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The End


At the request of Arekino who said recently in a comment that he wanted “closure”, I’ve come back to say goodbye. It’s been eleven months since I last wrote a post for this blog, probably because I just feel that I’ve outgrown it. Also, I associate this blog with sad, depressing times in my life – teaching in that godawful town; getting divorced; painful romantic relationships with unavailable douchebag men etc – and I don’t need to be reminded of that. Ick.

Even the name of the blog “My Petrichor Past” seems to be all about dwelling on what’s already happened, and I would prefer to look towards the future.

It’s likely that I’m going to start a brand new blog elsewhere, so if you’re interested in reading it, leave a comment with your email address, and if we actually had some kind of meaningful bloggy friendship, then I will perhaps send you the details (and, of course, I’ll edit out your contact details before I post your comment).

I said that I’ll “perhaps” email the details of a new blog because I’m not yet sure how I feel about having old readers be part of something new. Of course, part of me definitely wants you to be there, but another part of me wants a brand new start, a clean slate.

Maybe you’re wondering what I’ve been up to in 2014. I wish that I had something of earth shattering importance to tell you, but I don’t. I still have my boring corporate job (although I work from home these days) and, yes, I still do erotic massage on the side (during my lunch break, haha). I have a new dog (which brings the number of my canine companions to three now), and there are currently 15 cats (yes, fucking 15 cats!) living in my house as well (but four are fosters). The good news is that I can’t wait to get rid of these four extra kittens, so, don’t worry, I’m not a hoarder. 😉

I’m still longing for love, but I’m not anywhere near close to finding it. I was dating somebody for a couple of months recently, but that all went pear-shaped about two weekends ago. And, oh God, the pain! I’ve been extremely depressed – not so much about this particular person, but more because I’ll be 37 soon, and I’m not sure I’m capable of attracting and being attracted to a healthy, emotionally available guy. The good thing about this recent dating failure, though, is that it showed me that I really do want a committed relationship, marriage, stability and kids. I’m way too old for the drama I just experienced, goddammit. Maybe I’ll never have a loving relationship and children, but I at least owe it to myself to associate only with men who are interested in providing those things.

Sometimes I think that I never make any progress in life, but I don’t think that’s true. I think I just need to reassess my idea of “progress”. Small steps have definitely been made in 2014! There will probably always be a part of me that’s attracted to trouble and emotional pain, but there’s an older, wiser part of me now that knows that it just ain’t worth the effort. I’ve even stopped drinking recently, for similar reasons. A few hours of tipsy, uninhibited fun is definitely not worth the next day’s hangover. I can’t say I’ll stay off the booze forever but, right now, it’s just not serving any purpose in my life.

2014 has also seen me develop something of a meditation practice. OK, OK, it’s a kinda half-assed meditation practice (I don’t always manage to mediate every day although I try), but even half-assed meditation helps. I still have obsessive thought patterns but meditation has taught me that I cannot think my way out of obsessive thoughts (you’d think that would be obvious but I was pretty slow on the uptake). For example, my obsessive mind has an infinite loop of “why” questions playing – “why doesn’t he want me?”; “why did things turn out this way” etc etc – and I’ve gotten better at noticing my obsessive thought patterns, and telling myself that they are not helping me. It is far better just to sit my ass down on the meditation cushion, and focus on my breath rather than trying to find answers to questions for which there are no answers.

I’ve developed a similar awareness about my feelings. There are times when I feel desperately alone and hopeless, but feeling that way does not mean it’s reality. Feelings are not facts.

Just as my dating life imploded, I found myself answering an ad in the “musicians” section of Craigslist, and I’m now a singer in a band! Singing is probably the thing that makes me happiest so it’s great to have a creative outlet. I’m so excited about this band although I’m scared that it won’t work out, and that then I’ll have nothing to look forward to.  But, for fuck’s sake, if things don’t work out (and this applies to my love life as well as to music), there will always be other options. I’ve found it very hard to remember this during my life. I’ve been somebody who gets so easily discouraged.

