Dear Catie, the older I get, the less I care.

I’m not talking empathy. That is still high and I will always feel unmeasurable pangs of guilt, sorrow, sympathy, empathy, happiness… etc. That’s part of BPD. I’ll never be ‘mellow yellow’, but you get used to living with that after a while.

What I am talking about is the older I get, the less fucks I give about things like:

  • How someone other than me parents (as long as it doesn’t hurt the kid)
  • How someone other than me loves another person (gays, bisexuals, etc)
  • How someone other than me lives their life (as long as it doesn’t hurt someone)
  • What I eat, what I weight, and have I told you how much I love my body lately?

  • Where someone lives and the pictures of their ‘life’ they allow us to see on social medias
  • Keeping up on my own ‘social media’.

I try to post enough to let my grandmother not freak out, but honestly, I have found the tools on Facebook considering who is allowed to Follow you, See what you post, etc to be very helpful. I can now feel comfortable that I won’t step on any toes and other bullshit like that when I post things about how I feel with friends who are like minded. My family is southern, conservative for the most part, and not as… progressive? And that’s fine. I’ve learned that I don’t want to change them at all. Let them live how they always have, cause it’s not hurting anyone. While they disagree with gay marriage, they aren’t going out of their way to kill, abuse, or otherwise hurt gay people. *shrugs* And I know that I give less effs about what other people think, but Facebook is full of little ways that people can pipe up with their opinions and disagree with mine and make me feel like, in general, using facebook to share my opinions is a waste of time because they will be shit on every fucking time. (Which is why I hide a good majority of it now from those who do that.) (I’m looking at you, Joseph. I hope he reads this with the same humor as me, but damn, that guy is as much of an instigator as ever. AGAIN, THOUGH, WOULDN’T CHANGE ‘EM.)

  • What people think of me.

A good part of social media for me, way back before I left it, was I put way too much stock in to

  1. What people posted and how their lives that they let everyone see must be all there is to it.
  2. What people see of my life must be perfection, just like theirs, and wtf, why isn’t my life perfection like theirs?

A great part of learning people are full of shit and all about The Game of fronts and perceptions is that I don’t give a fuck to play a game I didn’t realize I was playing. Fuck the rules, fuck the ‘my life is perfect #blessed’ bullshit. I don’t care. I’m glad everyone’s so happy, but they got nothing on my life. Sorry ’boutcha.

And I mean that. You ask on the regular how I am doing, and I feel bad and like a parrot when I repeatedly state: “I’m good. We’re good. Everything’s groovy.” — But it’s the truth. Matthew and I are —

Oh wait. The readers have no idea about that. Oops. Summary recap.

Matt and I split up last summer in July 2014.

We were fantastic apart. We were nothing but nice and friendly to each other the entire split.

The worst part was divorcing not only him, but his parents. — And that’s a lesson we learned. We were married, but his parents were a heavy portion of our marriage. While, in their own lives, Matt’s grandparents were a huge part of their marriage, they felt that was the norm for everyone – so they including their lives so heavily on ours. I don’t mean ‘come and visit me once an a while’. I mean, where we live (apartment vs house), how much we pay, the city we live (was 7 minutes from their house), how often Elijah sees them else we hear about it, the things we spent our money on, keeping up appearances and visiting extended family at functions, going to the lake and outdoorsy things all the time when the weather allows.

None of these things are awful traits. They honestly do it because they care and that’s how they know how to care. They have always wanted what is best for Matthew and I, and if it worked for them, it must be ‘best’, right? I used to be so frustrated and angry with them and the way I feel they personally drove more stress and anxiety in to my life – in to Matt’s life – and then, in to our marriage because they ultimately ended up pinning Matt and I against each other on the regular. It was so unhealthy — but they aren’t solely responsible.

Boundaries are important, and if Matt and I never speak up, and never hold up to our end of the fence post, then they would never know where the boundary began.

Anyhow, so they were hard to divorce because they were hurting and I was the one to blame and blah blah. It was pretty ugly there, but I remained trying to be as nice as humanly possible because that’s how I was raised, and I didn’t want Elijah to think Nana and Pops were some horrible people. They’re not, and I don’t want him ever to think they’re anything than super heroes in his eyes.

