Friday, October 31, 2008

no, really I like my job

The last entry was so short....I had to leave just when I'd gotten started with it.

I really like the job. It's a good working environment. They pay me fairly. I even have paid lunch hours, which is totally weird - not that I'm complaining or anything. Don't let anyone tell you that there's no difference between non-profit and for-profit child care. I've worked in both, and I would much rather put my trust (and my kids) in non-profit.

At my last shiatsu session, on Thursday, my therapist remarked on how good I am at manifesting what I need. A life on my own. People that care about me. A job. A child care subsidy. A car - yes, my dad is taking me car shopping tomorrow. I could probably keep the Focus if I wanted to, but I'm hoping to find something with lower payments.

Perhaps someday I can manifest a relationship for myself.

In the meantime, I am way too busy. I'm away from home 11 hours a day. Emily is with me on alternate days, and since I'm a "floater" I am in her room some of the time. Long enough to spend time with her, not too long for her to drive me crazy - she's testing me already.

And the little village where I work is an amazing place. Very small, very quiet. There are a lot of Mennonites, which adds to that old-fashioned aura. A river and a pond in the middle of town. The smell of apple cider wafts through the streets on windy days - there is a cider processing mill just a few steps away from the day care. Which, incidentally, has no parking lot - parents park in front. I am the only employee who drives to work.

Weird. But I like it. I could live there.

If I ever remember to buy batteries for the camera, I'll take pictures.

Happy halloween, everyone! My witchy friends and I are getting together to celebrate Samahain at a public ritual tomorrow night.

I am so to bed for me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm at work.

There is a computer.

In addition to my two hours of unpaid time off, I get a one hour paid lunch break. I don't know what to do with all this spare time.

I forgot my book.

Ironically, as soon as I get home, I'll be rushing to get everything done so that I can get to bed in good time, and get up again at 5:30 tomorrow morning. Going home on my time off just doesn't work when I live in a different place.

but I like it here, so that's all good.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

OC's questions answered

What is your favorite song?

My favourite song changes all the time. it's usually something that resonates with what's going on in my life right now. Lately, it's been Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." "Iowa" by Dar Williams, and I listen a lot to songs I am learning to play on guitar. Also a couple of yet-unreleased tunes - "Second Time Around" by Amy as an Indigo Girls tune. Kate has a song that will be on her upcoming CD, called "Rise Up" which is amazing - she played it for me in Michigan, and I cried. She performed it in concert that week, and I cried again. I think it's the part that goes something like "my heart's been frozen for so long...' that gets me, because it's exactly where I was for so long. She didn't play it last week (wrong kind of crowd). I recorded her in concert, but can't share.

Your favorite perfume/smell?

chocolate chip cookies in the oven, baking bread, autumn leaves, fresh snow

Dark or light beer?

Local and micro-brewed preferably. Dark is better than light.

Red or white wine?


Favorite mixed drink?

Beer and wine. That's it.

Favorite shot?

See above.

Your favorite weird comfort food?

Pistachios. Tomatoes and avocado with mayo in pita bread. Dal, or any kind of lovely curry. Mashed potatoes with rosemary. Diet Coke. Chocolate.

Your favorite color?

It changes. Right now it's the orange of the falling leaves.

Do you have an iPod?

A shuffle. I love it because it's so tiny, and it has a clip, so I can wear it when I walk or work out, and still have my hands free. I like the random aspect, too.

Favorite song in the whole world.

It changes by the day.

Mac or PC? Why?

PC, because my brother the priest gave it to me and it's all I have. I have successfully removed the religious-themed desktop and all other catholic paraphenalia. Someday I'd like to own a mac, but I need money first.


Two of my own, age 18 and 5. Lots of nieces and nephews. And I work with kids, so it sometimes feels like I have a very large family.

Perfect Passion Filled night?

I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Favorite kind of pasta?

Pasta is one of the things I can't eat, along with pizza. I sometimes eat rice pasta, because I can digest it, unlike pasta made with white flour. But it really doesn't appeal to me.

Favorite blog, (besides mine of course...hehe).

Earth Muffin, BearsMountain, Just Eat Your Cupcake, Mama Llama, MLC, the Wishful Writer, so many more, and I'm finding more every day....don't be offended if I left you off the list, I just have no memory when I'm put on the spot.

