Those who know me know I work for an insurance company’s corporate office. This blog is not about insurance, I am not trying to sell you stuff. But I did take out an insurance policy this week. I felt it was warranted, considering the climate, but let me explain.
I have made it a priority, lately, to try to make the best out of situations that do not exactly please me. Obviously you would think that this would be something that I would do all the time, and I do try to. But I’ve always been one to try to do that within the “confines” of what I could get away with without stepping on too many toes. Never exactly fully liberated, I’ve been trying to please myself while pleasing everyone else at the same time. It hasn’t worked. And I’ve often found myself to be damned if I do, damned if I don’t. So, having had plenty of time to think about it, I’ve realized… I need to do what I need to do for ME.
So let’s start with the first policy. My sister’s wedding. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to go. I don’t want to be a victim of the politics. I don’t want to deal with the fallout of having to sit there, nitpicked. I don’t want to spend four days with my parents and a mother who, after the ceremony, will have a lack of things to do and who will likely spend her time wanting to have more “heart to hearts” that always result in her making me feel like shit. But, as I’ve also said, I have to go. To prevent the chats from happening, I got a hotel room in Louisville. But I still had to be there, for four days, one evening of which, awkwardly, I’d be at that wedding. I made a few contacts, figured I’d see some friends, have some drinks with them, but that would be it.
Then I decided you know, I don’t know when I’ll be back in Kentucky now. Since I am not welcome at my parents’ house anymore, I don’t know when I will see my friends in Kentucky again. So, I started throwing things out there, and I’ve decided that if I am stuck up there for four days, I may as well make the most of it. I’ve decided to do a little research at the university archives. And I’m going zip lining. Because I’ve always wanted to. But also, many of my friends are coming to visit me there – from all over the state, some from out of state. It’s a nice, central meeting ground for all of us. And I will get to see my best friend. She and I will actually get to spend some real time together – this time not interrupted by needing to make sure I’m back at my parents’ house before they go to bed, this time not impeded by the fact that I have to lead a double life.
I’ve stopped drinking… officially. I don’t like to be drunk all the time, and considering that my mother died at 39 from alcoholism, I don’t want to go that way myself. However, considering I will not be in Louisville again for a very long time, and considering I won’t be seeing my friends for a long time either, I’ve decided that, for this one weekend, it’s warranted. I’m not thrilled about the wedding, but now that’s become a minor inconvenience – just something that gets in the way of my zip lining time. Sort of a side attraction to the main attraction, which is my time up there, with all my friends, having a good time the way that we all used to so very long ago (and for the first time with some, since being married to someone who would not let me socialize, really, at all beyond work or school made doing that very difficult when I was made to be home at a certain hour, with dinner on the table). I have missed my friends. I do not miss Louisville. Not at all. I would not move back there for anything. But I miss my friends. And it will be good to be able to see them, and to have all the time that I want to eat at all the restaurants I like up there.
The other policy is a larger trip. One to be taken in October. And it comes with the realization of something that is, for me, very hard to admit. I made a mistake last year. I waited for Botboy. That, in and of itself was not the mistake, but it led to the mistake. You see, I waited for Botboy under the assumption that when he came home, we would be in a relationship. I did not expect, nor desire, to spend every waking minute with him, but I did figure that my schedule, routine, and life would, ultimately, change to a degree. And I still think I would have been right in that assumption. But what I failed to do was to make any plans for MYSELF beyond May. I was looking forward to his return, to getting to know him, to getting to be WITH him, and I was so distracted by this that I didn’t think for a second about what I would do once that had happened. That was my mistake. Because once May came, and once things went to shit, I had nothing left to look forward to. My whole life had become defined by the Gchat messages 17 hours out of every day, out of sending those packages to Afghanistan, out of taking those Transformers for him, storing them, reading the comic books. I lost myself in that. I didn’t mind. I loved him, I still love him, and I loved being able to share those things with him, but I also have realized that I need to be myself. I need to have myself.
So, while I am still waiting, I’m doing it differently. I’m giving myself something to look forward to after he is due to arrive – a few months after, to be sure, partially because the Louisville trip is wearing on my bank and also because, if he does decide we want to try something, I want to give us time to do that. But this time, if things go to shit, then you know, I won’t have hours and hours of nothing except darkness to spiral into. I am going to New York City. I have not been there since 2007, when I saw JK Rowling at Carnegie Hall. I am going there to see the city, and to see a friend that I have known for almost two decades (but who I have not seen in 12 years). And I am excited about it. I’m excited about the possibility of seeing my friend, of eating pizza, of buying awesome shoes and going shopping. I’m excited about being able to do New York MY way (instead of the tourist way that Mr. Ex always insisted that we do). I’m looking forward to seeing Central Park again and going to some museums. Maybe I’ll catch a play if something good is on Broadway then.
Because I’ve realized something… when things go to shit, or if there’s a possibility of things going to shit, I can do one of two things. I can lose myself in that shit, and I’ve done that before. When I do that, the shit wreaks havoc on my life, and I can’t move forward. Or, I can prepare for it – take out insurance policies. Give myself something to look forward to. I like the second option. I like it a whole lot better than what my pattern has been before. This way, I’m distracted. I have things to think about other than wedding drama I’d rather not consider, or worrying about whether I’ll get a shit show again in the summer. It’s not that those thoughts aren’t there, but they don’t take center stage anymore. And it reminds me that, even in the middle of shit shows, there are silver linings. Things to be happy about. Things to look forward to. Life doesn’t end just because things don’t go my way. I mean it could, but that would be my prerogative, and I don’t want to surrender.
Of course, things COULD go my way too. Things could be peachy and uncomplicated when I get to Kentucky. Botboy could come back from his adventures and be exactly what I’ve been looking for all this time. It could happen. That’s the funny thing about life. Bad things happen sometimes when we don’t expect them, but, likewise, really good things happen too, and often just as unexpectedly. But even if all of that good stuff happens, then you know, all the other fun things I have planned are just icing on the cake.
And I can’t wait to get started.