Matt and I dated other people. Our paperwork wasn’t filed yet, but damn, do you know how expensive that crap is? You do, cause you’ve done it, but we agreed that we were both divorced, that neither would use in court some adultery charge if we were to date before we filed, etc etc. So we agreed to date others. We didn’t live together, we dated, we would occasionally update each other on how that was going, and we became best friends again. It was amazing.

And then, one night we decided to take Elijah out to eat together. And then we took him back to Matt’s place. And then I didn’t leave, and we fell back in love. It went something like this:

The most important thing I took from this separation is: We grew up.

We were not so focused on the other person, and would they still like the other person if we liked this or didn’t like that, or had a preference to this or that. We weren’t able to grow up healthily in our former relationship, between each other and his parents. I wasn’t allowed to feel comfortable, and feel like I wasn’t some freak because I didn’t like fishing like the others did. Or that I preferred to read. Or whatever.

We got to grow up when we were apart, and dating again was complete and total new territory. We were different people, who loved ourselves, and we went in to this relationship like this:

-Do we feel the same religiously? (Because I gained way more faith when I discovered I was Super Mom as a single mother)

-Can we communicate? (A huge problem before, where Matt would rather bottle things up than speak up about them at the risk I would blow up at him — and I would definitely blow up at him at every chance, with tensions so high.)

-Can we be our own people, but also still love each other? (I’m sorry, Matthew, but Grunge was so hard for me to pretend to like. While some is fine, I just can’t get behind Sound Garden. It’s not my jam, mannnn.)

-Can we be us, and not let anyone else intrude on our relationship? (We decided, if this would happen, that this time around we would gently let everyone know that it’s us against the world. Just us.)

Naturally, we came to an agreement. We dated in secret for a while, because while we can forgive each other and fall in love all over again as new people — everyone else that we knew in our family would likely be confused, hurt, and not know what the fuck was going on. I was definitely worried for his side of the family, who had every right to be bitter I feel. I was never worried for my family, though. They’ve always loved him and his family. I half expected a celebration — one that will come.

When we eventually came public, Matthew told his parents and informed them as gently as he could that it was he and I, and that this time, while he knows they love him, he would do his own thing with me. They didn’t quite understand, and he tried to explain, but again. That may be something that never changes, and that’s life. Gotta let it go.

Sooooo. Long story short, we’re happy. Still. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘honeymoon’ phase, because we’re smarter than that. We know there’s hardship, and we struggle – but our struggles are easier now. They seem so easy. Communication has been key. We both make more money, and love our jobs, which is huge. We live in Frisco — which is perfect for our lifestyles. We go on dates, with or without Elijah, weekly and without having to plan it.

I tell you, spontaneously asking the other person if they wanna go see a Movie tonight and knowing you can afford it without having to skimp on some bill is the best feeling in the world.

But, despite how amazing we are, I don’t like to go in to detail anymore. Why? Well..

  • It’s my life. Our life. And that’s between us. It’s a boundary.
  • Life really is great for us, but rather than post all the damn time about it on social medias, I’d rather people witness it if they’re curious if we’re just as happy as we seem.
  • I don’t have time any more to post on the regular about my life when I’m busy trying to write my book and relax on the small amounts of times I have. I work pretty heavily now (which I love), and Matt works opposite schedules, and Elijah is on a schedule, and while there is always time for the three of us – we don’t back burner each other, and that means things like this and gaming are not prioritized and it’s just hard to keep everyone updated.

I know you ask because you care, and because you can’t just ‘come over and chill’ and witness the glorious harmony yourself, but believe me when I tell you.. Things are groovy. We’re so lucky. No one I know has the love story we do, and let me say, just because it worked out for us, doesn’t mean it will work out for everyone going through divorce. I’m not one of those blindingly positive people who thinks people need to try harder. Not at all.

Also, just because he and I ended up never getting an official divorce on paper, we do consider ourselves divorced in our hearts, because we dated other people and truly attempted to live apart.  We fell out, definitely.

Which means as of today, we consider ourselves Boyfriend and Girlfriend, or dating. Someday, when we decide this is forever, and Matthew asks me to marry him again, we will have a ceremony in which we reconfirm our love for one another — but this time, with God involved, and on a personal scale. But that’s the future.

We’re enjoying the now.

