Saturday, May 29, 2010

Freeing me, Freeing him

On the heels of my last post about Emotional IQ, I write about my emotions. Did I tell you that earlier this month my first wrote me an email to tell about about how much he would ALWAYS love me and that he was going to ask his boyfriend to marry him?

(I don't make this shit up - the ridiculousness of it is just about right for the shit I deal with)

He wrote: I did promise myself years ago that I would make love last next time. I think I truly can this time. But I couldn't in good conscience tell [my boyfriend] how special he is to me without telling the first man to fill and break my heart that I will spend my years and death loving him too.

My roommate came into my room the night I read this in Chicago ... I don't even remember what he wanted. But whatever my grunt of a response was, he said, "are you ok?"

I was processing the whole of his email - I mean, we revisited this thing already and I don't want to spend the rest of my life reliving this shit. I don't want to live in the past. We were young, we were stupid .. and now we're 700 miles apart and I didn't really find him at all attractive when I saw him last year (after 12 years of pining for him!) and realizing that he was wanting my blessing to move on was a bit heavy on me.

So, I mustered all the grown-man I had in me and responded:

I am so glad you are where you are, that you can more than entertain the notion of a lifelong love ... that you are actually embarking on that journey. I do understand that no one else could ever be first, but I'm sure [your boyfriend] is better in every way ... more recent, more close, more there - and loving me pales in comparison with being IN love, in every way. Go, with my blessing, and be the best husband you can be.

Tonight he changed his FB status to "engaged." His boyfriend has said yes ... and deep down inside I'm happy for him. I really, truly am. On the surface, however, it stings slightly that he never, EVER responded to my email ... and I feel used. Like, he read my response - got from it the green light that he wanted and I didn't even get a thank you.

So, here I am, ready to let it go with two simple words:

You're Welcome.

Emotional IQ

I must admit that my emotional intelligence quotient had lagged behind the rest of me by at least a decade. I remember college well, in that I spent a LOT of time crying and moping and letting everything fester. When I lost my first love, I hit the lowest low I thought possible. I opined for many years. MANY.

And then there was my divorce - I was riddled with Christian guilt, couldn't figure out how to get out of a marriage I didn't want but that God wouldn't let me out of ... couldn't figure out how to enjoy my sexuality without making Jesus cry ... so instead, I had a melt down.

Suicidal ideations began at that time and I caught myself (Mainly because I just don't want to die!) and had to figure out how to get it all together. I was bluntly honest about things at that time and I was able to get through it. I bottled in a lot of issues and let it all out that one day when I had a nervous breakdown of sorts ... my then-wife took me to the stress center and I ended up seeing a counselor for some time thereafter to get it all situated and get my head on straight.

Funny, though, that I didn't realize how far I'd come with regard to my emotional IQ. Over the past 6 months I've been dealing with feelings for two very different people ... feelings that I had decided a while ago were just completely misplaced. So, I said nothing. I dealt with it in that very same way I learned how to from my counselor from back in the day (it's been YEARS since I've seen him and his shit STILL works!).

Recently there was one little small issue I needed resolved, and it's done. I got what I needed and after one day of feeling bad about it, I'm good to go.

No tears - no whining ... no nothing. Just a clear head, a sound mind and a newfound realization about how much I love me, how much I can handle and how far I've come in determining what's important to stress over and what is simply not an issue.

... of course, my kids are with they momma in Orlando and I thought I was going to have a heart attack that morning knowing they were surrounded by aircraft grade aluminum shooting through the sky without me. I don't care what ANYBODY says ... I'll always be an emotional wreck when it comes to them. I so love my babies.

Did I actually grow up? Wow. 21 weeks without a cig, 5+ months without sex ... I've taken up running (half marathon in September!) ... and I'm growed up? Who knew!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Finishing Touches

I have been working on my plan to be debt free by the time I'm 40. It's taken some real patience that I simply don't have. Whle talking to a friend, it occurred to me that I could borrow money from my 401(K) and pay MYSELF back.

I looked into it and I think it will keep a lot of nonsense at bay. So, I'm in the process of borrowing about 30% of the current value of my portfolio, to be completely paid back by the time I'm 39. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it sooner. The payments are so much more doable and I'm paying MYSELF back with interest and really it makes no sense to have all that money sitting there making 2% in the current market when I'm now paying upwards of 15-20% to carry balances on credit cards.

Once this process is done (by July 1, for sure) my stress level will decline considerably.

