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Can I get some tonight?

For most of my life, I have lived in the suburbs so until last year, I drove into work. Now I take a log train ride and a very short subway ride to get to my office.

Commuting has been quite the experience. I could go on for pages about the trade secrets, scandals and general gossip I have overheard on the train. It’s amazing what people will say in public seemingly without a thought to who else could be listening. I used to wonder why people made such a big deal about the ‘Quiet Zone’ located on the upper level of each train during rush hour. Believe me, I get why it needs to exist. The nosey part of me couldn’t wait to hear other people’s business. Now? I wish these people would just shut the fuck up. My apologies, dear reader, if this sounds harsh, but unless you’ve experienced it, there really is nothing like it. As I type, the woman behind me is on the phone with a hardware store threatening them with a lawsuit unless the proper countertops are delivered to her home in the next few hours. She has been living without a kitchen sink, from what I gather, for almost a month and the marble countertop she ordered has a noticeable chip in it and she has not been offered satisfactory compensation for the inconvenience.

I can sympathize with the woman and also with the customer service person she is on he phone with, but this conversation is really not that interesting, it has the attention of the entire car and I’m never going to know if she’ll ever get her countertop because chances are I won’t see her ever again and if I do, her issue will be resolved and I’ll be none the wiser.

As if the loud talking isn’t enough, the spread of the plague is also a concern. Last week, a woman sitting across the aisle from me, was describing her symptoms of influenza to her coworker. I heard all about her trip to the doctor and how she has the flu and that she feels like shit and that she shouldn’t have come to work that day. Intermittently, she was coughing. Hacking, actually. Revolting, phlegm spewing hacking. The woman beside me was equally disgusted and wondered aloud if we should move. And go where? If we’ve already been exposed to Patient Zero, we’re already infected. As much as it freaks me out that people actually wear surgical masks to walk around, this lady definitely needed one. You should have stayed the fuck home, lady, instead of infecting the poor people that had the misfortune of sitting in the same car as you. Fuck.

Yesterday, some university students were complaining that bedbugs have been discovered on campus. The subway line I ride makes a stop close to this university. Now there is no fucking way I am going to sit my ass on a subway car and risk taking home a bed bug. I had a student who had bed bugs once and she showed me her chewed up, itchy arms. From that day, I am terrified that I am going to bring them home from a hotel or from a vacation or from a plane and now from the subway.

Today, I got off the subway after standing for four stops and I was making my way to the office. In front of me was a man who should have been wearing a belt as his pants were below his ass as we were walking up the first of two sets of narrow steps. I have no idea how his pants were even staying up. I had my earphones in and even though they weren’t on, I still couldn’t make out what he was saying when he turned to face me. Without stopping, I took out an earbud so I could figure out that he was asking me as we approached our second set of steps. 14 more and I’d be safely on the street. This tiny landing was a blind spot. The security guards couldn’t see me and the people above me couldn’t see me yet.

He was asking me for change and I forgot the rule I was taught when I started working downtown. Don’t make eye contact with shady people. But this time I did, shit. So I politely said I didn’t have any change (which I didn’t) and I had almost made it to the first step when he asked if he could ‘get some tonight’?

Omfg.

I didn’t turn back. I was so scared I didn’t even get my free daily paper from the woman who greets me with it every morning. Five more steps and I was through the revolving door and in the lobby of my office building. My heart was beating a million miles a minute, but he didn’t follow me and I was safe and that’s all that mattered.

I shared the story with my one of co-workers and she told me that the man I had my encounter with was much more polite. Her admirer simply asked her, “Do you want some ass?”

I don’t think she had to verbally decline the invitation. I’m assuming that by walking away, these creepers understand that we are not interested in what they have to offer.

So, no, you cannot get some tonight. At least not from me.

How am I old enough for this?

Last week, my oldest daughter got her driver’s license. I have had 6 days to adjust to this new development and even though I am full of mixed emotions, I think I have been coping quite well.

With our graduating licensing system, I knew that I had a year before I had to really worry about her actually on the road on her own without me in the car with her. Her first attempt was in January, but she was unsuccessful. Although I was sad for her, because she doesn’t fail at anything she puts her mind to, a part of me was relieved that she could be a little girl for a while longer.

Her second attempt was scheduled for February. This time, Mother Nature stepped in and all road tests were cancelled for that day. Needless to say, she was beyond disappointed, but again, I could worry about the every day things rather than her operation of a motor vehicle.

