palindrome birthday

 
 

Dear Internet,

A couple of admin things before we get going:

  • Item the first: I’ve minimalize the site design after listening to a podcast on brutualist websites. Long time readers may have noticed the site design has been getting less cluttered over the years and now it’s stripped down to as basic as possible unless I dropped out of WordPress entirely rendering all entries static but with nearly 1300 entries that is not happening anytime soon. Let me know in the comments if there is anything broken or missing.
  • Item the second: You may have also noticed there is now an audio option in addition to the text. Starting this post going forward there will be mp3 available to download of the entry. In short, I’m turning my blog entries into a podcast and don’t be too surprised if the podcasts are a bit rough in the beginning. You (should) be able to download the mp3 here, iTunes, and LibSyn SoundCloud. Why now? Numerous articles and research discuss the changing ways of how people access content online. This also mirrors how I, and my peeps, access information. Newletters (you will find the subscription to mine at the bottom of this entry) and podcasts are now the new hotness. Lastly, turning my blog into a podcast has been something I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

On with the show.


Today is a palindrome birthday – I turn 44. Celebration will be chill until TheExHusband comes to visit in a few weeks for the ever continuation of Lisa-mas. However, presents and cards have been rolling in and I feel beloved by many. Thank you.1


No one is going to be shocked (and some might argue this is a long time coming) TheExHusband and I are, again, moving towards a romantic relationship. Part of the reason why I moved back to the east coast was to deliberate on whether starting a romantic relationship with TheExHusband was because I truly loved him or he was a crutch or he was a familiar.

In the last six months as my brain became less fuzzy, I ruminated what it meant to love and be loved. Many years ago I asked Rob G. if he and his partner stopped having sex for whatever reason, would he stay with her and he answered a quick “yes.” I swore to him I could never be in a sexless relationship, or a passionless relationship, and I would find someone who could fulfill both the sexy times and my intellectual hunger. All but TheExHusband had failed to fulfill both requirements. (I can feel Rob’s virtual head pat as if he knew one day I would know the truth about love.)

As I started unpacking at my new abode, I came across diaries from years ago where I do nothing but complain about how men seemingly only want sex and nothing to do with my brain. This complaint goes on for years, regardless of my relationship status at the time of the writing. It became interesting to me how the tables have now turned: I want nothing but sex (so I think) now and fuck all the intellectual side.

I know the psychological reasons why my behaviour is this way (sex = being loved) but at the end of the day this is not what I really want. I urgently need brain stimulation which leads me to having better sex and we shant be surprised it is never the other way around.

So I’m in a pickle. Sex with TheBassist was out of this world but I felt as if I could never get him to talk about anything other than day to day events.2 Sex, on the other hand, with TheExHusband had become nearly impossible and unfulfilling but he could stimulate my brain like no other. After our split in August 2014, he hied himself off to a therapist, got on Wellbutrin, admitted what he has always known – he was depressed. He has reported back to me now that Wellbutrin is coursing through his system, his sexual drive has returned 10 fold from its previous state.

I lived with TheExHusband from September 2015 until last month. During that period not a sexual event happened other than benign snuggles, forehead kisses, and the occasional hand holding. We both agreed participating in any kind of sensual romps would be detrimental to my mental health while spurring on more confusion for him which obviously neither of us wanted so we remained chaste. Pinky swear.

When I was offered my current gig, there was a lot of discussion between my brain and I on whether or not to take the position. The more I pro and conned it, talked it over with TheExHusband and friends, the more another thought took residence in my brain: I was deeply in love with TheExHusband and leaving him would tear me apart.

TheExHusband loves me. He really loves me. He has never wavered his support of me. He has taken care of me when I hit rock bottom and cheered me on as things started to progress and get better. He always has my best interests at heart; he likes making me happy. He likes making me laugh. He wants to go on adventures with me and eat the world (another criteria I have in a potential mate). His love isn’t the love of fiery suns but a slow burning ember that never seems to fade.

