Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Good Night Sweet Prince

On January 31st, Cylas turned one. My little, tiny, baby is not a little tiny baby anymore. This has happened gradually and then all at once. On his birthday, he decided (using the help of a ride-a-long giraffe toy) to start walking around my parents' backyard. First words have been spoken, first steps are emanate. It's been an amazing year. Probably the best year of my life. But, let's be honest here, it's also been really fucking hard.

That being said, I am lucky (I think.) I got an "easy baby." Cylas is mellow, and sweet. He's healthy and robust.  As a newborn, he slept pretty well, rarely cried and nursed like a champ.  I didn't even mind getting up with him in the middle of the night and at a couple of months old he was sleeping through the night. In fact, I would set an alarm to wake myself up in the middle of the night to pump because Cylas would sleep right through his possible nursing sessions.

Then around 4 months old, Cylas changed his mind. He no longer wanted to sleep peacefully beside our bed in his cradle. He started waking up every hour needing to be nursed back to sleep. I moved him into our bed where he slept while latched on and nursing ALL NIGHT LONG. And for awhile, this worked. We both got some sleep, the operative word being SOME. You try sleeping while a tiny human lies attached to your boob all night. It was during this time that Cylas' naps became more problematic as well. Then at 6 months, when we started solid foods, Cylas stopped pooping. Not entirely, of course, but his poops became very infrequent, about once a week, and they were, how should I say...substantial when they did happen.

Before Cylas was born, I would have considered myself a baby expert. Not only did I have experience with other people's babies, but I also did a lot of reading while I was pregnant. A lot. I love to read, a pleasure I had to forgo while nursing Cylas to sleep several times a night, until I downloaded the Kindle app for my phone (game changer, people.) I read books about sleeping, I read books about eating, I read every mommy blog and mommy board on FB. I should have been an expert, right?

It turned out, I wasn't.

Becoming a mum has been a humbling experience to say the very least. I'm a capable and confident person. I am educated and sensitive to the needs of others. I have all the necessary qualities a successful mother needs, and yet I was plagued with such DOUBT. When he wouldn't sleep, I would lie there, desperate and sad, with an unquiet mind; my own terrible mantra circling through my brain..."failure, failure, failure." I was failing him. I couldn't get him to sleep for longer than 45 minutes without needing me to settle him back down. Oh and did I mention that he was only pooping once a week? I obsessed about that too, but mostly I thought about his sleeping. And I thought about my sleeping (which was naturally effected by his sleeping and visa-versa.) I thought, and I researched and I asked others and I cried (and I laughed sometimes, too) and I practiced that wicked mantra. This went on for months.

And that is not to say that our days have not been filled with music, and sunshine and giggles and one life changing, amazing, awesome, mind blowing experience after another.  I have been happier in this past year than I have ever been. Eric is happy. He is alive with his son in a way I've never seen him before. Our life feels more complete. Every moment of this past year has been so precious, I thought about investing in Google Glass so that I record it all. Especially, I wished I could have recorded Cylas as he fell asleep. I did my best to memorize every detail. It was only in those dark moments, when I was back in our room for the fourth time in a couple of hours, to nurse that boy back to sleep, and Eric was downstairs waiting for me, and I was hungry for my dinner and my back ached from holding a position that made it easier for him to nurse, that the doubt crept in.

And I'd love to say that it's all better now. It is much better. Cylas eventually seemed so uncomfortable sleeping next to me that we made the decision to move him into his own crib. He protested some, but within a day or two he was falling asleep by himself in his crib and sleeping for much longer stretches. I still go in and nurse him a couple times a night. Some nights, it's more than a couple, but we're both a lot happier, and sleeping much better. And a couple of weeks ago, I stopped taking my prenatal vitamin and Cylas started pooping again. My vitamin had too much iron in it for him. Some expert I am.

All and all, life is excellent. I have a loving and supportive partner, and the cutest, sweetest baby I could have hoped for. I only mentioned the DOUBT because I'm sure that I am not the only new mother to go through this. I'm not talking about postpartum depression, I'm just talking about doubt. I beat myself up about any and every problem that Cylas was having and then I beat myself up for beating myself up. Lately, I'm trying to be nicer to myself. I'm getting better at it every day. The sleeping helps. Supportive friends and family help, and Cylas' smile helps.

