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Posts from the Past: #4

23 Mar

I think it’s time for another post from the past.  For those of you new here, I’ve been revisiting posts from my previous blog to remind me of what brought me to where I am now.  Without what I wrote in those pages, I wouldn’t be who I am now.

This particular post brings up some painful memories and is somewhat difficult for me to read.  My friend had just lost his best friend to a hit-and-run Christmas night.  It was beyond devastating to him and his community; and as much as I was saddened by her death, it was even harder to see him in so much pain.  I was planning on posting something entirely different, but then I happened to click on this one and after reading it, I feel like it speaks to me now even more.  I can’t compare the pain of losing my babies to the pain her parents must have been in, even the pain my friend was in, as it’s certainly not the same.  But the sadness and grief is just as real.  What I saw immediately after her death was that her friends came together instantly to lend each other support.  They cried and laughed together as they shared memories, they held one another when they fell from the weight of their emotions.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I know we have that here, and like I’ve said a bazillion times, I couldn’t be more grateful for that.  I just wish that that kind of support for our losses and struggles, happened in our real lives, too.  After going through this with my friend, I know we have that capacity to support one another in real life as well, we’re just not there yet.

My friend ended up naming his daughter after her.  She is so lucky to have her namesake.  B was an incredible woman, and I have no doubt LB will be, too.

(In an effort to help remind myself how I got here and what helped make me who I am today, I’m revisiting some posts from my past.  This was originally posted December 28, 2005.  You can read the intro to this series here , Post #1 here, Post #2 here and Post#3 here)


I’m sitting here trying to figure out which words that are in my head want to come out through my fingers and onto the screen. There are too many swirling around. The last 36 hours has been exhausting. I’ve been searching for answers that I know are not there, searching for a reason why this had to happen…even though I’m aware that that answer will never be found. In a life where I constantly search for reasons why something is the way it is, there have been too many times in the last few years where I’ve had to accept that a reason will never be known. I can feel my heartbreaking with every tear that falls from his eyes, with every smile I see on her face in my thoughts, with every question still left unanswered. I want to believe so badly that the words I hear myself saying are true, but this is the first time in 36 hours that I haven’t been trying to be strong for someone that needs it so badly right now…and my thoughts are turning darker as the familiar unsettlement returns.

Yet, I find myself in the face of the capacity of the human heart and I’m able to find some solace in the compassion that exposes itself so raw during a time like this…the capacity it has to reach out to another in pain; the ability it holds to drain hard emotion simultaneously with another experiencing similar tearing; the desire it has to do anything it can to make someone else’s pain cease…even if it’s only for a few hours of rest. This undeniable ability we hold in just a few words or movements toward another in pain is sometimes all the answers we need, if just for a moment. It somehow makes the pain of unanswered questions, bearable.

I’ll try to stop searching for answers, and start creating the reasons why I’m still left breathing.

I’ll do that for you. For all of you.

I’ll do that for me.


Posts from the Past: #3

20 Feb

Since I’m out of town, I thought I’d leave you with another post from the past.  This post was one I had written about 3 weeks before I left to move out here, and the effects of that decision to leave were hitting me one by one.  It’s fun for me to look back at the words here and know what was in store for this girl.  There was a lot of fear in letting go of a hope (of love) that had been there for 4 years.  But in less than two months, she would unexpectedly find what she had been looking for all along.  And the rest?  It all fell into place (and then some).

(In an effort to help remind myself how I got here and what helped make me who I am today, I’m revisiting some posts from my past.  This was originally posted December 22, 2006.  You can read the intro to this series here , Post #1 here and Post #2 here.)