But last week, the weather cooperated, my daughter was calm, and I was a basket case. Not because I was worried she would get it, I was actually worried she wouldn’t.¬†I didn’t want her to go through another month of worrying and doubting her abilities. I told her to do what she needed to do to calm down and when I got the call at 3:15, she was ecstatic.

Even though she’s almost 17, I still get freaked out that I’m her mother. Not in a how did this happen kind of way, but in a I cannot believe that she’s mine and that she calls me mom kind of way. She doesn’t understand how much I worry about her (and her sister, of course). She has no idea that the first thing I do when I wake up is check to make sure they’re breathing. I actually stand at their doors and wait until I see the covers move up and down with their breathing. No one tells you this about motherhood. Yes, it’s beautiful and rewarding and most of the time, wonderful. But it’s also hard and trying and sometimes, it fucking hurts.

And another thing, how did I even get old enough to have a daughter old enough to drive?

I joke with her that she must get tired of people asking her if she has an older sister, but seriously, when the fuck did I get to be this old? I have never been afraid of birthdays and I’m not afraid of getting older. I’m afraid of dying, but not of getting older.

And although it should go without saying, I worry that something will happen to my kids. Even when they are safe in their rooms not 30 steps away, I worry about them. I do not express my worries to them, of course. I want them to live their lives as anxiety-free as possible. I would not wish my struggle with anxiety on my worst enemy. I think I have written this exact same line before, but nothing could be more true.

When my daughter wanted to go to Europe last year on a school trip, I let her go. She wanted to go to Quebec City on another school trip. I let her go there too. She deserves to be a kid. She deserves to have fun.

So now that she is a licensed driver, I am trying to give her credit for being such a fantastic kid. If she has the car, she has to text me before she leaves for a destination and when she arrives at the next one. If this doesn’t happen, she knows that she will lose her driving privileges.

On the upside, she has been responsible and respectful of the rule and she even put gas in the car!

Why am I covered in dicks?

So…….

I am in the process of eating healthier, working out more, lowering my carb intake, blah, blah, blah, blah…

I have vowed to not buy too many new clothing options until I am where I want to be physically. I’m not there yet, but I’m slowly getting there. I mention this fact because I am fitting into some of the clothes I had not been able to wear for a while. I have been working in an office environment for the last year and a half and I had to get used to not moving around so much. The result was some weight gain. Meh. It happens.

I’ve cried about it, whined about it, put myself down about it, but only I can do something about it.

7 years ago, I was a running instructor running almost everyday. 5km runs were no problem. I even ran a 10 Miler. That’s 16km for us Canadians. ūüĎć My first 5k is April 29th. I’m getting ready!

To reward myself for being able to fit into more clothes, and remind myself of where I was, am, and could be, I decided to buy myself another piece of clothing. My ability to rationalize my own irrationalities is one of my talents.

Why not shop for clothes at the same time I shop for groceries? A couple of retailers have made this possible. I don’t question, I just buy. So, I bought a black and blue top. I love that colour combination.

I don’t try shit on in stores. I don’t have time for that plus I hate being hot and if I’m changing out of my clothes and my winter jacket, I get hot and that just makes me anxious. In addition, I usually have an impatient kid in tow who has no concept of the hours I have spent at piano lessons, swimming lessons, rugby practices, gymnastics classes, etc. So the 6 minutes it would take me to change into an outfit, decide whether or not I like it and change back into my original outfit, is understandably unbearable for one or both. So I bring my purchases home and I try shit on in the privacy of my own home.

This particular purchase, I knew would fit. I am familiar with the brand and the sizing. No problem.

When I woke up this morning, I knew that all I’d have to do is rip the tags off and away I could go. I wanted to take the early train into the city because I have to leave early to go to the doctor for the check up I mentioned in my last post. I really didn’t look too closely at the shirt, it has blue flowers on a blue background. It covers my lack of abs and it flows. Check, check and check.

One of my co-workers said that one of the flowers looked like a penis. When I looked down, I could kind of see it, but both of us have filthy minds, and lots of things look like penises to us so I didn’t think too much of it until I saw myself in the bathroom mirror.

I was covered in dicks.

Thankfully I had a cardigan at my desk I could wear over the dicks.

Thanks, Joe Fresh.

There really are good people left?

I am very good about going to the doctor, seeing the dentist etc. Living with anxiety has made me a bit of a hypochondriac so I do what I can to prevent death from happening sooner rather than later.

In preparation for my check up next week, I had to do my blood work and EKG. The lab was ridiculously busy so I was warned in advance that the wait would be at least an hour. No biggie except that my little one needed to be picked up from heritage language class at noon and I got to the lab just before 11. I decided to take my chances. I came prepared with my book club selection that I can hardly bear to read.