If I could change one thing about this last year with Cylas it would be the doubt. I would quiet my horrible mantra and just breath in the sweet fleeting moments of having a baby. He's one now. He survived, and so did we. He'll be walking soon, and he's getting a few new teeth. He weighs 20 lbs and when he nurses his legs spill out of my lap. I can't even remember what he felt like when he was 7 lbs and I could hold him with one arm. I wish I hadn't spent a single moment of that time feeling afraid or lost. But alas, I did. Because I'm human. And try as I might, I'm sure I'll feel lost and doubtful again and again as he grows. Oh well, I'm feeling pretty great at the moment. I should make a new mantra.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The (New) Bo(u)rn(e) Identity

So the thing about being a new mum is that your days tend to get away from you. That's because they don't belong to you anymore...they now belong to the baby. And I can't speak for every new mum, but mostly, you don't mind. I will ignore every task I put on my to-do list if it means getting Baby C to smile and stop fussing. I have stopped mid dishes, mid cooking, mid texting, mid sentence to give him kisses, tickle his belly, and generally do his bidding. It's awesome. I don't care that my hair isn't washed (or brushed most of the time) that all of my clothes have to be "nursing convenient", or that I haven't been alone with Eric in 4 months. Last night, when the wee babe threw-up the entire contents of his stomach, milk that I spent a lot of energy producing and letting him drain from me for the past 30 minutes, all over me, I didn't miss my old, sexy, care free life at all. Honestly.

HOWEVER, finding time to write has been difficult, because it isn't even a task that I've been ignoring from my to-do list in order to illicit giggles from a 4 month old. I didn't even think about this blog post for the first 2 months of Cylas's life (that's his name, by the way.) I spent the first 2 months in recovery. That little nugget sure did a number on me getting here. I had an epic pregnancy. I felt better pregnant than I ever did before I was pregnant. I glowed like it was my job. Labor was another matter. I read, I prepared, I took classes, I visualized, I did yoga, I was ready to labor like a boss. A very calm, centered, serene, un-medicated boss. And I did remarkably well...for the first 48 hours of labor! But still, after 2 full days of powerful contractions only 4 to 5 minutes apart, Cylas was still not coming out, even though I called out to him, even though I did a headstand (with help) to aid him, even though I internally begged him, he remained bunkered down. Dare I say, stuck and restrained. We now know that his umbilical cord was very short and so he was tethered tightly to the placenta unable to descend down the birth canal, and he was caught behind my tailbone as well, which he fractured with his head as I finally pushed him out 68 hours into labor, then having transferred to the hospital, aided with a delicious epidural and a room full of supportive people. Cylas arrived, instantly peed on me, started nursing and fell asleep, just like I always wished...I just wished he hadn't broken my tail bone with his enormous head on his way out.

So four months later, with some physical therapy, and a lot of love and support from Eric and our family and friends, I am almost back to normal (at least I can walk again) and Cylas is a happy, healthy, adorable 16 lbs. This is my life now. Easy. E.A.S.Y. Baby Eats, Activity, Sleeps, and while he sleeps I have You time, (You time meaning Me time.) and that is when I write, right? Wrong. That is when I do the laundry, or clean the house, or just sit on the couch while the baby sleeps in my arms since that is his favorite way to nap, so that he can nurse on and off at his leisure for 2 hour stretches. I can't blame him. That sounds really nice. If someone would let me sleep in their arms while they fed me a milkshake through a straw and I didn't even have to open my eyes I would do it with a smile. Yes please and Thank you. Sounds good. So finding time to write is hard. But no one told me it wouldn't be. I always knew that would be a challenge I'd have to work out. I know with a looming deadline on my newest writing project, that I'll have to figure this problem out since my partners will not accept the excuse of "I just couldn't find the time" to write our next script.

So I now realize that I spent the last several years of my life figuring out how to become a mum (the short answer is "get knocked up", but we all know it's a lot more complicated than that.) Then the last 4 months have been about figuring out how to be a mum (a process that I will continue to negotiate for the rest of my life) and now I have to start thinking about how to be a writer, friend, wife, and full human again too?!?! A person who has wants and interests other than those of her 4 month old master.

