10/23/2014

This evening was pretty rough. The Ex had texted me earlier this week to see what we were doing this evening, and we had no plans, so she said maybe she could see kiddo. Fine, I said, no problem. She needs to see her mom on a more regular basis. Well, she texts me this morning all giddy and using lots of exclamation marks because “she hasn’t seen her kid in forever”, and I’m like yeah, okay, don’t get all geeked out on me. And I go through my day, work was fine, and I’m leaving work and she’s all “where are we meeting” blah blah blah, and I thought you know, it would be nice for kiddo to spend some time with just her mom. They never do that anymore. So I suggest it. No no no, she wants to spend time with both of us. Okay, fine. So we go to a restaurant, end up waiting like 30 minutes for her to show up. We sit down. She whips out her phone and starts showing me all the pictures of this new apartment she’s going to be moving into next week. Cool beans. I’m happy for her. Then I remembered that I needed to tell her about something that happened at school. So I did. And she got all pissed at me for not calling her right away, and she got all kinds of passive aggressive, like I’m cutting her out of her daughter’s life and all that stuff. Whatever. I wasn’t going to fight about it. And then I don’t remember how it came up, but she said something about how she’s not going to get benefits at her job until February. Okay, I said, I had been thinking about that and…..

WHAT?

I had been thinking about that and….

THINKING ABOUT WHAT?

Well, you know…about how you’re going to need benefits because….

Bam. She was all over me.

BECAUSE OF THE DIVORCE?

Uh, yeah…but this doesn’t seem to be the appropriate place to talk about it…

GUESS WHAT KID, YOUR PARENTS ARE GETTING A DIVORCE.

Poor kiddo had to sit through the absolute train wreck that ensued.

The Ex ends up getting her phone back and out literally reading off the names of the guys she is talking to on Tinder. Starts showing me pictures. Starts showing me things they’ve said to her – really nasty sexual things, of course. And she’s just throwing this all in my face, along with all kinds of nasty comments about me under her breath, and then she starts showing me pictures of her and John, this guy she’s been living with – nothing sexual, it’s all pictures of them together, one of them kissing, one of them laughing and making faces and all that stuff. And some pictures of them with John’s son having fun. And then she shows me a picture of the hole in my old apartment’s roof, and she says AND WHILE WE WERE DOING THAT, YOU WERE DEALING WITH THIS. She says to me, look at this guy – I’ve been talking to him for a week or two. I’M MEETING HIM AFTER I LEAVE HERE. HE’S A NICE GUY. HE CARES ABOUT ME. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

I’m just sitting there…in a restaurant…with my daughter sitting across the table…and other people milling about…and it’s hitting me like one big FUCK YOU after another, and somehow I kept my shit together.

Actually, it wasn’t that hard. Because here I was, taking it like a champ, while the Ex just launches barrage after barrage of absolute bullshit at me. She was doing everything in her power to get under my skin. And hey, maybe it did. A little. But she got it all out, and I just finished my dinner, and poor kiddo is like “so you’re really getting a divorce?” and I’m like yep, but guess what – nothing is going to change. I’ll still be your dad. She’ll still be your mom. And we’ll both love you more than anything else in the world.

So dinner ended, but not without some more passive aggressive nonsense. I ask her if she wants to split the check 50/50. Nope, she’s paying for herself. Okay. So the waitress comes to get the check and she jumps in.

I’M PAYING FOR MYSELF AND MY DAUGHTER, AND HE’S PAYING FOR HIMSELF.

Well, okay then.

I pay for my dinner, and I leave a tip on the amount I paid.

DID YOU LEAVE THE WHOLE TIP OR JUST ENOUGH FOR YOURS?

Well, I tipped pretty well for what I got, so it could be the whole thing if you don’t want to leave anything else…

I’M NOT LETTING YOU WIN.

She tips the same amount as me.

Okay…

We leave. Kiddo gives her a hug, tries to talk to her but she’s already got the door closed. She drives off.

