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Salem, Mass (Witch City) resident with deep southern roots! Love New England - let it snow! Still making up for all those years south! I'm a widow attempting to make merry but it is very hard. This is my way to vent, share, and talk about my path to finding happiness again. September 2006 I became a widow. My road out of the abyss of grief, guilt, and anger hasn't been easy but I'm clawing my way to something better. Seeing rays of hope and joy. Feel free to comment, share words of wisdom, or just read about my fairly mundane life. Slainte!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Annual Christmas Missive

19 trips... 20 States... 48 flights... 1 US Territory... 4 Countries... 4 rock concerts

Holiday Greetings to you and yours! You can see how I've spent my 2009 - on the road. Most of this was for work but I squeezed in some personal travel and activities, though it is such a blur. I hope this finds you welcoming the Holiday season with health and happiness. I am doing fairly well. I am healthy - despite a couple of tough bouts with colds and sinus infections lately. I am blessed with a job that I truly love and it's a good thing or I would be pretty miserable with all that travel!

It has been over three years since Charlie passed and I have found that I will survive. I will always miss him and love him but I realized I need to make time for my life now. That said, I have yet to do much of that. I have also found how difficult and scary it is as an adult to make friends and look for possibilities. When did I grow up? Gosh those 30 years went by so fast! But I am determined not to feel sorry for myself and to enjoy life again as myself. I believe the past three years have been mourning and trying to discover who I am as Kathy, not as defined by Charlie and Kathy. I'm not quite the same, both good and bad, but I kind of like myself, which is a good thing! He would want that for sure.

My personal travel this year included reconnecting with old friends in Florida. I spent a week sharing some beach time with friends from OH and seeing friends from Salem who have left winter behind forever. In May a girlfriend and I took a trip to St. Kitts down in the West Indies. Beautiful island - I think we explored every nook and cranny and she enjoyed lots of beach time. My skin turns red in about 15 minutes so not too much sun for me! I spent a weekend in Chicago by exploring the city and seeing U2 in concert the first two nights of their US tour. Don't you know I was in heaven - listening to my wild Irish rockers and dancing all night long! I'm off to Toronto in July to see them again! Maybe I'm a little obsessed? Nah!

In September another girlfriend and I met in London and proceeded to tour England, Scotland, and Wales. Wonderful trip but not enough time to see everything! The last day in London was an exhilarating mad dash to see whatever we could before heading back the next day. I'm going back for sure.

I also made two visits to my parents in Louisiana. My Dad continues to enjoy life despite his health challenges and my Stepmom continues to be such a wonderful wife to him and friend to me. Dear friends and relatives are encountering health issues and I ask for their renewal and healing. I think this is called life, which sometimes lacks gravity but also can be so beautiful and full of wonder. Enjoy every single moment!

Nothing much exciting except some of the travel - whoever thought I would end up in Puerto Rico?! My healing and growth as a single person continues and I realize it has its own pace. I'm getting out and about and trying not to cocoon myself at home. It's an interesting ride.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baby Steps?

Okay so I formed a little plot with a couple of friends.  Find out when the guy comes in to the place where I always see him, find out what they know about him, and make contact again.  I went as far as to give my phone # and address to one of them to give to him.  She offered to text me when he showed up.  She texted but not to my phone! LOL!  I found out he is always in on Fridays - my usual night.

Friday night I showed up and found out he had my card with my info.  Now I'm really scared - what do I do if/when I seen him?!  I sipped margaritas slowly for an hour or so. All the sudden the owner (one of my conspirators) comes down says "he just walked in the door".  Sure enough.  Looking good too.  I was so nervous but knew he didn't see me from where he was standing.  So I decided to say hello.  It was a long walk around the bar but he saw me and smiled.  I apologized for being half in the bag when I saw him the last week.  He said I was fine.  We talked about how really glad we were to see one another again after two years.  Then I owned up to setting up the card thing.  He said he still had it and was really flattered.  I apologized for being so forward - not me at all.  Told him I wanted to be friends and have fun.  He said something about he just recently became very alone and he understands how it is.  I asked him to join me for a drink if he felt like it.

