What say, you?

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I am in NJ. I haven’t been home since Christmas.

I need someone to speak to me…

Here are the facts:

  1. I left NJ in 2013, a month before my mother found out she had breast cancer.
  2. Since then she has started chemo, she’s had a breast removed, she had a cyst on her spine which required surgery, she has lost so much weight…she now weighs less than 100 lbs.
  3. My sister still lives in NJ. She has 2 kids and 2 jobs. She has to help with my mother, and it stresses her out.
  4. At times my mother doesn’t eat, which is something that has been happening again recently.
  5. I arrived Wednesday evening and I’ve cooked for her and made sure she’s taking meds to help with appetite.

So I arrived Wednesday evening. Thursday morning I had mother take her meds and I went out to get her coffee and figure out what to eat. My sister and I had been texting back and forth. At one point I mentioned that I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay here because I have to sleep on the love seat or floor and it’s not comfortable. That was my only complaint. While out getting coffee, I received a text message from her that basically said:

‘I’m not trying to start anything with you but I feel I need to say something. Imagine what its like when you’re dealing with something all the time and you have been here a whole day and you can’t deal. Mommy’s situation is not good and hasn’t been for a while. And it must be great to not have to see or deal with it on a regular basis and live life. I don’t want to hear it.’

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So I’m just flabbergasted! I’m going back in my mind about what I had said within the last 12 hours since I arrived. At no point did I ever say that I couldn’t deal or handle it or was tired of it, or anything. The only thing I complained about was where I had to sleep…to which she NEVER offered a place to sleep at her apartment…but anyway.

I responded with an ultra PC response that basically said I knew that she needed to get that off her chest and if there was anything else, then say it. I also said I appreciate what she does and that I wish I could be here to lighten the load. Of course the “real me” wanted to rip her a new one for what she said but I understand the pressure. And I’d rather respond that way than to get in a heated argument that would likely spill over to our children because we have been here before and they suffered because our relationship was non-existent.

Honestly, I wanted to put my shit back in the car and drive my ass right back home. I wanted to cry. I was so frustrated because I already feel guilty for not being able to get here as often as I’d like.

This place just doesn’t feel the same. It never will again. It seems with each visit, something or someone shows me that “home” isn’t here.

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Summer ’18

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My goal this summer is to live.

Live like this will be my last summer on the planet.

Well, I actually am NOT going to live like that because if I did, I’d cash in my 403b and just visit the countries I’ve always wanted. I don’t have the cash sitting around for that, not SUMMER ’18.

However, I plan to do whatever I want, within reason and budget! LoL

I just sent a message to a plastic surgeon. WHY?!?!

Because I can! And because I’ve been wondering about something and that something just might be worth the money it would take to “fix it” so…WHY THE HELL NOT!

I’m going to attend all of the Yelp events this summer. I’m usually too tired from work to attend since they are usually in the middle of the week, BUT NOT THIS SUMMER!

I’m going to the gym as often as I damn well please! Gotta workout so I can attend Yelp events!

I’m going back to DC to just hang out.

Of course I’m going home to New Jersey, that goes without saying. Gotta check on Mother.

And I am really going to try to get on a plane to just about anywhere. I honestly don’t care where, just any place other than here, or New Jersey, or New York.

And I’m going to read books. I’ve already started one. And I need to figure out what the next one will be so it’s ready. My goal is to read 5 this summer,…I think I’m already behind.

I want to laugh as hard as ever. I don’t want to worry or stress about anything or anyone.

I want to talk to God and the Universe and hear what they have to say in return.

I want to drink wine. I want to drink wine until I’m tipsy. Not fall down drunk, but giggling just a little too much in the middle of the day at the most random things.

I may even ride a horse. I’ve always wanted to but never have.

Yep, this is what I’m going to do, and maybe more…all SUMMER ’18

Who’s at fault?

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We are friends, only.

It seemed as if after the talk on Saturday that he wanted to act as if nothing had happened. He started texting and calling as if everything was great.

