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There’s so many things I think “I need to put this in the blog” and then the minute I have time to write I can’t think of anything to talk about.  I know, right?

It’s my first entire day off from everything – no school, no nails, no waitressing – and I’m sick with a head cold.  I tried to sleep in but I couldn’t breathe so I got up and started watching the Firefly series.  Took a Mucinex, ate chicken noodle soup, had a nap, made some eggs and toast and am back to watching Firefly with only a slight fever…  Oh the exciting life of me.  I have tomorrow off from school but I have to go to a doctor appointment in the morning and waitressing in the evening and then back to school on Wednesday.

I’m finding I dread going to school and have for a while now but the more days I take off the longer it takes me to get out of there so hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school I go.  I knew it would be hard, to go back to school for a year but I didn’t expect it to be this hard…

Dammit.

I feel like I live in three different worlds – one world is at school, another world is the restaurant and the third world is with my folks.  School I endure, I have mostly acquaintance friends there, with a couple of closer friends.  The new girls, called “Back Class” because they have to stay back in the classroom until they’ve hit 300 hours, all seem to look up to me.  They all know my name and seem to treat me with great deference, which is both sweet and intriguing because I wonder who said what to them about me to make them act that way.  But I am bone-weary at school, all day every day now.  My favorite teacher left in mid August and the teacher that was left is trying her best to be king of the hill – she seems to have a personal grudge against me, scrutinizes my work more than most of the other students and nit-picks even the tiniest details of what I do on the mannequin head to fulfill my requirement sheet items.  The teacher that replaced my favorite teacher is the owner’s daughter and she’s a nice lady, seems to like me just fine but she’s only there a few days a week.  The owner has her favorites and while I’m not one of them I’m also not on her black list so I just kind of float along as much under her radar as I can.  I just try to keep my head down, get my work done and put my hours in but it’s become a miserable existence for 38 hours a week.  My dream of being cosmetology teacher is waning away into nothingness…

At the restaurant it’s a completely different world.  I show up 15 – 20 minutes early, work hard, am appreciated by my co-workers, we laugh and joke together, I help them, they help me and I get energy from working with all my customers, walk so much I’m losing weight, make money and go home happy, smiling and excited.  One of the servers is a fascinating man with the most beautiful long hair – when he lets it down he seriously looks just like all those paintings of Jesus and I’ve always been a sucker for long haired men, lol.  I think he might like me and I think it would be easy to like him, really easy.  But my daughter just started working at the restaurant with me as a busser and she says he treats everyone the way he treats me – as in, I’m not special to him, lol.  But he’s a joy to work with, kind, funny, a hard worker, helps everyone and has overcome a crazy past.  I like him very much but I’m not sure we would be right for each other, maybe that’s why I’m looking for signs he might like me too.  Although I’m pretty sure one of the cooks actually does like me and he while he seems like a nice guy I’m pretty positive that he isn’t for me.

At my folks I am quiet.  I mostly listen.  I do a lot of turtling.  Sometimes we go to lunch after church with their friends and I try to mainly smile and nodd.  I feel like my step-mom gets jealous of any attention I get from her friends – and from the strangers who approach me frequently to complement me on my hair – so I try to be quiet.  Every other week I give my step-mom an acrylic fill for which she thanks me but neither pays nor tips me.  At first it didn’t bother me because she let me live with them rent-free for 5 months but I must admit it is becoming annoying because she doesn’t seem to recognize that not only am I saving her a bunch of money by doing her fills for free but it actually costs me product and gas.

I moved to Montana to be closer to my dad specifically but I wanted to get to know both of them.  She and I have had very few conflicts over the last 26 years that she’s been married to my dad but since I moved here I’ve seen much more of her true character.  She is probably the most insecure person I’ve ever met and takes pretty much everything personally.  Case in point, I was at church with them one day and asked one of their friends (who knew me when I was a little girl so he’s been friends with my dad a long time) to pray for something that was going on.  I was thinking that he would just pray throughout the week but he said “Let’s pray right now” and put his arm around me and started praying.  That was cool, I wasn’t asking for or expecting prayer right that instant but it was really nice of him to do that.  I get a phone call from my dad the next week saying his wife was offended that she (and my dad) weren’t invited to pray with us that Sunday.  He stressed that he didn’t think I did anything wrong but that it made her feel left out and to please be aware of it for the future…  Dad has also told me that she gets upset when I post something on Facebook before telling them first – to the point that I suspect she made my dad give up his Facebook page completely as she didn’t even have her own page but kept checking his…  Since I see them once a week I preferred to just tell them my news in person so we could chat face to face instead of me texting them things throughout the week, in all my spare time, ugh.  She is kind and gracious to my face but I can only imagine how she must carry on to my dad before he finally calls me and tells me what I did that upset her and he always begs me not to tell her that he talked to me.  And once when I was still living with her my dad tried to fix something and made it worse instead – it really wasn’t a big deal – but she berated him and called him pathetic and made fun of him for even attempting to fix it.  She did this to him in front of me and in front of his friend that came to help him fix it.  Then she continued to rant and rave about him to me when he left to go to the hardware store for the part.  I was so shocked that I could only try to redirect the conversation.  She did stop and we talked about something else and then apologized for what she said but when my dad got back with the part she started up on him again.  They left to go see my brothers the next day for a long weekend and I wept for most of Saturday and Sunday to the point that I couldn’t even sing on the worship team and could barely continue playing the piano.  That was Mother’s Day weekend and I decided to move out from their house because of how she talked to my dad.

I am so glad I moved an hour away from them, it’s much easier to be less involved with her now and I won’t ever hear her say things like that to or about my dad again.  Now that I don’t live there I can try to stand up to her and then just leave.  Since I quit my movie theater job I don’t have to go in to see them every Sunday for the last month so I’ve missed a few Sundays lately and will probably not go every week anymore.  Honestly, I wish I was rich and could afford a big house with enough space to let him live with me and away from her…  I’m not sure he would actually take me up on such an offer but I wish I could at least offer him a space away from her.