Most importantly, he never left me when things got really bad.

I heavily took stock in this. Isn’t this what most of us want? Someone who is our companion and mate, who understands us near completely, makes us laugh, and gives us unwavering support in our choices and our life? I know I do. I know I never stopped loving TheExHusband, never wavered for my own support of him, never not wanted to make him laugh. I could never imagine my life without him and even wrote that if you date me, he comes along as part of the package.

TheExHusband and I have our own rituals, our own language, our own sense of security in the other. Our own world where we happily accept others to visit.

TheExHusband has his faults just as I have my faults, but at the end of the day if there is anyone I want to be with, it is him.

TheBassist may have been the one, but TheExHusband is my always.3


Long time readers may be puzzled by these turn of events. For months I banged on TheBassist was the one, I would take him back in a heartbeat, and I was tragically in love with him. Those were things I believed then and those were my truths. I could forgive myself for my behaviour during the course of our relationship, I could even understand some of his behaviours such as the birthday incident4, but I cannot shake the pain of him dumping me onto TheExHusband’s lap because TheBassist could not take care of me when I was so very sick and then wiping his hands of me. What also breaks my heart is that after the big show of telling me he wanted to check in on me to make sure I was okay after we broke up, he never did. How do I know? I asked his best friends. I told TheBassist all that time ago, in the beginning, I was his ideal on a pedestal who he could not handle the real and everyday me. Even his mom agreed. TheBassist vehemently disagreed with my observation and yet, here we are, a fantasy who has been put to rest.


It’s now going on two months since I planted myself in Connecticut and while I’m an hour away from TheBassist’s home, nothing has propelled me to attempt a visit. There has been a single time I have driven past his exit, on my way to IKEA, and I flipped it off in true Lisa fashion. Childish? Sure. But boy did it feel good.

Another indicator my attitude has changed is the slight PTSD I have of olive green Subaru Outbacks. They seem to be car d’jour around these parts and I am forever checking to see if one’s back window is covered in stickers. So far, the coast has been clear.

I am human above all things and I cannot tell a lie that I do want to see him if only to tell him off. Lisa Rabey Is Always Right™ and my ego must never be bruised. TheExHusband predicted ages ago TheBassist dumping me had less to do with me being in love and more to do with a dent in my believed perfect ego. I am begrudgingly hold this may be slightly true.

I still maintain TheBassist breaking up with me was one of the smartest moves he has ever made and without that breakup, the crash would have been much worse.


I often need to experience things to get the things to stick no matter how many times someone tells me it is so. e.g. I need to touch the hot stove to believe it is a hot stove.

Most of the human population, upon reading my exercise in love on TheExHusband may be thinking to themselves: This is what is known to be love. We know that it ebbs and flows. This is a universal truth. It is not always just the hot burning passion but it is also vomit and money woes. If you want the treasure you have to fight the orcs.

I hurt a lot of people getting here and there is rarely a time I haven’t cried when thinking about everything I put TheExHusband through but he will tell you two things: The first being I was mentally sick for a long time and much of my actions were based upon the disease and not the real me and his depression caused a lot of rift he refused to believe was there also for a very long time.

TheExHusband and I discuss this on occasion and we’re brutally honest with the other. I am not afraid to admit that in some warped way going through all of this is what smacked me in the head about love, I am every so glad it happened.

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. The track isn’t bad but it’s still little rough. I’ve been editing for about six to seven hours today so next time it will be better.


1. Last year’s birthday was interesting. TheBassist took me the mall, bought his children presents, and couldn’t even be arsed to make or get me a card. He had a snit when I rescued a rather dismal day by helping his family sell strawberries and shortcakes at a church fete. When I told him how I felt, and that I wanted a birthday do-over, he promised with a “sure, sure” and yet, nothing happened.
2. Let’s call this a truce on the he said/she said. This is and was my truth.
3. When I first mentioned to TheExHusband he was my always, he thought it was terribly sweet yet he could not get the image of the Always maxi pad brand out of his head. One day whilst shopping  I came across the lady parts aisle, took a picture of the brand and sent him said image. He giggled.
4. What was the point of doing anything special for me if I was only going to leave and break TheBassist’s heart over and over again. Thin, sure, but I understand this may have been his reasoning.

