Archive for the ‘pain’ Category

I’m not sure if I mentioned it on this blog or not, but a couple of weeks ago, I signed up for eHarmony (again!).  Third time’s the charm, right?  I paid for a 6-month subscription because I figured that I should give it a good shot this time around.

This first dating update is actually about a date I went on with someone an acquaintance of mine set me up with, so he wasn’t someone I met through eHarmony.  Our mutual acquaintance thought that S and I had a lot in common, similar backgrounds, etc. and thought we’d really get along.  She asked us both if we were interested in meeting, and we connected through Facebook.

That was back in April.  S and I exchanged a couple of emails, but he never asked me out, even for coffee.  I wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea of going out with him because he wasn’t attractive to me, based on the pictures he had of himself on his profile.  Also, he and I have different political philosophies, which is a pretty important thing for me when looking for a serious relationship. At this point I should mention that the acquaintance thought we’d have lots in common because we both went to the same Catholic grammar school, were both Italian, and both had weight issues.  The stuff great romances are made of, right?  I seriously don’t know if I should be insulted or not, because this guy is definitely not what anyone would consider remotely good looking.  Which  may be completely superficial of me, but while I have a ton of weight to lose, I know that I’m a pretty girl, and I’m not as desperate as this acquaintance seems to think I am.

But, regardless of the misgivings I had, a couple of weeks ago, right after I signed up for eHarmony, actually, I decided to contact S one last time just to see if there was anything there.  I sent him a quick and very direct message on FB asking him if he was still interested in seeing whether or not our acquaintance was right in thinking that we’d have a lot in common.  He responded fairly quickly to say that he would love to, and suggested that we meet for lunch or coffee sometime.

We met on Tuesday at a Starbucks that was close to each of our houses, because Starbucks is such a safe first meeting place.  A cup of coffee can’t last that long, right?  Tuesday just so happened to be my first day of school, so I thought that I’d have a few funny stories to tell in case there was a lull in the conversation.  Little did I know that there was no need for me to worry about adding to the conversation.

No, it’s not what you might be thinking – that we had such great rapport that we didn’t have any lulls to worry about.  It was that S talked and talked and TALKED the entire time.  I’m talking literally for 1 hour straight!  And not about something that was interesting, but complaining about family politics, bragging about how much money they had, how he’d had weight loss surgery (but still needed to lose about 75 pounds), and then saying that he was glad he’d never finished his undergraduate degree because he didn’t even need it.  Um, hello?  I’m a teacher. Do you think I might put a value on education?  Instead of impressing me, he was a complete turnoff.  The entire time he was ranting and raving about himself and his family, I just kept wondering how long I’d have to keep this up. I didn’t really say anything the entire time we were having coffee, which is incredible if you know me, because I can talk to anyone about anything, but he simply never stopped talking long enough to give me a chance to share a thing.

Then, just when we were going to leave, he said, “say, do you want to grab a bite to eat at that restaurant right there?”  At this point I think that something took over my mind and body because I actually said, “sure, that would be great.”  WTF?  Why the hell did I just agree to spend more time with this self-involved bore?  What the heck was I thinking?  I’m convinced it was penance for some past indiscretion I’ve committed.

We made it through dinner (which was way more calories than I should have eaten, and is probably the reason the scale showed a 2-pound gain this week), but not before he started bragging about his mafia connections.  For some reason he thought it would be impressive to say, “you know, in a snap of a finger, I could ‘get rid of someone’ if I needed to.  I know who to call to get it taken care of and I know just where to put the body so that it would never be found.”  Way to smooze the ladies, S.  Puleeze.  The thing is, my family actually had some organized crime connections, although we don’t really discuss that too often, so it was hilarious to me that this guy was such a poser.  I can almost guarantee you that he didn’t know any local mafiosos, mostly because my family knows who they all are.  In any case, there was absolutely no point to him saying any of that, whatsoever!  Was I supposed to feel safe that he could have someone “taken care of?”  I’m still not sure what his point was.

