I had a wonderful conversation with my Nan yesterday. I try to call her as often as I can. She’s become a bit isolated and lonely now that she’s the last of her childhood family. And it might sound a bit morbid, but I seem to have this pressing need to talk to her and tell her I love her much more than i used to. I need to tell her these things because at some point she’s going to do what all elderly people do, what we all do. She’s going to die.
And she’s waiting for it.
I can hear it in her voice, it’s more slurred and garbled than it used to be and the volume is all gone. It’s often hard to make out what she says. She has to take breaks when speaking sometimes because its hard for her to breathe. She forgets the words for things. It scares me. I know it shouldn’t I know it’s the inevitable result of getting to live but it sucks.
About two years ago my cousins who live in Florida and Georgia came up for a visit because they wanted my Grandmother to meet their children (her great grandchildren). It was a reunion that lasted the whole weekend and we had a great time. Then Sunday came and my cousins started saying goodbye, and they got to my Grandmother and everyone just started crying, we knew it was a permanent goodbye for them.
So I like to talk to her about memories, things we did together when I was younger. I listen to her stories of when she was young too, I like knowing about the life she lived before the Mac Millans came along and before I came along.
Last night she told me about a show she was watching on PBS and one of the actors looked just like her cousin Dewie. He had fought in WWI, she said he had the biggest heart in the world. She told me she watched the entire special because it made her feel like he was in the room with her. Like a ghost, but in a good way.
We talked some more about my sisters wedding which she thinks has turned into a circus (I tend to agree with her) and she told me that her wedding gown had been TWELVE DOLLARS. I know it was probably a decent chunk of change back then, but things would be so much easier now if the prices stayed the same.
I love my Nan, she’s a strong, brave, resilient woman who has lived through a ridiculous amount of history. She raised 5 kids, one with special needs with little to no help from my Grandfather. Not because he wasn’t around but because men just didn’t do that kind of stuff back then. She has loved and lost many times but still manages to laugh and smile. Out of my immediate family I feel like she “gets” me more than anyone.
I wish I could soak her up and keep her with me always.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all– Oscar Wilde
Woke up with the cats howling in my face, sun was just starting to come through the windows. Fed the cats then smoked a little and spent some time sitting on our steps and watched the morning happen. It was quiet and peaceful and I wish I had the time to sit out there every morning.
After Ben woke up we walked up the block to the tiny supermarket (I always swear I’ll never shop there because the whole place smells like fish) and bought a few things for breakfast. I ended up making us egg sandwiches which made Ben very happy.
Spent the rest of the morning writing for the comic, took a nap while Ben went to the dog park with his parents, he came home just as I was waking up and by then it was time for dinner ( I slept for about 4 hours) we ate, went for our evening walk, I wrote a bit more before baking some cookies and vegging out on the couch.
Now Ben is sleeping and I’m trying to rest but that nap kinda screwed me up.
The day may have been pretty mundane and uneventful but I still enjoyed it. Just wish I could do it all again tomorrow :)
There are never enough days to just chill.
I accidentally let a fly into my office this afternoon. My manager found a fly swatter and after several failed attempts to get it, she informed me that I could take over. I very calmly told her that I would not kill it.
” Oh you’re one of those people are you?” She said. I told her I’d rather help it out of the building.
I didn’t think there was a need to kill it because it really wasn’t doing anything harmful. She didn’t press the issue and that fly is probably still bouncing off the walls trying to find an open window or door.
I did not always approach insects this way. If it was creepy and crawly I’d usually scream, kill it or find someone else to kill it or if i was really desperate, i’d suck it up with a vacuum cleaner.
However over the past couple years as I’ve developed what I feel is a better understanding of life and a deeper appreciation for nature, I’ve come to the conclusion that the life within that insect is equal to mine. And I ( and all of us) have the power to snuff out that little piece of life if we wanted to. But why would we want to, if their existence is not a direct threat to our own? That fly or ant or spider or whatever should have the life smashed out of it simply because I may find its existence bothersome? What right do I have?
That my friends, is being irresponsible with the power given you. Can you imagine how empty this world would be if we destroyed everything that bothered us? Then again, maybe we’re already doing that.
