Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Dec 02

Look at that cat in the Santa hat

The last page on our 2011 calendar features a kitty in a Santa hat. All the other pages feature other types of cats, too. This means that November is over and while I did not sign up for NaBloPoMo, I tried to make an effort to post more, across all my blogs. I was pretty successful and even though I didn’t post nearly close to every day on Her Realm, I posted a lot more. It felt good.

I’ve been mulling over this post in my head for a while because.. I don’t know if anyone will read it and I don’t know if it will leave an impression on those who do. But it’s important to me and I still rely on the validation of others just enough that the idea that it will go un-noticed and that’s kind of precisely what this post is about.

You see, I started this blog as a cry for help. I was angry and hurting and frustrated and confused and I was never taught how to express that and I had a hard time reaching out to those who cared about me the most, when they were even around. I desperately wanted someone to see that. I needed someone to understand that I was not okay and I wished that my blog would make someone force through my walls, break them down to get to me. And, as much as I wanted someone to reach out, I still strangely veiled my feelings. I was passive aggressive, vague and cryptic about my feelings. I put up another wall even as I tried to reach out.

I purposefully sent my friends and family to my blog and when people would ask how I was, I would send them here. When I look back at some of my archives, I am so sad that anyone could ever feel that way. Reading those words brings up the feelings and I hate that they ever exist. No one should ever feel that way but I did.

If I read long enough, though, I will see a change. I will see happiness emerge here and there. I see the struggles of a long term relationship but I see the happiness I felt at having found my one. I’ll see the frustration at growing up, moving away from the people I love. I’ll see the emergence of maturity and understanding. Skip ahead a couple years and I see the acceptance of my divorce and the sheer will power it took to finally change some of those awful habits and attitudes that made me unhappy for so long. There’s a period of time where I feel like I only tried to express positivity and there’s a lot of talk about the progress I made. There’s pride. And hope.

It has been difficult to keep up that positivity this year. There’s been new stresses, many of which related to finances, work and sharing a home with another person. There’s also been a lot of things I’ve crossed off the bucket list I didn’t even know I had and I think the more recent entries express the things I’ve gotten to do and the people I’ve been able to spend time with. I’ve unlearned bad habits and tried to connect more fully with those I care about, without a crutch. I’ve become more open about myself, some might argue too open about some things. I’m not constantly looking over my shoulder, afraid that people will discover something unseemly about me.

The more recent entries have been more balanced, I think. There’s been some serious, personal topics but there’s been humor and pictures of cats and I’ve felt comfortable enough to be more opinionated than I have been (although, not as opinionated as I once was).

So this blog did not do what I expected it to. In the end, I’ve had to be far more direct to connect with those around me and, sadly, I spent far too long in a dark place. But this blog has helped, slowly. It connected me with other people, new people. It helped me to feel not quite so alone and it gave me a place to vent, to joke, to think and to express myself where one otherwise did not exist. Finally, it has come to a place that I will not be ashamed or sad or frustrated to look back upon in the future.

It’s funny how life gives us what we need when we’re too busy working about what we think we want.

Jan 18

Turn the Page

In the book that is Cole’s life, this chapter would start with something stereotypical such as “I never expected to return home and part of me dreaded it, as much as the rest of me was looking forward to it.” I would continue on with words about how things were not how they were when I left them (true), how I needed to cut ties with some of the people and things that used to be part of my life (also true) and how, despite all this, things would turn out even more amazingly that I could ever imagine (the truest).

I think what surprises me most about returning home is not the reconnections I looked forward to but the new connections I am constantly fostering. I have become good friends with complete strangers and better friends with mere acquaintances. The area itself and the individual people in it are continuing to surprise me. I never realized my home town, my home state was so full of versatility, options and adventure.

If you hadn’t noticed, the holidays were a little difficult and moving was stressful. I wasn’t able to be as positive as I’d have liked and that in itself was bringing me down a bit. I have been so positive these last few weeks, however. I’ve been dealing with, if not managing to overcome my anxieties and, at the end of the day, I am most surprised–yet pleased–with myself. As confident as I might sometimes appear, I guess I never knew I had it in me.

I am so fucking glad to be exactly where I am.

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