This Working Girl Is Going On Vacation.

View from the Office

I am trying to write more.  It helps me process all the things I have going on in my life.  This is not one of my better posts, but it is where I am right now. Baby steps.

First, I got a new job. And I have already started.  I am now working for a company based in Seattle. I’ve been in Seattle, training, for the last 2 weeks.  I have one more week of training before I go on vacation.  More on that later.

This company is amazing.  Everyone is SO NICE and helpful.  They are busy, they work hard, but they all have lives outside of work. The executive team believes in grit, integrity, honesty, and open communication. It is a great fit for me.  My career coach would be proud.

I am feeling a bit melancholy about it all. I wish I could retire now. I have so much life to live, I have family I want to support, there are things I want to do. I feel like I have been shackled to a job for 22 years and I tasted a bit of freedom. And I loved it. I crave it now. I want it.  I desperately want it.  But I had 5 months to figure out a way to retire and I wasn’t able to make it happen.   So if I have to go to work, this is the company I want to be with, the people I want to work with, and the journey I am now on.

Second, my bestie Unicorns & Rainbows and I are headed to Amalfi Coast on June 16th.  We will be there for 10 full days. I am beyond excited.  It was a splurge, especially since the $$ came from my savings (since I was jobless), but it is going to be worth it.  We are headed back to one of our favorite places, Villa Scarpariello.  I hope Prince Luigi is there again.  He is such a cutie.



Family Differences.

mood-girl-bokeh-photography-sad-aloneWow.  Just got off the phone with my mom.  The call did not go well.  My relationship with my parents has not been easy.  Lots of ups and downs.  My parents basically have two families – My Twin and I, and then my other sisters who are 9 and 11 years younger.  I do remember things being great until my sisters came along.. then it all went to hell.  😉

A week ago my mom had a disagreement/confrontation with My Twin sister…  My Twin and my mom walked away from this conversation with very different views.  I don’t agree 100% with either of their perspectives, I feel that I have an in-between view so I tried to bridge the gap.  My attempt was disastrous.

My parents were much more strict with My Twin and I – the rules were much more rigid and the punishment much more severe. They are and have been much more lenient with my younger sisters.  Right or wrong, it is the way that it is.  My parents are good people. They did the best that they could. But that doesn’t take away the fact that their treatment of each of us was and is  very different.  And when you treat your kids so differently it creates animosity. ADDITION: Perceived favoritism has long term impacts on adult children.

My mom got very angry. In a very angry voice she told me that she and my dad did the best they could.  Accused me of “jumping on My Twin sister’s bandwagon” (playing victim), and being judgmental.  She said they help all their kids no matter what and that will never change.

I told my mom that I know that she and dad did the best they could, but that doesn’t change the experiences that My Twin and I had… I then said that the best way to deal with differing perspectives is to talk about it, so that we could better understand the bigger picture..  She did NOT agree. Said that she doesn’t owe My Twin and I any explanations, then basically hung up.  I do not want my mom to feel bad, but her anger doesn’t change feelings.

My mom and dad did their best. I am proud of them. They have gone through a lot and I respect that they want to help their children.  But what if one kid takes more than the other?  Helping one child over an over again can take away from time with the other children.  It is a fact of life – you only have so much time and energy.  The fact is that my parents continue to help my 36-year-old sister takes away from the time and energy my mom has to spend with the rest of her kids.   Example, my sister has lived with my parents for 18+ years.  She still lives with them – my sister, her husband, and her 3 kids. My mom takes her 10-year-old to school and babysits the 3-year-old everyday.  My parents, who have been retired for 3 years, just went on vacation, away from their own home “to get away and relax”.

My parents have not been out to see me in CA in over 4 years.  Yep. 4 years.  Yes I have invited them, even offered to pay for them to visit.  They have yet to fit it into their schedule.

I feel like giving up.  I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to have a relationship with my parents.  But the relationship feels one-sided for the most part. If this was a love relationship, we would have broken up long ago.  I do love my parents, it would be nice to have a more balanced relationship.  Even without my sister sucking up all their time and energy, I am not confident that they would desire such a relationship.  Makes me sad.

