27 May 2010 @ 05:23 pm
1. Iconfest has ended. Final tally was more than 1,000 icons made in two weeks! Here's the Master Post in case you're interested in looking through the final results. All of the icons have been sorted by maker's name. I managed to contribute 36 icons. I'd hoped for more but I think that's a respectable number.

2. True Blood Season 2 has landed in my hands finally. I'm completely unspoiled so keep that in mind when commenting here, please. :) I'm looking forward to some escapism. Which brings me to...

3. Yesterday was an anniversary of sorts for me. Yesterday marked one year since the movers arrived to finish moving the ex- out to his new life with the younger, taller, prettier, thinner other woman. After our 15 years together. I cannot put into words how much pain I've had over a very long year of dismal firsts.

FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY I have completed a series of first birthdays, first Thanksgivings, first relationship-milestones, first time I wanted to share something big, first time dealing with wasps or plumbers or bad news without him. The first time I wanted to share something awesome with him only to realize he wasn't there anymore. I'm sure there are still firsts ahead of me but they'll be more random now. I still have cards I'd bought for him ahead of time. I have no idea what to do with them -- or the gifts -- but at least the occasions I bought them for have passed.

It's hard to learn a new way of being. He and I were together since I was in my early 20s. It took me EIGHT MONTHS before I realized that I was single. That if I wanted to date someone, it was okay because I was single. That I could do whatever the hell I wanted because nobody at home cared. I didn't grok that I was single; I was thinking like there was still somebody in my life. It has been a year of going to bed alone and waking up alone. A year of sleeping too little and then too much.

I was a broke archaeologist and he was working in a slumping industry when we first got together. I can barely remember how we made it on my salary at the museum while he was starting his business but it involved having one car, never eating out, and finding fun at home. His business meant being out until late hours; his business partner camped on our sofa for long periods of time. He traveled a lot. There was always a string of events that kept him flying around the country. We invested in good luggage.

We had so many good memories together, often growing out of dire circumstances. We paid off my staggering college debts. We survived his bankruptcy. He took amazing care of me during the long recovery after they wired my foot back together. We took in my high-school freshman brother after he was attacked and beaten. We took him in again after he was laid off and lost everything in his divorce. We got two rescue dogs after my dog, the one I'd gotten on my 20th birthday and who literally meant the world to me, succumbed to bone cancer. We helped his mother after her life partner died in a freak jet ski accident. We watched his nephews grow up and get ready to go to college.

Over the years, we took memorable trips together. We skied in New Mexico and Colorado. (Well, he skied. I fell.) We both loved Santa Fe. We took the dogs to the family ski cabin, where I fretted about bears eating the dogs. We spent a week touring SW Alaska, riding horses, driving out the Kenai Peninsula to a rain forest. We went to my favorite city, Vancouver, many times and we went to his favorite, Victoria, many times. Seattle, California, central Texas with his grandmother, New York.

And Chicago. Chicago is bittersweet for me. It was a trip to celebrate my birthday. I was 15 the last time I had a birthday celebration. It was the first time ever that we did something amazing and decadent and romantic just to celebrate me and things I love. He moved out 5 months later.

That was such a shit year for me that the breakup was only one float in a parade of unhappiness. I'd canceled a long-planned vacation trip to help his dying stepmother in the hospital & hospice, staying overnight sometimes to allow his father to go home and sleep. I attended her funeral, the funeral home, the graveside, the Mass said in her honor. The ex- moved out after I listened to him whistle happy ditties while he packed his belongings each morning for several weeks, breaking my heart anew each day before I left for work. I was laid off. My aunt died.

I have an amazing network of friends and family. My mother, my brother, my best friend, my friends...all have been saving graces in the year from hell. Amy came over and helped me re-paint the house, lay new flooring, and just generally be a shoulder to cry on. To ask me how I'm doing; no, how I'm REALLY doing. We watched all 7 seasons of Buffy together.

My brother is a quiet presence, ready to lend support when I need it. And to be the tall guy who can reach things. :) My mother communicates regularly to make certain, I'm sure, that I haven't accidentally consumed fish/shellfish products or stuck a fork in an outlet or something less accidental. I would tell her she's worrying over nothing but telling a mother not to worry is blowing against the wind.

So, anyway, back to my point. Yesterday was this anniversary for me. I'd looked forward to it for months. Weeks. Days. Hours, even. I wondered many times how I would manage to reach it. And...well, I didn't realize that the day had happened until today. I was so busy talking to new friends, making last-minute icons for Iconfest, feeling guilty that I'm behind in organizing [livejournal.com profile] sg1_lims, and generally having a good time that I didn't even realize it had happened.

So, thank you to my friends in my analog life and to my squee buddies in my digital life who have helped me survive with hope for the future and a lot of laughter in the present. Yesterday could have been weepy and maudlin and full of woe is me but it wasn't. ♥
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