What is your biggest worry, social cause, passion??

Worry - I worry about everything. I tend to focus on peripherals in order to avoid bigger issues. Like, who's going to get the wok instead of my emotional state.

Social Cause - hmmm...women's and children's issues, poverty, native rights, feminism, gay rights, reproductive rights, environmentalism.

Passion - I'm passionate about passion and I hope to create some in my own life someday. Like, maybe within a relationship or something.

And I'm pretty passionate about music - hearing it and playing for myself. I set it aside for so long, when my life was all about someone else's interests, that I can't get enough of it now - live, CD, or on my ipod.

Any off the wall thing you want to tell me.

This may be TMI - but I really don't enjoy the celibacy side of being single.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This is my favourite time of year. I love the changes that autumn brings, the colours, the wind, the leaves that scatter across my path as I walk. I used to love this time of year because it was finally cool enough for me to tolerate the outdoors, but I must confess that this year I am a teency bit cold. Less insulation.

I pretty much missed out on autumn last year. For the early fall, I was housebound with my bad back, then I had surgery, and by the time I was really feeling better, autumn was over, winter had swept in and whitened the ground around me. I'm making up for it this year, with long walks in the cemetery near my house, long walks anywhere, I can't get enough of the outdoors, and I revel in the exercise that used to put me out of breath after a few short minutes of trying.

When I look back, I have a hard time believing that so many things have changed. Or rather, that I have made so many changes in my life. I'm starting to get more comfortable with the person I see in the mirror each morning, but more than that, I am acknowledging and honouring the person within, the person who is strong, and capable, and independent, who made all these changes because she wanted something more - and better - than what she had.

Materially, I was dandy. That's about it. Except for my kids, just about everything else rang hollow. I was a wannabe writer who never picked up a pen. I stayed in a sterile relationship because I was afraid. I could not acknowlege, to myself or anyone else, that I was queer. I lived someone else's life - because I was afraid. Afraid of my true nature, the unknown, the depth within that I had never explored, in 42 years of living.

That's not to say that fear doesn't still overtake me at times. I had about a month of uncertainty, of instability, because I wanted to be safe, I wanted what was familiar and stable in my life to keep going. I, the agent of change, wanted to reverse everything, because not moving forward is just so much - easier. In the short term. Ten years from now, I may look back and think that my problems were trivial. It's more likely that I'll see all the pivotal moments, and marvel at my own fortitude all over again.

I am strong and capable. I have never felt this strong, this capable. And for the last week or so, I have had inner calm and peace - a sense of knowing that what I'm doing is right. A knowing - I can be alone, but I need not, if I choose. Right now I choose, because I need time to myself, time to give me the things that I denied myself for years. I'm watching someone else choose differently, and that may be right for him, but I need space. Space to grieve, if I need to (but honestly, I don't feel grief-stricken at all. I think I'm past that).

And who's alone, really? My friends have all crawled out of the woodwork. I'm actually seeking them out, not jsut for support, but because I like them and I want to be around them. And I have the latitude to choose how and where I spend my free time. Nobody brooding in the basement and waiting for my ritual to be over, for people to leave so that he can load the dishwasher and sweep the crumbs. My family haven't really visited since we moved here, and yet all of them came for Thanksgiving, and we had a blast. I'm not alone at all.

In three days he'll be moving out. And I couldn't be happier about it. Now that I have work, I feel like the final piece of the puzzle is together. I don't think life will be much less stressful - after all, the daughter is coming home, and her boyfriend, and the cats. I don't think that life will be suddenly rosy and bright - there will be new stresses, and different things. But I know that I have what it takes to get through this time of great change, this season's pull into darkness and contemplation. And whatever is next for me, good or bad, I'm ready.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

about that universe thing

I got a job.

The job I wanted.

A job that pays more than I've ever made (although that's not saying much).

A job that is a 25 minute commute through quiet country roads instead of between two busy cities. (Ask me how much I love my quiet commute in February).

A job where I can bring my child to work with me.

A job in a non-profit centre, that's still growing.

A job where I can walk down country roads on my lunch break.

A job that allows me to keep this roof over my head, food on the table and financial independence for the first time in my life.

