Posts Tagged ‘Valentines Day cards’

Slip Into Something More Comfortable

February 13, 2017

Like my bunny slippers.

Yes.

Baby.

Ooh.

That feels so good.

I wore my new Fluevogs today, my interview shoes, all day at school.

Loads of compliments, but they are not quite broke in yet and I realized when I got home, yeah, time to take them off, and slide into my slippers.

Happy feet.

Happy heart.

I got to see my cohort out in style today.

I gave everyone a Valentines Day card.

Felt really good and sweet and I love to spread the love.

I do.

It’s just who I am and I am glad to know it, to have it in my heart, to show it, to accept it when it comes back too.

I also got to have lunch with my friends in cohort, catch up, share stories, be together, be seen and after I got out I ran a quick errand then caught a late afternoon coffee, decaf thank you, with a lady and do some work showing up for each other in honesty and good faith.

Then.

Go speak.

And.

Do the deal.

Then have dinner with another friend who unexpectedly came to the spot and that was a gift, I am so grateful for my friends.

So grateful.

It was really good to catch up with my friend at dinner and we could have hung out for hours more, but ah yes, the work week calls, it’s not quite so siren song.

I mean, I suppose it is a siren song, I can’t ignore it, but I can lament, a tiny bit the end of the weekend the coming of the work.

Though.

I am grateful too for that.

I am.

I really like my new job and it feels good to look forward to work and to look forward to seeing the family, to look forward to helping them and seeing how big the baby has gotten over the weekend and to cook for them.

Such gifts.

So much life.

I am just in a super happy, serene place.

I am also well fed, hydrated, showered and have had sweet, smart company today.

Life.

You could say.

Is good.

Very good.

All life is good I am grateful to be alive.

Period.

If life were fair.

I have said many, many times.

I would be dead.

But.

I am still here, still making a go at it, still learning, and loving and changing.

I have plenty to get ready for this next week, school stuff mostly, I have to get my paper work in order for the next steps in my practicum process, but I talked to my advisor today and was very excited by his excitement for me and for getting placed.

I’m a little a head of the curve in regards to the rest of the cohort, and there is no judgment there, I just knew I needed to be in position to get what I needed to take care of myself.

But I must continue to be proactive and take the next small steps.

I will give myself a day or two to breathe and come down from the weekend of classes before I leap back into the work, at least tomorrow, at least one day of down time, not taking my books to work, just easing into the work week.

Which may not feel easy in my brain since I am going to ask off for Burning Man dates, but that too is just asking a question, I just have expectations.

When I can let go of the expectation though, and just know that I am going to be wherever God wants me to be, usually in a pace of maximum service then I know I am going to be ok.

I ask.

I let go of the results.

Of course.

I want to go so it feels loaded, when ever my wants are on the table it can bring up fear.

I’m not going to get what I want or I’m going to lose something I already have.

I’d rather ask in faith, knowing that whatever the outcome, I’m taken care of.

I’m going to Paris in May for fucks sake, I get to go on vacation, I’ll be starting my internship, I have a job, I have a home to live in, I have nice shoes and clothes, I have my scooter.

I am taken care of.

Heck.

I have a tax return returning.

It’s pretty good, this life of mine, really, superb.

I feel that my little blog is a bit rambling tonight, but I have to give myself some credit, I have gotten up early every day for the last three days, shown up prepared and did the work in my classes.

I did a lot of work.

Lots of emotional work.

Lots of staying in the moment work.

Lots of dyad work.

I may allow myself to be a little all over the place, I just feel so content and blissed out on having gotten to see my friends, both in school and out of school, to have had some social engagement, to feel like life is not just all work and recovery and school, there are these wonderful beings called friends that want to see me and spend time with me and how lucky am I?

Hella lucky.

Hella grateful.

And yes.

Hella tired.

My bed beckons.

I bid you adieu.

Bon nuit.

Bon soir.

Trop gros bisous pour toi.