I miss my movie theater job, or at least the people there.  That was a fourth world… I went back and saw a movie yesterday, got to say hi to some of my favorites and one nice young man, Jared, invited me and my daughter to dinner this Thursday here in the town where we live.  Does that qualify as a date?  And with which one of us?  I feel like he and I have connected on a deeper level than just friends and you don’t drive an hour to have dinner with someone and then turn around and drive an hour home just for fun normally…  He is an amazing man, tall and handsome (he’s Native American, of course. I have thought Natives were the most beautiful people in the world since I was a child), a hard worker and going to school for psychology.  I really, really enjoy working with him.  The problem is that he’s only 26.  He’s met my daughter a couple of times and I did mention that she was single now so I’m hoping that he’s wanting to date her and then maybe they’ll get married and have super cute babies and I’ll have him as a son forever…  <dreaming>

So, I live in three different worlds and I’m only really happy in one of them, when I’m working hard and interacting with the public.  School will be over in early March as long as I don’t take any extra days off and that, hopefully, will change the largest part of my day.  In the meantime, I’m in survival mode.  Again.  But this time it won’t last 21 years, lol.

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So if I’m looking at this correctly my last post was about six weeks ago, just before my birthday… time sure flies but not necessarily because I was having fun, lol.  Oh Lordy, I am so tired of adulting!

I got a third job in September, waitressing at a local sports bar and grill here in my little Montana town.  That made my schedule pretty tight.  School 8:30 – 4:30 pm M – F, work on nail customers Thursday nights and Saturday mornings, waitressing from 5 pm to close (anywhere from 10:30 to 11:30 pm) most nights except Thursdays and Sundays and then working at the movie theater Sunday nights from 5 pm to midnight then an hour drive home, go to sleep and get up at 7:30 Monday morning to start it all over again.

No more adulting please…

I finally gave my notice to the movie theater after three weeks of that, waitressing pays much better and I just wasn’t functioning well at school on Mondays.  That was sad and my last day there was bittersweet.  I was so happy not to be driving an hour home at midnight anymore but it is one of my favorite jobs ever – I think if I ever burn out on the beauty business I’ll go back to working at the movie theater and work my way up to being a GM because it’s a fun job and the perfect hours for me.

We had a misunderstanding with the landlords, another tenant had moved out right after we moved in and left a bit a firewood behind.  After the smoke and fires in our area went out the weather suddenly turned cold quickly so my daughter went and gathered the firewood that had been left behind and we started to use it.  The landlords went looking for it one day and it wasn’t there so they searched their video camera footage and saw her moving it into the back of her pickup truck (it was closer to the house and kept it out of the rain, there really wasn’t that much of it in the first place) and so they peeked through the windows of her canopy and saw the firewood and a coffee table that had been left behind in our trailer from the previous tenant.  My folks had given us a smaller coffee table that fit the space better so we had put the other one in the back of her truck to keep it out of the rain until we could give it back and since the landlords are hardly ever at the park where we live we forgot about it.  Next thing I know, I get an angry phone call from one of the landlords because we “stole” the wood and their furniture and he seemed especially upset that I had left some mattresses outside, leaning against my trailer (they were seriously garbage, they were so gross) “to get rained on and ruined”.  He said wanted to give me three days eviction notice.  Whaaa?

These are seriously some of the weirdest people I have ever met.  If I could find another place to live for the same price I would totally move but I like my home and the cute little park it’s in and they’re really not here very often.  I think as long as we pay on time and don’t touch anything else that’s not on our little bit of land we’ll be fine.

But back to the phone call – I apologized profusely, tried to explain about the wood and the furniture and asked repeatedly what I could do to make it right.  All of a sudden he stopped talking, said he was on a job site and didn’t have time to talk to me (although he talked plenty when it was his turn and he was angry) but he would come to the park the next day, Sunday, and talk to me then or that we would at least talk on the phone.  I had plans to go see my folks that day but I decided this was more important so I said I would be available until 3:30 when I had to leave for work.  He said he would contact me the next day.

I set my alarm for 9 am, woke up and texted him, asking if he knew when he would be at the park and reminded him that I had to leave at 3:30.  No response.  I texted my folks and apologized that I wouldn’t be able to be there that day like I was supposed to be and I sat and waited all day, stuck in the one area of the house that gets any kind of wifi and cell service, until I had to leave for work with no response.  I wrote a note – apologizing again and enclosed the next month’s rent plus $50 cash to cover the wood and the mattresses, and asked if there was anything else I could do to make it right and put it in the drop box.  I texted him again that I had to leave for work and that I had left a note in the drop box for him.

Again, no response.

The wife landlord called me and left a message a few days later saying that my daughter had been angry at her son and if we had any issues we needed to take it up with them and not “put that on their kids”.  I asked my daughter what had happened and she said that when she went to check our mail at the park office there was a box that had my last name on it that had been crossed out and she freaked out a bit, thinking it meant they were going to kick us out because of the wood issue.  She asked the 14 year old son “Why is my mom’s name crossed out?”, probably in a harsh/angry tone of voice because she was panicking and then she saw that a large piece of mail was actually covering up my name in the box right next to the one that was crossed out.  She said she apologized, took the mail and walked out again.  Boy calls mom, mom calls me and leaves a message…  before I was even able to talk to my daughter I send the wife landlord a text, apologizing for my daughter causing her son distress, explain what I suspected happened (exactly what did happen) and ask if she had received my note, check and cash and were we good now?

Still no response.