Kiddo – bless her heart – says to me as we’re getting in the car, “Daddy, I don’t believe any of those things mommy said about you.”

Well, kiddo, neither do I. Neither do I.

It was validation. It brought back some anger, some frustration, some embarrassment. It reminded me why I’m not with the Ex anymore. And you know what? I’m not eating dinner with her again. Not happening. She can take kiddo out for dinner, no problem, but I won’t be there for it. I’m not sitting through that again. I don’t need it. Kiddo doesn’t need it. Maybe the Ex will talk badly about me while I’m not around, but I don’t care. Kiddo’s smart enough to know the difference. She’s smart enough to know bullshit when she hears it. I feel bad for my Ex. I really do. She’s trying so hard to prove that leaving her in the dust is the wrong decision, but everything she does proves that I’m right.

I’m not going to let her tear me down. I’m not going to let her tear our daughter down. We’ve gone through hell over the past 17, almost 18 months. Seriously. And we’ve come out better off because of it. And the Ex? She hasn’t changed a bit.

The Ex doesn’t know it, but I’m going on a date on Saturday morning. I’m going for a nice walk with a nice girl and maybe we’ll be friends, who knows. I deserve friends. And then we’re going to do our last two shows at the theater, and watch Walking Dead with friends. I’m going to things right. I’m going to be happy.

10/20/2014

I need to recap a few things on here so that later on I can refer back to how I felt these last few days. I don’t want to forget.

Yesterday was a really good day. We slept in, because after all we had been out late the night before at that Halloween party. We got up and did our laundry. Then we watched Supernatural for a while. Then we went to our friend’s house for Walking Dead. The usual crew was there, including P. Shit, I like that girl. But now that I got my feelings off my chest I did feel a bit more comfortable around her. I know where her boundaries are. So we traded some small talk throughout the show. There was one particular instance when she was asking me questions and our other friends kept interrupting, and it was kind of funny how she reacted, putting her hands up on either side of her face to eliminate the distraction. It was nice. She focused on me for all of ten seconds, and I appreciated it. The night went well, we had some chili and I had a pumpkin beer. I brought chocolate pudding for everyone. Good times.

Today kiddo and I had appointments at the eye doctor. I had 9 a.m. down on my calendar, but I got an email saying 9:40, so we arrived a little before 9:30. Well, it turns out that kiddo’s appointment was 9 a.m. and mine was 9:40 a.m. The Ex had scheduled them, and the reminders had been confusing. So the long and short of it was that kiddo had to be rescheduled for 9:50, but she had to see a different doctor. It was also a little confusing that the Ex wasn’t there…I thought she might attend, but she didn’t show up so I didn’t think anything of it. Well apparently she forgot and then she tried to text me, and I said we were at the eye doctor, and she got all upset for having missed the appointments. Then she found out that kiddo was seeing a different doctor and had a horrendous episode of being very disrespectful, she had me flat out question the other doctor’s expertise right in front of him while I was on the phone with her. It was embarrassing. The other doctor did a fine job, our eyes were perfect. But the Ex wanted things her way and was upset with me for not doing….*something*. I’m not sure what. I guess she was upset that I didn’t call her to remind her to be there, and that I didn’t throw a hissy fit when they scheduled kiddo with a different doctor. I told her she was overreacting to it all, that I was doing my best given the circumstances, and that I had gone above and beyond in spending almost $100 to have them to do the full battery of tests on us to be thorough. I thought she would appreciate that. Instead she was just critical of me.

She got back to me later and apologized, but it was an amazing reminder of exactly why I don’t want to be with her anymore. She’s a control freak. She wants it all done her way regardless of how rational (or irrational) her way is. I did a fine job of handling the consequences of my mistake and she couldn’t accept that. She also got upset that we didn’t need her anymore, or at least that’s how she put it. I clarified that I don’t need her, but kiddo certainly does, and she didn’t want to hear that right away but I think she understood after she cooled down. I went out of my way to say that if she wanted me to schedule another appointment with her preferred doctor, I would. I wanted her to know that I felt bad about screwing the times up, and that I would do things to rectify the situation.

