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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!

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.

Even though I am very much loved I am completely alone. Sometimes it just gets to me and I cry, like now… But I chose this. I chose to walk away, to trade being alone inside of a relationship for being alone outside of a relationship. 

The funny thing is, it’s actually hope that kills you. Inside that relationship there was no hope for things to get better and so I survived on duty. You’d be surprised at how much can be done out of duty… Outside that relationship there is hope that maybe someday I won’t be alone but the fear that I am too damaged quashes my hope far too often and self-preservation will probably never let me even date successfully, guaranteeing that love will have to sneak up on me if it’s ever going to work. 

I’ve made great progress though.  (Go me!)  I actually belive the people who hug me and tell me they love me, I believe they mean it. That’s a big step for me. But I’m an all-or-nothing girl, if I love you, I love you. Completely, 100%, do anything for you, love you. And that’s not how those people love me, they have lives that I am a part of but not all of. They can’t love me the same way I love them because they already love somebody else that way. And for those parts I am included in, I am in heaven – but I think some of my people feel like I’m trying to drown them because I am too deep… for the other parts of their lives that I am not invited in to, well, for those parts I am alone, very, very alone. 
But it was my choice. Of the two choices I was left with I’m pretty sure I’d choose it again. 

Yep, that’s a phrase I overheard while giving someone a pedicure today.  It was spoken with sympathy and hopeless for the man the two women were discussing.  At first I laughed (only in my head, I didn’t want to seem like I was eavesdropping on their obviously private conversation) because it’s a funny word picture… but tonight it makes me cry because it pretty much describes me and embodies all my fears of being intimate in a future relationship.

My ex told our youngest daughter that I was “horrible” in bed.  It’s totally true, I will own that statement.  Our sex life was all about feeding his addiction and therefore not at all about meeting my sexual needs, not that I even knew I had sexual needs for the majority of our marriage…  Couple that with my childhood teaching that all sex outside of marriage was bad alongside no teaching whatsoever about what sex within marriage was supposed to consist of and my poor ex husband had 20+ years of me laying there like a log while he got his fix, sometimes multiple times a day.  A few times a year he would insist on bringing me to orgasm and a even fewer of those times it actually worked but it was a mechanical sort of thing on my end and a pride-soothing accomplishment on his.  So I own it, I am Bad In Bed.  But for him to tell our daughter makes him an outright Ass, something he refuses to own, although not what this post is about…

So one of the biggest reasons for staying single for the rest of my life is that I will never be made fun of or described to another person as being Bad In Bed.  I will never again feel that my sexual pleasure is more effort than it’s worth to another human being.  And honestly, my ex – being the one and only man I’ve ever slept with – he never really gave me any true sexual pleasure so if I went the rest of my life without it I wouldn’t really know what I’m missing and therefore be (mostly) ok with it.

Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

My friends at school looked at me with pity, love and concern when I told them I had 20 years of Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma’am.  One gal said “Oh honey, somebody’s going to rock your world!” and then they all tried to think of who they knew that I could date… <insert flat stare here>

But if my world is never rocked it will be easier to be alone.  I can stay a sack of potatoes in bed, breathing through my inspiration-for-alien-movies CPAP mask while tossing and turning all night long, so much so that my FitBit said I walked 50 steps last night…  All of this won’t bother anybody if there isn’t anybody to bother.

There isn’t even anybody to ask about having sex, especially again, after divorce.  Nobody in the church will talk about it, I can’t find a counselor who takes appointments in the evenings, when I’m out of school and I’m not comfortable talking to any of my friends about it.  So what do I do?  Watch porn as an instructional aid?  I mean I’ve seen it before, mostly in the earlier years of our marriage with the ex and it just never seemed like it was real, it’s so much of a show and a lot of yelling.  But seriously, I have no clue where to get this information – how am I going to know what guys like?  I’m not even sure what I like, how can I tell a guy what to do for me?  Are there rules about good sexual etiquette anywhere – should I be shaving or waxing or ???

I kind of feel like I need a class, or what would be really helpful is a sex therapist or maybe even a surrogate – someone to practice with that I have no emotional connection to so they could teach me what to do – and what not to do, help me get over my insecurities through practice and encouragement…  But that would probably be the most unacceptable thing of all, at least in the church anyway.  It would come down to paying for sex, soliciting a male prostitute… But I feel like it’s what I need.  Regardless though, I wouldn’t even know where to find one so that’s kind of a moot point.