Now, beyond his looks, it was truly his attitude that left me wishing I could click my heels 3 times and teleport myself out of the restaurant.  He was smug, fake, a braggart, and one of those people who make themselves feel better by putting other people down.  Such a sign of insecurity.

So, the date finally ended with a quick hug.  I told him to have a good night and he mentioned that he hoped to see me at an Italian festival that was happening this weekend.  Ugh.  So he was obviously hoping we’d see each other again. And why wouldn’t he?  I was a great listener!  LOL.

When he called on Saturday to see if I wanted to meet him at the festival, I let it go to voicemail and didn’t call him back.  Rude, I know.  I felt a bit guilty this morning, so I sent him an email through FB letting him know that I was really busy yesterday and didn’t have a chance to call him back or go to the festival.  Then I told him that while I thought we had a ton in common, I didn’t feel the chemistry was there.  He responded saying that he agreed about the chemistry (right, man, that’s why you invited me to go out with you again), but that he hoped we could be friends.  I haven’t replied.

It was definitely one of the worst first dates I’ve ever gone on, and I’m hoping that the next date (whenever that happens) will be much better now that I’ve gotten a bad one out of the way.  There’s only one way to go from here, right? 😉



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I’m sure that when you read this post about Mr. Done, you thought I was fooling myself.  Or that I was naiive.  Or that I wasn’t paying enough attention to recent history to make better choices.

And you would’ve been right.

You see, Mr. Maybe aka Mr. Done never did take me out on that date.  He called the morning of the date (last Saturday), to tell me that he had woken up with a bad sore throat, a stuffy nose, and a bad cold.  To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly.  To say that I took it well is giving me too much credit.  I was mad that we weren’t going to go out, an emotion that I chose to display as coldness on the phone call.  I told him in a very icy tone that I hoped he felt better, by which I meant, “are you seriously cancelling on me?”  When he said, “maybe we can reschedule for next weekend?,” I responded with another cold, “ya, maybe.  We’ll see.”

I think I was trying to come off as indifferent about the whole thing, and it must have worked.  Mr. Maybe/Mr. Done hasn’t called me.  At all.

Not after I felt guilty about how cold I had been and called him on Tuesday, under the guise of seeing if he felt better.  Not on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.  And not today.

Which leads me now being angry.  At him and at myself.  At him because he’s obviously still a flake who really isn’t ready for anything serious, regardless of his text message about wanting a LTR.  And at me because I gave in to this longing I have to be with someone, even though I knew in my heart that Mr. Maybe/Mr. Done wasn’t the right person for me.

Yes, he and I had fun together.  Yes he “got” me.  And yes, he has a good job and is intelligent.  But while each of those things sounds good on paper, none of them add up to Mr. Maybe/Mr. Done being the right guy for me.  He reminded me this week (in his loud absence) that when he and I were dating the first time, I was always waiting for him.  Waiting for his call, waiting for his attention, waiting for him to show as much interest in me, in us, as I had.  And I’m done waiting for him.

So, I’m back to square one.  Single.  Not that I wasn’t before last week, but I did have this tiny hope that this New Year’s Eve I’d be on a date, beginning a relationship that would be the stuff the dreams are made of.  That all this time spent by myself would have been worth it, because I was finally with someone who really did love me for me.

I don’t want to give the idea that I’m feeling self pity, because I’m not.  Yes, I was rather depressed this past week, but then I realized that I didn’t want to give Mr. Done this much power over my emotions.  He didn’t deserve it.  Plus, I still have so much work to do on myself, with my weight loss, and I think that it might have to be done alone.  Which is not to say that I’m not open to meeting someone while I’m still in the process of losing weight, because I am.  But I’m also ok with being on my own for the duration.

