Sunday, September 06, 2015

Of Nothing In Particular

“Online it looks like you’re having a lot of fun,” people say.

I smile, I nod. “Thank you, yes. Things are great.”

Just in the last two weekends, among other things, I:

~ hiked to Stewart Falls, but ended up running the trail because I like to go faster than just walking. Beautiful scenery, I love discovering so many new places in Utah, and I love working out.



~ attended a fundraising event for United Way of Utah County, put on by Provo’s mayor John Curtis. Held at the rec center it included a dinner and a ton of activities, including a poolside screening of JAWS, how cool!



~ did one of my MOST FAVORITE THINGS EVER, the full moon lift ride at Sundance. Oh, there is nothing like it, nothing at all. No words to even describe.


~ got my hair cut and colored.


~ got called up on stage to co-lead a song with Kass —she’s world-famous and I love that I get to learn from her locally, and that it’s recorded!


~ went to the Provo Rooftop Concert Series, which I haven’t done for years. Kaskade performed, can you believe it?! World-famous Kaskade has ties to Provo, I live in the best city in the world.




~ attended the Beehive Bazaar and the Pocket Film Fest. I love supporting my friends in their endeavors which are legit cool and deserve all the success.


~ attended a live performance and recording of Music and the Spoken Word in the tabernacle on Temple Square. The choir performed one of my top 3 lifelong favorite songs, The Road Not Taken, and it was amazing! I went over to the Visitors’ Center and saw a picture of myself from when I was an extra in the New Testament films—so cool!


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Last week my brother and my sister each advanced their careers. In our group text, in addition to congratulations (and because I don't want a new job, I love the jobs I've got) I looked around to offer some good news of my own, and the best I could come up with was, ‘My utilities haven’t been shut off—so glad the 11th is next week!’

My mom & stepdad are spending the weekend visiting my sister in DC. They attended church in the Arlington 2nd ward and met my friends the Sherinians. What I wouldn’t have given to be there with them all.

Talked with my dad today, like I do every Sunday. He’s in Lake Orion with his brothers for a few days, they’re going to AC/DC on Tuesday in Detroit. At the end of our conversation, my dad surprised me with some words of counsel and love, completely unprompted by anything I had said: “Jen, you’re doing good. You look good—you look great. You’re doing a great job. Believe me, I know more than anyone else what it’s like to be the third wheel, but hang in there, okay? And when the shit hits the fan? Pray. Pray, that’s what’ll do it. You’ll be fine, Jen. You’ll be okay. Things will be okay. You’ll be great.”

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“Online it looks like you’re having a lot of fun,” people say. Usually they say it suspiciously, sometimes it’s kind of a question. I know they want me to say something, I just don’t know what. Of course that’s what it looks like online. That’s on purpose. My kids are online. I’ve never been a dirty laundry-airer, that’s not going to change because I’m divorced. I need a freaking break from people who think my opinions and life choices will magically begin to be valid again once I've been divorced for a year.

I smile, I nod. “Thank you, yes. Things are great.” They’re great in moments, but overall they’re super crappy. Those can co-exist, and they do. I’m not going to say that I’m lonely because I don’t want those words to be mistaken for an idea that I regret my divorce because I do not. But I am The Lonliest. I'm also tired of being accused of stuff, or the suggestions that I should or should not be doing this or that in my life now, so I'll just keep this conversation superficial.

Just in the last two weekends, among other things, I: because this is weekend 2 out of 3 in a row I am without my kids, a time during which I do my best to fill with enriching activities, despite the fact that doing so makes me behind in the work I have to get done, but if I don’t do them I feel like I will shrivel up and die. How I long to be invited to do something with someone—yes, a date--  and not be the one doing the inviting and being ignored … it’s exhausting. Getting out the door at all often requires literal hours of concentration because of having to fight off an inclination to just be a hermit, something that would make me further shrivel.

