Tag Archives: life

Museums of Broken Relationships

A break-up is like a broken mirror:  it’s better to leave it alone than to hurt yourself picking up the pieces.

 

His name was Michael. Today is his birthday. I shouldn’t remember that, but I do. When we met he was 32, and I was 24. We met at work.  I loved his sense of humour and he loved my adventurous spirit.  We were friends first.  Nearly a year, before anything more than friendly happened.  But as is often the case between men and women, something did happen.  I practically dared him to kiss me, and when he did, it was as if time stood still. July 19, 2004…after lunch. The kiss lasted exactly 42 seconds.  I know because I had a digital atomic clock on the wall in my office.  The kiss touched every neuron in my body, and for the first time in my life, I felt alive.

I named him “Nobody” and he called me “Girl. ”  If people asked me who I was dating, and they did because people love to meddle in the affairs of others, I’d say “Nobody.” If people asked him who we was seeing, he’d say “Just some girl.”  It was our secret, and it was exciting.

We carried on our secret affair for 18 months –until I moved away…co-workers weren’t supposed to date. And even after moving to a different state, the thought of him was like a drug.  We were like addicts addicted to each other; couldn’t stay away, yet couldn’t get enough.

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The first step in recovering from an addiction is admitting that there is a problem, and oh boy, there was.  Michael was as strong as any drug I’d ever encountered, and willpower alone wasn’t enough to make me quit him.  Over time I came to rely on a power greater than myself and contact with Michael became more and more sparse.  Withdrawal is a painful master.  There was physical pain.  There was emotional pain. There were tears.

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There were no stuffed worms. No legs were broken in this break-up.


The last conversation I had with him was right before I left for Moscow.  He said “you always did want to go places.” and I said “I will always love you, but this will be the last time I tell you that.”  And I haven’t had contact with him since.  After returning from Moscow, I wanted to call him.  I wanted to tell him all the amazing adventures I had.  Instead, I got a cat.  I named her Lily. She was a sweet cat.

 

Lily helped me heal.

 

I still have a post card he gave me. And ticket stubs for various events. And a necklace. And various little notes.  What can I say, I’m a sentimental soul.

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I knew before I went to Zagreb that I wanted to go to the museum of broken relationships. I find it  fascinating to see what people keep as mementos from relationships.  Not every relationship ends on a sour note.  Some have other obstacles that time just could not overcome.  Some just aren’t meant to be.  Some exist solely to prepare you for the future.  Michael was not my first boyfriend, but he was my first love, and without that relationship, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I’ve held on to the mementos of the relationship with Michael for 15 years, and karma, good energy, and such being what it is, it’s time to release that energy into the universe. Good bye Michael.


PS...I have a slight confession to make.  One time I was dating this guy.  His name was James. Now I knew that the relationship with James was never going to be long-term, but he was ummm, fun, and I had recently broken up with a cheating bastard I caught with another woman.  I made James brownies for his birthday.  I left them on the kitchen table with a ‘Happy Birthday’ note.  I came over the next day to find everything in the trash. I was pissed to say the least. Livid. Irate. Incensed. A seething cauldron of raging fumes; you get the idea. He was being such an ass. I went to the local World Market, bought a bottle of cheap $7 Il Bastardo wine, and switched it out for his fancy $200 bottle of French Bordeaux.  My friend and I drank the rich, velvet wine while sitting in her hot tub cursing all the shallow men in the world.  I still feel no shame in taking Il Bastardo’s prized bottle of red wine.

In retrospect, the Il Bastardo was still probably pretty good.  After all it comes from Tuscany and is a Sangiovese so probably still good. I really would have like to have smashed Il Bastardo over the bastard’s head, but I got my revenge in other ways that even though the statute of limitations has passed, I’ll still keep my mouth shut because some things are just better left unsaid [or in this case… things are better left un-typed].

at least no axes were ever involved in any of my break-ups

PPS…Names and dates have been changed to protect the innocent…Except Il Bastardo.

PPPS...If I dated women, I’d totally give every.single.one I ever broke up with this bar of chocolate.

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Introducing my new space–the rental

You know, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to reveal my space to the world or even if this was the right time.

Originally, I wanted to wait until it was ‘finished’, until I had a fully decorated space. But who are we kidding, my space will never be finished.  I’ll be adding and subtracting things until the day I move out.

Then I decided that I’d like to have a record of the process. I’d like to see how the place as it improves changes over time. [It’s already changed some since I took these photos.]

SO Welcome to my place.

It’s a 3 bedroom/2 bath duplex on a cul-de-sac in one of Greenville’s east side suburban neighborhoods.  I have a patio and a yard, a couple trees, and a one car garage.

In this day and age, privacy can be a tricky thing to figure out.  I’m not famous, nor do I have an intense desire to be famous. But I have had a stalker in the form of an ex-boyfriend, and I did have a dude show up on my doorstep uninvited during my one disasterous attempt at on-line dating.  So, in an effort not to repeat that I have decided to be purposely private about exactly where I live. I’ve also decided to keep what I pay in rent private, but my household expenses are < $1000/month.  Yay for SC.

I love that I live a quiet life. I love that I hear tree frogs singing at night. The area I live in was the hot address 20-30 years ago.  That means established neighborhoods, stabilized rent/mortgage prices, no construction on every corner, and a nice mix of older people, young families, and singles.

