but i successfully managed to move my archives over to this space!
i made a few posts private, but mostly everything is here from the old blog.
I guess I have been resting.
When I broke up with Pete, I slept in all my free time. I’m still sort of doing that. Given my propensity for slipping into the depths of my personal deep dark woods in ways that are not entirely helpful, I made an appointment with my therapist. I am trying to learn to allow my deeper self to rearrange my life without it causing me so much pain. I was like, “What Now? Len!!! What do I do now? I don’t want to rampantly date, I don’t want to settle down, This and that and this and that and what the hell is next for me?”
He told me I needed rest. He told me to quit strategizing my life and just rest already. The past two years have been busy with lots of sensational and wild experiences. Just rest.
So I am. I am resting and just sort of following my souls guidance. The way I see it is that I am recovering from a sort of whiplash.
He was disappointed it didn’t work out between Pete and I. Most people in my life were I think. (With the exception of a few of my coworkers who like to live vicariously though me and my misadventures and are looking forward to me being single again). Pete was a really good man. However, he told me that the way I handled it was inspirational and gave me a “Bravo!” for keeping true to myself, setting boundaries, communicating what I need, and being utterly honesty. I’ve been seeing him for a few years now, sometimes he gives me professional clinical supervision for my work with my own clients, and sometimes he helps me with my own stuff, but always, almost every session he tells me I remind him of some writer, or artist, or musician. I greedily gobble up these extensions of beauty and always check into whomever he mentions. This time he told me my intense emotional experience of being in the world reminds him of the writing of Richard Brautigan. (Who by the way chose to end his life…figures). I did some poking around to see what Richard’s writing was like and I came across this quote:
“I will be very careful the next time I fall in love, she told herself. Also, she had made a promise to herself that she intended on keeping. She was never going to go out with another writer: no matter how charming, sensitive, inventive or fun they could be. They weren’t worth it in the long run. They were emotionally too expensive and the upkeep was complicated. They were like having a vacuum cleaner around the house that broke all the time and only Einstein could fix it. She wanted her next lover to be a broom.”
— Richard Brautigan
The funny thing about it is that my ex husband is a writer, and in spite of my grand claims in my last post not to meet new men, I am e-courting a few right now (yeah… I dunno), and of course the most interesting of them all, a writer. If you frame things in terms of vaccuum cleaners and brooms, Pete was definitely a broom. Rock solid that dude in so many ways. Simple. Clear. Helpful. Sound. No surprises.
Oh well. I think my soul craves a certain kind of experience right now, and I am maybe not ready for brooms. And that is ok I think. As long as I’m paying attention and being real with myself. As long as if I choose to play with vacuum cleaners I stay aware enough to keep my deeper focus as my children, and my work.
Back to that mantra I gave myself for 2010- Balance and investment.
Mindful how I invest my time, balancing needs, wants, desires, and priorities.
I am finding my way to the kind of YES that Kate describes here. After listing all the projects and wonderful things she has on the go she said the amazing thing about it is:
“One: I’m never tired. And Two: I’m not trying to do any of this. It’s like energy gets created inside me, pressure builds, ideas start flowing like superhuman carbonation, action follows, and repeat, and repeat. There are times when the energy is so intense, all I can do is sit down and write and write and write.”
This is the place I want to live my life from, and I know how to do this. I’ve had extended glimpses of this various times in my life. It’s really about NOT doing. Not strategizing so much. I’ve been there before, and I’ll get there again.
I am getting there again.
I am getting into my own YES and into a place where the energy is so intense all I can do is be with my children presently, dance playfully, tumble gracefully, make love passionately, respond to my career deeply, love fiercely, exercise strongly, eat healthfully, write write write, and meditate soulfully.
Do you ever have really strong connections to songs? I remember being a teenager, going through the break-up process with my first real boyfriend, Paul. (Alex, Bozena, are you smiling?) I decided I was going to join a gym and work out instead of drinking, smoking pot, and being sad.
I found myself again.
I remember walking there for the first time, listening to the radio on my walkman, and being totally inspired and ready to move forward. I was electric. I can’t explain it, but sometimes I ge electric and vibratory. It’s when I am at my most powerful that I feel that, and I love the feeling. So the song I remember in that moment, in my energetic, electric vibratory moving forwardness- was “All Uncovered” by the Watchmen. I’ve loved the song ever since.
By default, I ended up liking it. It was just on at the right time, in the right place, and at a critical moment for me.
