I’m Free

Foreword: I posted too many videos in this post, but I could not help myself. You don’t have to watch them but I recommend you at least listen to the first few lyrics because they are hilarious, IMO.

After three days of no word from Steven, I finally got an email from him late last night saying he just got everything moved and he included a picture of his new high-rise apartment. In my mind he’d forgotten all about me, possibly met another woman, or somehow knew I’d met another guy. But really I think he was just trying to get all of his furniture moved and get rid of all his old stuff he didn’t need. He’s not the best multitasker.

Meanwhile Jay and I went on a bike-riding date, then a coffee date, and a dinner date is in the works. We’ve been talking a lot, and already we’ve talked about what our relationship or fling or whatever this is will look like, which is we don’t know. We don’t know what we’re doing, we’ve both been married twice before, we’re far apart in age, and we both just got out of relationships five months ago, and that’s all okay. It’s possible we’re destined to be each other’s rebounds which we’ve decided is okay too. We know we’re attracted to each other and have similar interests, so we will just have fun and see where it goes.

That’s the thing about Jay. He’s fun. He likes outdoor adventures. He has a boat, a motorcycle, a bicycle, two dogs. He likes doing things. And he likes being around people. To get Steven to do anything takes coaxing. It’s not that he doesn’t like it, but his mood and energy level needs to be just right, and he doesn’t want to do things that involve too many other people. Preferably he would do outdoorsy things with me on a deserted island (but not on a beach, only wooded mountains and maybe a river that you don’t actually allow your body into) and the temperature would be in the low 60’s at all times. And I get it, especially about the people part, in that I’m not a fan of being in crowded museums either, and I don’t like just lying on the beach for hours; I’d rather be walking or doing something on the beach instead, talking or reading or whatever. Nor do I want to ride my bike when it’s a hundred degrees or even 50 degrees out. My point is, it’s nice to have some flexibility.

By comparison, Jay and I went bike riding from Kensington to downtown Bethesda to Georgetown. If you’re not familiar with the DC area, Georgetown is heavily populated with pedestrians walking on a brick path, full of swanky shops in historical buildings along the Potomac River. If you’d asked me if I wanted to go there I might’ve said no, because I’d have thought it would be too crowded, and I might’ve felt like I have better things to do than look at a bunch of rich folks wearing fashionable clothing (as if I don’t want to be one of them and indeed already think of myself as one of them, and have been for years, truth be told–you have to use the law of attraction in these matters), including one woman who showed all but her nipples in a low cut shirt dress, and somehow made that look classy. She was gorgeous and probably a model, and I don’t want to be reminded of my everyday-average-Jane status. So I’d have told you, no thanks, I’d rather go to a remote trail away from the city. Some might call that judgment or “contempt prior to investigation.” But we rode on the street and ate at an outdoor café and it was a fun adventure. And it actually was not that crowded at all. And here’s the thing about the world. There are people in it. And that’s a good thing sometimes. We can talk to each other, if we want to. Not like in the South, but still. And I don’t feel like having an extended conversation with everyone I pass when I’m out doing stuff anyway.

Now I’m not saying Jay is Mr. Right. But I am saying that Steven is not.

My sponsor had asked me, “What is it that you want?”

Here’s what I want: my own place, financial independence, friends, a life, a fun job, to be happy. And I have all of those things, except my own place. Last night I realized it will take me only one more year to get my master of science in nutrition and then I can do whatever the hell I want. I can move to New Mexico near my sister and get a job as a nutritionist there, if I want to. I can move to North Carolina near my bestie and my other sister. I can go to Utah or Washington state. I can stay right here, where I’ve planted roots, where I’ve grown to love, where’s there’s so much beautiful diversity in nature and in the population.

Last night I was doing my homework reading about vitamins and minerals and it was so interesting. I realized I didn’t need to rush through it to watch “Orphan Black,” because I was interested in what I was learning, and when I got tired, I went to bed. I thought about texting my new friends and again wondered if I ought to email Steven, and then I thought, Nah. I’ll talk to Ian (a new platonic guy friend I’ve been talking to a lot lately, who also lost his mom and broke up with his gf not too long ago, more on him later) and Jay tomorrow, and if Steven emails me then okay, and if not, then okay.

I’ve dreamed of this day. I wanted so badly to let Steven know what he’s missing, that this is his loss, and does he think no one else likes me? Does he think I’ll wait around on him forever? And how satisfying it would be to say, Too late, Mister, you missed your window. You shouldn’t have taken me for granted, and you should’ve appreciated me when you had me. Too bad you couldn’t stick with me through my grief, that you couldn’t see that my grief was somewhat temporary–the acute, visible part anyway–and that I’ve come out of this stronger and somehow happier than I could ever have imagined in spite of the fact that I miss my mom every day, and I want a partner just as much as most everyone else in the world. And this would be the part of the movie where Tina Fey, who plays me in the romantic comedy depicting my life (if you haven’t read my other posts), or maybe Amy Schumer because she’s my new hero, and who sings karaoke-style to this little ditty from Cinderella, even though it’s really not exactly precise because her boyfriend (played by someone like Mark Ruffalo from Infinitely Polar Bear or maybe Bradley Cooper from Silver Linings Playbook):

But the truth is, even writing the words in my previous paragraph don’t feel that good. I’m not even sure I can go over to Steven’s apartment. He’ll know right away that my feelings have changed because he has ESP like that. I don’t want to hurt him. Sure, I still have some anger about it all, but it’s fizzling. Sometimes relationships just don’t work.

And so the song is not so much the one from Cinderella as it is this one, from the same time period, which may have been before some of you were born, which came out when I was 12, so 1988. Look at the eyebrows on her! And the hair on them both! LOL.

What I’m getting at is this: I am free.

Finally. In the words of my best friend forever (love you, K!), HallelujahpraisetheLordamen, spoken in one breath, as if all one word, and of course, in a Southern accent.

Which reminds me of a Rolling Stones song that I’ll close with. This is a remake played by the Soup Dragons which came out way back in the 90s when I was in high school, and which used to come on this TV show called “120 Minutes” on MTV, when they showed only music videos:

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