Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I Remember, But I Bet You Don't


I remember the things you said and the things you didn't say. I remember the way you judged me. I remember the way you were angry that I hadn't asked permission for how I was going to live my life, and how you told me you "didn't want to rescue me again."

I remember.

I remember when our relationship took a turn. I remember when you crossed a line you never should have crossed. I remember when I started feeling uncomfortable around you.

I remember.

I remember the things you told our mutual friends about me.

I remember all of it.

I bet you don't. I bet that when you get together with mutual friends and talk, it's about how I changed. You're right. I have changed: I decided to make my own decisions. 

I decided that people who try to make you feel bad about your choices -- all of them, from your eyeliner to your life partner -- are not people you should have around. 

I decided that the people I would count as my friends would respect my boundaries.

I decided that I couldn't be friends with anyone who talked shit about me to others.

But I do remember. I remember when we were friends. I remember how much fun we had. But I also remember how much the things you said hurt me. I remember when you started not inviting me to things because you disagreed with how I was living my life. I remember how anxious and sad and scared you made me feel.

You might not remember. 

You don't have to.

Because I do.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Moving Right Along

When The Fella moved in to Le Petite Maison, people thought we were crazy. I mean, it's about 300 square feet (that might be an exaggeration. It might actually be more like 250) and we are two people, sometimes two people and a Wee One. And a cat.

"You need to MOVE," was the refrain I kept hearing.

And I kept saying, "No, no I don't."

There were a bunch of reasons for me not to want to move, if by "reasons" I mean "excuses." I could rattle them off very quickly.

"This apartment is so affordable!"

"I have a waterfall outside and I love it!"

"We never fight! It doesn't bother us!"

"Moving is such a drag!"

The biggest reason -- the real reason, the one that wasn't an excuse?

I was scared.

*****

Before I was homeless, I gave up my apartment and moved in with some people I had trusted, who bailed after two weeks. In addition to causing me to be without an address, this also caused me to question my judgment about many, many things.  When I settled into this apartment, I was determined to stay put, possibly forever.

But if life also hands you tests, it also hands you gifts. I had to go through there to get here, and here? Is filled with amazing things.  I love it here.

I love it here, but I was still scared. What if I gave up my sanctuary, the one I could afford all on my own, and it all ends? What will I do? Where would I go?

So we stayed put.

And we stayed put.

*****

Two weeks ago, our hot water tank went and our house was filled with water. It was not a huge disaster, but it was a mess and it took two days to get everything dried out and put back together. Our tiny house was a cluttered, crazy, smelly wet mess and its smallness was, for the first time, really bothersome.

The maintenance guys said, "You know, the unit down the hall is empty and open, if you need hot water. You can go down there if you need to."

So at some point, The Fella and I went down the hall and opened the door into what might literally be the apartment of my dreams.

*****

In two weeks, we're moving into the new apartment.

*****

You might be wondering why I let go of my fear. The truth is, I still kind of have it. I might always have it.

But I also know this: the most beautiful things can be born of horrible things. I got to this place in my life, the place where I am the happiest I have ever been, because I went through some awful things.

I found an apartment I love because my water tank created a major mess in my house.

And every time something bad happens? I survive and find that I'm better for it. As a result, living in fear is stupid. I trust The Fella. I always have.

So now, instead of MY space? We're going to create OUR space.

Don't worry, I'll share pictures.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ziggy Stardust

When I was a kid, Freddie Mercury was my hero because he was a lot of the things that I didn't ever feel like I was or could be: funny. Brave. Bold. Clever. Exceptionally talented

David Bowie was one of my heroes for the same reason. Every time he came out with new music, it was strange and beautiful. Every time he stepped onto a stage or in front of a camera, he owned it. You couldn't not look at him -- your eyes wanted to stay on him to see what he would do next.

I didn't know David Bowie, obviously. My sorrow over his death is probably somewhat foolish. It just feels as though a bright, sparkly, amazing light has gone out. I'm sad because we won't get to see what he would do next. I'm sad because that sparkle won't reflect on the people who enjoyed him anymore.

Thanks for all of the amazing, Mr Bowie. I hope you rest well.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Randoms (On Thursday. Mixing it Up!)

I.

"Michael Stipe turned 56 today."

"Whaaaaat? I'm so old."

"Yeah. NOW everybody hurts."

II

"It would suck to be a starfish. Like, you can't really move, you're scared, something's threatening you, and all you can do is barf. It's like the worst defense mechanism ever."

III

"Potatoes are not a vegetable."

"I submit that they are."

"No."

"Dude, have you ever planted a roll? They're a vegetable."

