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Restoring to Factory Default Settings

Today I sold my last piece of furniture.

Last night I sold my bedroom set. Two weeks ago I sold my couch and a book shelf. Two weeks before that I sold 2 TVs, 2 bedside tables, a leather chair, a storage bench, 4 lamps, another bookshelf and this really cool alarm thing that simulates a sunrise so that you don’t have to wake up in the dark. Four weeks before that I had a temper tantrum themed yard sale and sold every spatula, picture frame, coffee cup, pillow, pair of shorts… everything every THING that I had. Two months before that I sold a bed frame. But that was because I had found out Romeo/David had slept with Erin Black in that bed, and I made him buy us a new one.

Maybe that counts as the same type “everything must go” tantrum.

Maybe it doesn’t.

But today the last piece of furniture- the last item I had that couldn’t just fit in the back of my Corolla, take two rights and go straight on ’till morning- walked out the front door for $225.

I’m not going to lie- I panicked a little bit.

Wait, no, if I’m not going to lie- I panicked a lot.

I’ve been counting down to this moment for 11 weeks. How could I get rid of everything? How could I unload the memories and recoup the cash and make it not my problem anymore? How could I find the freedom that I was SURE would come once it was all just out of my face? How could I untether myself from a 5 bedroom house worth of stuff that I had been collecting for the better part of the last decade with the belief that “well sooner than later I’ll be married, with a bigger house, and we’ll have kids, so I’ll need this Calphalon pan set/ Dyson vacuum/ suede sectional couch/ 52″ TV as an investment in my future.”

I had the house. I had the stuff. I even had the paper doll “husband” to match.

I also had panic attacks that I would never be enough to make him happy. I had medication induced nightmares and weeks without sleep and 4:00am debates with myself about which was worse. I had what can only be described as toddler level meltdowns because I could never cook the spinach the way he liked it which bothered me infinitely more than it bothered him. I had eerie, unfounded fits of anxiety that he had one foot out the door- those turned out to be right though.

I can only describe it as an out of body experience when you realize that you thought owning 800 thread count sheets could save you from the other shoe dropping. And it drops anyways as you sit in bed on these beautiful sheets and read the Facebook message that would send you down the rabbit hole and don’t know if you feel more betrayed by the lies the sheets told you or the lies the paper doll told you.

So here I am on the eve of my 32nd birthday.

Feeling the least excited about my birthday that I’ve felt since my parents bought themselves a new car for my 16th birthday. (No, they did not keep the old one for me. They traded it in. Showed up at my 16th birthday party in a new car… for themselves. All my friends started jumping up and down in excitement “for me.” Two days passed before I realized they weren’t playing a joke on me. If you ever wondered where all this deep seated dysfunction comes from, remember those are the people that raised me. Parenting Tip: You have roughly 6,570 days of raising your child. Buy a new car for yourself on literally any other day. Good talk.)

I digress.

Here I am on the eve of my 32nd birthday.

I launched my new professional organizing business today. It’s doing well so far. And I don’t know if it’ll be enough to put food on the table.

I should be getting final close out money from David this week. And it’s exactly enough to pay off the last of my remaining debt.

I accidentally died my hair dark lilac. And it should wash out before the end of the month and back closer to my natural color.

I own exactly 17 shirts, 8 dresses, 4 skirts, 8 pairs of pants, 11 pairs of shoes, and some makeup. Oh and a juicer that I just really love. And that’s literally it. And I don’t have a lease or a mortgage.

I have no less than 30 In Case of Emergency friends that I could and would call about a flat tire at 3:00am and know without a doubt they would be there. And every one of those people has their own In Case of Emergency that they would call before me.

I will see 1 of the 4 members of my family for a “Thanksgiving celebration” that we already promised will most likely be gumbo and wine. And I don’t have to see all of the other family members that I generally spend weeks working up anxiety about “how will the holidays go this time?”

I don’t have a partner that loves me and will wake me up to pancakes with a candle in it while singing happy birthday. And I don’t have a paper doll.

I don’t say all of this because I hope to throw a pity party en lieu of a birthday party. In fact, some of these things are pretty damn wonderful. (I’m looking at you Nordstrom credit card- don’t let the door hit ya’ where the good Lord split ya’!)

