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I’ve Got Good Friends

Today should have been smooth as silk…if yesterday’s plans were any indication.  Today should have been ruined…if this morning’s craziness was any indication. Today was just right…because I’ve got a damned good friend.

The boys were with The Ex last night…because Mom #2 picked them and delivered them (I owe her lunch for that one – because she wouldn’t accept gas money)…they went to the circus…had a big time…life was good…until this morning when I was informed that I needed to come get them (long story that I won’t clog up my blog space for)…I wasn’t in a position to get them quickly…and to be honest, I wanted the freaking day off…I asked for 24 hours off…24 freaking hours…

Mom #2 to the rescue…I’m not sure if it’s just because she’s such a good friend…or because she considers my boys her psuedo-grandchildren…or because I was sobbing hysterically on the phone (mostly from anger)…either way, she picked them up and showed them a big time for the day…and since she won’t accept money from me EVER, I bought her dinner…ahhh, even better, adult conversation with someone who knows how to keep a child occupied without ever causing a break in the discussion…I have so much to learn from her…

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BFF is that friend that I don’t have to talk to everyday (and we usually don’t), but when we do, it’s like we haven’t missed a beat…she’s the one whose house I ran to in MS when I was trying to decide whether I should stay married or not…runny nose, bronchitis, and all…we talked over margaritas and chips and salsa (as usual)…she knew before I did that I had already made up my mind about what I was going to do…but she also knew I had to talk it out…that I needed a sounding board…and in true BFF fashion, she didn’t express her joy at the idea until after I had made up my mind…

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BBFF lets me email him about whatever is on my mind…sometimes it’s my thoughts about an ongoing discussion we’ve been having about relationships…sometimes it’s whatever thoughts are in my head at the moment…I love having that outlet…he may get tired of it soon, though…when we have time, we can talk for hours…we don’t get to very often, but we can…I get antsy if I have to go too long without a conversation…he tends to ground me, whether he realizes it or not…

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Eebee is the one who is most like me on a lot of levels and yet my total opposite on others…its sort of strange…she’s one of the first women my own age I ever clicked with (most of them are older than me)…some people think I mimic her style…which she and I both know isn’t true…I mimic her ability to have a sense of style…thanks to Eebee, people actually refer to earrings as “Michaela earrings” as in, “I saw these and thought, ‘Those are definitely Michaela earrings.'” Eebee helped me remember that I’m a woman…a young woman…a GIRL…

I still remember the day she dragged me to the MAC counter at Belk, sat me down with her friend Nova, and said, “Do something with her, please.”  And I haven’t looked back.  (By the way, I wore make-up before, no matter WHAT Eebee thinks.) We have the same body language, we laugh at the same stuff, we do a killer fro-yo dance…we don’t always see eye-to-eye on things but I think she’s a forever friend…

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I got to hang out with Cool Chick last night…LOVED it…I am definitely someone who likes to just chill and talk…still not good at talking to people I don’t know (and of course she knows EVERYONE)…but it was nice to just be a single woman last night…not a mom, not an employee, not someone’s date…chilling, talking, laughing, and listening to music is my idea of a good time…and it’s refreshing to chill with someone who gets it…has been there, done that, and can be the example that I can do this…I can be a successful, professional woman, a great mom, AND still have a life with some fun in it…

I’ve got good friends…

 

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Am I Intimidating?

I’m sure the answer to that question depends on who you ask…I’d like to think my friends would laugh hysterically and say hell no…

But it’s something that I’ve been thinking over for a couple of weeks now…

Several months ago, I was in a conversation with a male friend about, I believe, my constant worry that I was going to spend the rest of my life alone…if I remember the conversation right, I asked him how people viewed me…ok, how men saw me…his answer?

“Michaela, you walk around with a don’t fuck with me attitude, and it’s very intimidating.”

Wait, what? 

