Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LO:CI--So long to Bobby and Alex

I never post two posts in one day. Bad karma or something, I think. But today requires a special second post. So without further ado, here it is:

Dear Bobby and Alex,

Well, tonight's the night. The night we begin to say goodbye. The night you'll blow our minds with some sort of massive way out of a show your characters have created and maintained for eight seasons. Eight seasons that I've watched you, laughed with you, cried with you, gasped with you, and felt every emotion that goes along with seeing some of the worst that people can do to one another,and sometimes the best. Remember the doctor who poisoned his poor lovers with zoonotic drugs after making them sleep with his vet friend? That was pretty disgusting. And in "Jones", when Eames got her man just by taking her jacket off. Griffin Dunne's character was more than willing to jump through any hoop laid in front of him. Size 13 shoes, eh, Bobby? What writer came up with that one? Classic.

The desperation of Neil Patrick Harris' character in "Want" is one that has stuck with me for years. What happens when people lose all control over the social norms that make us human? How do we live with the guilt of wanting, more than anything, to avoid loneliness and be loved? Or when Eames was kidnapped by Jo Gage and got out of her own accord, her own wits, despite Goren's desperation to find the one solid cornerstone in his life. Gage's need to be loved, to be needed by her own father, overran all logic. Bobby understood that. He lived it himself. And Eames always returned, no matter what that goofball did. God, Bobby, you may be a genius but you have the common sense of an idiot. Loyalty is something that both of you guys have loads of...more than most people will ever know.

Watching Bobby's self-imposed exile in seasons six and seven was as painful as it was intriguing. Why? When you have people who can and could and will and would love you, why do you keep them away? Questions that we all can relate to. And Eames, facing the death of her husband once again, together but alone. It never goes away. How do you compartmentalize, keep going, despite the pain that haunts every bit of your existence? A loss that has always been there but never known about?

Of course, all fans will remember the episode Frame as it seemed to culminate seven years' worth of storyline. The death of Nicole Wallace, the one woman Bobby probably, as sad as it is, felt worthy to love; the death of his brother; the one person he felt responsible for loving; and the ending of Gage, his mentor, the one he had seen disintegrating before his very eyes...the one he used to love and trust, like a parent. Pain from all sides. How does one recover from that?

My favorite scenes--more snark than I can mention. Alex is the queen of snark. I love it. I would live my life that way if I could. And Bobby, willing to play the wild card to the hilt, living in his brain ninety percent of the time yet unleashing an absolute montage of hilarity just when completely unexpected. What would you have done with a partner who had a bigger ego? One who wasn't willing to let you go through trash cans without bomb squads, who wouldn't let you poke dead bodies and sniff wounds and explore seminal fluids on kitchen floors?

That's why for forever, in my mind, Bobby and Alex go together, like every other famous couple. Yin and Yang, Cheech and Chong, Bonnie and Clyde. You guys made each OTHER work. I know D'Onofrio's a brilliant actor and Erbe has a solid record as well. But the magic you brought together to make this show memorable won't vanish after April 6th.

It doesn't matter if you sleep together or you don't; if you end up going separate ways or not; if someone quits the NYPD and someone is promoted (personally, I would've quit the NYPD a long time ago, but that's just me!). You guys made for fascinating television. Good watching, good thinking. Things I could relate to. You brought ideas to the screen and made a memorable coupling. I will miss you. Armani suits and low rise jeans and tank tops and fancy ties and all. I'd like to say it will be great to see Vince and Kate move on and do other things, but since this is a letter to two fictional characters, that statement is moot.

I hope beyond hope the writers see you out with a fond farewell. Regardless, the fondness I feel when I watch your interactions on screen is deep.

Much love-
A real life fan

Half empty to half full

I have a perpetually half-empty glass.

I can tell you forty five different things going wrong in my life at any given time. Real things, mind you, not imaginary. Not exaggerated. And boy, do I feel it. Number 32 sits on my left hip. Number 12 is on my right shoulder. Number 45 perches right on my head, probably looking at you. I am the master of all glasses half empty.

I have this friend, Christy. I've written about her before. Now, Christy is hilarious. Probably more than anyone else, she can make me laugh because she calls you on BS as soon as you breathe it. You don't even have to SAY it, just breathe it into existence. And she'll tell you, in Christy language, how it's all BS. She doesn't SAY BS. No, that would be too easy. Instead, she asks you probing questions that get you to realize you're full of BS. And that you insist on seeing your glass half empty.