On a side note, I’m reading The Remains of the Day. Everyone who sees me reading it feels the need to tell me what a great novel it is. I’m about 30 pages in and I cannot share that opinion – yet. I’m giving it a chance.

So there I was reading and watching the clock. One older woman complained that she could not hear the lab technician calling out names. When the tech heard this, she explained that she would not raise her voice any more than it had already been raised. So I had very little hope for leniency and understanding when 11:40 came around.

I approached the counter and explained to the woman that I needed to pick my daughter up from school at noon and I needed my health card and requisition form back. Because it had already been processed and I was simply waiting for my turn, she asked if my daughter’s school was far and if I could be back by 12:15?

I just about fell over. I assured her that I could get back in time.

Things like this never happen to me.

Miracle #1

I picked up my daughter, made it to the lab, got my blood drawn, heart checked and I even peed in the cup.

So what was miracle #2?

I rarely carry a purse and when I do, it serves the purpose of a junk drawer. Receipts, wrappers, uneaten snacks I pack for my kids that they don’t eat, toys my youngest one doesn’t leave home without and promises she will carry — all these things end up in my ‘purse’. As a result, it ends up weighing a ton and when I hear my cell phone ringing I can’t even find the fucking thing. So, most days, I carry a pouch with the bare necessities. My driver’s license, bank card, credit cards and gift cards are in there. That’s it.

So I’m lying there with stickers and electrodes and it hits me that I don’t have my pouch with me. Awesome. Just what I need to be thinking when I’m supposed to be calm. My heart rate probably spiked so now my reading will be inaccurate and whoever has to analyze the results will think I have an arrhythmia. I probably left it in the car I thought. Impossible. I had to get my health card back so I had it in the waiting room. Well, shit. It’s gone then. I was mentally running through the numbers I would have to call to cancel the certain theft of my identify when the tech finished (she was super nice) and I could get dressed and out of there.

Here’s where the miracle happened. Sitting on the chair I was waiting in, was my pouch. It was in plain view. There for the taking. But everyone let it be. My cards were in there and everything.

It’s unfortunate that we have learned to expect the worst from people.

You down with NLP? Yeah, I know me.

To deal with my anxiety, one of the avenues I have explored, is Neuro Linguistic Programming and how it can be used to cope with and hopefully overcome any mental issues/blocks one may be experiencing.

I have been doing whatever possible to cope with the fact that my heart is healing. I fell in love with a boy, when I am a grown ass woman who has bigger balls than he ever will. That is just how it is. There is nothing wrong with that. He just clearly needs a woman with a weaker disposition who will willingly accept his bullshit and not ever question his motives or goals.

A little over a year ago, through a friend, I met a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Say what you will about alternative methods, but if you have never tried them and are still willing to dismiss them, I sincerely wish I had all of your confidence and all of your answers. I admittedly do not, and I am not afraid or ashamed to ask for help when I need it. I recognize that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to explore and appreciate these methods because stress and anxiety and fear are no joke when they are all you can think about. And if you are one of the chosen ones who isn’t affected by any kind of mental issue, I truly envy you because I would not wish one millisecond of the overwhelming feeling of anxiety on my worst enemy. If you have never had a panic attack, be thankful that you have never mistaken it for a heart attack and have never had to go to the hospital to ease your fears.

But I digress. What my NLP guy does is try to bring emotions to the forefront so they can be recognized by your brain and somehow ‘reprogrammed’ so that one no longer associates a particular memory with certain feelings. More clearly, he had me think of four especially painful moments I experienced when I was in my last relationship.

Once, my ex woke up in the middle of the night practically choking to death. I watched and listened to him literally stop breathing for a couple of seconds. Several times I suggested he go to the doctor and make sure he didn’t have sleep apnea. Of course, he didn’t listen. So, when he woke me up out of a dead sleep, my first reaction was, ‘Are you okay?’ Clearly, that was the wrong question. I was supposed to just ‘Leave him the fuck alone’ followed by a barrage of names. Flinching, I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed that he didn’t die in my bed. That would have been very difficult to explain to people who had no idea I even existed.

Anyway, that was one memory to which I was supposed to assign a name/word. Then I had to choose three others. Then I was asked to recall them.

I cannot remember the last time I cried that much. You know the kind. The heaving sobs that take your breath away.

My eyes were closed and I was just focusing on recalling the memory every time the name/word was repeated. I don’t know what my NLP guy was doing, but by the end of it, when I was asked to recall the memories associated with the name/word, I couldn’t cry about them anymore. I still can’t cry about them anymore. Why should I be crying anyway? He clearly does not give a fuck.