What scares me is the thought that I might be on my own forever.  I’m evolved and self-confident enough to know that if I am single forever, I can lead a happy, fulfilling life.  But there is a huge part of me that knows that I want to be with someone to share my life with.  I want to have a loving, normal, happy relationship with a man who loves me and can’t wait to spend time with me.  I know that I’m still “young” at 37, and that there’s no age limit on finding love and happiness.  I just have to keep my impatience at bay and fill my life with other things that make me happy.

Because you never know who is waiting, just around the corner.

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Today I had a huge wake up call about how precious life is.

I was out to lunch with the team I’ve been working with for my summer fellowship.  The phone rang during lunch, and I saw that it was my mom, but because we were at the table, I thought it would be impolite to answer the call.  I did wonder why my mom was calling during the day, because she never does that.  We finished lunch and headed back to the office.

When I got to my desk, I listened to my voicemail, and heard my mom’s message:

Bella, this is Mom.  I’ve been in a terrible car accident! {She was crying hard on the phone while saying this}.  The car is totaled.  I can’t reach Daddy.  Please get in touch with him so —-

And then the call went dead.  My heart sank and I couldn’t even think straight.  Was my mom ok?  Was she hurt?  Where was my dad?  And the biggest guilty question of all, “Why didn’t I just answer the damn phone when I rang?”  Now my mom was all alone, scared, possibly hurt, and who was there with her?

I tried calling my dad, but he didn’t answer, so I called my mom’s cell.  My dad answered it, and he said that he was following my mom, who was in the ambulance.  He said he didn’t know exactly what had happened with the accident, but that the car had burst into flames.  My mom was ok, though, and had been joking with the firemen and paramedics, so she couldn’t have been too badly hurt.  He said they were taking her in just to make sure she was ok, and that he’d call me once he knew more. I asked if he wanted me to go to the hospital, but he said, no, just stay and finish my day at work and meet them at their house later.

Those next two hours at work were hell, not knowing exactly what happened or how my mom was.  I called my sister and a few of my friends who are close with my mom, and just prayed.

I met my parents at their house and heard the full story: My mom had been driving to work, and wanted to change lanes.  She said she saw a gray van, and then the next thing she knew, she had hit a light pole.  And then the engine was smoking, and she knew she had to get out of the car, but she couldn’t.  The airbag went off, and she hit her head on it.  She said she was crying, but no one was stopping to help her.  She was so scared.  She said she thought she was going to die.  She was sure of it. She couldn’t even reach her cell phone, because it was spilled onto the floor.  Finally a man came up and helped her. He told her to open the door, and when she told him she couldn’t he somehow pried her out of the car.  Then he put her in his car and told her to stay calm, that she was alright and that the car could be replaced.  He asked if there was anything in the car he should get, and she begged him to go back and get her purse, which he did.  Soon afterwards, the engine caught fire, and the entire car was in flames.

My mom was hysterical, but told the man how grateful he was that he saved her life.  If she would’ve been in the car even 3 or 4 more minutes, she could’ve been dead, or badly burned, at the least.  He told her that he had a child who was killed in a car accident 2 years ago, and he wished someone would have stopped to help him.  This man was like my mom’s private guardian angel, and I will forever be indebted to him.  My mom got his address in southern California, where he lives, and she’s going to send him a gift as a small token of her esteem.

I cannot explain how relieved and grateful I am that my mom is still here with us.  She could have easily been killed in the impact of the car, or in the fire that ensued.  We are so lucky that she is alive and only has lacerations and bruises.  She is in a lot of pain, but those wounds will heal, and she’ll be around for a lot longer.

I told my mom that there is a reason that she was saved, and that she must have more to do on this earth before her time is up.  I told her that she should make the most of her life, and not put off things like vacations to Italy or buying something that she wants.  You never know when you might not be here, so you should enjoy life and the people you love while you still can.  She said she agreed, and also that she felt like her brother (who died a little over a year ago) was with her, and sending her a message to slow down and appreciate life.  That this was like a warning from him to take it easy, but that he was the one who was watching out for her today.  I think this idea gives her a lot of comfort, and I’m glad she’s found a peaceful way to think about the whole situation.