A job that means a lot to me, but not as much as my family, my kids, and my writing. I'll still have lots of time for the important things.

okay, I'll give it a whirl

I was tagged, twice. So OC, and MLC, here you go....

Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

* Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
* Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
* Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Seven facts....hmmm

1. Since the early summer, almost every time I remember a dream, there's a dog in it, somewhere. Usually the dog is close to me, standing around, or baring their teeth at someone who approaches me. Sometimes the dog in my dream is my own, and sometimes I meet a similar dog after dreaming about them. And while I love dogs, I wouldn't have described myself as a dog person until this summer. And the dogs love me - they seek me out, wag their tails, jump on my lap - and it's not just my imagination either. I've been thinking about getting another dog - but we'll wait and see what happens after the daughter returns home next week with her two cats.

2. I had gastric bypass surgery in October of 2007. Since then, I've lost 120 pounds. I've gone from a size 26 to a size 14. Sometimes I'm afraid that I won't stop losing after I reach my goal (170 - 10 pounds to go, I'm 5'8" and big boned). But often I forget that I don't weigh 300 pounds any more. I walk everywhere at night and never worry about whether or not I'm safe, because nobody in their right mind would tackle a 300 pound woman, right? And I think of myself as I used to - unsightly, heavy, unattractive. It's a dichotomy - I'm only comfortable in my own skin when I remember what I really look like.

3. I have social anxieties. Sometimes I am uncomfortable going places by myself(like to bars, not the mall, or grocery shopping etc), because I am afraid that there will be no one to talk to, and that I'll end up by myself all night long. Last Sunday my friend Kate was in town, performing at a local club, and I almost didn't go, because I didn't want to go alone. I had to give myself a good talking to, and in the end I went because I wanted to support her, and I knew she would be disappointed if I didn't go. And she lives in Vancouver, so I won't see her again for months. And guess what - I had a great time. I met a woman at the bar who was there to see one of the other performers, had a great conversation with her, and ended up sitting with Kate's partner and her family. Boy, do I feel stupid for being so anxious over nothing.

4. I have this weird obsession with this person:

and I have my knickers in a knot because she's playing in Toronto on November 4th. I am so going to be there.

And really, I am a friend of a friend of hers. Really.

My friends have been teasing me a lot about this, lately. That's what happens when you've come out, and then decided that you need to be on your own for a good - oh, eight or so months. You start fantasizing.

5. I have to eat the things on my plate that I like the least first, so that I can savour the things I like the best.

6. I really, really like women. Seriously.

7. My ex is moving out on Saturday, and I am so ready for him to go. I'll miss him, I still care about him, but it's time for me to lead my own life.

I'm breaking the rules about tagging. I think that everyone I know has already done it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the universe

...will provide. The universe really wants me to have a job. I have not one, but two interviews tomorrow. The first is with my local credit union - but the pay is awfully low and anything to do with financial services is a bit shaky right now. The second is at a child care in a small town nearby. new centre, and probably lots of opportunities.

And my interview on Saturday for the assistant supervisor position went really, really well. They gave me a tour of the centre on Tuesday and I met the kids and staff I would potentially be working with. Generally, that doesn't happen unless you're being seriously considered for the job. I'm waiting to hear back from them, but I'm also keeping all my options open at this point.

Something will come of this.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

two five-year-olds discuss politics

My friend's son comes to our house in the mornings for an hour, before he goes to school. I repeat and record this conversation for your reading pleasure.....

Me: Oh, today is election day. I need to vote.
M: what's voting
Me: I help decide who forms the next government.
M: Oh....of the country.
M: I wonder which man it's going to be.
E: It could be a girl, you know.
M: No it won't. It's always a man.
E: Well, I'm a girl.
M: You just don't know.
Me: It could be a girl. Or a boy. It depends on who can do the better job.
E: Mom, does it have to be me?
Me: No, sweetie.
E: Good. I don't think I could run a whole country.
M: I could. You just don't know.
Me: well, E, maybe that's something you'll choose to do when you're older.
E: If I have to do that, will you come with me?

