-So yeah, I don't know. That's just what my thoughts are on it. I think the biggest thing, in rereading my religious entries, is that I am still not satisfied with my answers. Perhaps that may be because I don't know what question I am answering, and to figure that out directly would mean answering directly. It would mean taking a defined stand on something I specifically and intrinsically do not feel I can do, for I see the errors in representation on all sides.
-I had to put some barriers between me and an old friend recently. It really sucked, and I am rather sure she was on her way to doing the same before I even resolved to, but the real pisser of it all is that I was trying really hard to be the kind of friend she wanted and needed and still failed miserably (for a multitude of reasons both sides contributed to) while trying with great difficulty to overlook the fact that we both were probably always friends with each other out some sort of sense of condescending obligation. I mean, that's not to say our friendship was or is a farce. No. Never. But just ended up being more on the ritual side of a prolonged, long-distance relationship, and then when I tested the friendship by making a decision she could not stand by nor overcome, the ugly reality of it basically divided us. I really don't harbor a whole lot of ill will because she had to stand by her convictions and I had to stand by mine. But what compelled the need to put more than a little space between us, and it's more complicated than I give credit here, is that at the end of the day, she could not be there for me.
-I started playing bassoon again and realizing a huge portion of an old dream: to perform for a living. I did not make a living off of playing come true, but I DID get to just focus on playing, practicing, performing, and making some good friends for life while doing it. I realized that I have a ginormous fear of accomplishment and/or failure, and that to get past it, I had to suck up a buttload of old preconceptions and misguided notions. About myself. About others. About success and failure in general. And I did it French.
-Learning French was a much needed benefit and blessing. As a result, my vocabulary and ability to communicate has improved somewhat. I have found the ability to articulate more clearly and be more concise in my communications. Being that French is a more direct language and puts the kibosh on vague and otherwise useless constructs of language, I have figured out how to more accurately state no more or no less of a given main idea, which has helped in my writing, but has also aided in my personal psychology, making introspection and even moving forward more easily accessible. On top of that, I can now listen and appreciate French music and television much more as well as watch movies in French without subtitles. I can walk into my girls' school and utilize my newly acquired French-speaking skills. Overall, it has made my life a much richer experience.
-I never, ever, ever, EVER, ever. Ev-er. Want to live without my daughters ever again. And while that may be just exactly what happens as they go to live with their dad next year, I will scream it from the rooftops of Blogger here and through tensely clenched teeth: I. Do. Not. Want. This. At. All. It is not because of their father. In fact, if there was anybody else to take care of them when it's not me, I would rather it be him. But it is because living without them last year was absolutely hell. My entire adult life has been constructed with being a mother. I do not know who I am without them, nor do I really want to know. Whatever sweet moments of living like I was a freely independent woman and cohabiting with a crazy wonderful man that I just adore to have existed last year were intensely subdued with the pain of being without them and the terrible, terrible state of limbo I was in without them. My life is complete when they are with me. It doesn't matter that I will just have to deal with their absence when they leave home to go to university or whatever mission in life, what my mom said about that absence being like a practice run for me is the shittiest thing I've ever heard.
-I realized how negative I had become. Again. Who knows why or when, and it almost certainly has to do with the tremendous ups and downs of the last year, from divorce to epic disagreements with mon conjoint to living without my daughters, but in rejoining my children's lives to mine, my oldest has been keen to call me out on it point blank.
So, after a negativity/positivity quiz kind of acted like the final smack upside the head, I just kind of, sort of snapped out of it. I quit dwelling or brooding. I realized how easy I could do it. I realized that I couldn't handle boring without brooding, that I had brooded all last year, that I had gone back to brooding after successfully changing my outlook TO be glass-half-full back in the day. I realized that if my daughters could live through the kind of year they had and still be happy, well-adjusted children, well then, so the eff could I. I realized I don't like brooding. So I changed it back again.
It doesn't mean I'm cheery or with sunny disposition all the time. But it does mean that I have, yes, reassessed my life, realized that even with all the stresses of starting over, of tight budgeting, of cleaning up after everyone, of maxing out the overdraft, sewing holes in clothes (rather than getting new ones), scrambling to make rent---in addition to this being the THIRD time in my life that I've started out from scratch and been poor. as. fuck.---my life is still pretty good.
Maybe the third time's a charm. Maybe it's because I have this really cool French boyfriend that my daughters are trying to establish a relationship with. Maybe it's because people are so friendly in this town, or that I'm doing what I love for a part time job. Maybe it's because I have cool friends and a sweet neighbor lady and family that still loves me. Maybe I'm wiser now. Maybe it's because putting all the crap behind me is working and I'm not hiding behind anyone or anything anymore (even WITH the drama and scandal of what I did.) I don't know. But I just know that things are getting better. I know I am seeing signs of hope, joy, love, and exciting times passing my way and just as sure to come.
-Bottom line of the last year: not apologizing for myself ever again. This is not the same as being sorry for people I've hurt or mistakes I've made. But it is about correcting those mistakes, making right the wrongs, and moving forward. I have not always moved forward so decisively. In fact, I pretty much never have. I have blabbed to just about everyone I've had a problem with in email form while continuing to spin out on either 1) blame/wanting someone else to take the responsibility of any given gripe (early on) or 2) force their side of accountability. I will probably never quit trying to be a mirror towards people, but I will not be focusing on what I can show someone else--I will only be worrying about choosing the paths and turns I am taking to be happy and to bring happiness to myself.
In the words of a very dear friend in regards to all the naysayers and judgmental critics: f*** 'em.