Similarly, a few summers ago, I was freshly dipping my toes into non-monogamous dating and was absolutely loving The Philosopher and The Musician and couldn’t believe I got to have them both and still have the freedom to look for other people to date also. I felt amazed that this worked and was possible and was totally moved by the freedom and fun I was having. I was studying polyamory and alternative lifestyles with fervor, reading everything I could. Sometimes figuring out how to do this was not easy, but I was learning and getting better at communicating openly and honestly even when it wasn’t easy.
I also had just finished hosting an international conference with my colleagues that brought 23 of our activist colleagues and friends from around world to present to 400 people here in Toronto on alternative approaches to healing and recovery in the mental illness system. I was on top of the world. I felt driven and purposeful.
At that time, I remember this song coming on on random shuffle from some compilation torrent file I had downloaded.
(My audio player is broken, sorry, have to link to it instead): http://www.thesilentk.com/asong.mp3
I remember listening to the words and owning them in a way that was like the words to the song were the pic and I was the strings on the guitar. I was living this song. Creating it in my life. This part especially,
“Strengthen what you know, and tell yourself what you really need.”
I felt utterly happy, in control, free, and energetic and vibratory. Empowered, alive. All goodness to the extreme. I felt like I really knew who I was, what my purpose was, what I wanted, and what the keys to happiness were for me.
I listen to the song now to evoke that feeling. I only can listen to it when I am ready. Can’t do it when I am sad.
Admittedly, this crash course kind of experience of monogamy I’ve just gone through with Pete, and it’s subsequent demise, it’s been a trip. I don’t know what the hell either of us were thinking really. My recovering from the intensity of it has been tough and it hasn’t been fun getting through the days for the past week. I’ve been moody in a big way.
It just opens up so many questions I have about life, love, and what do I really want in a partner, what do I really want for my future, do I even really want a partner, etc. etc. And I started feeling hopeless in general about it all.
The break up got worse first, then better- much better. I like the way it ended now. We were both laughing and singing the others accolades, but still closing the door. It was nice. And I feel good now. He does too, and he has left the door open ajar, saying he wishes like crazy I’d come in more, that he thinks I’m a great person and he’d welcome me back whenever, if ever, I am ready with open arms. That feels good.
I like when doors are ajar.
So, I am listening to my song now. Strengthening what I know, and telling myself what I need.
Which is this:
* I need to reconnect with myself and my kids without the added complication of another person.
* Three people (George, Aidan and I) is plenty for me to try to heal and be in relationship with.
* I’ve had a really extreme life since my divorce, and I have discovered parts of myself (like my sexual awakening, my connection to buddhism and reconnection to yoga) but have also lost important parts of myself.
* I have many things I want to explore and do that don’t involve sex or dating. I also have amazing friends who I will spend more time with.
* One of the more important parts I’ve lost is the patient, loving, compassionate, and attentive, present mother that I used to be.
* What I need more than anything for myself and my family is to retreat inwards and focus on us.
* I will try learn to live within my own means instead of frantically working side jobs
* I need to take a break from meeting new men for at least a month or two.
* I won’t be ready for a monogamous relationship for a very very long time, and frankly, maybe I will never want that kind of traditional relationship structure again- and that is ok.
* I need to do a better job with the people I work for- people who are in recovery from what gets labelled as mental illness and their families- and I need to be a better mother.
* I need to get more focused in my life to be the person I need to be for my kids, and for my community.
And for my spirit.
It’s like Mother Thersa said,
“You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.”
George was super excited to join gymnastics. We went to the first session and he participated in a typical George fashion- Reluctantly and drumming to his own beat, but ultimately there and engaged. I mean, he seemed to like it. The following week this is what happened before gymnastics. He really didn’t want to go.
And this was him after gymnastics.
Why is it that we don’t seem to want to do the things that are good for us? You know like if we just did it, we’d feel good, and probably even like it. So in honour of the wisdom gleaned from our little gymnastics excursion here is a list of things that I should just do. Because it would be good for me. And because probably if I just do it, I will like it.
Cleaning out the closet.
Actually finishing the project I’ve been working on so I meet my deadline.
Cooking a bunch of soup and freezing it
Going to a contact improv dance class by myself
Playing piano again
Finally finishing reading that giant article I printed off last week.
Getting off the dating horse.
I guess there is no easy way to break up with someone. I definitely feel terrible now and like I have hurt someone who didn’t deserve it it and that I have been really, very, careless. Our conversation ended with him telling me, “I am a fucking person” as if I didn’t know. As if I don’t feel badly.
I have never felt like a bigger jerk in all my life, than I do right now. I refuse to hate myself in this. I made mistakes. I am human. I hurt someone. It was a mistake. I fucked up. I moved too quickly. I wasn’t being careful with my heart or his.