I’m convinced that I got a great deal…3 bedrooms/2 baths…dishwasher, washer and dryer, more kitchen cabinets than I can fill, an office, guest room, and living room.  It’s way more space than I need, but it was essentially the same as one bedroom apartments in newer areas.   There’s nothing within walking distance, but I grew up in the country so that’s not a deal breaker for me.

As for living here, it’s been a few months and I am still so thrilled to be here! Moving here was absolutely the right decision, and I’m enjoying being on my on again in a safe, comfortable neighborhood not too far from close friends.

First up:  the entry way/living room/kitchen

Who knows how a person can accumulate so much stuff during the course of a day but I seem to manage. I really wanted to create a ‘landing zone.’  A place where I could hang my keys, and drop my backpack.   A place where I could tame the mail, and keep up with my schedule.

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I really like the two month calendars side by side.  It really helps me keep an eye on the big picture.  I also like the positive upbeat messages at the top of the wall.

Next up:  the living room

After dropping my stuff and kicking off my shoes, I head into the living room.  It was pretty generic when I moved in but I spent a whole week painting.  First up the red wall, then the gray.  I have two huge windows and a French door so I get plenty of light.  Also I get afternoon sun through the dining room window.

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I also have my very first washer and dryer. That red wall is my absolute favorite wall in the whole house…favorite people, favorite travel memories.  My  furniture is old; the coffee table in new…ordered off Amazon.  All the art is either my photographs, something I created, and a few pieces acquired from Hobby Lobby…namely that canvas map. The red wall is 100% travel related.  Even the lamp is in the shape of the Eiffel tower.  And the South Carolina string art–I did it myself.

Meet the Living Room

An interior designer I am not. I’m good with color and painting and such, but furniture placement and such, not so much.

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My couch is old, but the kitties are glad it’s out of storage.  They’ve actually never had furniture to lounge on other than the bed.   And me, well I spend most of my time sitting there working on homework, or watching my latest TV addiction on my new 40-something inch TV sitting on the hand-me-down stand.  Right now it’s TURN, the Americans, and The Knick.

Meet the Bedroom[s]

I actually have 3!  One for me, one for Christopher, and one for Lucy.  I chose the back bedroom with the attached small bathroom for me.  The other one is small-ish, but has a full sized bed, dresser, TV and DVD player in it.  It’ll be my guest room, you know, if I ever have guests.  The other room I’ve turned into my office/kitty room.  It’s where I keep my desk.  It also has a twin bed for lounging, and the kitties food/water and litter box.

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Christopher’s room…complete with the big cats as mentors

Meet the Bathroom[s]

I have two.  Two toilets is a little piece of heaven. One full size shower/tub and one shower only.  Both of them ar small, but then again,  is a large bathroom really necessary?

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The larger of the two bathroom is the hall bath.  It’s the one that others will use so I wanted to make it pretty.  There’s cracked 1970’s green-ish linoleum on the floor, and I painted the walls a fresh, light green.  I also added elephants to the wall to hold towels elephant babies to open drawers.  A sand colored and palm tree shower curtain hides the shower from nosey eyes.

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I got these two prints on a visit to Seattle in 2012.  At the time I only had one cat, Kaos, and Kaos was the sweetest, sexiest black cat around.  I’ve never had the space to properly hang them, and now that I do, I think it’s providence that I’ve got both an orange and black cat–just like in the pictures.

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On Gratitude

I am humbled and grateful every single day that I’m able to live in a wonderful place like this. It took me a long time to get here.  Years of living in basements, attics, and spare rooms. Years of living with roommates that ranged from cool to weird to psychotic. Years of trying to change my reality through various addictions.  Years of alternate living so that I could travel the world and return back to school to change careers.

I practice gratitude on what feels like a minute by minute basis. Just sitting on the couch with Lucy hanging out on the back porch, drinking a glass of lemonade or trying to learn to cook something other than tacos, or even something ridiculous like sitting on my patio in the 90 degree heat watching the kitties chase bugs and roll in the grass — it fills me with so much happiness.

I’m a different person now. Some people say I’m more ‘grown-up’. I disagree,  I’m just different. I’m enjoying stability for the first time ever.   And with that comes nice things, my own space, and kitty cats.

The makings of a registered nurse: part 2

The transition from pediatric registered respiratory therapist to adult registered nurse has been… difficult, to say the least.

Six months after graduation, I’m two months in to my first job, still on new-RN orientation, and question my decision on a daily basis.  Nursing is not inherently a difficult profession as compared to respiratory therapy, but it is a completely different one.

After graduation I promptly took and passed the NCLEX, went to Europe, then began applying for jobs. I was contacted by an adult pulmonary step-down unit, interviewed, and hired. After three weeks in hospital orientation, I was released onto my floor, and then realized my mistake.  This unit, and perhaps this career is not for me.  Transition sucks; it is a time that brings out all my insecurities and fears, and having multiple preceptors and an unavailable nurse manager and educator has not made this easy.  As a RT, I knew what my job was, and how to do it, and who to go to when I had questions.  In this position, I have different people telling me how to do things differently on a daily basis. While I understand that everyone develops their own system for doing things, it would be helpful for people to not constantly tell me I am doing ‘this’ wrong– whatever ‘this’ may be.

The transition from working essentially independently under protocols in several areas of the hospital to  being confined to one area and essentially having to ask permission to do anything with a patient is a hard one, and it has confirmed my decision to become a nurse practitioner sooner rather than later.

I am already looking into what my next steps are going to be. I start my BSN next semester. It should take one year and then I can apply to NP school… which was my goal for becoming a registered nurse to begin with.