Nope.

I went on Twitter on the weekend. I was curious.

(No, I didn’t recreate my account. I cruised through a few friends’ feeds.)

Such a bad idea. Four days later and I can only now feel my anxiety start to let go. The hamster wheel in my head has been spinning over people calling one of our beers awful (it’s not. It’s just not for them), over missing friendly get togethers with other friends who have been radio silent since I moved (not really friends then, are they?), over the perception among my peers of this company I brew for and the beer I make, over the fact that I appear to be unliked and unlikeable.

It’s all bullshit though. There is a voice in my head that is a liar and and here I am giving it ammunition.

The last few months on the anxiety medications and off Facebook and Twitter have shown me that I can be happy. Happier. It’s a good feeling. I like it. Why would I jeopardize that for curiosity?

Note to self: don’t be so dumb.

In a pocket

There were two prompts really… One, writer self-care, was to write in a place you don’t usually write, notice the difference in self and mood. I took myself to the river, to the place where the fishermen’s have trampled the grass and left me a place to sit, and the river runs a bit deeper and slower.

The other, the writing prompt, was about what do we carry with us, what is in out pockets or purse. The only thing i really carry in my pockets are work related (knife, phone, paper scraps, malt bag strings), so I’m using the far more interesting talismans I carry in my messenger bag.

The first is an oracle coin; hamsas, clouds and the word YES on one side, a winged skeleton and the word NO on the other. It’s big and weighty, like two toonies weighty. Substantial. I don’t use it often, but I like having it for when I want to put some randomness into my life.

The other is a tiny version of the Travellers Notebook, released for their 10th anniversary. I refused to buy a tin at $40, but bought two at $10. Once I put it together, I got caught in my what if I wreck it what if I run out of pages, it needs to be perfect loop of inaction. After staring at it for months, I hand wrote the Laughing Heart poem by Charles Bukowski in it. It’s my reminder to live my best badass life.

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
— by Charles Bukowski

Fuck x 28

Fuck x 28

Fuck the inner critic.

Fuck cold feet., both literally and figuratively

Fuck always being either too hot or too cold

Fuck chairs that are never quite comfortable enough

Fuck joints that don’t bend that way anymore

Fuck flimsy keyboards

Fuck having to choose between paying off a credit card and paying for the full experience

Fuck finding my ideal career just before my body is tool old to do it anymore.

Fuck vegan cheese. No…just no.

Fuck anxiety.

Fuck the long tedious task of adjusting medications so i neither feel numb nor erratic af

Fuck writing af instead of just typing as fuck

Fuck weight gain, but only because it means i have to go and buy new clothes, not because i hate my body. I am finally at the point where i love every ploppy bit of it

Fuck missing the poppies at the old cottage

Fuck almost continuous farting

Fuck clenching my teeth

Fuck loss of nouns and vocabulary

Fuck not being connected when i realize i need to order a thesaurus

Fuck FOMO

Fuck the drone of seadoos

Fuck that distracting tickling on my legs when the breeze gusts that means I’ve missed the same spot a few times when shaving

Fuck still shaving

Seriously. Fuck seadoos

Fuck the need to capture a view rather than just experiencing it

Fuck being a 32 year old in a 57 year old body.

Fuck the niggling knowledge that any of this happiness can be taken from me at any moment.

Fuck being too chickenshit to reach out and apologize when you know you’ve been putting it off for years and time is running out

Fuck what if.

Andrew, goodbye

I saw The Specials the other night with Katherine and Michael.

It was a spectacular show, bringing back memories and leaving me energized and sore (I should have warmed up before dancing that much).

But that’s not what I want to write about. I want to write about the fact that Andrew was there.

Since the conversation with Sarah where she revealed that he had slept with Billie before we even got married (oh, how I hated seeing some of those weirdly shaped puzzle pieces finally fall into place), I had spent far too much time imagining what would happen in our inevitable chance encounter. Inevitable not because we run in the same circles, but because you just know that you will run into your ex at some point in your life. The world is always smaller than you think.

Should I glare, sneer, give him the cold shoulder? Maybe I should confront him, ask why cheat, why go through with the wedding, why gaslight me into thinking all our problems were my fault, why accuse me of cheating when it was him all along?

So many fucking whys.

I never really stopped and thought, do I really need to know?

I picked at the small unsealing scab for years. Rage and hurt and betrayal would bubble to the surface again and again. I knew this was not good for me, yet I could not stop.

I was not blameless. I know that. I but did not fuck someone else before getting married, and then still getting married.

And all my friends knew. Even my best friend at the time who stood up with me.

Bitch.

I digress.

I’m standing in the lobby of the Opera House, waiting for Katherine to buy a T-shirt, and look across the room to see him looking at me.

He knows it’s me. He’s got a deer-in-the-headlights long stare of recognition on his face.

I notice he’s embraced his baldness (finally) and shaved his head.

I notice he’s put on weight (so have I), gotten jowly (so have I), has grown a beard to try and mask it.

I notice what hair I can see has gone grey (so has mine).

I notice he is surrounded by friends, laughing and joking, not noticing how still he’s become. There’s a woman with silver-streaked dark hair who I assume is his Zoe, standing beside him and looking up at him with smiling affection.

Katherine interrupts my staring with a funny comment. I look away from Andrew and laugh loudly. When I look back, he’s gone.

OK, I’ll admit I laughed louder than I should have, loud enough to cut through the murmur of the crowd. I’m pretty sure he thinks I was laughing at him. I’ll admit i hope so. Unless he has changed dramatically in the last 22 years, there are few things he hates more than feeling like he is being laughed at.

It’s small and petty of me, but I am ok with him thinking that. I’m not perfect.

But really, I find I no longer care. My happiness with my life right now can be ok with his happiness.

I find I no longer want to know why. I no longer need to.

It’s in the past. And it can stay there.

3 good things about Monday, June 17

  1. A spectacular sunrise that lasted the entire drive into work
  2. Seeing a used litter box when I got home; Max is feeling better.
  3. Laying in bed and listening to the cows lowing from two fields over.