I say all of this because today when I watched that dresser pull away from the driveway and just hours later launched my website, I realized that like it or not, I have achieved a full factory reset. Two years ago- to the day- I started this blog and it was all about teaching, adventures and misadventures in love, dysfunctional family, and a halfhearted attempt at finding myself during a heartbreak.

And now…

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What Did the Skeleton Order With His Coke?

 

…a mop.

Get it?

See. I’m still funny.

Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday. When you have a crazy family, Thanksgiving and Christmas is more likely to give you a series of mini-strokes than the warm fuzzies, plus October is when the weather in Texas is finally tolerable for extended periods of time.

And Laffy Taffy, y’all. I’ve had 50 today and it’s not even noon.

Last year Halloween was a nightmare for me. I was right in the grip of The Dark Days, and all I wanted was to dress up as something sexy and host a party at our house that would remind David how fun and cute and pulled together I was. Instead, I ruined the chili, no one came because I only knew like 3 people in San Antonio and David put off telling his friends until last minute, and the day before I got a haircut that looked like a child did it with school scissors. In the dark. With his feet.

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So for two days straight we fought because he didn’t want to wear a costume, I was stressed no one would come, and he laughed at me for crying about my haircut- which was really me crying about feeling so utterly uprooted from Houston and not having my hair stylist around… or my boss or students or coworkers or roommates or my friends or my favorite yoga instructor or my dry cleaner or my church or my favorite running trail… or you get the point.

Instead of being something sexy, I was a witch. And also I dressed up as a witch.

This year though… this year I feel like I’ve given up on trying to be cute and fun and pulled together. There’s some undeniable low key depression going on, but also I’m just exhausted. I’m exhausted of being always too much and never enough. I’m exhausted of thinking about how I screamed and slammed doors and was a heinous bitch during that haircut fight, and most of all I’m exhausted of the endless death spiral of wondering, “what came first, his awful or my awful?” and always trying to find ways to give or take blame. As if that would make it make sense? And take the pain away?

Right?

So this year for Halloween, I will be not dressing up for the very first time. I’ve been dressing up in hundreds of roles over the years…

Baby Pumpkin, Baby Bat, proud big sister, protective big sister, Flapper, Cowgirl, School Girl, straight A student, smartass student, Cheerleader, cheerleader, Sexy Teacher, sexy librarian, teacher of the year, Wonder Woman, wondering woman, wandering woman, Queen of Hearts, protector of my heart, unabashed giver of my heart, self-inflicted breaker of my heart, Sexy Pumpkin, Bride, bride to-be, 1950s Housewife, 1950s housegirlfriend, Eve, temptress, the downfall, the accused, Tinkerbell, Hippie, hippie, Sexy Witch, Witch, witch, monster…

aaaaaaaand I’m straight up tapped out.

I’m going as an unapologetically heartbroken, strong, brave, terrified, exhausted woman who gave away two overflowing boxes of costumes to a middle school theater department in a fit of rage that freed her from a lie of a life, 95% of her worldly possessions, and any clue whatsoever on how to ever go back to dressing up and pretending.

Not that I’d want to anyways.

 


I’m Just Trying to Not Cut My Ear Off 2

So here’s the deal…

I’m not funny right now. I’m sad. I’m exhausted. I’m overwhelmed. I’m fucking furious. I’m using literally every iota of energy in my body to not answer truthfully when the UPS guy asks how I’m doing. When I should be figuring out what city to live in, what job to find, how to emotionally and logistically recover from this gut wrenching betrayal, instead I’m having to set bite size life goals for myself:

Last Week: Get out of bed every single day.
This Week: Get back to a workout routine.
Next Week: Make it through an entire yoga class without crying.

And yet the pressure to whip up something witty and endearing for this blog is suffocating me. I’m a one trick pony you guys- I’m good at writing one thing- the truth. So when I can’t tell my truth, I don’t write. I hide. I pout. I drown. I congratulate myself for mastering the silent sob so that that the sweet woman on the mat next to me isn’t disturbed by the tears that are pooling on my mat during downward facing dog. I do things like go into job interviews and promisepromisepromise myself that I will not use the phrase “cry under my desk” and then accidentally end up word vomiting about how going back into teaching right now would feel like an excuse to hide from the emotional work that I need to do and that thanks, but no thanks, I just can’t yet.

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I’m going to need you to just think of this as my Blue Period.

I’ll recover because I have to. That’s how it works. You get up, go through the motions, and eventually the hyper awareness that you are mourning not just a past but an unclaimed future calms down.

