To Amy and Eric

I have two friends who are meeting tomorrow for the very first time. They have been in a long distance relationship for a good long time now, love each other beyond reason, and after months of skype and calls, are finally getting to meet face to face.

In short, they are having what Paul and I call ‘their Chicago’.

They remind me very much of Paul and I in a lot of senses, only they are lucky to have their own, less severe complications than we had. Still, there are enough similarities that it makes me a little more invested in this whole situation than I probably should be.

It’s hard not to bug her to death tonight, wanting to help her through, because I know what a bundle of nerves she is tonight, and how sleep will not come easy. I know the doubts and the fears, and the what if’s.

I want to be on the plane with her tomorrow to hold her hand, and reassure her during the insanely-short-yet-forever-long plane ride. I know the anticipation, and the feeling of OMG go! go! go!. Once my plane touched down in Chicago, it felt like we’d never get off, and people were so. damn. slow. When you have a moment that you know is about to change your life forever, it’s next to impossible to be patient with the little old lady who can’t reach her own bags in the overhead storage.

I wish I could be there in the airport and see that first magic moment when they hug and kiss for the first time. It’s that fairy tale moment everyone dreams of, and they are about to have it.

They’ll head off to wherever they are staying, and no, I don’t want to be there. Some things are best kept private, and as much as I like them…well…Mmmm, yeah, no thanks.

I want to tell them both to cherish every single minute, because the week will fly like you can’t begin to imagine. I want them to take lots of pictures, because you don’t realize until later how few you have, and it’s always a regret. Especially pictures together- there are never enough when the world contains only the two of you. I want to remind them if there is a hotel involved, do NOT forget to put on the Do Not Disturb sign, just trust me on this one.

Also, hot showers are their friend, as is food. You have to come up for air once in awhile. 😉

I want to be there when the week is over, because as magical as this week will be, things are about to become a whole new level of reality. Leaving the airport will be so much more painful than anything should ever be, and at that moment in time you feel like your world is breaking apart. The best advice I can give is set a goal by the end of the week for the next trip. Having a deadline and something to work for makes it bearable. Have tissues, because you will cry. Both of you.

Mostly, I want to wish them both the best of luck, and a safe trip for Amy. I want to thank Eric for being brave enough to go through all this, I promise you, knowing her in real life, she is so beyond worth it. And to both of them- enjoy this week, you have found the kind of love most people will never understand.

Don’t ever let go of it, no matter what the distance. It can be done.


I Swore I’d Never Do It Again, But Last Night I Did

The last Mardi Gras ball I went to was in 2008, and I swore I would never do it again.

If you’ve never been to one, it’s like a huge party with lots of music and drinking and dancing and food and drinking. (Did I mention there tends to be a lot of drinking?) It’s extremely formal, as in white tie and tails formal for men, and floor length ball gowns for the women. Ball gowns which we spend weeks searching for, and even longer starving ourselves to get into.

The one I went to in 2007 and 2008 was by way of invitation from one of my ex’s co-workers. The society itself is known for being highly exclusive, which meant in the end we basically knew no one there other than the person who invited us. My ex didn’t drink, and that coupled with not knowing anyone there meant there was very little socializing done and a lot of awkward standing around. The first time going was exciting, but once the novelty wore off with the second one, I swore I’d never do it again. There’s only so much people-watching that can be tolerated when everyone around you is having a great time and you aren’t.

It was because of this that I said no when I was asked by my friend Heather to go to their ball (name removed..Ooops!), since she is part of the organization. Then our friend Alli joined. And I found out our other friend Hope was not only in it, but her mom was the leader this year. (This society doesn’t do court like most.) I kept saying no, but the idea of getting to hang out with my friends for the night for something other than a Tweetup won me over, and I decided to give it a shot.

To say I am glad I went would be a massive understatement. I must have spent at least half the night laughing my ass off about one thing or another, from the incredibly drunk floor committee women who told her husband that they had to get a hotel room because “A hotel room is a lot cheaper than a DUI!”, to Alli’s son being told by the bartender that if he gave the drink termed the ‘room special’ to his date he’d be sure to get her into bed, not realizing he was escorting his mother. It was awesome seeing Alli, Heather and Hope dancing in the tableau, and seeing all the amazing (and sometimes scary!) dresses women wore, and how funny spouses and friends looked in their penguin suits. I even got to meet a Twitter friend who was in town just for the ball, all the way from Texas!

All in all it was a wonderful night, and I am incredibly happy I stepped out of my comfort zone and went, instead of letting past experiences dictate. There is no question I would go again if I am lucky enough to be on the invite list next year 🙂

Left to right- Me, Alli, Heather and Hope

Suburban Oblivion Comes Out of the Darkness

Paul and I had a discussion recently about my blogging, or to be more truthful, my lack of blogging. For the longest time I hated my blog. The thought of opening the text editor made me both angry and somewhat panicky, because I had to be so incredibly careful about every word I said, knowing it would all be fodder for court. Emotionally I was incredibly angry and resentful of the things going on around me, and it was out of that darkness that my last theme was developed. Paul did a great job of turning out a beautiful theme, but we recently realized that where my blog was and where I am were no longer in sync.

As I look around my blog today I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. Lighter, more airy, less clutter, less crap. Much like real life for me these days.

Things are not what I would call anywhere near ‘settled’, but for now there is at least a sense of security that I was missing for the better part of the last 2 years. I can finally breathe easier, and that feeling of constantly worrying and waiting for the next shit-storm is easing off ever so slightly.

Not content to just wait for the effects of The World’s Worst Divorce. Ever. to wear off, I have decided to make the changes I want a very conscious choice, carried out by action rather than reaction. I’m working on not dwelling on the divorce so much, although I still maintain that anyone who has been as deceitful and vindictive as my ex is due for a whopping dose of Karma-times-infinity. (Then again maybe that’s exactly *why* he got the visit from the herpes fairy, she was filling in for Karma that day.) I know, I know, I said trying to work on it. Slow process.

I came back from my recent trip to Virginia happier than I’d been in ages, and with a strong desire to revamp my blog and start fresh with it. I didn’t want to get rid of my old content, but I did want to change my focus to the road of self-discovery I am on, rather than the hell and back I have been to previously. Paul worked out a way to do all that by archiving my old content, and clearing out my categories so that what is on the main page will be new stuff instead of old. (He’s so smart sometimes!) I decided clean and simple was the way to go, so I dumped the tag cloud, lifestream and other non-essentials and stuck with links to just a few networking sites.

Now that my blog is cleaner and more focused, I can finally get back to basics with my writing as well. My focus for 2010 is to start experiencing all that life has to offer, and to learn to not take myself so seriously in the process. I want to let my inner child out to play again, and re-discover the world through her eyes. I’ve had far too much darkness in my life over the last two years, it’s time to learn to laugh again, even if it’s just at myself.

Sara, hamming it up at age 3.

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