Friday, October 30, 2009

Remembering it now.

Scrambels posing with my Field Notes.

"I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I'm writing it down to remember it now." -- Field Notes

One of the things I learned at the start of this breakup was that my love of list-making and data-keeping was going to somehow help me sort all this shit out. And guess what? It did.

There is something so comforting about a well organized list. It's clear, its solid, its tangible. Your tasks, goals, or groceries are all lined up in such an authoritative way. You can't mess with a good list. It speaks the truth.

Remember when I went to San Diego to see my best friend a few days after the breakup? (See: My Magical Best Friend). For the first time ever I sat face-to-face with her and told her what had really been going on in my relationship. I hadn't been open about it for a long time. When I was talking to her, I started to notice how wonderful it felt to say it all out loud, to be honest about it, and I knew I had to start writing it down because I didn't want to forget. You see, I used to do this thing where I would disregard our problems because we couldn't face them and basically "forget" them. Healthy, huh? So when I was sitting in the airport, waiting to go back home after the visit, I pulled out the hot pink notebook I bought right before my trip and I started to write a list of all the things I told her.


-- selfishness

That was the first thing I wrote and then I kept going and the list got longer, more detailed and descriptive. Next, I started a timeline. I wrote down every year we were together and alongside each year I listed the big things that happened to us, both good and bad. And when I was done, I had this picture of our life together. What I discovered was that a lot of the years, I mean whole years, were rough. I always knew we had gone through a lot together, but to see it all on paper, in list form, gave me a really clear sense of how I honestly spent nearly a decade of my life. I could see that I belived I was in it for the long haul. You don't go through the ups and downs we did and not think you're in it for the long haul. We were committed, this is certain. But why? And if we were so committed, how did we fail?

To help me answer that question, I kept writing the lists, hoping they would lead me to some miraculous enlightened conclusion. Then the lists turned into essays and the essays turned into this blog. And all this list-making, data-keeping, blogging, and analysis has shown me something.

No matter what, we were all wrong for each other.

And now I carry that hot pink, little notebook in my purse and whenever I feel warm feelings for him, I re-read it. It reminds me of all the things I used to forget. It shows me how wrong we are for each other and that really helps me. It's helping me to move on and someday (hopefully someday soon) its going to help me to let go.

So Dear Followers of my humble blog, I encourage you to start making lists of your own, if you haven't already. I recommend buying Field Notes because they're great. (See: Grass Stain Green). If I had a fresh Field Notes notebook in my purse that day in the airport, I would have happily used it, but I didn't. So when you do start your data-keeping and list-making, order yourself a 3-pack of Field Notes. As the company states, "I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I'm writing it down to remember it now." Now how fitting is that?


Field Notes
INSPIRED BY the vanishing subgenre of agricultural memo books, ornate pocket ledgers and the simple, unassuming beauty of a well-crafted grocery list, the Draplin Design Company, Portland, Oregon in conjunction with Coudal Partners of Chicago, Illinois bring you “FIELD NOTES” in hopes of offering, “An honest memo book, worth fillin’ up with GOOD INFORMATION.”

Photo by jonrbeck

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Breakup to Makeup

In the initial weeks and months of this break-up I had no choice but to focus solely on myself, and when I did, I started to notice something pretty unsettling for the first the time. I was unraveling.

Unraveling is kind of a nice way to put it. Let's face it, I was a mess.

I was haggard and exhausted and sad -- and I sure looked it, my friends. My hair looked awful. I think I gained 15 pounds from the stress of the last year leading up to the break-up. And my skin was a mess.

So one day after I moved into my parents house, I was talking to my mom about the breakup (shocker!) and I looked up at her and realized that her makeup looked really great and through my sobs I asked her what she used. Turns out she uses Bare Minerals makeup. She told me it was like a series of mineral powders you apply with brushes. I was intrigued, so we immediately went up to her bathroom and she applied the makeup on me. When she was done, I looked in the mirror and I didn't see a pale, emotionally drained mess looking back at me. No, I looked glowy and warm and healthy. And this really made me feel better. After that, I had full access to my mom's arsenal of beauty products. She may not like to shop for clothes, but the woman loves her products. This kick-started my current obsession with hair and makeup. I love it.

When you feel like shit and you've been pissed off or hurt, you can always curl your hair, put on your makeup, and feel good about yourself, and at least to the rest of the world, you don't look like someone who feels like shit.

Here are a few of my favorite hair, makeup and beauty product sites. I encourage you to find some awesome new products, go to Sephora, buy them, and enjoy yourself.

Makeup and Beauty Blog (my favorite beauty blog)

So Dear Followers of my humble blog, what new things did you learn to do to make yourself feel better after your break up?

P.S. For more posts on my current beauty obsessions, read these:

Ladies, One Word of Advice: Lipstick

My Obsession.... My Hair

Oh, and Cover Girl Lash Blast is some good stuff. Go get it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apparently, I'm air dried.

My BFF says:
do you see yourself like dating this new guy fer realz?

