Tahiti On My Mind

skiingonglassSo, you know how life is?  You cruise along and everything is really chill and you are making forward progress toward all your goals.  You have your game on and you are kickin’ it. You are just moving through life like water-skiing on glass.  It’s a complete breeze.  All you have to do is hold on to the rope and you don’t even need both hands.  Jumping the wake is effortless and every single time you land it cutting sharp with rooster tail flying.  Life doesn’t get any better than that!

We all know life turns on a dime though.

In the water-skiing arena of life all it takes is that submerged rock or floating log that the driver of the boat didn’t see or that edge you catch because you aren’t paying attention and then suddenly you are hurling over water at nearly 34 miles an hour which is breakneck speed when you are wearing almost nothing and the surface of the water is throwing you back into the air like a red rubber bouncy ball on cement.  It’s simply no fun.  In fact, depending on the wipeout, and I have had a few of these, after the motion stops you wonder if you are, first, still alive and second, how badly you might be bleeding. Hitting glass at that speed is like jumping onto the freeway from a car traveling the speed limit.  It hurts…bad!

But then life isn’t just the water-skiing thing happening in isolation.  In real life you could be water-skiing, but then someone says something and another person sends you an email and a kid looks up at you and asks you the most random question or you have someone new enter your life you totally pushes your game and suddenly there you are…

hurtling buns over teakettle…

bumping…bouncing…skidding…slamming…hurting…gasping…reeling…

waiting for it all to stop. Wondering if it will stop. And you can’t do anything to make it stop.

Yeah.  That’s pretty much how life can be sometimes.  And that is exactly how my life has been.

So, let’s go over the skiing on glass experiences:

Two years ago I left Ex #2, who was emotionally, spiritually and verging on the point of physically, abusive.  To put it kindly, he was a very cruel, selfish, immature, irresponsible, manic/depressive and unkind person. I got out of that marriage and managed to keep my health, home and some of my stuff but I ended up having to take on all the marital debt.  Because why?  Because during the marriage, I was the one with the rockin’ credit score and he couldn’t even beg bread on the corner so everything (credit wsadness_1_ise and I was worth a decent amount…then) was in my name.  I was smart enough on one level to never combine accounts with the man, but in the end, that also killed me, because those are the debts I am now paying off.  Sure, I could have fought for a judgement that forced him to pay half, but he wouldn’t have paid it (I know this man well) and that would have screwed my credit score and my ethics. It wasn’t a risk I was willing to take. So, Ex leaves with no obligations, I carry on with all of them.  As the marriage goes, so goes the divorce. 

True, he goes home to live with mommy (and pay no bills) and he actively seeks for and finds his replacement for me.  Easy freaking come, easy freaking go.

Sad thing about that is…when I was there…I wasn’t taking it so lightly and I really cared.  Clearly he didn’t.

So, two years post-divorce and I’m just barely beginning to see this dim light at the end of the tunnel and thinking life is actually going to be peaceful where this man is concerned (that’s the glass part)  where this crazy man is concerned and he runs off to Vegas and marries someone and not even someone he has really had an opportunity to meet or interact with in real time. Worse, my daughter’s only met her twice. And now he’s announcing to the world how they are already actively working on having a family and they haven’t been married a week.  Better. Get this.  He already has 8 children he is not paying for or supporting either emortionally or financially!!!!!  I could really care less what he’s doing or who he’s doing…except that it seems incredibly unfair that the schmuck here can find fun far faster than the responsible, mature, thinking  person.   There is seriously something wrong with this world…or maybe it is this country…or maybe it is convervative Christians…or maybe it is just him. (He’s an amazing con artist!)  Enough.of.that!

overwaterbungalowWhile all that was going down in my life and I’m reeling from the realization that I wasted 7 very critical years of my life with a man who really did only view me as something less than the dogs and completely replace-able, other things were going on too.  A friend sent me one of those joke emails.  I’d post it in here, but I’m not sure how to make it work.  In this particular case, it was an invitation to a barbecue at a beautiful resort in the South Pacific.  You know the place.  Bungalows built out over the water, floors of glass looking into the ocean and fish swimming below.  Beautiful.  Sunny.  Warm. Serene.  Isolated.  Isolated.  Solitary.  Relaxing isolation. 

Back at home, the kids are angry because I have limits and won’t adjust (much) when they inform me at the last minute.  I’m also doing the same ole teenage fight that centers around balancing home obligations (read chores…or in my kids’ case “chore”) with social desires.  It doesn’t make me popular around here. And now, my youngest, who is clearly having her dad and  The Replacement plan fun things in her presence when they know she will be with me (as an attempt to upset her and indirectly coerce me into allowing her to be with him) is very, very angry and unhappy…supposedly with me.  Not like he could pick up the phone and call and say, “Hey, we have this big family thing we’d like her to be a part of can she come?” instead he has to directly involve her and use her to manipulate me. 

Like I said earlier….as the marriage goes, so goes the divorce.