I’ll do the ugly work and one day I’ll wake up and for a few hours I’ll feel like myself again, and maybe I’ll want to write to share it with you guys, or maybe I’ll just relish a few hours of meaning it when I say “I’m good, thanks for asking. How are you?”

For those of you that like picking at scabs, this Blue Period is for you. But if you need some Sunflowers in your life, check out one of these old posts and try to remember that I don’t always sound like a series of rejected My Chemical Romance lyrics.

 
(Yes, I’m noticing the theme here. I’ll add it to the agenda for my therapist…)


Terrible Poker Face 2.0 Plus a FREE Scavenger Hunt (God, I really hope you don’t think this is spam…)

This post comes with a bonus scavenger hunt question:
How many Julia Roberts references can I make in 800 words or less?

Ready. Set. GO.

 

Once upon a time there was a girl who knew only two things for certain:
1. Calling her an awful liar didn’t even begin to cover it because the reality was she didn’t see the point in lying and instead walked around like her life was an open blog.
2. If she didn’t start writing soon, she would implode because you can only tell the same stories to your friends so many times before they crowd fund a trip to Italy, India and Indonesia therapist for you.
Spoiler alert: that girl is me.

 

So here we are on the five month anniversary of Terrible Poker Face, and I have huge, FANTASTIC news for you… (more…)

Romeo Part 3: Welcome Home 6

Continued from Romeo: Part 2

Romeo and I were falling fast, but not recklessly. We decided pretty much immediately that we were going to be exclusive and that yes, long distance was going to be hard, but that if any two people in the whole world could make it work, it would be us. (more…)


Romeo Part 2: It’s Only a Year 2

Continued from Romeo: Part 1.

That night, I went to meet him and his friends at a bar and had yet another night full of more mutual connection and banter and attraction than I thought possible. I watched him tell story after story while managing to effortlessly garner the attention of half the room in doing so and thought I had finally found someone who I would happily relinquish the spotlight to. (more…)


Sharks Can’t Go Back to Bathtubs and Other Love Advice 9

As I mentioned in my post last week, I went to dinner with Not The One. I had the purest of intentions of showing up, being platonic friends, catching up, and going our different ways at the end of the night.

Turns out being just friends will never be in the cards for us. (more…)


The Evolution of My Spring Breaks and Wet T-Shirt Contests 5

Rejected titles for this post include:

  • This is Thirty
  • Stay Home Moms and Vodka Chuggers Deserve More Respect
  • Where is Sex and The City: Season 7 When You Need It?

For Spring Break my senior year of college, thirty or so friends of mine and I went on a six day booze cruise through the Caribbean. It was full of the typical Spring Break fanfare – smuggling alcohol onto the ship, excessive amounts hot tub make-outs, drinking mystery booze from a man with a whistle, half naked dancing on beaches, and I’m pretty sure I made out with someone in order to get shots at what I later found out was an open bar beach party.

I’m nothing if not classy. (more…)


This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things 6

Rejected titles for this entry include:

  • I’m About 10 Years Too Old To Throw Up in My Bushes
  • Thanks for Nothing, Tinder
  • What does one wear to their own intervention? I’m asking for a friend.

If you read Friday’s post, you know I was in a great place emotionally. Super pulled together. Healing all those brokenhearted wounds. Things were just going swimmingly. “Romeo, who?” kind of stuff.

Also, if you’ve read my much earlier posts, you know I feel very strongly about the need for an agreed-upon sarcasm font. Whatever you imagine that font to be in your head, envision the above paragraph to be written in bold version of that font.

So it’s no surprise (sarcasm font again but you’re going to have to start doing this yourself, ya know) that I was a total shit show this weekend.

It started with my brilliant idea to play The Tinder Game. (more…)


7 Scientifically Proven Ineffective Ways to Mend a Broken Heart 9

Whenever someone posts a list, don’t we all just usually scroll through the opener anyway? I’ll save us both some time by skipping the usual pleasantries if you’ll do me a solid and read for more than just skimming the bold lines.

But first, I will say this one thing: I’m relying entirely on empirical evidence in this study. Now, there has been a relatively small sample size (just me), but my approach is similar to the argument that global warming can’t exist because I’m cold right now. If that’s good enough for Steven Colbert and congress, who am I to upend the entire scientific method? (more…)