A demain mes amies!

J’aime toi beaucoup.

xo

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Happy Valentines Day!

February 9, 2017

I know.

It’s nowhere near Valentines Day.

But.

I finished up writing all my cards today.

I gave everyone in my cohort at school a Valentine last year and it felt so nice to do that and so good for my own heart, that, yes, I decided to do it again.

I am a bit of a dork.

But I think.

Perhaps.

A sweet dork.

I do want people to love me and I’m not past slipping someone a card to get a little bit of love shone back to me.

But.

There is also that little kid in me who wanted desperately to get a paper bag full of cards at school.

I very much remember third and fourth grade and how the decorating the bag was almost as much fun as getting the little cards and the heart-shaped candies and then.

Well.

It changed.

Boys came on the scene.

Paul Ripp.

Fourth grade.

Mad crush.

Maybe my first crush.

A very sweet boy, tall, blushy cheeks, you know, that Nordic white skin that blushes easily, I always remember his ruddy cheeks and soft wavy brown hair.

I had a few other boys I liked, but he made me feel.

Well.

Special.

And so.

I made him a special card in 4th grade but at the last-minute I got super shy and I didn’t sign it, I sent it anonymously.

Then Tammy tattled on me and told him that it was probably me since she had seen me by his desk right before recess.

I never liked Tammy.

Drama queen.

I mean.

I think she just needed some extra attention and she probably had a crush on Paul too, you might have had you seen him, he was lovely.

Many crushes followed.

Some that lasted a few months.

A few that lasted a few years.

One that lasted decades.

I still love him, but I’m not in love with him and we are still friends.

I haven’t seen him in years but we still stay in touch.

It’s funny how things change, but there is still this soft entwining of memories and I am not sad for that girl and her girl crushes.

Or that young woman and her young woman crushes.

I learned something from them all.

I learned about unrequited love and I learned about romance and I learned how to seduce myself into thinking those things were the best things because I was feeling so deeply.

I may not have dressed up like a Goth, but I had my Goth girl feelings.

Yes.

I did.

Today.

Well.

I find the holiday sweet and I like that I can spread a little extra cheer, really any excuse to give some one a card and to play with stickers and stamps and stick some love in an envelope and mail it across country or just across town.

I don’t know what I would do if I actually had a date or a boyfriend on Valentines Day, it’s been years.

Seven years.

I just counted.

I mean.

I have dated in those seven years, but it’s been seven years since I was with someone on Valentines Day.

I hope he’s well.

He had a good heart.

But.

He was an active addict and I had myself convinced, momentarily, that we could date.

I couldn’t, in the end, I couldn’t.

I do find myself thinking about, why, I don’t know, habit, maybe, that this year it might be different, maybe I’ll have a boyfriend or a partner or.

But it’s rather like Lucy and the football.

My heart is Charlie Brown and runs forward to swing and kick.

And this time.

Oh!

This time I’ll kick that damn ball through the goal posts of love.

And.

Nope.

I kick.

Valentines Day pulls the ball away and I’m flat on my back, breath knocked out of me, staring at the wide blue sky above me.

Blue like the watery eyes of rheumatic old man.

Blue like the inner lining of intestines in the bright air of death.

Peridot.

Periwinkle.

The death knell blue of hyacinth dying in the sun on the windowsill and how they smell so, so, so sweet, then, one day, dead.

Rotting blue-veined meat.

Staring into the robin’s egg blue bowl of sky turned over my head.

And instead of crying.

Today.

Well.

I laugh.

There’s nothing wrong with trying.

I can hold my heart’s hand and pull her back up and say, hey, it’s ok, look, you broke yourself wide open.

Let’s cross the river and not drown in the undertow.

The sheltering sky a broad band of periwinkle and seer sucker and the scudding of flat bottom clouds with billowing tops sailing right on by.

I can gather up an apron full of blue cornflowers and wipe clean my blue slate.

I can salt it with love and eat my heart.