I notice that he does that and it annoys me. Probably because I can’t always just “let it go.” I don’t know why. But he has this thing where he will simply ignore whatever’s wrong. He won’t talk about it. For him, that makes it go away, or make it no longer a problem. I am just the opposite. If something’s wrong, it will consume me until I talk about it. Even then, if I don’t feel as if there’s a resolution, I am still bothered by it.

Anyway, Sunday rolled around and I had to make it clear that Saturday had, in fact, happened. I reminded him that we aren’t in a good place and had pretty much broken up. (Although he completely disregarded that and asked that I think about it.)

Anyway, I suggested that we just be friends. To which his response was, “what does that mean?!?!” “Are we open to date other people?!?!” “Are we fucking other people?!?!”

I hate that each time I mention us starting over, being friends first, etc. he goes immediately to me fucking someone else, or dating someone else, really?!?!

I was “single” for almost 13 years before he came along, and although those years weren’t “sex free” I wasn’t just sleeping around with any and everybody. In fact, I had gone long stretches within those years without having sex at all.

So yeah, that’s where we are. It feels good to not be responsible for making him feel horrible, or unloved, or unwanted. If he feels that way, it’s not my fault!

Enough…NOT!

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I feel as if nothing I do is enough lately.

I have a 16-year-old son who has consistently gone to school for the last six years and has done virtually nothing. No matter what I do. Take away video games. Take away cell phone. Nothing for Christmas or birthday. Tell him how capable he is. Beg with him to allow me to help him with anything he feels is challenging because I would love to help. He continues to go to school daily and basically get the same grades as someone who may show up once a week. I’ve asked if online classes would be better. No, he says. When I ask what he’s thinking when he’s sitting there not doing anything, or choosing not to complete assignments or project, he says nothing. Just gives me the dumbest look. HOW, does the child of an educator do this? I am so disappointed. No, he doesn’t misbehave and he’s very respectful of his teachers, they love him! But all try to encourage him to do his best and let him know of his capabilities, nothing helps.

I have been in a relationship with someone for almost 4 years. Things have changed drastically between us. I’ve written about it several times in my blog. Today was the day it was supposed to end. We hadn’t spoken for a week and then I sent a text suggesting we meet somewhere to talk. I packed almost all of his belongings that were still here and put them in the trunk. I wasn’t emotional during the talk. I said what needed to be said. He said some things. And we just sat there. In the end, he says, so I guess this is it. I say, it sounds like it. We get up to leave. In the parking lot he asks me to think about it, and whatever I decided he would accept. Didn’t we just have a conversation inside? Didn’t that conversation sound final? I said that I am tired of being responsible for making him feel as if he was no longer important in my life. His packed belongings are still in my trunk. I couldn’t bring myself to hand them over.

I’ve been an educator for 18 years. I have a doctorate. I have worked in three different school districts in three different states. For all that I’ve done. For all of the relationships I’ve built with students who I still keep in touch with, even 18 years later, it means nothing. Even after being given the absolute lowest students in the grade this year. I mean an entire two classrooms filled with students who performed less than grade level on the previous years state test. I had the majority of them and was required to teach them math to get them on grade level. Fifty-seven percent of my students weren’t 3rd grade level proficient, yet were in the fourth grade. I had 41% of students who were grade level proficient, and only 30% of students who were college and career ready. In the end, 55% of those same students were 4th grade level proficient, and 50% college and career ready. And I failed to mention that I also had a classroom of 5 boys who constantly fought each other and were disrespectful almost daily.

I say all of this to say that I feel like a failure in every way. Nothing feels good enough.

I have failed as a parent.

I have failed as a “girlfriend.”

And, although my students grew by leaps and bounds, no one really cares. No one thinks I’m a great educator. No one even cares enough to think that the slightest acknowledgment might actually make a difference.

I try to be positive and talk to myself and encourage myself. I keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter because I know who I am and I know what I’ve done. I know what I’ve put into my son. I know that I’ve lost myself as a result of this relationship. And I know what kind of educator I am. Yet, all of the self-talk hasn’t helped. I see people around me doing far less and it appears things are just moving right along.