I have a FWB who attended a Mommy and Me class shortly after the birth of her first baby. She recounted how the leader of the group asked the women to go around the circle and introduce themselves with their name, their baby's name and "what they used to do BEFORE they became a mommy." As though there was no identity now for them other than that of "Mother." Of course my friend rejected that and, in theory, I reject it too. But I also understand how it happens. In the exhausting marathon of mothering (a marathon that I am still in the first miles of, I know) it seems perfectly reasonable to abandon yourself in sake of the little one's needs. It actually seems like the easiest thing to do. That way, you don't feel like you're missing out and you don't have to beat yourself up about all the personal goals you are not accomplishing at every second, etc. You can surrender yourself to the little one. You are in baby-world and life is simple. E.A.S.Y even. What an awesome thing to get to do. Watch a baby figure stuff out. Change and grow. Cylas has changed so much just in 4 months, I can't imagine what the next 4 months are gonna be like. I'm so grateful that I've gotten to be a part of his changes with little distraction so far.  I think I could stay here for a lot longer if I didn't hear the call from my keyboard pulling me back, imploring me to tell the stories that will always be in my head. And there are deadlines that must be met and work that must be returned to and Cylas and I have to learn to live without each other 24 hours a day. It's sad, and wonderful. Heartbreaking, and a relief all at the same time. 

So basically, this is another long winded excuse for why I haven't blogged in so long. I've been doing other things. But I really do promise to keep writing if you enjoy reading them. And I also promise to move the blog up on my list of priorities because it's fun to write and makes people happy. And I think I've realized the most important significant thing I've ever learned and I'd love to share it with you now. I realized...Oh shit, I gotta go, the baby just woke up.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

38 Weeks Later

About 38 weeks ago,  I went to see two movies in the theatre in the same week. The first movie I saw was Before Midnight. The second movie I saw was Frances Ha. As I sat in the cool, dark theaters, watching the stories play out before me, I couldn't help but notice the humorous connection I was feeling to both of the films.

Frances Ha is about a struggling, somewhat lost, young woman in NYC trying desperately to find her footing in the cruel cruel competitive art scene/world. That was my entire 20's, in a nut shell. I was Frances. Impulsive, driven (but easily distracted) and utterly "un-dateable." My most significant relationship was with my best girlfriend from college, and I wanted to be an artist but was not very organized about actually going about it. I loved this movie, I was charmed by it, I felt nostalgic and filled with a bitter sweet melancholy as I watched the black and white version of New York. But I was relieved as well. Frances's life looked hard. She was homeless, poor and unemployed. I live in a nice condo in Sunny L.A. and have a job that pays all my bills and allows me to go see two movies in one week. I have artistic endeavors that are going well. My "Frances Ha" time is behind me.

On the other hand, Before Midnight is about a married couple with two young children who analyze every aspect of their marriage, sex life, child care and careers, as they drive, and stroll through some beautiful European countryside. I was feeling humorously connected to this film, not because it was in my past the way Frances Ha was, but because it was in my future…my immediate future. Because, earlier that week, that morning in fact, I had taken a pregnancy test. And it had been positive.

Now, you might be thinking, "Wait a minute! Weren't you single and looking for love and hanging out mostly with your dog and missing your ex boyfriend who you'd split with almost a year earlier because he had decided against having children???" Yes, you are correct. But what I didn't tell you was that the ex and I were still seeing each other (secretly, I guess) and we were coming to the decision that we wanted to make it work together.  I had talked it over at length with my therapist who told me it was OK that I wanted what I wanted. I just hadn't told any of my friends, because I was pretty sure they would tell me that I was making a mistake. Prolonging my heartache. And I was scared that they were right. But love is hard to ignore, and the heart wants what it wants and all that jazz.

So when the second pink line appeared on the test, I had mixed emotions. I was happy, and terrified, and slightly ashamed. I was happy because I wanted a baby, and I wanted it with Eric. I was terrified because I wasn't totally clear on what Eric wanted, and I was ashamed because I'd been keeping so many secrets, I was sure everyone would think I had been irresponsible and crazy and had concocted a plan to entrap Eric. But at the end of the day, happiness was the winner. Eric was totally on board, my family and friends were all delightfully supportive. It was an amazing twist of fate. And now, 38 weeks later, I am super pregnant with a baby boy (yet to be named) engaged to be married and very very happy about it all.

