I am reviewing "the year in review" that facebook so generously created and placed on my timeline. It helps me to recall “the highlights” or at least some highlights randomly chosen or chronologically compiled based on some Zuckerberg determined algorithm that stood out amongst the posts across the year, 218 in total, give or take. It might have appeared to be a very busy year. It was in fact an exhausting year of tumultuous proportions. And it was a year celebrated by minor and major achievements as well as occasional internally motivated status posts to keep my head above water and the rest of me afloat. It was the year of my coming out…. as an artist, writer and photographer. Exhibited, published, and solo showing. It was a year of travel and finding my own personal deep south, or calm my inner most workings, as well as the deep South located geographically below Dixie. It was the year to continue where I left off a lifetime of losing my way ago.
It was the year of my divorce. Not to be celebrated with the year of the pig, or rat, but marked just the same, on a throw away paper placemat covered in dark, sticky slop and shiny red glistening globs of manufactured false sweet. It was actually the year of my second divorce. The first one 20 years prior. Maybe in 20 more….nah. I’m good….or recovering, or stumbling about with a shocked gaze, sometimes, but mostly not. I am however, still a bit shell shocked and as hard as I try to jump back into life, life keeps jumping right back at me, bitch-slapping me into knowing, with a stern, warning look. Knowing, there’s no rush. Warning, I’m not in control of life. I can’t force or fight or finagle my way back into life, in a desperate effort to shield myself from feeling some of the very large hurts inflicted to ensure they don’t happen again. But, damn I can’t seem to give up hope and tap dance my way the hell out of suffering. I think I see Pleasant Valley and Happenstance up ahead. The road to Perdition is barely in view anymore and I’m ready to shuffle off to Sunnyside or Providence. A one way ticket to Tingly, Hope or Wellsville*? (In the fall my son and I took the back roads through the North Country, and silently grimaced through Sodom, New York….Honestly??? What the hell were they thinking?)
The December posts sum it up nicely:
December 5: Pencil Skirt, Go F yourself boots working rather nicely for me today…calm and relaxed and LMAO off but not too loudly, more of a shit eating grin thing going on….a really nice day, start to finish, and it’s about time let me tell you!
I had to think about this one. I remember the skirt and the boots. Divorce Finalization? Observation? Hot date? It got a lot of replies and likes. It was popular across the friend list. And why wouldn’t it be? We all need those days. The ones when things all come together, the clothes, the shoes, the sass and stance. Oh, yes, I do remember some of the details, and maybe the LMAO shit-eating grin was well deserved. It was about self-respect and staring down an adversarial colleague that I had allowed to cause way too much strife and tension in my daily functioning. It was a day I needed both gams a-blazing, and a f#@k you very much edge, as opposed to my inner conflict that externally presents itself as spits and starts of do the right thing and rage-edged, tersely, cordial, blasts of God only knows what. I felt in my game, on the ground and solid on the earth. I have been here fewer times than the Yankees have won a world series and my God did it feel just right! I did not react. I held my own. I came out shining and I calmly, professionally took charge and sang my way through a day of teaching students without compromising their potential and my God did they shine! I had dinner with a great friend and I received news that I had been waiting on that brought closure and great relief. Fabulous, with great boots.
December 21: Happy! Calmed. Rested up for a big Christmassy night in the city with my beautiful children and some great Irish music at Sandy Seisiuns II.
I was happy, and calmed and momentarily fortified. I enjoyed a clandestine interlude (I always wanted to use that term, it sounds so grown up and cloaked in mystery). The interlude of clandestine interchange transpired after months of negotiations, suggestions, malfunctions and exaggerated notions of grandeur and fairy-tale fantasizing. And perhaps, when something takes on this level of work it should not be categorized as a clandestine interlude but an event, absolute and timeline worthy. I have this new girlish fixation with romance and the fantastical belief in a mortal, yet all alpha man and sugar-plum filled tomorrows. I am maybe a tad off center and over the top about the concept of dating.
