It's been oh so busy. Mostly with life reorganization, taking care of unfinished business and figuring out what pieces of my old self are appropriate to keep and what pieces I should be trashing in light of the newness of everything.
4 years after the end of my marriage & with my things now securely in a place where I'm not under pressure to remove it promptly, I've finally had true opportunity to reflect and start to really process everything. I realized earlier this year prior to getting representation that I'm happier than I was when I was married to Comic Book Boy in Queens. I finally had the opportunity to get the things I wanted and had been deprived of for so long: my entire DVD collection, my stuffed Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, clothing I'd wondered where it had gone to, making recipes for myself I'd not made since before I got divorced. Now I've been trying to figure out how to adapt things for my new existence, a more realized me if you will. Making recipes perhaps is one metaphor for such things. I actually was able to obtain my Ex-Boyfriend scrapbook and nearly finish it. I got to write my closure section about my ex-husband and even included this letter my mother sent to him shortly after he threw me out into the street with nothing. It was extremely touching and made me feel so loved when I read it.
Recently, a photographer friend created a photo collage of me from modeling pics. Seeing that also made me feel really loved.
But I realized in looking at my ex-boyfriend scrapbook that perhaps it wasn't as pessimistic an exercise as you might think but more of a way to make the best out of rotten situations: to use things your exes left behind or that got left with you never to be returned to that jerk & make art from it. I definitely view this book as a work of art. It also serves as a reminder to me of why those relationships ended & why it would be a bad idea to go backwards.
It's weird that I get dudes from my past coming back from the ether to talk to me. Or I should say dudes from my post-divorce past like to come back from the ether; they always tell me they never viewed me as a slut or a loose woman despite meeting me in a time of serious emotional strife and pain. Some of those guys didn't even have sex with me so it's not all about seeking to get laid. I definitely would not want to talk to my ex-husband if he tried that; I'd ask Captain Horndog to handle that for me & say anything he'd like to make Comic Book Boy suffer + get him out of my hair. Getting my things out of my friend's house recently prompted a wave of nostalgia to hit me, certainly as much if not more so than when I first went through the regression of my divorce.
As I said before, divorce is a regression since you're moving from living with a spouse to being single again; lots of people move back in with their parents or go back to their childhood towns. It's more a question of how far back you regress. Now it feels like I've regressed to law school.
Finishing that scrapbook makes me feel better, like I'm getting some closure I never got from my jerky ex.
I also went on a dating sabbatical because I was sick of that bullshit & the lying of men. I feel like I live in a world surrounded by idiots who don't appreciate my value. In NYC, it seems that any guy fitting my physical type & isn't working in my industry is too busy trying to sleep with commoners, has major mental issues (immaturity, insecurity, actual diagnosed medical conditions, whatever) & seems to have mistaken me for a commoner he can treat like shit. This doesn't fly with The Angry Redheaded Lawyer. It shouldn't fly for any woman. I'm definitely not the only woman around here who's said "Fuck you for not appreciating my value."
When you're attractive, it's worse since then you have guys thinking you're supposed to fawn all over then despite them doing nothing for you sexually, not being your type for whatever reason, being in too close of proximity to you because of industry or having mutual friends or making my ex look like Brad Pitt by comparison. Having standards is not a crime, nor should it be. I like to think I learn from my mistakes. At least one thing I have learned is that not every guy rejecting me is because of me. Some of them were just too fucked up for me. Some just simply had no appreciation for my depth or intelligence or skills that your average woman doesn't have (hi, natural redhead, native Southerner so actually know how to cook & have a sense of manners, lawyer AND creative talent so kicking butt in left and right brain stuff). I've realized I don't want to deal with some guy who is intimidated by me or asks me to dull my light for him. Nobody needs to be doing that for anybody else. You need to find people who lift you up & accept you for you, not people who drag you down or discourage you. Find your tribe, if you will.
I feel like I'm making progress on my tribe. Had a realization yesterday when going out with a guy I'd had this bad date with last year and swore I wasn't dealing with again. I saw him somewhat recently at this party I went to after not going to any in a while (as I'm not sure how people will react to me since I now have representation & I don't want to get pressured to set up meetings or get people's ire over it since God forbid I get something I've worked for). He apologized for the bad date and we started over. I went out with him again yesterday and realized he might be good for me since I discovered I'm not nearly as shitty in some sports type stuff as I thought I was. That's a cool thing right there.
