Friday, November 9, 2012

One More Week: A very long post, to explain a lot of things...

        I realize that I have one week left before turning 30.

        I also realize that the project will not be completed by 30.

        I guess I need to back up a couple of weeks.  I know I haven't typed about anything for a while, and there were some good reasons.

        My last post was all about changes that were happening in my life.  I was (am) excited about my acceptance to graduate school, and will be registering for my first semester Monday.  I am really thrilled to look at the next few years, and the actual fun of returning to college.  I am not going to lie--I am a geek.  I love being in school, and I always love learning new things. I remember the first semester after I graduated with my Masters Degree.  The novelty of being out of the classroom wore off after a few weeks, and I was itching to get back.  Luckily I had a baby a few months later, so that occupied my time for a while. :-)

        My last post occurred on a Tuesday. I took a look over my past year, and talked about how I almost reached an important goal of accomplishing 15 goals.  I realized it probably wasn't going to happen, because I was running out of time.  I knew I could complete possibly one or two more goals, but I wasn't going to reach my major goal.

        What happened between then and now? Two things...

         Three days later, I decided to take a break from the pressures of dating for quite a while. I also decided to get out there and be social again.  I attended a Halloween party in Nashville, and the unthinkable happened.
          I met someone.

          Yes, it sounds completely ridiculous that I gave myself four days to bounce back from a breakup. The reality is that I was giving myself a long time. I also wasn't really that upset by it. I know now that it was because I knew it would be happening, and the wheels were already turning in my head to have a discussion about what wasn't working. Complete reality would be admitting that there was a LOT that wasn't working.

          I took a few days to do some deep thinking, talked to a few wise friends on my phone, and came out of all of this realizing that I had fallen into the same pattern.  I had found two men that really made me change my life to accommodate them. I had found two very similar people, but they were dressed differently. I found two people that were always blaming other people for their problems, who always needed to be the center of attention or have their egos stroked, and didn't make an effort to make me happy.

            I am not saying that I need someone that only lives to make me happy, but if there isn't even a puppy dog phase in the beginning, you know you are in trouble...

            So, back to the Halloween party.  After I had been thinking all of these things, I realized what I did not want to see. I realized that I needed some time to dedicate to myself before I could worry about fending off those creatures.

            I don't dance, and anyone who has seen me try knows that I am terrible. People only want to watch me dance after they have been drinking for a long time. The sad truth is that I am completely sober when I dance so terribly.  At the party, much of the event revolved around dancing to music provided by the DJ.  I placed myself at a table with some other people, and proceeded to talk about my life and what we had in common. After a while, I did get up to go to the bar and get a soda. While standing there, I looked down and saw a $20 bill on the ground.  I picked it up and looked around to see if it was just dropped. I walked up to the party director, and asked her if she could figure out who lost it. She gave me a funny look, then told me that would be pretty hard to do, since most everyone had already bought a drink from the bar.  We finally decided to give it to the bartender as a great tip, since I was not going to keep money that wasn't mine.  As I went back to the bar, I walked up and put the money into the tip jar.  I heard a voice, "you are supposed to get a drink in return..."

            I turned around and saw the Phantom of the Opera staring at me. I explained to him quickly that I found it on the ground, and would not be keeping the money since it wasn't mine.  He commented that I was a Good Samaritan, and I smiled and said I guess he was right. I walked away, thinking my time talking to the Phantom would be over.

           I met up with a friend over at the other side of the dance floor, and we talked as the music continued to play.  I did talk with a pirate (and his parrot) about teaching and welding.  This was definitely not the most exciting moment in my history of party-hopping.  I heard a voice behind me, and turned to find a strikingly handsome man. It was the Phantom with his mask removed. He was talking to me, and it took me a moment to realize what was going on.

           As we continued to talk, the music changed from fast to slow, and back to fast. I commented on my terrible dancing, and even displayed an old move known as "feeding the chickens." I wondered in my head, "what the heck are you doing, Michelle?!?" At this point, I really felt no control in admitting my dancing faults.

          As we continued to talk about how to best cook salmon, a slow song began. I felt an arm scoop me up around the waste, and we glided out onto the dance floor. It was nice to dance, but we talked the entire time.  I remember the conversation was very smooth, and we didn't even realize that we were dancing halfway into AC-DC's "Back in Black."  I remember looking around at that moment, and realizing there were a lot of people staring.

