Hello friends! Pneumonia, stress and writer's block took me away from the laptop for the last month. Thought it'd be good to jump in with a 'currently' post.
Reading: This Is Between Us, by Kevin Sampsell, a brutally honest, often heartbreaking portrayal of love and relationships and the mess they create. Told in a series of vignettes, the book chronicles the
relationship of a man and woman over five years, from their first days
together to their times apart, and back again. I am IN LOVE with this book. The narrator is entirely frank and unmediated: sometimes I hate him
and oftentimes I am just as baffled as he is by his partner and kids. Reading this book is like a love affair in and of itself, but also feels like a retrospective of my own past relationships. As someone who recently left a decades-long relationship, I find iy downright
miraculous that Sampsell can be so graceful in showing us the spectrum
of what it means to be a relationship: the bravado, the romance, the
mistakes -- ones you admit to and ones that you hide -- the juxtaposition
of feeling like you know someone better than anyone else in the world
while also realizing you may not know them at all.
Working: Two weeks ago I accepted a new position as a pre-K teacher at a private preschool closer to my house. While I wasn't necessarily unhappy at my last school, I was grossly underpaid and overqualified to be potty training three year-olds (which was what most of my day encompassed.) My new school is state-of-the-art, and the position includes much better benefits along with a substantial increase in pay. Settling in hasn't been easy -- my co-teacher doesn't seem especially thrilled to have me there, which has made the transition more stressful than anticipated -- but I'm hoping that time with solve that challenge.
Stressing me out: The relationship with my ex-husband has been disintegrating at a pretty fast rate, for reasons I can't identify. I have gone above and beyond to keep the peace between us, including generously giving up my scheduled time with my kids over Thanksgiving break to allow them extended time to visit with his brother, who came into town for the holiday. My ex adamantly refuses to compromise or engage in constructive conversation with me about our children and our custody schedule. He's been doing really passive-aggressive things like purposely dropping the kids off late. Despite having a girlfriend, financially rewarding career and possession of the home we once shared, the man is incredibly bitter and entitled. I had hoped that after a year of divorce we'd have some resolution, but things are worse than ever, and I have no clue what to do about it aside from strengthening my boundaries with him and refusing to let myself be taken advantage of.
Watching: So many movies. Is there anything better than going to see a movie on a cold fall night, diving into a bucket of popcorn and icy soda and snuggling into your seat with your love by your side as the previews come on? I think not. In the last month, I've seen Gravity, Rush, 12 Years A Slave and Dallas Buyers Club. All were excellent.
Thrifting: On Black Friday I went thrifting, and came across this:
I don't know the person who decided to encrust a rack of antlers in rhinestones and donate them, but I love them. A lot.
Contemplating This weekend marked the four year anniversary of my most recent discharge from treatment for anorexia and bulimia. There was an inexplicable pattern in my 15 year history of having an eating disorder where I would relapse near the end of summer and end up in treatment around Thanksgiving. This happened at least 6 times. Despite years of therapy and hospitalizations, I am still trying to determine why this time of year is so triggering for me. In any case, I'm deeply thankful to have achieved what most professionals consider a full recovery. During my darkest days, I did not think I'd ever be at the point where I could write honestly and openly about my eating disorder the way I do now, and have put it behind me as completely as I have. If you're reading this and struggling with addiction yourself, please know that recovery is possible. It's the very hardest thing you'll ever do, but it is worth it. I was told, point blank, on more than one occasion that I would never recover. And yet here I am, eating caramel apple pumpkin pie and not giving a damm, happier than ever.