I was told 2 years and some odd months ago, I was the type of woman men leave their wives for. I think this bothered me on so many levels, I may have been overcompensating to ensure that no one even looks in my direction, so far it’s working rather well. And so I have spent the better part of this year on and off manufacturing the magnificence of a man in the deep crevices of my mind. He’s not even married. He left his wife, or she him, years ago. I get caught up on the weirdest crap, I do.…. The reality is my sense of myself did not match the statement, and I give too much heed to the shared thoughts of others. I am a quirky mess of unique and unusual and I have a tough time gauging myself in the world of dating potential when I get all caught up thinking about it way too much. I went about building a pedestal of poetic proportions and dressed it up in Madonna’s love, you know, all over, all over from his head down to his toes….which just turns people off anyway. A shame really, he had nice toes...
I can’t quite figure out how to get this running away from and towards a twirl at romance into the same space, and out of my mind, so I can merge these feelings into manageable moments of hope and desire and call me maybes. I’m not going for anymore clandestine romps, interludes or merrymaking. I’m going for in your face dinner is expected at such and such a place, fist-pumping, chest bumping full on take it or leave it fun-soon. I mean it. I’m not kidding! I can do this…just watch! Oh, maybe that’s too far the other way….
The night after the clandestine interlude with what was I thinking and when will I get this right, turned out to be a big night, maybe not so Christmassy, but big…
I drove into the city all charged up and full of exciting hope and unknowing. I was looking forward to hanging out with some musical men of the Irish tradition and raising a pint to the fundraising efforts to rebuild Breezy Point and Long Beach following Hurricane Sandy. In between seeing the Christmas sights of the city, dinner with my children and donating a photo for auction, I was psyched! I was maybe a little too charged up with the nearing end of this year of unpleasantries and I was trying too hard to summon up a marching band of ready, set, end it fast and firecracker seal it shut. So I did what any crazed lunatic would do, I took it up with a New York City cab. Crash, burn, crumble, Slow it down Missy….
December 22: After deciding to divert the Mayan End by crashing into a taxi, we decided to be regular ordinary tourists.
The tree, the windows, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Lighting a few candles, prayer. Me, New York City. Christmas. My children. My whole being. Love.
On Christmas Day I wished everyone a Merry Christmas, I thanked a few lucky stars and cursed a few that have dimmed and turned off their final sparks of light. I have had a year, or two that I don’t wish to revisit, ever. I have also been lucky and loved and supported. I have been humbled and I have been graced by the kindness of strangers and I have been quieted by the strength of those faced with adversity that make my worries seem slight and insignificant. I have prayed for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and harder, the victims of Sandy Hook because I could do no more. I have been blessed with more time on this journey and I want to make the best of it and continue to work at being my best for myself and those I love dearly. I want to know calm and peace.
The holidays are tough. Too often filled with bright expectation and unfathomable dread. My family has been in distress. My children harmed and hurt and wounded by the very parents that were ascribed with the task of protecting and caring for them. Divorce is devastating, but marriages that are damaged and broken are far more destructive and pervasive in their harm. I could not have fixed or changed or altered the outcomes. I wish I had seen more clearly the cracks and breaks that were slowly taking hold in the newly forming hearts and minds of my children. I’m not sure what I could have done differently. I had thought of them constantly, but maybe without always seeing them whole. I have tried and lived for them, but only as best as I ever could, and sometimes this was not enough. They deserve more, the best, the bright expectations without too much dread. They deserve all that I can offer and so much more. I wish them - all and then some and I know they will expect and work at fulfilling their dreams and building their minds. Their hearts will sing, and break, and beat and offer much love, again and again.
I wish divorce was easier. Compassionate. I wish it was not filled with opportunity for exploitation and emotional ruin to line or protect the pockets of some at the devastating expense of many. I wish families the ability to support and nourish and heal in spite of the harsh realities of life in the face of natural disasters and man-made destruction.
December 31: I (will) feel stunning, and filled up with light and the twirling thrill of a romance not yet realized….but possible….. well that’s the plan anyway.
I will not be driving and therefore, I will not be crashing. I will be laughing brightly and heartily with friends. True and good, light and lovely. I will be sending love and peace to my children that I keep close in my heart always. Oh and I will be deciding between the black fitted lace trimmed cut-out dress and the black twirly, feather-trimmed, flare skirted, tight bodiced dress- yes feather trimmed, but just slightly. A girl’s got to kick it up from time to time and just let it all work. Well this girl does.
According to Mike Dooley and his Universe Postings, 2013 is going to be my break-out year. I just hope that’s not related to hives.....or poison ivy....or jail....
*For a full listing of funny town names: http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Pointless/Cities.html