Thanksgiving is my big holiday but I usually still feel some of the magic of Christmas. Not this year…and it isn’t a depression or the godawfulness of that first Christmas following the Him fiasco (God, that was a saaad time). I don’t feel sad or less than nor am I wondering what is wrong with me. I just don’t feel Christmas this year. But this will not be a reflective or depressing post because one thing I AM feeling is excited!

Going to start out first telling you guys about the 75 year old man. Yes, I met with him and never again, people. Never again. He was saggy and wrinkly and smelled of garlic, wheat germ and not so fresh egg salad. The man came in and took off his toupee and took his teeth out and set them on my makeshift nightstand. Drool and all. Once he left (not a moment too soon), I noticed my turquoise and gemstone ring (which was also on said night stand) was missing…and I swore up and down he stole it. Well, that or it got caught up in his teeth or hair. Artsy Craftsy told me to just hold the phone and perform the Baby Jesus Lost and Found Prayer and lo and behold…I found my ring!!! Friends. I love them.

Reliable One/The Safety Net came through with a rent check and not a moment too soon. Thank you, Jesus!! It was not without arguments, accusations and me trying to figure out if the man is just not nice or just totally out of touch with reality. Seriously, who FLIPS a quarter to a homeless man looking for food? Someone please tell me what 25 cents buys in today’s society? And there was a lot of taunting from Reliable One: telling me he could write the check with no problem if he chose to do so and asking me what would I do if I didn’t know him. And I knew the answer he wanted (he is amazing and I would be lost without him) but truth be told….if I did not know the man, if the man had never started paying the rent…I would not be in this predicament. Because I would not have had someone to hand over my control to. Trust me, I have learned my lesson here on a lot of levels…I am the only one responsible for my well-being, I got lots of tears and sympathy from my friends but no one had help. The Lord helps those who help themselves and it is time to take back control and power of my life in all areas.

I saw my team this week…yes, they are STILL my team, I don’t give a damn who sits in that window. It felt like coming home to be amongst them and talk, laugh and joke like we always did. I was bummed that Smart One wasn’t there but I had long talks with Feisty One and The Good Looking One, bantered with The Hard Headed One and My Favorite. Harpo twerked for me! I think he was renewing his vows with his Sophia…it was interesting. Sweet One was there and raved over my weight loss and believe it or not, the Sherriff and I HUGGED…twice! That visit was the highlight of my month.

Which brings me to the excitement!!! Raleigh, NC is not only still on the table, it is becoming the table. I don’t think I have ever been this excited about change. Ever. However, my friends are looking at me like I am crazy….relocation was a good idea when eviction was a real possibility but now that Tiny House Nation lives to see another month or three, why move? Stay here where I am easily accessible and we can meet for impromptu lunches and grocery store runs. And while I am torn about leaving (or rather the reasons why), I think it is the best move I can make.

My feelings: I feel almost as if Prince Charming is running me out of town…I felt no need to escape my life during and after the Him fiasco. There was no turn tail and run away…I stood my ground, reclaimed my happiness and found an assignment with the BEST.TEAM.EVER and met a man who (for a little while) made me happier than I had ever been in.my.life. Why should I be the one to leave? PC is already gone and living his life…I am starting to live my life again. I have my friends here, my professional network is here and Lord know, where will I find the neighbors I have here anywhere else? It is comfortable here but I am no longer comfortable.

So no, I am not relocating because PC did…if that were the case, I would be trying to convince you and me how Utah would be FUN and INTERESTING. No, I am leaving because my life is stagnant and there are no changes…no permanent job in 6 years and I keep meeting the same man no matter how much I grow and change and mature emotionally. Not sure if it isn’t my season or if DC has run out of steam and/or options for me but I cannot wait around another 6 years to find out. I just can’t…I am drawing close to the half century mark and not wanting to find myself in this exact position this time next year…trust me, there is a pattern with me, men and assignments come holiday time…2013 was the exception.

Raleigh offers change and fresh starts and new beginnings. Raleigh would be amazing and an adventure and seriously…all I pray and hope and wish for could be right on the other side of I-95S, less than 300 miles away. I would get out more to learn my new city (which means new adventures), I would meet new people (new friends) and I would be able to have expectations of the good kind. It is closer to my parents and I would still maintain my current friendships….phones, text and email work in Raleigh and I would be in the same time zone. I would even have a place for folks to stay should they come visit me. I already have my house picked out: it is in Northeast Raleigh in the Haithcock Farms neighborhood; the house itself is not outfitted with the latest bells and whistles, but I don’t need all that. I need a place I can fill with peace and love and this place just feels like home. I can see myself there.

So there is a lot to do…first thing is to figure out how much it would cost to move and get settled there. I would need a vehicle and money for furnishings; I would need a job. Which means I need an assignment here first so I can start saving and budgeting…I won’t be moving tomorrow but if I work hard and the stars align, I could be having a Carolina Christmas next year. And that is my goal for 2015….to start my new life in my new town in my new house.

