Living in fear has held me back. Today my mom sent me a text to remind me that she was going out of town. I still haven't done my taxes, I couldn't figure out what was behind this earlier, today I realize that I'm afraid of what I view as the inevitable conflict that will arise when there is a discussion about who will claim which child for the previous tax year. My children are caught between feuding parents, I've lived with terror for so long it feels as if it will never go away. Last night I was thinking about my job and how fortunate I am to be out of a place that gives power to bullies. I put up with something I shouldn't have for far too long. It hurt, it wounded me, I'm still reeling from the shock, it comes and goes, there were a lot of good times and happy memories, I'm trying hard to just feel my feelings and let them wash over me rather than fighting them or wishing them away no matter how painful they are at times. Today I applied for a job as a Design Assistant. I wrote about why I felt I was a good candidate and I'm optimistic for some unknown reason, perhaps because I feel as if this opportunity came along for a reason, it's closer to home than other positions, and I know that I would be very good at helping others achieve the mood or look that they want. Yesterday I went on a date with a guy that I will probably never see again. He admires my mind, we had a long talk about my book, I asked him some questions, I told him he could write about the private school situation he's experiencing with his children because it's a topic where he has passion and knowledge, it was more like a business lunch than a date and I'm glad I dressed up for it even though we met at Culvers.

The other day I read that action is the key to overcoming anxiety. I procrastinate at times, I put off doing the very things that I know will propel me forward, this makes me angry at myself and others so I need to find a way to address this problem. Talking to that guy yesterday was interesting. I can so clearly see how things he's doing are standing in his way, but he doesn't want that kind of insight. I think he doesn't really know what he wants in a partner and that's always tricky. He's busy without being productive. I think he's stuck, but he doesn't think that he is, and I'm not the person who is going to try and talk anyone into changing for their own wellbeing. I learned that I almost fell for a Tinder scam and I'm glad I listened to that inner voice and was cautious about moving forward with someone who left a big question mark in my mind. Some lessons are learned the hard way unfortunately. Yesterday I got some writing done. I took a nap, did not take the walk I wished I would have, so I'm going to get that in today. It was just wonderful to have both of the girls at home for a change. When I picked Jill up from work she made a joke about my striped bag and it brought tears to my eyes. Jane was wearing a pair of her sister's rust red pants and my dark pink Milwaukee sweatshirt because she put all of her laundry in the washer at once. I didn't have any meals prepared and I felt bad about that, but then I also decided that I have thrown out so many things and my daughters are at an age where they can open up the fridge, see what's available, and make things on their own. I bought things for spaghetti, there's plenty of frozen vegetables, I had rice, asparagus, and several other things. Yes it's work, guess what, so is the rest of life.

Today I am grateful for the person that I am at this very moment. Even though I am incredibly scared, I'm also doing things to move forward. The obstacles I have to overcome are relatively small all things considered. My life could be much, much worse, and I need to remember that. Seeing photos from Syria is a heart wrenching experience. It's so hard to see that rash on Jill's hands, but I remember being covered in it and having no idea what it was or how to get rid of it once and for all. I'm learning more about myself, I think dating has been an overall positive experience despite some disappointments. It's made me open up to others in a way that has made me realize how closed off I was previously. I saw a guy who unmatched me on Tinder that updated his profile, all he wants is great sex and a good time. He has so much to offer someone, but he has deep seated intimacy issues and his face and body aren't going to be the key to lasting happiness. He's wasting the golden moments of his youth, he's an emotional trainwreck and I feel bad for him because he isn't going to grow until he takes a good hard look in his mirror and accepts the not so pretty parts of himself. Speaking of the mirror I am reminded of something my friend the Dodgers fan told me years ago. He told me to stand in front of my mirror, look past the image of my face, and tell the little girl inside of me that I love her, and I'm going to take good care of her. It sounds so simple, and it is, but whenever I try this exercise, it unleashes a wealth of emotion inside of me. I find it's more powerful when I use my name, sometimes even thinking about it will start the tears.

Being out of work has given me an opportunity to focus on my fiction. I was out of sync for a while, but yesterday I found my groove again and that was very exciting for me. I can't wait to get a job so I can buy a computer, and breathe a bit easier once I have more income. I'm okay, but I feel the squeeze, and that's a good thing since it's motivating me to keep hunting for a job. Getting fired was less than ideal, but it hammered home the crucial importance of identifying an organization that values me and my contributions, a place where I can have some fun working hard, there were people I just loved working with at my old job, I've met people online that I partner well with, I'm looking to replicate some of those experiences in a new place, new beginnings can be scary, but they can also lead to some of the things I want for myself and my daughters. It wasn't good for them to see their mother as beaten down, depressed, a victim of things others have done, and things I've done, or haven't done in the past. I see so many simple things that I want, couples walking down the street together, people laughing, going out for walks, just enjoying their day while going about their business. Yesterday I told the guy who took me to Culvers that I live inside of my head. I don't think he really understood that, we're clearly not for each other, but it was probably good that we met for whatever reason, even if it's just to have had that conversation yesterday. Not hearing from him was hard in a way, even though I don't think we would be a good couple, it feels like rejection of a sort and I'm not sure why I care as much as I do. Probably because I believe he has potential. I think I made him think about things and he either didn't like that, or doesn't know what to do about some of those thoughts and feelings. Maybe I'm just not his type, I can't hold on, today I will let go.

Much love,


P.S. I feel much better than I did. Being more vulnerable has been so hard, but it's definitely a skill I needed to acquire. I'll get better the more I practice it.