I've known Christy for seventeen years. In all that time, I can only think of one time she hurt my feelings. I won't get into the hows and whys, but she knows and I know and when she was able, she apologized for it. I'd like to say I was gracious and forgave her right away, but I didn't. I held onto it for awhile. It fit--glass half-empty type. You know, poor me. How could my soul sister hurt me? How terrible she would be human, like me.

Time goes by, and I let go of it. Ironically, I don't remember Christy ever holding on to any of the hurts I've given her. Things that would probably have bothered me. Things I feel guilty about. But she's not that kind of person. Her glass is half full. Anything else is just, well, icing on the cake? Maybe extra ice in the glass?

Today I had a ridiculously bad day. And I fell into my glass half empty pattern that I am working so hard to fight against right now. It was almost too easy. Yesterday sucked too, and I was more than willing to let the stress on my body take its toll and feel sorry for myself. Who's been sucking out of my glass, people??? Funk mood. And I stayed in it all day. At work, and even at home. I talked with my dad and continued with my funk. Sipping the water lower in the glass. See how empty my glass is??? See how much it sucks???

I don't know what suddenly happened for me. Reading my email, petting my dog, watching my daughter...but suddenly I realized that the glass really is half full. I have this beautiful child who actually WANTS to spend time with me. Another child who puts forth effort in situations that are so easy for the rest of us but hard for him. My tiny little Gabi who thinks I hung the moon, especially if a treat is involved. A husband who is willing to run errands on days I feel like today. A mind that works and the ability to write, write, write.

My friend Christy is the bravest person I know. Although my son struggles with diagnoses that are frustrating at best and frightening at worst, her daughter is facing the possibility of loss of life in a few years at such a young age. And yet when I talk to Christy, her focus is on making her glass half full as much as possible. Laughing with her family, bussing her two teenagers to every event they have planned, playing with her toddler whenever she has the chance. And it occurs to me that maybe a glass half full is equivalent to a glass full of life and love. Glasses half empty are filled with fear and suffering.

When I first started therapy, my goal was to gain clarity. Now I find it changing. I want my glass to be half full. Despite the struggles I face, I want to be able to look at them with the mentality of blessedness, love, and gratitude. Little steps will get me there. Little steps and tiny sips from a glass half-full.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Big little sacrifices

In a week, I will go to working part time.

I haven't worked part time since I was in, what? college, maybe? The reasons behind my decision are many, but basically boil down to feeling like my life has taken control of me, instead of the other way around. My son needs more care and patience than I can give him at the end of an eight or ten hour workday. My mother needs care and attention. My daughter needs support in adjusting to her brother being home and all of the inevitable issues that arise. My husband is still struggling with his foot. And I-- *I* need some time to figure some things out.

So this is my last week, this semester, to work full time. FMLA allows up to twelve weeks unpaid leave for family situations such as mine. My son requires intensive care and therapy interventions, and thank God for FMLA in this economy. I'm only taking six of the twelve weeks, and only going part time at that, instead of taking the full amount off. I do think that some work is grounding for me. Plus I hate to leave my students--whether they are adults or children.

I am comfortable in my decision and know it is the best one for my family. I am hopeful that my son will flourish with the extra adult attention and extra therapeutic time this break will allow. I'm hoping that I will learn some better strategies in dealing with his disorders, as well as discovering some meaningful things about myself. I'm hoping my mother will continue to improve, and feel comforted knowing that I can go to see her more easily now if needed.

The most heartbreaking part of this process for me is leaving one of my preschool classes. You see, at my school, some of the children attend my class for up to three years. I have several right now who have been with me for three years, others for two, and of course there are some that this is their first year with me. Community is very important to me. I want my children to feel a part of the classroom--to love school, to love the curiosity of learning and the learning process, to feel confident to share their thoughts with the group. We are nutty bunch together--our days filled with lots of learning and fun and explorations and adventures. We laugh together every day. We learn new things about the world. We are friends.

Leaving your friends is never easy. The idea of leaving these children for the last six weeks is heartbreaking. Tomorrow, I will begin talking with them about how they will be getting a new teacher. And we will begin to count down the days until I leave.

