Friday, February 12

February 11, 2010: Farewell, part 1

Thursday flew by at work, and soon I was sitting at happy hour, with many of my closest friends, saying goodbye. The whole evening was surreal. It just didn't seem like this was the end of my era here. Six years have flown by so fast. As I looked around the table, I realized that I'd made friends for a lifetime. I thought about those who were missing, and how many people had gotten me to this place in my journey. I thought of my BFFs, Ally, Lauren, Alex, and Michelle. Two of them were able to be at dinner. Two have lives elsewhere, but I'm lucky enough that they all live in the same state, and so I can see them, even after I move on a regular basis. These four ladies have all entered my life at different times over the last fourteen years. They all mean so much to me, and sitting there at dinner, I felt so humbled to be surrounded by such amazing people who loved me enough to brave freezing temperatures, and downpours to wish me well. I wrote Alex & Lauren a card to tell them each how much they meant to me. When Lauren read it, she cried. I nearly joined. And as we all hugged and made it know that this was not "goodbye", just a "see you soon," I put on a brave face and got in my car. And I listened to music and pondered on my drive home. I got pretty choked up as so many memories came flooding back. I was happy, but tears soon began streaming down my face. I'll always remember my time here fondly. Who knows, maybe one day life will lead me back to this place. For now, I'll choose to be hopeful, and that a year from now I'll be surrounded by old friends and some new ones. I'll have settled in, and even though I won't replace any of these wonderful people, I'll have new places to eat on Sunday nights, and someone to call and go to the movies with on a moment's notice. I will embrace the ambiguity of what is to come. It's scary & exhilarating all at once. Tomorrow is my final day here. I'm determined to make it a good one.

Good night,

Miss L.A.

Thursday, February 11

February 10, 2010: Girls' Night Out

Wednesday shaped up to be a pretty great day after my bout with sadness. I woke up feeling refreshed, and it turned out to be one of the best days that I've had in a very long time.

Great things that happened today:
1. I found my lost iPod.
2. I got a call for a job interview in my new city!
3. Alex asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. (So honored.)
4. Wine and Karaoke with the girls, including a Dixie Chicks duet with Alex.
5. Met the bass player from a band that I love!

As you can see, it was a pretty fantastic day. And that doesn't include the fact that I had lunch with my old boss, who gave me a glowing recommendation, and dinner with my former landlords, who's three adorable children spent the day making me going away cards. I felt more loved today than I have in so long. I just can't believe how things are falling into place. I have so much more confidence about the job hunt now and because I've received such an outpouring of love and support from my friends. I had no idea how many people's lives I've affected here, and to see just how much I'll be missed means so much.

After a night of wine, girl talk, dancing, karaoke, and fun, I collapsed into bed. I fell asleep with ease, not having to wrestle my good friend insomnia for a change. I'm ready for what the rest of the week will hold!

~ Miss L.A.

Wednesday, February 10

February 9, 2010: Letting go

This week is already starting to fly by too quickly. That's the way it always seems to go when you have to say goodbye. The weeks drag by when you take time for granted, but when you are trying to savor every moment, they're gone in the blink of an eye.

I'm trying to finish up all my last minute projects at work. It seems that my company is living my the same mantra I am, as I got several new projects assigned to be yesterday, including designing and implementing a workflow before I leave. Sure, I can do that in four days! I am Super Woman after all :) I can't complain, it's one more thing I can add to the skills section of my resume.

The highlight of my day was having lunch with my old coworker. This fabulous woman was the first person I worked with at my very first editing job out of college. She took me under her wing, and helped me love my job. She's a sheer delight. It was great to catch up on her life and see her looking so fabulous. She left the educational publishing field to become a college professor. All I can say is that if I had taken her class in college, she would have been my favorite prof. I can only imagine how much fun she makes Children's Literature and Reading Comprehension. And yes, I took both of those classes. I was a bonified nerd, and an English major in college. It's something I don't like to reveal, as I feel like people will start scouring my posts for grammatical errors! I tend to make mistakes when I write late at night, which is exactly when I write all of my posts. All that being said, this lovely lady helped me reinforce all of my editorial skills, and made me realize what a blessing it is to work with nice people in your job. Even with the tremendous pressures of deadlines, and error-free administrations, she made my first job such a pleasant experience.

After work, I was going to go have dinner with L&G, but sadly, the proper ingredients were not removed from the freezer in time, so we had to cancel. That's ok, it gave me a good opportunity to go get a few cards for some of my closest friends, and have some much needed down time.