I’m also way into the most stressful month I’ve yet to experience in my life since leaving the Ex and in this week alone I have more obligations due than most people in my position have in a year…and more were added this week.  I seriously need to be mainlining vodka crans…no…Long Island Ice Teas…in order to self-medicate here!

The next unrelated incident that happened was a digital friend, who in very casual conversation made this statement, “You can’t control anything another person does.”  Obvious enough, true enough and old knowledge for me…but in the context of all the other things hitting me on the glassy surface of life at 35+ miles/knotts an hour this one caused some different synapses to fire.

It all culminated with the young, beautiful, intelligent and wise Student Teacher who has her complete game on coming into my classroom this last week and putting a picture up on the big screen of a freaking bungalow built over the water in Tahiti as a writing prompt for the kids.  I so did not need to see that.  And, who does she think she is anyway, coming into my classroom and freaking challenging me to amp up my instruction to the next level?????  Well, all I can say to that is, “Bring it, girlfriend!  We’ll rock this sleepy little joint with the proverbial as iron sharpens iron thing!”   Anyway….I hate her.

glass_floorI hate her for putting that image up.

I hate that the fact that this particular image has haunted me throughout the week.

And that’s when, my water-skiing on glass life became the wipeout of the century…sort of.

“Mommy, over break Daddy and his girfriend went to a drive through Chapel in Vegas and got married.”

Images of bungalows built over the ocean.

“Mommy, I want to go live with my dad.  He’s more fun and I want to be with my stepmom.” (Daggers in my heart.)

“You can’t control what other people do.”

“You can’t control what other people do.”  Well, what is it I want to do, now that it doesn’t matter to anyone else?

“You can’t control what other people do.” Tahiti.  Glass floors.  14 nights of solitude. 

“You can’t control what other people do.” What I really want to do is spend 14 nights of solitude in the South Pacific.  I would be a completely different person after that.

It was strange.  As I sat there lying face down on the proveribial post-divorce surface of the now choppy lake, I thought, “I am free. I am really no longer obligated to consider him in any decision I make regarding our child.  In over two years, he’s not concerned himself in communicating with me, why am I concerned about making the attempt with him.  My duty now rests completely with making my daughter’s childhood the best it can be in spite of him…and I’m not going to give him the heads up about it.”

Simultaneously the question my mother use to plague me with ran through my mind, “You need to decide what it is you want to do and then do it.” For the first time in my life…I can really answer this question.  What I really want to do is spend 14 nights, three weeks or a month if I could afford it, in one of those bungalows over the South Pacific all.by.myself.allbymyself

“What???!!! Like not even with a guy???!!” A friend of mine asked.  Yeah, she can, she’s happily married.  “No,” I answered, “Not today, at least.  Not even with a guy.  Alone.”

So, while the last three weeks or so have done their best to slap me around (and, yes, it’s been painful), the feeling and the awareness that comes when the skier realizes they just survived a major wipeout and they’re still alive and still able to pick up the rope and continue skiing (even if they have to sojourn in the boat awhile) is like life reborn. The second wind, the second chance, the next 40 years.  However, you want to phrase it, it was one of those weeks for me.

I will be heading to the South Pacific and I’ve set a goal and a deadline.  Further, I really do want to go alone but if Mr. Soulmate finds me before then and would like to join me…truly…I’d be disappointed…in a way…that I wasn’t going alone…and I’d consider it a complete gift in another way. Quality relationships are difficult to find…and even more difficult to keep. If you find yourself  blessed by being part of one, make it a priority.

Even further, since fourth grade, I’ve wanted to write a book, but I’ve never been able to come up with a storyline  or even a basic plot.  And I’ve been too afraid to make the attempt (yeah, I know I don’t particularly strike anyone as the fearful type, but I am). All of that changed for me this week.  I not only have the characters named and fleshed out, but I have the setting, basic plot, problem and….yes…even the conclusion for my story.  And I’m  not afraid to write it and not afraid to submit it to scrutiny a million times if need be. It may never get published.  But it will be written. 

My story starts in pain, continues in Tahiti and ends in hope.

I feel like the last several weeks I’ve gone from just beginning to feel like I’mdreams water-skiing on glass to feeling like I’m experiencing the wipeout of the century.  After crawling in the boat and resting for a bit (and moaning and groaning like a blasted wuss all the while) I feel like I’m ready to trade in the boat and skis and purchase a ticket to the South Pacific. Not because I hate skiing or because I’m gun shy, or because I’m a bad skier, but because, while I really love water-skiing, it just isn’t what I want to really be doing right now. 

14 nights.

Bungalow over the water.

Complete solitude.

A book.

I have Tahiti on my mind.

13 thoughts on “Tahiti On My Mind

  1. Hey you.

    At last the penny has dropped.

    Forgive yourself (don’t even ask!) Be good to yourself. There’s nothing you can’t do. Sure it often takes compromise but where there’s a will there’s a way. You have your 14 days. Enjoy them and above all know that you deserve them. You, me, everyone (with certain exceptions)deserves to be happy and those who care for you will encourage that. Those that don’t won’t.