In the end, I am that sack of potatoes.  I don’t know how to be anything else, I’m not sure I CAN be anything else without help and there’s no help out there.  So, if I ever manage to date someone… and it develops into a real relationship… and I trust him… and he loves me as much or more than my best friends do… then yes, I plan on sleeping with him.  Or should I be completely transparent – I plan on having sex with him.  Because the one thing I refuse to do ever again is to chain myself to another marriage bed occupied by a sex addict.  So if I have sex with this future, possibly non-existent guy AND he doesn’t run away screaming… and I don’t run away screaming… then, maybe, I’ll marry him.  Poor bastard.

I took a quick look back over my posts so far this year and realized that I haven’t said much, if anything about Beauty School and it’s become such an important part of my life!  So here’s an overview from the beginning:

I walked into school for the very first time right after I moved to Montana.  A man was at the front desk, (later I learn his name is Rayalf), and he called one of the teachers up (who turned out to be Kammi).  While I’m waiting for Kammi I notice a tall man with blue hair – that was Kyle, who turns out to be my Cwtch…

Kammi takes me back to her office and tells me a little bit about the school, introduces me to the owner, Misty, as “the girl with the nail hours”, assures me I am all set to start with the next class.

The school is much smaller than I expected it to be, in the bigger city I left I used to go to beauty schools all the time to get my hair done and this school is barely a quarter of the size of any of those and yet there’s between 30 and 40 students and three instructors, hmm, this could be interesting…

Fast forward about 3 weeks, I show up to the school and meet my 8 other classmates.  All nice girls and we range in age from 18 to me at 43.  The girl who was in her 30’s dropped out after a couple of months so now it’s just me and the younger ones, lol.  We spent roughly 8 weeks in the back room doing book work and practicing on mannequin heads before we were allowed to move to the front and work on the public.

Just writing this out I realize that none of this is the important part.  The people there, the other students and the instructors are what has made this experience so life-changing for me.

There’s lots of swearing, even from the instructors.  Anything that can be turned into a sexual innuendo is done so with a vengeance and everybody laughs like it’s the funniest thing in the world.  Rayalf, in particular, loves practical jokes and almost everyone affectionately calls each other Bitch or Dude, depending on the mood they’re in.  It’s a circus of chaos and craziness.  But here’s the thing – these people are a family.  They’re real.  In spite of the bickering and the arguing they get along most of the time.  They share their supplies and food with each other.  They listen to each other’s stories,  empathize and hug.  And aside from their moral standards being vastly different than my own they have a much healthier outlook on sex and sexuality than I do.  Granted, probably 99% of all people out there have a healthier view of sex than I do but these people are open and honest about it while at the same time being accepting of me and my beliefs, encouraging me to heal but not pushing me to go outside my moral boundaries.

Some days are hard because I can get overwhelmed with all of the emotions that go on in a building of 30 women and 2 men ranging from 17 – 60.  Even though everyone is always nice to me I can still be affected by the people around me being negative and petty to each other.  I have gone outside and cried many times.  I’ve even gone back on the happy pills because school can be so stressful.  I don’t like being on the happy pills again, I was very proud of myself for having gotten off them but I’m realizing that my body doesn’t handle stress yet the way it should.  It handles stress better than it did when I was married, way better, but it’s still not back to completely healthy… so happy pills it is.  I even stayed home one day as a “mental health” day and it was totally worth it.  I plan to take three days off a month to help preserve my sanity even though it will lengthen my time at school and cost me about $1400 in overages at the end.  Ugh.

In the end though, it is a crazy, insane kind of world and ultimately I love it.  My hair is blue with purple roots and for the first time in my life I have shaped eyebrows and fake eyelashes.  At school I have friends who love me and hug me and care about me and tell me I’m beautiful and that they’re glad I’m there.  I’ve been able to share my past with some of them and they empathize with me and are very supportive.  My favorite teacher, Kammi, just offered to rent me her spare room and be a part of her family, which I think will be lots of fun.

This group of people – this group of unchurched, largely immoral, profanity professionals loves, respects and accepts me more than any other group I’ve ever been a part of and none of them require me to become like them before being willing to give me their love and affection.