Many minutes (it seemed like forever), I'm no longer paying attention and he sneaks up behind me. Scares me! We start chatting and he starts telling me pretty much his story - divorced, two kids, etc.  He mentioned a girlfriend, which he quickly corrected to "girl friend" also named Kathy.  (I need to clarify that one.)  I let it slide - he can tell me what he wants.

It was nice.  We talked about how live changes and you have to deal whether you like it or not.  We discussed music, sports, etc.  Then he asks where would I like to go on a date. Date? Duh? I'm blank.  I shrug. Is there a movie I want to see?  Then he jokes about movies being boring dates (unless you sneak in beer).  We chat then instead of doing his disappearing act, he tells me he has to leave and wants to walk me out. 

My point is we had a wonderful conversation.  We will be friends and if that's all then that's fine.  I feel a little more at ease about it (not freaking out about it as badly).  He walked me to my car and we said goodnight. He says he will call.  We'll see.   He's a nice guy.  I'm lucky to know him.  Now I have to not freak every time we're both there. We both hang out there - that's how we met- neutral territory.  But we spent two hours chatting and both had a good time.  Hopefully we wil again...soon.

It's a baby step. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Life is Scary Sometimes

I'm not talking scary because of violence or crime, I'm talking about just general survival.  My skills are so rusty!  I'm really bad a meeting new people at the friendship, potential relationship level.  For years that was automatic because Charlie was the gregarious type - loud, funny, Irishman.  I guess I road his coattails a little.  Now I find myself looking for these friendships and am coming up at a loss at times.  I've met a couple of women close to my age that may be fun to pal around with but the guy thing is really, really hard.

There is this guy I've known as a "bar" acquaintance for years.  He, Charlie and I used to always have these great debates and conversations when we saw one another. He talked to me a lot more than Charlie and we both love the same music.  About a year after Charlie passed I saw him for the first time since.  He was desperately trying to quit smoking.  We talked for a while and then he had to leave - the temptation to smoke was too great (even thought you can't smoke in a bar in Mass, there are smokers lurking outside).  As he left, he looked at me and said "I hope to God you're here when I come back.  I really really do."  Sigh...

Friday night I'm at the bar, yakking with a girlfriend, when she tells me he is across the bar desperately trying to get my attention.  I looked, almost didn't recognize him, then waved.  He was close to the jukebox so I went and played some U2.  He came up and said something about how I always play the best music.  I responded stupidly I'm sure (too many beers maybe) but he came over to talk to me.  He keep trying to convince me it was really him with a little extra weight because he actually did quit smoking.  I'm just smiling and staring.  I finally saide I know you look good.  Then we chatted a bit - the place is huge and loud - makes it difficult.  My girlfriend decided to give us some space and leave.  Well in the midst of telling her goodbye, he disappears.  I hung around for a bit and he must have just left (he's always done this quit disappearnce thing). But he seemed so happy to see me.  I was thrilled to see him but can't piece together the bits of the inane conversation we had.

Here's the scary bit - I am realizing that I could maybe like this guy.  I can't quit thinking about it.  I'm obsessing (why else am I writing this!) and that's not good.  I don't know who to find him except to get up the nerve to go back to the bar and pray he is there.  He's great fun, good-looking, and lord help me - Irish.

The whole potential is a bit overwhelming.  Even if nothing comes of this except his friendship, I am rediscovering feelings that I didn't know I could have again.  That anticipation, anxiety, excitement that there may be someone out there.  Now I'm sitting here crying.  I even took a chill pill.  It's been over 3 years and I've been so alone.  When I saw him two years ago I was definitely not ready for anything - I was still grieving and trying to survive. I'm in a much better place now.  But this really is driving me loopy.

I was so shy, so scared of people when I was in high school that I had a very small circle of friends.  Lots of people thought I was stuck up.  Nope - scared!  Why?  Tons of reasons - none that make sense.  When I got to LSU and then to New Orleans, I gained confidence in myself.  Now it's like starting over again.  I am not that sexy little 20-something with the sassy attitude down in NOLA.  I have great self-confidence when it comes to work and I can carry on a conversation with most people.  Now I'm that 50-something that looks pretty good but has very little confidence in meeting people, or getting to know people better.  I'm back in that shell and I need to break out.

So life is hard and sometimes very scary.  Maybe this is some type of epiphany for me that it's OK to think of other guys and to think of having another relationship. 

So here I go steps!