I have also not received a receipt for this months rent payment or anything to indicate that they did receive it except for the absence of the monthly rent reminder that we received the month prior.  This couple owns multiple businesses, has 6 kids and I feel like they just have too much on their plate and have very poor communication skills.  They don’t talk to me at all unless they’re angry about something, don’t acknowledge even the most basic texts and they won’t even answer a request for a response.  I’ll stay here as long as I can because I like the place itself and it’s very affordable but these people are crazy!

Another thing that happened in these last six weeks is that Kyle graduated from beauty school last week, it was both hard and a relief.  Hard because he really is/was my closest friend there.  A relief because I made it weird and it hasn’t been the same since.  Well, actually, he made it weird first…

He started out by saying there was a rumor going around school that we were sleeping together.  I kind of doubt that there was actually such a rumor, I think he was just saying it to see my reaction but I played along because it was fun.  They he started mopeing around and saying things like “you’ve changed a homo” and other things that made me think that he actually did want to sleep with me.

Now I still don’t really want to sleep with anyone, I’m just not there yet, but I trust him and I do love him every other way and so I thought about it and decided that if I did sleep with him it would be a safe experience and probably even something beautiful.  I’ve never had beautiful sex in my whole life so I answered the question he did everything but ask.  I sent Kyle a message that said “If you want the rumors to be true all you have to do is ask”.  His response?  “Lol”.

Apparently all men are asses to one degree or another.  Ugh.

And that changed everything – and made it my fault, even though he started it.  He stopped hugging me every day, stopped touching my shoulder as we passed in the hallway.  He still let me touch him, give him back-rubs, scalp treatments, facials, all the usual stuff I did for him at school.  But for the most part he stopped reaching out to touch me.  Even now, just typing this out has me crying.  Kyle was my only source of affection and now he’s gone both physically and emotionally.  And he never seems to have much time for me outside of school, I’ve tried to hang out away from school and he’s always busy.  So even though we usually have a great messaging relationship when we don’t see each other face to face I’ve pretty much lost him forever now…

Speaking of men leaving, my daughter’s boyfriend who was living with us, that I wrote the blog “The Man Who Makes Me Want To Date Again” about, moved back to the town we came from and got another girlfriend there, only telling my daughter the day before she was going to go back and visit him for the weekend.  So we are both alone at the moment.  The only good thing to come out of that is now my daughter has no reason whatsoever to move back to our old town and will stay here with me.  She’s doing well, has a good job, has made a few friends, all of my friends love her.  It’s a good fresh start for her.

I stayed home from school today.  I’ve been so exhausted all of the time that it’s started to affect my balance, my memory, my speech, my dexterity, pretty much everything.  And I can’t afford to miss work so I’m missing school.  If I can just hold on and to go school the rest of the month I will hit 1,000 hours on October 26th and then I will get my next batch of financial aid, which means I won’t have to work as much, I can take more time off and rest.  Please God, I need rest…

 

I saw this meme on Facebook that said:  She was fragile, but not like a flower, she was fragile like a bomb.

At first I was all “Nah, that’s not me” and then Kyle’s hubby, who is a very sensitive/discerning person told Kyle that he saw “sadness and anger” around me.

What? Anger?  The sadness I understand and am not surprised by at all but anger?  Why anger?

I mention it to my best friend from high school and she says “Oh yes, you’re muuuuuch better but there’s a lot of anger in you, sorry honey.”

Well shit.  She calls it like she sees it and she’s known me way too long to be wrong about this…

So I start to think about it and there are some things, some circumstances, some people who I do have anger towards.

I thought I had eliminated anger from my life, I thought I had matured past it and become this much more enlightened person, full of grace, compassion and understanding for people who act out of their life woundings…

Guess not, ugh.

The  more I thought about it the more I realized that it’s another part of my survival method.  It was never safe to display any emotion other than “everything’s OK, I’m fine” around my mother or my ex-husband.  Around my ex I had to concentrate on suppressing the sadness, the depression, the worry, the weariness… but it was around my mother that I learned at a young age to hide my anger.  I was able to do it so well and so quickly that by the time I reached junior high I stopped even feeling any little wisp of anger before I shut it up in a bottle and hid it somewhere in the depths of my soul.

Good grief, no wonder I’m all messed up inside.

My younger daughter has a lot of anger bottled up inside her too and one night she came to me, crying because she could feel the bottle cracking and she was afraid it would explode and she would hurt people – not so much physically but with her words.  She was afraid she would drive all her friends away and she would be left shattered and completely alone.

If she has a lake of anger buried in her I have an entire ocean bottled up in my depths…

Thinking about it made it worse.  I started thinking about the people who I felt anger towards – my mother, my ex, one of my brothers…  I started dwelling on the situations in my life that were unfair and out of my control…  I began to feel the anger welling up inside of me and I became afraid that my jar was starting to crack as well.

Anger brings with it a great, dark power.  It tries to convince you that if you let it out you will feel better – but it lies.  Releasing such terrible, refined hatred, especially after all those years of distilling it to it’s purest essence in the pressure cooker of the soul’s forgotten cellar under the stairway can do nothing but destroy everyone it touches.