I've meant to write about all of this sooner, but my first trimester was spent on set filming my other "baby" Other People's Children (the feature film I wrote and produced and have been talking about for…YEARS!.) The second trimester was spent catching up on all of the things that I missed being too busy (and sick) during that first trimester and the third trimester has been spent mostly working and baby prepping. But luckily, I have had a delightfully easy pregnancy with no complications and relatively little discomfort. A friend referred to mine as an "epic pregnancy!" So, I'm hoping that will translate into an epic birth/epic baby/ epic parenting skills. So far, so good. Birthing Class is going well. The Breastfeeding 101 class we took last night was empowering, helpful and fun, and we got to watch a video with a lot of boobs and babies and who doesn't like looking at boobs? And babies? They're both so awesome. And I just watched a video of an elephant giving birth that was gross and amazing, and if she can do it, then, dammit, so can I! All is well.

However, on New Years day, when I woke up, exhausted from having worked late the night before (no partying for this Preggo) and Eric said to me that 2013 was one of the best years of his life, for a moment I felt totally confused. By his account of the year, he had done some soul searching, re-connected with some great guy friends, did several successful film projects, gotten back together with me, moved back in together, gotten engaged and was expecting a son. All good things.  So why was I still obsessing about the first third of the year when I was an alone and miserable mess? But upon reflection, I realized that he was right. I had also done a lot of soul searching, gone to therapy (always a good thing, I think) visited with friends, wrote, prepped and filmed my first feature, supported my sister through her pregnancy, reunited with the love of my life, gotten engaged, travelled, and grew a human. Not a bad year at all. And Jasper didn't seem surprised at all when Eric moved back in. I think he knew that was gonna happen all along. He's a pretty wise little dog.

 So now I try to look foreword instead of backward and to focus on all the fun and hard work we have ahead of us. And if I have any questions, I have a lot of friends with babies who I can call. In fact, I don't even need to call. The main thing I've noticed about being pregnant is that everyone (and I mean everyone) has something they want to tell you about it. Some "truth" they need to impart to you about your upcoming labor, delivery, and parenting future. Sometimes, these people are strangers in the Target that want to tell you what coco butter to buy. Sometimes they're your childless neighbor who wants to tell you what nipple cream you should get,  and how you should never, ever drink caffeine/sugar/honey/windex etc. And sometimes they're a gay guy you work with who's really concerned that you will regret your choice to labor without an epidural. And sometimes it's all your very close friends with helpful tips and hints and awesome hand-me-downs that save you from the overwhelming marketplace that is becoming a parent. And, as annoyed as I get by some suggestions ("don't drink that thing or your baby will definitely come out with a tail") I'm mostly grateful for all the help and support I received from friends and strangers alike.  And I know it's gonna be a piece of cake (insert winky face emoticon here)

I'm sure all of my friends with babies will have a few things to say about that.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Year of the Dog

This week marks the one year anniversary of Jasper's (known to his friends as Jasper J. Jingles) coming to live in my house with me. Jasper has become my companion, buddy and exercise partner. In the past year, I've grabbed coffee with Jasper more than with any of my other friends. He's really been there for me during this transitional time in my life. He's a really convenient buddy because he always has time for me and he doesn't really have that many other friends so he gives me a lot of attention. I really love him. I think he's great.

Did I mention that Jasper is a dog? He is. He's a dog.

But that doesn't matter. He's my dog, and I chose him from a sea of other possible dogs that needed adopting. It is a little like dating, right? (Go with me on this; at least I'm not calling him my child, I'm just calling him my boyfriend...that's better, right???) In this day and age, it seems more and more difficult to meet new people to potentially date outside the realm of online dating. I'm not in school anymore, and my job as a writer leaves me alone at the computer writing scripts about girls who are dating a lot more than I am. But occasionally a friend will set me up with a lovely young man that she knows/works with/never dated herself, etc. We've all probably done this. I think it's You go to a bar or restaurant with the other person, you see if there's a connection, and then you decide if you're going to take the other person home with you and let them sit on your furniture and ultimately sleep in your bed. Right? Adopting a dog was kind of the same. I (well, WE but we don't need to talk about the EX right now) went and met quite a few dogs. There's a rescue shelter in Hollywood that doubles as a pet supply store and lets the dogs run lose all over the store. It's so much fun, kind of like a doggie Happy Hour. You walk around, casually, saying "hi", feeling "people" out, and then you see a dog that you might like. OR, in my case, the owner of the shop/rescue shelter interviews you and finds out what you're looking for in your dog and then sets you up with a dog that might work. He acts like the friend who sets you up on the blind date. Then you go on the "blind date" with the dog. This looks like a play session in the shop, and then a walk around the neighborhood, just the two of you.