Love you, Pot.

Dear Miranda, Perfection is my Enemy.

Which I know sounds ridiculous because I (we) are constant seekers of perfection. Sometimes it’s a good thing because it helps me constantly push for growth and create new goals. But Perfection is a Frienemy. She LOVES to do this thing where she keeps my mind so busy thinking up all the was I need to make things perfect and all the ways that things are “bad”, “failures”, “losses” and distract me from the fact that I am improving. And it works on me like 98.9% of the time. 

As I stood in the bathroom helping Emily brush her teeth tonight I couldn’t help but feeling defeated and overwhelmed. I’m a mess. There are dishes in the sink that I need to do. There are towels in the dryer that need folding. The living room looks like a tornado hit it. I haven’t hardly made any progress on the stitching project I want to do. I keep messing up on my diet…

This train of thought would have continued in a loop as it usually does, building that tight anxious pressure in my chest that never seems to go away but then I remembered the sermon I heard today at church. We are reading in James and talking about being steadfast and what it means to give thanks for the things that seem to be struggles and TRUST that God is working through them to show himself to us and through us.

And little by little I started to see some of what I had been missing.

I have learned to do dishes after ever meal. I repeat: AFTER EVERY MEAL. So the dishes in the sink that I’m fretting about are a tiny pile.

The towels that are in the dryer are my last load of laundry. All my other laundry has been washed, folded, and put away (with the exception of some grey I still need to fold). I have a totally fresh start to this week.

I used my time wisely with Emily today. The living room is trashed because we played. And we went to church. And we played outside. And when she was hanging out with my parents I used the time opportunity to plan, prep, and put together all three of my meals plus snacks for tomorrow.

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Enjoying the tiny break in the cold weather.

Every day I eat right is a day better then what I had been doing. So yeah… while I might be struggling to get back on the wagon, every little bit I do is an improvement. If I eat great two or three days a week, that is two of three days better then I was before.

I am doing good. I am doing better for myself a little bit at a time. And I will not let perfection destroy the joy of improvement!

-Catie

Dear Miranda, Here are some Reflections and a NEW set of Resolutions…

My darling Pot, can you believe that we have been at this for a YEAR now? We have sixty someodd posts and I have to say this has been such a good way for us to keep up and stay close despite the miles between us or our never ending hectic schedules. All the ups and downs and twists and turns of life. And life  has changed so much for us both this past year. I have no doubt this coming year will include just as many ups and downs and crazy changes and shenanigans and I look very much forward to living out my thoughts in feelings in letters once more.

 

We Rock.

 

Now. One of the first posts I did last year was a list of resolutions. Some people think that resolutions are stupid. I think those people can stuff it. lol jk I know you are/used to be in this camp. However I do think its silly to hate resolutions just because many people don’t stick to all of them. If you complete even ONE goal you had for yourself its more than the person that chooses to have no goals. And ANY accomplishment should be celebrated. Also I like doing it here because there is some accountability. I have to tell you when I fail and I get to brag when I do something right!

 

So last year I did not do so well on keeping up with my healthy lifestyle, drinking enough water, and I did only a so/so job on making more time. BUT.

 

This is what I accomplished: I put $500 in an IRA account and $2000 in a growth based stock account for Emily separate from her college account. This account will be used for stuff like when she needs a car/prom dress/big school trip/ect. I took a two week trip to Scotland and Ireland. I lived life more fully, learning how to express myself as ME and have a good time. Just last weekend my coworkers were cracking up because I was blasting music for the kids and dancing around the house like a crazy person. I made new friends at work and I found a balance between my own needs in romantic relationships. Which is a pretty big deal considering at one point I was thinking of swearing off men totally. Dating is tricky. I made some mistakes and there are some things that I wish hadn’t turned out quite the way they did however I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m extremely happy with my progress and with the relationship I have now. I can honestly say I am a more positive person this year then last year.

 

That is a big deal. And I am proud of myself I also spent a fair amount of time exploring my faith so the “make more time” wasn’t a totally lost resolution.

 

And now its a new year and it’s time for new resolutions. Here’s to 2015 and to making good choices.

 

1. Make better health choices.

-This one is obvious considering I did so poorly last year. I’m going to make it a pretty broad goal this year as well so that it includes not just eating right and exercising but also drinking more water, cutting back on caffeine, and taking vitamins.  The good news is that I did so bad last year that it wont be to hard to improve this year!

