Happy, happy new year!

Goodbye, 2013. You will be remembered as the year of new beginnings and revelations. The year I claimed my work as my own. The year I claimed my own power. The year I got what I thought I wanted, and it ripped my heart into pieces. The year I learned how to protect my own heart. The year I learned what true love looks like. The year my love came to me, because I listened to my instincts and followed my own twisty path.

Time for 2014 to begin. The year of fertility and fecundity, of prosperity and perception. The year of new threads added to the tapestry of our lives. The year of intertwining.

I don’t feel broken anymore. I feel ready to conquer the world. I feel like the best me I can possibly be. And thank God for that, and for the blessings of this year.

May all your dreams and wishes come true in 2014!

 

And now it really gets complicated…

So this relationship thing has been, is definitely, wonderful. Just wonderful. No stumbling blocks yet, really. Sure, there’s been a bit of ex’s drama, and sure, there’s been some angst as we’re meeting our respective families and friends, but nothing major. But. That’s because I’ve been pretending to be just like every other single girl out there for two and a half weeks. I’ve been on a mini-vacation, of sorts. Because my two daughters, the two people that define me and define my daily life, have been off visiting their grandparents in Texas. And they come back today.

So now, I go back to being a single mom. Kind of. I’m a single mom with a boyfriend now, which I’ve never been before. And it’s time for them to meet him, an experience that they’ve never really had before. And I keep hearing horror stories from people, about how their kids hated their boyfriends or girlfriends and wanted their mommies or daddies all to themselves and so tried their best to be horrible people to run them off. Think “Parent Trap” – that’s every kid’s fantasy. If I can only just run off the new person and get my mommy and daddy together in a room or on a horseback ride or something, they’ll fall in love all over again and it’ll all be happily ever after!

Well, kiddies, you know that me and your daddy aren’t getting back together. And you’ve been saying for years that you want me to have a boyfriend and be happy…so, I’ll find out soon how all of this might go. Will they be their normal selves, which is draining enough for most people to deal with? Or will they be horrible, trying to get my boyfriend to run for the hills?

Or…in my wildest dreams, I hope for this…will they be happier and better off, knowing that their mommy is happier? Better able to deal with life as it comes, after seeing what a good relationship looks like? Please, universe, can we make that happen? That might just be too much to wish for. But I’m going to give it my best, and just hope for the best.

Boyfriend

It’s such a strange word….boyfriend. The last time I had one of those, I was only 24. I honestly thought I had outgrown it, in some sense. That any relationship I would be in would jump from dating to fiancé (hell, maybe skip the dating part even, like I was some kind of Disney princess)- and why not? Wouldn’t I already know that was what I wanted, and wouldn’t that be the whole point? Wouldn’t that make a great story? Like my friend Helena (sidenote – as a Shakespeare addict, one of my all-time favorite names), who went on a first date and ended up engaged at the end of the night. True story. They’ve been married for over 30 years. Wouldn’t that be just so wonderfully dramatic?

But, to my surprise, I have a boyfriend…and yes I love him, but I love IT too. The title. The in-betweenness of it. The pacing of slowly meeting the people in each other’s world, of seeing what that feels like and whether it works (and so far, so good there!) The careful deliberate consideration of what the word means, of what we mean. The dealing with the leftovers we each still have.

I mean, let’s face it. We both were different people just two months ago, at least in terms of connections and expectations. We both are slowly coming out of times of major transitions. We both are sick of drama, and cautious of causing pain, and grateful to have found someone so compatible in so many ways….so, a good start. We both have lived through enough to know that a good start is just that – a start. We both have the tendency to jump into the future, but this is thankfully forcing us to pay attention, close attention, to the present.

I didn’t think I wanted a boyfriend, but it feels right…maybe I’ve finally lost my taste for the stupidly dramatic. Maybe not – my first birthday present to him involves fireworks, because why should it be small? Still, it’s progress for me that these are literal…I’ll keep my feet on the ground as I marvel at the show in the sky.

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.

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.