 

 

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 20142012, 20021999

 

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welcome home

Week 13 – April 26, 2016
The weekly silly pics are less silly and more watching my hair grow.

Dear Internet,

I’ve stayed consistent with the silly pictures goal and just posted week 13. So too with the gratitude and happy lists, though I will admit the last few weeks I’ve been posting one massive gratitude and a few happy things as nothing at this time in my life can compare my gratefulness of getting a job and finally starting a life of my own.


The fates have finally bestowed their approval of my life and allowed me to get a job.

I am going to be straight up honest here: I had my doubts. I cried for a few days about this new adventure. I have not lived alone since 2005. I am going to an area where I will know people but we’re not intimate friends. Yet.

Lots of questions and anxieties abound.

  • What if my new gig fired me?
  • What if my contract doesn’t get picked up?
  • What if I hate my job?

The “what ifs” kept stacking up and everything was almost to overwhelming to bear.

I can’t do this, I thought. I’m too scared, too old, too something.

But then I reminded myself of all the big jumps I’ve taken like moving to San Francisco alone when I was 25. Moving back to Grand Rapids more than once without knowing a single soul. Solo cross country trips without nary a thought.

The list of what I could, can, and have done began to overtake the “what if” stack. There were a lot of things I’ve jumped to that turned out to be good, I could do this.

Once I told my fucking anxieties to take a hike, I knew I had this.


The job is located in New York, in Westchester county, which is near the New York / Connecticut state lines. After laughing manicaly at the $3K price tag for one bedroom apartments in the area, I started looking at close-ish Connecticut towns / villages / cities to call home.

Connecticut, like most states along on the eastern seaboard, have their larger cities along the coast. 95, which runs from Florida to the Canadian province of New Brunswick, follows along the coast making the hop from Boston, New York City, and so on pretty easy. This makes sense as many of these towns were originally ports for trading and shit during the early days of the formation of the US.

There are a few cities inland but I wanted to be near the action on the coast. I decided to concentrate on areas around Norwalk and a few towns north. My qualifiers were fairly simple: Within an hour commute to work; Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Stew Leonard’s near by; close to a MINI dealership; easy access to Metro North, and an apartment community1.

Norwalk fit the bill perfectly.

I massaged the numbers, I cut out things that were possibly not needed. I looked for cheaper apartments but in the end I just couldn’t make it work. Even after cutting things to the bone, I would end up – $47 a month. Yes, I would be in the red with no savings, no emergency funds, nothing to help me out if the world fell apart. There would also be no going out to eat, no entertainment, no fun.

It was that bad2.

It seemed holy unfair I received a job offer, with decent pay, and I couldn’t afford to live in the area I desired.

For a brief moment I thought about rejecting the offer and staying put in L-ville. I would throw myself at recruiters and start the process of slowly integrating myself into the workforce before venturing out in the big, wide, scary world.

We all know I do nothing by halves. It’s either both feet or nothing at all.

After pulling myself together and looking at my options, I started researching apartments in Danbury.

Danbury is in south-western Connecticut. Not quite on the gold coast but close enough. Instead of the 50-70 minute commute I would have from Norwalk, the commute from Danbury is 30-45. Community apartment rents were significantly cheaper. I was close to 84, an interstate that connected me to work fairly quickly (the drive from Norwalk would have been mostly back roads) and I could get to a Metro North station tout suite. There was a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and a Stew Leonard’s nearby and I was equidistant between two MINI dealerships.