Anyone else have a complicated relationship with their parents?

ADDITION:  Sibling Favoritism.  This is the issue. My perception is that my mom loved my youngest sister best, the sister who still lives at home is my dads favorite.  My Twin and I had each other. It always felt as if my parents were a family with my sisters and My Twin and I were the odd ones out.  Advise on the web is to “get over it”…  not exactly sure how one does this.

Missing What I Can’t Have.

Tonight was a great night. I spent the evening with a few girlfriends that I’ve not seen forever, but that are forever with me. We met 16 years ago – and caught up this evening. Honestly, we haven’t skipped a beat.  And we all look exactly the same (yes, young and gorgeous!!!).

I’m home now, reminiscing, and as good as the evening went/felt,  I feel somewhat like a loser.  I thoroughly enjoyed this evening, but I cam home with a sense of loss.  I am missing My Mr. Big tonight.  It’s just a feeling I can’t push out of my head, my heart.  I can’t help but feel how nice it would have been to see him, be with him.  He hasn’t been a part of my life in a  consistent, supportive way for 8-9 months or so now. Its a silly, stupid feeling.  I know, super silly…  but I do miss him.  Why are some people harder to forget than others? Why do certain people have an impact and others are as forgettable as the last rain?  Tonight, I miss My Mr. Big more than I should.  More than I certainly want to, more than I should be given what we “officially” shared. 

So, I’ve taken a sleeping pill…  I’m crossing my fingers that it will help me fall asleep, forget my losses…  and gets me through the night so I can move on tomorrow and act as if nothing is wrong, nothing is missing….

Missed The Mark On This One.

Connections. Aren’t they great when they work out?  When both parties feel it? I love them.  Sometimes though, it just doesn’t happen. 

As you all know, I felt a connection with the Dear Paula letter writer.  I definitely felt something there, and thought it was shared…   obviously not so.  Took me a while to wrap  my head around that one, and I thought I had learned this lesson already.    I’m sad to report that this is not the case. 

So, I’ve been dating. Signed up for a free online dating website, thought I would take my chances….  whats not to like about it (besides the bombardment of men not in my criteria that email me daily)..  the off-chance that I meet someone that is not in my circle of friends that I’m attracted to is much better than if I wasn’t on the site and did not meet new and interesting folks.  I like this concept –  meeting new people that are interesting that I would otherwise not meet.  So much fun, right?!

In my limited experience so far, online dating is much like thrift store shopping. There are many things before you, but you have to decide,amoungst all the crap, what you like and what you are willing to go out with, and every  now and again, you find a gem.  I do well in this environment – picking my flavors and making the most of my dates. I’ve built my roster, yes, a roster of gents that I go out with on a regular basis.  I like all the men…  all have potential, but there was (notice the was?) one in particular, that I felt was moving forward nicely…

So, this person, I thought felt the same way- a connection (a physical AND mental attraction and a mutual desire to see more of each other). We’ve had 3 dates over a one month period.  All were great, fun, “getting to know someone” experiences in my mind:

  • the initial meeting – where we decide that we are interested in another date (that we both were representative of our profiles, worthy of moving to the next step)
  • the second date –   witty banter, playfulness, and mutual physical attraction.  We played pool, had intelligent conversation and there was definitely some flirting going on.
  • The third date –  was about mental connection in my mind – he talked about his kids,  we shared  life goals (work, retirement, travel, etc), the dissillusion of our marriages, and then our perspectives on ideal partners (I was the first person he’s been interested in since his seperation)… how easy it feels to spend time together…  We made plans for a 4th date when he returned from Dallas.