I have also found that in retraining myself not to kill these creatures on sight, I’ve developed a bit of a fascination with them. Before scooping them up and putting them back outside, sometimes I’ll just watch them do their thing for a little bit. I know I probably look like a little kid who’s discovered a bug for the first time. But in many ways I have.
I’m going to start referring to May as The Month of Reaping. We’ve had another death in my office, lately I feel like we go to funerals the way some companies go to lunch meetings. I also got news that a friend of the family passed away over the weekend.
Kenny Kovatch. 60 years old and in fine health according to everyone.
He was a cool guy. I remember when i was a kid, going with my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Mark to visit Kenny and his wife in Connecticut. They have a daughter my age and we got along we’ll enough. That was the same trip where the cops came to their house at 2am because we were making too much noise. I remember that night singing Madonna with my Aunt Ginny using wooden spoons as microphones and then jumping in the pool as our grand finale.
Kenny and his wife divorced some time later and after that we didn’t see much of either of them and I hate that this is the reason why I’ll contact his wife again.
I hate this. I’ve said it many times but I’ll say it again and again and again. I hate death. I don’t care about the natural order of things or fucking population control. I don’t give a shit about the afterlife, I want this life. The one where we’re present and awake and aware of what we have and what we are. I don’t want to go back to a non-conscious form of existence and I don’t want anyone else to either.
I don’t want to and you can’t make me.
And I’ve exceeded my funeral quota for the year so you all can stop doing that now.
Been having a lot of anxiety the last few weeks. Reminiscent of how I was last summer. Constantly shaky and nauseous and stuck inside my own toxic thoughts.
It’s no secret that I’m terrified of death and dying and last week that seemed to be the theme. My manager’s husband passed away, my grandmother fell in her sleep for the third time since Easter, this time knocking out some of her teeth and setting her back to the beginning of the physical therapy she had been doing. My other aunt was in the hospital for a lung infection ( not pneumonia) and it freaks me out because I’m watching all the people I love and care about inch closer to the inevitable finish line and it scares the shit out of me. And then watching my manager grieve her husband, I couldn’t help but think about loosing Ben, and that set me off all over again.
Today is also my father’s birthday and in my continual attempts to have as normal a relationship as possible with him, we now have dinner plans with him and Gail. Gail is one of the saving graces about being around my father right now, I like her and she’s a good buffer. The other day I found myself alone with my father and I was so incredibly tense, I don’t know if that will ever change he’s just someone that makes me tighten up and cringe whenever I’m around him. And he still doesn’t understand why.
And then we have Mother’s Day coming up which is always such a celebratory time for me. Except this year instead of staying home by myself and avoiding everyone and their mother ( literally) I’m joining the festivities with Ben’s family. However, his mother is making this difficult as well, it’s not a good holiday for her either and she’s been on the warpath about it since Saturday. I even yelled at her for how shitty she was being, because unlike her son, I was not raised in a Jewish home and so I am immune to Jewish Mother Guilt and I’m not afraid to challenge that nonsense. After seeing her Saturday I found myself thinking that hiding at home with my sadness might still be better than being around that bullshit.
And then I look at all the unnecessary stress I’m putting on myself and I get upset with myself for not taking my own advice of not sweating the small stuff ( and yes in the bigger picture EVERYTHING is small stuff) and just enjoying the moment for what it is.
But I suppose it’s still only Monday morning, the day is young, and so is the week and I can still choose to be ok.
We’ll see how it goes.
Ben’s friend Manny came by to discuss the possibility of making a graphic novel with me. He is probably one of the nicest people I have ever met so far, I learned a lot from him and I have a much better idea of what I need to do writing wise in order for him to translate it properly.
However, I did not fully realize who this person was. I just knew he was a friend of Ben’s who he met when he was working as an animator. He works for Marvel. He was the guy that came up with the Blue Ear. Remember a while back when Marvel was all over the news for creating a deaf superhero for deaf child who needed some inspiration? Manny did that. It may not seem like a big deal to some of you, and maybe it’s just the nerdy comic book girl that I am, but I suddenly felt like such a noob.
And he’s working on a project with me.
Sometimes life gets a little more awesome.