I don't know a way to make life easier for them, other than a positive attitude and a great new teacher. They will have both. They'll have a fun week of learning with me before I hand them over to a hand-picked long term substitute. Knowing that I'm doing what is best for my family, and that I have to put my family first, is of little comfort when thinking of these nineteen children I have come to know as my own little teachers, learners, adventurers. My buddies. I will miss them.

I am fortunate that FMLA will protect my job so that I can return, hopefully full time, in the fall and resume teaching that same class. Some of my buddies will still be there. And I am thankful for that. They are too young to know how difficult this is, how I agonized over this decision because of them. I know they will be okay in the end, and so will I, but saying goodbye sucks. And in this instance, it sucks royally. Like raw egg-sucking sucks.

Love and purpose are guiding factors for me. I find both in my work, especially with this group of children. But what I recognize, which has been most difficult, is the need to find and hone in on these two factors in my personal life. Love and purpose have to cross over for me, into the arena of my personal world, more clearly. And hopefully the next six weeks will do that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

In Thankfulness

Beautiful child sleeping
The neverending struggle
That finally takes its reprieve.
Girly giggles and corny jokes
That replay in my head for weeks, months,
Years after you said them.
The love of a family-mine.

Fire in my gut to guide me
Where has it been?
Passion in my heart, reignited
Hope for all things to come.
I felt you again. I thought you had gone
But you returned, just when I expected emptiness.

The lapping waves at my feet
The endlessness of the ocean
Smell of salty air surrounding me,
Sand in my toes.
Peace in my soul. Familiarity.
The feeling of being called home.

Laughter of my community
The one I built with my heart,
My hands, my education...
The one I nurture day after day
week after week year after year.
Brilliance. I see you
Around every corner, in every set of eyes
You burn into me.

The littlest one, furry and funny and
oh so precious to my heart.
Little licks and snuggles and pants
Little cries in another language of
I Love You, I Love You, I Love You.
I Love You too.

And you who brought me here
Loved me, taught me, believed in me
More now than ever before.
Gifts from those so gifted.
How lucky, how fortunate. How loved.

I breathe You in. And out. And separate from me,
But not separated.
Our separate-ness caused by me
But I try. I try. I try to let You in.
I try to trust and believe Your words.
And when You feather Your wings around me,
I trust in You again. And breathe you in,
In Thankfulness.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Man

Today I want to blog about my husband.

So far I've blogged about my kids, my friends, my mom, my therapist, and even Goren and Eames. If you don't know who Goren and Eames are, you can either reference blogs past or give it up--they're only the greatest team of detectives ever.

But today, I want to pay homage to the man in the other room. When I first met my husband, it was August of 1996. I met him in a chat room. Yes, a chat room. In 1996. When he first came to visit me that January of 97, my coworkers warned me of potential homicidal tendencies. The pressure was on. Despite crazy moments during that visit (including a minor meltdown by yours truly in a restaurant bathroom), our visit was nice. The fact he didn't run away screaming when I took several minutes to compose myself right after we met was a positive sign. We came back to my place and he sang karaoke.

He was comfortable in his skin. I wasn't. I believed I was smart but not good at the dating game. He didn't care. He just wanted to meet people. And the more we hung out, the more I appreciated that in him.

Our last day together he bought me a calendar I wanted and we spent some time on the beach, hanging out and singing together. He left and I considered him my friend.

The next several years, including the rest of our dating time and the first years of our marriage, were composed of two people finding themselves. I believe that this is true in most relationships, and the reason most relationships fail. There were several times that we both were done. But for some reason we hung in there. I guess we're not quitters.

We both have made mistakes over the years. Sometimes, big mistakes that were threats to our marriage and stability. But we manage to get through. We've been married now for ten years--eleven in July--and looking back, I can't imagine my life any other way. Despite his goofball sense of humor, I love him so. He's truly my best friend and fulfills things in my life in a way no other person can.

We have differing interests, different friends, different ideas on a lot of things. That's okay. We have some similiarities too. We love our kids. We see things very similarly politically. We support one another's dreams. And we've grown up together.

As a child, I had a dream of Prince Charming. I think most girls do. That dream should be shot and killed, in my opinion. It sets girls up for a very unrealistic perception of marriage and what's required to make one work. Not every husband takes care of his wife in the same way. And not every wife cares for her husband the same as her neighbor would care for hers.

My husband has a wicked sense of humor. He is compassionate. He loves children. He is passionate about things that make a difference in his life. And he's an all-around good guy. He loves me, and I know that. He has achieved dreams that he didn't know he could...but he plugged away until it got finished. I am proud of him and I love him dearly.

