Monday, December 27, 2004

Moxie in the house

Today I went food shopping for the first time in almost 7 months, and there should be a law against something as mundane as food shopping making me as happy as it did. Being in Trader Joe's was a little weird. I felt nostalgic at times, especially when I was buying things we used to buy together--my beloved chicken nuggets, chocolate covered soy beans, chicken sausage, mixed greens. There were a couple of times when I felt like Glenn had just stepped around the corner to grab a bottle of wine, and if he'd turned up next to my cart I wouldn't have blinked an eye. Sometimes, even as I take steps forward on my own, it feels like nothing has really changed and this whole thing is just a bad dream.

BUT. I loaded up the car with my food bags, ran some more errands and then went back to MY apartment and did some more unpacking. As I sorted through the boxes, I found lots of reminders of where I used to me. A pile of notebooks full of my job hunting notes, notes to Glenn, his old training schedules. I threw them out. I found the photo albums from my bridal shower last April and I didn't cry. They feel like they're from another life, another world--I looked so *happy*, so clueless about what was to come. I found photos of me and Glenn, and my gut didn't heave. I know he's in town today, and that he's going out to Springfield to be with Josh and Rose, and that's sad to me. I know he will sleep in the guest bed alone, the bed where we first hooked up 4 years ago and that fact will not phase him. I am no longer a part of his life or his thoughts.

I finally threw out my keys to the LA apartment, and added the ones to my new place.

Break on through to the other side

I did it. I got through Christmas and our anniversary without melting down. In fact, I spent the whole weekend moving into my new apartment and getting settled. How fitting that I spent what would have been our 4-year anniversary embarking on a fresh start. My father and A came out today to help me move a few pieces of furniture and it started to snow right as we finished up. The snow turned into the first blizzard of the winter. J came over and we mushed through the snow to an Indian restaurant around the corner. We toasted to new starts over dinner--he's moving to Atlanta later this week.

I feel so good--and it's not just the wine. I am deeply, genuinely happy in a way I don't remember feeling in a very long time. Am I on the right path? I hope so.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

That damned ugly head rears itself

Yoga is getting me in trouble. The other day I did a master class at On the Mat with Rolf Gates and it was great, but at the end I found myself cycling through some difficult emotions--sadness, grief, heart pain. I cried all through shivasana and on my way home I called Glenn. Bad idea. He sent me an email last week asking if he could see me and Scully when he comes home for the holidays, and I haven't replied because I don't think it's a good idea. But of course I want to. He was curt and preoccupied on the phone, and he got irritated with me because I held back from sharing my feelings with him because I could sense that he wasn't in a conversational mode. The call ended badly, and I was really taken aback at how insensitive he'd been, in part because I felt like I should have anticipated it and I brought it on myself. So yesterday I replied to his email and said that I didn't want to see him, especially after our phone call. He wrote back and said that he didn't want to communicate with me at all anymore. He was harsh and cruel in his wording, and I just cried at my desk for the rest of the day. While I struggle with the urge to call him and try to patch things up (why? to accomplish what?), I'm realizing that he did what I could not do--cut the cord. It's the only way I'll be able to really let go and move on. The fact is that I am still in love with him and I cannot have him in my life. I miss him every day, miss the life we had together here and in LA. But he will never be the person I need him to be, and he'll never be able to give me what I need in any kind of relationship.

I feel like I'm constantly processing so much of the past year. Once I'm in the new apartment, I can truly have a fresh start. Rob is coming for New Years and he's the only person in the world that I want to be around right now. He's the only person I know who I can be totally silent with and he will never make it awkward.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tunnel vision

Up and down, up and down. Busy with work and yoga and friends. Avoiding the holidays as much as possible. Thankfully, my family resolved to only do one gift per person, which made my shopping a lot less stressful, but I have a list of people whom I owe gifts, and I'm enjoying the fact that I can afford to be generous. My friends have buoyed me through the past 6 months, and it feels good to give back.