Blue black.

Just the way I like it.

Rare.

Buttery.

Seared on the outside.

Tender and juicy and melting on the inside.

And the bluest eye might shed one crystal blue persuasion tear and let loose with a flood of love.

A tsunami of blue capped water.

Aquamarine.

Indigo.

Turquoise.

Love the color of bluing skin above a tourniquet.

Dusted with blue velvet eyeshadow.

And the somnolent smile of sleep at the grey blue crack of dawn when the moon is still pushing through the muddled grey clouds permeating the sky.

My face buried in a Diebenkorn Ocean #5 blue pillow case.

I sigh.

And hold my hand to my heart.

Love.

Right there.

My hand on my own heart.

My country tis of thee.

I pledge allegiance to me.

Be my blue jean blue Valentine.

Be my love so true.

Be my tight blue star skinned tattoo.

Not quite healed.

But stretched tight and taut and smoothed in blue skeined lapis lazuli love.

Tenderfooted.

Dancing shoes blue suede.

A soft shoe shuffle.

Underneath that blue fairy ringed moon.

Love.

Love.

Always here.

Always there.

My paint by number blues.

In the shadows and the hues.

My.

Luminescent.

Blue light district.

My heart.

My love.

My blue valentine.

Always.

And.

Forever.

So.

Very.

Very.

True.

Blue.

 

 

 

And That’s A Wrap

February 5, 2017

Holy shit.

I have had a full day.

But.

It all got done.

I mean, it just flowed, it was smooth as silk, one thing to the next to the next.

Yoga in the morning.

Hot shower.

Hot breakfast.

Hot coffee.

Writing.

Having a lady over to do some reading and some work.

Taxes.

Yes.

I did my taxes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I am getting a refund.

I am happy for that, travel money!

Oh the places you’ll go.

Burning Man.

Portland.

Anchorage.

Puerto Rico.

Paris.

Barcelona.

Mallorca.

Venice.

Well.

Maybe not all those places on my tax refund, I’m getting a few thousand back though, thank you education credit, almost makes up for taking out $20,000 in student loans this year.

Almost.

I’ve no complaints though, I am super grateful that I can take out loans, that I get to go to grad school, that I have what I have.

And I have a tax return coming.

Taxes got done.

Then I did some cooking and made a nice hot homemade lunch and I made a big batch of chicken and vegetable stew with brown rice and garlic and stuck a bunch in the freezer for the work week and for the upcoming weekend of classes.

Then.

I sat and I wrote my first paper for the semester.

5 pages.

1,653 words.

Not too long, took about an hour and a half.

It was a reflection paper for my Trauma class and it wasn’t too hard a stretch to come up with things to write about, it was harder to keep it contained to the brevity of the paper requirements which was 3-5 pages long.

Mine was the full five pages and I could have written much more, extrapolated much more, gone quite a bit further.

But there wasn’t a need for that and I was happy to proof it and get it printed off and into my school folder.

I made some tea then sat and kicked through 3/4s of a 40 page paper for my Community Mental Health Class.

I took a small break and wrote out some Valentines Day cards.

I love giving out Valentines Day cards.

Probably because I haven’t had much success with Valentines in my life, and I so enjoy bringing a little touch of sweetness and love and silliness and humor to the holiday.

Last year in class I gave every single person in my cohort a Valentine.

It felt wonderful.

Yes.

I am a dork.

And I don’t care.

When the clock struck 6:30p.m. I headed out the door and hit the MUNI to the BART to the Oakland.

My friend came and picked me up at the 19th Street stop and we went and grabbed dinner at a taqueria in the hood where I was not shamed by the counter guy when I ordered a steak burrito without the wrap.

Yeah, it’s a thing.

After Mexican food, we went for coffee, I got a decaf thank you very much, at Gaylord’s where I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in a while and we all got caught up.

Finally arriving at the spot a little while later and doing the deal and saying the stuff and getting up and sharing and not really remembering what I said, which is good, that means I was honest and didn’t have an agenda.