          The rest of the evening was fun, and we talked a lot about our childhoods, hobbies, jobs, and likes/dislikes. I told stories about when I was younger, told him about favorite John Hughes movies, and listened to stories of him growing up in Minnesota. We would move out onto the dance floor for a few dances before the night was over.  We ended up leaving only after the DJ started packing up and turned on all of the lights in the room.

           He walked me down to my car, and I thought it would be the end of a great moment, and of the idea of being with someone. I told him about my children, which I thought would scare him away. He pulled out his phone and showed me his three boys (two of which are very close to the age of my two!).  He asked me if he could give me his number, and I was completely dense as to what that meant. I told him I would just text him, and then he would have mine. His eyes brightened, and he gave me a quick hug before leaving. 

           I opened my car, and jumped inside.  As I was turning out of the parking lot and heading home, I saw my phone light up. I found a message thanking me for a wonderful evening. I wondered to myself how the heck something like this would happen.

          Over the past few weeks since the party, I will have to admit that it's been wonderful.  We talk on the phone for hours at night, I receive messages in the morning telling me to have a good day, and we shared a wonderful night out to dinner (where the waitress realized we were there for two hours talking, and wasn't too happy!). It was nice to talk with someone that shared the same ideals and goals, and thought I was fantastic. It is nice to be around someone that thinks about me often, and tells me I need to call him when I get out of a sleep study and am driving home by myself at 4am.

           THAT is exactly what I needed at this point in my life.

           Tomorrow is another date, to celebrate my birthday.  I can't say what will work out in life, and what won't.  I will say that I am terribly happy about the fact that I have someone that is ready and willing to hear the good and bad about my day whenever I need him. I like it when someone sends me a message to tell me he is thinking about me, and that he hopes the meeting went well.  You never know what will happen, but I can say I am not used to how this is turning out (and my friend says that's because I have dated idiots in the past...).

         So, I mentioned that there were two things that happened to me. Meeting Jeremy was definitely one of them.  Another was a phone call I received a few days ago. It was from my doctor that is completing my upcoming back surgery. I answered, expecting for them to tell me that my back looked fine for surgery.

          Instead, she told me they found a mass on my thyroid, and they are concerned.  I was told they were sending the films to my doctor, who will coordinate the appts for an ultrasound, and probably a specialist.  I wondered if my luck was too good. It was at THAT point that I gave up on the rest of this project.  I am never a person to give up, and even with the hot air balloon company going out of business (after I had a gift certificate), I was still coming up with creative ideas for reaching my goals. 

         I dealt with bad news about my legs with enough coolness and calm to realize I could keep fighting. I dealt with the news of my upcoming back implant with a great amount of grace and calm. What was different about the thyroid?

        I knew what was causing pain in my back and legs. That was from injuries and failed surgery. Those were from things that happened to me, and I was going to work the rest of my life not to let them get the better of me. A quarter-sized mass on my thyroid was different. 90% of them aren't cancerous, but that meant 10% were. I have already beat so many odds, what if my lucky time was over? What if this would be the event that did it for me?

       It's funny that when I was breaking up with Tom, how he brought up my health. It was very hypocritical, being that I went to the gym and worked out, dealt with my pain on my own, and he wasn't very active in any health decisions (I am quite a trooper. I even work while sick.).  He didn't have any idea about this blow...

       I was apprehensive about bringing these things up to someone new. I do know they need to be out there, because if someone can't handle all this, it wasn't going to work out anyway.  When I mentioned the attack and leg issues, Jeremy told me he couldn't believe it, but that I was strong. When I mentioned the sleep trouble that happens now, he had only concern that I will be ok now. I am fairly sure it will all turn out ok, but I guess it's one thing that has to come out now. I really don't want to deal with another hypocrite or narcissist. Not at this point in my life...

       So, what does this mean for my project? I can either call it quits, or give myself an extension. There are still a lot of projects that I want to complete. I am glad that I did complete so many of them. I learned a lot about myself, had goals that I created and set out to accomplish, and I ended up meeting some cool people along the way.  I also taught my students about setting goals and making plans to reach them.

       One of my students was giving me a hard time about the fact that I had less than two weeks to reach the goals. The same student walked into my room as I was receiving the news about the mass from the doctor. He saw the tears stream down my cheek, and he heard me ask about what tests I would need.

       He hasn't said another word.


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