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Maweed, Maweed, Marweed.

I did it. I asked Mr. C to marry me. And he said yes.

That’s right. I’m doing it. I’m getting married. Again.

Here’s how it happened:

First of all, Mr. C has been asking me to marry him since we met 2 years ago in Lafayette. As our relation progressed, the proposal got incrementally more serious, to me anyway. The first time I visited him in Vancouver we were standing on the beach and I tested him, “If I said I wanted to get married right now, would you do it?”

“Absolutely,” he said. It was hard for me to understand his unquestioning resolve.

One day, I told him I didn’t know if I would ever be ready to get married again and suggested that maybe he should stop asking me and I would let him know if and when I was ready.

I had been thinking about marrying him for months but I didn’t feel like the time was right. I thought about where I might want it to happen. I fantasized about marrying him at Pamplona. But when would we be able to go to Lafayette together?

And then there’s the whole immigration issue. Despite what Mr. C and I have both read it does make a difference whether you’re married or not if he wants to try to sponsor me as a citizen. Turns out (I haven’t confirmed this yet.) I have to not only live in Canada for a year, but that year has to start after we get married and I can’t leave the country during that year. Which kind of defeats the purpose of moving out here to begin with. That’s a whole year of not going to see Lori and the kids, but that’s another issue.

When I knew Mr. C would be joining me in Lafayette and Mansura, the wheels started turning. I imagined the two of us standing on the front porch of my childhood home with the sun low in the sky, streaming orange across the front yard, the oak trees in a semi-circle, and Amy standing before us. I imagined my family standing casually around, drinks in hand. A few sentences are repeated. Rings are exchanged. And that’s it. We’re married. That would be pretty cool, I thought.

And yet, I had doubts. Something was holding me back.

Finally, I said it out loud to Amy. We had joked about her officiating a ceremony before. At the end of a long phone call with her, I let it slip that maybe she should look into it because I might want to do it in Mansura.

“Oh my God,” she exclaimed laughing. “Liz and I are already planning your wedding.” That day, she went online and applied for the proper certification to perform the wedding. A week or so later, she sent me a picture of the official documents. She was ready if I was.

If felt like the stars were aligning……and maybe pushing a little. I decided that maybe the doubt I had was a good thing. The first time, I was as sure as a person could be. At 23, I had no doubt I had found my soulmate. Despite the many red flags fluttering before me, I was sure. So, maybe a little doubt is a good thing, I’ve decided.

Since it was on me to ask, I decided to get some rings first. I went to a little kiosk in a mall in Chinatown I had walked past many times. They had simple silver bands. (Stainless steel, actually!) They were 2 for $18. Since I paid with my American debit card, it came out to 2 for $15. I guessed Mr. C’s size and bought a pair. I hid them in a box on a shelf with some books.

Now, it was just a matter of the right timing, the right setting. Mr. C asked me if I wanted to go for a hike this past Saturday in Deep Cove, a strange and wonderful area just north of Vancouver. From the base of the cove you can see a rock outcropping jutting out of the woods, on a plateau with people standing on it. We decided to find the trail head and make it to the top. I brought the box with me, with a note that said on the front, “Nigel Balgobin,” and inside, “Will you marry me?….-Nicole,” and the rings ties together with red yarn.

The climb up was a bit tough. Mainly because I’m horribly out of shape but also because my heart likes to race up to 110 bpm and I have to stop periodically to let it calm down a bit before continuing. The landscape was beautiful, full of giant cypress and pine trees and mini-waterfalls. With each step I was feeling more certain of my decision and anxious to get it over with.

We finally got to the outcropping and found a place to sit to take the view in. There were a lot of people there, talking in various languages and taking lots of pictures. At first I wanted to wait for them to leave but after several minutes I realized they might not be going anywhere so I might as well do it.

“I have a gift for you,” I said as I pulled the box out of my pocket.

“Really?” he said. He read the note and with not much fanfare said, “Yes.”

He didn’t seem surprised which surprised me. But later he admitted that he was. “I don’t have much of a surprise face,” he said.

I immediately showed him the picture Amy had sent me of her official certificate and badge as a wedding officiant. He called her right then and there, chastising her for keeping the secret from him.

Walking back down, I felt relieved. Now, I could talk to him about the plan for Mansura. Now, we had more of a pathway towards citizenship sponsoring. Things were taking the proper progression. It felt right.