Okay, I have tons of stuff to do as I am sure you Lovebugs do also….even though I don’t have the Christmas spirit, I do have the cooking bug and need to finish prepping for my small dinner party tomorrow. Not to mention cleaning and maybe (just maybe) doing some laundry. Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe and incredibly Merry Christmas. Talk to you after the holiday!

No Catchy Title

 Dottie is hungry. Very hungry. Actually, she would have one think she is starving and has not been fed in the past three days but that is such a lie. However, one cannot tell the way she is scarfing down this chicken fried rice with extra egg and curry sauce…I think she is the only indication that shit is getting deep in my camp. That and the huge argument I had with Chef where I (according to Cuz) basically told the man to “go fuck his mother”. I did not actually say those words but the majority says I may as well have. Other than that, I am waking around and carrying myself as if I am filled with supreme faith and confidence or I am utterly delusional…your call.

The past week has been a mixed bag…worst case scenarios are coming to fruition, stupidity is running rampant and a few sprinkles of unexpectedness (of the good variety)….I am out of steam and ideas, tears are flowing and I have no choice but to accept my role in this and prepare to learn the hardest lesson so far in recovery. But not going to give up hope or faith just yet although both are wavering, teetering and tottering.

There is no rent and no options for the rent. Reliable One/The Safety Net has stated that the gravy train has ended…when I showed the man my online ads to show him I was trying to do all I could on my own without his help, I was told: “good luck with that.” When I told the man that eviction was a very real possibility, I was told: “I probably need to move anyway.” The mountain shall not be moved and there is nothing I can do about it. Of course, I am pissed, disappointed and scared…I haven’t been homeless since addiction when I was young, dumb and no idea what the hell homeless was. But, it is my fault for becoming complacent and dependent on someone other than myself to keep the roof over my head. The roof is important! I am hoping, wishing and praying for a Christmas miracle but also trying to get backup plans in place.

The first backup plan is a job/assignment but that is just not happening yet. It’s sucky that the Most Boring Assignment Ever ended mid-October which is the kiss of death for temp workers and contractors…pretty much holiday season is the death knell if one is looking to start a new assignment and in the working world, holiday season runs from Halloween to maybe the second week of the following January. Oh, recruiters have shown interest (I swear, I think these folks are on a quota or something) and I always test above average but the jobs I have been submitted for have just faded away or been put on hold. There is hope for one that is perfect on paper for me and is a permanent job to boot, but the recruiter I am working with is ridiculous. Seriously. She showed up a half hour late for out interview (carrying her lunch in her hand and wearing jeans) and tried to occupy me with piddling videos and unnecessary testing so she could buy time to eat her food. She sends me home with more testing assessments (which I aced) and when I called her for a follow-up regarding the testing, she had no idea who I was or that I had completed the testing. Yeah, while researching job options in Raleigh, I think I will just apply directly for the job myself.

The unexpectedness last week came from my old standby backup plan that is still in the early stages of retirement….the ads. I had three encounters that were fulfilling on so many levels and gave me the extra funds to pay bills (trust me, more than rent is going on over here) and pick up some gifts for my immediate family and a few close friends. First was the Man from Alabama….he was so romantic and appreciative. He had champagne (with flutes!!!) and flower petals on the bed waiting for me…when he found out I am a teetotaling diabetic, he went out and got me a 6 pack of diet Pepsi. He told me how beautiful and sexy I was, he worshipped and adored me and texted with me his entire trip…and saw me a second time (which included dinner and real conversation). The Pudgy Businessman showed up with conversation, a Christmas bonus and actually wanted to eat lunch with me! I reminded him about missing work and he said he would rather be with me…I didn’t argue. And it was rather nice….I learned more about him and when I mentioned I was looking to relocate, he got really upset and asked if I had a job, would I stay? He wanted me HERE. Talk about a “wow” moment. There was the Drunk Indian (Native American) who wants me to move in with him and the 75 year old guy who is seeing the 72 year old grandma and wants an ongoing arrangement with me…he mentioned this in between telling me about his hardened arteries and missing prostrate.

Of course, this week has been slow on all fronts….it is the week before the Holiday Week so no one is looking to hire or get laid. And I am more than okay with that….I have done all I can. Showing up for interviews, testing well, making follow-up phone calls and sending thank you notes for the recruiters and with the ads…keeping them posted and providing good customer service. The rent….I have no idea. My landlord is not one to be patient (I swear, I am going to tell you guys about him in 2015) or go along with payment plans…I am just praying that there is still magic swirling about this time of year because I LIKE living my life and one can only do that under their own roof, no one else’s. I will keep you posted.

So this is today’s post…mostly me rambling and trying to keep negativity at bay. It’s late and while the house is in need of some TLC and laundry is in need of washing that can wait until after I have had some sleep. Still trying to finalize plans for Christmas Day…tossup between dinner and movie out with Downstairs Neighbor or me staying in and cooking a small meal for me and a couple of friends (Downstairs Neighbor, Morning Person and Mini-Me). The Oscars invited me to Philadelphia but maybe I can swing an overnight trip that weekend.

As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual….enjoy your day!