I say:
i dont know
im so not ready

My BFF says:

I say:
im really still pretty fragile here
i need it to be casual

My BFF says:
you're air dried

I say:

My BFF says:
you know in ceramics when your pot is air dried
it seems hard but its not fired yet

I say:
oh, right

My BFF says:
it's greenware

I say:
so i'm like a fragile, air dried pot
i like that

My BFF says:
one day you'll be ready to be fired

To learn more of my BFF's infinite wisedom, read this: My Magical Best Friend

Photo by snapify

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The future me meets the future you.

At times I try to picture myself in a new relationship. And I have to say, it’s downright terrifying.

Not because I’m scared of what kind of freak show I might find, not because I’m scared of NOT meeting said freak show. No, I’m scared of the little things, like watching TV with someone, going out to dinner, going out for a double date with another couple. This strikes fear in me like you wouldn’t believe.

I guess it’s so scary because I know I don’t want to re-do what I already did with my ex. I don’t want to do anything the same way, approach anything in the same manner. But how can this be accomplished?

Dates are dates, I guess. Dinner, drinks, movie. I don’t expect to reinvent anything here. But I guess I’m very afraid that a new relationship will be just like my old one.

Let me paint a picture for you, yet again, it’s not pretty:

I don’t want to sit in a restaurant and have a conversation that in any way resembles what dinner with my ex used to be like. I don’t want to re-live any of the long one-sided conversations about him, him, him. No, no, no. And for that matter, I don’t want to re-live any of the parties where I was constantly ignored while he schmoozed, shit like that. And on that note, I don’t want any of the domestic stuff either; like cooking for someone, cleaning up after someone, doing someone’s laundry, folding their clothes, putting them away, etc. Yeah, I’m out of the housekeeper business, folks. I’m also out of the “I’ll listen to you talk about yourself for hours on end” business too.

I was so stuck in a rut doing the same things over and over again -- becoming more and more lost. That’s why dating, or being in a relationship for that matter, is so scary.

So, how do I date again and not re-live all these things?

Well, I’ve thought about this a lot and in fact, I’ve had some practice. I guess you could say that I’m dating now. How weird is that? It’s like I’ve activated some switch on my body from “In a Committed Relationship” to some bright, blinking red button that reads, “Dating! Dating! WTF?!”

It’s weird and scary and I don’t totally feel ready for it. But it’s happening, and I’m glad, because I have to figure out how to move on somehow and see what being single is all about. I haven’t been single since I was 19 so this is kind of a big deal.

My first endeavors in current singledom have taught me a few things. I’ve remembered that I’m actually really interesting when I’m with someone who wants to know everything about me and who wants to hear me talk about me for a change. What a novelty. And it turns out, I’m really quite fun to be with. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m charming. I forgot about that!

At times I feel pretty confident that I’m not going to re-live the past. But what about the great parts of the past; the inside jokes, the sweet moments, the friendship and the love that I had with my ex? Will I re-live all that again? No, of course not. What we had was special and unique. But I’m starting to feel as if I may once again have something special and entirely unique with someone else. But only when I’m truly ready. And that’s not so terrifying anymore.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Allowing an end

Photo by Adam Graham

Just when I think I've made up my mind about this whole thing, something takes over and everything changes. My feelings flip through anger, freedom, calm, nostalgia, happiness, hate and love. It’s like emotional A.D.D. It's really quite frustrating. Can't I just land on one feeling and stick with it? At least for a day? OK fine, at least for a few hours?

I was explaining this to someone one day and they said to me, "Grieving a loss is like peeling an onion."

Now at first this sounds like the sentimental bullshit people toss around like, "Time heals all wounds" and "The heart was made to be broken." But when my mind drifted to images of peeling away shiny white onion skins and tossing away layer after layer -- it started to resonate with me and I wondered, is that what grief is? Peeling away layers?

Well the next day, something really strange happened in Pilate's class. As we methodically moved and breathed and balanced, my teacher kept repeating that we were allowing a space within ourselves to be at peace and to allow calm and quiet.

I thought about that word.... allow.

This struck a nerve and I suddenly felt this overwhelming wave of emotion come over me just thinking about that word ... allow -- and I wondered about all the things I've simply allowed to happen to me; all the pain and the hurt and the emotional turmoil that I've tied to this break-up -- and as I was lying on the mat, my face was straining to fight all these thoughts, and I guess the teacher must have sensed it because at that moment she placed her hands on my legs and tugged me forward in the pose almost as if she was grounding me, softly placing me backing into reality and out of my own head. I was so grateful for that moment because I became startlingly aware of the present and all of a sudden my mind drifted back to the onion.

Think about it, when you peel an onion eventually if you peel enough of the layers away, you get to the end and you find yourself holding that last thin layer. And then its over. The onion's gone. Once I saw it this way, my mind settled. I accepted what was happening – the frantic cycling of emotions - and I felt calm. Because I know there's got to be an end to this onion, you know?

So if I need to be happy one day and super pissed off the next. Well, that's OK. This onion's gonna end someday, but only when I've allowed myself to peel away that last layer.

Photo by DavidDMuir

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wise Words (Part 2)

My BFF says:
he doesn't know shit about what you're going through

I say:
i know

My BFF says:
OUTER SPACE that kid

I say:

My BFF says:
you're cool
and fun
and nice
and he's a fuck head

I say:
i love you

My BFF says:
i love you too

I say:
this is going on the blog


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