Tag Archives: marriage

learning curve (n.) a graph showing the rate of learning (especially a graph showing the amount recalled as a function of the number of attempts to recall)

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learning curve (n.) a graph showing the rate of learning (especially a graph showing the amount recalled as a function of the number of attempts to recall)

I find it interesting how things NEVER turn out the way you think they will. I feel like humans spend a lot of time anticipating things and the ease with which they will happen some strange day in the future…

As soon as I get out of school;

As soon as I get into school;

As soon as I get married;

As soon as I get divorced;

Or in my case, as soon as my kids grow up and move out.

I have a relationship history, baggage let’s say. due to the fact that I am apparently old… I have more than the average of marriages/divorces under my belt but that average was from before I was 23, I am a very different person now and like ALL OF US, with what I know now, of course I would make different choices. But then, I made some pretty grown up decisions that have somehow, made my life easier then, and decidedly more complicated now. What vexes me is that I always thought it would be easier now.

What I am finding however, is that everyone within what I find to be a comfortable dating age range either has young children or wants to have them. It is frustrating. Not to mention the job I have now is less than encouraging when it comes to parenting or coparenting. I see the worst in people as it relates to parenting and children. So, there is that, too.

I could have more children; if I got a $7,500 surgery or did IVF, I have checked into it, as recently as two years ago. I have been curious about it a long time. I was even going to do surrogacy until I turned 37, which is the magic age that makes it unprofitable. I am at a point in my life, professionally, psychologically, financially, etc. that I would probably be a really good parent (not to say I wasn’t before, but hey money and education really do help.) I envy some of my friends who are just having their first. My family members, too. Meanwhile, I’m expecting grandkids any day, at the ripe old age of 38.

I’ve never had kids with someone who wanted kids. I’ve never had kids when I wanted kids. I’ve never really coparented longer than a couple years. It is all very tempting. Truly. I had my tubes tied at 21? 22? because I love kids. I just couldn’t afford more of them and without support, couldn’t parent more than the two I had alone. Once upon a time, I thought that would be attractive to someone. No ticking biological clock. No concerns about pregnancy oops. You know? Alas.

Instead, I find that really amazing connections and potential connections, are lost because of it. Sigh. Patriarchy wins again. And I didn’t even get to participate in the conversation, it was just a decision they made.

Men have no real shelf life when it comes to producing children.

*yes, yes, #notallmen are fertile. I know.*

But in general, if a man can find someone to get pregnant, he can until he dies.

We women, we are burdened with the choices that we have to make to raise the kids we have. We bear the main burden and decisions to keep or not keep a child. Yes, men might participate but we bear the brunt privately and publically. We are burdened with a window of time to procreate.

We are burdened:

Be pretty. Be young. Be fertile. Be smart. Be humble. Be a feminist (but not so much that I can’t open a car door for you or be manly).

BE.

Be what I want or need in my idea of how things should be.

I wish people could communicate better, I am very upfront about not looking to have more kids or get married. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, just that I am not looking for that. There are always ways to make a family. Family isn’t always about marriage or genetic children. And hey! Technology has made all sorts of things possible. People are having children in their 60s. Men are having babies. Nature and technology can find a way.

Meh, I digress. This post wasn’t meant to be about that particular piece. But regardless, of my ability/inability to breed, navigating online dating is much more difficult than I ever imagined.

Maybe I am too hypervigilant. (*Just because I am hypervigilant doesn’t mean I am wrong… Just FYI) Maybe I am gunshy. Maybe I don’t know the new world rules of what is appropriate now in nonorganic database dating regarding contact, texting, amounts, context. I never really “dated” before. I was married at 16. I have randomly been with other people over the years, but usually it was friends of friends or friends that I became romantically involved with. The first time I online dated, I got lucky. I ended up spending the larger part of 5 years with the first person I dated from okcupid. So, my experiences have been limited. And everyone seems to have a different idea of what “normal” is.

This dating go round, 25% have been amazing, too awesome, probably. 25% have been boring beyond belief. 25% have been aggressive and controlling. And the last 25%? Oh yeah. Sex offender. Woot. Hell of a learning curve there.

Way to go, filters.

So I will just sit here, like the memes say, and wait for mr/mrs right to break into my house, I guess. Huzzah.

