I. It didn’t even occur to me when I named my last blog “Chapter 52” that it is a phrase that also means bankrupt. I have to tell you, I like it even more now. Let me tell you why.

The experience of the last 2 years did bankrupt me in a sense. The love and then the loss. The growing trust and then trust’s betrayal. The way you opened Pandora’s Box of Trauma and then left me holding the bag. The way I lived so far out of alignment with my own integrity that I grew to despise myself all for the love of you. The way I made decisions to move *us* close to some dream I was having that was not a shared dream at all, but rather, a rusty hook meant to keep me in place because I made you happy where I was. The way those decisions *left me in ruins*. The way I made space, always made space, and the way that space remained empty. The way it impacted my relationship with my children – their loss of respect for me, and the ultimate rupture that left me bereft and grieving their loss on top of your loss. The money I threw at everything that I should have been putting into a retirement savings program. The sleep I lost. The tears I shed. The brokenness of it all. The mess you went and left.¬†

Bankruptcy is an apt word.

But on the other side of bankruptcy is this: you cut your losses, and you get free. Yes, you have to start over. Yes, you have to assess the damage and begin to rebuild from the rubble, but you *do get free*.

So Chapter 52 it is.

II. This song on repeat because it is my new #autobiography. I have always been the storm.

Every night that goes between
I feel a little less
As you slowly go away from me
This is only another test
Every night you do not come
Your softness fades away
Did I ever really care that much?
Is there anything left to say?

Every hour of fear I spend
My body tries to cry
Living through each empty night
A deadly calm inside
I haven’t felt this way I feel
Since many a years ago
But in those years are the lifetime’s past
I did not deal with the road
And I did not deal with you I know
Though the love has always been
So I search to find an answer there
So I can truly win

Every hour of fear I spend
My body tries to cry
Living through each empty night
A deadly calm inside
So I try to say good-bye my friend
I’d like to leave you with something more
But never have been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm

Always been a storm
Ooh, always been a storm
I have always been a storm

III. There is a bouquet of flowers waiting on my countertop to be put into a vase. I bought them for myself.

IV. I was thinking about inviting myself over to someone’s house tonight. He’s expressed some interest, and I have a live-streamed Pearl Jam concert to share. It could have been fun, but when I checked in with my body about it, my heart went all OH FUCK NO YOU WILL NOT DO THAT so I decided against it. I decided, instead, to clean the apartment, do the dishes, light the candles, turn on the twinkly lights, have a soak in the tub with bubbles, music, and a glass of wine, just like I might do if I were preparing for your arrival. I will do some skincare. I will scrub myself shiny. I will get out and put on a bit of a face and don a pretty (but comfy) dress. I will throw myself onto the made up divan with the dogs and yet more wine, and I will make the night my own.

I won’t shave my legs though. If I’m being honest, I may never shave my legs again.

V. I love myself fiercely right now. It is showing up in my selfies.

VI. If you mix mayonnaise, dijon mustard, fresh thyme, demi-glace and a little cream together in a bowl and then whisk it into a pan of fond from cooking a thick cut porkchop, you get a fucking amazing pan sauce. I fed myself that yesterday (with butter-basted green beans), and I saved enough for tonight so I do not have to cook.

VII. I went window shopping today because Instacart now delivers Indigo products (so, like, books, planners, ‘lifestyle items’ like mugs and candles and bath salts and lip balm), and I bought *nothing*. Because I literally have everything I want right now. This felt really good.

VIII. I bought myself a new Alexa, though, because I got really tired of all the bassy buzz that the old one was doing. It arrived today. Huzzah!

IX. I also went full-on Stevie in a shopping spree at Holy Clothing. There are chemises and corset-style dresses and maxi skirts and other things that will make me want to twirl on their way to my house, because COVID will end at some point, and I will want to wear things that make me want to twirl.

X. Every day, I slay the list, and that feels really good. I will survive. I am surviving.

I will thrive.


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