If I had to choose one word to sum up 2014, then I would choose “faith”. I’ve become a little less pessimistic, and have developed a little more faith in myself, and the universe. Things will work out one way or the other and, if they don’t, then I’ll survive. I’ve survived so far, haven’t I?



Well, hello, little blog. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I didn’t mean to stay away for so long, but it’s so hard for me to untangle the twisted knots of perfectionism and procrastination in my life to get anything done. And when I don’t do what I set out to do, I beat myself up, which, naturally, just makes my perfectionism and procrastination worse…and this leads to more self-hatred and self-judgement. It’s a vicious cycle I can’t seem to break.

The only reason I’m here this morning is sheer guilt. Yesterday I complained again to my therapist about how I desperately want to write and be more creative, but that I’m paralyzed with fear. She made me agree to go home and write, and then text her that I’d done so. I had every intention of doing so, but, instead, I went home, lay down for a “few moments” and fell asleep for hours. The writing never got done. I felt so guilty that I sent my therapist a text in which I lied that I’d written for an hour. This morning she sent me a text which asked perkily, “Yay! How did it go?”.  Blogging this morning makes me feel less guilty for lying.

Part of the reason I blog so infrequently is because I feel that so very little ever changes in my life, and writing makes that painfully clear. All I’ve ever done is write and complain about being depressed, anxious and paralyzed by perfectionism and procrastination. I’ve started to bore myself. This time, however, you might be pleased to learn that I have made some changes to my life. First of all, I’ve started to attend a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting every Saturday morning. In fact, I will have to log off here in the next fifteen minutes to get ready. I haven’t started to work the steps yet, but I do have a sponsor, and it is helpful to be able to reach out to somebody who has very similar issues to my own.

I’ve also started to attend beginner Zen meditation classes because I know that I need to meditate to silence all the negative, anxious, obsessive thoughts that run through my head 24/7. Sadly, it’s been hard for me to actually sit down and meditate because my perfectionism comes into play. If I can’t meditate for at least thirty minutes, I say “Ach, fuck it!” and I don’t do anything at all. Story of my life right there. Let me make myself accountable to you all right now, then. When I get home from the meeting, I will mediate immediately for as long or as short a period as I want to.

The above steps I’ve taken to get better aren’t really anything new for me really. Hell, I’ve been trying to heal myself since my late teens,  but I’ve never gotten anywhere. I always fall back into the same old patterns. But this time, I feel something is different. I feel like I’ve reached my rock bottom. I am so incredibly fucking miserable that I just can’t take it anymore. I can’t continue to live a life which has had every last ounce of joy sucked out of it because I am constantly trying to attain perfection and hating myself when I naturally fail. I can’t continue to feel so desperately lonely and to crave connection and yet to attach myself to unavailable men because I am terrified of intimacy.

I am so fucking tired of it all.

I have realized that I cannot fix myself. I can’t believe how fucking “twelve-steppy” I am about to sound, but I have finally realized that I am completely powerless to change on my own. I have been praying to a Higher Power* to help me and, hell, sometimes I actually feel hopeful. In the past, the fact that I only “sometimes” felt connected to a Higher Power was my excuse to just give up. I think I expected the hand of God to come down and touch me on the shoulder or something and to hear a loud, booming voice say “Child, you are healed. Go forth!” Of course, that never happened, so I would just tell myself “See, this doesn’t work!”. It never occurred to me that if you want to be on a spiritual path, you, um, have to work at it. You can’t just sit back on your laurels and expect faith to come to you.

Like my sponsor said yesterday, your relationship with your Higher Power is just like any other relationship. You need to work at it!

* I’m not sure how I define my Higher Power. I certainly don’t believe in an old dude with a long, white beard sitting up on a cloud somewhere. I suppose I think of being in touch with a Higher Power as being “at one” with the universe and everything and everybody in it.