On these walks you learn a lot about the dog. That they're nervous, or aggressive. That they're hyper or aloof. I found all the dogs I "dated" to be one or another or a combo of these traits and so ultimately I realized that they were not the "one" for me, however lonely I was feeling or however much I wanted them to be.

And then I met Jasper. I saw him first on a website. He's not gorgeous, he's got bad teeth and weird hair, but I didn't care! He had that "special something" that I was looking for. He was laid back and mellow, and loving and cuddly, and he didn't shed. Isn't this what we're all looking for? When we met, sparks flew. He was so sweet and caring and excited to meet me, I knew this would work. And it has. And like every new relationship, there's been some bumps. He had secrets, and baggage (how could be not? He was born in a pile of trash.) He didn't tell me right away that he would have terrible leash aggression, and that he might chew on my iPhone headphones if I left them on the bed. He never mentioned that he loves to bark at the TV whenever anyone on the screen yells even a little, or that TV dogs were his worst and most hated enemy. But I'm sure he doesn't love that I often shower and dress and put my make-up on ALL before I take him out in morning. (He actually doesn't seem to care about that. He just sleeps.) We're doing quite well. Thanks for asking.

SO the dog dating thing worked out quite well. The men dating thing is proving more difficult. How could I be so good at finding the perfect dog, but not the perfect man, you ask? Not sure. As I mentioned, I've been on some dates, and the dates have all gone...fine. But that's it...just fine. (That's not entirely true, I've been on one or two that did not go fine. Where thoughts like "I can't believe I shaved my legs for this" and "I'd much rather be home watching GIRLS with Jasper than this" kept floating through my head.) But mostly the dates have been fine/good/nice. But nothing special. And that is not to say that these guys aren't special. They DO NOT have aggression issues, or are aloof, or hyper, or nervous. They have all been very nice young men. They just, maybe, didn't have that "special something." Or maybe I don't. Maybe choosing Jasper was so easy because I was open and ready and looking for some doggie love. Or maybe it was just meant to be. And, I hope, my next relationship with feel that way too, sparks and all. Until then, I have Jasper, a borrowed HBOGO account from my sister and lots of wine. I think I'm gonna be just fine.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Hangover and Adrienne Harris's Diary

Not long ago, after a night of Holiday Partying that was both really fun and full of some (probably) really bad decisions, I arrived home very late/very early. Crawling into my bed, as the sun rose silently in the East I smiled to myself and patted myself on the back, congratulating myself on all the fun I'd had. "See, isn't being single and unencumbered by responsibility fun!?" I said to myself as I drifted off to sleep...

My mid-day wake up call was a real slap in the face. Literally. Not only did I awake to a roaring hangover, to contact lenses dried tight to my eyeballs and a bedroom floor full of last nights party attire, but also to my little dog, Jasper, literally slapping me in the face with his paw, informing me that he, like all creatures I know, needed to pee, eat and be loved. The rest of the day was spent in recovery and preparation for another busy/terrible night at work. It was a hell of a way to spend one's Christmas Eve.

Then Christmas day arrived, as it does every year, bright and early on the 25th of December. I've never spent a Christmas alone before. It wasn't so bad. There were still presents to open and coffee to drink. I listened to Christmas music and ate my family's traditional Christmas Breakfast item, a cinnamon bun, I just simply did these things by myself. I then headed over to a FWB's house for Christmas luncheon. I arrived at the party at 2:00 with my pot luck contributions and celebrated the Holiday with three married couples and their babies. If you know me, this shouldn't surprise you. It didn't surprise me. What did surprise me was how I felt about it after. Blue. Even after such a great day, I still felt a little blue. But comically so, in the manner of Bridget Jones. In fact, I felt the undeniable desire to eat the entire contents of my fridge and lie on my couch watching Fatal Attraction with a bottle of wine for company and just generally feel very sorry for myself. Instead, I went to my neighbors who had family visiting from London and spent the rest of the evening drinking and laughing with them. A much better choice than lying on my couch, eating and drinking alone.

