Treehouse

It’s over and done. I have moved on, if not in body yet, then at least in spirit. A new lease has been signed, a ridiculous amount of money has been given for rent and deposit, and the keys will shortly be handed over. And then I have a week of being in-between – not yet entirely in one place, not yet moved out of the old one. But I feel empowered that I was able to make this happen, overcoming all real and insubstantial (but those are the most frightening, yes?) obstacles.

The biggest reason why this is so empowering, so wonderful, is that I made it happen on my own. I really love that. When I moved into the current apartment, I said that I wouldn’t leave it until I could move in with someone else, could rent a house that cost twice as much as my apartment rent (that’s just the lowest going rate for a small, basic 3-bedroom house in my area – we’re not talking anything fancy here) with me contributing half, and then I’d have my backyard and my quiet home and my trees and my laundry that didn’t cost quarters anymore.

A little over three years later, still single, I found I couldn’t even afford where I was anymore, because the landlords kept raising the rent and it was just getting too high and I tried working myself to the bone to pay for all this and that just made me miserable. Time to find a cheaper place, on my own, and resign myself to the fact that it would be worse than what I have now. It would help in other ways (didn’t I write about that a few posts ago?), but would be overall a step down.

Instead, I found…I found exactly what I needed. It’s not a stand-alone house, but it’s a triplex, and when you pull into your own driveway and park your car into your own garage and then walk across the driveway to your own front door, that just feels like a house. It’s on a very quiet, peaceful little street – the energy there is incredibly serene, on this little hill. And it has trees, both in the little front yard, and the backyard. It has a backyard! And it has laundry that doesn’t need quarters anymore. So I’m going down to just one bathroom, so what? My daughters just come in and use mine whenever they want anyways (including in the middle of the night), so this’ll actually give me a bit more privacy since they won’t barge in anymore. And finally, it’s about $200 less per month.

Not at all what I thought I could do on my own, but I did, and I’m moving to my hilltop treehouse in the city soon. And then I’ll be able to finally breathe.

Another Plane

What the hell am I doing here, sitting on another plane, another runway? I never travel this much – three different trips in less than a month. This new one is again for work, a trip that I usually look forward to, that I wanted to use again to reconnect with my old friend. But I’m not, and even if I were, it wouldn’t matter. All I want is to be home.

But home is complicated right now. So many different moving pieces, so many transitions. At least (no, not at least, more like thank God for this right now), I’m having a blast. Seriously. So much is up in the air, so many pressures and deadlines bearing down, and yet I feel like I’m floating happily from one to the next.

Kind of like four years ago, when I defended my dissertation, added a whole new chapter, and then separated permanently from my now ex-husband, all in a little over a week. I floated then too, under immense pressure and, I admit, breaking down in tears every once in a while. But still overall happy.

Because I knew I was doing the right things then, what needed to happen. And I feel the same now. What is happening is what needs to happen, what I need to do.

So I’ll just take this plane to where I need to go. And be happy to come home.

Under Attack

At this point, I’m an expert on psychological, spiritual attacks. I know what they feel like. I know that it’s a gut feeling (and a headache!) that has nothing to do with logic or how anyone would expect reasonable people to behave. And I know the signs – the expressed concern for only doing what’s best for me, the attempt to cut me off from my support system and make me feel alone in my pain, the nearly abusive options presented next to the merely entirely unreasonable, to make me “choose” something I don’t want to do. Lead me down a dark path of submission I don’t want to be on.

I’ve traveled this road before, and I know where it leads – back to doubting my every move, every feeling, every instinct. Back to letting someone else define me. It’s a soul-killing way to live.

But worse, even more destructive I’ve found, is to fight back in pain and anger. The lashing out ends up doing more collateral damage, and I become the worse for it.

So what can I do? Breathe deeply and slowly and send my energies to support my defenses, that shining golden bubble surrounding me in light. Rest when I can, and respect how draining this is for me. Send love and healing to my attackers, both in my mind and in the real world, with open and vulnerable communication. Stand firm, but with a soft hand and apologies for any pain my standing causes them. These are not always easy things, these skills I’ve been working on for years.

I hope they work well here, because I have a feeling that this is one of the things I came here to do…leave them with grace, both mine and theirs. Even if I’m being attacked on my way out.

Moving to Daybreak

I can’t do it. I can’t just go to sleep tonight pretending that today, that these two days, didn’t change me. They did. Not to say that everything’s different than it was or that my life is fundamentally altered. No, the structure is the same, even with the housing in transition and classes ending and new schedules starting. But what’s different is a new connection was forged.

So what does that mean, in the long-run? Is there even a long-run? Or just a short-run? Some lesson to be learned and then there’ll be some kind of break, a break up, a breakdown? Does the word “casual” ever actually apply to someone like me, who overthinks and analyzes everything? Who feels these connections as if they’re physical, shimmering silver cords of attraction, and feels their decay and demise even more?

I don’t know any of these answers. But what I do know is that it’s through our connections that we are blessed to grow. A new one is a beautiful thing, and needs to be marked, honored. So I changed over to Daybreak…what this new day will bring, I have no idea. But it’s good to feel the sun again.

I really hate “what if?”s

I wish I could wax poetic on this one, and just express it elegantly and neatly. But I can’t. It’s not elegant, it’s not neat, and it’s just rising in my brain interfering with everything else I need to get done today. And this ringing in my ears won’t stop, especially the right one, and the mystic in me thinks that means something about how my chakras are blocked. See, I even feel better now as I’m writing. I was blocked, and now I’m getting unblocked and flowing again.