That comment has stayed with me ever since…part of me thinks, “Damn straight!”…another part is very confused…I know I’m often deep in thought which causes me to look and act serious…but unless I’m in a completely uncomfortable and new situation where I just want to disappear, I don’t think I walk around feeling that way…with my friends I laugh and talk…with people I’m not very close to, I’m usually smiling (at least)…and if I consider you a close friend, I’d like to think I’m very considerate, sweet, and loving (most of the time)…

And, now that I’m re-entering the single world (ok, whatever, I’ve jumped in with both feet and am having a pretty good time), I’m starting to think I might be a little intimidating…

Ok, so if you’ve followed my blog long enough, you know my opinion about boys and men.

Here’s what I’ve noticed…those of the male species who are willing to approach me are definitely what I would classify as men (though with a few dumb boy tendencies, but it’s all good)…they are dominant, often complete and total alpha males, fairly opinionated, and extremely straight forward…no guessing, no wondering, and when I speak my mind, they might not like it, but they don’t run from it either…there’s usually a maturity level there that I find extremely comforting…(and yes, I realize a man doesn’t have to be a domineering alpha to be a real man…I’m only commenting on the type that I seem to attract)…

And then there are those who my friends point out to me as someone who seems to be checking me out or is “obviously” interested…I say it like that because in my mind, if you aren’t talking to me, I have no clue how interested you really are and I assume you probably aren’t…but these guys shy away, won’t hold a conversation for more than a few minutes at a time, don’t initiate anything, whatever…so my first impression is that NO they really aren’t that interested…but I keep going back to what my friend said…and I have to ask…am I intimidating to some people? Especially those who aren’t the alpha male type?

Another friend has threatened to set me up with some of his friends…oh Lord is all I can say to that…in the course of the inquisition conversation about what I’m looking for, he decided that I need someone who’s “dominant like you are, Michaela.”  Um…is that how you see me, dude?  And is that a good thing?  Guess it depends on your perspective…

Inertia

Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to make me realize how much of an idiot I can be…I hate change…HATE IT…and yet, I managed to get a divorce…to demand a divorce and then make it happen.  Still, I really REALLY hate change…

I accomplished the divorce, and then thought I was done, I guess…there are so many other things I need to change in order to start living the life I want…but I’ve been resting on my laurels…I’ve been waiting for things to happen to me instead of just going out there, being ballsy (like I used to be) and doing what I need to do…

As I explained to a good friend, Music Man, I’m a peacekeeper…I avoid confrontation, I avoid the appearance of confrontation, I worry about confrontation even though usually there is no confrontation to worry about…so instead of just making a decision, sticking with it, fighting for it, and defending it, I’ve sat back and waited for change to happen to me, mostly in an effort to avoid confrontation…and the word used to describe my problem today was “inertia”…and yes, that was it exactly.

I’m done standing still…

I keep trying to make plans that will satisfy all parties involved…screw that.  I’m going to go with what works for Aidan, Sean, and myself…and that’s it…but I’m not going to follow every piece of advice I’m given, either…just because it works on paper or makes sense to you, doesn’t mean I’m following that path…

This whole thing – the divorce, the blog, my life – has been about figuring out my path and following it…I can’t let my fear of change, confrontation, and (most importantly) failure, stop me…all that does is create inertia…and I am DONE with that.

I don’t know how I’ll reach my goals…I don’t know what will happen tomorrow…but I know I’m moving forward…one foot in front of the other…on my terms.

I Shall Call Him…Uncle Bert

I have this weird habit of naming the vehicles I drive…I haven’t always done it, but the last 3 all had names…

The Mercury Grand Marquis was Grandma…Grandma was cool – chrome trim, tinted windows…she was sweet…I lost her in the divorce (prior to it being finalized, in a dirty under-handed way)…karma being the bitch she is, Grandma stopped working a few weeks after The Ex started driving her…I only laughed a little…

The Ford Explorer is/was Bubba…Bubba was not-so-cool – literally, the AC stopped working less than a month ago…Bubba should never have been purchased…that was a fight I lost, and technically I was proven right about why he should have stayed on the lot, but that’s irrelevant…Bubba is my problem now…Bubba is rusted out on the bottom, chipping paint on the top, and blows mostly hot air…no offense to anybody out there named Bubba, but that perfectly describes all the Bubbas I’ve ever known…

