So Much Depends on a Red Face…

There’s nothing better than arriving to work in the morning and seeing that everything is your own. Except for the trash being empty, nothing has been touched, and it looks exactly as I left it. It is home-away-from-home in the best sense of the term. Though I enjoy occasionally working from home, there’s no percentage in it. I am not more comfortable at my own desk, except that I type faster on that keyboard. Other than that, there are too many noises… dogs barking, clothes washing, things crashing to the floor as my elbow hits something inopportune. I learned this during “Snotorious B.I.G,” “Snowpocalypse Now,” and “Thanks, Snowbama.” Even though at the time I had an officemate, it was companionable silence, just the right amount of social interaction to remain isolated, but not too much. I just called for references on a new hire, so maybe she’s going to move in with me. Here’s hoping.

I do my best work when it’s quiet, and knowing that about myself is half the battle (hail Cobra). The ADHD/PTSD in me cannot handle multiple people talking around me all at once, and when I keep my door open, I can hear people talking, but not loud enough to hear what they’re actually saying. Just background noise like Starbucks. Other times, I put my headphones on to get “The Mozart Effect.” It’s not always Mozart, but sometimes it is. I find that jazz begets the same fast-paced thought process. As I have said before, Jason Moran gets me through a lot of work days. Thanks, JaMo. You rock.

It is a miracle that I have landed on my feet securely in this move, considering how anxious and frightened I was when I got here. There was nothing I could do to reinforce the words with Argo that I didn’t need a thing from her, and this move was never about her. I needed to get away, start over, and be in charge of my own life. Dana was not dragging me down, but my thought processes when I was with her became completely different when I struck out on my own. I am sorry for every moment that I engendered negative emotions in both Dana and Argo, but I am not sorry that I moved to a place where no one knew me (Silver Spring, not DC). To me, it came across as pure ego that this move was all about Argo, because she’d stopped listening to me long ago and projecting her own thoughts onto me, as if her truth was more important than mine. Her feelings matter, but at the same time, they are perceptions, just as mine are of her. Thinking that you can read me just based on what I write is a mistake of gargantuan proportions, because even though I do express a wide range of emotions, that’s not the same thing as real reactions in real time. Then, and only then, would I accept her criticisms and attaboys as real, because my writing is based on that moment, and that moment alone. It’s one of the reasons I change my mind on my blog so frequently- each entry is just a snapshot. If it sounds like I’m speaking out of both sides of my face, it’s because time has passed and I may or may not still feel the same way. I waffle all the time because unlike a politician, I believe I have the right to change my mind… and honestly, that’s a lot of what’s wrong with politics, too. Waffling is seen as a negative thing, instead of the progress of evolution on an idea.

I made so many mistakes with both of them, but at the same time, I am not the monster Argo and Dana both made me out to be, and would know that if they’d bothered to get to know the real me instead of insisting that they were right and I was wrong… because even Dana, who’d known me forever and a day, didn’t take the time to get to know the me that was enmeshed in new context, didn’t want to hear about it, just ran away. So I did, too. Moving to DC was not exactly running away, though. For me, it was more like correcting a mistake I’d made long ago and dearly wanted to rectify. I felt like I was running toward a destiny, and not necessarily away from her- although it was a part. How could it not? I have never been good at enforcing emotional boundaries, and a physical one seemed like a good solution since Dana’s parents live here and it’s not like our tie was severed permanently unless we wanted it that way. I pictured our paths as perpendicular rather than parallel. So much more went into the thought process regarding this move than anyone will ever know, because they don’t want to hear it. The fake story is so much easier to swallow. I met this chick on the internet and decided to follow her in a grand gesture. In short, fuck that noise. If it were true, I wouldn’t be the success I am now. I’d just be a basketcase on the floor… and while the fights with Argo since I’ve moved have put me in that place at times, it is not an over-arching problem to deal with, just as it comes up. I am too busy to notice it otherwise. I came, I saw, I lost. End of story. Embarrassed and red-faced, but not unworkable.

But if that is the only thing I have to regret about this move, then I can handle it. I’ve made my own friends, have a job I love, and am embarking on the life I’ve always wanted to lead, minus the people who said I wouldn’t/couldn’t do it. I also have more of my own money than I’ve ever had before, because I prepared for it. I got a room in someone else’s house so I could live large on the cheap, and the salary that was shared between both Dana and me is all mine. I never minded sharing, but it’s nice to be able to decide how I spend every penny without worrying that there’s someone I need to check with before I spend it. It’s not a slam against Dana, just one of the plusses that comes with being single.

I’ve also lost friends along the way, because I wasn’t finished grieving and they were ready to start dating and I wasn’t. I won’t be ready for a long time, and I am okay with that. I want to be sure that I am well and healthy enough for it, rather than starting a relationship and realizing, “oh my fuck… what have I done?” First of all, I haven’t met that person that will accept me just as I am, where I am, that doesn’t want me to box up my grief and stop talking about it as if it doesn’t exist. If I can’t find that person, I need to be alone. Divorce is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a person, and boxing all of those feelings allows me to feel even worse about myself because they eat me from the inside out. There will come a time when this part of my life is over, but it’s not there yet. Not only that, there’s no magic button I can push that will magically take those feelings away so I can move on unencumbered. There’s no way across the river that doesn’t include swimming in deep water, the kind that threatens to overtake you with the waves. It’s just that over time, the crests get smaller.

Things seem further away when I am working, and perhaps that’s why I spend so much time at the office. It feels like a good place to put my energy, because it is providing for my future without the weight of grief hanging around my neck. It also keeps me away from making mistakes in my personal life that I can’t take back, because I’m too busy to think about it. My friends are my lifeblood, and this weekend is a going-away party for Danni, who is going to be in Russia for the rest of the summer. I hope she’s back in time for my birthday (9/10), but if that’s not possible, my CEO is having a campout at his land in W. Virginia that weekend, and if I can stomach sleeping on the ground, I might go. 😛

I feel like a phoenix rising from the ash, knowing that I was the idiot who threw the first match… but perhaps it was a fire that needed to happen. My nothing box was too big, my action box too small. By the end, neither Dana nor I was healthy enough to be in a marriage, because we both needed to work on ourselves, first. I had to lose the dreams of chasing her around the nursing home, but those memories will always be precious to me, even if I end up chasing someone else. No new person in my life will put up with that shit, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s fair of said new person to make me erase the life that came before her… especially if we are at the stage where we are not exclusive and I am still working out my own shit. I would hope that even if I was exclusive with someone, I’d still be allowed to deal with my own shortcomings in my own way. I don’t want to be so together that we have all shared experiences, and not so apart that catching up takes a gargantuan effort. It’s different now that I’m almost 39. I don’t have the same relationship goals I had when I was 23 and 30, respectively. I can picture never getting married again. The main reason I married Kathleen was for health insurance, because I didn’t need a piece of paper to tell me that I loved her intensely.

It was the same with Dana. I didn’t need a piece of paper to tell me that she was the best friend I could love the rest of my life. I needed a piece of paper to show next-of-kin for things like hospitals in bum-fuck Egypt.

So, like the answer to everything else, it depends.

Right now, I just need to go back to work.


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