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Something to Look Forward to: The LaCours Gather

I am so excited!!

My family is having a big reunion this April in Mansura…..with crawfish.

It started off with a simple goal. My niece announced her April wedding last year some time. I was determined to attend, despite being in Canada with no resources. My sister offered to use her frequent flier miles to get me to Houston, Texas for the weekend. I happily accepted.

Knowing I would be only 3 hours from Lafayette, I asked my friends Liz and Amy if they might have time to pop over and visit me, even if it was just for an afternoon.

“Screw that,” Liz said, “We’ll come pick you up and you can come stay with us in Lafayette for a while.”

I was a bit hesitant since I knew I wouldn’t have any money to spend but they assured me that they would take care of me while I was there. So, I planned to stay another week or so.

Then, my Aunt died. My Dad’s only sister. I watched through social media as my cousins gathered in Tennessee, wishing that I could be there too. To mourn my Dad’s sister, but also to see all these people I barely knew anymore. People I used to see every summer. I thought about the way families often put off taking the time to be together until they “have” to. Until the social obligation makes it excusable.

I knew I wanted to see my Dad in Mansura while I was in Louisiana, so I started wondering who else I might get to meet me there. People I might not see at my niece’s wedding. I asked my cousin and her mom. They said yes. I asked my uncle in Florida. He said he could come too. I asked my siblings. Monique said, “fuck yeah.” That was enough for me. I set up a facebook event page. More people joined in. Plans for crawfish ensued. I pressured my son to extend his already-planned trip to Lafayette later that month to include the reunion. Even my niece who will be just returning from her honeymoon joined in. My daughter was going to come as well but she decided she couldn’t afford it. I suspect or hope that she will change her mind in the coming months. My brothers eventually chimed in as well. The only sibling not coming is the sister I call the Grifter. She’s not invited.

Once I realized this particular group of people were going to be in the same place at the same time, I really wanted Mr. Canada to be there too. When I mentioned that to my sister, she said she would give us the points for him to fly in as well. A quick conversation with Mr. C and he quickly agreed to use his vacation time to join me in Louisiana.

Now that he was going to be with me, I decided we should also stay in Lafayette for Festival International de Louisiane, a wonderful music festival that takes place downtown a week after the reunion. If anyone in the world will appreciate this festival, it’s Mr. C. I can’t wait to enjoy it with him.

So…..in just a few short months, I am going to fly to Houston, spend a couple of nights with my sister, go to my niece’s wedding, get picked up by Liz and Amy and taken to Lafayette, spend a few days doing whatever, pick up Mr. C in New Orleans, go to my Dad’s house for the weekend, spend a few more days in Lafayette with Nigel doing whatever, enjoy Festival Internationale then fly out of New Orleans with Mr. C.

I am so fucking beside myself with excitement I can’t stand it.

And of course the family drama has already started. Who’s going to sleep where. Younger family members calling bedrooms and older ones saying not so fast. My sister is freaking out over logistics and crawfish orders despite the fact that the event is almost 3 months away. But God help me, I miss it. Two years is long enough to be away and something tells me I’m going to have to be away even longer when I get back.

But in the meantime, there’s nothing that can take me off the high I’m riding in anticipation of this trip. I’m super pumped.

Plus……….I decided something else too, but that’s for the next blog.

Craft Sale for Your Consideration

Craft Sale for Louisiana Homecoming

Death of a Writer

I don’t write anymore. I used to carry paper and pencil with me everywhere. I used to write stories on napkins. But not anymore. 

Gone are the days of exciting uncertainty that was my post-divorce dating life. It was awful at times but it was always something to write about. 

Omg. You’re not going to believe what happened last night. Omg…..he texted me. Omg…he showed up at the park. Omg…..you’re not going to believe what this bitch at work said. Omg…I’m in love……again…….and again…..and again.

Those days are over. I found my guy. At least I’m almost 99% sure that I found my guy. I don’t work. I guess I still have things to write about. My volunteer job, my grandson and his various shades of poop. But it’s not the same as those days of searching. There was an excitement to the uncertainty. When I was single it was like I was in a club with thousands of members, all trying to figure out how not to be single with an inexhaustible thirst for stories about other single people and their trials and tribulations. Plus, that shit was funny. The faux drama was cool. That’s gone now. I’m not that person anymore. 