Although I always have an agenda.

I want to look cool and hip and sexy and smart and oh, so available for dating.

Usually I am just honest and speak from the heart and yeah, I don’t remember what I said and that makes for the best kind of sharing for me.

I can’t fuck it up.

My friend was a total sweetheart and didn’t just drop me off at the nearest BART, but actually drove me all the way home here to the Sunset.

I wouldn’t actually be blogging right now, I’d be on a train, if he hadn’t driven over the bridge.

Such a gift.

A ride home.

And we talked loads of Burning Man.

He was at my first Burning Man camp and is one of the few people on playa who actually knows my first playa name and still calls me by it.

He encouraged me to come and camp with his camp again.

I haven’t actually camped with them, he started an off shoot of the one that I went to my first year, but I have spent lots of time hanging out around their camp fire on playa and I know many of the people who are a part of the crew.

They are definitely my fellows.

And yes.

I know.

It’s February and I’m already talking about Burning Man.

It’s in my fucking blood.

Of course I want to go.

And I will.

Not sure how.

But I will.

Not sure how I’ll get the time off from work.

But.

I will.

It always works out.

Just like today, smooth and sweet and falling into place, showing up for each moment as they come and living in that moment.

It’s a grand way of life, being present, not living in fantasy, just being in the here and the now.

A gift, the present.

All my life, so many presents, and so often I was too far inside my head to realize what was in front of me, I missed life because I was focused on what I didn’t have and what I wanted and thought I needed.

I was always provided for.

I have always been taken care of.

I have such faith that this vein of love and care will continue.

As long as I show up.

Do the next indicated action.

And.

Let go of the results.

Simple.

Not easy.

But really.

Quiet simple.

It is an elegant design for living.

Beyond grateful that I have been gifted with it.

Just for today.

I have it all.

Right here.

Right now.

Perfect.

Love.

And.

Grace.

 

Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

Bring It

February 15, 2016

It was brought.

Of course, I don’t remember what I brought.

But it was brought.

It’s best when I don’t recall what I said, then I know that I was speaking from love, from my heart, that I have become a conduit for the message and not the mess.

Because, frankly.

I am often the mess.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

Life.

Well.

It’s messy.

My heart, it’s a messy place, but at least I get in it, I try, I stumble, I get hot and flushed and flustered and say something and cry.

And that’s in school.

But hey, I’m going to school to be a therapist, processing the pain is a part of it.

Being in the pain, meeting you in the pain, holding your hand and walking through to the other side.

Or just through the Castro.

I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with a girlfriend who’s husband is out of town for the weekend she came with me to the Castro.

We had Philz.

Which might have been a mistake, I am not sure how I am going to fall asleep tonight.

I am a bit keyed up.

A wonderful early evening with a dear friend, a meal with my fellows, and meeting new friends and having old friends surprise me and so many hugs

So many.

My day was filled with hugs.

That is such a gift.

I gave a Valentines Day card to each person in my cohort and it was just the best feeling.

Plus.

Well, when you’re told to bring it, I do and I was all gussied up, my new teal dress with the big flare skirt and the sweet heart neckline, loads of flowers in my hair my black and cream cardigan with the hearts on it (I literally wore my heart (s) on my sleeve all day long) and it was so much fun to deliver Valentines to my cohort.

I felt like the Valentines Day Fairy.

I got such wonderful response and it felt really good to give and not have asked for anything in return.

The return was the feeling I had when I was writing the card and thinking of the person and wishing them light and love and joy.

It was more for me, I think, in the end so much of it is, but I also know that the gesture touched a lot of my classmates and that felt special and joyous and I am grateful I took the time to write them all out.

31 Valentines.

Whew.

I also got a surprise text from an old friend back in Wisconsin wishing me a happy Valentines Day.

There was a time when getting a Valentines Day wish from this man would have been a loaded gun to point and shoot at my unrequited love trigger.