After quite a few tears and a couple of miserable days I reached a few conclusions:
1.  There is a volcano inside of me full of rage and fury.  I decided to accept that fact.  It’s there and it’s there legitimately.  I experienced bad things clear up until I was 40.  In order to survive I had to stuff the feelings away and not deal with them.  I stuffed so many bad feelings away that the jar might pop if I just breathe on it wrong.  I understand and accept that this is a part of my life currently.
2  I don’t know how to deal with it.  Angry people scare me, I tend to freeze up.  Another self-preservation method because if I didn’t freeze I might reflect their anger back to them, magnified with my own, and that might hurt them.  I don’t hurt people so I freeze.  I also don’t know how to release anger in a healthy manner.  I could try to paint it out, to exercise it out, to break things to get it out, to yell and scream to get the anger out… I’m not sure what to do or what would be the most helpful and so I don’t do anything.   I accept this truth as well – along with the knowledge that I’m going to need to learn how to deal with the anger at some point in my life, preferably sooner rather than later.  I realize I need a counselor, and I’ve known that since I moved to Montana.  I did ask my doctor’s office for a referral and they gave me a couple of names of counselors who were not accepting new patients, I called around and couldn’t find anyone with evening appointments after school, and then I moved to a smaller town,.. I need to find a local counselor and if I have to, take time off of school to go to the sessions.  Ugh.
3.  I need to love myself in spite of my anger.  Being angry does not make me evil.  Jesus was angry but he “sinned not”.  I need to remember that anger is a natural part of experiencing life and is sometimes necessary – it can spur us to take action against injustice.

Once I identified these three things and made the decision that yes, I will learn how to deal with the old anger and any new anger in a healthy way just as soon as I am able I was calm again.  Back to my normal self again – back to who my heart tells me I was created to be again.  I am not an angry person, I am a loving person who was wounded for a long time by people who were supposed to be safe.

I still have fragile moments, but they’re mostly fragile like a flower.  I’m

My younger daughter’s boyfriend moved in with us on July 30th, the day after we moved into our new place.  I’d met him before, briefly, back in our old town when they first started dating and my vague first impression was that he was quiet and shy.  Those have turned out to be true, he is quiet and a bit shy for sure, but getting to know him has been quite a treat!

This young man, he’s 20 and I believe just 3 months or so younger than my daughter (which she teases him about) is one of the finest examples of a man I’ve seen in a long time.  Denny is such a good man and takes such amazing care of my daughter, even when he’s physically in pain (he was in a bad car accident and is almost always in pain) that my mind is blown, here are some examples:

The week before he moved in he friended me on Facebook – after asking my daughter’s permission and if she thought it would be “weird” if he asked to be my friend.  Then he made arrangements with me to come up earlier than he told her so that he could surprise her.

He asked my permission to bring his gun into the house.  Oh please, bring your gun, this is Montana!

He offers to help carry things if I even look like I might need help and he just takes things from my daughter and helps her.

He jumped right in to help my dad kills wasps and try to find the nest and offered to carry things for my mom.

He picks everyone’s dishes up and takes them to the sink – he also does dishes without being asked!

He cooks and very patiently instructs my daughter (who is cooking-impaired) on how to do even the simplest things – like bake the garlic french bread you get pre-made from the store in the foil bags… and applauded her when it came out perfect.

My daughter’s license is suspended from an unpaid ticket and he drives her to and from work, even when he just comes home and goes back to bed in the mornings.

He got a job the third day he was here and even though it was too physically demanding for his body after the car accident he continued going to work until they caught him throwing up from the pain and sent him home.  He has continued to find different jobs to do and does them whole-heartedly despite being in so much pain that nobody can touch his back when he gets home.

He asked if we knew how hard it was to “stay smiley” when it hurt so bad while my daughter was rubbing his back.  We said he didn’t have to, we knew he was hurting and it was OK not to smile and try to be happy.  His response?  “It’s easier on her this way.”  I wanted to cry…

My daughter offered to let him sleep alone in the bed since he was hurting so bad (they were sharing a twin bed at the time).  He smiled, pulled her close and said, “No, I wouldn’t be able to sleep without you.”  And just a FYI – the dog likes to sleep with them too…

He gave ME money out of his first paycheck on top of putting gas in my daughter’s truck.  I tried to refuse but he wasn’t having it.  None of her boyfriends, even the other one who lived with us, ever tried to give me money to help out.

My daughter came home grumpy and he sent her to go take a nap.  He then woke her up two hours later so that she would be able to sleep that night.

He refuses to dish himself up food until after both she and I have served ourselves.

I asked him if she takes as good of care of him as he does of her and he said “No.  She tries.  She’s irritating sometimes but I love her.”  I thanked him for being honest and said I was proud of him, that he’s a good man.  He says “I try”.  I told him that he has succeeded.  I hope he believes that someday soon.

The mountain across the highway from our new place looked like there was smoke coming from behind it.  He prepared to pack up a suitcase for my daughter and evacuate with her dog.  (She and I were at work in the small town nearby).  He and I contacted each other and made plans of which town to go to if they can go north and where to meet if they can only go south and where to be if they can’t go very far at all.  The smoke went away but he said if it came back at all he would get her out of there and was prepared to tell her that she could only take what fits into the suitcase, lol.

He made spaghetti with olives and mushrooms in the sauce for dinner one night.  By the time I got home there weren’t any olives in the sauce (so I didn’t know he had even put them in there) but there were plenty of mushrooms and I love mushrooms!  The next day I had leftover spaghetti at school and found a can of olives that I put in (cold) after I had heated the noodles and sauce.  I posted on Facebook that I realized I like cold olives on top of hot food and not cooked into the food.  When I get home that day he had read my post and apologizes for putting olives in the sauce!  Dear, sweet boy!  That wasn’t the reason I posted that…

He has 5 ulcers and threw up outside the back door one day after dinner, couldn’t keep anything down.  He comes back in and apologizes that we “had to hear that”.

My daughter hasn’t had dental insurance for a while and her teeth are hurting.  She couldn’t sleep one night (it was the first night the had a queen bed) so she went out to the living room and watched a movie.  He woke up and she wasn’t there so he went out and fell asleep with her on the couch.

He tells her no when they can’t afford to do something without being mean about it and he says yes whenever something is possible.  He gives up food, drink, cigarettes and his own clothing for her, anything she wants or needs he denies himself and gives it to her.  He puts her ahead of himself all the time.  He is gentle in everything he says and does.

