Thursday, October 29, 2009


"And, P.S., if this is Austin...I still love you."

I just returned from five days in Austin, working our annual conference, and I'm still recovering from working about 90 hours in just a few short days (that included a 6am Saturday morning flight!). This was a difficult trip for me, as my current opportunities began to intersect with my job, and I found out that a few people know what I'm dealing with right now. My industry is a small, small world, and it was a delicate balancing act that I had to perform this weekend. Dancing around industry politics, keeping certain things quiet (and my co-workers shielded from potential news of my departure) was ....challenging, to say the least.

I got home late last night and crashed into bed, and work came all too early this morning.

So I'm walking around with tired eyes and a little bit distant with everyone I think. I feel like I've missed a hundred news stories, a dozen blog entries, and am still catching up with email. After all this traveling, conference food and stress, I think I've gained back a few of those lost pounds. I'm going to try to run in the morning, since I (blessedly) took the day off.

So that's it, for my world. That quote up there is from a country song, an older one, and it's been running through my head for a few days.

Mostly because I think I am falling out of love.

I had a rougher day with it today, being back in my familiar environment, but part of me just doesn't care anymore. All this distance between us (this, and all the other travels of late) is showing me that time and distance really IS going to make this go away. I will not feel like this forever, although it seems impossible now. Falling out of love, with a tiny new crush, and it feels so sweet. Frightening and unbelievable...but GOOD.

My traveling is almost over (one more trip next week), and my decision needs to be made. I will soon begin putting things in boxes, and thinking about what's next. I made a doctor's appointment --for me, that is HUGE-- to perhaps get on an anxiety medicine. The stress of making all these decisions, having a constant struggle in my head and knowing that my life is going to change very soon, but I don't know where, how, or when--this is difficult for me and the stress is starting to show. Probably not to others, but I can tell.

Our weeks at conference are always stressful, with the constant fires to put out and the togetherness that makes us all lash out. But, I noticed that when I was dealing with added stressors on top of my already-in-place stressors, I felt like I was perpetually dangling on the verge of a panic attack if ONE MORE thing had happened. I would step back from the situation, re-group, grab my coping mechanism of choice at the time, whether that was a friend or a glass of wine.

I am able to calm myself. My sister is not able to do this, and tells me this is a critical thing in determining my "not-craziness" ;) But, each time I have to do that, it makes me just a little bit more anxious that next time, I may not. So, I'm going to do something about it.

And I will do my best to get back into my routines, and maybe I'll run an extra mile tomorrow.

Why not?

I feel like I run ten extra miles every day, just to stay in the race.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fall Came Quickly

I think, five minutes ago, I was hot outside. Just one month ago, I lifted my niece up during her second birthday party and she laid her head on my shoulder and I buried a hand into her sweaty curls at the nape of her neck. It lasted about thirty seconds, but I closed my eyes to save it forever.

Then Saturday, I found myself in Portland, Maine, buying not one, but TWO winter coats. Back in Kentucky, I pulled on gloves this morning as I trudged out to my car to scrape the back windshield. Later this afternoon, I did my run with my jacket on.

This is not to say I am sad about the fall--it is my favorite season, hands down. Cool air makes me feel alive, the leaves with the color reminds me that everything changes. It reminds me that I can change, and that new beginnings are possible and that even when it's over, fall will come back around again.

It's very much my way to picture the end before the beginning, and knowing that seasons always come back around makes the start of each one comforting to me on a very deep level.

I am in the midst of major decisions. I have job offers, the beginnings of offers, the "discussions" that could lead to my life taking different and new directions. This weekend I walked down this street of Portland:

I was with my family. My uncle (Dad's brother), his wife, his two sons (my cousins) and their two wives and one new baby. My cousins have watched over me from the very beginning and have been big brothers in every sense of the word except for being physically with me throughout much of my life. They have lived in several places throughout New England, and while it wasn't THAT far--it might as well have been the end of the earth from our old Kentucky home.

After my parents divorced, we never went back to visit. My cousins' parents divorced also, and our lives began to take wildly different paths. Somehow, we managed to stay connected, and I sat at a table in the basement of a dusty bar on Saturday afternoon with 8 people who shared my last name. We had the same bright blue eyes. As someone who has spent much of my life trying to blend in with stepfamilies and absorb myself into a family life that isn't truly my own, this was a relief.

I have a chance to live there. I have the chance to make this life my own, and to strike out and move somewhere entirely different and without a single friend.

But I'll have them. And I'll have him, who won't hesitate to put me on his shoulders again.

Todd and I are grown up now, and as we clutched beers and talked about forever in a bar on Saturday night, I felt a sense of security that I hadn't in awhile. He picked me up at the airport, picked up my bags, and I had a feeling he also wanted to put me back on his shoulders and protect me from the world.

As overwhelming as this entire process is, I am trying to always take a step back and relish in the fact that in so many places across this country, I am loved. I have people willing to open their homes to me, to offer me their money, their friends, their way of life to be mine.

I am a lucky person.

And when the panic that comes with so many life changes coming so soon catches up to me, and I find myself in my car taking deep breathes with a forehead pressed against my steering wheel, I tell myself this over and over.

I put my gloves on, crunch through the leaves and think about how the Fall came quickly, but I will always get up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


There are moments when I think I'm better.

But then I get a phone call, and I crash to the ground all over again. It was back to the bathroom floor tonight, and back there all over again, after a great weekend. But one small text message and I am up, walking shaky to the bathroom to be sick over a love that can't ever, ever be mine.

I am making such good strides in my life. I am moving--no idea where, at this point, but I will whenever I make my mind up to accept one of these offers. (A quick update on that is that I am going through the formal process with both of them, and continuing to feel out each opportunity to decide what is going to be best for me.)

I lost weight. I am building new relationships, investing in the ones I have, and am doing things to make myself better. I am praying (which turns into more like pleading) and I am reading and I am thinking and I am writing. And I am getting better.

But then, I come to the ground and remember that I'm an absolute fool in love with a fool who is in love with someone else. And that someone is not me, and it won't be. The toll this is taking on my self-esteem is probably a little bit disturbing. I will look at myself in the mirror and only see the person who wasn't picked. 'Never loved you, never loved you' becomes a mantra to be repeated at my own reflection and I'm constantly reminding myself what an idiot I am to be having these feelings and to have harbored them for so long. To have, frankly, ALLOWED them to go on for so long by creating proximity and forcing a friendship that I am really going to miss.

I am sitting here with a cold washcloth on my own head, after picking myself up off the floor. I am really, really tired of doing that. I want someone else to take over--to make me a washcloth, to fix me a ginger ale, to remind me that my life may eventually be worth something.

Life doesn't make any sense to me at all sometimes, and I'm getting so tired of falling into this hole again and again.

I wonder sometimes if anyone will ever help me up.