This one is a Buick LeSabre…Mom #2 has a newer model LeSabre that she calls Grandpa…it’s definitely a male car…I consider this one Grandpa’s older brother…and I think he’s an Uncle Bert…Uncle Bert is a loaner…while I’m grateful to have reliable transportation again, I’m glad he’s only on loan…that means there’s light at the end of this automotive tunnel I’ve been in for several years…

I said the other day that I would tell the story about how I acquired Uncle Bert…all of my level-headed friends keep telling me that I should be grateful and not get emotional about it, and that’s probably true, but I can’t help it…this one just makes me sad…

Let me start out by saying I am probably the least religious person on the planet…I respect other people’s beliefs, even those that I don’t understand…but my beliefs and spirituality are my own business and I don’t discuss them with anyone…that being said, even I have to admit that God (or whatever you choose to follow) works in mysterious ways…

The Step is not my only newly extended family (I say newly extended but my mom has been married to him for nearly 7 years, so not that new)…his mother, a very sweet lady, is still alive and has loved my boys and been kind to me from the very beginning…she was even pleasant to The Ex…

About two weeks ago (closer to 3 now), she fell at home and broke her hip…she had hip replacement surgery and went to a rehab center to recover…during that time, she told my mom that she had been praying that I would get a new car and find a way to move closer to work (I’ve got a 45 minute commute – hence the need for a newer vehicle and new home)…

Several days ago, she had a stroke and then had brain surgery to stop the bleeding on her brain…while the doctor’s were doing a routine, post-op scan, they found what they believe to be cancer…because of her age and condition, they don’t recommend chemo and will just make her as comfortable as possible…are you crying yet? I know I am when I think too hard about it all…In the past few days, she’s come down with an infection that you only get in hospitals or nursing homes…not MRSA, but one like it…for her family to visit her in ICU, they have to wear a hazmat suit…Are you freaking kidding me?!

When I called The Step about Bubba the other day, he and his sister decided to loan me their mother’s car…and all I’ve been able to think is that this isn’t how her prayer should have been answered…isn’t there a Plan B we can utilize? The fact that this sweet little old lady ever prayed for me at all when she has a massive family that could also use some prayers is humbling…the fact that her prayer was answered (if you subscribe to that thinking) is even more humbling…I’ve never felt less worthy in my life…

So I will treat Uncle Bert with all the respect I can…and I will add my thoughts to those of everyone’s else for a speedy recovery for that wonderful woman…

Feel Like A Woman

Ok, so Shania totally got this one right…For the first time in a long time (probably ever), I’ve started feeling like a woman…not a mom, not a worker-bee, or a million other things…just a woman

I’ve felt pretty…I’ve felt sexy…I’ve felt…”hot,” to quote someone.  I could get used to this…I’ve laughed, I’ve flirted…Nothing serious, nothing major – the way I want it, right now…I’ve hung out with friends who truly care about me…I’ve been teased and reminded not to be so serious…

I did get a little reality check today though…I was asked what I want, what I want to do, what my next big thing is…and I had no idea…my only response (which is completely true) is that after the past 12 years, I feel like I’m coming out of a fog…a fog that has finally lifted and I’m discovering a whole new world that I didn’t know existed…I haven’t even had time to process it all and figure out what I want out of life…

But, to prove that I’m not completely numb to the world, when I was asked what my idea of the perfect weekend was, it took a minute, but at least I had an idea…during the day, water – either on a boat or a beach, but the ocean…and at a night, music and a dance floor…I’m sure my thoughts on that will change over time…but right now, I just want to relax and have fun…and that’s my idea of a great time. 

Yesterday, I did the most dangerous thing an overworked but crazy-busy person can do…I took time off of work…and I hung out…I talked…I laughed…I had a good time…I paid for it today when I got back to work…but it was absolutely worth every second…

I’m going to go against my nature and NOT overanalyze this one to death…I just know that I like how I feel right now…I’d like some more, please!