 

 

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Unknown Territory

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Unknown Territory

I am unsure how people repair relationships. I feel like given my path and occupation, I am someone who should know. I can tell people how to do it, via a book and/or my “school learnin” but when it comes to my own, I am not sure. I have always found it relatively easy to remain friends or become friends again with exes; mainly, I believe, because we start out as friends. But I have recently made some decisions that while they have a lot of mitigating circumstances around them, I am feeling regret over most of them. I have written a lot about regret and I work to really not do anything that I will… But, being a human, I fuck up. A lot.

I have been able to reestablish the friendship facet of the relationship in this situation, but after realizing the potential mistake of ending it, understanding the reasons that contributed to the ending of it (I take responsibility for 60+/-% of that ending…), as well as knowing how I feel post-break up and processing, I don’t know how to move forward. I know what I want. I know what I had. I know that it was not how it should have been but it was more than repairable. But of course, me being me, I self-sabotaged. Cause nothing says “Jani” like “Ehhhh this hurts…. RUN AWAY! CUT TIES WITH WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL! DISTRACT! DISTRACT! DESTROY!”

I also find that I make major decisions (that are usually bad in the winter) between December-January. I am not entirely sure this isn’t related to stress at this time of year and/or seasonal depression…perhaps both… but now I sit in a place of limbo and suspended grief. Wanting to fix things but not entirely knowing if I even have the right, to try, to inflict myself upon others…But I also know that couples have gone through much worse and wound up stronger, healthier.

I reflect now on the relationship and see what was missing and how both parties handled it badly, due to both parties not communicating their needs to the other in a timely fashion. It was after the fact that the communication came. And we are in a good place.

But everything else, the future plans, the qualities that we loved about each other, the idiosyncrasies that drove the other crazy but still allowed us to love each other unconditionally, everything else is there, intact. Neither of us are the same, but the core of myself, the core of them, the core of US…the foundation, is there. It’s got a few cracks, but nothing that would be not repairable. We have both forgiven each other. But of course, things are different.

So the question I posit to you, the reader, is when it comes to breakups, if love and abuse are never an issue, can negative things cast positive light on things that need tending? Or is it always an ending? Can you begin again? Not where you left off, because THAT preempted the demise of the relationship, but can a new better relationship be born from the fire and sorrow that was during and post-breakup? Is love enough? Love the verb, not the noun?

Lens Filter

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Lens Filter

 

 

 

 

By an odd coincidence, this week your tattoo is getting covered up;

Under the ocean it will be.

Reflectively, my time with you was the happiest

I’d been until now, a true peace I have found, it

Eluded you I guess.

Dreamed you hadn’t died, that you were in a caved in hole but watched you climb out on the news…

That reverie, I like to think it was you coming out of your darkest place, crawling toward the light.

Honestly, I learned so much from you, practical and emotional you taught me many things.

Echoes of his six word story come to me late at night

“Bullies are just very sad people…”

Understanding of you came later,

Life and love are funny that way.

Looking back, my own ignorance was bliss…

Even the most negative memories somehow benefit from it;

The lens filter of time.

 

*I doubt they will play this for you, but I know you always wanted it at your service so I will post it for you here.

Love and Light.

Complete with theme song…..

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Complete with theme song…..

I don’t know if I am grandiose or not,

When I first meet people I catch myself making up some sort of recipe;

A fictional psychosocial evaluation on them

which becomes their individual narrative in my mind,

*This is guided of course by what I think I know of people, think i know of social work, think I know of psychology, think that I read on their body language, or learned in life, learned reading a book, learned by being the one that could shut the fuck up; observe & mimic other people in order to blend in like a chameleon, in  new and/or uncomfortable situations for safety)

Meh, I digress…

Anyway, your narrative (and by “your” I mean you who are reading this had I met you or when I met you, not anyone person in particular) that I create in my head is how I related to you until I learn more and start replacing my humble conjecture with relayed facts;

But I admit, sometimes, I feel like a superhuman;

Like I must be psychic or an empath or Dr. Xavier;

e.g. Sookie Stackhouse trying to ignore the thoughts she really does NOT want to hear;

Sometimes, I find out that through many of the facts people share with me;

Actually align pretty well with the totally fictional made up backstory I spun them. It’s very unsocialworky of me.

I mean, what do I have to go on in talking to people for only a few minutes? I can see their eyes, their hands, their voice, their body language, their tone, etc….It’s totally inappropriate for me to create their whole backstory based on a few minutes interaction…

Do other people do that?? They must. I hope they do; otherwise, I probably sound a bit like a loon.