Everyone tells you that the Holidays are hard. They are hard if you are with your loved ones because of the stress of travel, cooking, gift giving and money spending. And they are hard if you are NOT with your loved ones because of the stress of loneliness, shipping, and making New Year's Eve plans. No matter how you play your Holiday, all roads lead to HARD. But we do it every year. Even Bridget Jones goes to her mother's annual Turkey Curry Buffet every year, even though it is always hard, and she never has any fun.

I've been a little obsessed with Bridget Jones lately. My parents giving me a new diary for Christmas sure didn't help. She's not a bad role model for a gal like me to have, but she's probably not the best one either. She's likable, as (I hope) am I. Like me, she has a job that she tolerates, but doesn't love. She has a few really great friends who are single and some lovely "Smug Marrieds" as do I. (Sorry married friends, you're not really smug, I swear.) She is eager to fall in love, but totally unsure of how to do it. In some ways I am exactly like her, except that I don't have a sexy british accent and I'm not blond. Dammit! Bloody Hell! She makes a lot of mistakes too, though. She wears inappropriate clothing to work, she sleeps with her boss and she can't cook! But she's a great role model, even for an American Brunette like myself, because in one year of her life, with the help of a diary and friends and an obsessive monitoring of her weight and cigarette/alcohol consumption she manages to have a pretty fantastic time, full of hilarity, parties, and complete with a new better job and a sexy lawyer boyfriend (who she meets at the Turkey Curry Buffet. Ha!)

So with my goals for 2013 all set up, and a new diary in hand (let's face it, I'm a grown up, American woman, I call it a journal) I feel ready to face the new year. So many great things are going to happen next year. I can think of at least 3 (but probably more) friends who are having babies. There's bound to be at least a couple of marriages (although I am currently running out of single friends so at least that number will have to dwindle.) And if all goes to plan I will get my dream job, make my first feature film, and finish the other 5 screenplays that I'm currently writing, and still have time to visit with all of my FWBs who's Holiday Cards are all over my fire place. And if there's a little time left over, and someone throws a Turkey Curry Buffet...well, who knows what could happen. Watch out Ms. Jones. I've got my diary, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

L.A. calling NYC

As we all know, recently a weather disaster called Hurricane Sandy rocked the East Coast.  New York City was devastated and my old stomping ground of the East Village was drowned. I know this because I read about it, I watched news footage, I talked to friends on the phone and I looked at people's pictures on Facebook. I wasn't there...but I kind of wish that I had been.

I was in New York City for most of the major events that the city has survived over the past decade or so. I was there on 9/11. I watched the second tower fall and the parade of ash covered Wall Streeters march uptown. I was there for the blackout and the transit strike and the blizzard that shut everything down for days and made the streets silent. It was devastating and difficult, but also it was uniting, just like Sandy seemed to be for my friends that live there now. People's Facebook posts read "We have power, and water and food. Come uptown and be safe and warm." and "Power's back on here, and I'm cooking chili. Everyone is welcome." New Yorkers have an amazing way of turning tragedy into a party, and if that sounds like I'm making light of the subject, then forgive me. I simply mean, well done, New Yorkers...and I really miss you guys.

I often fantasize about moving back to New York now that I am single. L.A., all though it is sunny, does not seem to work for my new Sexy Single Life (S.S.L.) as well as I would have hoped. You don't meet people out walking the dog in L.A. I mostly pass other people's gardeners as Jasper and I roam out suburban neighborhood.  And the gardeners don't want to talk to me. They are busy gardening, for Christ sake. They don't have time to hear about the passing thoughts of a writer who mostly thinks about her dog and can't keep a plant alive.

New York seems like the perfect place for a lonely person. There are friends who meet for drinks after work, and cab drivers, and bartenders, and coffee carts, and park benches. Now, I know what you're going to say, "There are all of those things and people in L.A. too, Adrienne," but I am telling you, it is not the same! You have to drive to those park benches and add extra time for traffic, and pay for parking. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of things I love about L.A. as well, I'm just missing NYC at the moment.