I never pictured my life ending up this way. I always planned my life on the east coast, with a man who fawned over me and gave me a child and a house with a white picket fence. Our life is not like that--not nearly. But I honestly can say I don't regret a minute of it. This man has enriched my life and I love him for it.

Kisses, baby. I love you.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mad insights

I started therapy a month ago.

I know, I know. Lots of people think it's quack science. Hell, I went to school for it for two years and sometimes *I* think it's quack science. The goal of this therapy isn't to lie on a couch and revisit the pain my mother has inflicted on me. We've moved a long way away from those Freudian days, thank God. Can you imagine, laying on some man's couch alone for hours revisiting every perceived slight so he can tell you that you wish you had a penis? Then he leaves to snort a line of coke? No offense, Freud, but you were quite the man.

Instead, I get to visit with Scott. No couch, no coke. Once a week, I visit his office and bare my soul. I've been there twice, after I decided my life was taking me along for the ride and I felt I had no control anymore. His office is in a training facility, which means everything is videotaped. One of the basic tenets of therapy is confidentiality between patient and therapist. So the videotaping is still a bit unnerving to me. Sometimes I find myself talking to the videocamera, and wondering what that looks like on the other end. Do they think I'm nuts?

I've been in therapy many times before. You can't go through life with a mother as a social worker and not find yourself in therapy at some point or another. As a kid, we went to family therapy, and as a teen, I had two therapists who made a deep impression on my life. The first was my individual therapist. I will never forget the day that I was raging against my mother in the therapist's office. She listened quietly, and finally made the following statement: "At some point, you have to stop blaming your mother for your life and take responsibility for yourself." God, I was angry at her. Didn't she know her job was to support me? My mom was being selfish and I had every right to be angry! That worked until I figured out she was right. The second therapist that made a big difference to me was a family therapist we had at the same time. Through her gentle ways and explorations, she brought me to more understanding about myself and my family than I ever thought possible. She went a long way in mending the relationship between me and my father, which had always been strained. Because of her work, and our desire to have a positive relationship, we now have a loving relationship that I'm proud of. I had struggled through college, and I remember as I was getting ready to graduate, the doorbell ringing. She had sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to congratulate me. In therapy circles, this type of thing is severely frowned upon, but in this instance, I think it was incredibly healing. I still remember her with fondness because she was able to recognize the struggle I had gone through to get to where I was at.

Which brings me to Scott. I had always sworn I would never have a male therapist. Men don't understand women, I thought. How in the world can you understand what my life is like? I do believe that gender differences, especially in the part of the world I live in, play a huge part in disparities between the sexes, discrimination issues and women overall being viewed as second class citizens. But my experiences with my son have led me to understand that there ARE many men in the field of social work that understand children and family issues, as well as therapeutic interventions necessary for healing. Because I perceived that many of my stresses are due to the relationship between my son and myself, I wanted someone who could help me develop more strategies in working with him. So when I called to pick a therapist, I agreed to see a man.

Enter Scott. He's younger than me, which made me uncomfortable right off. He also looks like the dad of a kid I used to teach, which kind of made me giggle on the inside. Our first session he spent most of the time looking at me with his best empathic expression while I poured my soul out to him and went through more than my fair share of Kleenex. But he was nice, and I agreed to come back.

I'm a talker. Give me an hour and I can fill it easily with all of the things going through my brain at any given time. I know I must drive my friends and husband crazy when they have to listen to me. Not only do I talk, butI talk in circles, as worry encompasses me and I'm convinced how terrible things are going to go. Within five minutes of our second session, Scott had nailed this. We began to talk about worry. How I worry, why I worry, what the purpose of my worry might be. He asked me questions and pointed ideas out that nobody--NOBODY--had ever pointed out to me before. And I don't mean the kind of stuff that often comes out in therapy--you know, the same stuff your mom or husband, or best friend said to you gently and you huffed back, "Yeah, right!". No. Scott introduced ideas I'd never even thought of. Give the man a prize.

I left our session this time knowing that I will make progress toward my goals. How? Because this guy isn't just sitting around giving me his best empathic impression and nodding his head. He actually thought about me. He thought about how I think. He thought about how I process things and that I have reasons for the things I do. And he has serious mad skills working with children like my son. So we're a good fit.