 

2. Utilize the time I have in the best way possible.

-I feel like this is a little better goal then “make more time” for one thing because when you are working 40 hours a week at weird hours, the time you have available is limited and inconvenient. So this year I’m going to try and just utilize the free time I DO have in an effective way. Maybe I will workout in the weird morning hours between taking Emily to school and work. Maybe I will do a bible study. Maybe I with write on here or bake a healthy snack. And when I have time off with Emily I want to take her to the park and dance around with her, ect. I cant make more time where there is none, but I CAN take advantage of the time I have.

 

3. Pamper myself.

-This one is going to be hard for me. Over the years I have gotten to the point where I don’t care what anyone thinks and as such I hardly ever do my makeup, paint my nails, or do my hair. Heck, lets be real, half the time I forget to shave my legs until they are way past the point of stubble. But this past year I realized something. I like when I do those things and it genuinely has nothing to do with anyone else. I like when my nails are painted because I like it. These little things make me feel good about myself. Like I have my shit together and more importantly like I care about myself! I spend a lot of time caring for others. It’s about damn time I love on myself a little!

 

4. Learn to keep a consistent savings account.

– This past year is the first time in my life I have ever had any significant amount of money in a savings account. And honestly it takes a big weight off your shoulders when you know you have a cushion or something to fall back on. I don’t want that to be an occasional thing. I want it to be a lifelong thing. I like having money in savings.

 

5. Make a Quilt/Keep Stitching

-I picked up on embroidery this year and I made everyone Christmas Ornaments and Wall Hangings. I LOVE this hobby and I REALLY want to make Emily a Quilt. It’s a big goal but I think I can do it.

 

6. Figure out my faith.

– This I think is a lifelong process but what I mean is that I want to continue spending time exploring what my faith means to ME and to become closer to God when I’m not at church. I feel like to strengthen a faith you have found you have to do a lot of it alone. It’s what you have to wrestle with and read about and pray for and meditate on… not JUST what comes easily in a crowd of worshipers. (I’m not down on church at all. I think its a great staple but I want to BUILD on that. I am an individual.)

 

7. Keep a Gratitude log.

– I want to start logging the little things I am thankful for. This doesn’t have to be an every day thing but I also don’t want it to be a once a year thing. I’ve found thinking about it REGULARLY and writing down the things I’m grateful for makes me a more happy individual.

 

8. Get rid of the Guilt and other Nonproductive Negativity.

– I’ve noticed some habits of mine that breed guilt, anger, frustration, and a whole myriad of other negative feelings. For example I constantly read the Facebook posts of one of “those” moms. I know you know which one I’m talking about because I have been bitching about how much she gets under my skin for ages. And you know… I can remedy this so easily. I could list a few other examples off the top of my head but I will save those so that I can tell you what I’ve done to fix it! (I’m starting on this one early)

 

9. Be the Love.

-I want to be the love I want to see. This means doing small acts of kindness, being loving to those around me, and most difficultly… learning to be kind when it’s the opposite of what I want to do.

 

10. Keep Blogging.

– BECAUSE I LOVE YOUR FACE AND OUR BLOG IS AWESOME!

 

Love you and can’t wait to see what you have to say about this new year!

-Kettle

 

Dear Catie, I’m starting my new beginning before the new year. #becauseican

So, allow me to apologize and thank you at the same time, my darling Kettle.

I apologize, because I have been rotten the past few months. I’ve been hurting in my own way, and that made me more bitter than I care to admit – but will anyway because admitting my feelings is more healthy than pretending they didn’t happen at all. I sincerely thought this would be my new life, this not caring, being sassy, and bitter thing.

But, it was not meant to be. And, while I was doing it all, and writing out in my darkest moments, I truly appreciate you for responding with haste, with compassion, and with humor. You and I speak on a level that is secret to our own nature, our own way. It’s a language people can see and hear and understand, but they may not fully comprehend the depth. You reached me. And I thank you so much for it. I’m surprised you didn’t just:

 

 

I mean, I would have taken it.

 

Anyhow, let’s move on to the new things.