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I don’t know who I am. I’m in a weird state of being that is both the happiest I may have ever been and the lowest. Let’s explore:

Pros:

I have no responsibilities. Well, maybe not none. I try to do the dishes everyday and laundry occasionally to make up for the fact that I’m living in Mr. Canada’s apartment rent free. He feeds me and buys my basic needs. I have no bills. I have nowhere to be except once a week for a 3-hour volunteer shift, which I can quit any time I decide to. I can do whatever I want with my time as long as I’m not too much of a financial burden and I’m not making Mr. C’s life a living hell. I can write. I can paint. I can go for walks. I can watch movies. I can take pictures or make things. Whatever the fuck I want. Mr. C makes wonderful food on a limited budget. He continues to love me just as I am and seems grateful and happy to have me here with him. I don’t understand it sometimes. 

I brought back some Christmas lights and decorations from Oregon last month. I decided a real tree would be too expensive, even a small one. (Everything is so expensive here!) So, I haphazardly strung up the lights along the sliding door and on the balcony. Then I randomly hung  ornaments on them. It looked rather ridiculous. Dorm-room style is what my ex used to call it, with disdain. I wondered if I should take it down and redo it with some order. It was so messy. I sent a picture to Mr. C. He loved it. He hasn’t seen it in person, I thought. But no, he really loved it. As soon as he walked in the door he thought it was beautiful and awesome. How lucky can I be to have someone who loves my ridiculousness? 

Cons:

And yet……because I am who I am everyday I feel the weight of being a failure at life. It’s not enough to have someone love me. I feel useless because I’m not helping pay my way. I feel like being here is evidence that I failed at trying to be an adult in Oregon. I’ve gone so long without a real job that I wonder if I’ll ever be able to get one again. Despite all my free time, I still don’t quite know what to do with it. I still flit from one thing to another, never knowing which goal or project or task is the one I should put my time towards. I feel useless and dumb. Like someone’s failed experiment. Like an almost person who never became a full person. And now, never will. 

Sometimes I just don’t know how to be in this world. I don’t know what to do. And I’m lazy and arrogant. Let’s face it, there are just some things I won’t do. 

Maybe I always thought that if I had some talent, did some good things, success would just come to me like a reward. I thought that if I wrote something really great, I would get lots of writing jobs because of it, right? If I painted something beautiful, I would become a successful painter? If I took great photos, I would become a successful photographer. I thought these things would just somehow take care of themselves. I didn’t know I’d have to go out and create a persona, build an audience, make and do dumb things that don’t matter…….just to compete with a thousand other people who have the same abilities or ideas that I do. 

I’m such a snob. A lazy, entitled snob. That’s why I’m a failure. I want success to rain down on me just because I deserve it. I don’t have the fight in me to get it. I’m not willing to sacrifice for it.

Plus, you know….I have straight-up mental health issues. 

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Anyway, so I’m not writing. Just trying to set small goals and making endless to-do lists and banking on the fact that this man will not wake up one day and realize what a train wreck he has invited into his life. 

J’ai Mal

My body hurts all the time. I’m always tired.

I’ve never been a high energy person. Always a little anemic and not remotely interested in sports. But lately I feel particularly bad. My neck aches every day all day. My knees hurt after 20 minutes of walking and I feel like an old rusted tin woman when I get out of bed.

I volunteered today from 10-4 and by the time I got home, all I could do was take all my clothes off, rub aspercreme all over my knee and go to sleep.

I feel like I’m getting old before my time.

I’m getting fat again. I haven’t found a replacement for my Girard Park routine in over two years. I have three golf-sized fibroids on my uterus who have been, probably for years, causing deluge-level bleeding every month. And I suspect the reason why my heart started running fast several years ago. (The cardiologist said it’s just working harder to keep up with my anemia.) I quit Wellbutrin cold turkey. I seem to be doing relatively ok with that adjustment but I can’t tell if I’m having physical withdrawals.

I generally just feel like shit.

I’ve been thinking about my dad. My dad is mid-70s but he has the health of a 100-year old. Actually, there are probably some pretty spry 100-year olds out there. I get mad when I think about how often he’s refused to follow doctor’s orders or work with physical therapist. I’ve judged him. I’ve told myself that he’s in the state he’s in by choice. By not doing the work and staying healthy.

