To hell with you.
No, seriously, bugger off. You were a lousy, weird month, and I am not sorry to see the back of you. What you lacked in length, you more than made up for in sheer, ridiculous douchebaggery. Pretty much the best part of the month were the last few hours, in which I hung out with friends and played games and drank all the drinks and stewed in a ginormous vat of rage. The fact that we were under tornado watches and warnings that last evening served only as a metaphor for the chaos you brought down on us.
First, my grandmother. February, you took my bright, beautiful, brave Mawga from us, and you broke our hearts. Forget that she was 95 and ready to go; this is on you and I'll never forgive you for that and screw any logic that says otherwise.
Now let's talk about the weather. I mentioned your tornados...now let's talk about the seventy degree weather you saw fit to bless us with over the course of several days. It was damned surreal to be stumbling around in a fog of grief, with a thousand-yard stare, and being dimly aware of the crowds of people walking around in shorts and brilliant smiles, enjoying the unexpected reprieve. Whatever happened to weather to match my mood? And while we're at it...what happened to WINTER?
In what is hopefully the last part of the saga of my Never-Ending Headcold/Sinus Infection/Bronchitis/Costochondritis from hell, I took yet another course of antibiotics. This stuff...it jacked me up but good. Totally suppressed my appetite, made me sick to my stomach, got my heart racing. So I spent 10 days of you feeling hangry, anxious, and vaguely wondering if I was experiencing the world's longest heart attack.
The most ominous thing happened right at the end of the month:
Rest in peace, Beatrice. You were a beautiful glass and you followed me all the way from California and you served me well, and gave me a lot of wine that got me through some bad nights. I'm sorry you died at the bottom of a sink in Indiana. You deserved a better death than that.
Now, the Good. Because, yes, there was some good.
February, you were a month of friends. There were movie nights and Mexican food and jaunts up to Indy and all sorts of secrets shared and inside jokes created. Making female friends has been difficult for me--absurdly, I seem to have bonded with more dudes this last year--but I'm finally building up some bonds with ladies. My friend Diana has been an especially rock-solid source of support and laughter...even if she is terrified of cats.
After my Mawga passed away, some of my friends risked spending a Sunday afternoon with me, and we went out to Gaden Kachoe Shing, the Buddhist monastery here in our town, and made cookies for the Lunar New Year, and gazed at the extravagant beauty in the temple, and then we went out for a walk on the grounds and I cried at random times. And then we sat down by a lake and gazed out at the stunning afternoon (Okay, fine, the weather was kind of nice and I won't totally hold it against you, February) and made plans for the coming months, and I would occasionally speak of my grandparents and look out at the trees and land and water that were probably very similar to what they saw growing up a couple of hours north of where I live now.
Basically, I have spent almost an entire year trying to embed myself in the community, build support networks, make friends. And in this wretched February, I learned who my friends are: people that I allow myself to feel vulnerable with. People to whom I know I can reach out when I am in a sad and rotten place. I am a lucky, lucky woman, and if all I ever have in my life are friends, I know that it's been a life well lived.
One other excellent thing happened this month...on Valentine's Day, no less:
The divorce is final. It's done. It's over. And given the lengthy, rambling nature of this odyssey, and the rewards that have come from it, this deserves its own day in the blog sun. But I had to rejoice here, just a tiny bit.
Coincidentally (or not), this leads us into...
What the Hell is This Even? Let me Poke it With a Stick and Ponder It:
Moving along to matters of the heart. Or the hoo-hoo. Or whatever. I have a few friends that are actively trying to pursue this whole dating thing. Generally, I find it more than a little bit horrifying. I watch them tie themselves in knots over it, and I try to counsel them with probably shitty advice, and shudder at the thought of it all. One of the biggest reasons why I avoided dating since I left Scoots Magoo was because I didn't know what I wanted, and didn't want anyone to be the collateral damage in my fight against myself. But during February, I somehow got it in my head to...experiment? Stick a toe in the water? See what I'd been missing out on? So I did. I stuck a toe in the water. And I actually learned a few things...
- I know my worth way more now than I did even a few years ago. Guess what? I'm an attractive, fiercely smart, honest, funny, loyal, professionally successful kind of gal. And yet...
- I am so very oblivious to if or when a person is interested in me.
- The longer I go without affection, the easier it gets. That, and the fact that I am not plagued by the biological compulsion to procreate, means that I have the luxury of not feeling the need to "find someone" now now now.
- Here's the thing about Friends with Benefits: If you don't behave like a friend, you don't get the benefits.
- There are two kinds of guys that I am afraid of: guys that think they are cute (they were so, so mean to me for most of my childhood and adolescence) and guys that I might like. (If I like them, they have the ability to hurt me.) So I react to my fear by preemptively turning into a defensive bitch. That's something I should probably work on if I ever seriously decide to start dating again.
- I do not want or like anxiety in my life, and "dating" (I use those quotes because I'm honestly not sure if anyone ever actually dates anymore)/sex/feels gives me BAD anxiety.
- The longer I am single, the more possessive I am of my life, my physical space, and my emotional resources. I like the life I have, and I am not at all convinced that dating would integrate well into it. Which means...
- I still don't know what the hell I want.
It makes me so very grateful that I spent most of my first year back not dealing with this dating
So that's it. February, you really packed a wallop. It wasn't nice knowing you. You weren't the worst month of my life, but you sure as shit gave it your best shot. You didn't kill me. You put me through a little bit of hell in a few ways, and I guess maybe that's the final good thing: when I go through hell, I survive every goddamn time.
The Indy Grrl