It all came to a head when I freaked out at my monthly payments to credit cards and how much I owe and I immediately wanted a cigarette. I'm 20 weeks since my last cigarette, after being a fiend for a cigarette for 15 years, and this cannot be the catalyst that takes me backwards. Towards that end, folks, my borrowing from my 401(K) is a good idea. I can't, I can't, I CAN'T become a smoker again.

AND, it gets me all out of unsecured debt by age 40. Good. (And truth be told, I don't see a stark rise in the markets now that the Gulf of Mexico is actually a sludge of gunk)

Now, I've GOT to get my arms around my own budget and I've GOT to stick to it. I'm going to focus n that next and really budget my expenses, which quickly got out of hand the last 2 years as I tried to juggle living in two cities by spending on a whim and without thought.

If you've got any budgeting ideas, share them. But please keep in mind that I prefer to use spreadsheets because I'm good at them and if I add another thing to do (like learn a new software program) I might lose my mind ....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Unrequited Like, The Haunting Past and A dog.

I have had my full of emotions for the time being. I've been holding in too much shit and I just about had me an anxiety attack last night for trying to be all things to all people, trying to do too much again ... trying to do it all, bare it all and say nothing .

You know, I do know better. And it's been a conscious effort on my part to put on a strong front. I suppose my mini meltdown was inevitable. I can at least say that it didn't drive me to drink or smoke - instead, I focused on the things I could change and I changed them. I think maybe I *am* gettin' my grown man on.

Unrequited Like
There's no harm in liking someone for who they are, and I admit that I've had me my own little crush for a while now. I'm sure he knows and I'm sure I don't care that he does. I'm not ridiculous about it and I'm quite clear that the sentiment is no reciprocated. My problem is that I've entertained it for way too long in my head and didn't realize how much until there were several days in a row I woke up with him on my mind. Laying in bed there about the fourth or fifth day of this happening, I thought - What the fuck am I doing? And then I resolved to make some changes. Since I made that decision, there have indeed been consecutive days without him on my mind first thing in the morning. So, some progress.

The Haunting Past
My first love ends up sending me a message on facebook. I didn't realize what I was in for when I opened it, but it was a rehashing of his feelings for me, feelings that are some 13 years old now, and I wasn't ready for that. I really wasn't. I was a mess after reading it - because, look, he and I finally got back in touch a year ago to find out that we opined for each other for years and years and never knew it. I loved him - loved him HARD and he'll always be my "first." But did he really need to email me that he will "always, ALWAYS" love me? That I will always be his first love? That he needed me to know that before he asked his boyfriend to marry him?

Seriously - it was a bit of a dramatic, gay, Gemini mess.

(that upset me and left me to cry myself to sleep that night - but you didn't hear that from me)

Financial Messiness
I sorta forgot to carry over an uncashed check from March into my May financial register. It was my IRS check for over $1,000.00. Clearly, I've been in lala land. It came on through the bank like a bull in a china shop. And what bounces? My rent check to my roommate.

I had the money in another account, though, so I handed him the cash as soon as he told me it bounced. I swear to God that was stressful. My mind's just not been right, you see.

The dog
My roommate and I agreed that I would take his dog to Indianapolis and if the dog adjusted, then I would keep him. Except, it was a bad idea. As soon as we got here last night, the dog went ape shit. Oh, did I mention he's a pit bull and my mother-in-law (my roommate here in Indianapolis) has a poodle?

Clearly, not well planned nor well timed. I should have invited my roommate down with the dog for several visits before I brought the dog down here alone. Fucking pit bull jumped on every bed n the house, was up on the kitchen counter and was trying to stomp on the poodle ...

I thought I was going to stroke out right there.

I took the dog back this morning - napped for 2 hours and drove back to Indy. So last night, I drove to Indy from Chicago - this morning drove BACK to Chicago and this afternoon came BACK to Indy.

Smooth waters
I came back to my kids - who missed me as I've missed them. My son seemed down.
"What's the matter?" I asked.

"I missed you"

"I missed you too. SO much," I said and I held him for a little bit.

My daughter walked in the house and said, "I *so* missed this house!"

And then I realized that everything was going to be ok. The dog is gone, I gave my first love my blessing to go get married, I'm working on getting over liking the dude who clearly doesn't care that I exist romantically, my checkbook is balanced again ... and my kids' faces have calmed the anxiety within me that I was sure was to kill me last night.

I love the SHIT out my kids. I don't know what I would do if I wasn't a daddy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Come here doggie ...

If I don't find this damn dog already ...