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Good job!!!

19 Jul

Good-job

I’ve been studying this summer, very intensely, which is why I haven’t been writing lately. All in all, I can say that things are going rather well.

I ended it with B, the sensitive yet macho Argentinian broker I’d been seeing for the past three months. It just didn’t seem like it could go anywhere, and as much as I liked the notion of living for now (and as much as the sex was spectacular), it’s just not me to invest emotionally in something that I know in my heart has no future. I feel good about ending it. I mean, it sucked breaking up with him. And I was a terrible coward and did it in a very long WhatsApp conversation. But it was a good thing ending it. And he actually seemed to take it relatively well. I had been sending signals. He’s a smart sensitive guy, he saw it coming.

The main thing that was difficult about this breakup, was the fact that he really cared about me. He thought I was beautiful and smart and fun and a good mom. I got loads of affirmation from him on a daily basis. And I realized suddenly how difficult it was for me to give this up. It’s the best thing in the world to feel loved, isn’t it? But there was more to it.

In the teacher-training program I’ve been taking this summer, we’ve been talking about positive reinforcement. Everyone’s always talking about the importance of giving children constant positive feedback. In my 6 years of teaching, this is something I’ve always made a point of doing, and have been very good at. I give a lot of positive reinforcement to my students, as much of it as possible, and never empty compliments – but rather actual concrete feedback about things they’ve done.

Well, I’ve been reading my Maria Montessori, and apparently, according to her, us adults basically just have to shut up. Let the children do whatever it is they feel compelled to do, to follow their instincts, their “inner guide” that will lead them to meaningful learning, without needing to be taught, without needing us to tell them how well they’re doing. If we constantly give them feedback for their work, how will they ever learn to give feedback to themselves? Huh. Good point.

Most of my life I was utterly unable of giving any feedback to myself. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was horrible to myself. I was always criticizing and scolding myself for not being thin enough, pretty enough, quick enough, knowledgeable enough, fun enough and so on and so forth… It took a baby and a painful breakup to get me to finally acknowledge my own strength. To finally be able to tell myself: Good job!

I still don’t do it often enough. It’s still super difficult. And I yearn, constantly for the approval of others. But I’m learning. And maybe I’ll try to hold back a bit on the positive reinforcement with my students this year. And maybe next time my son builds a spectacular Lego tower and admires it in awe, I’ll just smile, and let him clap for himself and tell himself, with his limited vocabulary, how awesome he is.

Just Being

30 Apr

kale

Last night I was sitting on my turquoise sofa, in my tiny living room, the front door open and a cool breaze coming in through the screen door. I was breathing heavily and dripping sweat from my run, and on the coffee table before me a big cardbord box of organic veggies that had just been delivered awaited me. I took a deep breath, and for the first time in months I felt happy and healthy.

This move is probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I love my new home. It’s bright and cheerful, I take good care of the little garden, I’m actually attempting to grow some herbs and veggies. I feel at home here. It’s suddenly clear to me how detached I felt in my old apartment, and I lived there for almost four years. It’s incredible how often in my life I have overlooked opportunities for change, how many times I told myself that it would be better to just stay where I was. But the last two years have been so dramatically life changing, that sometimes I look in the mirror and I feel like I hardly recognize myself.

I stopped putting other people’s needs before mine. I began to be kind to myself.

I stopped thinking I wasn’t attractive. I learned to love my body.

I stopped saying no to things, without really understanding why. I opened myself up to new possibilities.

I stopped being afraid of many, many things. I began to be brave.

I stopped being so grave in my desicion making. I started to take things more lightly.

I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me. I learned to listen more to myself and less to others.

I stopped shutting unpleasant thougts away in a little drawer at the back of my mind. I began dealing with things that are painful.

I stopped feeling guilty for being happy. I began feeling healthy.