Back In My Space

Ahhhh, it is so nice to be back in this space again…While I was out of town, I didn’t feel comfortable blogging personally since I was there to work…but I missed sitting at the keyboard figuring out my thoughts, getting them out, heavily editing them, removing the filter (a little), and working through what I need to work through.

I heard the best phrase about my blog the other day…somedays I’m up and somedays I’m getting up…

What are my other options? Sit down and cry? Stop trying? Stop pushing forward? Those options seem pretty crappy to me…and aren’t going to get me anywhere…

I just want to revel in the good in my life…

I’ve learned that I am not only addicted to Facebook, but I adore it…how else can you find (or be found by) and catch up with old friends from years ago?…how else can you connect with people that you might otherwise never meet? 

I’m of the opinion that there is a giant flashing sign over my head that reads, “Single (slightly lonely) woman here” with yellow and red arrows pointed at my head…metaphorically speaking, of course…am I giving off pheromones or something?  Not complaining, though…it’s sort of nice to feel like a woman sometimes instead of a mom, a daughter, a worker-bee, a doormat, and whatever else I am to people whenever they need me…

I’ve had philosophical discussions about life and love…I’ve had empty conversations about nothing much…I’ve connected on a business level with people, allowing myself to feel more like the professional that I know I am…I’ve connected on a personal level with people who I knew instinctively were the type of people I want to be around…

Life is as hard as it was a few days ago (who’s isn’t, right?)…but it’s still filled with possibility, hope, and (if I can let go of my cynical nature) dreams…I’m glad to be back in my space, figuring myself out in the only way I know how…now if I could just get the whole relaxation, vacation thing right, life would be almost perfect.

Thanks, Captain Obvious

Here it is, Monday night, and I am still recovering from the weekend…and no, not because it was some wild party (I wish)…the family got together for the weekend…which is always good, but it’s also exhausting…

My family is extremely small…the joke is that if we hadn’t gotten married, we’d be non-existent…ironically, I just wiped out a third of my “family” with one little divorce.  I’m an only child, and several immediate family members have died over the years, so literally, it’s just me, my mom, and my aunt…that’s it. 

My stepfather came with my mom this weekend – which is always good because I learn how to fix something new everytime he comes.  I could have figured out a few things about what’s under the hood of Bubba, but it was nice to have someone point it all out to me…unfortunately for me, I now need to keep oil and antifreeze with me at all times…fun times.

I’ve decided my mother has a type when it comes to men – she managed to find and marry the two most opinionated men on the planet in one lifetime.  First my dad and then about 7 years ago, the Step.  It’s endearing when it’s your father…it’s maddening when it’s not. The Step thinks he’s always right…he’ll even say it out loud…where other people can hear him.

This weekend should have been more celebratory…I’m divorced from someone that apparently everyone who ever loved me, liked me, or even tolerated me didn’t think I should be married to…but no, no celebration…

We had a family council of sorts…trying to figure out Michaela’s problems…which ended up being an hour long conversation where everything that’s wrong in my life that needs to be fixed was listed…with not one solution offered.  When I suggested a solution, it was pretty much argued out of existence…

So basically, it was the most depressing conversation of my life…with no positive outcome, no creative problem-solving, no hope given.  I should feel completely hopeless about my life after that little pow-wow.  Fortunately for me, I’m too busy raising my children and (barely) keeping my head above water to dwell on how miserable I should be…I’ll be miserable some other day…today, I’ve got stuff to do.

 

So How Do I Feel?

Hell, I still don’t know.

This morning, while I was driving to work, I started to smile for no reason…I was thinking about officially being single, and I couldn’t help it…a little smile just appeared…

Immediately followed by every fear and insecurity I possess.  Man, that’s a downer. So I just put it out of my head.

It’s a surreal feeling to be married and in the next instant to NOT be married…and nothing has actually changed.  Maybe once I get my name legally changed, I’ll feel like things are different.

I’m realistic about some stuff (read: cynical) – I am a single woman with two children…that’s not exactly a high selling point.  While I have lost a lot of weight over the past few years, and look the best I’ve ever looked in my adult life, I still have the body of a woman who has given birth to those two children…so no swimsuit model over here.  And yeah, yeah, yeah, looks aren’t important, blah blah blah…

Looks aren’t important, but first impressions are everything.