This is hard. Things are hitting me one by one, relationships are shifting, some ending. I think I’m doing well, but then I look at myself from another view, and I fear I’m just hiding it all in the rush of excitement of what’s about to come. I see the people around me changing, or staying the same, but my presense having no effect on it, no part in it. Do I still want to be a part in it? Or is it because I already made a conscious decision, that I hold no weight in any of it? I want this, I feel wholly that it’s the right move…but there’s a part that I feel hasn’t hit me yet. I see so many around me getting what they’ve wanted, creating the life they’ve always felt should be theirs, and I’m in the process of doing the same…but the part of me that’s scared keeps making my stomach turn, my heart weaken. The disappointments that have occurred over the past few days have tested my strength. The strength is profoundly present, I feel a difference between the me now and the me four years ago…but that same part of me is what wants what I wanted then. And I don’t know why, but that’s the part of me that is making me uneasy. Maybe because I feel it’s the very same part of me that thinks I still won’t get it. I’ll still end up disappointed in the end. That since I failed at finding it here, I might fail at finding it there. So how do I silence that part of me? That negative part, that part that keeps having to resurface with each heartache, each dead end, each misread?

This has been a hard week. Today someone that I, at one time, thought would be the person I would spend my life with, closed the possibility of that ever happening. Flipped the switch. Told me what I had been waiting to hear for 3 years now, something that would finally allow me to stop. hoping. But it’s happening right before I leave. 3 weeks before I leave. So which is it? Is it because I’m leaving, or because it’s the truth?

I think it’s the ease at which I’m taking this all that’s throwing me off. I haven’t broken down since he told me he didn’t think he’d ever leave her. Why haven’t I broken down? Am I stronger? Or has it just not hit me? And if that’s the case, when will it hit?

3 weeks feels like 3 decades. This week has felt like a month. These years, have felt like a lifetime.

I just hope I’m ready for the next. I think I am. I just need to make it there.

Posts from the Past: #2

9 Feb

Okay, let’s take another break from the seriousness with another installment of Posts From the Past.   Since the hubby and I are going on a date tonight, I figured it would be a good reason to revisit another date from the life of Single Courtney (to remind me how good I have it now).  So a little back story: when I lived in Rhode Island I worked at Brown University in the BioMed department.  I only went out on 2 dates with students while I was there: one being a just-graduated medical student and this guy below, who was a grad student at the time, but both were younger than me.  I justified the age by the fact they at least weren’t undergraduates.  (And now that I mention this other guy, I wish I could tell you about that date, because that seriously might top the other one now that I’m remembering it.  But unfortunately, it’s not Parent-Rated and I’m not quite sure I can post it here.  You’ll just have to take my word for it: it’s a date gone terribly terribly – and painfully – wrong.  Aren’t you glad I brought it up since I’m never planning on telling you?  I’m so nice!)  Anyway, back to the story.  I can’t remember how I met this kid or even why I was attracted to him.  Probably because he seemed more like a RISD guy than a Brown one and that made him intriguing to me.   I had picked him up for a daytime date one Sunday in April and we had decided to drive to a beach that was only about 10 minutes away.  This story below is the one and only time we went out, and it made for an awesomely awkward moment every time we ran into each other on campus.  I’m even including a comment in this one from my friend T, because she’s hilarious and it reminds me so much of her.  Okay, here it goes.  Short and not-so-sweet: Dating Story # 2.

(In an effort to help remind myself how I got here and what helped make me who I am today, I’m revisiting some posts from my past.  This was originally posted in 2005.  You can read the intro to this series here and Post #1 here.)

Sunday, a day of love for yours truly. Or not.

Okay, so this is what happened. After approximately 15 minutes at the windy, cold beach, he offered me a choice. “Do you want to stick around a while longer, or head back?” I said I could do either, and asked his preference. He said he’d like to go back, as he had some stuff he could get done. Hmm..where was this stuff when I invited him to come with me? After the weird silence moments before, I figured the stuff must have miraculously appeared. On the way home, he seemed to be overly annoyed with Took’s pacing, which in turn annoyed me. Before we made it to the house, I recognized the signs immediately. Hell, I’ve perfected the signs. The cd came out of the player blocks before the house, he held his camera and jacket in one hand, and the other hand was grabbing the bag. If he had had another free, he would’ve had it on the door handle, ready to jump out before I had even stopped. He said goodbye with no eye contact as he had one foot out the door.

So my only conclusions are these: he must have either (a) really had to go to the bathroom after he ate his sandwich, (b) remembered he left the coffee maker on, (c) this “stuff” he spoke about included solving the AIDS crisis and ridding the world of hatred and crime and he came up with the solution at the beach, or (d) he was intimidated by my beauty and could no longer handle being in the presence of such perfection.