Comfortably numb

I’m ashamed that this is my first post of 2012! And I’m even more ashamed that this might be the shortest post ever. I’ve just swallowed two Benadryl and a half-bottle of cheap gas station wine, so God knows how much longer I’ll be awake.

I went to a party last night, and, drunk on tequila and without a ride/too proud to ask for one, I decided it would be a good idea to walk home more than ten miles at midnight. I got home around two hours later, thanks to a guy in a multi-coloured ice cream truck who gave me a ride part of the way. At one point, I decided it would be a good idea to take off my shoes, and run barefoot along the street (the things tequiala makes me do!). While I was still wearing the shoes, I must have stepped on some kind of plant or foliage, the residue of which remained on the shoes. Since I had to carry the shoes while I running Zola Bud-like through the streets, I imagine that this residue must have got on my hands, and that I then touched my eyes, and face. By the time I got home my eyes were swollen so much that I could barely see out of the right one. I got a bit of a shock when I looked in a mirror because I had no idea how bad I looked. The swelling has gone down, but I can’t leave the house today lest I scare young children. It looks like I’ve developed elephantiasis of the eyelids.

Besides being temporarily deformed, what else is up with me, you are perhaps wondering? Still working at the same customer service job, but I got a promotion and will soon be earning $42,500! This might not be much for some of you, but it is the most I have ever made in my entire adult life, so I am pleased. It goes without saying that the extra money will come in handy. I may work for corporate America, but I like the company I work for, as they treat me well and seem to appreciate me. This is rare in any job, so I feel that I’ve been incredibly lucky.

MM is also now working for the same company, but he’s a temporary contractor, which is how I started off there (so hopefully he will get hired on as a regular employee too, with benefits and a pay raise). His days as a barista are now (thank fuck!) behind him. This is good for obvious financial reasons, but it also helps me respect him more because there comes a point in the life of a thirty-something artist when you need to aspire to something more than making lattes. If your art career is taking off on the side, then working in a café would be fine, but if it’s not….then, well, you need to come up with a Plan B. It took MM a loooooong time to accept the fact that he needed a Plan B but he got there in the end.

Now we are both “adults” with “proper” jobs….whatever that means. We’re actually thinking about buying a house in an area about eleven miles east of downtown where we would be able to get (hopefully!) a USDA loan. If we did, we could buy a 2000 sq feet house with zero down payment! Home ownership would obviously tie me down here even more, which is a scary thought, but I’m tired of throwing away money to asshole landlords who don’t fix shit. And it is very stressful living in rental accommodation with ten pets since you have to lie about the existence of nearly all of them.

Creatively, things could be better. I don’t really write anymore. I keep on meaning to create my own website where I would write about more serious issues (not just “woe is me” personal stuff) but I never seem to get around to it. I *am*, however, in a music project with a guy who really forces me to get things done. If it was up to me I would get nothing done because I’d procrastinate. Hopefully we should be playing out soon.

Things are definitely looking up although I am still involved, from time to time, in the sex industry without MM’s knowledge. This doesn’t make me feel good about myself at all, but I have so much debt, and I just cannot make ends meet. Once 2012 is over, I will have paid off nearly everything, and will be able to relax a little. To be honest, the main reason I don’t update this blog more often is perhaps that I am uncomfortable writing about this topic. I am not plagued with guilt about what I do because, well, I try not to give it much thought. However, if I were to come on here and start writing about it, I would have to analyze my life more and I am very happy NOT doing that, thank you very much.

Think Small

I have this friend – well, ex-friend really – from the “motherland” who recently went to LA to do Bikram yoga teacher training. Even before she got there, I knew how it would all turn out, and I wasn’t wrong. I knew that she would end up meeting some rich guy whom she’d end up moving in with, and who’d support her financially. This has always been her shtik.