I was helping one of the new women at my job go over some things and she pointed past me and said ” She’s crying.” I look up and see my office manager at her desk sobbing. Without really thinking I went over to her and asked her if she was OK. ” I know you’re not OK ok, ” I said ” but are you going to be alright?”
" No. I’m not ok, I think my husband is dying.". So I rubbed her back and sat with her for a few minutes. She didn’t say a word, and I didn’t offer her any comforting lies. I didn’t think there was a point in telling her ” No, he’s fine” or ” He’ll bounce back any day now!”. I have never been one for inappropriate optimism and I typically want to punch those who are.
Over the summer when my Great Aunt passed away, I expressed sadness over her passing to a friend of mine and the response I got was ” I will not tolerate negativity!” I was so taken aback by that response and I don’t think they even realized what they were saying to me. I think they genuinely thought they were being helpful.
Many times people don’t know how to handle things like this and it makes them uncomfortable. I however am not uncomfortable by other people’s greif and suffering. Not that I enjoy seeing them in that state, on the contrary I feel very badly when I see someone hurting, but it doesn’t make me uncomfortable to be around those “negative” emotions and because of that I tend to be able to be a source of comfort for these people because I’m not trying to stop them from whatever it is that they need to feel.
So often the knee jerk reaction to sadness or greif is to get the person to “look on the bright side.” I think we need to start allowing people to be comfortable with their sadness. To sit with them in it, instead of selfishly trying to brush it away because we’re suddenly uncomfortable by what they are going through.
i feel like such an ass. i have done nothing but bitch and complain about how much i hate working where i do and blah blah blah and the pay sucks and blah blah blah and i wish i could quit and blah blah blah. so i finally grew a pair and found myself a new goddamn job where i’ll earn more, have better benefits, and more vacation options with ben and yet i’m wide awake right now stressing out about it kinda sorta maybe wishing i hadn’t taken it.
WHAT THE FUCK IS MY FUCKING PROBLEM!?!?
This is probably one of the biggest “ask and ye shall receive” moments of my life and I’m thinking about declining it? I know it’s complete bullshit, in fact I’m kinda baffled that I am feeling this way. I got what I wanted! I should be doing cartwheels to work as the countdown to my last day begins but instead I’m half heartedly smiling and shrugging my shoulders. It makes me feel like I’m somehow being ungrateful. To who or what I don’t know. God? The Universe? Myself? Maybe there’s a part of me that’s scared of having a better situation? Does that make sense? Am I allowed to say that?
Or maybe it all boils down to my constant default setting of not trusting the good that comes into my life. I’m compelled to hold my breath until the other shoe drops.
Kinda takes the fun out of everything. Gotta work on that.
I’m currently enrolled in an online course for astrobiology. The most recent lecture covered the scientific characteristics of life. What I found most interesting, was that once the professor went over the characteristics of life he pointed out that these characteristics are also found in the non-biological world ( non-living, inorganic) and there are plenty of living organisms ( including humans) that don’t meet all the characteristics of what defines life.
The professor concluded the lecture by saying ” Life is just a human definition. There is no physical or chemical characteristics that can fully define what life is.”
I’ve been thinking about this for days now, trying to think of my own definition for “life” but no matter what explanation I come up with, it seems to fall short.
As I mentioned earlier, I was hired for the job I interviewed for last week. My immediate emotion after hanging up with my new boss was relief. I had just gotten my pay-stub today and it seems we are now making twenty dollars LESS than last year because of some tax increase. At my current job, I am making less than I did last year and I received a raise this year. How does that even happen!? So today I resolved myself to the fact that it had been over a week since the interview, I must not have gotten the job, I’ll start looking for a second part time job tomorrow. I was all ready to crawl into bed for a therapy nap when I got the phone call. Instant relief.
And then after that extreme pessimism. I kept going over all these ridiculous scenarios that would end up with me being fired and living on the streets. I know, I know.