I remember my grandmother, his mom. She looked like an old, fat, Cajun Momo (pronounced maw-maw) her whole life. When asked how she was doing the answer was always the same, a complaint.

“J’ai mal à la tête…

J’ai mal aux jambes..

J’ai mal, J’ai mal…,” she would complain. Her moo moo swaying above her fat knees. I look down at my legs and see the beginnings of that crescent shape sticking out of my knee. Am I turning into Momo?

Ugh. I don’t want to be an old 50. I want to be a vibrant, healthy 50.

I’m going to Oregon in a couple of weeks to watch The Baby for two weeks while my daughter goes on a trip. I’m terrified. He’s going to run circles around me. I’m doubting my ability to keep him alive. Last time I was there when Lori broke her leg he wasn’t even walking yet and I thought I was going to die of exhaustion. Now he’s running. God help me.

But….while I’m there I’m going to see as many doctors as I can to see if I can’t figure out why I feel like shit all the damn time.

Maybe if I can have the uterus monsters removed, adjust to being off Wellbutrin and figure out what’s going on with my joints, I can get better.

I’ll be damned if I’m going to get old before my time.

Now, excuse me while I go heat up some special cookies so I can sleep with this farkakte knee.

I Finally Got High

I’ve tried smoking pot before. The first time was while my siblings and I were planning my mom’s funeral. I got a little giggly but I didn’t feel anything. I’m always giggly around my family (yes, even when planning our mom’s funeral)so I couldn’t even tell if it was the pot.

I tried a few other times with my son. The only experience I ever really felt was after a few bites of a cookie that a friend had on one of our many going away night outs back in Lafayette. Even then, I just felt silly after a few hours.

So, I’ve been wanting to experience the “high” everybody’s always talking about. I did some research and found that most people start with doses as high as 100-300mg. I had only taken as much as 10mg of CBD. Nevertheless, I went to a shop I found downtown after one my volunteer shifts and bought 50mg THC pills. It was the lowest dose they had and the price was decent.

I got home and made some blueberry muffins. Around 3:30pm I took one of the pills.

After about an hour I started feeling a bit dizzy. Within the next hour it got more intense. I started to feel queasy when I moved. Things weren’t making sense, like I was intently aware of things but a minute later would have to remind myself of where I was, like the last 5-10 minutes didn’t happen. I was watching Casual on tv. My attention to what was going on was intense, like I was there with the characters but then if felt like I had just woken up from a dream and couldn’t remember what had just happened. I was in a time warp. I turned off the tv because I was worried it was too much stimulus. 

I laid down on the bed. When I closed my eyes I felt like I was in a different world, big and dark with lots of stars. I felt far away. When I opened them, I was brought back to the present with some disorientation at first but then I adjusted easily. Mr. Canada and I were babysitting two dogs and one of them was barking a lot and I couldn’t get him to stop. I didn’t want to talk. He wouldn’t come up on the bed with me. So, I thought if I went down on the floor with him, he might stop, so with great effort and some wooziness, I made my way onto the floor. He still didn’t stop. I kept reaching out to him, saying, “Elmo. Stop. You’re making this worse.”  

By then, what I was feeling was not great. I kept saying to myself, This is bad. This isn’t what I wanted. I thought I needed help. It seemed like I was experiencing two realities and they were in conflict and it was painful. Not physically painful, but I remember thinking that it hurt. 

I was intensely worried about not having told Mr. Canada that I had taken the pill. I was afraid he would come home and find me on the floor, freaking out. And I felt like I had been irresponsible for taking too high of a dose. I wanted to text him but my phone was on the bed. It felt like an impossible task, getting up on the bed and sending a text. Even if I got to the phone what would I text? A long explanation? Or, “very high, be careful” ?

I made it back on the bed and grabbed my phone hoping I would be able to text him but I didn’t. I continued to worry about it until I heard him walk in. 

When I closed my eyes I felt a weird heat and my muscles would tense up and then I would make myself relax all of them slowly and I would feel very relaxed and sedated. When I had my eyes closed, I could see my body floating in space outlined with dark blue bubbles. As I began to come back down I felt peaceful. I could’ve slept forever. 