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's THAT time of year in K-W - the bad, the good, and the honest

Okay, biggest Bavarian festival outside of Germany, and it literally takes place outside my door. What 's not to like? Music and food I grew up with. People are happy and laughing and waltzing around with their little green hats with feathers. Celebrate! Ein Prosit!

I live across the road from one of the four German clubs in the city. This past weekend and next I get to witness the results of Oktoberfest overindulgence. People stumbling around and shouting, and pissing on my front lawn at all hours of the morning. Beer. Music. More beer. Some bratwurst. More beer. Roll out he barrel. More beer. Walter Ostanek. More beer.

Today E and I watched the Oktoberfest parade, which takes place, again, right outside our house. She watches while covering her ears because the music is just too loud. She eats her freshly baked pretzel (which used to be one of my highlights, until surgery) and then we wander home. I like parades. Especially this one, because the music I hear is the music of my childhood, and I remember, fondly, being whirled around at family weddings, too small to dance on my feet, to the polkas that are blared from loudspeakers as the floats pass by.

I get it. We all need something to celebrate. Why not?

But when my former partner, who has displayed nothing but disdain for such displays of nationalism in the past, announces that he will be attending such festival with his new girl, well that sticks in my craw.He rationalizes that because she's German, he gets to see the cultural aspect from the viewpoint of an insider.

Jealous much? Uh, no. I don't want him, she can have him....(oblique polka reference, in keeping with the weekend).

He sees nothing amiss with his participation, which is fine. But, he has previously expressed that he has problems with me involving myself or our child in Pride activities in any way. Or making jokes, self-depreciating or not, which reflect my sexuality. Or listening to music which favours any kind of sexual identification. Cause there's no such thing as heterosexual pride, right?

What is Oktoberfest? German Pride. If he chooses to participate in that kind of activity, but questions my judgment when I express an interest in doing something similar, I call that....


And bigotry.

This is also thanksgiving weekend, in Canada. Yesterday I hosted family thanksgiving for the first time...ever. Cooked a turkey, and a kick-ass roast beef. Served and cleaned up after 21 people and had an awesome time. Everyone came, even my new niece, only five days old.

Did I mention that I have a new niece? She's absolutely adorable. And so tiny. And so perfect in every way, as all small babies are.

There I was surrounded by family, and in my element - at home, cooking up a storm, visiting with my siblings and nieces and nephews. And for a while I was just - me. It was great. Comfortable in my own skin, doing the things I like to do. The ex stuck around for a while to visit with my family which was also nice. I'm glad he was able to do that, it's comforting to me that he understands that he hasn't really lost a family, because my family will always consider him family. he's E's dad, and that's what matters.

And they will apply the same non-judgemental attitude when I am fully out. My parents know. My brothers will know before Christmas. As for extended family, their knowledge and their reactions matter less to me...

When N left I didn't miss him. And I didn't care where he went.

What I care about is being alone. And what I worry about is getting to the point where I can be comfortable with someone else again, not plagued by insecurities. They are myriad and unfathomable. The way I look - used to be too big, now too angular and elongated. The way I can't connect to people right away. The fears I have about being close to someone else and being hurt again - having to watch them pull away when I'm just not ready. I have mentioned - perhaps - that I feel like a virgin all over again and my lack of experience in that quarter is another basis for more irrational insecurity.

And I'm least I am today. But I had a job interview on Saturday for an assistant supervisor in a small child care centre, and it went very well. They can pay me what I'd like to be paid. I"ve done that kind of wrok before, it's with toddlers, and I love toddlers, so it's a good fit for me. E can come to work with me on her non-school days. So I will likely be ables to strike unemployment off my list of worries. Knowing myself as I do, there will be another worry to add to the list.

I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture by now. If I sit here and think too hard, it just gets worse. Better to do something, like clean out the toy room in anticipation of eldest daughter's imminent return. Listen to good music, sip that Tim's coffee. Play my guitar for a little while. Sing. Write a bit. Better to focus on what's positive in my life, than what's absolutely wrong. And it's not all that wrong - working through the insecurities is a normal and natural process. There is another end to the tunnel, and I'll see my way out some day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

friday musings and meanderings

Self-esteem is a funny thing. I've never felt quite right, never felt like I fit anywhere, and it's almost like I wait for the negative validation to reinforce all the things I feel about myself. So the man I spent ten years with is head over heels with someone else, two short months after we called it quits, while we are still living in the same house. They are always on the phone. She picks him up and drops him off, and drives past me digging in the front yard like I don't exist, like I'm a problem that needs to go away. He's taking her on picnics and feeding her the bread I baked, the groceries I shopped for. This offends me, somehow, and I'm trying to figure out why, and why can't I just let go of this. Another way to look at the situation is that if he is so quickly able to disconnect, he was never connected in the first place, and there's something inside him that just...can't. He won't take the time to examine his own behaviour and goes out and makes the same mistakes again and again.