I think we’re all in a state of shock about what could have been, and still thanking God or whatever is “out there” that my mom was given another chance at life.

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I’ve made up my mind that I’m going to begin the Couch to 5K program in earnest so that I can compete in the Mermaid Run in March.  I know that the C25K program takes 9 weeks, and March 30 is only 5 weeks away, but I feel pretty confident that I can do it.  Even if I have to walk part of the way.

Here’s the thing.  When I try to go on the treadmill or walk on a track outside, I get terrible, sharp, shooting pains in my calves and shins.  I wrote about this before in the summer, and a few people had some ideas, but they didn’t help the problem.

  • I got new shoes that fit, so that’s not it.
  • I eat plenty of vitamins, including potassium.
  • I drink lots of water before and after trying to walk.
  • This never happens to me on the elliptical machine, or even when walking around at a more leisurely pace.

So, here’s where you come in – I need your guidance about what I can try to do in order to fix this.  I’m willing to try almost anything.

Any of my friends who are reading this post and want to join me for the Mermaid Run, please let me know.  I’d love to do this with a few people.

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I can look back on 2007 and feel a mixture of sadness and joy, as with all years worth living, I suppose. A few things that stick out for me:

January: Lots of grading, going out with friends, and grad school work. A pretty nice balance, all in all.

February: Mr. Done broke up with me on Superbowl Sunday, but that would not be the last I heard (or saw) of him. I was so devastated that day, but now I think that he did me a huge favor, because he was not even close to be “the one.” February 20th was the date I started this Bella Blog, and it’s been a source of so much joy for me.

March: This was the worst month of last year for my family and me. My beloved uncle died on March 17th and our lives were forever changed. He was only 53 years old, and it was a huge shock for all of us. He had been in the hospital since the previous November, and he doctors told us he would never be back to the person he was before he got ill. I’d call it a blessing, but losing him is definitely nothing but a tragedy. He touched all of our lives in such a profound way, and I think about him all the time. It doesn’t seem real to me that he’s gone, but I hope to honor his memory every day.

April: The only good thing about April was that I had a week long break and CTLB had a birthday. Other than that, my month was spent doing things for grad school and work. No moments out enjoying “April showers,” unfortunately.

May: This month I went to a few weekday happy hours at a local wine shop, which were fun. This month also marked the end of my first year of graduate school. I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I was halfway through and had several months off.

June: School’s out! Freedom reigns… well, until I started my summer fellowship working at a huge, international company. The extra money helped me enjoy the summer a bit more, and led me to find balance. Working a “normal” job allowed me to see family and friends a lot more often than when school is in. I need to change that, somehow.

July: Any month that has my birthday and the 4th of July within two days of each other is a great month! I started taking the Buddhism in a Nutshell classes to explore a new philosophy/religion that I’ve been interested in for some time. This was also the month that I really began exercising (walking, pedometer, working out) in earnest. Lots of nights out with friends this month, as well.

August: The beginning of the month brought huge changes to my duplex — new couch, new paint in most of the rooms, and a new duvet. All the redecorating helped me turn this house into a home. Lots of nesting this month. August 7th was the night that Barry Bonds hit THE HOMERUN. I never expected to see it in person, yet by the luck of being Italian (it was Italian Heritage Night at the Giants’ stadium) it was destiny. Of course, school also started back up this month — the beginning of my 4th year at my current school.

September: Grad school and teaching are in full swing and the wonderful sense of balance that I felt in the summer is long gone. This was the beginning of my most difficult and demanding semester of grad school yet.

October: No major highlights, just working, going to school, and trying to see friends/family in the few moments of free time.

November: See above. Continuing the juggling act, although the ball marked “fun, family, and friends” seems to get dropped.

December: A month of significant changes. I began the South Beach Diet and started myself on the path of weight loss. The 3rd semester of grad school came to a close, with only one more to go! Lots of time spent with family and friends, well at least during the last week of the month, thanks to Christmas Vacation. Working out and yoga also became a new lifestyle for me this month.

