Days of Wonder

We are children, waking to find our parents’ divorce ripping through our pristine lives like a tornado, tossing illusions aside, scattered into the screaming winds.

We are heartbroken, cast aside lovers, anguished to see our beloved merrily traipsing through daisies, holding another’s hand, while we languish in despair.

We are destitute spouses, bereaved and bereft when the banks come calling, demanding payments on debts never discussed, kept secret until now.

We are a nation in chaos, traveling through harsh terrain with the world watching every misstep, every protest, every internal battle laid bare.

We are an entire country stuck in transitions in time.

Flying Solo

So, I never thought I’d be single this long. Seriously. Attracting people is not something I’ve ever found difficult, and I know full well that if I wanted to, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone who wanted to be with me. And I wasn’t single from age 14 to age 33 (well, maybe for a few months at 18, kind of), going from one long-term serious relationship to the next. You can see I’m a “couple” kind of girl.

But life does enjoy it’s curveballs, and so for the first time, when I was 33, the person I wanted to be with, who had very strong feelings for me as well, in the end just didn’t want to be with me. At the time, it was the biggest rejection I’d ever had (and little did I know it was just preparation!). Which was good for me. Instead of jumping to the next relationship, I had to leave my marriage all by myself, and stand on my own for the first time in a very long time. I had never had a checking account or a lease with just my name on it. But there were all these hours to fill by myself now, when my soon-to-be ex-husband had my children, and what can I possibly do to fill them? This process is called, as the therapists say, getting some “me time.” Basically, I wanted to think of myself as an awesome person, so anything that sounded awesome, that’s what I wanted to do. Which meant I ended up spending a lot of time doing things that gave me a lot of joy just in the doing, regardless of whether anyone else was there.

So, fast forward about four years. Despite dating and meeting people and even falling in love two more times, I’m still single. Still know it’s both the easiest thing in the world to find someone who wants to spend time with me, and the hardest thing in the world to find someone who I want to spend time with. Still dealing with two more rejections and their respective aftermaths, because I’ve had the lovely learning experiences of falling in love with two men who have no ability to be with me, for their own very good and valid reasons…namely, not even coming close to feeling about me as I do about them (I said it’s easy to find “someone,” just not the person I might actually want – life’s just funny like that).

And now I’m in Jerusalem flying solo, a place I never  thought I would go to by myself. Never. I grew up thinking that my mother would take me, as she always said she would. But that never materialized, despite numerous other trips. My ex-huband wasn’t Jewish and hated traveling, so there was no way I’d get here when I was in that relationship, all 15 years of it. I thought after I rekindled my connection to Judaism about three years ago that I’d go with some kind of temple group or on a trip with my children. But I had no financial ability to do so, for various reasons. I thought it would be the best place to go on my honeymoon with a future second, definitely Jewish, husband. But that, of course, just wasn’t meant to be, either.

Now that I’m here, though, I can see why it happened this way. There was no other way this could be as it is, and it is perfect being here by myself. I simply could not have accomplished the spiritual growth that I have, in my own way, if anyone else were here with me. If I had someone else here, I would have become insular, looking to them to keep me company. Instead, I’ve had to talk to the people around me, and I’ve found companions every day that I’ve learned something from, either about the culture or our religion or even just about myself.

And let’s not forget, I still would have had that kernel of fear in my head, knowing that I wasn’t capable of making this journey on my own. Like all fears, it’s vanished without a trace, becomes laughable, once faced head on. What on earth was I scared of, anyways? Flying solo doesn’t mean flying blind – it just means that you learn to trust in yourself.

The Journey Continues…

I’m sitting in the airport in Philly, waiting to get on the longest airplane flight of my life (so far) to go to Tel Aviv, Israel. And I can’t believe how much has changed in the last five, four, even three years.

Just three years ago, I got my first passport at the tender age of 34, and went on my first international solo trip, all the way to Canada :). Four years ago, I was still seeing my very good friend every day (see True Friend on Cytherean Dreams) and I said to him that all I really wanted was a passport and to take at least one international trip. Five years ago, I was still scared to live on my own, couldn’t even conceive of travelling internationally on my own, convinced that only other, stronger women did that.

So here I am now. I’m that stronger woman. I’m doing this because of my own merit, sent from my work to represent us and what we do. Standing alone, with my name known, on stage in front of international peers.

I am so thankful to be here, so grateful for my family and friends who are doing all they can to keep the home fires burning while I’m on this Journey.