 

I thought up a few new ideas for a book. Two are in this world. They’re fiction, but it’s like, modern day. 2014. You know. Another is in another world, made up, very steampunk meets victorian.

I moved in to my new apartment. Tomorrow, my father moves out of his house and stops sleeping at my apartment – and Elijah and I will be completely and totally alone. I love my father, and this isn’t a jest at him or the old, “I’m so glad to kick my parents out” joke. I am seriously thankful for the opportunity to be in my own home. My own. Just me (and Elijah). And more so, that I can magically afford it somehow, like a grown ass responsible and independent woman that don’t need no man. Huzzah.

I’m also kind of thankful that Dad’s gone because I could not get the man to cook healthy. I mean, come on. I am trying to lose weight. Stop making potato-cheese-bacon melt casserole, jeeze.

I also no longer have to deal with toll roads. Hallelujah. It takes me 20 minutes to get to work, even from Dallas, because every time I drive the highway is against traffic rather than with, and thus I don’t have roadblocks. I’m sure they will periodically happen. I’m not daft, but it’s a much better situation.

Oh, by the way, I am in the center of everything. I love the city, and have always wanted to live here. I’ve lived in suburbs, but this is my first in the actual city where sirens are a daily occurrence sort of deal. I love it. There’s 3 malls around the corner, a million bookstores on my block and my walmart is two stories tall. (Three stories with the Sams Club attached. Oh yeah.)

I read an article the other day about people who want to travel to go on their ‘soul-searching’ journey – and the author was like, “Quit coming to my country looking for your peace. We are not for you tourists pleasure. We do not magically fix you. You fix you. You will not be ‘fixed’ unless our mind and heart and soul are in the right frame. If you have to come here to ‘get away’, fine, but do not assume we are miracle workers. You can do this at home. Just find a place inside to sit and ‘get away’ and find yourself. It’s frightening, but cheaper!”

My apartment has become this. Granted, I pay for it monthly, but I’m on my own. My own rules. My own decisions. My own life. I am so thankful.

I know that this may be backwards, but after many disagreements and arguments with my cousin who is very devout in Christian faith, I have decided to take the label off of my faith. I believe there is a God. I believe whatever this God is is fair and just and lovely and fascinating and has to exist because this world, nay, universe is too much for chance. I believe in paying respects. I believe in thanking each part and piece of nature and our natural world for it’s existence. For thanking calm as it washes over me. For thanking worry as it reminds me that I care about something so much to be anxious over it. But I will no longer call myself of Christian faith. It was the hardest decision I’ve made recently, and one that broke me down to tears. It’s a long story, but it has been brought to my attention that my way of life was hardly anything to do with Christianity, and if that is the case, then fuck it. 

I’ll do good and be a good person because I am a good person.

I love you so much.  I may write smaller pieces here and there because there’s more I want to write to you but have momentarily forgotten. I love you. I love you. I love ou.

I appreciate you. I see you. Thank you.

Miranda

 

 

 

 

P.S. I got a text from my mom as I was closing this and my mom announces, “No breast cancer!! Just cysts!” Yeeeeehaw!

 

Dear Catie, It’s Nobody’s Business, But Here’s My Last Six Months In Gifs. (Featuring Emma Stone and the cast of Easy A)

 I mean, not really. I’m figuring it out for the most part and I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come thus far in the journey. But, still. Here’s a quick series of gifs that explain how I feel, despite feeling all of this and having select few people who know little or nothing about me ask me how I’m doing, because… Let’s face it. They’re not doing it out of my best interest. They want the scoop, the dish, and the gold medal of being a friend ‘whose shoulder I can cry on, if I want to.’ Thanks.

When I made the decision to separate, and told close-to-me people. Thanks for the vote of confidence that I have an idea of what my life is like, and what it isn’t.

Which brought this on:

The gold-trophy-award-friend who gives me a shoulder to cry on to win said award (and gossip):

When I go on a date (since our separation):

I mean, dang. How do you really feel about me and my life decisions?

Because I’m tired of hearing this:

One thing I’ve learned about people who are divorced (and those who end up as single parents like myself), is to not be so judgmental. It’d be great if others did the same for me, you know, if you wanna be friends that is.:

So now, on my days off (Sundays), this is me… By myself… Being awesome:

And finally:

Love you, Catie. I’ll end with this:

Miranda’s Resolutions in Review – November

You and I both know the pull of guilt when we look back on these and go, “WHERE DID I GET OFF THE DANG WAGON?” Today, I aim to revisit that wagon, pull a few pieces of food off of it, and go forth to conquer my own quest of life.

