02 February 2019

There Will Be a Fish

“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” ~ Ovid, Heroides
Last year, I made a life-changing decision to try one more time.  One last attempt, I told myself.  I fought with myself for weeks, oscillating back and forth from "should i do it?" to "I will definitely do it!" and I did definitely do it, and looking back, I am glad I did.

It was not easy.  I felt as though I had to swallow every last shred of pride and dignity that I had left, and I had to stop my mind from going back to those dark years of my life with him, but I somehow managed to pick up the phone, dial his number, let it ring, hear him answer, and simply talk to him.

The first few minutes were awkward, strained even.  But I was determined.  I had to let him understand that I was not reaching out to him for any other reason other than to try to bridge the years and the distance and the time lost between my daughter and her father.

He did not believe me at first.  Too much time had passed, he said, and he didn't see the sense of it all.  Deep down I felt that he was scared.  Scared to make the effort, scared to feel the fatherly feelings towards his daughter, only to find her rejecting him in the same way he had rejected her all these years.

I begged him to try.  Not for me, but for her.  Because no matter how we felt for one another, she was innocent.  And she deserved to meet him at least one time in her life.

I told G that I had contacted her father.  She immediately wrapped her arms around herself and her body stiffened.  I felt her bracing herself as I summarized my phone call with him, and told her of our plan to meet.  She was silent.  She looked apprehensive.  After a few seconds, she said, "Ok."

She met her father for the first time on a cold night last January.  It was anti-climactic in every way.  There was no big crying reunion scene between father and daughter.  Instead, it was an awkward and tense evening that left all of us emotionally drained.  

If one were to ask me that night how I would envision the next year to be between us, I never would have imagined the situation that it is now.

Now, one year later, after many rough months of ironing out of differences and building trust, she divides her time between her father and me.  Sometimes she is with him (and his new wife and her son), and other times she is with me.  While he and I will never be friends, we get along better now than ever before.  It is a relationship born out of the mutual love we have for our daughter, and while far from perfect, it is better than I had even hoped. 

I am proud of myself for giving him one more chance, even though I felt at the time that he never deserved it.  But G deserved it.  And I'm glad that I fought for her chance.

28 January 2019

Twenty Nineteen

“Where did feelings go when they disappeared? Did they leave a chemical trace somewhere in our minds, so that if we could look inside ourselves we would see via the patterns of neurons some of the important things that had happened to us in our lifetimes?" ~ Evelyn Lau, Inside Out: Reflections On a Life So Far
So, here I am.  Back again.  It is now 2019.  I cannot believe that the last time I was here was in 2017.
Much has changed since the last time I wrote.

For one, I am significantly older.  In many ways.  Physically, emotionally, mentally.  2018 was the year of growing up.  I left a great job in the early part of last year, and went on to an even better job.  The new job is challenging and has brought me to what I thought were my limits, but I have been able to shatter previous ceilings and reach for higher elevations.  It has been an exhausting but rewarding ride, and I have graduated to the next level of my career.

Last year was also the first time that I noticed the middle-aged pouch developing around my midsection despite my attempts at healthy eating and moderate exercise.  I had to step up my game, and so I decided to join a gym in October.  This week will be my third month, and I am proud to say that I have been able to workout at least three times a week.  So far, I have not lost any weight, but I feel better and my clothes fit nicely.  My posture has also improved, and the increased circulation seems to have brightened my complexion.

Mentally and emotionally, I have made significant strides.  I am less depressed and I feel more positive in general.  I have been battling bouts of depression my entire life, and I am sure that I will have those down cycles again, but for the moment, I am grateful that I am feeling good, and without any chemical help, thank you very much.  Consistent exercise and eating well have been effective at healing my mood swings, and I will do my best to stay on track.

For those of you who have been following me from the very beginning, my daughter, G, is turning twelve in March.  Remember how I used to call her Baby G?  Well, she is now Tweeny G.  She is almost as tall as I am. She is spunky, smart and quick-witted, and unfortunately for me, good with the clapbacks.  There have been moments when I have pictured strangling her for how she talks back to me, but deep down I am proud that she is a person who will not accept BS or abuse from anyone. 

I promise that I will do better in coming back here as often as possible.  Please let me know if you are still around.  I hope to reconnect with all of you.  Cheers! 

28 October 2017

Will I Ever Feel Whole Again?

“Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go but rather learning to start over.” ~ Nicole Sobon, Program 13
So we moved in the beginning of September.  I had gone to the Philippines during the last part of August to visit my mom who had been sick with pneumonia for most of the summer, and almost immediately after I stepped back down on U.S. soil, I was moving residences for the first time in four years.

I wanted to move.  I needed to move.  Or so I thought.  I had been holding onto my last relationship as though he were my lifeline, and I had thought that moving away from the area where he lived would close the door to him forever.  And in many ways, it has, and although I had not convinced myself that I had already done so, in actuality I had already moved on from him, and moving away from him had actually reopened old wounds.

Go figure.

I walk these old streets and remember the times, in the beginning days of our relationship, when he and I would walk these same roads.  I spy the window of my old apartment, and I can see my face there, looking out from that same fourth floor window with anticipation and excitement, as I used to look out for his car.  Today, I walked around the neighborhood and a cold breeze blew past, and I was suddenly carried back to the time I stood outside my old apartment building and he and I had our first kiss with the crisp Autumn air blowing on our necks.

I pass by a Costa Rican chicken shop almost every day, and it reminds me every time of the trip he and I took to Costa Rica.  And when I hear the sirens from the nearby firehouse, I remember the nights I used to visit him at the firehouse because we both hated spending the nights away from each other while he worked.

Moving away from him has actually made me miss him again, with a fierceness that I never experienced when I was living in the house that we once shared.  I feel an emptiness inside me that nothing has been able to fill, and I have once again sunk into a dark and lonely abyss of depression and helplessness.