Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought about was the Jazz Festival that's coming up next month. For any other individual, this wouldn't have been much of a thing. For me, this represents huge progress, because its the second day in a row that I woke up and didn't immediately think about Pete. I'm really glad I'm making progress in this. On top of that, I ended up in a 3-way hug with some classmates and I didn't immediately fall into tears about Pete. I'm finally moving forward. On the other hand, it seems like I'm constantly being tested in the fuckery department. Yesterday, a former classmate I'll call Eric hit me up. I was bored and stuck in traffic, so I took the moment to reconnect for the first time in 2 or 3 years.

Eric jokingly accused me of intentionally quitting talking to him some years ago. I assured him that was not the case, but that life simply happened and that grad school doesn't leave a lot of time for extraneous conversations. I confessed that I'd been so busy in the last 2 years, that my dating life at some point consisted primarily of my young friend in undergrad. Eric grew a tad miffed and reminded me that the whole time we sat together in our Human Behavior class that I never threw the cookies at him. I reminded him that unlike Eric, my young friend didn't wear a wedding ring the whole time we were in class. Eric stuck to his original story of being separated at the time of wearing the ring. I told him that separated or not, I wasn't trying to get caught up in some shit. Eric segued into asking about now. I gave him the whole "going through a grieving period" thing, he did the typical "condolences" thing and we chatted a bit more before he needed to go get some work done. He called me back last night, while I was in the middle of my House of Cards marathon, so I was polite, but I hung up quickly.
This morning, on the way to my first jog in ages, Eric texted me and apologized for calling last night. I assured him that I was fine and that he simply caught me in the midst of relaxing. He then offered that he figured that I was in the middle of entertaining "company" and that he may have thrown a wrench in my mix. I texted back about not really dating at the moment, grieving, just me focusing on the kid, blah, blah, blah. Then he texted back that he'd always dug me and wanted to see if--- but then he read my text about not dating at the moment and he fell back. I swear, as I read the start of that text my first thought was 'are you motherfuckers having weekly meetings to see who can come in the quickest and fuck my life up?!' Real talk, I just wish people knew how I physiologically respond to being hit on right now. Like my heart stops and I freeze like a deer in headlights. Not only do I not really want to be touched in a sexual manner, I'm petrified of some certified dickhead working his way into my circle and destroying my peace. Outside of the grieving, I'm rather okay with where I am and don't really want to entertain bullshit right now.

Ironically, one of my last intimate conversations with Pete, I confessed to him that my girlfriends and I, who are all around the same age, often commiserate about increased sexual urges at this stage in life. And here I am nearly 2 months after that conversation and I want nothing more than to be left the hell alone.

I arrived at the park and enjoyed the solitude. I originally chose against Piedmont Park because it serves as a bit of a distraction while jogging, but I chose to go nevertheless. I jogged and walked as always, but while jogging, I found a quiet dock by a lake and realized that after all I've been through, I'm long overdue for some mediation. I was irritated at the sound of a loud dump truck in the background, but I reminded myself that masterful meditators can move past distractions, and so should I. I rested my eyes and allowed myself to relax, focusing on the trees beyond the lake. Then it hit me like a bolt of lightening. Allow this moment. Allow the air to move, allow the wind to blow. Allow life to happen. Allow these trees to grow. Allow the ripples in this lake to keep moving. What I needed was to stop trying to flow against the tide. Buddhism teaches that attachment is what creates suffering. All of my crying and mourning has been my attachment to Pete. I need to step back and allow life to happen, and unfortunately, in life, death does happen.
My mediation also told me that I needed to allow myself to grow. While well-intentioned friends show concern about my mental state, the fact is that growing and shifting. I'm not the all-night long party girl that I've been known to be. I'm moving into a different space in life, and that is okay. I may again one day become the all-night party girl, but for now I'm opting to be more withdrawn, and I have to allow myself to feel that and be okay with it. When I woke up thinking about the Jazz Fest, my thoughts were that rather than crash a friend's blanket and hang around all day, I'd probably quietly drop in and see my favorite acts, say hello to a few faces, and quietly withdraw again. And I'll allow myself to do that. No guilt in allowing myself to alter how I choose to live my life. And that is the ultimate freedom.

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