Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Re-learning How to Live

For the first time since ever (okay, I did live alone for a few months between the ages of 18 and 19) I am living alone and teaching myself how to be single. In just a few days, I turn 35, and I can honestly say this is a brand new experience for me.

I don't think I'm doing a very good job at it.

It all started this past Thursday, the day before Husband (do I call him Ex now? That doesn't sound very nice) moved out. I'm working on a huge project at work which is taking up all my time. One of my best friends had a play opening on Thursday and that was the only day that week that I could attend. I got off of work shortly after 7pm, not having had any time for dinner before her show started at 8pm. To remedy the situation, a friend at work gave me an already half-consumed bottle of Green Goodness juice and sent me on my way. He truly saved my life that night - it was dinner.

I am an incredible cook. I plan every meal out by the week and pride myself on my ability to experiment and succeed in the kitchen. Look out ladies and gents. But as soon as husband left, that all went out the window.

Friday night, I kind of succeeded. I picked up some sushi and beer at the supermarket before heading to Husband's new apartment. I wanted to buy him dinner and drinks to welcome him to his new pad. We're still best friends and that's what friends do for each other.

Saturday rolled around and again I did well for myself by making a large breakfast before taking the dog for a hike. We had a great time in the Boise foothills, before I took him home and headed off to a tattoo consultation appointment. New changes: new body art. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning this big empty house and rearranging various pieces of furniture and wall art.

At 8pm, I had a date with another one of my besties. About a half hour before I had to leave, the doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting anyone. A good friend of mine stopped by with a friend of hers whom I'd never met before. Tall, blond, beautiful, and drunk. I opened the door and this beautiful woman started making out with me. You read that right. 24 hours after husband moved out, I was kissing a chick. She started it! And THAT, my friends, is how you welcome someone into the newly single club. Take note.

And Saturday night started with a bang.

For dinner, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A quiet voice whispered that I needed to eat something more than a pickle. I eat PB&J for breakfast every so often, but I can't remember the last time I had one for dinner. It turned out to be easy. I was hungry and I'm single.

Sunday morning came way too soon - after only a few hours of sleep - and found me at the grocery store early buying shit for our divorce party. Yup. We had a divorce party. Go big, or go home.

That afternoon, the friends came, the booze flowed, and laughter ensued. The awkwardness was kept to a minimum and we partied into the evening. It was a very good way to close out almost 16 years of a beautiful relationship and usher in new beginnings for the both of us. I wouldn't have closed it out any other way.

It is now Tuesday night and I've been working late for the last two days to complete this important project at work. It is helping me keep my mind off of what is going on in my personal life and allowing me to focus on something creative. It truly is a blessing.

Over the last three days, I've forgotten that I've had something boiling on the stove (twice) - please remember, I am typically a good cook - I've eaten left overs, and tonight I threw all the veggies from the veggie tray I bought for the party into the wok and made a stir-fry. I've been taking my breakfast to work - I usually eat breakfast at home - but I have managed to make coffee and lunch the night before. I'm getting there. And I'm taking Frodo the dog for a two mile run every night after work. I think it's helping. Both of us.

Frodo and the cats are so confused right now. There is furniture missing (he ended up with the futon) and there is a definite presence that is absent. They all sit at the top of the stairs from time-to-time waiting for him to come home.

I have music playing every second that I am in the house (with the exception of when I sleep) so that I'm not just listening to silence. I'm discovering just how many chores there are to do every.single.day. And I'm in the process of applying for film school - I'm just waiting for the final divorce paperwork to come through so that I can change my name and complete my registration. I've attempted to sleep naked a couple of times, but have realized that's a bad idea when Frodo has to go potty at three in the morning. I've walked around the house in just my underwear until I noticed that that blinds were still open. I put my shirt on backwards this morning and only discovered my mistake when I went to the bathroom two hours after I got to work.

Life is a journey of constant change and I'm doing my best to keep up with it. One of these days I'll also remember how to cook. And dress myself.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bandaids

I guess I should probably address this...

I've chosen to blog about it instead of just posting a response on Facebook, because something like this requires more of an explanation than a quick, annoying facebook post that people might gloss over. Plus, I can get pretty wordy and that just never works on facebook. Also, I like blogging. Also, I'm stalling.

...drinking beer...

...answering texts...

...answering emails...

...answering private facebook messages...

...listening to voicemails...

...applying for a passport name change...

...trying to decide what my new email address will be...

...wondering where I'm going to put the bed...

...am I strong enough?...

The tears don't flow as often any more. I think I've finally reached the point that I simply cannot cry. There's too much to do, and although writing takes up time I don't freely have, it is the only thing in the world that seems right at this moment.

On Wednesday, March 4th, I asked for a divorce. I asked. No one needs to wonder. You're allowed to wonder why, but you don't have to wonder who of us asked the tough question. For the first time in years, we celebrated his birthday and enjoyed every second of it. That was Saturday. On Monday, March 9th, divorce papers were signed. On the 10th, we went to the courthouse to file and had someone notarize our signatures. That weekend we went shopping, together, for furniture. I actually bought a couch, for the first time in my life. This Friday, March 20th, the first day of spring, he moves into his new apartment. Alone.