Well, last night, while out with my girlfriend, I saw Mr. TX with another woman.  Not thinking about it, I approached him to say hello (why wouldnt I ??).  He behaved very strangely – he did not give me a hug, then immediately stammered something out about the woman he was an “old friend” from TX.  Fine.  I got a very wierd vibe from him, told him to have a great night, and walked away.   But as I walked away, my back to Mr. TX, my  girlfriend got a wierd look on her face and said, “EWWHHH”.  Apparently Mr. TX and date began making out like teenagers (the date making it clear to all that they were together).  The bitter sweet part is that the folks that work the bar, which I know, said to not worry about it, (to come back to the bar later), because he was leaving “again” in two weeks for a long bike ride…  all said with a  smirk and I think a wink!  This made me think that they knew he was not an upstanding guy… not one worthy of my attention/affection.

First, he owes me nothing.  I was not expecting anything from him except honesty (which we talked about on our first date because of how crazy online dating can be).  But given the way the night played out, I am pretty sure he has not been honest with me.  I wonder if any of the things he said to me are actually true —   He told me he’s a busy executive of a small company, travels a lot, has a crazy schedule, enjoys my company and would like to make plans with me as his time/schedule permits…..    Seemed reasonable to me, but now, is any of that true?  Or is he really a used car salesman from San Bruno, who lives in a studio apartment, or better yet, with him mom?  Who knows, what I can say with certainly, is that given the wierdness last night, I’m NOT the first person he has spent time with since his seperation (blondie, his date, could probably confirm this)….

So, its very clear to me now the Mr. TX I had a few dates with is clearly not who he said he was.  I totally missed the mark.  I was a little taken aback by this.  All I could think was about being played – I was played.  And I fell for it, I let it happen.  I didn’t see it coming – never would have thought it (who does that???).   Chalk this up as another lesson learned for me —  Once again, I realize that I am nieve, I actually believe what people tell me.  When am I going to learn????   I do not want to become jaded, but I honestly don’t know if its possible to be open, honest, AND date. 

So, folks who are out there, how close do you hold the cards? How much do you reveal about yourself? How much of what someone says to you do you believe/trust?   I’d welcome any tips/tricks/advice.

Done, Gone and Fixed It!

O.k.. building on the last, more introspective post about being Too Independent, I think I’ve gone ahead and NOT helped myself….  I’ve gone done and fixed another thing!  Certainly doesn’t help my “helpless” image…

I purchased some window shades and spent my Saturday night installing them.  God, I spent money I don’t have, which is so unlike me, but after watching the cellular shade market for 5 months, I felt like I got the best deal out there.  I purchased the same window treatments for all my rooms which is just fine for now.  If/when I get to the point to being stylish in any room, I can repaint/re-treat the windows at that time.  I purchases 10 window treatments for $850….  no taxes no shipping.  Steal IMO. 

Anyway, I’ve attached pictures of a before and after and the tools required…..  I installed 4 of the 1o treatments tonight.  The others I will have to install next weekend when I return from Boston.   But don’t they look fabulous!?!   So easy breezy, a cat could do it… although the cats did just watch……  sorta like an ex-wife (without the complaining)…  Ouch.  🙂

Someone To Count On.

The move is over.  All items have been moved into my new home.  I now have the task of unpacking all my boxes, finding places for the things I have.    I moved from 1900 sq ft to 1200 sq ft so as I unpack, I will be selling stuff.  I do not plan on putting anything on storage – if I don’t use it, out it goes – I don’t need it.

The reason I write today is because of what is on my mind.  I have been very stressed out about my financial situation (no more cash cushion), the move, and my job.  Yes, when it rains, it pours.  I think there is a new strategy at play at work, and I will not be a part of this new strategy…  this news has come at a very bad time for me given my jump back into real estate.

This is the time that I would really love to have someone in my life that I could count on, that I could lean on.   Life is not easy – it often throws us curve-balls, I get it, but its at these times that it would be nice to have someone in my corner.  I am scared, I am stressed, I have a ton of anxiety….  I would love to be able to turn to a partner, my partner, and have them just give me a hug and say, “it will be o.k., we’ll get thru it together”.  I’d like to say I’ve had this in my life, but I haven’t.  I’ve had boyfriends that have comforted me, give me the support I needed, but alas it was not permanent.  My EX, did not know how to be supportive (compassionate, empathetice, etc..), but I thought that would change with marriage… FYI, it did NOT. 