I am sure it is merely some sort of experienced/educated projection….some fancy defense mechanism that allowed observant and smart people to reproduce…skills that are not being passed down today because we are so distracted and looking down into a portable rabbit hole…WHOA, speaking of rabbit holes…

Sorry, I’ll spare you the self disparaging rant.

Anyhoo, like…maybe I have this social worker lens,

Seventies television show idea of each new person I meet’s whole life….

If I did, it could be something as follows:’

Complete with theme song *wink*

Baby of large family

The smallest Brady no one mentioned

Grew up wanting a family

Baby sister

Baby brother

Someone to take care of

Someone to have your back

 Just wanted to be someone’s hero

Wanted to be a soldier;

a fireman;

a teacher;

a doctor;

Found a family there

People to look up to you

Someone to share first memories with…

Your substitute hard drive

 Exhausted and rejuvenated finally fell in love

Family wasn’t there

Decided to go back there and then came home

Moved onto another

A Betty Crocker Readymade family to love

To replace the one you didn’t know yet to want

But it just didn’t fit

You internalized the blame 

 Then as you got older

You realized you needed more ways to go back,

So through trial and error,

Sex and beer,

Adrenalin, fighting, racing, speed

Went back in different ways to reestablish:

yourself, your worth

All the familiar roles

Pride and admiration

Understanding of experience

Validation for your work

Found your family

In more than one way.

Who knows.

Maybe I am grandiose and plain ol’ crazy.

I can spin a good back story though.

C’est la vie.

XOXO

Jani

Shifting sands and altered plans…

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Shifting sands and altered plans…

Since about April, I have been really evaluating my life and my potential choices; juxtaposing them with the decisions I have made to satiate other people; from parents to romantic partners to my own children. I guess it actually probably started in December;  once the sadness of that failure became more externalized.

But April is really when I started really looking at myself and what I wanted from my life. It was the beginning of the last quarter of my “academic life,” the beginning of really putting energy into getting a “professional” job and realizing what I wanted and needed and accepting what was coming my way.

It was a very humbling and difficult time, but I found the fire again.

Throughout it all, I was able to realize what I wanted; I have looked back through 20 years worth of  journals full of my wants and dreams and thoughts and relationships…and realized that I have often adopted the dreams of my partners…I can do anything and be anyone…It’s a coping skill I suppose…it’s been my resilience, my survival tool set. My gerber…my tweeker toy…ha.

Meh, I digressed into my own head. Anyhow…

Where was I….

Oh yeah…what I want as compared to what I was willing to accept in return for mediocre bootleg versions of love….

Anyway…I am back to knowing what I want. My plans are further inline with what I have wanted since I was 16; minus the inputs of other people’s ideas of what I should be and do. I am going to start this process now, bits by bits…with an eventual time frame of 2-5 years…

I have 28,378,573,850,347,850,375,041,218 books. I am going to read them all again and sell them or give them away. Even the first editions. Even the 1852 “Life among the lowly”. Yep. As much as I love my books, they do nothing but take up room. I have read them all. I will read them again and pay them forward; perhaps someone else can find solace and distraction in them as I have for 28 years.

I am going to pay down my debt until it’s gone so that eventually, in 2-5 years, all I will have is student loans (which hopefully can be paid off and/or forgiven within ten years…).

I have a list of things that scare(d) the fuck out of me from when I was 18 that I wanted to do before I was 21. I am going to start doing them…from swimming  in the ocean to skydiving to going to South America. I am doing them.

I am learning French. Why? I don’t fucking know. But I have always wanted to, so I am going to finish learning it!

I am writing again. Not just this blog. Not just my poems and songs (which I am even playing my guitar again…crazy) but actually working on my stories. Whoa. That’s been a long time coming and I have finally gotten to the point in my life that most of the people I worried about judging me or being angry at me for writing them are no longer people I give a fuck about.

It’s my truth. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you think it’s about you, that’s your shit…not mine.

I am going to finish my tattoos; or at least the ones I know I want now. 😉 Bare skin is precious….I am saving room for the rest of my life….

Anyway, one kid will be on his own in 2 years. The other will be on her own in 4ish years and indicates occasionally she may want to finish that with her other parents. I have been really resistant to that but who knows. Maybe she will change her mind later, maybe not. either way, I will no longer feel the need to provide for anyone but myself, it’s been 18 years since I felt that and it will have been 20 at least by the time I am there again.