I had a fantastic sleep last night–peaceful and rested and determined. I am on Day 25/30 in my Heartbreak Cure journey.

If I ever fall in love again, it will be with a MAN.

I am not any means suggesting that NLP is the solution to ANYONE’S problems, but I needed something that would take me over the hump and actually go out on the dates that I have been asked to go on.

During my writing class tonight, we had to choose a Tarot card from the deck and write about it before knowing that the card actually meant. This is the one I got:

If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.

How is Day 24 going for ya?

Today is Family Day. The idea is that we use this day to spend time with our families. I am the oldest of four children. My sister lives in another province, and one of my brothers moved to the US. Family Day is a reminder that they are not here. So, my youngest brother and his family and I spent the day with my parents.

Yes, the world is smaller now. We can see each other with FaceTime instead of hearing each other’s voices. I can still watch my niece and nephew grow up in front of my eyes. I can see my brother get thinner and more tanned. My sister and I can still compare our grey roots growing out and I can hear the happiness in her voice now that she has truly found the love of her life.

I miss them.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I should move away too. I think we all dream of it at some point. I considered it once. My youngest daughter’s father always wanted to work in the US. I even researched what it would take to see if my credentials would be accepted south of the border. They would have been, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to give up everything I had worked for. My friends and family were here and I think the biggest reason was that I was chicken shit.

On Day 24 of the 30 day heartbreak cure, all I want to do is go away. My anxiety (along with a lack of funds) has kept me from travelling. I am always worried that something is going to happen to me while I am on vacation.

In my last relationship, all I wanted was a weekend away, just the two of us. His schedule never made it possible. I know I am not supposed to be thinking about what could have been, but it really could have been good. It is the doubt during after breaking up with someone that lingers. Do we romanticize the situation? Do we imagine things were better than they actually were? Maybe it’s just sinking in that I will never see him again.

It’s still so sad.

Day 22: Fifty Shades of What in the Actual Fuck, Satan?

I am on Day 22 of my 30 day heartbreak cure. I can honestly say, I’m getting better. I lived without him just fine¬†before¬†I met him, and I am definitely fine now. I did the right thing. I am positive. He was not my person. If he¬†really¬†loved me, I would have felt it and I would have kept giving him all the love he wanted. I am very good at giving love. I love being in love, I love being loved and I love being with the person that I love. Love isn’t always enough to make a relationship work, and that is finally okay.

One of the things that has helped me move forward faster is my relationship with my friends. I went to see Fifty Shades Darker tonight. It has been a tradition with a couple of my girlfriends to see the movies in this series. The movies are terrible, the sex scenes are ridiculous, but we go anyway. One of my favourite lines from this cinematic fluff was:

Christian: I was looking for you. (opens the refrigerator)

Anastasia was sitting on he kitchen table eating ice cream suggestively.

Was Christian thinking he would find his wife in the refrigerator? Is that why he opened it before looking for her? This lead to, of course, the couple having simulated sex after rubbing cold ice cream on each other’s bodies. Ummmmm….ok?

But the three of us laughed our asses off. I will give it to the author. She got people interested in reading again and I think that is always a good thing.

On the topic of love, Valentine’s Day came and went. My manager gave her team a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I’m pretty sure I will always have a Valentine in the homeless man I bought a coffee and Tim Horton’s gift card for. I was both dreading and hoping that I would hear from the ex. I didn’t…and I’m thankful. I don’t want to set myself back 22 days.

I wasn’t alone on Valentine’s Day. I dropped my oldest daughter and her boyfriend off at a local restaurant for dinner. I¬† went on a mommy-daughter date with my youngest and went to my writing class.

I have had the pleasure of spending my last 8 Wednesdays with a group of wonderful writers. I have seen the course offered so many times, but it always conflicted with one of the girl’s activities. This time, we all agreed that we would make the scheduling work. I am so glad it did. I hadn’t written¬†anything¬†for years. Now, I make it a point to write at least once a day.¬† It has been cathartic and painful and fun and hard and worth every minute.

During class, I get a text message from someone I dated almost 3 years ago. He never¬†truly¬†went away. We have always checked in with each other. We have both dated other people, but we love each other. I don’t know if we are still in love, but I think he’s the one person that I will love until the day I die.

We are both single at the moment. However, I have promised myself that I would give myself some time. He wants to have dinner. I’m conflicted. We broke up. We had our reasons. So…………