So, what’s bugging me is a HUGE “what if?” Goddammit, I hate them. I really hate the feeling that I did the wrong damn thing at the wrong damn time, and that if I had only listened to what I really wanted to do and just said f*** it to everything else, I wouldn’t be in this mess. But I got in this mess because I applied the lessons from the past to my present, at the time, and did the best I could. So I just have to forgive myself that it turned out to be the wrong lesson. Or maybe the right one, because it wasn’t just all about me.

What if I hadn’t said no on that Tuesday afternoon? If I hadn’t said, just come over tomorrow night after the girls are in bed, and instead had agreed to wait until Friday, and had you come over for Shabbat dinner like you wanted? What if?!?

And I said no out of fear, as I told you on Friday afternoon. It was fear, plain and simple. Fear that you would leave (which you did), and then my children would be hurt, too. It wouldn’t be just me with a broken heart, but them, too. It had happened to them already, in unforeseen situations. I once had a friend who had spent time with all of us, and when she got mad at me, my children couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to see them again. That sucked. And that other time, which was huge, when they had their own independent relationship with a person who couldn’t stand to have me around, and so blocked us all from ever talking to him again. That really hurt them, very deeply.

And you did leave, after all. Pretty damn quickly, too. So they would’ve had broken hearts and I couldn’t have that one more time.  And since I could see this one coming, I did have the duty to protect them. I know that, and there’s not a person alive who would say that I did the wrong thing. Not even you. I was being a good parent, and that’s the honest truth.

But. What if? What if you had come over for Shabbat dinner, and we had some more time together restrained by the presence of other people, to get to know each other some more, and to talk and laugh and sing by candlelight? What if you had fallen in love with me that night, fallen in love with them too, and started to see them as a bonus in your life, instead of a threat to it? All of us as something wonderful enough to change your plans for?

And here’s the big one that just kicks my ass – would you have left at all, if I had let that happen? What if I was so afraid of something bad happening again that I strangled the amazingly good before it could breathe?

It’s Shabbat again tonight, and for the first time (because I was just too tired last week, after landing that morning), I’m using my new challah cover and my new candlesticks from Jerusalem. What if you were there, too? What if you show up at my door, asking to be let back into my life? You were never there, and yet I still feel the hole left from where you could have been. And let’s just come full circle…the same movie I took my daughters to that night is the one we’re renting tonight. Symmetry is a bitch, sometimes.

There’s a part of me that hates that I need to write this for the world to see, because of who it might hurt having these feelings out there. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m just trying to get this out of my head…better to have it out here then constantly rattling around in there.

An Honest Question

Seriously, what’s right in this situation? If you’re still in love with someone who’s now gone, should you not go out with other people? I think the answer to that one is clear…it’s all about full disclosure, right? Well, maybe. Because you can’t help whether the other person will develop strong feelings for you, and maybe you shouldn’t even start with them, to pre-empt a broken heart. Maybe.

Does that mean that you should just stay at home, alone, all the time? But on the other hand, does that mean that you’re essentially using the other person just for company? I hope not. I guess not. Is it wrong that I want to go out to see a movie, and that I know a person of the male persuasion who’s fun to be with and would be happy to go with me? Even when I’m still writing angsty, lovesick poetry about the last person I was (albeit briefly) with?

And that brings me to another question. Said person left me while we were having a wonderful time for the stated reasons that he didn’t feel as strongly about me as I did about him, and that he didn’t see himself marrying a woman who already had children. So there was no future here for him, and therefore the present had to stop. This was during a very early stage in our relationship, and he said that it would pre-empt our inevitably getting serious. Pre-empt my broken heart, I guess.

But it was too late. I was already completely smitten, and the broken heart has been very real and very painful. At this point, it’s gone on for three months, much longer than the one week (yes, I know, I understand, I fell too fast, too quickly, got that already) we were dating.

So, the question is, should I not date the new person of male persuasion because I also think that it’s likely there’s no future here? He’s a different religion, albeit very friendly towards mine. And that’s a major dealbreaker for me in terms of a future serious relationship. But the real reason is…well, I’m still in love with someone else. And is it fair to date someone new when I think there’s no future, because I can’t imagine that my feelings will grow to match what I’ve already felt?

A full circle of confusion that’s running around in my head. I guess this is the same dilemma everyone has, when starting something new after life has happened.

Giving Notice

On my second day back, I turned in my 30-day notice. So, no backing out now. We are definitely moving. And thank God for that, because I really need to get out of here, for so many reasons, some physical, some metaphysical.

First of all, I can’t afford it anymore. I moved into a place at the top of my affordability range, and then every year for the past three, they’ve raised my rent.  I’m getting into a whole new range if I sign a lease for another year, and there’s just no way I can afford it. The universe is once again sending a very clear signal – don’t do this!

Second, there’s just a problem with the energy here, and it’s always been here, but I was so unbalanced when I moved in that I thought it was a good thing. Liked that it amplified whatever I was feeling. I needed that amplification, to learn how to set boundaries and deal with the aftermath of sadness and pain. But I’m tired now, tired of always negotiating the boundaries, tired of having to re-set every time I come home. And after the past two weeks of experiencing true equilibrium and positive, loving energy in my living space, I need to find somewhere in my home town that has that property, too.

And finally, there’s some people on my street that I just don’t want to run into. And that’s draining in and of itself, always wondering about that when I turn onto my street or go take a walk. I understand that the universe has its own plans and that if I’m meant to run into someone, I just will, and when that happens, it tends to make me laugh. But I think in this case…I’m just done.

It’s time to move on, and move out.