I have learned some hardcore lessons. That’s for sure.
I was marvelling at how it is possible for that love to just disappear. I remember asking, incredulously, “Where does all that love go? Where does it go?”
I still don’t know. I’m still amazed at how deeply I could absolutely love someone and have them mean almost everything to me, and have that change so drastically that divorce was necessary and now we are co-parents, not even friends really. I care about his well being, as he does mine I’m sure, but all the love… We had so much. Where and why did it go?
I’m not mourning for that love. I healed from that ending of relationship long ago, but I’m having a similar sensation now in my new relationship. Where did all my enthusiasm go? Where did all my excitement and hope and drive go? I was really wanting to invest in this, to believe in this, to make this work. There have been signs from the beginning that him and I are too different, and I just keep ignoring them. I think I might continue to ignore them. Sometimes it does feel so right, so when it doesn’t I just repress it. He tries so hard. He listens so intently on everything I say, and does everything he can to make me feel loved, happy, honoured, pleased.
It is nice. It touches me.
But you see, I’m in a situation now. I’m in this relationship, this evolving relationship. This monogamous evolving relationship. And there are feelings involved and lives enmeshed, and commitments made, and I seriously am doubting if this is something I really should be doing. I think in a serious monogamous relationship, you have to know on some level that being with your partner brings you closer to the you that you love, to the you that you want to keep becoming… I’m just not sure. I have moments of really wanting to forget the whole thing, and I keep ignoring these moments, hoping they will stop, or go away- and I am pretty sure they won’t go away. This feels bad, like I am an asshole. Like I’ve messed with someone else’s life. We had a conversation yesterday that was basically (in summation) about my lack of connection and interest in what goes on in his life. I reiterated my space thing- “I need space, if I don’t call it doesn’t mean I am not interested in you or don’t care about you, maybe I’m not ready to be a girlfriend, I need to grow into this relationship, etc.” , and we talked and talked and ended up having a fine night together once we got through it. We had fun. Because we do have fun. We laugh. We are good companions to one another.
Love. Companionship. Monogamy. Sex. They are all like- completely different things for me right now. There is no marriage of those concepts. One of the things my boyfriend says he likes about me is that I continually make a conscious effort to be honest with myself. I was like, “Uh, doesn’t everyone?” and he casually said “Nope. They don’t” And yes, I do try to be honest with myself. That’s true. Thing is about that though, it makes things harder. So much easier to lie to yourself. Tell yourself the things you want to hear because they make life easier. More simple. Convincing yourself. So this convincing yourself moves into convincing others, and when I’m not being honest with myself I catch myself almost unknowingly being dishonest with others.
When I go into the deep space of who I am, I am pretty sure this isn’t working for me. He’s asked me before if he could trust his heart with me. That he was worried. He said, “I find it concerning, your polyamourous past, the “freedom from monogamy” ring you still wear- you don’t want this” and I said, in all honesty- “I don’t know what I want. I think I might want this.”
And now here I am. In this situation. When I am being honest with myself, I think I am meant to be single right now. That’s how I feel TODAY, and it feels STRONG. I can’t keep trying to morph myself into being someone I’m not, or something I’m not.
Life would be so much easier if I could.
Just like I take the attitude from the hip hop dance classes and inject that into my life- I’m hoping some of this balancing stuff will start to happen more clearly.
I’ve written about balance before (in 2006, feels many lifetimes ago), claiming “Balance is Over-Rated” and I laugh reading that post now. Yeah, it might be over-rated, but I need it.
Yep. I do.
Parenting, Work, Yoga/Dancing/Gymnastics, Social life, Sexuality, Love Life, Cooking, Cleaning, Learning, Studying, etc. Maybe even getting re-acquainted with my artist self… Somehow I need balance to do this all, and do it well.
I’ve been struggling lately with my activist self vs. my lazy self, my current monogamous relationship vs. my polyamourous self, my struggling creative wounded artist self and my healer strong empowered woman self. And that too- requires some balance on my part.
You see, I want it all. And I want to live it all to the fullest. In balance. With consciousness, and focus, and intent.
I need to love life and be so directly intimate with life that I’m bursting with alive. But, yes. I need balance too.
2010: Investment, and Balance.
1) Hilarious skit and improv comedy at Second City.
2) Delicious restaurants. I am dating a food lover like none other. Seriously.
3) Browsing Seekers Bookstore and looking at travel, health, nutrition, yoga, philosophy, and other books too.