But like I said, it was a validating experience. I am so glad that I don’t have to live with that anymore – that controlling, disrespectful, unbending attitude. It reminded me of the good job that I am doing with kiddo. It’s not always easy, and it doesn’t always work out the way that I want it to, but on the whole kiddo is doing okay and we are getting by. I had money in the bank to pay for a thorough eye examination for both of us and we are healthy, the peace of mind is worth the money I spent. And we have a pretty good and open week ahead of us, I’m looking forward to getting some relaxation in after work today. We’ll watch some more Supernatural I think. Good stuff.

10/19/2014

It’s after 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, and I want to write a few things before I go to sleep.

I was reading about depression today and I feel like I should tell my counselor that I’d like to talk about it. I mean, I’ve got a good number of the symptoms. I found it interesting that some of the symptoms of depression are similar to characteristics of introverts, but if I’m being honest with myself it’s worth looking into. I may have been depressed for a while. If I am, I need to get help.

Kiddo and I went to a party this evening. A family we met through the theater invited us up, we live just down the street from them, so we went over about 7:30 and ended up staying until almost 1 a.m. I had two and a half beers so I’m feeling a little funky right now. Afton played nicely with all the kids there. I talked all night, which is unlike me, but I suppose having the beers helped. Several of us are going to plan a trip to see The Book of Mormon, the musical on Broadway. And another guy there wants to play disc golf with me. Overall it was a really fun evening and I didn’t think it would be because I’m not the typical party all night kind of guy but tonight was different, it went really well and I’m glad I have friends who invite us over. And I’m glad to make some new friends.

Tonight, and by tonight I mean Sunday night, we get to go to our other friends’ house for The Walking Dead. And P will be there. I’m interested to see how she acts around me after I told her how I felt about her. I hope things can be normal between us. I feel very comfortable about it, which is nice. I think I may be a bit more relaxed around her than I have been in the past because I’ve got nothing to hide now.

10/17/2014

I figured that today I would write up my notes from the conference I was at yesterday. The keynote session, anyway.

It’s important to figure out what our “sacred cows” are. Those are the things that, for whatever reason, we get all defensive about when people suggest that we change them, move them, let go of them, etc. If someone said to me, “I think you should start going to bed at 8:30 p.m.” I would wrinkle my nose up and make lots of uncomfortable noises before disagreeing. Staying up late is one of my sacred cows. That’s pretty much the only time of day when I can sit in complete silence. If I went to bed earlier and woke up earlier I could have that silent time in the morning, but I really rely on having it at the end of the day so that I can unwind.

Anyway, we all have our personal sacred cows. But we also have organizational sacred cows. The ones at work, or at the place where we volunteer, or at our church. Some of them are more visible than others. Growing up Mormon, I can say that men holding the priesthood is a Mormon sacred cow. They’re not willing to budge on that even though there is a growing public outcry for equality. At work we have some sacred cows. The head of our organization is the only person who can talk to the media. If a reporter calls me for information, I have to send them to our top executive. No questions asked. Just forward the call or email. It’s a little bit annoying, and I understand why it’s done that way, but…it just reeks of bureaucracy.

Another thing we have to be aware of is how we measure success. The keynote speaker told a story to illustrate this. A guy was walking along a dirt road when he passed a farm. As he passed the farm, he saw bulls-eyes drawn all over the side of a barn. And he saw a guy holding a bow, and there were arrows right smack in the middle of each bulls-eye. He approached the man with the bow and said, “Wow! That’s incredible! You hit every single target, how did you do that?” The man replied, “I just shoot the arrows at the side of the barn, and then I draw bulls-eyes wherever they land.”

We all do that, more or less. The organizations we are a part of do the same. Sometimes we finish a project, and it went all wrong and we wasted so much time, but we slap a big banner up on the wall at the end of it and we celebrate it like it was a huge success! I mean, I guess it’s worth celebrating any achievement, but was it really a success? And, connecting this idea with the last one, it is not a good sign when celebrating every change as a success is a sacred cow of your organization. Like, you can’t stand up at the end and say, “Hey, that was rough, let’s not go through that again” because you’d be implying that your organization wasn’t perfect and successful in everything that it does. That’s baaaaad.

