No! Vember

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I had a bad day at work. Here’s one thing to know about Leos; we’re great at success and terrible at failure.

I had a bad sleep last night. Three people DO NOT fit in a Queen sized bed, no matter how much they like each other. I’m getting night sweats like you wouldn’t believe, and I’m in the middle so there’s no place to go. This was the second night in a row of bad sleep.

I’ve had the blahs for about a week, which is so unusual with a full moon. Usually I’m bubbly and creative and filled with energy.

This morning I packed my overnight things and my computer, deciding that my bad mood and I were going to seek refuge at the Fortress of Solitude where I have not slept since August. I don’t have words to talk about what I’m feeling, and my new family does not need an Eyore moping around our apartment. My poor partners were surprised by this, but made a real effort to give me space.

As the bad day at work wore on I started to imagine myself alone in my former apartment, now piled with boxes and costumes that desperately need sorting, and this began to feel pathetic.

My family headed to their old suburb today to get the girls their H1N1 vaccine, and are having dinner with their old neighbours. This only added to my misery, and I began to feel sorry for myself for being left out. I’m not sure what kind of crazy person feels left out of getting a giant needle, but there you have it.

Then, at 1:45 I had a reality check.

I’m allowed to have growing pains, and I’m allowed to be under the weather sometimes. Even if it’s an extended period like the month of November. (I hate you November).  I can accept that, and since my moodiness mostly manifests in a more somber Schnoo, I think my partners are fine with this too. What I can’t deal with is not understanding exactly what’s wrong with me, and so I attempted to figure this out on my crisp bike ride home:

1.)    Residual pain and anxiety surrounding fertility and the trauma of a miscarriage

2.)    Displacement – although my partners make an effort every day to make me feel at home in their apartment, which though currently a bit cluttered is actually really gorgeous, it is not my home. More importantly, it is not OUR home. In “conventional” relationships it’s hard enough to move into someone else’s space. Try to imagine, if you will, living in a space where you have no room for most of your personal possessions, and where you are surrounded by larger-than-life reminders of a whole world that happened before you were around.  I don’t know exactly why this should bother me, but it does. Maybe because this seriously unique relationship is so new I sometimes feel threatened by the strength of all of the history my partners have together. They share over a decade together and two gorgeous children. I’ve arrived with some feathers and sequins. And some serious baggage. When I’m in a funk, I think of the one and only time I got fired from a job – they had to make cutbacks and I was the new girl, so I was the first to go.

3.)    Fear. Wow. I said it. Another thing to know about Leos; we don’t admit to this very often. I’m afraid of EVERYTHING that isn’t related to work right now. My recent relationship history has taught me many lessons – many lasting life lessons. I cannot settle into a comfortable groove that lasts more than a week or so because I am terrified. Of what, you ask? Let’s see; betrayal, imbalance between the three of us creating a world of heartache, not giving enough, my own feelings of jealousy that sometimes arise, that I will be left behind, that something horrible will happen when my boyfriend talks to his parents about us, that these two beautiful little girls will grow to resent me because adding me into their family will come with some stigma, that I’ll always feel like I’ve latched on to someone else’s fully-realized life, that one or both of my partners will no longer find me attractive, that one or both of my partners will get tired of me, or tired of our circumstances. Wait. That’s it. I’m afraid that someone is going to decide this whole thing is a bad idea. Oh my god. I have abandonment fear. I’m afraid of being left behind, and so I am examining every single fissure with a fine lens to find excuses to be unsettled, because settling in means that I am vulnerable to shock and surprise when the bottom drops out of my nest. Holy god, I’ve become one of those people.

4.)    I don’t have a four right now. I think that numbers 1 through 3 are more than enough.

