This got really frickin’ long, so I’ve broken it into two posts, split along reasonable fault lines, I think.
I admit it never even crossed my mind that that decade (the aughties? naughties?) was ending until people started mentioning it on Twitter a couple of days ago. And to be honest, the #10yearsago meme that was going around just kinda made me sad.
At the end of December 2009 I was newly arrived back in Canada from Australia. Steeped in re-entrance culture shock, didn’t have a job, was figuring out where I was going to live, and my relationship was effectively over. Or, at least, thousands of miles away and planning to try and get accepted to the seminary… Don’t ask…
I was as lost as I’ve ever been, but hey, like everything else, it passed. At the beginning of July of 2000 I started working at Descartes as a temp, and ended up spending the next four years there. During that time I met Sherry and Andrew, still my two best friends. And in my own back asswards way, I made my way to my real career, and am happy with my job, skills, and prospects for the first time in… I don’t even know when.
The last little while, though, I haven’t been thinking back to the beginning of the decade, but rather to about four and a half years ago — July 2005, when I started this blog. Andrew and I had just broken up and things were very bleak, indeed. Interestingly, I took a peek at my first post, which was mostly just a link to another blog post. It affected me profoundly — as I recall I printed that post out and had it on my wall for a while. But it no longer exists. The blog is still there, but not that archive. Perhaps there’s a message there. 🙂
I think back to that time because I’m kind of in the same place now. A few weeks ago Andrew and I pulled the plug again. We never really officially got back together, we just fell back into the same pattern over several years. And as friends and partners, we’re great, and it’s good to have that. As a couple, though, we were never going to be a great romance. Starting over always sucks, but we both deserve a bashert. You’d better fucking be out there somewhere, mister. 🙂
What buoys me, though, is that I’m not back in the same place I was then. At that time I was a ruin. In shock and in mourning and largely unable to function. This time, I had a couple of hard days right after, adjusting to the pain of change, but since then, I’ve been surprisingly okay.
Perhaps it’s just the hustle and bustle of the holidays keeping my mind off things, but I don’t think so. I think, probably, I was just waiting for it for a long time. Though we did do the already-planned family get togethers and such together. I thought it would make for good closure, and it did. I’ve had a few down-ish moments, but honestly, I usually have as bad or worse over any Christmas season. It’ll be different, I’m sure, when either/both of us start dating, but no point expending mental or emotional energy on that now.
Hell, it’s different now when I consider myself from a “profile” perspective (my minimal dating experience has largely been done, or at least started, online). I’m not delusional with any ideas that I’m any trophy by general standards. I’m fat, which automatically disqualifies me from a large contingent of the male radar. (Sometimes it can make you entirely invisible, which is an interesting thing to experience.) Even if you have a gorgeous face you can be invisible if you’re fat. A powerfully ironic thing, that.
Beyond that, I tend to intimidate a lot of people, though my social presence continues to improve (I think). I’m smart, I use big words, I’m snarky, and I don’t suffer fools (unless I absolutely have to… don’t we all…) Again, I fall short of any smiling 50s housewife ideal.
Sure, there are guys out there who like women like me, but they’re not the average, just as I’m not. And by my age most people have paired off already. The fact that eligible men are far more likely to have divorces, kids, etc. by this point is still something I’m working to wrap my mind around, in good part because my immediate friends circle has an unusual number of old, single people, like me, though in many cases for them it’s by choice, which is also something I can’t quite wrap my mind around. 🙂
I have been finding hope in people around me. In seeing where the lives of friends are now who, not all that long ago, weren’t doing so well, and whose relationship histories are worse than I think mine has been. Instead of feeling all “woe is me”, which, to be honest, I kind of expected, I am feeling more “if it can work out for them…”, which is much better for the psyche. (And there have been moments of feeling genuinely lucky, in spite of it all. This isn’t me, for example.)
Hell, even seeing the unabashed schmoopiness of the famous on Twitter (Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) makes me smile. Kevin Smith is frequently raunchy enough for an Elizabethan playhouse, but if you get past the language, you’ve just got a guy who really loves his wife, and whose sex life certainly sounds like it’s just getting better 10 years into marriage. Who could ask for better than that?
So anyway, yeah, been thinkin’ about myself a lot, kinda… getting reacquainted (umm… that sounded dirtier than it should have) with some thoughts and feelings that have resurfaced or which are the result of recent events. And thinking about the future, as much by necessity as human nature.
Momentum, part 2