Speaking of success, sometimes it’s not as easy as shooting a bulls-eye. Sometimes it’s a long process and you need evaluation points. Like you could change the trajectory of the arrow mid-flight. It’s really important to establish those evaluation points to ensure that you’re still on the right path, that you’re still headed for the bulls-eye and not for some other part of the barn wall.

That’s enough metaphors for now, I think.

The keynote speaker also discussed ideas like:

  • don’t wait until it’s too late to change – this brought to mind the idea of disruption. He talked about how railroad companies thought they were just railroad companies when, in fact, they should have viewed themselves as transportation companies. They could have branched out into other transportation modes to stay relevant.
  • be a team – you have to want to win. If something is preventing you from winning/succeeding, you have to identify it and deal with it. On a team you have to focus on a mission and a vision. In a family you focus on individuals and feelings and that sort of thing, so even though it feels good to say your organization is like a family, perhaps it would be better to refer to it as a team. Teammates can give each other criticism and, when they do it with an eye on the mission of the organization, it is less of a personal affront.

I’m going to try to bring some of these ideas up here at work, because I think we have a lot of areas of improvement.

10/16/2014

I got to skip work today to make a presentation at a conference. The drive there was just over an hour, got there on time and checked in, saw some familiar faces. I sat through several interesting sessions and took some notes. Lunch was good, I ate with a guy who I’ve mentored a little bit and it was nice to swap stories from our respective workplaces. Then at 3:15 my presentation was up. It seemed to go well, although we lost about half the people in the room because vendor exhibits opened at the same time as my presentation. I had a couple compliments afterward. The drive home took an hour and forty minutes due to bad weather and traffic, and this other girl I went on a date with the other night really wanted to see a movie tonight but I am avoiding her because I don’t really care to see her again. Tomorrow is our next show, and then we’ll have another on Saturday, so I’m going to try to focus on that this weekend.

10/15/2014

I saw trying to think of something to write today, and then I saw this.

KAyYxGT

I’m pretty sure I have done 23 of those things (including the spaces because space is fucking awesome). And, well, that’s plenty for today.

Just kidding.

So I did sleep well last night. And I woke up five minutes before the alarm went off. I didn’t snooze it, I just got up and showered, woke kiddo up, cut up an apple for breakfast, and did a little internet browsing. Came to work, got some shit done. I’m not sure what my evening plans are. Kiddo is waffling about doing the Christmas show at the theatre, so we might end up going to town and auditioning for that. I should clarify – she can audition for that. I’m not doing the Christmas show. I need a break. I need some relaxation, some Netflix binging, some Chinese food for dinner while I’m wearing pajamas and not shaving kind of stuff.

I feel good though. I don’t feel upset. About last night, or anything related to it. I’m seriously okay with how things went down. The worst case scenario in my head DID NOT happen. She didn’t say EWWW GROSS NO WAY or ignore my message entirely. She responded. And she said that she was trying to figure out who she was, and that she wasn’t ready to date anyone. And I’m okay with that. I have been in that exact position. I’m still kind of there, but I think I’m getting closer to knowing who I am and all that business. I hope that she accepts my feelings as a complement of sorts. Even if she’s not open to dating, I want her to know that I admire her, that I think she’s doing the right things. Whether she ever takes me up on my offer to date is beside the point.

So now the only unknown is what happens on Sunday. Our Sunday evening TV watching parties are kicking off again this week and I will be absolutely fine being in the same room as her, but I just don’t want her to feel uncomfortable around me for having told her how I feel about her. I am hoping that our little agreement to still be friends means that she’ll be okay with it. Well, maybe if she’s a little awkward around me it will be okay because maybe that means I make her nervous and she likes me just a wee little teeny weeny bit :-)

I Did It

I usually title my posts with the date they were written on, but this one has to be different. It has to be different because I DID IT.