I’ll leave it up to you, reader, to decide which one the correct answer is…but I’m banking on (d).


boys suck ass anyway. f him. he was only 23 and still in diapers anyway. i told you to get rid of
* t 

Installment #1: Posts From the Past

1 Feb

Whew.  Alright.  I know I’m tired of hearing me whine and moan, so let’s take a break, shall we?  Don’t get your hopes up too much, though, I’m fairly certain there’s more in there but I’m in need of a breather from it.  Even if it’s just for a moment.

I started something back here and have been meaning to revisit it since then, but I got a little wrapped up in, well, myself.  There are some good posts on there that I can’t wait to share, but a lot of the ones I have in mind are a bit heavy (shocking!), and that would defeat the purpose of a break from myself.   So we’ll save those for later.  You know, for times when I’m not too emotional.  Ha!

While I lived in Rhode Island, I went on some pretty interesting dates.  There are three in particular that stand out, but this one may have topped them all.  It’s one of my favorite date stories to tell.  Somehow I left out the part where I called my girlfriend from the bathroom asking her how I was going to get out of it.  So, you know, one of those.  Enjoy!

(In an effort to help remind myself how I got here and what helped make me who I am today, I’m revisiting some posts from my past.  This was originally posted in 2004.  You can read the intro to this series here.)

Dating Story #1

This particular guy was from somewhere in Europe that I met when I was showing my apartment to prospective sub-leasers*. He was cute; but then again, I was lonely and anxious for some kind of excitement in my life, and perhaps it comes in packages of Europeans. He shows up at my apartment and we head downtown for sushi. It’s going well, I find him fun and interesting…until half-way through the dinner he grabs my hands from across the table and holds them. I had known him for, oh, about an hour at this point. And he’s holding my hands. In a restaurant. On the table for all to see. But I thought, ok, whatever…he’s European, I’ll let it slide. We leave the restaurant and go to a near-by bar for drinks. About 5 minutes in, I’m over my hope and desire that this actually has a chance of being successful and I just don’t like him. I could care less what he is talking about and if my crossed-arms and legs and body tilt away from him isn’t enough, I’m staring blankly at the tv in front of me while he’s talking to me about who knows what. But I do take a brief moment away from the utterly-boring bowling league championship that I am watching and hear him say, “Come here.” I look over and he’s looking at me with such cockiness and wiggling his finger towards him. Then he leans in for the kill…puckering lips, eyes closed. “No. Are you kidding me?” I blantantly express, “What are you doing? I don’t do that sort of thing.” He replies with, “You stupid Americans. You are all the same.” Um, excuse me? What the hell is that supposed to mean? I don’t think so. “Just because I’m an American, you think I don’t want to KISS YOU. ON A FIRST DATE.** IN THE MIDDLE OF A BAR. You’d be lucky if I kissed you outside of the bar, in private, you jackass.” We left shortly after, following intense angry moments of silence. I couldn’t believe this. He drives me home, and just to add salt to the festering wound that had become of this European…I lean over to give him a hug. Why you ask? Yeah, if you come up with an answer to that one, let me know. I’m blaming it on the countless years of hugging hippy after hippy at school. (Those dready peace-lovers like to hug.) Anyway, he doesn’t even move. Doesn’t even take his hands of the steering wheel. I found it hilarious. Then – this is the best part – he actually emails me the next day and asks if I want to go out again. I emailed him back, wondering what date he was on because I sure as hell wouldn’t be going back out on a second date with the guy I went to dinner with that attacked my culture simply because I wouldn’t kiss his sleazy lips in front of strangers at a bar. I never heard from him again.Next dating story: the guy with fish lips that after 25 years still can’t kiss. Stay tuned. 

[*Guys!  I met him on Craigslist!  What if he was the original Craigslist killer?  Man, that was just dumb.  Sorry, mom!]

[** Just so you know, I’m not totally a prude.  I would’ve kissed him if I was into it.  But I used it as an excuse because he was attacking me for being an American.]