~ hiked to Stewart Falls, but ended up running the trail because I like to go faster than just walking. Beautiful scenery, I love discovering so many new places in Utah, and I love working out. This particular hike/run was prompted by yet another, ‘Sorry, I can’t,’ and the experience of absorbing some negative energy I picked up from a few people which I then turned in on myself, making my emotional load nearly completely unbearable. It was during this experience that I realized I may be actually running away from some stuff I’m not too eager to face (which I know I can do, I’m strong, I’ve been through harder stuff), plus I stepped on a root and my foot has been hurting when I dance. Right after I collected my phone from that first picture I turned toward the mountain and burst into tears; I can see the self-loathing in my face in the second picture.

~ attended a fundraising event for United Way of Utah County, put on by Provo’s mayor John Curtis. Held at the rec center it included a dinner and a ton of activities, including a poolside screening of JAWS, how cool! I hate going to these things alone—I’ve been going to things alone for years, so this isn’t new. I’m so grateful Branden and Emilie sat down to spend dinner with me; I won’t ever be in the kind of relationship they’re in, it's too late for me, but I love watching them, what a dream team. After I walked with them to their car it took all my energy to go back to watch that movie, but worse would have been to resign to going home to my empty house. I sat on that chair amongst pairs of people cuddling and watching the movie together, or families enjoying their time. Friday night is family night, and date night, and I sat by myself, eating an apple and looking straight ahead.

~ did one of my MOST FAVORITE THINGS EVER, the full moon lift ride at Sundance. Oh, there is nothing like it, nothing at all. No words to even describe. I invited someone who, shoot, couldn’t make it, but I wasn’t going to miss another month’s ride so I went by myself, which I hated. This ride, in years past, provided for me a unique connection to a part of myself I knew I’d get to, and though I’ve arrived, my ache to share it remains. I both loved and hated it so, so much.

~ got my hair cut and colored. So pretty, good job, Courtney. Please, someone tell me I’m pretty. Please. But more than that. A good person. And kind. Please. "I just wanna be liked, I just wanna be funny."

~ got called up on stage to co-lead a song with Kass —she’s world-famous and I love that I get to learn from her locally, and that it’s recorded! I feel like an idiot for asking Alisa to record again, she’s not my personal camerawoman, she should dance the fun songs, too. I don’t know why I can’t get my crap together enough to finish choreographing my hour so I can sign up to sub and eventually teach. I feel like I’m letting down so many people that way, and I wish I could let Kass know I like her because she’s her, not because she’s famous and hot…I hope she knows that. And are people sick of these videos? Sheesh.

~ went to the Provo Rooftop Concert Series, which I haven’t done for years. Kaskade performed, can you believe it?! World-famous Kaskade has ties to Provo, I live in the best city in the world. There’s so much emotion tied to this I can barely touch it. My feelings are healed but I was on-edge and wary. Did I even belong at that concert? Where do I fit in? I’m almost 40, I feel like a complete loser. Oh, good—there are my friends…all on dates with each other. No one will ever adore me the way Lee seems to adore Katie, even in this, the infancy of their relationship. 

~ attended the Beehive Bazaar and the Pocket Film Fest. I love supporting my friends in their endeavors which are legit cool and deserve all the success. I’m so tired and unaccomplished and not cool. What am I doing?

~ attended a live performance and recording of Music and the Spoken Word in the tabernacle on Temple Square. The choir performed one of my top 3 lifelong favorite songs, The Road Not Taken, and it was amazing! I went over to the Visitors’ Center and saw a picture of myself from when I was an extra in the New Testament films—so cool! A friend was supposed to meet me this morning and didn’t even reply to my text messages, and I had so much anxiety about it, and it was so distracting. Tell me you can’t make it-- I get it, things come up, but please don’t ignore me, ugh, that makes me feel so completely insignificant. My favorite song? I mean, I’m a people person. I wanted to share it with someone. The only three people I knew there were in the choir, so technically they were sharing it with me, but I just…I needed to share it. Someone to be there with me. Nope, alone. And the picture in the Visitors’ Center? That’s a huge deal, I couldn’t believe it, and I…well, I shared it with a sister missionary from China. Then I looked around. Alone, again, so I shared it online instead. That’s sort of the same. I look at that picture and mainly see how much of a fool I am.