I told P how I felt about her. I wasn’t sure what her answer would be…worst-case, she would ignore the message and never talk to me again. Best case, she would tell me she liked me too. What I got was in between, but it was exactly what I needed. She said that she appreciated the compliments and valued our friendship, but that she was trying to figure out some things and wasn’t ready to be more than friends. And she apologized. I told her she didn’t need to apologize, and that if she needed someone to listen I was always available. And I told her I was glad we could still be friends.

Now, I don’t know if she was just letting me down easy or if she really meant what she said. But I have to take her at her word. And that means that I didn’t screw things up. It means that no, she’s not going to date me, but it also means that now I don’t have to be so damn awkward around her. Because I spent so much time around her being awkward because I was hiding how I felt about her. I can be authentic now. We can be friends. That’s huge. I need friends, good friends, and lots of them.

So I’m glad that I told her. It took about two hours of talking to some 15 year-old girl on BlahTherapy.com to get the courage built up to do it, but I did it. I think I’m going to sleep well tonight. I feel like a huge burden is off of my shoulders. I did it.

10/13/2014

I went on a date tonight; it was fun. I enjoyed the food and drinks and conversation. But the whole drive up, all I could think about was P. None of these other girls can compare. But I’m too afraid to say anything. I don’t want to ruin a good friendship by trying to turn it into something else. I don’t want to ruin more than one friendship. My date this evening kissed me, and all I can think about is some other girl. Is the answer patience, or is it assertion? Did I already blow my chance at dating P, or am I just making false assumptions? *sigh*

10/9/2014

I was all kinds of upset yesterday. I just sat at my desk and felt sorry for myself all day long. Thinking about missed opportunities and what could have been and how I didn’t know what to do about any of it.

We didn’t have a rehearsal last night, so I picked kiddo up from her after-school activity and we went to Wal Mart for a few items and after getting home I went for a run. I was determined to run the hurt away. It worked beautifully. I ran 5.1 kilometers in just over 32 minutes. My personal best had been around 37 minutes, so it felt good to shave a few minutes off of my time. I also took a moment to look back at my previous runs of that distance, and I noticed that it was just about two years ago when I ran my first ever 5k in an hour and three minutes. I’ve cut that time just about in half, which is amazing. It feels really good to be able to run like that. I felt a lot better yesterday evening.

10/8/2014

It’s a big week for us…the latest show at the theatre opens this week. Kiddo and I have been so busy for the last month and a half getting ready. And sadly this has not been my favorite show to work on, so I am glad that it is almost over. We have a rehearsal on Thursday evening and then six performances over the next three weeks. Then we’ll have our evenings back for a while. Neither of us seem interested in doing the Christmas show.

J just stopped talking to me about a week ago. I sent her a text and asked if she was okay, she had been quiet, and got no response. I don’t know what to make of it. I’ve been bored though, without her to talk to. I got back on two dating websites and have had a few conversations with people but nothing exciting.

The worst part is that I’ve been thinking about P a lot lately. Ever since I went to see her show a couple weeks ago. I hadn’t seen her for about a month before that, and I had finally gotten her at least to the back of my mind, and now bam, she’s right back in there. I’ve tried to ignore it all. I haven’t texted her or anything. I commented on a Facebook post of hers, told her congratulations on a directing gig she had picked up. She liked a status of mine. It’s like, we’re still friendly. Just at a distance. I still have no idea if there is any interest on her part. That’s the worst thing. I wish I could just get a “let’s just be friends” because at least that would be clarity. There would be boundaries. But as it stands now, there’s nothing. I don’t know what we are. I don’t know what she wants. I just know that none of the other girls I’ve dated have come close to her. And I think subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) I am using her as the standard by which I’m judging all of my other dating prospects. It sucks. She said she would come to one of our shows, so that’s probably where I’ll see her next. And then on the 19th we’ll start watching The Walking Dead at our other friends’ house again. And I just know that I’m setting myself up for more heartache. I don’t want that. But I can’t stop.