Mr. Canada found me curled up in the dark with the dogs at my side. He thought I was having a depressive episode. “Are you ok?” he asked as he put his hand on my hair. I somehow managed to tell him what I did. Then he laughed at me. He took the dogs out again. Apparently it had been a long time since I had taken them out. I felt irresponsible. I asked him if he was mad at me when he got back. He didn’t understand why I would think he would be mad. Maybe that was my version of feeling paranoid. Maybe I was still stuck in my marriage way of thinking. Mr. K would have not been understanding at all. He would have judged and blamed me and thought I was being irresponsible. I was so worried that Mr. Canada would feel the same way.

But of course he didn’t. He made fun of me. Made me laugh, which I did a lot. When he wasn’t making me laugh, I was quiet and subdued. He thought I seemed very relaxed. By the time we went to bed, I was still groggy and I could’ve slept on a bed of nails. 

In the morning I could still the effects. It seemed to last a long time. 

So, I don’t think I’ll be taking that much again. Maybe I’ll take the rest of the capsules, open them up and bake something with them, diluting the dosage in a batch of cookies, maybe.

Despite the negative parts of the experience, it helped me feel much less anxious about weaning off my depression meds. Now I know if I’m having a bad day, I can take a pill and lay down and escape the world for a while. Luckily, I have the luxury of free time to do such a thing and a partner who is supportive and only wants me to be happy.

You win! But not really.

This definitely can’t go in the book. 
You know when you break up with someone….like maybe you were married to them for 20 years and the divorce was rough with back and forth accusations filled with bitterness and disdain……and you have those moments when you just want to feel some kind of justice……you just want someone to say, you’re right….the other person is wrong. It’s the kind of feeling your therapist tells you is unhealthy. Its a feeling you hope you get over one day, but there’s always that little petty monster inside you that wants that validation. 
 
Well, I got that validation recently and I have to admit it feels pretty damned good. 
 
My daughter, Lori went to visit her Dad, Mr. K in Atlanta last week. My son, Shawn lives there too. Mr. K had insisted that Lori come for a visit. He wanted to see the boys, he told her. He paid for the whole thing. When she texted me to say she was there, I felt jealous. I always feel jealous when I know the three of them will be together. It’s unreasonable, I know. But I can’t help but think about how he has money he can spend on them. He can take them out for expensive dinners and lavish on them. I have to ask Lori to pay for my train ticket to see her in November. Sometimes I feel like a big loser compared to Mr. K. I’m sure he would agree. 
 
So, when Lori called after being there a few days and she was filled with frustration and disappointed with how things were going, I admit it, I was relieved. I know it’s not right, but I’m not perfect. 
 
Don’t get me wrong, I want my children to enjoy themselves and I know it’s better for everyone if they have a positive relationship with their father. I have been happy to receive reports from the my kids that Mr. K had changed. He is chill, he is cool. His girlfriend is super cool and successful. (Honestly I’ve heard so many good things about her, let’s call her Susie, that I’d really like to meet her one day. Lori calls her the Mr. K whisperer.) And honestly, if you gave me the power to push a button that would make Mr. K have a great life full of peace and happiness and prosperity or a button that would make him a bitter, sad man, longing for validation and justice……I would push the happiness button. I did love the man for over 25 years. And he was so unhappy and angry when I last knew him. I don’t wish that on anyone. 
 
Even so, there was a wicked sense of satisfaction that overcame me when Lori finally got back from her trip and called me to tell me what a complete train wreck it had been.
Mr. K insisted on a busy schedule, talking about how great Atlanta is and all the cools things there are to do. Lori said she felt rushed from place to place with no concern for The Baby’s toddler schedule. He didn’t take much interest in The Baby, which is weird because he usually loves kids and they like him. And that was the reason for the trip. She joked with him about changing a diaper and made a comment about how much I had helped her when he declined. Thankfully, Susie was on the ball and helped out a lot. One night, Mr. K insisted that the three of them go out without kids. They ended up driving and walking around all night, as Mr. K searched for the coolest places to show them. They didn’t drink at all (no loss for Lori but Shawn enjoys a nice night out drinking) and ended up eating a quick dinner and going home. Lori said it was as if he wanted to show off 24/7, like he wanted her to know that he was living a great life. He didn’t ask her about her life, even about her recent leg injury and had no interest in his grandchildren. 
He insisted that he show The Kid (Lori’s oldest) his garage. (Not an attached garage on a home, but a separate building he owns or rents where he can work on his multiple cars.) The Kid was uninterested but it was really important to Mr. K that they see it. 
 