So no, I still don’t know how I feel…I don’t know when I’ll celebrate…I don’t even know when I’ll get my next tattoo (which was supposed to happen once the divorce was finalized)…but it’s all good.  I won’t be sick forever, and maybe once the crud goes away, I can focus on this a little more…because I wouldn’t want to waste an opportunity to overanalyze the situation!

It’s Official

My plan for today’s blog was to whine about how sick I am and how miserable I felt all day (when I wasn’t sleeping) and blah blah blah. One trip to the mailbox changed all of that.  Almost 6 months to the day I told Almost Ex (now The Ex) that I wanted a divorce, it’s final…it’s official…it’s real.

It’s anticlimactic at best.  The heavens didn’t part…lightning didn’t strike…there was no ticker tape parade with fireworks.  It’s just another day.  I find it hilarious that it’s on a day when I’m the sickest I’ve been in ages.

Of course, the calls and text messages went out to those who are closest to the situation.  And they are very happy for me.  When I talked to The Ex tonight, he sounded more excited than I am…excited isn’t the word to describe me.  Satisfied, relieved…those are good words. Nothing really changes for me right now.  Except it’s time to start the fun process of changing my name on everything.

Just like with everything else, I’m not 100% sure how I’m supposed to feel.  I know my big fear is that I will end up a cat lady.  Everyone assures me I won’t, but I know I’m not the easiest person to love, so I think it’s a possibility that I should consider.  And although I worry about being The Cat Lady, I’m certainly not worried about a committed relationship right now.  Since The Ex told me he’s in love with his new girlfriend, I’m a little cynical about relationships, as you can imagine.

I’m not woe-is-me…but I’m not ready to run out and celebrate…I think that’s because I’m so damn sick right now.  I’ve never in my life felt my glands to know if they were swollen…oh, they’re swollen and they hurt to the touch! I was worried that by sleeping 8 hours today, I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight…that’s not going to be a problem at all.

So tomorrow may be different, and I may be ready for that divorce cake.  Mmmm, cake.

Girl Power

I talk about it a lot, but I’m still amazed at the things I can do on my own…

Today was a day for muscle-flexing…I have been so fed up with Aidan’s room lately…it’s not his fault – it’s no messier than any other 6 year old’s room (I hope)…but the walls are green…putting green, to be exact…Aidan adored green when he was 4…and I was overly indulgent…but it’s not just that, it’s his carpet. 

When Almost Ex and I bought the house, we knew we would need to replace the carpet – it’s original to the house (20 years!!)…I can’t get Aidan’s floor clean enough anymore…so this morning, I decided to rip up the carpet…which forces me to do something about the room…I can’t have an unfinished room…

At 9:00 a.m., I started ripping and pulling and tugging…and moving furniture…the carpet came up easily (it is 20 years old)…the padding was even easier…and yes, this might not be news to some, but I’ve never done this…the carpet tack (is that the word, I want?) was a little more challenging, but an hour later, it was done.

Hauling the carpet out was the worst, but by the time I got it to the curb, I was ready to beat my chest and do a touchdown dance in my front yard…Hell YEAH, I did that…I know, I know, it’s just carpet…but it started the whole day right…and reminded me that I am physically strong (ok, sort of)…I moved furniture, I moved carpet…and yeah, it would have been easier and faster with help, but who cares?!

I’m one of those annoying people who appreciates offers of help, but rarely accepts them…I feel like I need to be strong enough, independent enough, efficient and proficient enough, to handle everything on my own…it’s physically hard for me to ask for help or even accept it…so when I can prove to myself and the world that I am capable of doing something hard on my own, it’s very gratifying…it will also make me an absolute joy for some brave man one day…someone should start praying for that future mystery person now…

Today was a day for girl power…I don’t need no damn body!  I got this! (This is where I mentally beat my chest and grunt and all sorts of ridiculous things.) 

I think this is what I’m going for (at least for today):

 

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