When I was a little girl, my mother used to always tell me how impatient I was. This hasn’t gone away, and in fact, might be one of my biggest issues. I don’t trust process, or time, but I think I’d better resolve this because ONLY with process and time will I be able to see that I have little to fear from this relationship. I mean. we’re talking about finding OUR place together in the New Year. That’s only months away! And grumbling about missing my old apartment is only a reflection of my control issues. I don’t feel like I’m in control of my home environment. I realize it should be a shared control, but I also realize I’m subject to the occasional foible. Since I’ve started working from home, I’ve dealt with a broken dryer and a mountain of laundry, and have now started taking on organizing the place one room at a time. When I walked my bike into this place tonight, and turned on the lights, loaded the dishwasher, grabbed a perfectly crisp McIntosh apple and sat down to write this, I felt completely at home. What’s more, I also felt loved, and like there will continue to be light at the end of the tunnel, as long as I’m choosing to look ahead towards it, rather than down, or backwards from where I came.

Backwards from where I came. That’s it too. I know on some unconscious level choosing a relationship that is ENTIRELY different from any that has come before in my life was a way to protect myself on some levels. I also believe it’s a product of my own personal evolution. This is a classic case of easier said than done, but I have to make a promise to myself to start each and every day recognizing that these two people are new, and are in no way, shape, or form comparable to the people who have caused me pain in the past.  We three are all making huge compromises to make this work because WE LOVE EACH OTHER. Loving people should be so much simpler, no?

And so, here is a list of things that will buoy me up and get me over this late autumn hump:

Crafts with the girls in preparation for our home made Christmas tree
McIntosh apples
Crisp bike rides
My girlfriends and their babies
Weekend farmer’s markets and then cooking dinner with my family
Creating the Les Coquettes holiday show
Bubble baths!
Organizing OUR home
TV – renting a stellar HBO series and watching it curled up on the sofa with my tribe and a glass of red wine. I’m craving Deadwood, which neither of them have seen
The winter fair at the girls’ school. I’m actually making crafts for this!
Dinner with my family – my bio family AND my new family all under one roof
Letters to and from Alexandra
Pumpkin curry
The gym (I don’t know how I came to like this, but I really, really do)
Writing, writing, writing (I feel better already!)

I think that’s a good start. I’m sure there’s more, and feel free to send suggestions. I refuse to let a month on the calendar overcome me. I’m a lion for heaven’s sake.

If you’re reading this, it’s because I’ve had a long, lovely talk with my partners. I think I owe it to them to explain why I attempted to run away from home before I share it with the rest of the cyber universe.

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First Night, One Year Later

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The first of July is a big day for me. Leading up to this day, I always feel displaced, anxious, and melancholic, and I usually forget why. Then, at some point around noon, on Canada’s bithday, I remember.

On July 1st, Four years ago, I sat alone in the dark on the balcony of my penthouse apartment over-looking Lake Ontario in Burlington. There were fireworks all along the harbour, and my boxer-mastiff Dudley was snoring at my feet as I was sipping wine. My ex-husband was gone, and never coming back, and someone new had planted something deep and inevitable in my heart. My life had utterly changed, and I felt completely and totally lost. The only thing that kept me rooted in the world that night was the moon, full and beautiful, and constant.

One year ago today, alone again, I declared it “first night” in The Fortress, and against the backdrop of another fireworks display, on another penthouse patio I toasted my freedom, and gave the moon a rueful shake of my head.

Today, as the sun arcs across the sky, and the promise of the approaching night cools the late afternoon breeze, I am still alone. I am stronger now, my home is filled with all of my things, and has been graced by my dearest friends many times over. Arthur now snores at my feet, tired from a swim in the lake and travelling across the city on the streetcar. I am o.k. I’ve lived with myself for an entire year, finding myself to be a most well-suited companion. The ache for someone to love is waning, mostly. I’ve planted a container garden of colourful flowers on my little terrace, and tonight I look forward to sitting there quietly, alone, to toast the moon. I’ll raise a glass to my own courage, and my tenacity. To my capacity for love and forgiveness. To my fragile, yearning heart, my thirst for life, and my profound gratitude for all of the incredible beauty that surrounds me.

If the moon completes her cycle, and I find myself still alone next year, I really don’t think that will be so bad.