“Wow. This is great,” Lori said to him. “This is what you’ve always wanted. Congratulations.” 
 
To which Mr. K replied, “Yeah. I always wanted a garage but you know your mom wouldn’t have it. Of all the houses we looked at, she hadto choose the one without a garage.” 
 
“Stop, right there,” Lori told him. “I’m not going to do that with you.”
And she walked away. 
“Maybe he forgot who he was talking to,” Lori said to me as she retold the story. He also forgot that I was a teenager when you guys were house hunting. I remember all the conversations. I know he’s lying. He still blames you for everything even when he has everything he wants now.”
This exchange pissed Mr. K off. He didn’t speak to her the rest of the day and took off driving when they were back at Susie’s condo. Lori, Shawn, the two kids and Susie were swimming when Lori and Shawn couldn’t help but mention their father’s weird behavior. Susie chimed in, not able to ignore the discussion. 
“I don’t know why he’s being this way,” she told them. “He loves you guys so much. He just has all these triggers. And something about you (Lori) triggers him.” Triggers him. That’s what she said. Mr. K is triggered by his daughter. 
Lori said Susie teared up as she exchanged text messages with Mr. K. 
Later, Lori heard her side of a conversation. 
“You’re where? Why are you that far away? You want us to have dinner without you?”
Lori was afraid to tell me what Mr. K had said about me. She thought it would upset me, that I would get defensive and try to explain what had really happened. Maybe at one time, I would have reacted that way. 
“It’s ok.” I told her. “It doesn’t surprise me that he still blames me for everything. But here’s the good part, I don’t have to care about what he thinks about me anymore.” 
“He still cares,” she said. 
“That’ his problem.” I said. “I don’t even have to care that he still cares.” 
I think he just needed to show Lori that he won. That he has the big garage and the fancy cars and he can go places and live in a cool city with an awesome girlfriend and he needed to have that acknowledged. But in trying so hard to prove that, he did the opposite and set back relations with his daughter. I told Lori next time, she should have a trophy made that says, “The Best Person in the World,” and give it to him at their meeting and then maybe he can relax. 
Of course, the worst part of it all and the reason why if I do ever manage to publish a book, this can never be in there……is he probably knows that Lori has told me everything, which further sabotages his goal of being the winner of the best parent contest. 
Just as a cherry on the cake, Lori said she realized that Mr. K isn’t as smart as she thought he was and that I’m the smarter one. Ha Ha. I can’t help but find that especially funny. 
Mr. K is really smart. He always scored higher on standardized tests. He was better at math and a wizard with computers. I always thought he was a genius. When Lori recounted her conversation with her husband…”yeah, Lori. I could’ve told you that.” he said, “Your mom’s way smarter than your dad,”………aaahhh that is some funny shit right there. Probably not true, but funny nonetheless.  
So, for that little petty monster inside of me……score one for the loser mom, with no money, no career, no material goods to offer who managed to be a better parent to my grown up kids than the righteous, successful, wealthy, super cool dude with all the cars and the big garage. 
Not the most gracious sentiment, but like I said, I’m not perfect. 

Creative Block in a Utopian State

How many times during my busy life did I dream of having nothing to do. No obligations, no one to answer to, no deadlines. When I was a young wife and mother, I longed for that state of being. I envied single people, even if they were poor. I fantasized about being able to make do with a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. Ah, the freedom of that.

How many times as an artist did I think…..if I just had time. That’s why I wasn’t doing any work. I didn’t have time. But if I had no obligations, no schedule….I would paint, wouldn’t I? I would write or take pictures or market myself and have shows……oh the things I would do. I used to look at other artists with envy and wonder how they managed to produce so much work? How did they get where they are? The answer always seemed to be… they had support, they didn’t work, they didn’t have kids, they had money, they had a leg up.