I stopped trying to plan everything. I began living a little more for now. This new home that my son and I live in, it’s ours. Sure we rent it. Sure we might have to move at some point. But it’s ours for now, and it’s wonderful to feel that we belong here. I love walking around the house naked when I come out of the shower. I love discovering a new veggie supplier and cooking Kale for the first time in my life (yum btw). I love watching Castle on my laptop in bed, or sipping tea on my porchswing. And I love inviting that guy I recently met into my bed on my night off and not worrying about where it’s going or what it means.

Just being is so damn good for us, isn’t it? I wonder why I don’t do it more often.

 

 

Happy International Woman’s Day to a Me Still Craving Male Affirmation

8 Mar

I’m having such a blah day. The landlord to that house I want isn’t sending me the contract and I’m beginning to worry there might be something fishy going on there. I’m dying to move, but I need to let the daycare know what’s up in two days, and I’m not sure things will be final by then, or ever…

To make things worse my Boy is sick again, for the fourth time this month. High fever, not planning on going to daycare tomorrow. So mommy has to miss work, AGAIN.

And then there’s the other thing. It’s no secret that one of our most basic needs as human beings is to be touched, and it’s been really long. This sex deprivation is making me agitated in an already agitating situation. Bad for my health. And there’s not much I can do about it. I have no life, it’s all work and motherhood, and by the time I get a night off, I’m usually too tired to do anything. Then I finally get a break and my boy is healthy for an entire week, and he goes to his dad, and I go out drinking and meet a creepy weirdo who doesn’t get a hint.

My ego has really taking a blow lately. I feel unattractive, unsuccessful. Even if rationally I know I’m doing well, I feel like a failure nonetheless. And in this pool of self-pity that I’ve sort of let myself sink into today, there seems to be only one thing that can drag me out: male attention. Affirmation that does not come from within. I just really need someone to think that I’m cool right now, and that someone has to have a penis and a nice smile.

I’ve come a long way this year, but here’s something that hasn’t changed a bit: I still don’t think I’m worth a dime if I’m not constantly told I am by others.

That Girl

2 Dec

disclaimer

I’ve been reluctant to post about this, because I’ve been reluctant to admit it, but – we’re in therapy again. BD and I, trying to work things out, with the hopes of reuniting and giving our little boy the family we want so much for him to have.

I haven’t really talked much about it, I let almost everyone around me just assume that we’re separated, and on the way to a divorce (I bet they’re wondering what’s taking us so long). The few friends I have told, received the news followed by giant all-caps disclaimers: IT PROBABLY WON’T WORK OUT. NO POINT OF GETTING MY HOPES UP. WE MIGHT AS WELL GIVE IT A TRY, BUT, YOU KNOW, I DON’T REALLY THINK IT’S GOING ANYWHERE.

We have a good therapist. She’s practical and gets to the point quickly, which is good. And things are going well, I guess. We’re discussing moving in together for a trial period in a month or so. If this works out, it’ll be great. I mean, just think of the convenience: First off, having a live-in partner helping me raise my boy, and having that live-in incidentally be his father! There’s the little things – taking out the trash without worrying about leaving Baby at home. Going to the bathroom and, drumroll… Closing the door! Having someone to eat dinner with and spoon with at night. And then, there’s being able to have sex whenever I want, without it becoming a huge project. Only for that to become a consideration, we need to actually have sex, which we’re not, at all. God I miss sex. Sex is the best.

So now I have some down time, since the holidays have provided a short break from work, and BD went on yet another one of his business trips. Time to myself and I have no idea what to do with it. I’ve become so used to working nonstop, I kind of want to work though my vacation, and I can – it’s not that I don’t have stuff to do, I just don’t think that would be smart. I really need a time out.

