Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A reminder



I don't know if I've mentioned my fabulous boyfriend Peter, and his, well...fabulousness? Well, while life is sorting itself out (see the last squillion posts) I'm just getting through life basically. Simply. Keeping my head down. And that means saying, or at least thinking 'no' to a lot of things. Peter is a gem for a lovely gesture. And knowing that David Sedaris was in town and how ace I think he is, he bought a couple of tickets so I could go along with a friend.

Wow. So last night, with many other people in Melbourne, my friend Morfia and I trotted off to Hamer Hall to see him speak. Walking in we discovered a small, unassuming man, sitting behind a table signing books. We grabbed a glass of champagne to settle the nerves, and joined the queue. It is an odd thing to stand in front of someone you're a bit in awe of, and try to think of something to say. And this gentle, laid-back man looked at me and began to sign my book. 'Andy...that's a good name'. He then began to draw. He looked at me and said 'I bet you're a cat person'. Ok, now I'm usually covered in cat hair at the best of times, but I had wondered how upon meeting me, he had picked it. He then looked at Morfia as he signed her book, 'and I bet you're a dog person'. Spot on! How was it that from a quick observation he had sensed these things about us. We've been wondering all day how he knew.

With our books signed and glasses empty, we took our seats. And such joy was had. To hear his stories read, with the author's own inflection, pauses, warmth and humour was an experience. One minute we were laughing, tears streaming down cheeks, at the absurdity of the human condition and the situations we find ourselves in. The next, we were marvelling at his turn of phrase to describe the beauty of our surrounds, the gentle observation of a life less lived, or the glory of the everyday. With one line read, the tone of the room changed completely. This was what it was like to be in the presence of someone who loves people, language and experiences. Someone who has lived a diverse and eventful life. Someone who takes in everything around him, and takes the beautiful in equal stride with the ridiculous.

As we walked back to the car, beaming from such an amazing night, I felt like I was looking at the world differently. The evening was a reminder that life does flash by too fast sometimes, and we should be more aware of where we find ourselves, and who we find ourselves with. In years gone by, I have had moments where I've had little money and a few tough times, but it made me appreciate the small things. The feeling of warm sun on your back on a chilly day, a great cup of coffee, the seasons (and we get plenty of those in Melbourne), the city lights reflecting on the yarra river at night, the smell of salty air, how it feels to be hugged properly or the purr of my cats first thing in the morning as I wake up.

Writing in this blog has helped me process and think though many things. I have needed this greatly, as somehow things click together in my head, as I'm writing. But the woes of my Ex aren't how I define my life. They are by no means all I see. And perhaps I need to write about other things occasionally. For I am certainly observing and appreciating them. Last night was the best reminder, not only for my love of clever, witty observational writing, but also my love of life. And that's a pretty good night out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

weakness and strength

Picking up from my last post, the conversation was had. It was also a step in the right direction, but filled with vitriol and abuse. It seems there will be a price to pay for my freedom and happiness. It will not be easy, and it has been a reminder that I will have to be the one who pushes on to get this sorted.

Peter and I were reminiscing the other day. Looking at old emails, and I came across ones where I was telling him about myself. I laughed at the lines I wrote, stating how I don't like to feel weak. How I hate to feel that there are things I can't do. How I will push myself to get what I want. I laughed at this because it is true. In so many ways and about so many things. I suppose in the last 12 months these words have been more pertinent to the bigger things in life, rather than just painting walls, renovating or gardening. Perhaps it is these traits that have helped me through the difficult times since May 31 2009.

I have been yelled at, called names, called a liar, a bitch, a c*nt, and told that I will pay for the pain and suffering caused, been threatened with glassing if I didn't shut my mouth and basically told I should rot in hell. All this from someone who used to love me. I have tried to get through this with some sense of dignity, and not play into the game. I have let things slide and wash over me. I have looked into the face of someone who despises me and tried to keep my head held high. It has been hard, but is getting easier. Perhaps because although there are obstacles still to climb, I can see the finish line ahead. And there will be a time where I don't have to take the abuse anymore.

So many friends are worried that I shouldn't meet the Ex by myself anymore. That I should take someone else with me. But the reality is that there is no one to take. Any friend or family member will just inflame the situation and the paranoia button will be triggered if I contact one of his friends. The only thing I can do is keep going.

Today on facebook a friend who lives in england popped up in chat. I was giving her an update on my situation (which is kind of interesting as she knows me and my Ex). She said many wise things, but it wasn't until I noticed what she had posted on my wall, that my bottom lip began to tremble. Three words. Love you Andy. At a time when I was hating the fact that I felt vulnerable, she reminded me that even from so far away, I have people who love and support me. Who don't think I'm any of the things I have been called. And it made me feel weak and strong at the same time. Funny how that happens.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

free?

Happy New Year everyone. I always find this time of year inspiring. New beginnings, fresh starts, leaving the past behind and facing forward to all that the new year has to offer. Hope and promise fill the air. And it's never felt quite so relevant as it does this year.

2009 was a doozy. Who knew what lay ahead for me. I certainly wouldn't have picked it. But here I am, in a place that feels much more like where I am supposed to be. And here I am on the verge. I am again sitting in a nervous place, about to make contact with the Ex. We need to sort out the mess, which is owning a property together with someone you're no longer with. On my way home tonight all I could think of, was how it felt like on my way out of my old life, my foot became caught in a bear trap. I have been trying to get myself onto the path of my new life, but the steel pincers are crushing and restraining me from being able to completely move forward. There have been times when I have cried in pain like an animal caught, and the more I thrashed, the more it hurt. The more I hurt me.

Tomorrow I begin the conversation where I find out if the jaws of the trap will slowly be prized open and my wounded self allowed to make those tentative steps towards complete freedom. I am nervous, but actually the calmest I've been through this whole experience. I don't know why. Perhaps I'm secretly hopeful. Perhaps I am now used to the awkward and awful confrontations. Perhaps I am getting stronger within myself. It could all go tits up, but then I will just deal with the fall out. Whatever steps I have to take, are the steps I have to take. There's no other option. And there's no longer any reason to hurt myself by fretting and worrying about possible outcomes. Any feelings of guilt or anguish about hurting someone, can no longer be used against me. I have my moments of them still, but I am learning to ride them out.

And maybe part of it is because I have so many hopes for 2010. There are many things I have dreamt of, and the amazing thing is that I have a wonderful and supportive person to plan all this with. Someone who makes me laugh, makes me look at myself, makes me see myself differently, makes me brave, makes me happy, and makes me feel an unerring depth of love I was yet to experience before meeting him. My heart is full of joy.

Being so close to the trap possibly opening is almost overwhelming. Peter once said to me that if I jumped he would catch me. Which he did. And I know that when the trap opens and I manage to pull myself free of the past, he will be there to nurse me, should I need it. Who knows what tomorrow holds for me, but as ever, I am hopeful. It is the time of year after all.