I frequently find myself assessing my life and I have to shake my head at how it’s changed. It’s true what they say, ya know. The events in your life are simply chapters of the entire story. Sometimes the chapters are short and sweet; other times they are chapters filled with detail and take a while to get through.
I became friends with Hot Toddy in March of 2003. We were instant friends. I love his wit and sense of humor. His compassion is unmatched and he’s honest. I love these things about him. For seven years we did everything together. We shared many a tear, many a laugh, many a cocktail. We were roommates. We looked out for each other. Not a day went by that I wasn’t thankful for his presence in my life. In fact, there’s a psychic that I’ve seen a couple of times and she looked at a picture of Toddy and said we were related in two past lives. Once as siblings and in another life he was my Dad. I never questioned that Toddy and I would forever be friends nor do I do now.
But if someone had told me two years ago that he’d be living in Minnesota and I’d be here in Portland without him as part of my daily life, I would never have believed it and probably would have called you an ass for saying something so mean!
We’re still friends and talk all the time but our time together in Portland was a chapter. I just didn’t know to see it as that.
I look at Auburn Aries’ progress in the last few months. Oh, there have been hiccups. There have been things that have downright floored me and not in a good way but now that she’s headed toward being 15 it feels like it’s all happening too fast. I know she still has more teen years in front of her than behind her, but the end is in sight and I can’t stop it from coming. Soon enough she’ll be headed off to college to find her groove and conquer the world writing her own chapters.
In mid-school she struggled. Her anxiety spiked up, she had stomach aches all the time. Kids bullied her about her weight. She was miserable. She missed a lot of school. It seemed like there was no end in sight. It was a tough chapter.
Then she strides into high school with her head held high and in what now feels like “overnight” she’s become a young woman. Another chapter.
I look at my life here in Portland. At one point I had friends and did things and shared laughs and dinner parties and evenings out and went to plays and now I live a really quiet existence. Admittedly when Toddy and my friend Do Rag Dan moved away it was like I was left to deal with the ghosts of friendships past (to borrow a phrase from my friend Pua). Toddy was in a new town and lonely. I was suddenly lonely and I hadn’t gone anywhere.
Now I’m home every single night. I have no real social life, no dating life, no circle of friends that live close by, no one to meet for coffee while I vent (which I really could have used this morning). And although this sounds like a pity-pot party for one, it’s truly not. I’m okay being alone (a refreshing chapter). It’s not that I’m “too old” for a social life but the chapter that was the bar scene is closed.
The never ending hunt for the perfect mate feels unnecessary (glad to close that chapter for now). I spent the first half of my life in relationships with both men and women and let me just say that there’s a lot to be said for hogging the bed and not having anyone freely sharing their opinions about my parenting.
I see my time in this small town where we live outside Portland as a chapter. We moved here from the island to be closer to Auburn Aries’ schools. It’s admittedly too small a town for me. There are only five stop lights and no culture. It’s a sacrifice I make for Aries. She deserves to have consistency in her life and I’d like for her to graduate with the same group of kids she started out with.
She, on the other hand, would love to move to SW Washington to be closer to her Aunt and her Dad. Moving her closer to her Dad would be a huge chapter and I don't want to keep her from that. Goddess knows their relationship has been strained for a long time. I hesitate until I can *really* contemplate that request. It's not like I'm giving up a life I've built here. I'm pretty mobile and I have nothing keeping me here.
I best think about that one a while longer. Although I can’t wait too long, she’ll be out of high school soon.
As I get older I realize that these are all the things that make up your life. All the decisions. The good and bad, highs and lows, the struggles and the heartache, and trials and times you think you just cannot take one more fucking thing. Eventually we all deal with the hand we’re dealt and the chapter ends and another begins. One day you look up and you realize you’re no longer spending time within the pages of that life event and you’re smack in the middle of different one.
I’ve learned to appreciate where I am in the moment and appreciate what I have because you never know. One day your best friend will move away or your daughter will graduate high school and you won’t see the opportunities for growth right in front of you because you're so caught up.
I know these are the ramblings of a woman who's not blogged in a very long time. Perhaps I just needed to get my groove back in blogdom. Perhaps I needed to use this space to take stock of where I've been and where I'm headed as I contemplate the decisions before me. Either way it'll be a chapter in the pretty decent story of my life. If I don't like it where I'm at, I have the luxury of picking up a pen and writing something new.