Growing Thin

The title of today’s post covers thin in a lot of ways: thin skin, patience wearing thin and a long held myth regarding being/ getting skinny but first I want to say I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. Mine was really, really good….I swear, there is nothing like your parents’ cooking, I don’t care how old you are or how well you can cook. There is just so much yummylicious goodness in a plate of your parents’ cooking. For real.

A lot of things made my favorite holiday amazing this year and one of them was the fact I am now officially reunited with both Morning Person and Cuz. I reached out to them with an email wishing them a good holiday and both responded…it was tentative on both ends for about two emails but then it switched to phone and we cleared things up, got caught up and all is right in Friendship Land for now. The other thing (aside from lots of Mommy love and Daddy’s cooking) was that my Baby Sister got married!!! It was a small, simple ceremony but very nice and she is soooo happy! True, they are the original Harpo and Sophia (pray for them!)  but it is proof positive that dreams do come true.

And that is where I got thin-skinned…I don’t talk about my siblings a lot (they are not very social media friendly and think I have a kajillion readers who somehow all know them) but they are awesome and doing wonderful things. Getting married, travelling the world, buying homes, tenure at jobs….and then there is me. A temp with no assignment, a studio apartment she cannot keep up rent payments on (but an incredible wardrobe and movie and book collection) and horrible luck with men…not even a vision of one on the horizon…and I felt like the Failure Child. You know the one I am talking about…the one when parents go to brag of their children’s achievements, they say: “oh, she’s doing well”. Because she ain’t doing shit else. But I have snapped out of it…I am a fighter who has been knocked down a LOT of times in life but still here to tell the story. We all have our own paths, everything comes in its time not mine and as long as I am alive and sober, there’s nothing I won’t achieve. First up: a rent check.

My patience is wearing thin with this job search…getting mighty tired of these agencies waking me up, telling me I am perfect for such and such assignment, rushing me to send them this and that and come in for an interview because time is of.the.essence. and then….nothing. And here I thought addicts were the rudest folks around. Did I tell you all my job at the Island is open and that I applied for it? Artsy Craftsy and Morning Person were a little concerned at first but this has nothing to do with Him (I couldn’t care less, but Him may still have some lingering whatevers) and everything to do with a steady, livable wage income coming in. It is a job I did for 4 years and not there to get all up in Him’s business (don’t even plan on telling folks about his wife’s bra and panty profile pic)…I am there to do my job and collect my check. Period.  However, have not heard back yet. So, relocation is back on the table…applying to jobs in Raleigh, NC and looking at some in Seattle…for the first time in my life, I am looking for a change. Not worried about how I will get there or what will happen if I do go to a new city…all I need to do is get the job. The rest will fall into place.

The third thin…I am looking amazing! (Have I told you all that?) More importantly, I am FEELING amazing and not just in a healthy way but in an empowering way. Not sure if it is the weight loss, the lessons learned or a combination of the two but I just don’t have time for stupid men (and at this point, they are all stupid). This past week has shown me just how much I have moved on from who I used to be, that I am not in the mood for people pleasing and that I am not as lonely as I think I am.

Remember me bitching about the Pudgy Businessman who changed the rules in the middle of the game without telling me? He reached out the day before my holiday travels saying his schedule has been so hectic but he wanted to see me….and as badly as I needed that money, I told him I was busy and had no time. Yeah, the money is helpful but the way he carried things….I don’t need that. I don’t have a pimp or a drug habit to support…I have choices today and I chose to stand my ground and keep my dignity intact. Then he said he felt guilty about things and asked if he could put $200 in my account. Sure you can, please and thank you. And I feel no obligation to do a damned thing for it.

Oh, that’s not all. I got a text message today from a guy I met on CL YEARS ago who wanted me to remember him. He bombarded me with texts about how great things were with us and sent me pictures of himself because it was just that important I remember him. But I don’t. At all. Which tells me how great things were…then he claimed to be so hurt that I could forget him so easily. For real, dude? I am just like: what is WRONG with you? Two years he felt no need to talk, reach out or contact me and I am the bad guy who hurt him?

But wait, there’s more! Last week I got an email from a guy I used to mess around with years ago. I mean, it was before Him, that is how long ago it was. He wanted to know if I wanted to hook up again…and I felt nothing but incredulity. Years have passed…YEARS….and because your dick is hard and you are cheap, you think I am supposed to jump up, remember you and say “SURE!”? Was I that easy and needy? Or are they still stuck? Probably both, but I have grown. I have been happy and heartbroken several times over, I have learned and I have moved on. I am not that chick any longer. I no longer have time for being used, their flakiness or to be pulled off the shelf years later. By anyone.

You know, they say once a person loses weight, the quality of person they meet changes, but I think that is a lie. I am not attracting better men…I have the past chasing me down. I think what happens is the quality of YOU changes and you know what you are worthy of and deserve. Of course, when one has healthy levels of esteem, worth and confidence, you have that regardless of what the scales say. That was never me, small or large but I am learning and gaining while getting thin and I would rather have the man who sees me, not the packaging. I had that for a little while…now to find the man who wants the long haul relationship. That may take awhile…hope you stick around for that.

Okay, time to clean this apartment, find food, fight this cold and procrastinate on the laundry. I will be back soon with new posts…as always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual…enjoy your day!