It's been a long, long time since I've even thought about writing here. I keep a public blog now, but I want to write about things that I don't really want read by people I know in daily life. I can hardly remember when I wrote here last. But I think it was before I met Bruce.
I wrote in this journal mainly through the last years of my marriage, in 2005 and 2006. In 2008 I was divorced. I lived with another writer for almost two years, but he was a drunk and crazy, and it didn't work in the end. In 2010, I dated around, wrote a whole bunch, and watched my life transform. Actually, I transformed my life. I started by being the person I wanted to be, living like I was where I wanted to be already. Things feel into place.
I worked for a tea shop for awhile. It was chill and easy for the first year. Then I became their event planner, and it lost its charm. Or I lost my charm with it. I loved the details of successful event planning, but didn't like the weekends, or the pressure, or the not enough compensation.
Around the same time I got into the event planning, I met somebody special. We met at an art gallery where my poems were on display. He came up and started talking to me about art and I was about to blow him off, when I looked at him, and something clicked. Just like that. And for almost two years, since January of 2011, we've been inseparable. He's 24 years older, not a writer or even a reader, is not like anyone I'd ever thought I'd be with, and I can't imagine life without him.
Since we've been together, my personal odyssey continued. I'm still trying to find my way as a writer. I quit the underpaid job at the teashop last year, started freelancing, and now am making double what I've ever made before as a communications officer for a startup. It's dry writing and it takes a lot of my creative energy for no good use, but it's more money than I've ever made and it helps me to accomplish some of my larger goals. It's hard to feel free when you're broke.
We've travelled the world together. We took an amazing trip to eastern Europe. I saw Prague, Bavarian towns, sailed the Danube, went through Austria, ended up in Budapest. It was life-changing, really. Seeing so much of the world changed how I felt.
I lost my grandmother last year, and her death still hits me sometimes, the temporary nature of things. I held her cold body in the funeral home and felt her love, from wherever it is a soul goes. Love doesn't leave us.
My partner and I moved into together last year. We live in one of the nicest buildings downtown in Orlando, overlooking the iconic lake and fountain its center. I've walked to the park, to the library, to get coffee - it's been a dream. To say we live a charmed life is an understatement. My worries are often small or self-made. I'm very comfortable and happy, which is almost an oddity if you haven't had those things.
He's an architect working mainly in China, so he travels there frequently. I'm going with him one of these days. He's smart and kind, the best man I've ever met. His kindness has allowed a softer part of me to emerge, and that's strange too. I thought I'd write books about grit and terror, then my life went the opposite of that, to sweetness and light. I've had a bit of an identity crisis as a writer on that.
I'm on the Board of Directors of a writing charity now. I volunteer, have many wonderful friends from that. I love what I am able to do in the community.
My children are doing well. My daughter is a chronic overachiever whose giftedness has been her blessing and curse. She lives with her grandmother and is too busy to believe. She is funny, smart, conflicted, brave, and amazing. She was lucky enough to travel to Europe in June, all around Western Europe. She's going back to Spain and Portugal in November, and Italy in April. Her sixteen years have been interesting.
My boys are a constant source of delight. I see them weekly now, with more consistency than I've been able to since the divorce. I was able to afford bass lessons for my youngest, the first time I could swing such a thing. We go out for Thai or Pho on Tuesday nights and I marvel at the little men I made.
This weekend my partner and I are moving into a new home. It's bigger than any I've lived in, and nicer. We talk about furnishing it, dream about the future, and are happy in the present. What's different, I ask myself, from the me of 6 years ago, lost and aching? I didn't change, not at all, in who I was. I've always been kind and loved people, wanted to do the best. The thing I stopped doing was the self-talk that crippled me. No, you aren't a real writer. No, you aren't a good mother. No, you aren't beautiful. No, you aren't a good person. I stopped. When I start it now, the inklings of it, I stop. I ask the same of the people I surround myself with, too - that they are positive. And it works, little by little.
Nothing's perfect. I still have faults. I struggle from time to time, but that's life. I've learned to focus on more than the thing in front of me. This morning, in bed, B ran his fingers over my shoulders, and said he wanted to pamper me every day of my life. I feel the same about him. It's so good to share that kindness and love with someone. But it isn't the love that makes things okay - it's that I was okay that I could live with and accept this love. I almost didn't. I almost threw it away. But I've learned the hard way enough. I'm ready for the easier.
I like thinking about my life in context, which I've always done here, in this space. I like where I am, on this day, ready for more beautiful adventures.