Day 2

A couple times a week I take group fitness classes at the Y. My favorite is a hip hop dance class led by Tenille. It’s a new class and since there are always a couple beginners she starts each class the same way. Apologizing to the regulars for repeating herself, she tells the new folks that during the warm-up she’ll preview some of the choreography “…so if the moves seem random it’s because they are.”

Lately, my life has been pretty choreographed. I get up about the same time every day and go through the same routine. Open one eye, search for my phone, check messages, check Facebook, check POF, pee, check messages again, feed the dogs, make coffee, work. Throughout the day, I start every conversation the same way “..wait, what day is it?” because every day is the same for me. I’ll throw in a couple dates here and there to spice things up but nothing much changes.

Over the summer, things were a different kind of same. I’d spend most of my time up in Milwaukee with Toby. When I came home, I’d fight with Tyler about what he had or hadn’t done while I was gone. Dave and I would talk once a week about how I wasn’t entitled to his money even though I’d given up everything to make him happy and failed. It wasn’t my favorite number but it was one I’d gotten very good at performing.

During November the tempo sped up. The moves got harder. Tyler prepared to ship out to boot camp. Dave agreed to the divorce terms. Toby got job offers out of state and I loaded up on moving boxes. Things really started moving. And just as I was getting the hang of the new routine the bottom fell out.

Sometimes this happens during Tenille’s classes – we’re right there jamming with her to the beat and her brain fogs, she totally forgets what the next move is and stops.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving I said goodbye to Tyler. Monday, Dave flew home. Tuesday, Toby and I broke up. Wednesday was the quietest day I’ve ever known. I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself. I didn’t know what the next move was. So, I just stood there, completely still.

Thankfully, I didn’t have thirty people watching my every move waiting for the next cue. No, instead I found myself dancing alone for the first time ever. It was scary. It was lonely. It felt wrong.

Since then, I’ve gotten used to being alone. I don’t like it and I don’t want to be a solo act forever but it’s getting easier to maneuver. I’ve had a couple people express interest in joining me but something feels off with their timing.

The other night I saw Toby logged into POF. It annoyed me to see him online but there I was, logged in too. So, I sent him a message saying I hated seeing him on there. That turned into a pretty decent conversation that moved over to texting and resulted in mutual I love yous and a second invitation to come visit.

I felt the music and my heart skip a beat.

But yesterday was back to the same song and dance – frustration and silence. It’s like we can’t decide who is going to lead. We’ll move together well for a while then I feel abandoned on the dance floor. He says it’s not a dance we do but it is, I know it is and I know the moves like the back of my hand.

Tenille’s warm-up routine might seem random to the folks new to her class but for me, I have it down pat. Even when she tosses in a new move here or there it takes only a second to catch on and make it stick. When she screws up, I keep going right on beat. And while it continues to be my favorite class, I need to be challenged.

In an hour I’ll join her for my second spin cycle class. It’s hard. I makes me move muscles I am not used to moving. I want to quit but I enjoy the way she leads. I trust her instruction. That class is different for her too – she makes it up as she goes. There are no moves for her to forget.

Maybe that’s how I need to approach life. Ditch the routine. Screw the ordered steps. And instead of finding a new partner, maybe it’s time to try a new activity all together.

Instead of dancing, maybe it’s time to ride.

 

 

Day 1

I’m not off to a good start here folks. I’ve only added a post title and already I’m lying. I mean, okay, yes it’s technically the first day of this website’s life but she arrived late. Like me. Like always. I meant to get my shit together and start writing on the actual first day of the year – you know, like a responsible adult.

But who was I kidding? I’m me. Have you ever met me? Yeah….you get it.

It’s morning on the second day of the new year and here we are. Welcome! What’s that they say? Better late than never? Yeah, let’s go with that and get this blog started.

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A couple of years ago, my favorite cousin got married. Dave and I swung by Target on the way to the wedding to pick up a card and in the stationery aisle I happened upon the most interesting journal. It was long and narrow and really, really thick. On the first page (and every page thereafter) were five blocks of lines preceded by the date. It looked kinda like this:

Unlike an average, run-of-the-mill journal this one would carry you through five years, not just one. And the layout provided an in-your-face look back at the previous year (and the one before that, and the one before that…) Whoa. Talk about a game changer. I tossed it in the cart as a wedding present for Amanda. She had waited a long time to get married. I thought it would be cool for her to chronicle her marriage – from Day 1 –  and reflect annually on her wedded bliss.

But in the 10 minute drive from the store to the church Dave and I got into another argument. I can’t even tell you what it was about but I’d put money on it being one of the three things we’d been fighting over for 17 years. Sitting there reflecting on our first marriage and first divorce then mentally paging through the last four years of our second marriage, I tried not to see where it was headed. Willful ignorance – now that’s some bliss. My mind wandered during the entire ceremony.

On the way to the reception, I decided cash was a universal gift, shoved it into the card and kept the journal for myself.  I slapped on a smile and got jiggy with it. I managed to have a good time. Here’s proof:

When we got home I put the journal beside my bed. Where it still is – completely blank. Nearly two years later. There’s something about those simple three lines that seem so limiting. How do you condense 24-hours into such little space? That was the lie I told myself to keep from documenting the shit storm my life was becoming. I knew that once I started writing things down I would have to face what was actually going on around me.

I haven’t talked to Amanda in a while. Truth is, I haven’t talked to anyone in a while. Not really, not in depth. These days there’s no one here to talk to but the dogs. I didn’t need a journal to tell me the second divorce was on the horizon. I’m not sure I’d want a day-by-day-by-year snapshot of the hell we went through after that long drive home anyhow.

So, here we are on Day 1-ish of a new year. And I’m up early, coffee in hand, baring my soul to the world wide web. Because I can. Because I want to. But more because I need to. Here, my thoughts aren’t limited – I don’t have to settle for the Cliff Notes version of my story. Making it public keeps me honest – it’s so easy to lie to yourself about how you feel, what you want and need and how things are really going. Writing in hindsight allows for perspective and grace. It lets me sprinkle some humor on the story for good measure. That makes it easier to digest.

For you, this is entertainment. This is my life.

And today is the first day of the rest of it. So, let’s get started…