IV

(after watching Annie Lennox on Vevo): "She is rocking it for pale chicks all over the land."

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Splish

So ... The hot water tank in Le Petite Maison went in the night, leaving us with a ...

... Well.

I have not yet cried or thrown up, but I want to do both. This, by the way, is why I like renting. After the initial "shit fuck fuck fuck shiiiiit!" reaction (mostly caused by stepping into a hallway that was so sodden with water that there was an actual splash, like jumping into rain puddles only with carpet and IN YOUR HOUSE) we called maintenance and they've pretty much been here ever since. Our maintenance guys and our property manager are the bomb, y'all.

In the meantime, some things were ruined by the deluge. Our house is in complete disarray because we (and by  "we" I really mean The Fella, who is fantastic in the kind of crisis that pushes every single one of my anxiety buttons) had to pull everything out of harm's way AND out of the way of the maintenance folks and put it... Somewhere. There are not many somewhere IN Le Petite Maison (that sounds so much fancier than "our teeny tiny studio apartment, no?) so everything is covered in stuff and the cat has been banished to the bathroom (to her extreme displeasure-- even as I type I can hear her trying to  escape) and it's generally just a mess.

I'm trying like mad to be all bright-sidey about this. Maybe it's a chance to downsize and reorganize. Maybe this is the push we need to actually start talking about/looking at a bigger place. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But right now, I am cold and unshowered and stressy and cranky. So I'm not quite there.

But I will get there, I'm sure.

Eventually.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year

Here's to a fabulous, amazing, 2016 from everyone here in the Petite Maison (which I have decided is the official name of our house) to you. 

(yes, I know this is a pathetic tiny post. But I am super tired.)

Much love,

Yellie

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ordinary People

Lately, I've heard a lot of complaining about relationships -- with partners, friends, family, whatever.  The things they do. The things they don't do. The things people wished they would do. The things that they wished they would just stop doing.

And I wonder: are you telling the people in your life these things? Because you can certainly tell me -- I'm here to listen -- but if you're not telling the person you're unhappy with? You're never going to get any closer to happy with her/him.

The problem with relationships is that there are people involved. Ordinary, regular, messed up folk who aren't perfect. Here's a bit of information that most of us don't consider in great detail when we're going on about our family's/partner's/friend's faults:

We're not perfect either.

No one is, as it turns out.

So what happens when two perfectly imperfect people's lives collide? Lots of good things, you hope. Some annoying ones. Generally, when discussing relationships, people take what I like to call a "reverse photoshop" approach -- instead of smoothing out what frustrates/annoys/angers them, they zoom right in on those spots and make them gigantic and glaring and the good stuff blurs into the background.

Look, I'm not an expert on anything, but I know a couple of things. Here's what I know:

*You have to ask for what you want. ALL OF THE THINGS. If you're not getting what you need out of a relationship, you need to ask for it. No one is a mind reader.

*You have to be willing to compromise. There are a bajillion ways of being and doing in this old world, and your way is not the only way. Case in point: I know someone who is frustrated because her girlfriend doesn't take the trash out. Ever.

"Did you ask her?"

"She should just KNOW," said my friend.

"But have you ASKED her?"

"No. Because when she does it, she does it wrong."

All I could think was: you've trained her not to empty the trash by not asking for the help you want -- AND for telling her that the way she does it is wrong. She can't win, so she's not going to try, unless you decide that you can be okay with her "incorrect" garbage removal. (Also, I don't know what it means to take the trash out in the wrong way. I wasn't ready for that particular rabbit hole!)

*You have to decide what's really important.

This might be the hardest thing for people. It's the hardest one for me, at any rate. What can you not live with/ not live without? What is not forgivable?

Compromise comes into play here, as well because sometimes, relationships don't look like we thought we wanted them to; that doesn't make them wrong. It just makes them different from what we were expecting. Again, you're imperfectly dealing with another imperfect person. The way they express their caring and love for you might not be exactly the same as the way that you express yourself -- and that can be okay if you can let it be. For example, some people don't do words so much, but they will perform all of the actions. Some people are gift givers and some are not, but they will give you their time and lend you a hand all day long.

Look, I'm not suggesting -- and never will suggest -- that you tolerate a terrible relationship of any kind. Sometimes you have to end relationships/ friendships/ whatever because they don't meet any of your needs, or because they're toxic. We all have that experience.

But I do think we could look at how we conduct ourselves within the framework of relationships. Are we accepting of the people in our lives? Do we communicate with them? Do we appreciate the wonderful things they do? Are we willing to meet them where they are? Are they willing to do the same for you?

We're all just regular, ordinary, imperfect people. If we all start out by embracing that? Maybe we could make everything better.