It’s funny, as often as I crave crave change I fear it as well. This very good thing is now opening me up to a whole new set of unknowns and it’s kinda freaking me out a bit. I just hope I’m not making a mistake. The rational side of me keeps screaming ” HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE A BAD THING!?!?” and the paranoid freakazoid side of me keeps saying ” WHATIFYOUCANTFIGUREITOUTWHATIFYOUCANTGETTOWORKWHATIFYOUHATEITWHATIFYOUCANTFINDAWAYHOMEWHATIFTHEYJUSTDONTLIKEYOUANDFIREYOUANDTHENYOUHAVENOJOBATALLANDYOUGETEVICTEDFROMTHEAPARTMENTWHATIFYOUHAVETOGOBACKTOLIVINGWITHBENSPARENTSOHFUCKTHISISBADWEARESOSCREWED!!!!!!”
I think I need to tell myself to shut the fuck up.
I was talking to a friend of mine over the weekend about how past shit gets all wrapped up in current relationships. She’s dealing with her own shit so in an attempt to help, I decided to share with her some of my shit . Whether it did the job or not, I’m not sure.
Throughout my entire childhood my sister and I were basically told and shown that we weren’t important or worth the effort. My mother frequently sent us to school in dirty clothes ( though thankfully I was never the smelly kid in school) or she’d forget to pack our lunches, or both our parents would forget to pick us up from school altogether.
During her manic periods I couldn’t walk by her without her screaming about what a “horrible fucking bitch” I was. And in my father’s rages he’d often back me into a wall and punch leaving a hole a few inches away from my face telling me that I was next if I didn’t blah blah blah…Later on after my mother left, my father would continue to fuck up my sister and I but I don’t think I’ll get into all those details.
When my parents decided to start the divorce process I was about eleven. My mother made it clear that not only was I to blame for the divorce- she told me on multiple occasions that had I not been born she would have never married my father-she also blamed me for her mental illness stating that her bipolar disorder was directly linked to the hormonal changes she went through during her pregnancy. I know now that all of these accusations are completely ludicrous, but when you’re a kid you believe everything your parent’s tell you and these things stuck with me for a very long time.
I honestly can’t remember at any point growing up thinking that I was special or wonderful or full of infinite possibilities. I never believed I could be anything I wanted because all I wanted was to feel that I was loved and I never did. I don’t think there was ever a period where I liked myself. I think this explains why as I got older I had minimal friendships, crappy boyfriends and extreme bouts of depression.
Yet despite all that nonsense, here I am. A completely functional adult ( even though I deal with frequent anxiety and depression) with a good man, good friends and an all around good life. A great and beautiful life. A life that makes me smile and makes my heart swell on the weekends, or whenever I’m home really. And I think it’s kinda funny that when I share my story with some people , the’ll say things like ” Where did you come from?” or “How did you turn out so good?” or my favorite “How are you not so fucked up?” I usually just laugh it off but lately I’m reminded that we don’t have to be defined by what happened to us yesterday. We don’t have to stay in a place of greif and internal suffering. We can choose to say that we are more than the sum of our experiences. We can choose to like ourselves and be more than ok.
Might end up having that job interview tomorrow.
I’m kinda freaking out.
I’m actually studying the their website just in case they ask me any company related questions.
is that weird?
Me: Hey Nan! How's it goin'?
Nan: Oh it's going alright. Actually, no, I'm not feeling so great.
Me: Oh no! I'm sorry, what's wrong?
Nan: Well my heart has been skipping all over the place but I'm about to eat something that I've been wanting for years, so I think I'll feel better soon.
Me: What are you eating?
Nan: A baked potato.
Me: Yes they do make everything better.
Nan: Don't they?
Finally got a call from the company I sent my resume to, about two weeks ago. They want me to schedule an interview with them for sometime next week. I’m feeling really good about it, and I have a lot of things working in my favor. The biggest being that I am friend’s with the owner’s son and daughter-in-law. I officiated their wedding. I also know the owner’s other daughter and they are all putting a good word in for me. I’m not sure if that counts as nepotism but if it’s gonna help me out I’ll take it.
The hardest thing right now is telling my boss that it’s a very likely possibility that I will be leaving. It might sound odd, but I can’t help but feel like I’m doing something wrong by going elsewhere. I know that probably doesn’t make any sense but I’m prone to feeling guilty over EVERYTHING! On really bad days I even insist that the Holocaust was somehow my fault. So yeah I think that might be the only hurdle I’ll have to deal with, and it’s not even really a hurdle and i have nothing to be worried about