I heard from various people Danbury was a borderline shit hole. There was huge crime problems3. When I was there in December for my job interview at a local university, it was rainy, miserable, and what I saw looked sketch. My Google Earth stalking of the downtown area made me side-eye. How in the fuck was I going to ever live here (if I got that job) if the area seemed below my standards4?

Here I was five months later and I needed to live somewhere that was relatively cheaper than what I was seeing in Norwalk, Westchester County (and New York as a whole) was out, and I wanted to be in a fairly decent sized city.

Much to my chagrin5, Danbury it is.

I started the search for Danbury apartments. The community I looked at in Norwalk has a sister community in Danbury so I made an appointment to tour the facility the Saturday after I arrived. A few other communities popped up on my radar which I put in way down on the reserve list as the Google and Yelp reviews were terrible. I started to fret I wasn’t going to find a place a live until I stumbled across the City Center of Danbury site and I felt like I had come home.

The first thing I noticed was the images of downtown places and markers were markedly different than what was on Google Earth. There also seemed to be a fairly decent list of things to shop, eat, and live.

I went back and talked to a few friends again about the area. The downtown core was booming and people seemed to love it. There were loads of amenities downtown like parks were also enticing. Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

I had forgotten this site existed even though I scoped it out in December. I found I was intrigued with a few of the apartment places, particularly with 1 Kennedy Flats.

This complex caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, the rent was within my budget even with the amenities and pet fees added on and it was cheaper by $350 than the places in Norwalk, which meant I could eek out some kind of life outside of work AND pay my bills. Second, it was located in what seemed to be a thriving downtown and I really wanted to make sure the walk score of where ever I lived was above 75. The complex was across from the downtown park (Connecticuters seem big on these main square parks which is fine by me!), it has reserved parking, an on community storage area, a gym for me to work out in, a pool (time to get out that fat girl bikini!), gas appliances, fake wood floors, and walking distance to everything.

Sold.

It wasn’t just the apartments accoutrements and location of the community that sold me on living in Danbury, but also everything else going on the city.

  • The public library is a 7 minute walk from my apartment
  • There is a hackerspace and it to is located downtown
  • The mall looks pretty decent and it has the ever necessary Apple store
  • There is a local minor league hockey team and the arena is within walking distance
  • A sports arena that does soccer and lacrosse (only local leagued)
  • And a mutherfuckin’ rugby leagued team that also has a leagued woman’s team (Fuck. Yes.)
  • I could get to NYC in about an hour (hello museums!)

I am relieved.

Of course moving in is not going to be exactly smooth. I’ve reserved the apartment and paid for the first month without stepping a foot onto the property so there is a chance of me not liking the place or location. My stuff isn’t scheduled to arrive until a week or two after I arrive. I will be without home internet for a week, which means I had to up my data plan6 to survive. The only furniture I will have is my bed and that’s it for at least a week. (An IKEA trip is already in the works.) Daily household items I have are boxed up and won’t arrive until the move AND there is a longer than my arm list of daily household items I know I don’t have and will need, primarily while my stuff is in transit, which means I’m spending more cash.

I should say it’s not “had doubts” but “have doubts.” Moving is stressful. Borrowing and spending more cash on the move is stressful. Starting a new job is stressful7. The dog’s anxiety on a new place and a 1000 mile road trip is stressful.

My medicating and talking therapists are convinced I can handle this. I’m tough. I’ve been mentally healthy for quite awhile now so I’m less likely to breakdown if shit happens. Even my close friends feel I can do this. And if I do cry, or get upset, or feel anxiety about everything happening, that is totally normal — remember it’s how I handle it determines whether or not I’m mentally healthy.