Unfortunately, the down time lead to me thinking about my departure, which lead to a full on tear fest. Pete called, and needless to say our talk included lots of discussion about my impending move, which made me overwhelmingly sad. And even though I'm excited about the move, it brought out all of the feelings I've been holding back for the last year. It was like I could finally let go. You see, I'm the "strong one" in my family. I'm the oldest child, and I've always been the person who is supposed to hold it all together. And even when my entire world crumbled last year, I held it together. I think I stopped and really cried a total of four times. In an entire year. And even though I know it's not healthy to do that, I did it because I've trained myself to not fall apart. And so here I am on the brink of the hardest move of my life, and I let all those held in emotions go. I let myself be sad and vulnerable. I embraced the feelings of sadness over leaving my friends, fear over not having a job, anxiety over living with my family for an indefinite period of time, and loneliness because I may not have many friends when I move. And I tried to share these feelings with Pete, and he just didn't understand them. He tried to tell me that I was thinking about it in the wrong way. And I knew where he was coming from, but I just wanted him to listen. And even though I know that men have this innate desire to fix everything, I wanted him to understand that I didn't need him to fix it.

When we got off the phone, I cried even more because I felt like I'd pushed him away, and on top of all the other feelings I was processing, it made me even more sad. I like this guy. For whatever reason that may be, I care for him. And I want him to see the fabulous person that I am, and not the mess that I appeared to be last night. I'm not a mess, I'm just a girl in the midst of a huge like change, and I have so many conflicting feelings about it. And as much as I know that's normal, I'd really like to hear it from someone else.

And so, after I finally got the release of emotion that I so desperately needed, I slept. And it was the first night of solid sleep that I've had in weeks. I woke up to a new day, and a new outlook. I know that things will be alright, and I can still be the girl that is strong in the face of uncertainty.

~ Miss L.A.

Tuesday, February 9

February 8, 2010: Highlights and Husbands (of the gay variety)

Monday morning, post Super Bowl. Ugh. I think this should be a mandatory holiday. In the south, football is a religion, and we even cancel church for the Super Bowl. We all know that a good party includes spiked punch, beer, and loads of fattening food. Everyone is in a coma this morning. Even a large amount of DC didn't do it for me this morning! (That's Diet Coke for all you non-current or former addicts.)

After a snail's pace day at work, I finally made it to 5 o'clock! I peeled out of the parking lot, jamming to my music headed to see my favorite gay husbands (GH). That would be my hair dresser and his partner. Not only does my GH make my hair look incredible, but he happens to be a great friend as well. He throws great parties, gives great advice, and always helps lift my spirits just when I need it! I've decided every woman needs a GH. I have two, which is twice as nice. I'm sad to leave them behind, but thankfully GH has given me the holy grail, one of his coveted Saturday appointment slots. So, every 10 weeks, I'll be making the trek down to get foiled and trimmed, so my tresses will still look extra fabulous! For the deal I get on my hair, it's worth the trip.

And after my hair appointment, my GHs and their lovely daughter headed to one of our favorite restaurants for a farewell dinner. Complete with fajitas, sangria margarita and lots of laughs, it was a successful soiree. I was sad to leave, but I knew that this wasn't goodbye. The best part, is that even with my change of address, GH reminded me that the next time I'm in town, I'll likely have a much more fabulous life to match how fabulous I truly am. If that doesn't make you feel good, nothing will.

Good night,

Miss L.A.

February 7, 2010: It's a Saints Miracle

I begrudgingly got out of bed this morning. It wasn't because I didn't want to go to church, it was just that I has driven 800 miles since Friday, and I was exhausted. I tackled too many emotionally and physically draining tasks this weekend and I just wanted to stay in bed. Too bad it was my last Sunday at my church, so I made the adult decision and I get my butt out of bed.

Church went by smoothly. I actually managed to say all of my goodbyes without crying. That was hard. I could tell that so many people were disappointed that I'm leaving. And they didn't really know what to say when I basically told them that I'm starting my life over. From Scratch. You'd think that people of faith would have better answers. Many stared at me with bewildered looks in their eyes. Some offerred great words of wisdom and encouragement, and for that I was grateful.

After church I went out for my last Sunday supper with Alex's parents. They are like my substitute parents. The one's that can be my emergency contact since my actual parents are 300 miles away. They've fed me, let me sleep at their house, come to my choir concerts, and loved me for the last four years. I'm forever indebted to them welcoming into their family.

After lunch I went home to try to get in a cat nap before the Super Bowl. This was not very successful. For some reason, no matter how hard I tried to sleep, I just could not accomplish this task. This has been an ongoing theme lately. Insomnia and I are fast becoming enemies.

