I've had a lot going on lately, not just in the here and now. In terms of the smaller things, I went out with my neighbors and made friends with them. I've been busy with school and work and I'm broke only 8 days into the month, which only drives it home that I need to draw up a strict budget and stick to it (though, in my defense, much of the money I've spent has been catching up bills that I was overdue on from unemployment times). But there's also the bigger stuff. I suppose what's of the most interest to anyone reading is that I've started seeing someone. Ravi knows about it and approves (not that he'd ever act as though that was his right) and the guy, J, is a good guy. It is, admittedly, a bit of a struggle to adapt to the idea of dating again. Not just "getting back in the dating world" but the finality it implies for Ravi and I. I haven't held on to any ideas we'd be getting back together (in fact, we've both been encouraging each other to see other people), but it's still hard to move on from that relationship and finalize that end by moving on. That said, it's been very very fun to start seeing J and maybe that's a story I'll tell on here when I'm a little more comfortable with opening up about him in this forum.
But there are other changes happening and those are a little quieter. I spent a big part of this past summer weeding out people in my life who I felt were not good for me. The next part of that is weeding out the parts of myself that aren't good for me. I've felt very good, mentally and emotionally, these past months, despite a breakup, move, and stint of unemployment that would have been devastating to me a few years ago. But I've also been carefully monitoring myself to try and keep those old negativities at bay. I've worked very hard to be frank about anything I need to say, instead of passive-aggressively goading people into getting me to say what I need to say to them. I've learned (and will learn over and over again) how to keep my mouth shut when what I have to say isn't beneficial and I've self-censored when there's something I want to say that will hurt someone else (unless the benefit is worth more). I've tried to mend some broken bridges, but also tried to keep toxic people away. I mean, obviously I'm not perfect and these behaviors will still occur but I'm working to curb them.
Fall and winter always push me inside myself. In the past, I think that's why it was always so easy to get down, because I was so in my head and what was there was not happy. It's probably also why I started romances at those times, because I needed someone else to be there for me when I couldn't be there for myself (for the record, I've considered that might be where this thing with J is coming from, but I'm pretty sure its not). But it's also always the time I feel most alive, most myself. And right now, I feel that in a really pure way, almost raw. Like some sort of barebones structure of myself. I almost revel sometimes, in the idea that I am DOING THIS, I am broke and alone and HAPPY. And even though I'm not completely alone, I'm here alone and I'm not sad about it. In fact, in a recent conversation about the benefits of moving back to Baton Rouge, I firmly stated my intention to be here for "awhile." It's just something I have to do for myself and something that I may not ever have the chance to do again--to live for myself only. There's something huge in that, almost overwhelming when I consider it too much. There is this profound joy in very small things, like yesterday morning, I woke up early, leaving J sleeping, and made coffee in the french press and sat reading Chekhov in my office (what will one day be my dining room) and listening to Simon and Garfunkel while Marla sat in my lap.
I'm half considering deleting this whole entry because I feel like I can't quite express what I want to say, but I think I'll leave it here for my own reference right now.
Also, I've been reminded that, no matter what's going on in life, I still want to listen to Smashing Pumpkins when it's cold outside.