It's always a gamble to tell people, "I'm in therapy". I see therapy as a tool, like any other, to move yourself along when you get to a point that things aren't working for you. For me, I need clarity. I need to make decisions and I need better coping mechanisms in my personal life. So now I have a date, once a week, with my own personal insight guru. And as scared as I am to think about things in new and different ways, I'm excited about what I am going to learn about myself along the way, with the help of Scott.

Go Scott. You rock.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Good news. So good I dare say it out loud.

My mother's test results are coming back in, and slowly but surely, her specialist is concluding that she does NOT have the terminal illness she had been told she had. In fact, they are now planning to do a minor outpatient biopsy in the office instead of the two- to three-day hospitalization originally planned to explore her lungs.

Gratitude and thankfulness hardly begin to express the relief we all are feeling. From what I hear in her voice, her energy is returning and she is once again enjoying her life. She continues to have some issues that are still unexplained and will continue to require additional testing; however, those concerns are not life threatening.

As I proceed through this year, one of the goals I have for myself is to begin to see the glass half full more often. Today I faced some frustrations regarding my job and had a choice to make as I began writing: do I write about the wrongs or do I praise God for the miracle of my mother? Really, is that a serious choice?

I can bury myself in all of the worries that crop up in my life or I can rejoice in the love and miracles that occur around me each day. As one of my good friends pointed out the other day, none of us are guaranteed a minute longer on this earth. But knowing that my mother isn't face a painful, imminent death is such a huge blessing. Thank you, God. Thank you for my mom.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunshine and Music and Teeth

When I had been teaching young children for about four years, I became aware of a children's singer named Raffi. We had this album of his at work and it was absolutely wonderful. The kids loved it and I grew to love it too. Raffi has recorded many albums over the years, including one for adults and one focusing on environmental issues. He is still one of my favorite children's recording artists. His songs bring about what I would consider sunshine in the soul.

Raffi came to mind a few minutes ago as I was noticing the sun outside. He had recorded a song about the sun shining down, and as I looked out the window, this song suddenly ran through my head. Too many years of teaching young children will do that to you. Other people hear "Sunshine on my Shoulders"; I hear "Mr. Sun". Regardless of what you hear in those moments, it made me stop and think about two things. First, how wonderful it is to actually see the sun again after such a long, cold winter. I live in a place where we may get one snowfall a year--this year we probably had half a dozen. And not only did it snow, but it was bitterly cold...and there were plenty of days that it was just warm enough to rain cold, miserable drops. The sun seemed to have disappeared for weeks on end. But now here it is, returning to us. I hear birds when I wake up again. Grass is starting to grow. Goodbye to a long, cold winter!

I also thought, though, about Raffi and his ability to capture children's imaginations and bring such joy to people through music.

The other day, one of the children in my class lost a tooth. I promised him that we would sing a song to celebrate losing his tooth. I sometimes dig myself in kind of deep with the crazy promises I make to kids. I pondered that song off and on for a couple of days and didn't come up with anything. The pressure was on. Finally, when it was time to show everyone what had happened, I pulled some ridiculous song out at the last minute about losing a tooth. It was simple enough the kids could sing along. I felt kind of silly--I mean, it was about two lines long. But the kids liked it, and the child who lost a tooth felt special.

I'm no Raffi. But I try to treat the children in my class with respect and with honor when it comes to things they consider important. Often times I think that it may just be the little things, like the tooth song, that make the difference for a child in how s/he feels in the classroom and about his or her teacher. And if it brings happiness, why not sing a two line ditty about losing a tooth?

Talk about random posts. So the moral is to enjoy the sunshine and enjoy your teeth! And enjoy any songs that someone might sing to you about them. :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Worries and friendships

I achieved something noteworthy yesterday. I made it to Spring Break.

Thank God, I thought. This semester has been so incredibly stressful that all I could do some days is charge focus on the moment and moving forward. The last few weeks, I just kept reminding myself that Spring Break was around the corner, and with it, a break for me from a bit of responsibility as well as the opportunity to enjoy visiting with some people I haven't seen in awhile.

I had a nice conversation with a close friend this morning. We talked a lot about the process of worrying. Worry itself can be so intensely draining. I've been a worrier all my life. One of my friends jokes that if I had nothing to worry about I would invent something. That's probably true. And it's something that I've become keenly aware of; it robs me of time and pleasure in my life. Anyway, the friend I was talking with this morning has the same problem--letting her worries get the better of her at times. This reflection led us into a conversation about gratitude. Our needs to recognize it, to acknowledge it, to focus more on it. What makes us happy.