He is affectionate towards her in public without being lustful or possessive.  I don’t know if I’m describing that right but those are the best words I can come up with.  He hugs her, he kisses her, he holds her hand and pulls her close, he constantly watches her with a little smile on his lips… and I never feel like he’s just waiting for me not to be around so he can pull her into bed.  He loves her.  He really LOVES her.

This young man constantly amazes me.  I’ve never seen anything like their relationship.  My daughter joked once and said he wanted my blessing for them to be together.  I gave it wholeheartedly, but thinking – very quietly – to myself that she might find herself a little harder pressed to get my blessing to be with him…

He loves her just a tad more than she loves him, he deserves better than my daughter but he loves her with every fiber of his being.  He gave up everything from his life back in our old town to move to another state and be with her.

If there’s a man like that out there for me, then I want to try and find him.

Even though we are back to seeing each other face-to-face on school days again Kyle and I still message each other often, especially on weekends, and he frequently starts my day with the words “Good morning beautiful”, which is probably the nicest way to start a day, ever… (especially when it comes with a picture of him smiling at me…) Other times he will say things like “Drive safe, beautiful”, “See you at school, beautiful” or even just simply “Hey beautiful”. 

It makes my day! Every. Single. Time. 

Because I feel like I am only pretty because I am kind. If I wasn’t always so “nice” I feel like most folks wouldn’t take the time to see past my average, short, chubby white-girl exterior.

That isn’t WHY I’m kind to everyone, I’m kind because that’s how God made me. I’m driven to love others, it’s who I am and it makes me happy to do so. It is my purpose in life. 

I’ve realised that Kyle is the only man in my entire life who has EVER told me regularly and without prompting that that I’m beautiful. Brothers, father and ex-husband included.

That’s so sad.

It also made me realize that I didn’t tell my children, my two amazing girls, that they are beautiful hardly at all while they were growing up. 

That’s heartbreaking. 

I can’t do anything about the past, I can only try to change the future and encourage and support them in any way I can, and tell them more often that they’re beautiful…

Knowing Kyle has changed my life in some amazing ways. I try to tell him sometimes what he means to me and how much he’s helped me but I’m not sure he really understands. He says I do a lot for him, which I don’t really understand so I guess that makes founders of an exclusive, two-member mutual admiration society, lol. 

Physically I think he’s one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever met. But his heart, that he hides from most people, is breathtaking. 

Kyle’s husband, who came to school today and I got to spend some time with the two of them together, is a fabulous man as well. Soft-spoken, thoughtful, gentle in his words and attitude, a very kind man. I can see why Kyle loves him. They are both so gracious to me – and to my daughter. 

I am starting to feel beautiful because Kyle tells me, over and over, in random bits of conversation, that I am beautiful. It’s an interesting feeling, to think that your own self really, truly is something you’ve never dared to claim before…

I’m trying to be more like that to the people around me, more complementary, more openly loving. I hope you will try to be that way too, maybe we could all just start our days telling everyone “Good morning beautiful”.

I came back to Montana specifically to attend Kyle’s wedding.  One of my aunt’s wedding was on the same day as Kyle’s wedding but hers was at 1 pm and his was at 7 pm – and they were only an hour and a half apart, which in Montana is not that far, lol.

My aunt’s wedding was beautiful, I guess she’s not “really” my aunt, she married my uncle and they had two kids together but then they divorced and this was her marrying someone else.  But she’ll always be my aunt 🙂  It was good to reconnect with my cousins briefly and say hi to her, show her support for her wedding.  Besides her children we were her only family there.

We left her reception early to go to Kyle’s wedding.  It was my first gay wedding ever, also my first drinking party ever and it was so much fun!  It started with a potluck and the theme was “Thrift Shop” so everyone dressed up in the most outrageous outfits (including the grooms) they could find at a thrift shop – some of the getups were fantastic!  Then came the ceremony – which was very heartfelt and seemed more real and genuine than some of the churchy weddings I’ve been to.  Kyle is Native American and so one of his brothers sang a blessing in their native tongue during the ceremony and another brother sang a song and I can’t remember if it was called the Hope Song??? or something similar.  They were precious and holy moments.  The love and support shown by the attendees (there were probably 100 people there) to Kyle and his now-husband was amazing and the love they have for each other is so real.  I struggle with everything I was raised to believe in the face of so much love.

After the ceremony there was dancing and lots of drinks.  I allowed my daughter to drink  (she’s only 20) but we were on private property and in Montana the under-aged can drink on private property with parental permission – who knew?  Even though she told me she was drunk I couldn’t really tell, she just seemed really happy.  I had a sip or two of her drinks but stuck to my Dr. Pepper because I was driving home and nothing tasted really good anyway…  We took some pictures at the photo booth they  had set up and she danced a lot, I danced a little, and we mingled with the guests and met some very nice gay men until we finally had to go at 11:30 pm.

Sadly, there were no older, straight, single men there for me…

Most of the people there spent the night so they wouldn’t have to drive drunk.  There were lots of places that folks had pitched tents to sleep in and they grooms had even provided a giant tent filled with army cots for those who needed to stay but weren’t prepared.  I thought it was a very well thought out party and so much fun!

So I feel like I need to backtrack a bit and explain some things…

And now I realized that since I started this post at the end of July the website is putting it there as far as the timeline is concerned but I’m really writing it at the end of August, lol.

I spent the month of June back where I came from.  The goal was to make lots of money so that when I came back I wouldn’t have to work for a few months…  well I made the money, sure enough, but apparently I spent it too because after everything was paid for, including the moving trailer, gas, food and a hotel on the way back I had less than one month’s worth of bills left in the bank.  <sigh>  Looking back though I can’t think of anything I would have done differently because in the end my younger daughter came back to Montana with me and at the end of July we moved into a place of our own!  (My daughter’s boyfriend also moved in with us – and he’s a marvelous young man – but he’s going to get his own post eventually.) But finances are so tight that every penny shrieks in terror of all the ways I need to spend it and I’ve even applied for three waitressing jobs but nobody seems to be hiring right now, ugh.