Why I moved 3,091 miles without knowing a soul (part 1)

14 Dec

I get asked why I moved to California from New England what seems like weekly.  I often go into a long spiel about how I traveled across the country 9 years ago with my friend Sara and we were staying where we could for free and we just happened to have a connection to Sebastopol.  I then tell them that I fell in love with it and told myself I’d be back.  And that is pretty much the truth, but there is so much more to it.  I was unhappy in Rhode Island.  My family was there and that part I loved, but every thing else just wasn’t what I wanted it to be.  When I was there I had a hard time placing my finger on it, but I knew something wasn’t right.  I felt out of place when I would go out into the world; I struggled to be myself around others because I wasn’t even sure who that self was.  I tried for 6 years to find a place where I felt I fit in.  And when I say I tried, I TRIED. I joined clubs, met people on Friendster (remember Friendster?  It was so much cooler than Facebook or Myspace),  worked  in  restaurants,  took  classes, went  to  the  gym, volunteered, hung out with coworkers.

Me at 26 working as a hostess/waitress at a club downtown Providence

I did everything I could to find a group of people I clicked with but just continued to fail.  (As I say this, I need to point out that individually, I met some incredible people.  People who changed who I am for the better.  They challenged me and forced me to see the parts of me that needed to grow.  Tab, I’m looking at you.  You too, Justin.  Rob, don’t hide, you too.  I will forever be grateful for your friendships.)  But I also fell in love.  I fell hard for someone that would never be available to me no matter how much he professed his love.  After years of waiting for him to become available, I became miserable.  I knew the only way to find myself was to get out from under that shadow and that life, and start a new one somewhere miles and miles (and miles) away.  For a year I went back and forth between various cities in my mind, when finally I met someone who had just moved back to Rhode Island from San Francisco and the seed was planted.

The view from my bed in the first house I lived in in California

Sonoma County had always lingered in the back of my mind.  Waking up on a vineyard to sun beams filtered through grape leaves was an image I had a hard time shaking.  It was time to make the move.  With horrible timing (my parents had just moved from my childhood home in Maine to a house, ahem….across the street from me), I set my sights to move within a few months.  I was terrified.  What if I was making a mistake?  What if he really will leave her?  What if I don’t like the person I’m trying to uncover?

So I did it anyway.

Somehow, I got here and everything fell into place.  I found a house on a vineyard where just outside the window above my bed I could see nothing but vines and hills.  I went to a party 3 weeks into my move and met Tim, my now husband*.  With Tim came a community I spent 6 years trying to find in Providence.  With Tim also came a future step-daughter, something I had never seen for my future, but through step-parenting has forced me to grow in a way that will only benefit me from here on out.  By living here, parts of me have come out that never would have in Rhode Island.  I’ve discovered a creative side that was squashed by feelings of inadequacy being surrounded daily by RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and it’s students and alumni.  I have a confidence I just couldn’t tap into before, and California and the people I have met here, have given me that space.  Moving here was, for obvious reasons, the best decision I could have made.

So I have ended up somewhere completely different in this post than where I started out going, but that’s okay.  What I had wanted to do was to introduce some of my old writings from the blog I kept while I was living in Rhode Island.  I can’t link to it because there are things in there that I feel I want to keep private from some readers here (mainly because I talk about things like sex and I’m just not quite sure you want to read that, Mom and Dad.  Or rather, I’m not sure I want you to read that!).  But from time to time, I’d like to copy some of my entries onto Bodega Bliss.  I’m proud of my writing over there and it is very much an insight into a 20-something struggling to find who she is.  Also, as I’ve mentioned before, someone who was entirely wrong about what sadness looked like.  Gah, those things I was crying about, they were nothing!  Stop whining already, me!

So I’ll continue this story of who I was and how I got here in future posts.

To be continued.


* Um, I was kind-of, sort-of on a date when I went to the party where I met Tim.  Needless to say, that didn’t work out.  It could have something to do with the fact that the second I walked into the door, I saw my future husband in the kitchen and didn’t want him to get away, so I spent the rest of the night making my move.  Best decision of my life.