Today.

It was just a sweet message.

Not an offer to fall into fantasy land.

Not an invitation to get miserable for the love I did not “think” I had.

I have so much love.

I mean.

I was inundated with it today.

These are your friends.

Plus.

I gave myself lots of love.

I took some actions and really let myself feel the love that was there for me, I was available to take it in, to touch, to hold a hand, to pat a shoulder, to be present, to be of service.

It was an amazing day.

I practiced good self-love too.

I treated myself to lunch out during my school break and ended up having the most amazing lunch with two of my girlfriends from the cohort and a professor and a TA and it was just out of this world fun to hang out and eat lunch and connect with these incredible, smart, talented, creative women.

I felt like I held my own and added to the conversation.

I want to bring my best forward and I really felt like I was able to do that.

On the day that celebrates love I choose to do just that.

I will choose to do just that again tomorrow.

I choose it for this moment.

For all moments.

I may falter.

I may forget.

But I have faith that I will always get back up and dust off and do it again.

I may get heart broken.

But the heart grows bigger.

And that’s good.

I had a basket full of love to give out today and it felt extraordinary.

The noise of love.

The thrush in my heart.

The swallows swooping in the skin of sunset.

My face lifted to the smattering of stars riding into the indigo night.

I run rampart through the cacophony.

I am a part of this world, I don’t feel separated, I feel joined and loved and blessed and lucky.

Oh, so god damned lucky.

I have a vase, a Mason jar, but who’s counting, full of flowers on my table that I let myself buy for myself on Friday, I participated in class, I showed up, I was my best self, I tried.

I dressed pretty for myself.

And to say.

Hey, this is me and I’m done apologizing.

And I let the day happen the way the way the day was supposed to happen.

I got a pinky promise from a drag queen sitting in the window of a restaurant to continue to be so fabulous, “Girl you got it in that dress,” she said.

Snap.

That’s something coming from someone as fabulous as she was.

I mean, I was flattered.

And best of all?

I am almost there.

One half day to go.

I’m going into work at 9 a.m. and I plan on being done by 2p.m.

Then.

Six days off.

Six.

Oh glorious time off.

Time off that I have promised to let myself enjoy and have fun and continue in the vein of self-love and self-care.

Valentines Day is once a year.

But my love.

The kind that sustains me.

Is always.

Forever.

Valentines Day.

Every day.

Times infinity.

To the moon and back a thousand times.

Like that.

Home Again

February 3, 2016

Home again.

Jiggedy jig.

Damn.

That was a fast, full day.

I don’t quite know how it is already 10:15 p.m. and I just got in a little while ago.

Feels like I just started.

Some days are like that, full, busy, no time to stop and think and ponder.

I just got up and did the day.

Which was fueled by 9 1/2 hours of sleep.

I do not usually sleep that much, but last night I had a whopper of a head ache.

Not a migraine, no, but a serious headache.

Actually, I can’t remember the last time I had a migraine, used to get them all the damn time, stress induced, primarily.

Horrid things.

I may have had one some time in this past year, but I don’t recall.

Anyway.

I was surprised to have the head ache last night, especially after I took some ibuprofen when I got home and it was still around.

I went to bed an hour earlier than I would have on the normal and slept the entire time.

Well.

I got up once to use the bathroom, when Nature calls, I have to answer that phone.

I slept all the way until my alarm went off.

I gave myself permission to stay put and to ease up on myself.

“Well, that’s what happens when we are processing a lot of emotional stuff,” she said to me on Saturday when I expressed that I had been sleeping more than usual.

Not a ton more.

But anywhere from a half hour to a full hour more some nights.

I’m not questioning it, it’s just what it is, and if I need to be sleeping more and can, since I am pretty caught up with my homework, then I am more than ok with it.

I haven’t heard back from my Applied Spirituality class as to whether or not my proposal is going to fly with the professor.