Apologize only when I regret. 

I need this, especially nowadays. I’m separated (divorce is still in the works, but dang, it’s expensive…) and while I still feel like I am in the right and that this is the best thing I could have done, the guilt not from myself but others looms over me. I need to fight it better. I need to not apologize to anyone for my decisions unless I regret it.

Be positive.

I’m kind of proud of myself about this one? Sure, we all have our days, but I remain the ray of sunshine I wanted to be. It’s funny, because when I was younger, everyone adored the way I could smile and light up a room with my seemingly endless joy and energy. I could float between conversations with people and make everyone feel noticed, important, and rather than it be taxing, it was rewarding. Now, I haven’t been anywhere in the physical world, not really, but I’ve joined a guild of people who are NOT roleplayers and simply play the GW2 game as a game between friends, as a hobby, as something ‘for fun’. There’s literally no strings attached, no drama (comparatively to roleplayer’s drama), and it’s a new group, a new atmosphere.. New hope. I’ve been cheerful, happy, pleasant – and people seem to really like me! When I walk in, they’re happy to see me! Now, I know what this says about me (that I seek out approval for others), but I don’t give a damn. It’s nice to be around a group of people not shaming me for my divorce or other decisions. I’m happy to be able to feel like I can be that happy girl again, and everyone feel it radiating from me.

No more sodas.

Good lawd. I’m so sorry about this one. I should really hop on this bandwagon again. I’m thinking of going from Dr. Pepper to Sprite/Ginger Ale, because at least then it wouldn’t be dark soda, right?

No more fast food.

I would save so much damn money if I did this, but I am having such a hard time deciding what to substitute for it. I don’t me substitute completely. I mean, ANYTHING to replace this with. Right now, dad and I make big dinners so we have left overs, but damn, leftovers of the same spaghetti for weeks (we keep remaking  the same spaghetti each week) gets old. I need to learn to cook. How do I learn to cook?! EGADS.

Plan ahead on school work writing anything and everything. 

I need to make time, a routine, and work on my blog and book ideas. More on this in another post.

Write for 30 minutes, every day.

This is still a thing, but again, more on this. ^

Work out.

I actually just did this one, and my arms hate me.

God, God, God.

I don’t know how I feel about him anymore, to be honest. I’ll write about this as well.

Work on at least two of these resolutions each week.

Ugh. Okay, okay, okay.

Love you, B.

 

Miranda

Dear Catie, I am Super Woman.

I. Am. Super Woman.

 
In the past two weeks, I have successfully done many things worth celebrating, in my personal opinion.
 
  • I am the primary parent since Matthew and I’s separation. Never before has this job been 24-hrs with simply just me to tend to it. It’s exhausting, but it’s rewarding. So rewarding. Knowing that I am the sole person responsible for making my little man the young man he’ll be puts a huge smile on my face as much as it terrifies me in slight, but I stand proud and I do my best.
  • I work full-time. Still. I only took off a day of work, and I’ve remained with 80hrs for the paycheck. *flexes* I’m a motherfucking bad ass.
  • I have become a better budget-er than I ever was before because I have to be, now. Debt is finally getting paid off, and bills are being paid, and savings is beginning.
  • This entire time, I have managed to keep my head on my shoulders and not lose it. I haven’t blown up. I haven’t broken down. I have stood, become strong. I sleep, I wake up. Every day is a new day, building a stronger foundation on the courage I had the day before. I’m on a roller-coaster that only goes up, babe. (Yes, that’s a quote from The Fault in Our Stars)
 
Did I mention that I run a guild, still? Yeah. I’m still managing a crap ton of people, building friendships and relationships, and enjoying myself while I don’t have the money to go OUT and enjoy myself. I’m reading more. I’m writing more. I’m breathing more.
 
 
One of my biggest fears that held me back in my relationship, and kept me from leaving for over two years, was that I wouldn’t be able to survive without depending on someone.
 
Fuck that. I am Super Woman.
 
Love,
Miranda