I’ve fucking got this.

xoxo,
Lisa


1. I wanted a community over living in a private home apartment / owing a home as I wanted all the trappings of what a community offered such as 24 hour maintenance, on site gym, guaranteed parking, and washer/dryer in unit. I wanted to be catered to and not have to worry about a fucking thing.
2. It was around this time I was crying a lot and my anxiety, understandably, was through the roof.
3. When I think of Connecticut, I don’t think of “crime” or “gangs” or anything nefarious — after living in Detroit and Oakland the rest of the country seems like small potatoes.
4. I readily admit I am a privledge asshole. Living with TheExHusband at his condo for the last eight months has raised my bar on what I want / don’t want in my life style and Danbury seemed fairly far from that making that reach. Turns out I was wrong.
5. I associate things with things. Memories with music, people with smells, and so on. Pre-me 2005, TheBassist dated a woman who lived in Danbury and she went batshit crazy when the relationship ended (She stalked me for awhile.). Even without direct association, Danbury has always equaled batshit crazy to me. Yes, this is silly.
6. I have a 2gig a month plan which is normally more than enough for my phone data needs. I am paying an extra $40 or $60 (I forget which) to bump that up to 18gigs month. If I don’t, the overage, per gig, on my original plan is $15. So I’ll be able to hotspot my laptop, conservatively, but not kill myself with the overage charges.
7. Everyone is apparently really excited I’m coming and there is plans for everyone to meet me on my first day. No pressure, none at all.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2015, 2014, 2012

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making it rain

Dear Internet,

I got a job.

A real, in my field, letter of interest signed and sealed with a start date job.

Here’s the bittersweetness: I’ll be living in Connecticut.

OH! The irony.

So the gig is as a digital archivist in a corporate setting.1 I’ll be working with the processing and corporate archivists on a large project that is scheduled to run until the end of the year with an option to be picked up in 2017. I signed an NDA so I cannot tell you who I am working for.

I’m nervous. Excited. Grateful. Nervous. Lots of other emotions.

My start date is May 9th.

I am going to have to wear PANTS (which is anything not Chucks, t-shirts, or jeans). I will be out in the world interacting with other people. I will be paying taxes!2 I will be contributing to society.

I get to be an adult with my own things, my own place, and my own decisions to make.

It’s preeetttyyy exciting.

I made the announcement on Facebook on Thursday and nearly half of my Facebook BFFs liked/loved and some commented on the post. SO MANY PEOPLE are rooting for me. I never thought in a million years I would have this large of a fan base, but there you go — I have proof I am loved and wanted.

I’m leaving L-ville on May 4th, arriving in Connecticut on May 5th. I’m lining up the usual apartment and hotel shenanigans. I’m packing and getting business done here.

I’ve got a lot of shit to do.

Another great thing? I don’t have to look for a job! First time in 18 months I do not have to feel dehumanized and dejected on the job front. Oh happy day!

There is a kind of creepy part to this equation.

The weekend before I heard from the corporation in regards to scheduling my first interview, I decided to color my hair one color and take out my nose ring. That Monday I got the email with the request for the phone interview that afternoon. If I was moving forward they would reach out to my references and schedule the video interview.

References were checked Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

They got in touch with me Tuesday afternoon to schedule the video interview for that Friday. After the video interview, the next process would be for them to confer, make their recommendation, and move forward with the candidate of their choosing. I would know by the end of the following week (April 22).

A few days after the interview, I had a discussion with TheExHusband on the need for more profesh clothes as it was spring, nearing summer, and my interview clothes were for fall and winter. He gave me a budget to work with, I surveyed my closet, bought flexible items to fill in the gaps of what I was missing. Clothes had been ordered before I even knew my status.

Thursday the 21st (nearly a week since the video interview), I followed up to find out my status and they said they would let me know as soon as they knew.

They called me that afternoon and I missed the call. We rescheduled the call for 5:15PM and within three minutes they asked if I was still interested and if so, they would like to extend the offer to me. I said yes and here we are!

Time from interview to acceptance: less than two weeks.

Academia can learn a thing or two about the hiring process.


So let’s get to what everyone wants to really know more than about the job: What about TheBassist?