After taking Baby to daycare this morning I went running, which always makes me feel powerful and sexy and I haven’t done it in a really long time. My running music is horribly outdated, but I haven’t listened to it so long that even Thrift Shop didn’t get on my nerves. When I came back home, feeling energized, I took a nice long shower and was suddenly overwhelmed with memories, little fragments of a winter day, almost a year ago, January 22nd, the day that marks my biographical birthday, the day New Me was born. As the water rushed over my hair, my face, my body, I felt a tingle in my toes as I caught a glimpse of a head of auburn curls, enormous brown eyes and strong arms that used to crush me to pieces and make me feel alive.

But it wasn’t SG I was remembering, it was me. Beautiful, sexy, strong, energetic, creative, vibrant, healthy, happy me. The girl who somehow survived the flood; the girl who camped out on the beach, sipping Breezers all day and returned home with her hair full of sand, and didn’t feel guilty for a minute for leaving her 7-month-old with his daddy; the girl who kissed a guy she never met at a club when she was 10 kilos heavier with post pregnancy weight, but felt hotter than she could ever feel these days; the girl who painted abstract crap and hung it on her wall shamelessly because it meant something to her, and started a blog and wrote 83 posts, consistently, every day, and then every week, and then every other week, but never stopped; the girl who, while raising a baby on her own managed to change her career around; the girl who fell in love, not only with a beautiful, free-spirited red-head, but with her brand new self.

I can’t go back now, I can’t. How could I ever give her up?

But I have. I am. I look back at that girl and I think I must have dreamt her. Just as I dreamt those enormous brown eyes that looked straight into my soul, and those big pouty lips that whispered “I love you” before they devoured me.

Wedding

26 Sep

dress

It was a beautiful wedding. BD took Baby and I had time for a bath, hair and make up, and I took a cab so I’d be able to drink. It wasn’t a close friend of mine who’d gotten married, but I knew I’d be crying like a little girl as she walked down the aisle. And I did.

I’ve always cried at weddings, for various reasons, that have changed over the years. The reasons that cause me to well up may have changed, but the tears are there, same as always. It used to be “how beautiful it is to be so in love” tears, and later on “I wish I were getting married”. Then it was, “I’m so happy for them” tears – after I myself had gotten married I went through a phase where I wanted everyone I knew to get married as well, so that they could be as happy as I was. Finally came the “fuck this” tears. The “true love doesn’t really exist but if you want to believe that it does, go ahead” tears. The “yeah, good luck with that” tears.

Tonight, it was the “will I ever love anyone that much again” tears, that stung my heart and shattered my soul.

At least I wore a pretty dress, drank five whiskey diet colas, ate a ginormous piece of wedding cake and got plenty of attention.

Time for bed now.

My ‘What Is’

15 Jun

bed

I opened my eyes this morning and saw that head on the pillow beside me, naked of those gorgeous red curls which have been chopped off mercilessly when we were apart. Sleeping with heavy eyelids, long auburn eyelashes resting on the top of his cheeks, and those enormous pouty lips slightly parted. It wasn’t a dream. He did come over last night, I did open the door to him in those sexy yet nonchalant pajamas. He did look at me for several long seconds and then pull me into a crushing, overwhelming embrace.

Life, I am slowly beginning to realize, is life. I know that seems trivial. One of the pre-Socratic philosophers, Parmenides, claimed that we can only speak and think of what is “for being is, but nothing is not.” This is my life, this is my what is. I am 32 years old, mother to an incredible one year old treasure, soon-to-be-divorced. I have a close friend, a beautiful, witty, unbelievably caring and giving person who’s putting on a hell of a fight with the big C and learning to allow people to be there for her, as she’s always been there for them.

This is my life. I have a steady job and a less than mediocre income. I have an accountant who flirts with me shamelessly every time we meet. I have a strong backbone and support system of friends and family who will always be there for me in times of trouble. I have great tits, even after breastfeeding, and my body will never be as tight as it used to be before childbirth, or as tight as it… has never been, frankly. But I’m learning to love it as is, to embrace its curves and lushness.