Anyway, I think it takes a lot of work to have a relationship where someone truly has your back and you theirs.  That you can trust and they trust you – with your lives.   I have friends who have relationships like this, and its so nice to see its possible. 

My friends have been very supportive…  My peeps definitely take care of me, support me when I’m down, out, or otherwise dis-enchanted.  I’m lucky to have them in my life.

Moved On… Mostly.

So, I feel that I’ve mostly moved on (from the divorce).  I thought I had completely recoverd until recently. 

Most of the time when I think about th EX and his behaviors,  I just shrug and say “oh well,  his deal, not mine” and just move on.   I do this 90% of the time.  But that other 10% …well, I still have some work to do. 

You see, my EX is getting re-married.  Marrying the woman he cheated on me with (or one of the women, who knows).  This in and of itself doesn’t bother me, what is bothering me, and gets my blood boiling, is the years of my life he wasted.

For years my Ex was somewhere else…. check-out, missing, out of touch, disconnected. I asked him, over and over again, about  about his happiness, our relationship, his distance.  In fairness, we had a lot going on, it was not easy.  I struggled, he struggled…..  We struggled independently, never together.  Our struggles did not bring us closer.  I wanted them to, I asked and asked what I could do… I always got nothing – he said he was “fine”.

BUT he wasn’t fine.  He was living a double life – obviously very unhappy in his “public” life, but he never said anything.  I think this is what ultimately still gets be all worked up (the feelings I’ve not dealt well with) is the frustration/anger over the EX’s dishonesty.  The EX could have left in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007..  I was begging him for communication, honesty and truth. I Gave him an out every time… I just wanted him to be happy, even if that meant NOT with me.   But he bold face lied to me  – said he was “fine”.   My nievate, his words, or a combination of both, made me believe that we could make it.  Knowing what I know now, makes me realize what a dumb ass I was.   And I HATE feeling like I’ve been played.

Its not my nievate that bugs me (it will soon enough though), its his dishonesty and the time I wasted because of it.   Had he just been honest with me, I could be in an entirely different place.  Had he said what he really felt (or at the very least talked about what he was doing), we could have seperated/divorced in 2005 (which is when I think he “disconnected”) and  I would be in an entirely different place. My life could have involved a new family, a loving husband, etc…. Now, at 40, I realize, I will be a great step-mom…   Three years is not a big deal on the larger scheme of things, but 3 years at 35-36 is a very big deal.

Yes, I hear you, another pitty party for Paula…  but honestly, its really hard NOT to think about how different my life could be right now had the EX  had an ounce of integrity and had just been honest.

Now, I am aware that I chose to stay in a less-than-ideal relationship, but I did it for the right reasons – I was in love.  I really thought/believed/felt that we could make it.  Had I known what I know today, I would have made very different decisions. And this is what frustrates me.  I wasn’t given the option to make the decisions that were best for me.

The good news is is that I believe this to be the last hurdle.  I do think that after I resolve my feelings about this I will be ready to get back out there.

Sometimes it just take a while to rebound, and my journey has been long and hard – 2008-2010 where the years of recovery and discovery.   2008 and 2009 are a bit hazy, 2010 has been a year of learning and getting myself back to the same place I was 10 years ago. You could say I’ve gone full circle, I’ve landed in the same “space” (obviously much older, wiser, and more mature) that I was 10 years ago –  I’m once again the “single, unmarried woman”, purchasing a house in an “up and coming” neighborhood…  

But 2011, 2011 will be my year, another Year of the Paula.  … . New home, healthy cats, a “daugther” with a degree, and now room in my heart and life for a new and loving partner.  2011 will be my year.   Watch out Paula fans!!

It’s Final.