Being around these people both destroys me and builds me back up, but they build me up far more often than they make me cry.

I know I am who and where I am supposed to be.  I know I am doing what I am supposed to do.  Sometimes the being and the doing is hard but the knowing, the knowing makes it all worth it.

 

 

 The crash and burn of realizing you are only wanted when you are needed

The light-bulb moment of finally understanding that’s one of the many things he did for all those years, the one who broke you

The self-loathing at recognizing every man you’ve ever fallen for could not or would not love you back – and yet you gravitate towards another just like that over and over again

The fear that you will never be able to love someone who is different, someone who is better

The accepting of yourself – you fall fast and hard at the first drop of kindness and think it’s love 

The knowledge that this may never change

The hope that it never changes because then you would not be you

The draining wariness of constantly being on guard against falling in love

The battle between wanting to fall in love and needing to feel safe

The sadness that “safe” and “in love” have never come to you at the same time

The weariness of needing to decipher your own emotions and those around you non-stop

The utter exhaustion from carrying all of life’s responsibilities while guarding your damaged heart that still slips out the window like a teenager and falls in love with the wrong guy anyway 

The desperate need to believe in fairy tales because maybe, just maybe, you could have a happily ever after too

The sleep that finally comes to give you just enough strength to make it through one more day so you can do it all over again

Things are going well!  A bit of an overview:

I’m just over halfway done with “Back Class” at school, where it’s all book work and hand-on practice with a mannequin head and no working on paying customers.  So far we’ve learned everything except the actual cutting of hair, which the teacher said she will show us just before we get on the floor.

I made the decision to give up my nail booth at the salon I’ve been at because I just can’t afford it.  I’ve paid $800 for ten weeks of booth rent and have made less than half of it back.  The day I gave the salon owner my notice, planning to vacate the premises this week but she reminded me that I signed a contract requiring me to give two weeks notice so now I owe for two more weeks and I’m out of money…  I cried all morning – not only am I giving up something that is really important to me but now I owe for two more weeks and my only source of income currently is donating plasma.  Ugh.  Turns out that one of my instructors is opening her own salon in May and is willing to rent to me so that’s one option.  I’ve checked with another salon about only working on Saturdays and am waiting to hear back from them so that’s another option…  I’ve also applied at the local movie theater for a part-time, evening job because I love going to movies and I think the hours would be a good fit.  I have an interview Wednesday evening, yay!  And then on Monday I am planning to go to the home health agency my dad works at and apply there as well – I could easily be a personal care aid and do light housekeeping, meal prep, laundry and companionship.  I had a CNA license 15 years ago but I let it expire so I would only be able to do non-licensed care right now but that’s OK, I like helping people.

I did the online dating thing for a month but was over it and cancelled after the first two weeks – since I paid for a month it stayed on for the full month though and those last few days were filled with prayers that nobody would try and contact me, lol!  However, I feel like I made progress, I chatted online with 4 guys AND had one date, a vast improvement over last year when I tried online dating three separate times and only talked to one guy each time with no dates.  Baby steps.  What I find hilarious is the worship leader at church, and possibly the pastor as well, seem to think I’m being “impatient”, lol.  I don’t think they realize that my actual goal in online dating is not so much to get married tomorrow  (and it’s definitely not to get laid) as it is to get comfortable communicating with someone of the male species who just might possibly have an interest in taking me to dinner.  I know I’m damaged in this area and I also know that if I don’t actively work on getting better, the part of my life that deals with romance and intimacy will never ever improve.  At All.  And since I am the ONLY single person in my church and the two guys at school are both married – and one is gay – I don’t have any chance of meeting a single man at either place I spend most of my time, regardless of whether or not he would be interested in buying me food and staring deeply into my eyes… hence the online dating.  And the random, possibly desperate sounding jokes about needing a boyfriend that may be the reason my pastor and worship leader think I’m being impatient.  I’m just trying to get over being petrified but they don’t know me well enough to see beyond what those words would mean coming from an undamaged women’s mouth.

Men are so weird!  😉  Oh and the more Keanu Reeves movies I watch the more I fall in love with him… somehow it’s just easier for me to love men that I know will never love me back, lol, which probably means I’ll be single the rest of my life but now that I’ve survived a loveless marriage I know I’ll be fine, just occasionally whiny about it, ha, ha.