This in itself is only vaguely nauseating, but I decided to end our friendship when I looked at her new guy’s profile on Facebook, and saw that he considered himself Republican. My friend’s choice of sexual partners, and their dubious political affiliations are really no business of mine, but it *is* my business when said friend declares herself a Marxist, goes on Socialist marches, and professes deep concern for others. For a long time, it has been clear to me that her only concern is for herself. I think she is a raging hypocrite, and a totally superficial fake. She makes me want to puke.

Nonetheless, there is part of me that is very jealous of her. In fact, I was quite green with envy when I saw the pictures she posted on her Facebook profile, swanning all over LA, and then Mexico, looking fabulous in great clothes.

The contrast between her life and mine is just too great, and it’s painful for me to see that. Although it’s disgusting and pathetic for me to have this thought, I also envy her ability to latch herself on to a rich man as a means to achieving her goals. I have never done that – could never have stomached it – but what makes me any better than her just because I haven’t?

There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t feel some kind of resentment towards my husband for us being so poor. I don’t want to be a kept woman but, in some primeval way, it disgusts me that he would never be able to support a family if I got pregnant. I am thirty-three fucking years old, for Christ’s sake!

I wouldn’t mind if there was an end in sight to this poverty, but there’s not. Our lives are boring and joyless because there is never enough money, and there’s certainly not enough money for going out. Oh, we do still go out because we get so frustrated being stuck at home, and my husband will usually pay. But I then have to hear a rant about how I take advantage of him, and expect him to be pay for all our nights-out. There is a lot of truth to that, and I know I don’t put my hand in my pocket as much as I should. But it would be nice to be married to somebody who could treat me every once in a while without guilt-tripping me afterwards.

Midwestern Man accuses me of not living within my means, and, again, he is probably right. However, what he fails to see is that there are no fucking means, so I have no choice but to live outside them. I suppose I should be glad of his frugal nature, but it seems more like a burden than anything. I feel that he devotes an inordinate amount of time on saving money and living within our “means” when it would behove him to think more about getting ourselves out of this financial mess we’re in.

He works 25-30 hours a week in a café so that he has more time to work on his art. His mother just gave him $1000 for an online art class. Huh! I’m sick of hearing him bitch how the number of pets I have are the reason for our poverty. Try working more than 25 hours a week, and then we’d maybe be less poor!

And, oh yeah, despite the fact that he finishes work by 1:30 p.m. and I don’t get home until 8:30 p.m. (after being gone since 8:30 a.m!), it was such a struggle to get him to cook dinner for me at night. It is a huge “inconvenience” for him to have to make dinner because he wants to work on his art.

What Midwestern Man really needs is a partner in her mid-twenties, somebody who lives like a pauper herself because she’s still a student; somebody whose ovaries have the time to wait for him to grow the fuck up.

What the fuck am I doing in this relationship? We don’t make each other happy. I want out.

Cubicle work is the opium of the masses

If Karl Max was alive today he’d have to revise his opinion about religion. We no longer need the promise of a golden afterlife to placate grey-faced, factory worker grunts. For most of us in the West, life has become a lot more comfortable and, for those of us who are still living in abject poverty and misery, consumerism has replaced religion as our insidious balm of choice. Who needs God when you can replace Him with things, or the heady dream that you’ll soon have those things?

In the grand scheme of things, my life is OK. I’m not exactly happy, and I do live from pay cheque to pay cheque, but I have food, clothes and a roof over my head. Life is a struggle, but it’s not the same soul-crushing, spirit-sapping struggle it was for people like me when Marx was alive.

But there is huge problem – I no longer think, or care about all the really important issues I should care about. And why is this? It’s because I spend 40 hours of my week, sitting on my arse in a cubicle. Sometimes I do get to interact with my colleagues in a normal human way (face-to-face!) but the vast majority of my daily interactions take place in online work chat rooms because I need to sit at my computer and get good “stats”.