I found an apartment and I move in right after Christmas! When I went back to look at the studio near Porter, one of the residents was sitting outside on the stoop, and she asked me if I was looking for roommates. Figuring why not, I said sure, and she took me inside and introduced me to two women in a lovely 2-bedroom on the second floor. They're both grad students in occupational therapy at Tufts, and one of them is graduating and moving down to New Jersey. The space is really lovely--hardwood floors, big windows, large sills for Scully to sit on and look longingly at squirrels. So it's a done deal--I guess the universe didn't want me in a studio all alone. The girl I'll be living with is very cool, definitely the most normal person I've met in the apartment search. I don't even care if we end up being good friends because I'm happy with the fact that I think we'll live together well. That's all I can ask for.

Work is great. The people are incredibly nice, and I am enjoying the actual work that I do. When I took the job, I felt sort of like a traitor to journalism. Writers who take corporate jobs are seen as sell-outs, and I don't feel like I sold out. I interviewed for 13 journalism jobs before I took this one, and none of them felt right. I enjoy the lack of deadlines, the support of the staff, the fact that I can finally put my business and technology experience to work in a real way. It's great to stretch my wings outside the confines of the inverted pyramid or the carefully crafted feature story. And for the first time, I feel like I'm helping people in an everyday way. My gut tells me that I'm doing exactly the right thing at the right time, and considering how rarely that feeling comes along, I'm going with it.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I'm sure there's a 12-step adage for getting through the day that would fit here

Sometimes the minutiae of daily life feels like burden, and at other times it's a blessing. Right now it's the minutiae that keep me busy, and every day that I can pack full of activity, even if it's stupid, brainless errands, is a triumph. I still feel like a loser when people ask me what I've done lately and I don't have anything to say, but the errands help me feel like I'm standing on my feet in the world again.

The weather really has me down in the dumps. Every day is cold and gray and the sun goes down so early that it feels like bedtime in the late afternoon. I've been running as often as possible because the fresh air perks me up, but I've also been abusing the guest visitor pass at the swanky gym near my work. They never check at the door, and so my pass has lasted two weeks instead of one. Score! They have good cardio equipment and it's never that crowded. The pool is spectacular but I cannot imagine getting into a bathing suit in this temperature. The last thing I want is to get wet!

I crashed at Carmen's this weekend just to get out of Sudbury. She wasn't there, so I ended up sleeping for almost 12 hours. When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I went for a run around Fresh Pond and then went shopping at Bloomingdale's for a dress to wear to the company Christmas party. With the credit I have from returning the silverware, I managed to get a gorgeous BCBG black handkerchief dress that looks smashing on me. I'm going to tear this party up, baby. This morning, I went to the 9am class at On the Mat, this little yoga studio out in Concord. The instructor is hot, but he's also a very good teacher. I took his class one evening last week, and today he really encouraged me to take the next step in my backbends and arm balances. I felt challenged for the first time since I left California. It felt great to work on some new, tough poses.

Lately I've been remembering my dreams again and it's a mixed bag. Forgetfulness can be a gift.

Monday, December 06, 2004

A nice, round number

Six months today. And tomorrow is--or was--our engagement anniversary. I hate December. If I had my way, I'd fast forward through this whole month. It's full of anniversaries and other emotional landmines. Work is GREAT--it's my salvation. If I didn't have this job, I would get in the car and do a month-long roadtrip just to escape the specter of December and the holidays.

I'm depressed and lonely and hurting. After work, I go to the gym or go for a run and then watch movie after movie on TV. This summer, all I wanted to do was get out of the house and be around people. Now, I want to hide on the couch and not interact with anyone at all. I talk to my family as little as possible--I just want to be left alone.