This decision was not made lightly. Eleven years of marriage and sixteen years of being together is a long time and does not easily disappear. It will never disappear - these years we've spent together will always be some of my fondest memories. We made a life together. Words cannot even encompass all that we have done (or all the places we've done it). ...or how we've done it. It doesn't just mean sex.

We told our parents on Friday, and by this morning (Tuesday, March 17th) we'd finally told all of our siblings. No one knows what to say, but everyone knows that love is all that is needed. It comes as a shock to most, and to a chosen few, there is no shock. Life happens.

This divorce is amicable and we are still the best of friends. It is time for a new journey in life, for both of us. It involves us being who we are together and alone. It is giving us an opportunity to discover who we really are and understand our place in this lifetime. It might sound New Agey. Probably even crazy, but this is where we're at.

Our current projects (the feature we shot last year being the most glaring project that is still unfinished) will continue to be worked on. We still own a business together and we are still Two Cats Fighting Productions. Hell, once he is settled into his new apartment and I rearrange this house to my liking, we'll be spending every Saturday together (at least) to finish this film and get it out there for the world to see.

Life doesn't stop. He announced on Facebook this morning, to friends and strangers, that we are getting a divorce. My phone blew up and I nearly ran out of battery life by the time I got home, but I couldn't answer anyone quickly. I was working. Life kept moving forward. I had projects due, meetings to attend, and a really big video project for the CEO that I HAVE to complete. So, texts went unanswered and facebook posts went unliked. Friends and family were left hanging. Because life doesn't stop.

It's hard to imagine life alone, or at least, not with my husband. I don't know what to expect. I don't know how to fix a leaky faucet. I don't know who to randomly text in the middle of the day to just say, "Blerg." I don't know who will understand my Goonies references, or laugh when I call him a vagine. I don't know what side of the bed to sleep on, or if the cats will listen to me when he's not around.

Life is changing. Just like ripping off a bandaid. One.at.a.time.

Friday, March 6, 2015

I Love Film

These last several months have been difficult for a multitude of reasons. In my attempt to keep my head, heart, and life in check, I've neglected various aspects of myself. One of those has been my drive in film. I haven't lost my passion to create films, I've just lost my desire to create and continue to work on personal projects that I started last summer.

Years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, a friend of mine asked me about love. "What do you really feel about love?" My answer came quick and natural. I really feel that I love film. He didn't know how to react to my answer. No one really loves a thing, but when you think about it, people do love things. People love dancing, writing, playing video games, falling in love, eating, drinking, not eating, not drinking, watching movies, creating movies, laughing, crying, singing, playing instruments, running, cuddling, playing with the dog, staring at the sky, I could go on. I love film. I love watching films, but more than anything I love creating films. I love setting up lights and shots, I love adjusting audio levels, I love directing, I love editing, I love creating.

On Thursday, I was walking down the hall at work and my old manager called my name. I stopped by his cubical and said, "hi."

"What are you doing here?" He asked me.

"Well, it is Thursday morning. I am technically working," I replied.

"I thought you'd be in Sun Valley this weekend. I wasn't expecting to see you here," he said.

"Oh."

The fourth annual Sun Valley Film Festival is this year. This weekend, to be exact. Two years ago (2013), we attended the second annual Sun Valley Film Festival. One of our music videos was accepted and shown to an audience of about 20-30 people. It was an exceptional weekend of films, friends, and booze, and I will never forget it. There were seven of us shoved into a two bedroom condo in Sun Valley for three nights. We went to film showings, attended "coffee talks" with Jodi Foster and Steve Gaghan (he follows me on Twitter), went to concerts and stood next to Will McCormack, cooked each other breakfast, and learned a lot of awesome stuff about ourselves as individuals and friends. We lived it up in Sun Valley.

This year, we submitted two films - one three-part music video and a short documentary. Neither were accepted. It is understandable and there are no hard feelings - film festivals know what they want and our work doesn't fit into every festival build. We'll get into something, it just has to be the right festival for our particular projects and that could be difficult to find. We chose not to go to Sun Valley, not because our films weren't accepted, but because there are other more pressing matters to attend to in life and attending a film festival at this time just isn't in the cards. Also, I didn't realize that it was this weekend.

After explaining to my old manager why I wasn't, in fact, in Sun Valley, we had a nice talk about creating films in general. He knows nothing about what goes into making a film. He knows he enjoys watching films and he knows that I LOVE making them - hence the concern over my being at work on Thursday. He knows that I have the day job I have now because I LOVE making films. He managed my original contract, which had me creating corporate videos (I still create corporate videos, just not as a contractor). He knows.

He told me that I should make a Western, and right there, in the middle of work, my brain started flowing with ideas for a new film. It involves the Idaho back-country, horses, men, women, and children. It involves love.

As we closed our conversation, he told me something that made me reassess my priorities:

Although you work in film everyday making videos for this big company, don't forget where your true passion lies. In the end, this is a job that pays your bills - you need to keep creating your own films.

And that's almost all I've been thinking about for the last couple of days. I need to get back to my films. We only have this one life. What do you love?