But they’re calling my number (lucky number 6), and it’s time to fly.

First Date

Unexpectedly, out of the blue, a man I met a month ago at a poetry workshop called me. Right in the middle of this crazy week, on a crazy day. And I asked him to call back in a few hours, as I was slammed just then, and he did. Left a message about another poetry group that I have no time to go to until at least mid-June, so I didn’t call back. And then he called me again yesterday, just nicely following up, no pressure, just checking in. A sweet man, I knew already from how kind he had been while we wrote poetry and he gave me the comfy spot on the couch, taking my uncomfortable chair. An educated and interesting man, I knew already from the hours we had spent talking at the group dinner afterwards. So I told him I was free this weekend, and he asked me to dinner, and that’s all good – a nice surprise to end my week.

But now, I’m having an anxiety attack. Never had this reaction before. Not at all because of who he is, but because the last time I was in this position, I got very, very badly burned. Two and a half months ago, I had the perfect first date. That’s a whole long story, and if you feel like reading my 80 or so poems about it on Cytherean Dreams, go right ahead.

The point is, I went into that one so secure in knowing that no matter what, I would be fine. I kept saying, “I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts,” thinking it was temporary heaven and hoping like hell it wasn’t. And then it ended, this intense mini-relationship (lasted essentially one week)…and it hurt like nothing I’d experienced before.

Worse than my divorce. Worse than being left by the man I left my husband hoping to be with.Worse than the huge, universe-twisting fights I had with my twin flame (again, lots of poetry on these, too). Crying every day kind of hurt…it’s gone down to every few days, now, but it still hits me.

But I have to have the courage to move forward, because what else can I do? Sit by myself and drown in my sorrows? And I do believe I meet people for a reason, and there’s a reason I met this one, at this time.

So, dinner tonight. And try to breathe deeply and just see what happens next.

Half of one half done

I currently have three separate jobs. All relating to one career, but three distinct jobs with their own responsibilities, different people to answer to, different timelines which of course all converge as much as they possibly can. This is unsustainable and won’t last for much longer (end of June is when one ends) but for now, it’s there.

So it’s a small victory when I finish one half of the four major assignments I have this week…for only one job. I still have 5 online discussions to monitor and participate in, 5 discussions from the previous week to grade (for about 60 students), and one group project to grade (for about 9 groups). And the other two major assignments still are looming.

I haven’t been under this much pressure since the week I had to revise my dissertation, including running a whole new set of statistical models and writing up that entire chapter, in one week. One week. Also in May, four years ago. And at the end of that week, on June 1st, I went home and packed up in one weekend and moved me and my children to our new townhome, leaving their father in the one we had bought together four years earlier.

Last May was no picnic, either. I have a poem on my other blog called, appropriately, “Broken” about a truly horrible day at the end of May. When it ends with an earthquake and I just laugh at it, because of the incredible irony, you know that’s a really bad day.

Ok, for some reason, thinking about all those other really ridiculously stressful days in previous Mays is helping. This one is…doable. Not wonderful, not a time period I ever want to re-live, but doable. And now I need to leave my three jobs behind and go do the most important one – grocery shopping to make sure there’s food in the house to be able to pack lunches for my children tomorrow, since we ran out of some staples this morning. The hugs when I pick them from their after-school programs will make the world brighter, no question.

I’m broken

I thought I was whole, I really did. I thought I could conquer the world, find the perfect man to share it with, and live happily ever after. But I’m finding out now, I’m broken.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my world. I love the area I live in, I love my family, I love the work I do, and I love the communities which support and sustain me (friends and spirituality and joy, in one package). I love the learning, and growing, and being grateful for my blessings. But.

But I’m so overworked, I can’t see straight. And I can’t afford the area I live in, but hate the ones that I can afford on my own. I’ve driven away a man who loves me, for both our sakes – when we’re together, we just become worse people. I haven’t found another that I can live with, or who wants to live with me. So many transitions are happening by June 30th, it’s making me dizzy.

Which is where this new blog comes in. To track this time. To keep myself sane and give me an outlet while I go through this, recovering still from the heart traumas of the last year. And to talk to you, whoever you are, because I’m sick of journaling, of talking just to myself.

I also have a poetry blog – www.cythereandreams.wordpress.com – if you want to check that out. I’m sure I’ll still write there, too. But poetry is a monologue with contained walls in it’s own right, and I’m ready to actually start talking.