Yeah, so things are, as is typical, good in places, not-so-good in others.

I’m back from visiting Sarah; got back in Sunday night. That flight isn’t so bad anymore, but I don’t remember it being a full six hours to get back to the West Coast. That shit is like international travel business in that, if you’re on a plane for six, you might as well stick it out for another four and go someplace exotic. I mean, why not?

Word to the wise, though: If you’re gonna book flights for that long, don’t sit in a bulkhead seat. That’d be Row 6, right outside of First Class on Alaska flights.

Reza and I did a bit of hunting for a Christmas tree last night and, believe it or not, couldn’t find a decent janky tree on the lot. The one guy at the lot behind the Observatory on University told us that the SDFD came by a day or so ago and picked out the jankiest tree they could find. Both Reza and I were simultaneously glad and disappointed that someone else is going for the chonk. Booooo, we say. Boooo. But janky trees needs homes, too! Who are we to demand that we get the pick of the litter?

So, we ended up at the Mission Valley Christmas Tree Extravaganza lot which had all the typical Noble, Douglas, and Marked Up Beyond Belief trees that will take more maintenance to keep alive for three weeks than the cost of the tree itself. I am undaunted, however, ’cause I plan on doing some deco tonight and tomorrow to get all up in the Christmas spirit. I wanted to get some garland for my fireplace and the columns between the rooms in my house, but that’s some expensive shit. I think I’ll just wrap them with lights instead.

I’m gonna get Reza a Samsung Chromebook for Christmas, but that’ll be the only “big” gift. This year we’re going to focus on the thoughtful rather than the expensive; she’s at the age where she understands that money isn’t unlimited and both her mom and I feel that with this being the first Christmas post-split, we have an opportunity to instill in her a bit more appreciation for the holiday itself rather than the consumerism behind it. Here’s to hoping it’s a stepping stone to a deeper connection between us.

Looks like I’m in monthly maintenance mode with my therapist now, which is a really good thing for me. I have been able to consistently say, for the past few months or so, that my personal and emotional trajectory has been pointing upward. Sure, there are bumps in the road, but in general, things are going the direction I desire and I’m learning the ways to keep that momentum going. I’m pretty proud of myself, if I’m being honest about it. I’ve done a ton of work and it’s paying off.

Honesty with yourself is harder than it sounds. I have a love/hate relationship with personal truth, as I tend to kick my own ass when I don’t act in accordance with that truth. I have (well, had) a habit of acting counter to my needs to please others; making decisive efforts to avoid that type of thinking is fucking hard, man. But there’s a different type of sadness inside, though, when you address the difficult questions and remain honest with yourself, compared to the layer of personal disappointment I feel when I both avoid the truth and capitulate to prevent that truth from seeing the light of day. It’s a cleaner pain, standing in the light of your own needs.

Visiting Sarah this time around was different in a lot of ways. The reality of our situation is that, because we don’t live close to each other, we’re able to manufacture a reality that doesn’t encompass the whole. I think we’re both struggling with the concept of that reality right now – how real it is, what the future holds, and what comes next. We’re both very much anchored to our current lives – where we live and why – and there’s no short or long-term visibility into how that might change. On one hand, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the moment and letting it fulfill you in ways that you require. On the other, you have to step back and determine if that’s sustainable. We’re struggling with the sustainability part right now and that’s natural. It’s not fun, but it’s part of the process. As shitty as it is to work through that difficulty, I’d rather do it with an honest perspective of my own needs and abilities rather than promise something I can’t deliver: The fact is that we don’t know how we can pull this off long-term without a clear path forward. She told me this morning she doesn’t do well with the unknown. She’s not alone.

So, we’ll see where this lands. I think we’re both good at addressing the hard questions and figuring out what we need to do. Fuck, I wish she lived here. It wouldn’t solve all problems, surely, but it’d address the biggest one, the only one that seems to be in our way.

Alright. I gotta get to work. Gotta call vendors, get people paid, all that fun stuff.

_____

Evening Update –

Reza had to work through some personal friendship issues today and it was pretty heartbreaking to watch. I tried to support her as best I could, listening, letting her vent, giving her that shoulder to cry on. Just being Dad.

She just sat down to finish watching the movie she stopped last night and said, furtively, “It’s no secret that our relationship has been pretty shitty, but I feel we’ve had a breakthrough.” I asked her if she meant this friend that hurt her. She said no, she meant me. “I feel that I can trust you with details about my personal life, so… yeah.”

I thanked her, trying to keep my cool, but inside? Fireworks.

 

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