"Sideways" was good. And yes, Miles and Glenn could be blood brothers in the way that they behaved, but that wasn't what made me melancholy. The scenes of LA and Santa Ynez just made me realize that I will never live in southern California again. That part of my life is over. No going back. I went to all those vineyards with Glenn at this time last year--he wanted to buy wine for his family as Christmas presents. So we did a day trip up, and hit about 10 vineyards. He must have tasted 35 wines over the course of the day, and it was the only time I ever saw him drunk. He was so cute and happy and funny--on the drive home, he sat in the passenger seat and drunk dialed every person in his cell phone.

I looked at a great studio tonight after work. It's right between Harvard and Porter, across the street from ATA. I'm going back tomorrow to make a decision.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The housing conundrum

In my rush to get out of my parent's house, I never stopped to consider the emotional and logistical implications of moving out of my own again. Not just the issue of rent and location and pet-friendliness, all of which are important, but the larger question of whether I want to venture back into the world of roommates or live by myself.

When I went out yesterday to look at apartments and interview with people who are looking for a roommate, it struck me that I feel like I'm moving backward instead of forward. This is just another part of letting go of my former life, and it's painful. I was so ready to be done with the roommate thing when Glenn and I moved in together. I'm used to sharing my space with a significant other, not a total stranger. And finding a decent roommate is such a crapshoot. The places I saw yesterday were just awful--dingy tenement spaces that are all converted bedrooms and no windows or natural light. Some of the women were nice, but most of them seemed just a little bit desperate to find both a roommate and a new friend. Who knows--maybe most of the people they've interviewed are just as weird as the people I've met, and they are eager to find a normal situation, too. But it overwhelmed me.

I'm going to be 30 and I think I'm done with the roommate thing. It's just time. Yes, I have some hermit tendencies and that scares me a little bit. Roommates are good company and it's nice to have someone to say hello to when you come home at night, or someone to grab a beer with on the weekends. But it reeks of single girl world. I'm not 23 and fresh out of college. I want my own space. I'm used to decorating my own space and not having to worry about whether I'm taking up too much room in the medicine cabinet, or if someone's going to get mad if my dishes stay in the sink for too long.

So I'm going to look at studios. They're pricier and more remote, but the idea feels so much better to me. A studio is a step forward, a fresh start, a room of my own--literally. Who knows--I could get intensely lonely, but it's an opportunity to determine my own world.

Tonight I'm going to see "Sideways" with Carmen. My mother told me not to see it because one of the characters behaves like Glenn, but I'm not made of glass here. Santa Ynez is one of my favorite spots in the world. I'm going to see the stupid movie.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

My working week, my Sunday best

First day at the new job. I didn't actually do any work--HR had three of us new employees in a conference room, and we learned about how to use the time sheet software, and how all the departments interact. They gave us huge manila legal binders full of documents to fill out so they could add us to the health insurance as fast as possible. It was quite efficient, actually.

Documents. Beneficiaries. I didn't anticipate the whole having to pick someone's name to put down thing. The first time in years that I couldn't just put Glenn's info there and be done with it. He is no longer my "in case of emergency" person.

The other two girls in the orientation are going to be in the HR department. They immediately bonded over the fact that they have boyfriends. As if that sums them up completely as people. I zoned out while they had the whole "What's your boyfriend's name? What does he do? How long have you been together?" conversation. It reminded me of the time in college when I (briefly) dated a rugby player and he introduced me to his teammates as his girlfriend, not as Moxie, and I was like, "Hello? I'm a person here, not just a space filler you can call your girlfriend." Neither of them were wearing rings and I got the distinct impression that both of them wanted rings very badly. Their conversation was a sort of sociological study in oneupsmanship, a kind of "We're moving along in our relationship and that makes it okay that we're not engaged" dialogue. One of them asked me if I had a boyfriend and I said "Nope," and they were like, "Oh. That's okay!"


They gave us lunch and at the end of the day, they took us around the office and introduced us to people. Everyone seems nice. There are a lot of cute, young consultant types--always a plus. I'm so happy to have landed at a good company, to have a place to go every day and feel like a productive human being again!