And then there’s daily life and living. And seeing videos of people being deported, and belittled and told to SPEAK ENGLISH for speaking a different language, or told to “GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY,” and murdered by police for just being, and I just have to keep pushing. Regardless of whether or not I know these people personally, it affects me. All of it. I get so tired of seeing it. But I have to get out of bed daily and go into work and live my own life that is in complete shambles.

The morning we received word that Kate Spade had taken her own life, I found myself saying out loud that I no longer wanted to be here. I posted about it, but then deleted it. I felt so overwhelmed that morning. I felt so lost and insignificant and defeated.

Then yesterday we hear about Anthony Bourdain’s death. I know Kate Spade from handbags, I don’t own any. I know Anthony Bourdain though my own love of food. So it felt somewhat personal. I found myself thinking about him often throughout the day yesterday and feeling so very sad.

So I have been wondering exactly what it was Spade and Bourdain had been feeling up to the moment they decided to leave us. And then I tell myself that it can’t be THAT  bad. And then I just want to scream and cry.

So I’m glad the school year is almost over. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to recharge, and find a therapist to talk to. I’ll spend time in the gym and probably sit in coffee houses and write. And finish a conversation I started to have with God earlier today. He needs to help me understand some things.

Depression

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Does depression ever actually go away…for good?

I feel as if it doesn’t.

It may take a hiatus, or I become distracted by something else that allows me to not focus on it, but then here it is again.

Last night I had the strangest feeling. I felt as if I was very close to just losing it! For as depressed as I was a couple of years ago, I never felt like I no longer wanted to be here, that never entered my mind.

It did for a moment last night. It was scary.

This morning I went to work and felt like if someone pushed just the right button, I’d have an anxiety attack or just go crazy!

I was so aware of my feelings that I spoke calmly to students, as not to get riled up.

As I type I feel better. I need the next two weeks to zip by so I can take some time to just sit, and breath, and think, and write.

Expecting Too Much?

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I’ve been focused so much today on expectations vs. standards.

Why?!?!

I was having a conversation with someone this morning and then the Universe allowed me to see a video of Jada Pinkett Smith talking about “how expectations will steal the gifts that are sitting in front of you because you are so concerned about creating this picture you have in your mind that you can’t see the blessing you have standing right in front of you.”

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So it had me thinking about myself and what’s been going on with me.

Do I have unrealistic expectations?

Is it my expectations that are getting in the way or my standards?

What is truly the difference between the two?

Expectations are the things we hope will happen, or the way we hope others will act. It really has nothing to do with us.

Standards, on the other hand, are what we want to bring to our lives. It allows us to take ownership of what’s happening because if something doesn’t measure up to our standard, we can simply not allow it. For example, I don’t eat at Red Lobster if I want great seafood. Red Lobster is beneath me. There was a time when Red Lobster was GREAT! That is no longer the case since I’ve had the opportunity to dine on better seafood. It may cost more, but it’s worth it. I know I will leave satisfied.

Anyway, for years I lowered my expectations for others because I had been let down so often by so many. I began to not expect much at all. If I needed something, I did it for myself. The moment I counted on someone else, they either didn’t follow-thru, or they came with some sub par shit that I would never have given to someone else. Wrapped in that are my standards. When it comes to doing things for others, I’m going to go all out, or not at all. If I can’t do it 1,000%, then I simply won’t do it.

Not sure where I want to go with this…just know that I’ll likely revisit this particular topic again. Hopefully with more insight next time.

Feel free to offer your personal insights, I’d love to hear them.

The 4 Cs…oh, but wait!

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I continue to find new coffee shops or further explore favorites to write.

Here I sit today with my coffee, Quiche, computer and conundrums. (The title, lol.)

It’s like beating a dead horse actually.

One moment I feel one way, and then I feel the complete opposite. I often wonder if I’m bipolar.

I think that could be possibly be true if my feelings were so hot and cold when it came to everything, but they aren’t.

I wonder what would have to happen for me to finally say “enough” and walk away.

What am I afraid of? Am I afraid? Am I just not wanting to feel stupid, while feeling stupid?

I keep looking for something to be the thing that is the nail in the coffin.

What about this post and previous posts? What about all of the things I’ve mentioned in those posts, and this post?

Coffin. Nail.

Resurrection.