My divorce is final.  I dont have the paperwork as of yet, but I’m told all is “done”.  This is all fine and dandy, but the real interesting news (for me anyway), is that my now ex has moved on, and pretty quickly I might add.  He found someone, has actually packed up his things and MOVED to Miami.. and is having a baby girl in August OF THIS YEAR (for those non-math wizards, that means she was prego in Nov/Dec of 2008.), which interestingly enough, coinside with his official request for a divorce.

I remember thinking how strange it was that the ex had actually taken action to start divorce precedings in November 2008 (which I blogged about: Ever Forward.).  This man could NOT make a decision to do the simplest of things in the last 3 years of our marriage (such as which night, during the week (any day, pick a day) to have dinner with his wife).   BUT, he seemed so proactive to seperate (after the condom incident of course), and was agressive about filing for the divorce.   I didn’t get it then, but now I get it (an a-ha moment about a year later).  

He found someone.  Someone that he knew during our marriage.  This someone was most likely the woman he was sleeping wtih during our marriage (wonder why he chose NOT to use the condom anymore??).  We werent sleeping together, which was a major issue in our marriage – I wanted to, he couldn’t find the time.  Our Counselor so eloquently asked him at almost every sesssion, “if you aren’t fucking your wife, who are you fucking?” .  But, you have to hand it to him – he did find someone that got him off is ass to actually do something – to move across the country AND have a baby with.  Good for him (sort of ….). 

I’m not really happy for him yet… it will come in time.  I do want him to be happy, but I would have preferred that he be honest with me AND himself during our marriage.  At the very least, why in the world would he commit to 8+ months of counseling if he had zero intention of being in and truly engaging in the marriage?  Right now, I am just flabbergasted that he would, literally, choose to do what “looked good” vs. what made him happy. 

By “looked good” I mean that he did what he thought was the right thing by society, his family, colleages, etc, but certainly not by either one of us.   He walked away from our marriage, saying he “tried”, he did “everything”, and I was the one that “wasn’t commited” …  What a load of crap.  I see it so clearly now, and makes me realize how lucky I am that I grew strong and did not settle for less than what I needed.  Shit, we could still be married AND he could be having this baby with a co-worker. God, how awful would that be???

My only lesson learned here is to not hold on to hope so long….   Had I listened to the Ex’s actions (or inaction) we would have seperated years before we  finally did….  but instead, I chose to listen to his words… but I see clearly now, someone will show up when they want to, that their actions will showcase their priorities, passions, and desires.  Words are hollow, meaningless IF they are not backed up with action. I get it now.

This new news threw me for a loop none-the-less.  It’s just like Sally in the movie “When Harry Met Sally” when Sally is upset that her ex-boyfriend is marrying someone else.  Its not that because she wants him, its just that it wasn’t her.  Why not her is Sally’s question, her dilemma.  Its hard to face facts, that no matter how much you love someone, you just aren’t the one, it just isn’t right.. and it won’t ever be right – married or not.  On the mature,  rational side, I’m happy that he has found someone to inspire him…. someone he loves or desires to be with enough to actualy do something/take action, to think beyond himself.  On the emotional side, it’s extremely frustrating that he was just plain lazy, I would even go so far to say cowardly, for not being honest with me or himself, and facing his(our) truth.   Grrrr.

In summary, I am grateful that I figured my shit out, because in the cold, harsh, reality of life, we could still be married, numb, and unhappy.  We would both be having affairs (you can only go so long without sex and intimacy),  he would be wishing I would just leave him alone, and I would be wondering why he doesn’t love me (is it my weight, lifestyle, etc), and what else I could do to get him to see my value, my worth.  I was angry at the end of 2006, he blamed me for our troubles… I waited patiently for him to do  something…  step up, say something, pay attention, get involved….  nothing happened.  I gave up waiting in early 2008 …  given his activity, he gave up years before that…   Its too bad he couldn’t have been honest, me more brave….  It would be nice to have those years back, what I could do with an extra couple of years (ohhh the countries I would visit…)…

The divorce is final and now the real fun begins…