I remembered what I was doing last year and got sad about that guy turning out to be a jerk but he did give me my first hickey since Comic Book Boy so I felt like that was a victory. I've actually moved more towards not wanting meaningless sex since emotionally, I've not been fantasizing about my ex-husband or being intimate with him nor had an urge to do so. Mr. Big Stuff has taken over there.
He also said something to me that is making me wonder if he views me as more than some passing fancy he's killing time with. That's an in person conversation, though & he's no where near where I'm living.
I also finally found a way to start doing yoga after years of wanting to do it but not doing it. My manager even advised me to start doing it. I'm far from an expert or super flexible or great with balance but I find myself freaking out less often since having started it. I do like that it's not supposed to be a competitive thing but about YOUR time. This is something I try to remember and focus on when doing it. I also love that nobody bothers me there or tries to pick me up; I don't see anyone I know there so I can be left the hell alone, just like I want and prefer. When we get out of this heat wave, I'll be going again this week.
I even have things starting to flower in my day hustle; we can't really call it a "day job" since I'm not a waitress or bartender but am using my law license in opportunities I never got when I was married to Comic Book Boy. I recently got an opportunity to learn a new area of law that might seem contrary to my stance against illegal immigration but isn't because I'm all for people trying to make things right and use the court system to become legal if they're here illegally. I'm more than happy to help someone make good if they messed up or are in dire situations like the people I'm representing have been.
As I predicted, the good stuff is starting to cancel out the bad shit I've had to deal with. You don't forget the bad shit happened but I know I can use this in my creative pursuits, be it writing, acting, or some other direction I take it in. It seems I'm also good at giving advice on marriage since I lived it & saw what it's like when it's bad.
My unofficial gay bestie said something interesting: he says you have to be an optimist if you want to live in NYC. In fact, he claims you can't live here if you aren't an optimist because the city wears you down and if you're pessimistic, you'll never make it since you'll get too weighed down in the crappiness of the MTA, the bugs, the mess and all the other crazy things that are NYC. He actually told me recently that something I'm pessimistic about seemed contrary to my "being an optimist." That made me wonder "AM I an optimist?" I mean, I'm not Rose Nylund or this one girl I went to college with who was Little Miss Sunshine to the point that she seemed insincere when she expressed an emotion other than cheerful or happy.
We often associate optimism with naiveté and stupidity, things I don't feel I have in a lot of areas of life. Can you be an intelligent & realistic optimist? I like to think maybe you can be & you can still be a fighter. In my case, I'd say if you manage to get through what I have you have no choice but to be optimistic in some fashion since that's what will keep you alive. It's like "I got through all this defying a ton of odds so how could I be a true pessimist?" I always said I was a pessimist on people matters but never on career or getting to live where I wanted to; I always believed in being able to do that stuff but not that I'd find true friendship, certainly not love.
The jury is still out on love for me but I do find Mr. Big Stuff's query to me on the subject interesting & confusing. I'm the woman who thinks you're lying if you say "I love you" and it's in a dating/romantic context (or you're trying to manipulate me in some fashion by using it as a "get out of jail free" card to treat me like shit). I tend to think guys saying that are only in lust with me, don't know me well enough to make such a statement & think I'm completely stupid so insulting my intelligence (which is a huge pet peeve of mine). I have a whole nuanced view on the subject; I can say it and accept it from friends & family members who aren't completely dysfunctional. Is it screwed up or just a byproduct of my upbringing, growing up in the Southeastern US and the divorce I had? I go with byproduct of my circumstances.
These are the thoughts rolling in my head, the observations I've made. I've sorely needed to write here as my therapy and catharsis from things. Not to mention ensuring readers know I've not dropped off the face of the earth or ceded my identity. It's hard when you get representation since you also have to sort out how that fits in with maintaining your core identity.
Yeah, these life changes have been better for me & I feel like once all this clearing is done I will definitely be kicking butt on the creative side of things. I might even make it to that billboard Comic Book Boy has to pass by everyday. That would be poetic justice in more ways than one.