If I am a go for the proposal I am planning on hitting Flax before work either Thursday or Friday.

Get in an artist date before work, get some coloring books, pick up some more colored pencils, get some stickers.

I am also contemplating making Valentines Day cards for my cohort at school.

I think that would be a fun and sweet project to do.

Who doesn’t like getting a Valentine’s Day card?

The oldest boy has been working on his for days now with his folks.

He gets so excited about the wording and the exact message that must be expressed, I have seen him take a half hour to do one card.

They are pretty labor intensive.

I remember the first time I made Valentine’s Day cards for school mates.

4th grade.

Mrs. Begen’s class.

To this day, she might be my favorite teacher.

She was the woman who taught me the difference between they’re, their, and there.

She also helped me figure out desert versus dessert.

She had a reading program and that was where I realized I was such a good reader.

I read more books than anyone else in the class and every time I hit a certain mark or number for having read a book I got to pick up a free book from the library.

That’s how I discovered Anne of Green Gables.

Pivotal literature for me as a girl.

Mrs. Begen had us take a whole day and we decorated a paper sack with cut out shapes and hearts.

I remember how impressed she was with my little paper bag.

I had made a caterpillar from a bunch of little hearts all cut out and stuck to each other, antennae with little hearts on the ends and little, tiny, heart feet at the bottom.

I loved art class in school until I discovered I wasn’t as good as I thought.

I wish I had allowed myself the joy of art class a little longer.

I did actually go back to it as a senior in high school and I took an art class in undergraduate when I was trying to figure out if I wanted to pursue photography as a medium and possible career.

That didn’t happen.

And that art class was one of the hardest classes I ever took as an undergraduate.

I also remember that my first assignment I got a C- and I was infuriated.

I don’t know how I did it, although I remember spending a lot of time on all the projects thereafter, but I managed to get an A in the class.

It was an experience.

I digress.

Paul Ripp!

That’s where I was going.

My first little classroom boy crush.

Paul Ripp.

Tall, white, hazel/gold eyes, brown shaggy hair, big smile.

I was pretty crushed out and he was the recipient of my first secret admirer Valentines Day card.

I suspect that Tammy told him it was me.

He was always sweet to me but not available.

It wasn’t until high school, sophomore year, that I did another secret admirer Valentines Day.

This time it was carnations.

Red ones.

To Henry Hall.

Later I found out Henry knew it was me.

Of course he did.

We actually became good friends, still are, although I don’t have a lot of contact with him and there’s good reasons for that, unrequited love fantasies die hard, but they do die.

Thank God.

Henry kept a letter I had snuck into his locker the next year, junior year, of school, in the fall, wherein I declared I was in love with him.

I saw it once in his wallet, he pulled it out and showed it to me.

Years later, drunk, at The Angelic Brewing Company.

He told me he was in love with me too.

Although that wording was never bantered back about, having been said in an apparent black out.

We were toasted that night, I do remember that.

I also remember that it was the beginning of the end for the five year relationship I was in.

I knew that I never felt the kinds of feelings for my partner that I felt for Henry and it was wrong to deny it and despite believing, knowing, really, that we would never get together, I also knew I had to leave my ex.

I did a few weeks later and that is another story for another blog another time.

Valentines Day.

Hearts and love and candy and wildly inappropriate expectations about needing other people to fulfill my love needs.

I saw a card the other day and I laughed out loud when I read it.

“Buy your own damn flowers.”

I had just done that.

A good reminder.

Be my own damn Valentine.

I got the dress!

That’s for sure.

Anyway.

It was a day.

And now.

The day is done.

I am grateful for it all.

All the experiences, heart aches, adventures, Valentines, the kisses, the missed opportunities, the ill timed, star crossed love, it all smacks of God and when I move through I move closer to what I am supposed to be and whom I am supposed to be with.

I don’t need to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan.

I just need to take care of myself.

Do my recovery.

And the rest will follow.

Valentine or no Valentine.

God’s got me covered.


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