Our place is a 2 bed, 1 bath trailer.  It’s a short double-wide parked in an odd little location kind of in the middle of nowhere.  The interior paint is a fascinating collage of purple, orange, pink, mint green, silver, brown and grey.  The floors are wood in some places, tile in others, linoleum here and there and my bedroom has carpet.  The fridge is newer and nice but the stove only has 2 working burners, the small ones, of course.  There’s a little pond, green grass, trees, a fenced back yard for the dog and an 8 foot privacy fence.  It’s the perfect amount of space for the three of us and, oddly enough, has become a quiet oasis that I really enjoy being at.  At night I can see lots of stars and bits of the Milky Way, it’s quiet and there are frogs to catch (and release) in the pond.  The neighbors are nice and it’s turning out to be perfect for us.

Another great thing that happened since I came back is I found a shop space to do nails in here in the same town the school is in so my new home is close to that too!  It’s a tiny salon with two other women, one a little older than me(?), Kim, and one probably in her 70’s(?), Sharon, and they only do hair so they were looking for someone to do nails.  (They also have a third hair station open and would like me to use it after I graduate from school in January.)  My teacher told me about the opening so I called, met with the ladies and we clicked right away.  The booth rent is the lowest I’ve ever found, which is amazing!  In the last month I’ve had about 5 customers and four of them have come back for fills so I’m really happy my nail career is finally beginning here in Montana.  🙂  I know it will take a bit to be self-supporting, it always does when you start a business like this, but it’s taking off, slowly but surely…

On the movie theater work front I have cut back to two days a week (because I moved an hour away) and 4 out of my 5 managers encouraged me to apply for a shift leader position… so I did!  I wound up not getting it simply because I’m only working 2 days a week but they said that if I ever wanted to be a manager or supervisor to let them know and they would work with me to make it happen.  I really do like the management at this theater, they’re just the nicest people 🙂  I should probably quit this job and concentrate on working closer to home but it pays for my gas to go to see my folks every weekend and it’s such a fun job that it’s totally worth it… not to mention the free movies!

Oh, I did have an accident at work, I tripped over a rolled-up rug and got a bone-bruise on my right knee cap so that’s been fun.  Again, this company is great to work for, they contacted me right away and have taken care of everything and all the management treats me just the same as before.

Coming back to school after a month of being a business professional again has been difficult.  I’m very aware of how other people view me, it’s a curious mixture of a gift and a curse, lol.  The more I let it bother me how other people see me the more of a curse it is but the less I let it bother me the more insight I have into that person and the more of a gift it is…  And I’m realizing that the shift in people’s perception of me – and even in my own view of myself – from someone who knows what they are doing and who is appreciated and loved for my talent to “just a student” who doesn’t know what they are doing and has to have instructors supervise everything…  I’ll just say it’s been a more difficult transition than I expected but now that I’ve been back for a month it’s getting a little better.

School itself is OK, the owner has a lot going on in her life right now and I’m hoping that’s the reason she’s so inconsistent in her teaching and her rules.  First thing every morning we have an hour of “Theory” which equals approximately 10 minutes of real learning and 50 minutes of either tangent stories or her ranting and raving about something that upset her yesterday.  It’s emotionally exhausting and I struggle to look like I’m paying attention while I tune her out because everything about her just drains me.  Once theory is over there’s 6 1/2 more hours of doing the same work over and over again on a mannequin head and I’m bored.  There’s no alternative to putting in the hours though, you have to be there to get licensed so aside from the few customers that come in I’m trying to grit my teeth and do the work without burning out or taking time off.

I’m definitely back on the happy pills again, I think they’re working???

Friendships with several people at school have gotten stronger and better, which really helps, so that’s a bright spot…

My parents decided to switch churches so we’ve gone someplace new for the month of August so far.  I have to laugh because my step-mom seems to really like this new church but complains that it’s “so far away” and is thinking about trying something closer to home.  It’s maybe 5 miles from their house, lol.  Small town mentality 😀

I am reminded of what Bilbo Baggins says in The Lord of the Rings “I feel thin, like butter spread over too much bread”, because that’s very much how I feel, which brings me back to painful memories of being married because that’s how I felt at the end of that too, ugh. However, beauty school has an end date!  I should be done in either January or February, depending on how many more days I take off of school and then who knows what will happen…

It began a week before I was scheduled to leave – my younger daughter announced “I’m moving with you!”

Sadly, my first response was panic rather than joy…

In May I had asked her repeatedly to make a final decision on whether or not she was going to move up to Montana with me and she decided no, she was not.  So I decided to rent a room with my teacher closer to my school instead of pursuing an entire apartment or house on my own.  Now, at the end of June she decides she’s moving up with me after all and I have nowhere for her to live.

Panic.

She decides she’ll camp in her pickup truck with her dog until she can find a place to live.

Less panic but still panic.

I’m not going to say no.  Getting away from her current situation is probably the best thing for her as far as I can see… So she starts packing up her stuff and condensing so that it all fits into her pickup truck and the back of my car.  All of one mini storage unit manages to fit into the biggest UHaul trailer they had and she and I trade cars because she’s never pulled a trailer before.