All in all, not my most fun-filled or exciting year. Some pretty major things occurred, but looking back, many of the days were spent doing mundane things. I don’t want to repeat another year like this. I want to try to attain more balance to my days (and nights) and make more memories along the way.

December 31st is always a great day to take stock of the year that’s about to end and look forward to the coming year. I have said that 2008 is going to be the “new me” year, and I mean it. In fact, I’m not making any new year’s resolutions, only New Me Resolutions this time around.

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This week was my last week before getting 2 weeks off for Winter Break aka Christmas Vacation. As with any greatly anticipated vacation/break, this week had to be the longest one ever. Besides the normal, everyday teaching trials, this week I had a student tell me he was addicted to heroin. Fun times, I tell ya.

Actually, this is probably part of the reason my duplex was in such bad shape when my parents came over.  This year, many of my students have shared some really deep personal shit with me.  First there was the student whose father hung himself in their garage, then there was the girl who was pregnant and getting an abortion, next came the kid whose mother was hitting him and verbally abusing him, and finally, my heroin addicted honors student.  Shaping young minds has never been so emotionally draining.

I’m glad that these kids feel like they can come to me for help, support, a shoulder, whatever, but I am getting far too wrapped up in it.  I think the weight of all of these dramas finally hit me this week, and even taking a dish from the living room to the dishwasher in the kitchen seemed like a monumental task.

But yesterday, I was able to wash all of that away.  The last day of school for two whole weeks!  Whoo-fucking-hoo!!!

I had spent most of Thursday night cleaning my duplex, getting it back to somewhat presentable shape.  I still have to wash the floors and vacuum, but everything else had been washed, windexed, folded, and put away.  It felt good to organize and clean everything and get the house back to the way I like to keep it.  They say that the way your house looks reflects how your life is going, and it couldn’t have been more accurate these past couple of days.

So, I left school as soon as the final bell rang and headed home.  I made a phone call to my parents’ house and spoke to my dad.  He’s the calmer, more rational of the two, and he said how shocked and disappointed he was in what he found when he walked into the house.  I apologized and told him that it really didn’t reflect how I live on a normal basis.  I actually ended up breaking down and crying on the phone, talking about all that had occurred all week with the addict/student.

After we got off the phone I spent another 10 minutes crying.  The term “a good cry” has never made any sense to me before, but I think I finally got it yesterday.  I released everything that had been building up — working long hours on deadlines for yearbook and journalism, not having a prep period because I was covering for my teacher/friend who was on maternity leave, dealing with needy students,  and basically having no life.

After a few minutes I felt ready to move on.  I organized a few more things that needed to be tidied up and got on with preparing for my night out with the girls…but the rest of it is a story for the next entry.

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Last night BFF and I went to workout, even though it was later than we had planned to leave, and I was full from going to the mall and dinner at Cheesecake Factory with BeachGirl and CBCB. We did cardio for over 30 minutes, and even though it was hard at first, I just got into a zone and pushed myself, and before I knew it, the endorphins must’ve kicked in, because I was really enjoying myself.

After the workout I needed to stop for some cigs. (The irony of this isn’t lost on me, but no lectures, please).

I got out of the car, walked across the parking lot, and was suddenly subjected to a honking horn, cat calls, and whistles and shouts. Followed by loud laughter. It was the most humiliating thing I’ve experienced in a while.

Obviously I know that I’m no looker post-workout. Who is? Tired, sweaty, wearing clothes that hug all my chubs. Not attractive. But was it really necessary for those assholes to make such a fuss?

I didn’t look back. I held my head high and simply walked into the liquor store and bought my cigs. I said a little vow in my head that the next time I heard cat calls like that, it would be because I looked smokin’ hot.

Still, it affected me enough to write a blog post about it the next day, almost 24 hours later. It reminds me of how much I’ve let myself go and how hard I have to work to reach my goals.

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