My recent obsession with my S.S.L. taking place in New York is probably because my two S.S.Lifestyle role models lived in New York...Carrie Bradshaw and Liz Lemon. Two awesome writers looking for love and the path to "having it all" in the city that never sleeps. Granted, my S.S.L. is a little more Liz Lemon than it is Carrie Bradshaw. It's more writing late night and frozen pizzas in front of the tv, than Cosmos at the hot new fusion restaurant and Mr. Big, but the location is the same. No drunk driving, no paying for parking, and a revolving door of new and interesting people at all times. I also realize that they were/are characters on scripted television shows but go with me on this. Could Liz or Carrie have hacked it in L.A.? Probably not. L.A. is not for the lonely.  I'm not packing my bags just yet, but it's nice to think about the escape, even if there are hurricanes and snow storms standing in my way.

In other news, I was recently asked by a FWB (friend with baby) to be the back up mom to the back up mom to her 7 month old son, Eli, in case something were to happen to her and her husband. My sister, Natalie, and her husband were named Eli's legal guardians in case of such a tragic event, but if something happens to Natalie and hubby too, well then Eli is all mine. A lot of really bad, narly stuff would have to happen first, but it's still an honor to be nominated. So,  I guess, I can have it all, even in L.A.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The EX Factor

I will admit that in the past I have always disliked when people talked about their exs. I often found myself struggling to not roll my eyes when a co-worker said "my ex and I went there all the time." Or a friend said, "my ex is a Leo, so you can guess how that turned out." I always wondered, why are these people talking so much about people who are not in their lives anymore? It's not as though they were fondly reminiscing about a deceased pet or an old school mate. No, they were constantly rehashing the nuances of a failed relationship. Why? "Let it go," I would think. But now I get it. It is difficult to cut out a huge piece of your history from your daily thought process. You can walk around your house and remove all the pictures of you both when you were happy from your walls and counter tops and replace them with pictures of friends and deceased pets, but is harder to eliminate the dreaded ex's name from your stories, experiences and verbal history. You can't cut out their presence in your past experiences the way you can cut their head out of photographs. So to all those friends and co-workers who I might have rolled my eyes at (you don't know who you are), I'm sorry. I get it now, and I'm sorry.

I miss my ex-boyfriend, and since most of my memories of him and our time together are positive, he still pops up in so many of my anecdotal stories. At work, at coffee, on the phone, at the grocery store, (as I purchase another pint of ice-cream) I have to fight the urge to say, "Oh, Eric would love that." Or, "Oh, Eric DOES love that." BUT, I am doing better. As the weeks crawl by and I go to sleep and wake up alone it gets easier, just like everyone promised it would. Even Jasper (the dog) is doing better. He went through his own adjustment period after the sudden departure of his second owner. At first, he really struggled. He cried and chewed on the furniture and my shoes. He peed on the carpet...twice! When I would return home he jumped all over me and crawled on top of me. He stared into my eyes, his ears back, his tail down, his eyes wide and sad as if to say "I miss him, Adrienne! What did we do to make him leave us like this???" And I would scream, "I miss him too, Jasper! I get it! I want to pee on the carpet too, but we have to be more positive! We have to take walks and write in our journals. We can't just chew on furniture and pee on the carpet all day. This isn't healthy!"

But Jasper and his depression and anxiety have helped pull me through. I can't stay in bed all day like I sometimes want to because he makes me get up and take him out. He ensures that I get exercise and fresh air. It is delightful to come home to something that is SOOO happy to see you. And he gets me out of the house without him too. There have been a few times where I have spent an extra hour at the coffee shop writing and reading just to have an extra hour away from his needy sad eyes. That sounds bad, but look on the bright side. I got more work done!

So life goes on just like everyone promised it would, and I've started to return to my frequent visits with my friends with babies and have learned about two more friends who will join this club of mine in the coming months. I feel my life returning to normal. I feel my heart as it fills with love for these friends and these babies, I am constantly inspired by these amazing moms and dads who remind me of the many goals I want reach in my life (becoming a parent being only one of them) and I would like to thank all of my friends (with and without babies) for their love and support lately. I promise to return to posting about hilarious little kids and not about broken hearts soon. Until then, Jasper and I soldier on. Keeping our cool in this summer heat wave, trying desperately to keep it together, stay positive and above all else, not chew on the furniture.