I have a friend that I keep up with on Facebook whose posts always make me think about the kind of life I'd like to lead. This person gardens, bakes bread, spends time with her little son, and just seems to enjoy the everyday pleasures that so many of us rush through. I so enjoy reading her posts, seeing her pictures, and thinking about how she spends her days. It's kind of my fantasy, to be able to live a life like that. I don't know that I would be good at it but I so wish I could be. And I'm so very happy for her that she is so good at it, selfishly perhaps, because it provides me wonderful ideas and images of how much life has to offer us if we slow down and enjoy it.

I'm so grateful for my friends. For friends I can call and talk about my worries. For friends that can joke with me about my less-than-flattering attributes. For friends who inspire me to slow down and taste my life. As much as I tend to get lost in my worries, I am truly blessed to have such wonderful, loving people in my life. Someone once said that friends are the family you choose for yourself. Two lovely families. God smiles on me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Lately I've been letting this blog slide in favor of trying to make it through my day more successfully. I'm not sure I'm succeeding.

I think I said this recently, but sometimes life just sucks. And right now my life feels like it's sucking me dry. My job is eating me alive. I feel like the lifeblood inside of me is being drained bit by bit with every hour in the office. It's not teaching itself. It's all of the other things I have to do.

My son came home at noon today. He had a rough day at school and ended up melting down, crying, and the school called to get him. From middle school. And I wonder if he'll ever be able to cope with life. But then again, I'm not coping so hot myself.

My sweet "Hannah", who I referred to previously, continues her battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Reading her struggles is difficult. Knowing how her mother--such a wonderful friend of mine--is struggling through it, makes me feel selfish and self-absorbed. How dare I? My child isn't facing death. My child isn't hustled to a hospital four hours away every two weeks to make slow improvements with the hopes that she will continue to grow stronger and heal.

No. My child is dealing with the realities of life. Detentions for perceived "talking back" when he's making statements that seem obvious to him. Struggling to be understood in a world he doesn't understand. A world that, right now, I don't understand so well myself.

I hurt everywhere, all the time. My muscles ache from the tension and knots I live with in worry. My head hurts from the aching of all the thinking I do, all the "what ifs?" I ask myself every day. Some days I just want to curl up in bed and forget there's a life outside of these four walls. But I don't. I get dressed. I take my daughter to school and tell her I love her. I teach my courses and pray I make it through the day with my tears suppressed. I pick up my children from school and try to have happy conversations with them.

And then, when I'm alone...then. The unfairness of it all. The unfairness of twelve year olds who never had chances because of the choices their mothers made before they were born; the unfairness of wonderful mothers and grandmothers with incurable diseases that will eventually rob them of their lives; the unfairness of seventeen-year olds fighting so hard to take one step forward after so much effort. The unfairness of a life I never imagined I would have to face.

Monday, March 1, 2010

You know who you are

Last night, someone I care about said some things to me that upset me a lot.

We were discussing the future of my son. What's best for him. I don't know what's best for him and I've never said I did. Everything I do is after agonizing for extended lengths of time and gathering tons of information and making "best guesstimations". Lately I've been considering some measures that I never thought I would.

What brought me to this point? Fear, I guess. That and stress. Worries about my mom, my career, my family, others that I love. Wanting guarantees about things that I'll never have guarantees on. Oh, and pain. That's probably part of the equation too.

At any rate, this person questioned me. Hard. She holds strong opinions for good reasons. She's tough (God, do I have anyone who isn't tough in my life? It's doubtful.) and she echoed the doubts I have flying around at any given time in my head.

My first response was devastation, hurt, pain. I thought she had "understood", whatever that means.

Now I've had a whole day to think about it. I still don't know how I feel, exactly, but I do know this.

She made me think harder about my situation.
She made me think more about the commitments I've made and what those commitments mean.
And she stirred up a fire in me.

If she reads this, she'll know who she is. My feelings are still hurt. So are hers, I imagine. But see, I want you to know this--I won't give up. I wasn't going to before, but goddammit, I'm not a quitter.

I'm in this for life. And you can bet your ass on that. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reminding me of that...tears and all.

And let me assure you--this post is snark-free.