T-Minus 2

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds! — Bob Marley

What a busy day, in preparation. So many things to accomplish as the big trip is about to manifest itself. Making sure Ellie has all her needs so that she will be comfortable. Making sure all stuff is packed that is not needed for the next day or so. My calendar was chock-full of stuff, and then more ‘chores’ that needed tending to.   

A friend of mine, who recently divorced my mentor, had a birthday. It was not for me to hold a grudge and fail to let her know I was thinking of her. I sent off a text and recommended that she have a happy b-day. She responded, like she typically does, with some annoying bitmojis. It is a yearly calendar event, so I do not forget.   

Of course, her birthday must set off a three-day series of events. Her birthday, then the agreed-upon anniversary of the recently broken-up relationship, failing by one month to reach 2 years, and then my mentee’s birthday. Bam, BAM, bam! To have that lingering in the back of my head, a resounding, yet hollow, echo of failure. Then my mentee’s b-day. Someone I care about, even though we are dealing with a slight rift. A healthy reminder of my adopted: Pay-It-Forward mantra, for those that have mentored me.   

Next on the list was to get my snow tires replaced with my all-season tires. I was too lazy to do it myself, so I set up an appointment earlier in the week to have it taken care of by the tire company I bought all my tires and rims through. They have the tools, they have the drive, and they have the expertise to overcome any obstacles regarding that simple (to them) job. I took care of that.   

Once the tires were swapped out, I had an appointment to go over to my boss’ home to finally meet his doggie, Lulu. A sweet German Shepherd mix dog. She was good. In the short time, I got to mingle with her, I was able to teach her how to shake. She was rewarded for replicating the act. My boss and I spoke, as he was about to leave the country to deal with his own LoA.   

While I was there, I spoke to his married roommate, who was from Persia. She and I spoke of how beautiful our respective countries are. She determined that she needed to explore more of her own country after she reached a certain age, realizing how much of a gem the terrain was. I spoke of my going on a new adventure across the western side of the USA. I regaled her with some of the previous adventures Ellie and I had been on. We clicked, platonically. It was a cool conversation, it was in an intimate setting, not romantic, just a few people, or as I put it, limited nostrils.   

I had received emails earlier in the week that I was able to get my Covid shot. I just had to sign up for a time and a place. I had chosen this day, around 2:00 p.m. I left my boss’s home and headed directly into the local metropolitan station that served as a Covid shot hub. Once I got there, I had asked the person directing people where to go, if I could kindly get the one-and-done (Johnson and Johnson) shot, as I was going on a trip of which I would be out of state for some time. She assured me that that was the only shot available. I was elated.   

I was directed to a table with one of the shot-givers. We had a very candid conversation, that was unscripted. As an aside, I rarely follow scripts, as I see conversations as organic, and they should not need to be prompted. We chatted about our tattoos, our lost animals, and our love for animals. She was a real person. She needed no façade to converse openly with me. We clicked, platonically.   

Once the shot was given, I was to sit in a large auditorium for 15 minutes. They wanted to make sure I would have no adverse effect from the shot. I passed with flying colors. I had been told that I may develop some Covid or Cold-like symptoms the following day. I was instructed to move my arm, which the shot was administered into, to prevent any continued pain.   

I did not need to worry about the sedentary activity the rest of the day. I was too busy washing clothes, drying them, and rolling them up. The impending trip had a spreadsheet to look at to guide me. I had my blueprint all mapped out what needed to be packed. I also had an idea how I would plan to pack the vehicle, the trailer, for the motorcycle, and two coolers. It was all slowly coming together.   

Once I had accomplished about 75% of everything I needed, I decided to take the rest of the day off from worrying about packing or planning the impending trip. I reached out to the elderly woman, I reside with, that is Ellie’s gram-gram. We decided to go patronize a local Asian restaurant together. We communed together, and I actually ate a full meal. The appetite was not fully returned, but for all the worry she had over my dismal response to the breakup, she was heartened to see me eating.   

I streamed some movies at night, while snuggled up with Ellie. She is my trusty, yet grumpy as fuck bed companion, at night. She rules the roost. She also takes prime real estate on the bed. For such a small frame, she knows how to spread it out. Though, what she does do that brings it all together is, she aligns her body to be next to mine in the middle of the night. Living the pack sleep patterns. I am her fearless leader, I am her comfort, I am her play companion, I am her fellow adventurer, and I am the single item she will protect at all costs.   

I tried to sleep, but so many thoughts whizzed past, and it took a while to fall asleep, regardless of how much melatonin I ingested. I did fall asleep, but it was short-lived. I had a full day, for an introvert. So. Many. People. Oh, and Ellie too. My fearless companion, my little warrior.   

I will keep this brief. Ultimately, I am replaying the events leading to my departure from home. To mentally recapture my essence, devoid of a person who said I had not changed, but that they did. The intensity of mental duress over this period time was ever so mildly addressed with a six-week LoA. I could not afford myself any self-compassion. I beat myself up, while at home, with all the acute reminders of how I viewed the relationship dissolution as a full failure on my part. The trip was to be an extended ‘recharging’ for me. As an introvert, I recharge hiking in the woods with Ellie. Being away from dissimilar people. Seeing the world from a unique perspective.   

I will continue the following day tomorrow. Thank you very much for visiting. I hope that I can reach people who are struggling in their unique ways. I do not wish to absorb your pain, but neither do I wish to add to your pain. I wish to share the pain and the happiness I can derive from my journey. We need this pain to remind us why we can afford to be happy sometimes. It is at this time I realize the sordid nature of the breakup was now affording me something I had never been able to do. Travel to areas of the nation I never had before. I still say, “fuck you cunt,” in my mind, when I think of the torture of the rejection. One step at a time.   

As always, I welcome any constructive criticism, or complementary theories, analogies, anecdotes. I would love to hear if you find these edicts of challenge useful or utter horseshit. Similar to the ’90s when the catchphrase, ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ was hailed as a marketing genius. I need to come up with one that invites you to either subscribe, via WordPress or email, like posts or even comment on posts. Immediate feedback is useful for anyone. Thank you very much for reading through all this drivel. Be well, stay safe, AND stay sane! 

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