This is my life. I was in love once with a boy, so badly that I lost myself. I wrote a blog post about him and tagged it “rape” and then erased that word, but then edited it and tagged it again. And now I have an ex who wants to get back together, to whom I’m saying a strong, confident “NO”, which has been a long time coming, and a lover whom I’ve chosen to welcome back into my life, who pleasures me in ways I never realized were possible, to whom I’m choosing, for now, to say “YES”.

I don’t know what I want or where I want to go next, but I’m excited to find out.

This is my life. This is my what is. And I love it, even when I hate it. I love its twists and turns, I cherish its gifts, I embrace its painful lessons. I want to feel and experience everything it has to offer me, for as long as it’s offering.

Are You Listening to Me? I Said V-a-m-p-i-r-e P-o-r-n.

30 Jan

vampire novels

I mentioned in my previous post that I was going on a date with ice-skating-instructor-guy, so I realize that I owe everyone a follow up, and here it is.

My first date since the separation. My first date since, well, basically forever. The last time I was “on the market” was 13 years ago. Also, I’m still technically married, which makes me, technically, not quite on the market, more like on hold, more like may soon be on the market again. And still. I have been pretty much walked out on by a man I used to call my husband, who made a baby with me and then picked up and left the minute things got a little rough. So I don’t think I’m supposed to feel guilty about going out on a date. And I don’t, honestly. The thing I feel guilty about is the fact that I enjoyed it.

We went out to a bar. Following a friend’s advice, I came with my own car, to give myself a sense of control that I might not have had if he’d picked me up. I showed up exactly on time. He was already there waiting for me. I liked that. BD was always late.

At the bar, we chatted away, about books mostly, but then about life and it’s surprising turns.  I’ve got to hand it to this boy, he sure knows how to make a woman feel awesome about herself. There was a lot of complementing going on, the kind that surpasses the superficial/artificial you-have-pretty-eyes thing. He said he liked my attitude towards life. And I liked him for noticing that I had one, because I’m almost sure BD never did in 13 years of togetherness. But maybe that’s a bit harsh. Maybe he did notice, but just never bothered to acknowledge it. Or maybe he just didn’t care for it.

There we were, chatting and laughing, hardly any awkward silences, actually just one. We looked at each other, and he smiled apologetically. I smiled back. Then he finally remembered something he wanted to ask me. Something unimportant, maybe about work. And just as I was beginning to answer him I suddenly found his face very close to mine, and I realized he was going to kiss me, and I also realized that I was very happy to be kissed by him.

After that, on his part, he seemed more relaxed, like for a while he’d been planning his move. He moved his bar stool so that now he was sitting beside me, rather than opposite of me. He had his arm around me. He kissed me again from time to time. He was fun to kiss. It wasn’t so much that the kiss was extraordinarily spectacular. It felt good to be kissed by someone who seemed to really want to kiss me. It made a world of a difference to feel wanted, not just taken.

“I thought I’d have to wait for the end of the evening to get a kiss.” I said.

“I couldn’t wait that long.” He smiled.

On my part, I became more nervous after the kiss, somehow more self-conscious, but not in a bad way, just in an unfamiliar way, or more precisely in a way that has been absent from my life for quite some time. I didn’t really know what to do with all those compliments. My instinct was to negate them, to prove him wrong. Thanks, I’d say, but you know what, I’m really not as intelligent as you seem to think. No, no, no, listen, I don’t only read good books, I also read a lot of trash. Really, just recently I read vampire porn. Are you listening to me? I said v-a-m-p-i-r-e  p-o-r-n. Hey, I know you think I’m good looking, but you just haven’t seen my stomach yet, it’s just not what it used to be.  Trust me, my boobs used to be much perkier.

But I resisted, thank god, and he didn’t think I was demented. He thought I was unique.

We’re meeting again in a few days, and I already know what I’m going to wear, and I have all the scenarios of possible conversations that we’re going to have in my head.

I can also only barely stand the wait until he kisses me again.