Then I Came Home to Austin

12841331_10153539649669053_1897104843100891352_oI believe that the worst part of my break-up with Chef was the unfamiliarity of my life without him. I hadn’t realized up until that point how important my routines — the very patterns of my life — had really been to me. Then, suddenly, everything was so different. It happened quickly, the crashing of my life, pretty much falling to pieces all at once, and without mercy. Over the last few years, it was hard to really enjoy the routines I had set up to replace the smashed ones left behind by the break-up. Yes,some tiny parts stayed the same. I continued to drink coffee in the morning, or listen to the news while I got ready for work. Others were different, like caring for stray dogs and writing on a blog. But those were just tiny parts of a whole that seemed to still not be functioning correctly. They seemed to be connected, somehow, to my old life. It was as if their very differences served only to remind me of what I once had, and what was now gone. Overall, I was struggling for every shred of happiness.

Then I came home to Austin.

As an adult, I have never lived in Austin before, but this is the city I was born in. I took my first breath here. I learned to walk and talk here, and it has forever been synonymous in my head to my father. Austin is where my dad and his family were, and in the back of my mind, I guess I always kind of wanted to just come home. I really couldn’t have timed it better. I’m fairly sure the Lord has something to do with that.

I have new routines now. The pattern of my life is not only different now, but it is unconnected to a painful past. I find myself appreciating the 12801417_521154491392629_6713478659555648885_nbeauty of this city daily, and I still get butterflies in my stomach when I realize again, I’m living in Austin, Texas. I’m still not so used to seeing my father’s face that I have begun to take it for granted. Instead, I feel a surge of gratitude each and every time I see him standing at my door. I love to see how Texas seems to suit my daughter Rebekkah; how she has flourished into a beautiful, confident woman, happy again, and no longer suffering under the burden of caring for a very wounded mother. I feel a certain pride every time I pay my rent from a paycheck I earned, and praise God at my ability to still buy groceries and other things I need with what is left over. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much to you, but I have learned only too well how it feels to have to choose between food and a home.

I’m filling up my life again, with family, with new friends, and with things. I have enough stuff in my apartment now, I can honestly say, I would need a truck next time I decide to move. I have things I picked for myself, this time. It is always appreciated when something is given to you, but when all you own in the world is stuff people donated to you, it makes you feel worse than just poor. Over time, I’ve been getting to know myself as just me. Not a part of a marriage, or a team, or a club. I’ve found that I love the colors turquoise and yellow together, as well as gray and yellow. I like rap music…who knew?! I have become both more social as well as less. I’ll save that thought for another time. I wear different styles of clothes now, and even my hair is different. I’m kind of enjoying figuring out who I am these days.

Today, I bought a new laptop; and believe it or not, it was that purchase that made me feel so reflective about my new life today. It was expensive, and I was able to buy it without despairing over ….well, anything. I needed a new one, so I bought one. The minute I paid for it, I realized, the hard years trying to recover from such a terrible break-up are officially over. Yes, there are going to be lean times in the future. There always are. But those lean times won’t be connected to Chef, or drugs, or biker clubs, or Oklahoma. They’ll just be the way life goes sometimes, and I’m good with that. I”m finally home.

~ Bird

 

Plz Stop Calling Me – It’s Over

sad chefYou called me crying again last night. You’re sorry for all of this. Your relationships keep failing because you can’t get over me. You’re sick; you might go blind. You don’t want to die without seeing me one more time. You’re clean now. You miss your family. You miss me. Please let’s try one more time.

I find it absolutely nuts that when you and I first broke up, I would have given anything in this world to hear exactly those words. They wouldn’t have been true then either, but back then, I was taking what I could get. Now, they just make me sad.

Yes. I avoid your calls. It isn’t because the memories of all of this hurt me so much. Not entirely, anyways. No. I don’t take your calls because believe it or not, I don’t want to hurt you anymore. But you keep forgetting that what was done between us can never be undone. You can’t have the parts of our past back that were so happy because the ending changed us both. Put simply, those people don’t exist anymore.

You get mad because I bring up The Moment of Choice whenever you are able to finally get me on the phone. I don’t remind you out of some warped need for revenge. I remind you cheating-quote-quotesbecause you lose sight sometimes about why all of this is happening to you. We stood, you, me, and Tanya, in our living room, in the little house I had found and fixed up for us, and answered, once and for all, The Question. You had spent months lying to both of us, telling me how you were trying to fix this mess you’d created — telling her I was just a crazy bitch trying to break you two up. So we stood there, the three of us, and I told you, now. Now is when you will pick which path you’re going to head down. You didn’t even think much about it. I remember feeling sick, knowing you weren’t taking me seriously.You pointed to Tanya, and told me you were sorry. She was who you loved. And I told you, then that is the decision we both have to live with now. I walked out of our little house, left everything we’d spent 20 years collecting together, and drove away. It was at that moment, I began the long, hard struggle to cut our bonds to one another. You’d damaged them, but I needed them severed.

Nothing about that moment was light for me. I accepted then that what we had was gone now, relegated to the shadowy mist of memory. You and Tanya’s relationship ended rather quickly after that day, and you spent a few months trying desperately to recapture her interest. I know. I watched. You moved on to Helena, then to others. All the while, you would call me and tell me you wanted me back. And each time I told you, no. You chose a different path.

sad girlYour new girlfriends seem to find it necessary to contact me whenever you guys break up with each other, to put in a good word for you. I can’t begin to tell you how strange and bizarre I find these conversations. That’s just plain creepy. They tell me you will never be happy with anyone but me; they know because they’ve tried. Here’s a news flash — getting back together isn’t an option for you because that would require me being open to the idea, and I’m not.

Please make them stop doing that. I don’t want to hear from your girlfriends. It doesn’t help. I don’t believe it is true that our happiness rests solely on another person; not if we don’t want it to. I can’t take you back. You think things in your life will be fixed if you can just return back to the woman you left in the first place, but you’re wrong. And maybe it is rather selfish of me, but I am not willing to suffer a martyr-like existence in a relationship with you. I am sorry, but you had your chance. Actually, you had a year’s worth of them, and you didn’t choose me then. You only want me now because I think it has actually finally sunk in — I’m gone, and I’m never, ever coming back.

I want you to move on. I hope you find happiness and peace, but not enough to sacrifice mine for yours. You will either bounce back or you won’t. Either way, that’s on you.

Please don’t make me hurt you anymore. I really don’t enjoy it.

~ Bird

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