I think I'll always end up back here if only for its anonymity - and the memories, and the fact that I actually have friends IRL I met while consistently writing on this site.
As the title suggests, PB is currently down for the count. There are a number of server issues, but thankfully no data loss and the site creator's outlook of being able to deploy everything to a new server seems favorable. Poor guy.
So, for the foreseeable future, I'm writing here again. Much of the day-to-day of my life is fairly boring, but January and February were busy with the sunset of a large program we support and maintain, so cancellations (and waiting on pending cancellations, which is arguably worse) have happened in two distinct and rather large waves. I ought to find some wood to knock on before I say that it's died down, but the final remaining procrastinators seem to have managed to eek in at the last second and cancel their subs, so I may not have to worry about extraneous work and stress when I return to the office tomorrow.
I just wrapped up a three-day weekend during which I spent a total of probably three hours writing - which, in retrospect, isn't impressive; I should be doing that on a daily basis, and I'm going to hold myself to a stricter writing schedule starting tomorrow. I got my car's oil changed, spent time with the roommates, and watched The Ritual with two of my roomie's children. It was lovely - but I also had entirely too much time to think, and before I could stop it, the curling serpent that is grief wound its way around my ankles.
I miss my mother. I miss my former lover, and I sometimes even miss the board. I tell Dave that I don't, but the truth is that there are moments I wish I could have enjoyed with greater relish if I had known they'd be the last. I know that the pain of being voted off and watching the subsequent implosion of the board is hurting him, and will hurt him for quite some time. I wish there was something I could do to assuage that pain. As usual, we've found solace in each other's company and I couldn't ask for a better friend.
He lost his ever-loving mind during our brief time apart and bought a house - a gorgeous house on the hill, overlooking the entire valley. The view, he said, will be lovely when the weather's nicer and we can sit outside on the deck and watch the sunset. HELL YES.
We're planning on a trip to Seattle in March. We were going to go this month, but January and February have been strange financial months for both of us so we postponed. He's house poor, and I'm literally dying with how much rent I'm paying and we're both thinking that the best option for me is to look for a less expensive place. I'm going to reassess things in the Spring, but essentially this is it: I know that this situation is not long-term. I think Patti knows this as well, so that's kind of our unofficial time to revisit things. Not because we don't get along, but because nine people under one roof is kind of insane.
Also - I'm ready to live on my own again. I shouldn't have been on my own after Mom passed away, and I blame that as one of the reasons for how far off the deep end I went. I should have reached out sooner; I should have made different choices. Then again, I can't live in constant regret for those choices, either. While I am wounded in a way I couldn't have foreseen even a year ago, I am learning how to work through it - the end of an intense and often abusive relationship, the way things have shaken out between Dave and I, the struggle of singing again and attempting to access a part of me I was certain I had lost. These are major processes for me; it may sound stupid and I'm sure it does, but it's taken me months just to recover to the point I am now.
I am still a practicing Pagan/Heathen/Asatrur, whatever verbiage you want to use. This spiritual path has smoothed some of the bumpiness of the last couple of years, and as a result I am more focused on healing and repairing the deepest parts of my self. The things I thought I lost, especially during the last nine months, are returning in small chunks. Music. Opera. The ability to trust the integrity of my friendships; emotional intimacy and being vulnerable. It's happening, and the progress is slow and incremental, but it's there and I just need to stay in the light. Over the course of this last weekend, grief and sadness gave way to a gentleness I have never experienced. The need to move about the different spheres of my life softly, mindful of not only my own precious emotional health but that of those closest to me. Quietude seems to be the order of my life, of late. It's good - I think.
On the other hand, my relationship with my Dad is the best it's ever been. My sister lost the baby - another tragedy to strike our family - and that was difficult, but I'm proud of the strength and resilience she showed. We learned from the best.
My grandmother moved three hours away, and that was hard because she's my main beyotch and she's lived near me for my entire life. It was more traumatizing getting a truck full of her things packed in slightly over an hour than it was packing up the house she had lived in for over thirty years. She has dementia, and there may come a day sooner than I'd like when she doesn't remember my name. There will come a time when I have to say goodbye to her too, and there have been so many goodbyes in the last two and a half years that I don't think I have another in me. Not for a while, at least.
One of my Marine Corps sisters passed away unexpectedly due to complications from influenza a few weeks ago. Watching a cavalcade of messages, remembrances, and general Marine Corps reminiscences was simultaneously fulfilling and harrowing. I had nightmares for a week; I cried often, and I cried hard. Hess (a truncation of her last name, which is what we all went by in the Corps) was my age. She had a devoted husband, and a two year-old daughter. Never was there a more abrupt illustration of the fact that life is short and precious.
A few days prior to hearing about Hess passing away, my grandmother on the biological side ended a three-year battle with cancer and dementia. This loss was one of relief; I called my Dad, and he said that she'd fought like hell and it was a comfort to know that she was no longer suffering. I'm inclined to agree.
Loss is loss and grief is grief. The circumstances change from person to person, but the sense of emptiness remains. In the last almost three years, I have counted nine people who were all close to me who either suffered untimely deaths or ended long, exhausting battles with serious illness. Regardless, they each hurt. They each took a piece of me; in Chet's case, I was there right until his dying breath. It is a feeling I will never forget, nor will I ever regret being there for him when he transitioned from this life to the next. After all, wasn't he there when I myself transitioned?
So. Now things have calmed down, and I'm left with a lap full of pieces to slowly fit back together. The growing sensation of being somewhat adrift has not abated with the meaningful and challenging work I do in my job, nor has it stung less from being convinced to take voice lessons again or launching my podcast or devoting time to my writing. Those things will eventually allow me to become human again, but now I am faced with the task of rebuilding myself - the emotional parts, the parts that are scarred and ugly. Grief does that; it takes no prisoners, it does not quarter, and it does not discriminate. It leaves you breathless and sometimes sick - I've never been ill more my entire life than I have been in the last two years.
Things are really not terrible, people. I know it may sound like that, but honestly, this is also a good time in my life because I'm able to step back and rebuild surrounded by people I love and who I know love me. It's just that the process is a difficult one.
So I'm coming back to Bloop for the time being while Prosebox is in the middle of some transitions. As I mentioned, the anonymity will be good; I need a space where I can spew my words, and Bloop is good for that.