Good question and not unsurprisingly the number one question I’ve received (privately) after my I AM PAYING TAXES announcement. (People worry about me and I love it and I am wholeheartedly always grateful.)

What about him indeed.

On occasion I’ve thought about different scenarios in different contexts if he got back in touch. As my mental wellbeing started to lean more towards being healthy than the crazy, my attitude went from “this is what I would I totally do” (see pre-Wellbutrin) to “I’ll deal with it when it happens. I’ve got shit to do” (see post-Wellbutrin).

Before I continue, let me make one thing clear: I am not getting in touch with him. I’ll be living an hour south of him so the likelihood of us running into each other is pretty slim.

But there is a catch: Many of his local close friends love me and can’t wait to integrate me into their social scene. I’m beyond flattered (and grateful) so I had to put some thought into a scenario where TheBassist and I end up in the same place.3

At first, my thought was, “Oh. No. I hope his friends understand I am not ready to be around him” and “I could never be friends with him after everything that has happened.” When those thoughts started creeping, I took to my journal to write it out.

Within a couple of pages, I had a 180 degree turnaround about the situation.

It’s pretty clear the last year has taken a toil on my psyche and mental health. My self-respect and dignity are making a comeback. I love the sassy me.

Making these wide gestures of “oh no, look at me” is creating drama, even unintentionally. As we’ve seen, even unintentional drama serves no one (especially me). So then I thought, “You know. I can pull up my big girl panties and handle this like a champ. If we’re in the same place at the same time, I can be gracious and kind. It hurts no one and being cruel has never been my forte. It serves no purpose.”

And the job, the move, and everything else? It’s none of his business. It’s my life and he has no say in it.

It came to me I had a choice: I could be a spoilt child having a tantrum or I could be graceful and keep my dignity intact.

I choose the later.

Once I came to that conclusion in my journal, I signed off for the evening and went to bed.


I’m a catch. I’m adorable. I’m funny. I can converse on a variety of topics. I’m kind to people. I’m loyal and I can be naughty as fuck when needed. The list of my good qualities and personality endeavours is as long as I am tall

(I am humble too.)

But there is a crazy Lisa and a mentally healthy Lisa. He came in the beginning of the crazy. If he can’t strip that away, disregard whatever fantasy (I believe) he had of me, and see the real me. Well, his loss.


I will be gracious and kind if I come across him in social situations. But to be coffee meeting friends? No. To wish him ill will? No. To cause drama and strife? No. Do I wish him to have a good life? Absolutely.

Will feelings about what has transpired hurt? Of course they will — my therapist assured me this is normal. How I respond to these feelings is what dictates whether or not my mental health is, well, healthy. To start out a bit panicky about the prospect of running into him in social situations and to come to the conclusion I’ll be fine and the situation will be fine is what differs from then to now.

I will be okay.


I’ve got a hunch he’s seeing someone. No one has told me, and I had asked them not to, so my hunch could be unfounded. But I’ve got a feeling and sometimes my feelings are right. Of course it hurts my heart a little bit to know he could be with someone or he’s pursuing someone. It has been six months since the break-up and while I have taken time out of the dating world to handle self-care it does not behold him to do the same.

In the end, all I’ve wanted was for him to be happy and for me, obviously, to make him happy. If I’m not the person who can do that, I hope he finds someone who can love him the way he wants and needs to be loved and to find happiness in that person. That is all I’ve ever wanted.

As for me? I’m a grown ass woman and I’ve got shit to do.

xoxo,
Lisa


1. I swore until the ends of time I could never work corporate. Well end time is nigh and I’ve got to make it rain.
2. A friend of mine who is an accountant swore he’s never heard someone get excited about paying taxes before. It’s how I roll.
3. I give myself ideas of potential scenarios to get a vague idea of of how I would react to that situation. I like being, to some extent, prepared for eventualities. It’s what I do.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2000

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Want to start at the beginning?
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