The day comes to leave and we spend probably an hour trying to figure out how to reattach the trailer to the pickup truck… lol.  I had left it at a good friend’s house so that I wasn’t driving all around town with this heavy trailer for the few days between when I loaded it up and we left, my daughter called her boyfriend over and none of the four of us could figure it out so my friend called her husband and he had it hooked up in 10 minutes flat!  He looks like Duane Johnson’s younger brother, great guy 🙂

Anyway, we air up the tires, fill up with gas and head out of town.  We maybe got 30 miles from my friend’s house and I noticed a funny smell… I had been keeping an eye on the heat gauge but it smelled like the truck was overheating.  Oh, but wait, I was actually looking at the oil pressure gauge and NOT the heat one…  The heat gauge was actually alllll the way up to the “H” for HOT and steam was starting to come out from under the hood…

I actually swore…

I turned the heater on full blast, pulled off at the next exit and desperately prayed to find some shade in the 100 degree weather before the engine blew up.  God is faithful and there was a gas station with an overhang above the pumps so we pulled in there, popped the hood and waited for an hour for it to cool down so we could put some water into the radiator.

This scenario was repeated about 6 times, turning what was normally a 7 hour trip into a two day, 17 hour trip.  Curiously, it wasn’t until our last stop, right after we had crossed the Montana border that a single person pulled over to see if we were OK or needed any help.

Back on January 1st I married two of my friends in their home, in front of their children and two witnesses.  Today was the big, in front of family and friends ceremony at a historical landmark with the flowers and the white dress and cake and candles…  It was lovely.  Simple, elegant, beautiful and full of love and smiles all around.

I stayed up until 2 am last night researching different wedding ceremonies, vows, ring exchanges and what not, putting them into some semblance of order and storing them on my tablet so that I could read off it for the ceremony.

The bridesmaids were beautiful, all in perfectly matching cerulean blue dresses of different styles and the groomsmen had vivid, matching blue shirts and bow ties.  The groom had nervously handed me his vows before the ceremony to get my opinion and I thought they were great, heartfelt and sincere.  His voice broke a little as he read them to her.

I did all right with the ceremony, there were a few awkward moments when I forgot the papers with the bride’s vows and the couple’s vows to the four children and had to take a few steps to the side to go get them.

I did less all right with the song, it’s a hard song to sing to begin with, Jordan Feliz’s “Beloved”.  So beautiful but it goes very low on the verses and into the perfect range for me (on the raised version of the accompaniment track) for the chorus and the bridge, which are the majority of the song.  The sound system provided was less than stellar and as I practiced with it about an hour before the ceremony was to start I realized that if I sang too loudly into the mike the music cut out… ugh.  I have a very loud voice but not for the lower parts so I wound up using the mike for the verses and turning it off for the remainder of the song.  And I also missed words in several places, being really distracted by the sound system and not having a monitor to hear myself in, lol.  Everybody seemed to love it though and gave me lots of compliments afterwards, which made me feel better.

After the ceremony there was lunch served by a food truck, a little bit of dancing by the bride and groom, the bouquet toss – rigged to be caught by a young girl because apparently she was the only single female there, I had become invisible at that point, lol.  Lots of visiting and then lots of help to clean up and everybody left.

It was beautiful and a wonderful reminder of what love can do in people’s lives.

I cried afterwards, a lot.

Not because it was so beautiful but because I am so alone.

I feel bad letting my friend’s happy moment make me so sad, my own personal guilt trip is telling me I’m so selfish that I can’t even be happy for her, all I can do is focus on myself and my own problems…  And then I am miserable AND embarrassed.

I cry more.

The struggle bus is real and today I was it’s driver.

Why can’t I just be happy for her and trust that God will give me a good relationship when I’m ready – and when he’s ready?

I have Kyle, even though I’ve been in a completely different state for almost a month now he messages me faithfully every single day and sends me a picture of himself.  I (save every picture to look at over and over again) message him as well and send him my picture.  Our friendship has grown more intense? is perhaps the word to use, while I’ve been gone but I’m beginning to realize that hearing every day that he loves me and misses me helps me soooo much but it isn’t enough.  He doesn’t ask me questions.  Like hardly at all.  Occasionally he will but I’ve even asked him to ask me questions and he won’t.

And yes, I fully recognize that Kyle is NOT my boyfriend and I don’t even want him to be but I need more love than even he gives me – and he gives me so much more love than I’ve ever had from any man in my life, more than all the men in my entire life combined actually.  And if his love isn’t enough is there even hope that another man exists who can love me more than Kyle does?  It creates a kind of hopelessness that makes me want to throw every effort into doing whatever it takes to make sure Kyle never stops being my Gay Best Friend, my Cwtch, my Not-Boyfriend Love Of My Life… because if I lose him I lose so very, very much – and yet it is that exact desperate thinking that ruins relationships almost the precise moment you act upon it…  So I balance delicately on a wire, constantly worrying that he will run away screaming if I share one more thing about myself or how I feel about him and yet completely unable to stop myself.  It’s like a train-wreck, my own life’s train-wreck and I can’t look away… But he hasn’t run away screaming yet either and I’ve been more open and honest with him than any other guy I’ve ever known so just maybe this could last forever like a “normal” best friendship…  Please God…

So I’ve learned something about myself… I need questions to feel loved.  Who knew?  Just simple stuff like: “How was your day?” “How did that make you feel?” “What are you doing tomorrow?” “Are you OK?” “Why do you want to know what brand of cigarettes I smoke?”  “What’s your favorite…???”  “What did you eat for dinner?”

I also need answers to feel loved.  When I ask questions, and they don’t get answered then I feel ignored.  I feel like I am “too much” and “overwhelming”.  I feel like – now that I am more myself than I ever have been in my whole 43 years of living – I feel like I love too hard, too deep and too fast.  I drown people, particularly men, with the way I love.  And I’ve never seen anybody love another person the way I love.  And I’m so very weary, I pour out and out and out and get so little in return.

Not because people won’t give in return but because they can’t.  They literally can’t.

In the end, what should have been a joyful day full of happiness and cheer and bright, shiny rainbows and puppy kisses became this introspective dive into a deep, dark misery and hopelessness.  Know how to have a good time, I do… heh, heh…  <rolling my eyes>  I did my best to keep my friend from knowing how I felt and she was so busy with her other friends that I think I succeeded.  She deserves happiness and I’m glad she found it.