I have let go of nostalgic friends that I merely kept to remind me of who I was and kept the ones that still fulfill me…the reciprocal relationships that don’t drain me…I have made new friends and established pretty deep relationships with people who have totally surprised me.

I am finally comfortable in my own skin.

Not the skin I wanted them all to see, but my own ACTUAL skin.

The funny thing is the “me” I am finding, is the “me” people have always described; which is ironic…I always thought I had them fooled! I mean, c’mon, Billy? How could you know and I didn’t? Send me a memo next time, I mean shit.

I started out my wanderlusting adolescence with a guitar, a book of poems and a backpack of clothes that weren’t always mine.

I think I might start my neo-wanderlusting midlife that way too.

Huzzah.

xoxo

P.S. Hey Lisa, thanks for reminding me of who I am. ❤

Freedom

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Freedom

I have officially finished the severing of all ties….insurance and cell phone are in my name alone and connected to my bank account, again.

No one can demand information about things associated with my phone/phone bill, no one can guilt me about paying for those things while I am “just” finishing grad school.

Saturn retrograde be damned.

  • I have a state job, ergo I can pay all my own damn bills again.
  • I have an MSW, ergo I never ever, ever have to think about homework again.
  • I again have complete responsibility and autonomy over my life again, ergo there is only myself to consider when feeling guilt, if I so choose to.

Fuck yes.

I am not saying it is bad for people to put themselves in situations where they trust and depend on other people, per se…..

It’s just not a place I like to live.

And it will NOT take me 5 times to figure that shit out.

To paraphrase the words of good ol’ scapegoat Dubya….”Fool me once, shame on you…fool me 4 times….well you know….I won’t get fooled again!”

Welcome back, Just Jani!

Say hey there….

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Say hey there….

 

You are welcome.

 

I just needed to remind my dumbass.

What it is supposed to look like:

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What it is supposed to look like:

It was never Disney.

It was never my parents.

It was never, well…mostly never movies….damn you the notebook!….

THIS is the standard I have always sought to attain:

Particularly around 2:30-2:45…..

Yes.

That is the good stuff.

Too bad we know how the story ends.

C’est La Vie.

But for what it is worth, Lindsey Buckingham is by far one of the most underrated guitarists ever….*swoon*

Growth and movement

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Growth and movement

Yesterday was a magical day of acceptance, evolution, good juju and I am pretty sure my personal atomic energy vibration went up a few steps. The following song has been kind of a friend the last couple years and I think I can finally let it go. So I share it with you for closure.

*tip of the hat, wag of the finger*

XOXO

Jani

The Girlchild is officially a Womanchild.

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The Girlchild is officially a Womanchild.

My Girlchild turned 13 recently and boy is she proving to be quite the little wise woman. We went on a mini-road trip this weekend and the Manchild went to a pal’s house after it, leaving she and I to amuse ourselves, and each other. We watched a movie, dyed her hair, cut her hair, got me a new outfit eventually for my impending interview(s), went yard sale-ing (which allowed me to check something off of my list of things I want to do from age nineteen…I bought a typewriter), etc.

But late at night, we talked. She asked questions about my previous life as a Girlchild which led to discussions around my previous life as a Childmother and my evolution out of that into Grownass Womanmother. In my infinite wisdom, I found it helpful to share journals that I have had for what feels like millenia. I wish I had my diaries from when I was her age, but I burned them in an act of rebellion against particular patriarchy. So what we have to work with is journals from age 19 on and poetry from age 12 on. It is a blessing, I never realized.

Mind you some passages involving her father we decided to skip as to not traumatize her 🙂 There are just some things you don’t want to think of your parents thinking.

I was even able to inspire her to start journaling in the hopes that she could share them with her own child or even me someday.

The most amazing part was the wisdom she shared with me at the end of the evening.

She told me, (slightly paraphrasing of course, as I didn’t transcribe her exactly…)

“You seem like you are always doing amazing things when you are single and then you get with these people and then you start trying to fix them, instead of fixing you and following your path. You always take care of other people instead of you. Why do you do that? Why don’t you just fix you and do the amazing things that you start when you don’t have men to fix?”

That is a good question, Womanchild, that is a good damn question.

Out of the mouths of babes, I guess.