I bought my father a birthday present today, his birthday is in a couple of weeks and I always have the hardest time knowing what to get him because he’s so quiet about what he wants but I think I did pretty good this time!  He plays the guitar and has said a couple of times that he wishes he had a lighter case for his 12-string acoustical guitar – the one he has weighs more than the guitar does all by itself!  So I found the local music store, they had one in stock and I bought it!  Now I just have to find a place to keep it until Dad’s birthday…

Speaking of places to keep things – I am still living with my folks, sleeping on a couch in my Dad’s downstairs office, with just enough floor space next to the couch to keep my two suitcases, two totes and a small storage box.  On top of the totes is my CPAP machine and all the assorted bits of paraphernalia that goes along with everyday life – contact lens solution and cases, the small travel jewelry case that contains a few pieces I brought here with me, gum, cough drops, books, notebooks, pens, a bag I put all of my receipts into, charging cables and the like.  It’s virtually an open “junk drawer” and irritates me to look at it because, somewhat miraculously, I have become a neat and tidy person in my middle aged singleness.  Let me stress that I am soooooo very grateful that my folks let me stay here and haven’t asked for a dime.  I would have been living in my car without their graciousness in housing me and I try my hardest to leave a tiny footprint in their life.  I cart around a laundry basket of food in the trunk of my car to make my school lunches out of and try not leave a mess in the house at any time.  I can tell that it means a lot to my dad to have me here and I love finding bits of time to talk with him and just be around him, I feel like we’re really, finally, starting to connect with each other in a deeper way.  So I feel bad for missing my stuff and my own space… but I do.  I’m ready to find my own place to rent – except that I can’t afford it until I get a job.  <sigh>  My financial aid covers all of my bills like my car payment, insurance, phone, Netflix, etc, but there’s not enough extra to pay for housing so without the kindness of my folks letting me stay with them I would be a dirty, homeless bum right begging showers off the YMCA right now.  This is just another set of dominoes that need to fall in order and everything will be fine in God’s timing…

On a fun note, I’m working my way through Grey’s Anatomy I think that if someone would make a spoof on the show using cosmetologists instead of surgeons it would be super-funny!  But seriously, I think the show is so popular because Patrick Dempsey can do the Man In Romantic Agony face really well and I think deep down every girl wishes a guy would be in Romantic Agony at the thought of not being able to spend his life with her.  I’m only at the beginning of Season 3 and most of Season 2 was spent with Derick and Meredith struggling with their feelings for each other in spite of his decision to “do the right thing” and make it work with his wife.  So far the show has nearly as much sleeping around as Friends did but it addresses some more serious life choice issues as well as some fascinating medical cases.  I’m really enjoying it.

This part of Montana is finally warming up and the falling precipitation has all been rain instead of snow, something I am very thankful for.  The tires on my car were wearing down and I had a noticeable bald spot on the center column of tread on my front tires, something my brother said was an indicator of over-inflation even though they were inflated to what the tire said it should be.  Hmmm…  I had taken a trip to see my best friend from high school and buy nail supplies in her (bigger) city, that was where I had my date that I posted about, and on the trip I was able to see both of my brothers who lived within an hour of my friend and my next older brother and his wife actually bought me a set of four tires from Costco!  I was shocked, amazed and overwhelmed.  I didn’t ask them to do that, I didn’t even hint.  They just offered and I am so grateful!

God is always good and takes excellent care of me through many different people.

What else?  I think that’s about it.  Being on the worship team is going well, school is going well, dating is still non-existent but I’m thinking kinder thoughts about it. My car is running fine, my health is okay, my hair color is no longer the fun magenta that bled all over every piece of fabric it came in contact with and is now a responsible, adult reddish color albeit with some nice black fading on the tips that nobody notices.  The gay guy at school seems to try and find ways for me to touch him by getting pedicures and manicures from me and occasionally touching my shoulder in the hallway and he gives me broad smiles with mischievous winks here and there – and then he ignores me all together.  Did I say men are weird?  They are.  Oh, and I put acrylic on my toenails so I can finally start wearing sandals and not be embarrassed about my toes.  There, now you’re all caught up!