I want more than that, next time around. But this has me feeling down, this sense that I can so easily be replaced, and I start to think that there's something about me that's just not good enough. Is there?

Are his insecurities my problem to solve?No. Are his actions really a reflection on me. No again. But what is this sadness that curls about me like midnight fog, that comes upon me in the moments when I am truly alone?

In two more weeks he will be gone, and I can really be alone, private in my space, free to mourn or sing, or whatever, as I please. Two very long weeks. In a few weeks after that I face nine or ten hour days, with a commute, in a job that doesn't pay me enough, so that I can spend even less time with my daughter. But that's not a high price to pay for my independence, for my chance to step back into the driver's seat of my own life. I'm not an empty shell, waiting to be filled, I am already complete and waiting to show myself to the world. Waiting until it feels right, not really waiting at all, but curling up with a good book and a mug of tea, enjoying the solitude and the silence of the season's change. I will know when the time is right to move forward, and start thinking about being with someone again.

I have a job interview tomorrow in Guelph. Assistant supervisor in a child care centre. I was going to stay away from ECE work, but it's what I know, and what I'm best qualified to do. I have to look at it this way in order to retain my sanity - it's a way to earn a living that is not really high stress, that is a lot more active and engaging than a desk job, and that pays more than minimum wage. It does not feel me creatively, but I have other ways to nourish myself. And since the weight loss, I am more physically able to do the work than I ever was. If only it wasn't an hour on the road each day, summer and winter, costing gas money and wear and tear on a car that's only half mine. I'l keep tutoring, for the extra sixty or ninety bucks a week that it brings in, and I'll manage. As long as there's more to my life than just my work. And there is. There's me, at the centre of my own being, learning how to be whole and authentic, and open in ways that I've never been before.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

amy understands

she finds the words written in my heart and sets them to music

Friday, October 3, 2008


Solitude's hair-shirt sacrifice
for finger-light touch of downy feathers,
aware of ripping talons and a frigid eye.
Wind swirls upwards,
leaves float gently, sidewalk-bound.
I am careful not to shake
the dirt from my boots
as I move my grounded body
from place to place.
Legs crossed, seated,
hands meet from
fingertip to bony fingertip.

for time's hands to pull the quilt back,
ease into this warmth of skin
like rolling in black mud,
by bread dough comfort.
Kneaded soul,
transformed pliable soft and solid,
rock under shifting quicksand.

Cover my body with
the spirals of my heart.
Gather myself into my own strong arms.
Light the fire
Pour the glass brimful
with ruby warmth.
Settle into comfort,
taste passion,
await your arrival.

I know you'll be late.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Slowly, ever so slowly, I begin to see the light that remains, that will come into my life.

My fear wants to keep me safe and comfortable, and in the same place as I've always been. I made the choice to come out, and move on because I want more than I have. I want passion, I want the kind of love that others have and I have never experienced. I deserve it as much as anyone else, I am capable (now, anyways) of giving and receiving that kind of love. I don't if, or when I will find it, but to stay in place because I'm scared - well, that's not living.

One year ago, almost to the day, I made the choice to live. I had the surgery that saved me from a slow death of numbness and obesity. Things have changed for me so much since that time - and so rapidly, that I still haven't caught my breath, looked at the last year, and reflected on all of those changes. I must do that, because I need to remind myself of how far I have come, how I have grown. I know I can do this.

At least I know most of the time. Some days are better than others. I will not only get thtough this, I will live the life that I have always imagined for myself.

This weekend, I'll post before and after surgery photos. 115 pounds lost, as of today. A whole person gone. And what's left is the me I've always been, the person I never really knew until now.