I finally made it over to the Super Bowl party. We had fried turkey & cornbread with all the trimmings. Delicious! What made it all the sweeter was the Saints' victory! My precious aunt is a lifelong Saints fan. We're talking 40 dedicated years of watching her team lose. Yet no matter what, she loves them through every season. I understand this dedication. It must run in the family. I've watched my alma mater battle it out over the last 11 football seasons. Win or lose, I'll always bleed my team color.

The reason why this victory was even more special is that my aunt is currently battling cancer. The doctor's discovered stage 3 ovarian cancer in November, and she had major surgery in early December. She recovered very well and is now undergoing chemotherapy. Her hair has fallen out, but nothing has deterred her spirit and will to beat this disease. My aunt has always been an inspiration to me. She's strong, beautiful, funny, smart, and kick ass in every way. She's my friend. One of my best friends. She gives me great advice, and loves me through all my stupid choices. And so now it's my turn to encourage her. And so I cheered harder for the Saints than I've likely cheered for any team before. This is saying a lot, because I'm one of the most die hard sports fans you'll likely meet. And when they won, I nearly cried. And when I called my aunt, she did cry. Tears of joy for all those years of loyalty, and for finally getting to see her team do the unthinkable.

It was a good Sunday.  :)

~ Miss L.A.

Sunday, February 7

February 6, 2010: a glimpse of things to come

Even after such a late night, I was up early after my nephews bounded in first thing in the morning. How can you be disgruntled at those adorable faces? You can't. They truly make me happy, even in the midst of all the uncertainty.

I helped my sister clean the house, unloaded my car, and made my plans for the day. Took a long hot shower, fixed my hair, threw on my fabulous new Tahari pumps and loaded the car again.

I headed into town to meet my good friend Sam for lunch. Sam and I have been friends for years. We went to church, high school, and college together. He's a photographer, and write's a fantastic style blog. We met for lunch and then he took me to look at a fantasic apartment. He's moving into them this month, and there is one other unit available. We're praying I get a job so I can move in as well. It's in the perfect location, and it's exactly what I'm looking for. Built in the 20s, hardwood floors, built in bookcase, original glass doorknobs, remodeled kitchen, and it even has a courtyard with a fountain! I just know that if I get to move in here, it will make this whole transition so much easier. I'd have a great friend nearby at all times, and I wouldn't feel like I'd lost all of my identity.

So, after looking at the place and talking over lunch, I was going to get back on the road. But as fate would have it, Pete called. We had discussed getting together while I was home, but he made other plans on Friday, and hadn't called yet. He apologized for the delay, and asked me to drop by. I weighed the matter, and finally decided to go. I don't know what to think about Pete. I like him. He's incredibly handsome; like in a way that the site of his eyes and smile instantly melt me. And I love to talk to him. What I'm unsure of is where he's coming from. We dated in late '09, but he got cold feet and stopped calling. I didn't know if I should give him a second chance. He gave me a very sincere apology when I arrived. He explained how he liked me so much, and it scared him, but he realized that he really wants to give 'us' a shot. Here's my problem. I got so incredibly hurt last year that I have a severe problem with trust. I trusted him once and he let me down. I feel like if I trust him again and he hurts me, it's my fault. I don't know what his intentions are with me. I know he likes me, but he sometimes seems distracted, and I honestly don't know if he is ready to be in a relationship. I'm not really ready for that either, but at the same time, I don't want to date a guy who is going to be dating several women at once. That's just not how I operate. I don't want to be his girlfriend, or even see him more than once or twice a week, but I don't feel comfortable with dating other people, or with him doing that either. That makes things hard. And we talked about this for a while, and at first I wasn't even sure where he stood. He finally kissed me and told me that he does really care and wants to "see where this goes." I am happy to do that, but I just want him to be honest with me. If he just sees me as someone to have fun with but nothing more, I'd really like to know. I am at a place where feeling vulnerable and unsure is something I don't have much room for in life.

Men. Sometimes I just wish I could read their minds for just a few moments. Maybe I could get some insight as to what exactly I should say and do so that this whole dating thing could be a lot easier for both of us.

~ Miss L.A.

February 5, 2010: on the road again

The work day went by with a blur today. I knew I had a long drive ahead of me to take some stuff to my parent's house. I left James' house at 6:15. I stopped at Ally's to pick up my dog Molly and load the car with boxes. After a very long night of driving, I finally made it home. There were mixed emotions. I knew this would be the last time that I would drive home and be returning. It was weird to think that I only had a week left. This city has meant so much to me. I started my adult life here. I learned how to live on my own and how to be comfortable doing so. My mind raced about things to come in my new life. Will I be happy, like my job, fall in love? Will I stay here, or move again? Oh, it's the what ifs that make life so exciting sometimes.

Too tired to write anymore. Good night!

~ Miss L.A.