4) Rocking it my hip hop dance class. I am getting mad skillz. Did the whole choreographed thing today without f–king it up once- Oh yeah! The most transferable skills I learn from going there- Attitude, boldness, and assertiveness. Seriously, when I leave that place, I’m all “What you doin’ up in my space!?” and “Nah- ah- I ain’t putting up with that, whatevah!” and “Damn I’m fine! You know you want it” Haha. I love it. The teacher was poking fun at me a little today because sometimes I still dance like a ballerina from when I was a kid, and he was like, “In ballet they’d say, “What you doing with that bootie, tuck it up and away girl, tighten up! In hip hop- nah nah nah- In hip hop: You be bouncing that boot-ay around and busting out yo! You got it girl, you flaunt it! Uh! uh huh! Uh- Uh huh!” You had to be there to see the gesticulations on his part. Hilarious. So hilarious.
5) Baking and eating carrot apple vegan muffins from the post punk kitchen.
6) Downloading torrent files and snuggling the magical little people who call me mommy.
7) Laughing. Here’s one: I have an application called Shazam on my iphone. I can put my phone towards any song playing, and it will tell me who sings it, what album it is, and the name of the song. In disbelief, P wanted to see it in action and put a song on his stereo- low and behold- a second later I tell him exactly the artist, the song, and the album.
He shakes his head and says, “Man, we’re using technology to solve the wrong problems, (then maniacally while looking at my phone yells): Cure diabetes fucker!” To which I laughed. Which is what I find myself doing a lot when I am with him. Laughing.
8 ) I’m having fun with taking a picture everyday (Project 365). This year I’m sure I’ll keep it up, mostly because I always have my phone with me, so it should be pretty easy to remember to take a pic everyday. I like thinking about what to take a pic of each day. What part of the day did I like the best, or what am I thinking about that day and what can I take a pic of to show that… It’s fun. Here are my pics.
So far, it’s been quite a lovely weekend. No complaints over here at all. Happy. Warm. Satisfied. Eating. Reading. Writing. Dancing. Sleeping. Snuggling. Good.
1) I received a gift from a client today- It was a Christmas card with a handmade ornament made by a child in Brazil and a note telling me that a soccer ball had been given to a child in need in my name. Also, Belgium Chocolates. This is where my flexi-vegan status comes in handy. Mmmm… Belgium Chocolate.
2) I had a conversation with my BF that started with “I need to talk to you” early yesterday. I thought the result of my honesty in that convo might have been the end of us. After prolonged (for him) silence, he came around and suggested part two of convo to happen for this evening. I was in a place. Stressed. Unsure. Wanting to fuck the whole thing. Wanting to cling to it. Mostly wanting to fuck the whole thing. Just easier that way I thought… My girl comrades at work huddled me and gave completely varying advice. Polar opposite kinds of advice. So on the drive home Karyn (who naturally has her own life/relationship questions) and I did what all sensible people do when they are in a place of confusion.
Oh yeah. A psychic. She told me that I have an unusually bright aura and that I was born on a day with an interesting constellation arrangement. As a result I am blessed with a star that watches over me always. In telling my future she told me that in the next 3 months I’d be signing papers (hello final divorce papers!). She told me that I won’t end up being with the man I am currently with as a life partner, but rather the man I will join in true partnership is actually from another country. We will marry and have a baby together. We will have a glorious marriage filled with understanding and love. She told me I would be at a gathering, a celebration. Someone important will make eye contact with me, and that I will feel shy. In that moment she said, you need to dance and be yourself and set aside your shyness. When I asked if money would be a problem in my life in the future she said, It won’t be a problem- you’ll move far beyond materialism in your lifetime. She had a gruff voice and was 72 years old. Barely a wrinkle on her face. When Karyn asked the secret to her youthful appearance she laughed and said, “Vaseline.” She was warm, and at ease. I liked her. I take what she said with a grain of salt, but was moved by her. I cried when she talked about love and understanding and me moving beyond materialism in my life. That happiness wasn’t about money for me. (Is it for anyone really?)
3) I went back to work after two days of being in bed sick and I really liked my job and noticed again just how much I love my coworkers. I’m amazed and humbled by all the people who invite me into their intimate lives through my work.
4) My muscles are wicked sore from my yesterdays first day of adult gymnastics classes. It feels awesome sweet.
5) Part two of the convo with the bf went way better than I expected. I really don’t know what to do with myself in this relationship. I’m all over the map. Honest to God.
One. Day. At. A. Time.
6) I wrote this sentence in my journal, and BELIEVED it:
I am strong: I am learning more and more who I am, what I want and need, and how to move closer to getting there, everyday.
7) Little George starts his gymnastics classes this Sunday. I am even more excited for him to start than I was for me to start mine. I think he’s gonna LOVE it.