Every night I'm alone. I'm grateful for what I've got, so I share it. I need the reminder.

15 comments:

Josh Bingham said...

I love you.

Emily said...

So many people are more eloquent than I (most in the comments on Facebook) so all I will say is I live you. I always have. I have felt of your strength and your spirit and your beauty since the first time I met you. My heart breaks for you and these offline moments because you of all people deserve better. You deserve all the wonderful things. Your are always in my thoughts, my prayers and my heart. And I've never been to Music and the Spoken Wird but I would love to go. That and the moonlight lift ride. So call me maybe. xoxo

~andrea~ said...

Hi, Jenny, I don't know you - but arrived here at your blog from a friend of a friend on Facebook (so don't know Josh B either!), yet want to say how much these words resonate so close to the bone – for different reasons than yours – but still kindred feelings. I love that you gave us the upbeat, and then the downbeat in this blog, so we can hear the full sound-wave of joy and sorrow, wins and losses. That root you caught with your foot may have been a small poke as a reminder to let yourself grieve at your own pace, and try not to rush. The rains will come through you and wash away the loss of past dreams and illusions and hopes—and even the tug of past good times that began something, even if it changed later. Then will come a day when it all settles and you know you’ve left yourself room for another heart that’s looking for you. And room to be alone again, with loneliness more of a transient wisp than a full storm coming through. Heal up and sow new perennial seeds to winter over. This empty open space is where the beginning begins again.

Jen said...

Jeff and I were talking about President Uchtdorf's talk tonight- the one where he says to be kind to yourself because often, with social media, we compare our worst with someone else's best. This was refreshingly honest. And you are beautiful! And I really do love your hair! And it was nice to see you this summer- I'm glad you came up. You're the extended extended family- it's all the same!

Rob Allen said...

Good to read and understand a little more.

Katherine Of It All said...

I don't know you, but my friend shared your blog post, and I have to respond. Thank you for your honesty. I understand. I do. And your honesty is so real and vulnerable and golden and good, and it means something to me. So again, thank you.

Naomi said...

I'm so sorry you are lonely. I wish you weren't let down by so many. If I lived nearby I would totally go on dates with you!! You are doing hard things, lady. You have it in you to keep doing it, and do it well xxx

jmoesser said...

1. Thank you for being open about your situation. It helps me to understand what you and other friends I have (too many!) that are divorced. 2. Your friend that ignored you...that was mean. I don't understand why anyone would ever do that. 3. Though I'm married, sometimes I feel it's just by God's mercy alone, because it's been really hard sometimes. I can relate, in some ways, to the feeling of having to psych yourself up mentally for hours to go out and do stuff. I applaud your courage and sheer mental fortitude for doing it.

Aubrey said...

This is the best thing you've ever shared. Real life is messy, complicated and often exhausting, but oh so beautiful! Sending love your way!

A Few Tacos Shy... said...

Thank you. Yes. All the yesses. Same boat. It sucks, but I'm not sinking anymore. I was when I was married but that happens when you are tethered to the titanic.

b. said...

Yup.
I get this on so many levels.
I've got the same phone number.

Darn It Janet said...

Dalene told me years ago that you were funny and brilliant, and she was right. I'm so glad I found Josh's FB post about the Meridian article (you know the one, right?) and through Josh, you. This very honest post brings to mind my divorced and single loved ones and a determination to seek them out and spend more time with them. Love to you, and the hope that someday soon, you'll be on the other side of this hard time, remembering when.

ElleWoodz said...

I just want to be on that moon ride with you, and hear the choir sing "telling this with a sigh." I'm pretty sure we should be texting and talking more. Because it's quiet up in this fig tree, too.

Britta Busche said...

Love your thoughts. Same boat over here, we are not alone.❤️

Emily Dabczynski said...

Jenny I miss and love you so.