The most “meaningful” work relationship I have (and I’m truly stretching the definition of the word “meaningful”) is with “T.”, a married, self-professed piece of white trash from some shitty Republican town deep in the heart of the state. I like him because he’s irreverent, very funny and is a Socialist, but I’ve barely exchanged more than a few sentences with him in person. All of our work relationship takes place via chat.

When I get home at night, I’m too tired to do anything except fall on the sofa, and watch episodes of “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” on TV, glass of red wine in hand. I barely read any more, and if I do, it’s usually 30 minutes snatched here and there in my lunch hour. I try to read “The New York Times” as much as I can (I’m old-fashioned…I get the paper version delivered every morning) but it worries me that I just absorb all the things I read there, without really thinking about them. I just go back to my online work chat room, and laugh at whatever new nyah nyah cat or Rebecca Black meme people have sent around.

I know it’s arrogant to think this like this, but ten years ago, when I had just graduated from university, I never thought my life would be this way. I thought I was destined for great things. Ha! I know I’m a good writer and singer, but there’s now so little time to get things done. Combine the lack of time, with my unfocused brain, crippling perfectionism and fear of failure, and it’s no wonder I never do anything creative.

I don’t know where to start, to be honest. I’m thirty-three years old, and I haven’t done anything much with my life. I can never seem to make the changes I should to be “successful”.

Is this it then? Am I destined to spend the rest of my life in a fucking cubicle, becoming more brain dead by the second?

Plus ça change…and all that.

Haven’t written in here in a looooooong time. This blog feels kinda redundant now, to be honest. A lot of the blogs I used to read are now no longer in existence, or they’re “private” and I wasn’t invited to join the party (and don’t care enough to ask for the privilege). I’m sure some of my readers are still out there (I can see some of you have email subscriptions) and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s not.

The impulse to start afresh is strong. But I’m not sure I see a point. A new blog would mean a big, brave new start to a big, brave new chapter in my life but that, sadly, is not how life is.

Every so often I check who has left me comments on here and it’s nearly all people having suicidal thoughts who have stumbled across my “How to Kill Yourself Painlessly” post. I feel that my blog has become a social club for the fuck-ups of this world. I guess this bothers me because I consider myself to be a fuck-up, and it’s never nice to be reminded of this.

Oh, I know that happiness is a “choice” yadda yadda yadda but, you see, the thing is, I don’t seem to be very good at making that choice. I started blogging in (when?) 2007, and nothing much seems to have changed. It seems that most blogs have a limited shelf life because the writers change and go on to do different things. I feel that I’m the exception in that I’m still stuck.

The teaching thing didn’t work out, by the way. I HATED being a teacher. The job market is so shit in this state (and in the US, in general) that I knew I would have to stay in that godawful little town for another year if I wanted to get out with enough experience to get a job somewhere else. It was soul-crushing living there, so I didn’t want to do that. A parent actually called the school to complain that there was a “foreigner” teaching her child. The head of my department hated “gringas” who “didn’t understand the kids” and went out of her way to sabotage everything I did. Ironically, a week after I left, she got fired for stealing money from the school! I could go on and on and on and on about how awful it was to live there.

I haven’t, for one single second, regretted my decision to quit teaching.

Now I’m back in civilization (the same city as before…which doesn’t seem half as bad as it did before I moved to Hicksville) and working for a major company in a customer service role. Apparently I can’t even give a hint about the identity of this company because I have been warned that it actually has a special department looking out for disgruntled employees posting shit about it on the internet. It’s probably just as well that I hadn’t posted on here before I found this out because, oh, I would have bitched all right!

Life just meanders on. I’m tired working the 9-6 daily grind. Haven’t got much energy for anything once I get home. Sitting all day on your arse in an office really takes it out of you. I want to be a singer and writer but, same old, same old, I don’t really do much in that area. I am trying to learn piano, though.

Still married to MM and things are going….well, they’re just going. I’m fond of him, but I can’t say that I love him with any passion whatsoever.

This is why I don’t blog. I’ve become the person I never thought I would become. Everything about me is stagnant, and I have no idea how to change that.