    TC!

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        1. “Not the usual c***”? I’m not sure what you intended there, Brenley. Are you saying that you think most of my stuff is c***? If so, no one is forcing you to show up. If you want to offer some constructive criticism, I’d appreciate knowing specifically what you like and what you don’t like. Using the term c*** is useless to me as feedback. It gives me no helpful strategies to improve my writing.

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  2. It’s time to start that book. Because clearly you’ve got what it takes. The sooner the better because, in my humble opinion, you’re just spinning your wheels here. That’s not meant as a slam, just an observation. Don’t hate me.

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    1. Yes, it is time to start that book, Kip. I wasn’t ready to do that six months ago. I’m ready.
      I might be spinning my wheels here, but it is cheap therapy and a wonderful creative outlet. Plus, I do like the interaction of other people commenting, questioning, posing thoughts for me to think about and bantering. It’s all just good fun. I might not be so pressed to write daily, but I will probably keep this one up.

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  3. I’ve been where you are at.
    I’ve had the love of my life leave me for another man.
    And take my daughter with her.
    I watched as she thanked God for bringing this man back to her. I watched as she considered her new life, “a blessing from God.”.
    I begged Him to change her heart and bring her back. He choose not to.
    I reluctantly signed the divorce papers.
    I cried for days as I let my child move to another state, hours and hours away from me.
    I’ve hit a crippling financial low I wish upon no other.
    I begged God to bring me MY joy. MY due. MY relief from this pain.

    God reminded me that He is my joy. And I am His.
    He reminded that His grace is sufficient.
    That He will ALWAYS love me.
    That He will NEVER leave me.
    That He will NEVER forsake me for another.
    He reminded me to have faith in Him.
    He reminded me that He is my Father, and that He wants good things for His son. What Father wouldn’t?
    He reminded me that we might find a temporary happiness in Tahiti, or Vegas, or in a great bottle of wine, but joy…real, true, undescribable joy comes only from Him. He is my Father and this is the place, and the circumstances, that He has set aside for me, and only in Him will I find true contentment.

    And that is really what we are all looking for, right? Contentment? Piece of mind? Joy?

    It will come. And it will come to you where you are, when you least expect it. And you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to find it.

    End of today’s sermon. 🙂

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    1. Jack,
      I do appreciate your thoughts and I know where you were going with them, but I think you missed the point of my post completely. The point was not that I was going because I needed to escape, or that in going I hoped to find anything. I have contentment. I have piece of mind (even amidst pain) and joy, well, a lot of the time. I already have those things. Part of the point of the post was my process of recognizing these things and saying that in addition to all that, I now have clarity of purpose. I know what I want. I know what I want to be. I know what I want to do. I know where I want to go. And if a companion enters the scene for me, I’m fairly certain I’ll recognize him when I see him. I’m not traveling halfway around the world in hopes of finding or escaping anything. I’m traveling halfway around the world because I can. And because I can go alone. I can go alone and be absolutely, ecstatically, wonderfully happy the entire time.
      The point of the post was to say I’m okay…and I’m going to Tahiti, not to search or escape…but to celebrate!!! It’s my own little gift to me!

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  4. Cat,
    Last summer I felt the need to get away, really away. I too am a teacher and have lots of time in the summer to use as I chose.
    I chose to run away to Alaska, via British Columbia, a trip that I had wanted to make since I was a kid.
    I wanted to be alone with the mountains, glaciers, my camera, and my journal.
    I was just about as sad as I had ever been in my life, yes it was because of a women.
    At the last minute my 22 year old daughter decided to go with me.
    We had an amazing time. I didn’t get over the hurt, but I did come to terms with it, and found a way to not let it control me…as it had.
    We were camping on Vancouver Island on the way back. We stayed right on the beach, camping with a whole bunch of people families a an couples mostly, from all over the world, packed together. It could have been awful. It was wonderful. There was a couple from Russia camped next to us. We shared dinner, Somores over the campfire, a bottle of Russian Vodka, and conversation. They made love in their tent in the morning, quietly enjoying each other, I will never forget the sounds of two people carrying and loving each other. What a joy to get lost in another person.
    I met two other men, as a result of the need for a warm place to sit, sun on the steps leading down to the campsites. We shared the losses we where there trying to come to terms with. And through it we found joy some joy and laughter. The alcohol, in the early afternoon, might have helped.
    One man was there trying to save his daughter from herself and the folks she was living with. The other was there, part of a walk about, because his son had killed himself. I was there, well, because of the love, and loss, of a that love, for a women that I still miss and don’t understand. We bonded, talked for hours, all leaving the next day, we didn’t share e-mail addresses or phone numbers, but we did share our pain and the hole in our hearts. We shared our souls.
    I came back, not healed, but better, and with tools to deal with the hurt.
    Go to the south pacific, have fun! Relax, who know who you might run into!
    It seems that the only way that we can really see ourselves is through our interactions with other people. Our self is the result of how other people see us. We have to chose those other people wisely. They become our mirror.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It helps all of us.

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