Fabricorn101But now………..here I am just where I always dreamt of being and I’m doing……not much of anything. I started out making what I call fabricorns. It started last year when I needed Christmas gifts for 2 little girls. (My daughter’s nieces.) I didn’t have much money so I decided to make something. They were into unicorns, so I found a pattern online and adjusted it. I blinged them up with sequins and beads and found some cool, fuzzy yarn to make manes. (Of course I ended up spending more on craft supplies than I would have buying new gifts.) I put pictures of them on facebook and people seemed to like them. I even got a commission and sold one for $35. So, I decided to make more and put them on etsy. I even attempted to Instagram my progress I went along in an attempt to “build an audience.”

_NML0002.JPGThen I started making Virgin Mary’s. I’ve always had a weird fascination with the Madonna image. I took my cloth and sequin skills and turned them to that subject. I chronicled my sketches and progress on instagram, got some attention and a few hundred followers. Put them on etsy……..and nothing. No one seems to even be viewing my etsy page. I don’t know how I’m supposed to sell anything if no one visits the store. Maybe it takes advertising. I don’t know. But in the meantime, making cutesy things with beads and fabric began to feel a bit trite. What was I doing it for if no one wanted them? I started to feel a bit silly. I lost motivation.

I started a painting based on one of my drawings, but then, again, I got bored with it and didn’t want to finish it. I tried to look for another photograph to use as a painting and found nothing to inspire me.

It’s like if I don’t have someone expecting a product, I have no motivation to create it. Like I need an assignment. So, maybe I’m not one of those people who will make art just for the sake of making it, just for my own pleasure, results be damned. Maybe I can figure out a way to do that? Get people to give me assignments and just charge the postage to get it to them?

I used to feel like my potential was stifled by life’s responsibilities. I was the victim of my circumstances. Turns out, no…it’s just me. I’m just a big fat loser.

I feel like Antonio Salieri, the patron saint of mediocrity, with just enough talent to know how mediocre I really am. Just enough taste to know genius when I see it. Just a smidgen of gift dashed onto a broken brain and uninspired soul. Always looking at everyone else wondering, why not me, but lacking any real drive to change and be more.

Not Writing & Quitting SSRI

Rain falling on lily pads at Van Dusen Gardens. 

I haven’t written anything in a long time. I guess I thought this story was done. I’m in a relationship now. No more weird dating drama to report. I thought I might start a new blog in Vancouver. I set it up and everything. All I’ve written so far is one blog about my disappointment that Sweden didn’t win the fireworks competition.

Not surprisingly no one has read it. 

You’d think I’d have plenty of material in a big city. I could get 500 words out of one transit trip alone. Maybe I should start bringing a notepad on my train trips. I could continue to write about my everlasting struggle with depression. I don’t know why I’ve been shy about writing about that on the new blog. I guess maybe I thought this one could be different. More normal? More sophisticated? Ha. Who do I think I am?

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Status Update:
Still with Mr. Canada. Our relationship seems to be all over the place sometimes. He still infuriates me to the point of my losing my temper and walking out occasionally. He calls me a hot head. He’s also the kindest person I’ve ever been with. He gives me total compassion and understanding in all things. Even when I lose my temper. He’s the most supportive friend and partner I’ve ever had. As much as I hate to write the following words as it goes against my feminist sensibilities, he takes care of me. He takes care of me better than anyone I’ve ever known (except maybe my mother). And the truth is, I think I need some taking care of. Let’s face it, I’m kind of a fuck up. I was watching Bridesmaids last night with Nigel and he kept chastising Kristen Wig’s character as she stooped lower and lower in her life, ending up moving in with her mom. The only difference between her and me was I moved in with my boyfriend, not my mom. I’m just as much a loser as her character is. I didn’t point that out to him.

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Speaking of Depression:

I decided to wean off my depression meds for the following reasons:

They don’t always work. I’m still getting depressed often.

I’m tired of worrying about getting them from Oregon. It’s giving me anxiety wondering if I’ll be able to get refills mailed to me on time. It’s not exactly legal and my daughter has to lie to get them to me. 

So, I’ve been experimenting with cannabis. I’ve done some research and some people have been successful in getting off their meds by taking micro doses of CBD daily. I’ve been trying that out as I attempt to stagger my wellbutrin doses. But that’s causing its own problems. Turns out, there’s no easy way to wean off. Every online search for info found endless tales of weeks of withdrawal symptoms and a dip back into depression. I’m already feeling it from the staggered dosage. I feel physically weak and emotionally numb, bored and sad. I’m trying to mitigate this with cannabis pills, but I think my dosage is too small. Maybe I need to up a bit. 

