There is so much going through my head right now that I'm surprised my little pea brain hasn't exploded! I don't know whether to try to break it up into a bunch of little posts or just go with one long one. I also don't even know where to begin.
I guess I'll start here. Yesterday marked the 28th month of James' passing. The last few 6ths have not been too bad but the days leading up to yesterday were pretty brutal. It doesn't help that this coming Friday is his birthday. And there is stress over the new house, there is stress over the New Guy and I am suffering from the winter blahs. It is weird to be saying that on the 7th of June, but it's true. The weather has been so dreary and nasty lately-much more like winter than late spring. We have already exceeded our average rainfall for the entire month and while it is nice and sunny right now, another storm is expected to blow through tomorrow night. I'm not the only one feeling it. All around me are people who are down in the dumps and/or have no energy. And I am sure I'm not the only one who is sick of their winter clothes!
I have also been forced to recognize some changes in myself that I should have seen but really didn't, which have come as a bit of a shock and which I will get to, and I can't help but wonder how James would feel about this version of me-would I still be as attractive to him?
The last several months have been up and down with the braces. My appointments have been 4 weeks apart and have been bouncing back and forth between me getting them off "soon" and "not for a long time." It has been very frustrating, not to mention painful. Each adjustment leaves me feeling like I have been punched in the jaw for about a week. At my last appointment, which was on the 1st, I was told I would be getting them off on 6/14. Then they called today. When the gal said "we have you scheduled to come in for removal on the 14th..." I thought "Oh HELL no. You are not pushing that back!" Turns out she was calling for the opposite reason. They had a cancellation tomorrow and were calling to see if I wanted to take the spot. So the braces come off tomorrow. I'll believe it when they are gone.
James died about a week after we found out I might need them, so my getting them was part of the first chapter of my life without him. And that chapter is now coming to a close. An entire chapter he was not a part of. One of what will be many he is not here to witness. I sat at my desk crying over that for a bit this afternoon. I sent out a text and e-mails to my closest friends to tell them the good news, but there was no special someone to tell first. I wonder, will there ever be a special someone to tell the good news to first again? I also wonder what people who have never seen me without them will think. I have had several people tell me I have a great smile. Will they still think so when the metal is gone? Or will I be less attractive to them?
I am taking a line dance class. Today was class number 4 of 7. It's okay. I think we are learning some of the older, less popular dances and I'm not sure I will ever actually do them outside of class, other than "The Electric Slide" and "The Boot-Scoot Boogie." Ten years ago, when I first started dating James, I was taking a dance class-it was my second go-around with beginning tap dance. I had always wanted to learn and was taking the class through Portland Parks and Rec. I had just started the class and didn't attend very many of them, choosing to spend the time with James instead (and I doubt I remember any of the steps). Now here it is 10 years later, taking a dance class and I just started dating someone new. But I don't think it is going to have the same ending as I believe it has already ended. In another 10 years from now, will I be starting yet another dance class and will I have just started dating another new person?
This should almost have its own post, but I am on a roll. I had decided I wouldn't think about dating again until the braces came off. (I also decided I wasn't going to post anything more about New Guy). Clearly that didn't happen as I met New Guy in April. There were a series of interesting things that happened up to that point: having a reading with my friend's mom in which she said I would meet the man I marry in the spring, my horoscope saying April was the best time to meet someone and my friend and I both having dreams on the same night in February about me needing to be somewhere; in my dream it was the second Meetup event of the day. In her dream, I didn't notice a guy with dark, wavy hair and "weird" eyes standing by my car because I was in a hurry to get somewhere-the man she just knew I was supposed to be with.
I met New Guy, who has dark, wavy hair and weird eyes on 4/24 at my second Meetup event of the day. But in true cosmic joke fashion, it would appear he has lost interest and is now blowing me off (A-this is why I gave you a pillow this morning. It's so it doesn't hurt so much when you bang your head against your desk). Inner Heather says he is going to call. But I haven't actually spoken to him in a little over two weeks and he has made no effort to try to contact me in over a week. Rule #1 of "He's Just Not That Into You": he's just not that into you if he's not calling. (Or texting, e-mailing, sending smoke signals, etc). I don't know what went wrong-when he lost interest. Was it something I did or said? Was it even me? Closure would be nice. Blowing someone off, and especially doing it by ending a message with "hopefully we can get together soon," is pretty rude. I'm disappointed, but on a typical Wednesday morning 28 months ago, the man I planned to spend the rest of my life with went to work and came home in an urn. While it sucks, being blown off by someone I was casually dating for a month is nothing. And while I would love to tell New Guy the braces are coming off and talk about the one dance in class I just cannot grasp, right now James is the one I miss. And I'm not looking forward to having to tell the people in the Meetup group who know we were dating (and think we still are) that is no longer the case, though one of them will be thrilled and will probably log on to the site to send him an e-mail from her phone before I even get the words out of my mouth. Even though I know there could be a 1,000 reasons for it, I still feel like a rejected loser. I feel like Meredith on "Grey's Anatomy"-I want to say to him "Pick me. Choose me. Love ME." (Ironically, I thought she was pretty pathetic in that scene-but that's how I feel. Pathetic. "What's so wrong with you that you can't attract a man?" Dad asked. "If anything goes wrong, it's going to be your fault," both parents cautioned when I first started dating James. Their words haunt me once again).
But there is a reason for everything and from this experience I have learned I am ready to date should the right person come along ("He's going to call," Inner Heather insists). Even if I can't tell him, I am grateful to New Guy for showing me that. But part of me wonders if it is better to still be wondering if I am ready or to know I am and not have any prospects?
The other thing to come out of this is the realization of how much I have changed, which I eluded to above. The biggest pro and con to New Guy is he is nothing like James. I know it is wrong to compare but it is also hard not to. It is a pro because I now know I couldn't date someone like James, nor do I want to. He was one of a kind, as was our relationship, and if I met someone too much like him, I would have preset expectations for how he should be. That wouldn't be fair to him, to James' memory or to me. It is a con because the only relationship I have had (out of 4, including high school) that lasted for more than about a month is James. So I really only know how to date someone like James. James was the social one and the life of the party. He's the one everyone knew when we went out and I was the quiet one. I have gone to a couple of Meetup events with New Guy and I was the social one that everyone knew and he was the quiet one (he's very quiet and introspective). It was a complete role reversal and it caught me off-guard. Taking him out of the equation, there is a part of me that is sitting here thinking "WTF?!?! When did I become a social butterfly? When did I become the popular one?" Part of me likes it, but part of me is afraid of the change and just wants old, familiar, shy, mousy Heather back. I want to recognize who I see when I look in the mirror. And I'm also afraid that all these new friends of mine are going to disappear too.
Of course, I hope Inner Heather is right. I know New Guy is extremely busy with work right now (Bitter Heather: "It takes 2 minutes to send a text message to someone to tell them you are on their mind. Okay, it takes most people 2 minutes. (It takes me about 5)). It is possible he really was out of town the last two weekends and hey, maybe something happened to his phone. Or maybe he's just an ass. (Deep down I don't believe that). Maybe this was just a break so I could come to terms with my new self. Maybe he was only supposed to tell me I am ready for the next phase of my life.
Maybe I should stop trying to figure everything out (like that's going to happen) and just go with the flow. That sounds like something James would have done-and it sounds like what New Heather was doing until a boy came along and messed it all up.