First things first, I’m fine now, it was just one bad day and I got over it, yay!  All my bad days are usually exactly one day long, I just don’t get around to blogging the positive turn-around the next day, sorry… Thanks for caring…  😀

I’m not sure that I posted about what I’m actually doing for the month of June – I am back in the town I came from and working for my Vietnamese family/bosses AND living with them, which has been a riot!  Let me see if I can draw a picture for you…

The house is very nice, newer construction, four bedrooms upstairs, one full bathroom upstairs and a half bath downstairs.  The den/office downstairs is also being used as a bedroom.  There are 6 adults living here right now.  The oldest brother, his two sisters, one of them has a boyfriend, a completely unrelated Vietnamese guy and me – the only white girl\person they’ve ever adopted as far as I know.  The master bedroom has it’s own bathroom but only the sisters get to use it.  That means the other 4 adults in the house (myself included) get to share the upstairs bathroom when we need to shower.  My mornings go like this:

At 7:35 am my first alarm goes off and I swipe my phone screen to turn it off.  At 7:45 my second alarm goes off and I have to decide – am I going to turn it off or hit the snooze button for 5 more minutes?  This is largely determined by A) how tired I am and B) if I have heard anybody take a shower yet…  Did I forget to mention that my room is right next to the bathroom?  Why yes, yes it is.  I can hear EVERYTHING a person does in the bathroom, at any hour of the day, unless you turn then fan on and then I can only hear MOSTLY everything, lol.  So I wait to hear the door shut, the shower turn on, then off, then the door open again and feet pattering down the carpeted stairs.  That would be the oldest brother.  I’ve called him Hank here before so I’m going to stick with that.  I wait a few minutes just in case someone else needs to dash into the bathroom now that Hank’s out.  No?  Ok, my turn.  I am in my nightie, clutching my clothes for the day, my towel and my little makeup bag and I slip out of my room into the bathroom.

Just as an FYI, even though I’m (always) a little self-conscious I’m totally safe here.  I could probably run around naked and these sweet boys would turn around and stare at the ceiling while they try to hand me the shirt off their back to cover up with… I’m absolutely not going to do that, it’s just an example but when I am with them I know I am perfectly, completely safe, they’re wonderful people!

Anyway, back to my morning routine.  I do the whole shower, makeup, hair thing and am in and out of there in roughly 15 minutes.  I am seriously the best roommate ever, I have practically mastered the art of invisible living…  I fiddle around in my room until it’s about 8:30 am and then I wander downstairs to see if one of the sisters wants to ride with me.  A couple of times we’ve ridden together but most of the time we drive separately and I’ve found I enjoy the alone time.

That’s a snapshot of my normal morning here.  Three of us from the house work together all day with a few others at the nail shop.  After work sometimes we all go out to eat and other times I go visit my girls, sister or friends and don’t get back to the house until around midnight.  I am never the last one to bed – I don’t know how they do it!  These people work 6 – 7 days a week, 10 hour days M – Sat and 6 hour days on Sundays with very little food or sleep as far as I can tell.  They’re amazing with a little dash of crazy…

When we go out to eat, that’s always fun too.  This trip we’ve gone to two different Chinese buffets and one steak house.  I am never allowed to pay, trust me, I’ve tried.  I can’t pay for myself and I can’t pay for everyone, it is Not Allowed.  As far as I can tell their reasoning seems to be from a mixture of things – they love me, they have adopted me and therefore view me as someone to provide for AND I don’t have a man in my life to look after me and pay for things so they seem to have a double sense of urgency to make sure I’m taken care of, especially when it comes to eating out.

But they do more for me too, before I moved to Montana this family bought me a MK purse with matching wallet, 2 Pandora bracelets with a bunch of charms, a watch, rings, necklaces, earrings, business supplies, clothing, more lunches while working than I can count, a microwave, an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas… they are such givers!   I estimate that in the two years that I have known them and worked for them the dollar amount of the gifts they have given and money they have spent on me exceeds the amount my ex-husband spent on me in the almost 21 years we were married.  Huh.  And I’m not sleeping with a single one of them.  I’m not even having to fight them off or tell them no, it’s never even been a question.  They have simply adopted me without any strings attached.  The four siblings (the youngest brother lives elsewhere) call me their sister, love me like their sister, take care of me like their sister and tease me like their sister.  We are truly family and they have brought so much healing to my life since I became single, I am very grateful for them!  (And just so you know, I don’t only take and take, I help them as much as I can with everything under the sun.  English, Dr appointments, phone calls, computer work, shopping, communicating with customers and business people/vendors… I do everything I can to make their business and personal lives successful and show them I love them too.)

I am extremely blessed to have so many people who love me, especially this family group.  Honestly, I should never have a single sad, lonely day, I really shouldn’t.  After they’re over I feel bad that I do because I truly have a multitude of people who love me, provide for me and take very good care of me.  I don’t deserve any of them (but I’m not going to send any of them away either…) and will remain forever grateful for each and every one of them.

Now it’s your turn.  Go adopt somebody.  Make a difference in some pale and pasty white girl’s life – the one who has blue and purple hair because she’s going to beauty school… oh wait, that’s me… just go make a difference in somebody – anybody’s – life.  Go do it!  Do it now.  Are you feeling purposeless?  Unloved yourself?  Get your butt off the couch and go care about someone else.  You’ll find love and a purpose all wrapped up together.  Maybe you just need to start small?  So go start complementing people.  Say “You look nice today.”  It’s quick, it’s easy and you’ll be shocked at the smiles you get in return.  It will be like the sun broke through the clouds into your gloomy little heart.  Oh wait, me again… Seriously though, go be nice to other people.  Just do it.  Do it now.

The End.