I also want to try more THC heavy dosages. Maybe if I go for a real high I can get some relief from the melancholy that seems to be my default setting. I miss feeling happy. Those days are the exception, not the rule. 

Mr. Canada is remarkably supportive of my cannabis experimentation. I can’t imagine trying this when I was Mr. K. Oh, the judgement that would have come down on me. But not Mr. C. Even when he’s the one footing the cost, he said he is willing to do anything that would help with my mental health and happiness. Meanwhile, I worry about bringing him down. He’s so chill and happy all the time. What must it be like to have such a downer girl friend who’s paralyzed by sadness so often? I worry that I’m not a good thing in his life, though he tells me I am. He worries about me. I can see it in his face and in his questions. Then I worry that his concern is making him unhappy. If I could just find some balance and relief.

I’m hoping that over the coming months, I can wean off at least one of my meds, find a low-cost cannabis routine that keeps me stable and start the new year with a new way of being well. As for writing…..I guess I’m not done here yet. It feels like speaking to the void, but I think that works for me right now. Maybe I just haven’t found my Vancouver voice yet. 

Princess Life…….with a dash of Panic and Depression

I’m sitting at the train station in Vancouver. I got the mom-bat-call this morning from Lori. She fell while running last night and managed to break her tibia and needs surgery. So, I’m off to help out for God knows how long.

The last time I visited I stayed for a week. Lori wanted to take a day to herself so I took over care of the fart-face for a day. That little brat is getting to be quite a handful. At some point the fire alarm starting peeping and one of the dogs who obviously has some emotional issues began trembling with fear. Between wrangling the poop face, calming the dog, trying to replace the battery and stop the beeping…..which is near impossible and attempting to wash dishes and clean up a bit…..it was quite a day. By the end of it, I was pooped. I forgot how much work it is to take care of a kid and try to be housewife. It sucks.

When I called Mr. Canada that night I told him, “I miss my princess life.”

Life in East Van is just that. I get up when I want to, do what I want when I want with no responsibilities or expectations. And so far, Mr. C seems genuine in his assertion that he doesn’t care what I do as long as I’m happy. Of course I try to contribute to our little household. I wash the dishes everyday and take care of the laundry. I sweep the floors and have by now rearranged just about all of his belongings. I’ve been making things and painting and writing. I’m trying to “build an audience” with instagram which I hate doing but I’m told this is the way to market yourself. I have an etsy store with 0 sales. And I’ve been editing these blogs with the hope that maybe somebody might want to make a book out of them one day. It’s a pipe dream, I know but if I don’t try I’ll regret it.

I love Vancouver. I feels more like my kind of city. I’m not sure why exactly. I love the views. The skyline against the mountains. Easy access to water. I finally got my bearings and I can pretty much find my way home from anywhere. It’s a surprisingly walkable city. It’s dense. Mr. C and I go for long walks once or twice a week. Sometimes we go through Chinatown and stop for pork buns. Sometimes we walk along the waterfront. I like that we do that together.

I have a tee tiny craft corner of our studio apartment. I make my silly unicorn thingees and I started making Virgin Mary’s with felt, paper, canvas and glitter. I’m pretty excited about that.

I still have my depressive episodes. I haven’t told Mr. C this, but I started alternating my meds, skipping one or the other every other day. I’m trying to stretch them out. I’m terrified of not being able to get my refills and running out. That would be bad. I thought I was doing ok for a while, then I had a nice little dive into depression the other day and decided to go back to full dosage, at least for a while.

Sometimes I have mini panic attacks about what I’m doing and where I am. I’m terrified of what will happen if it doesn’t work out between us. Every time something goes the least bit wrong or I have a hint of doubt……I start thinking about what I will do if I have to leave. Go back to Lori’s? Go home to Avoyelles Parish? I don’t even have enough money to drive my Element back to Louisiana. It’s terrifying and I find myself up at night hoping I’ll just die in my sleep instead of facing another life do-over.

It sounds extreme but I think that’s just how my fucked up brain works. Damn French-Cajun inbreeding. We’re all screwed up.

So…..I’m living the high life…..sort of. But for the next week or so, I’ll be mom-momo-caregiver.

I miss Mr. C already.