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May. 19th, 2012


It was an interesting week that had a peak interesting point on Wednesday. I'm not even sure that I want to give it the time to discuss it here, but the main reason I keep this journal is to document my life because I really do refer back to it during times that are confusing for me.

I saw Marissa on Wednesday evening. I was out with a mutual friend, Karen. We were at The Liberty. Long story short, Marissa strolled in with her new girlfriend, Katy. Their relationship was something that I had already known about, but was confirmed by people and the event and I thought and still think it's pathetic. Really indifferent towards it on an emotional level mainly because I think it's pathetic. Marissa lied (mainly to herself which she is wont to do) to me when we were together saying that she didn't "plan" on being with another woman ever again. There are so many things wrong with that statement which I hadn't really thought about until after I saw her on Wednesday.

First, she was "committed" to me at the time (Marissa has no commitments whatsoever, not even to herself. Her commitments are dictated by others as anyone with an identity crisis knows all too well, or not.). Why would anyone who has a commitment to someone else say, "I don't plan on being with another woman?" The proper thing to say to the person that you supposedly love would be, "I love you and I'm committed to you and my future is with you." There were words to that effect from her while we were together, to be fair, but there were also extremely insensitive words and actions from her which communicated a complete lack of commitment to our relationship and, in hindsight, to herself.

Marissa's issue is that she's not committed to herself. How can she be, really? The sad thing is that some of the people she calls "friends" are not really. I've heard from several people about how unconvinced they are of her and she's fucking clueless the main reason being is that her way of life is about letting her relationships define her. She doesn't define her relationships.

It's perhaps the most important lesson that came out of my relationship with her is exactly that: I will never let another relationship define me. I will take an active role in defining my relationships. It's become my mantra.

Three things guide my life right now: Empathy; Giving; and Boundaries.

Marissa has no problem with giving. She does it to the point where she is constantly and continually sacrificing of herself. Her true self is buried underneath so much emotional rubble that she keeps piling onto herself with every relationship she enters. There are perhaps hints of that person for her, but she is so wrapped up in needing acceptance from others that she will never know her true self and the freedom that comes with knowing that person.

Marissa knows nothing about empathy and boundaries.

She can't be alone and that's something that so many of her "friends" already know about her and that she is completely clueless about.

In any case, her relationship with Katy is not unexpected. Marissa spent a lot of time trying to convince me while we were together that Katy was a "fling" and she spent a lot of time tearing Katy down and, again, in hindsight, there are probably aspects to their relationship while Marissa and I were together that I don't know about and really don't care to know about. I know that Katy made some dramatic exit and moved back to her little hometown of Corpus Christi apparently in a huff and I can tell it was drama by the way Marissa reacted and from the bits and pieces that she told me about. She did tell me that Katy wasn't happy with her when she left which leads me to believe that there was an ongoing dialogue with them the whole time we were together which is tantamount to cheating. Emotional cheating is worse than the physical thing, in my opinion.

But that's what it is. I really don't give a shit. Or maybe I do, but not enough to be angry or upset about it. Truth be told, Marissa and Katy deserve each other. It's a train wreck waiting to happen and, if I were to foretell their future, it's going to end in a shitstorm. I know how Marissa's father thinks about her decisions to be with other women and the pressure that comes with that is eventually going to lead to an implosion with Marissa. It's unsustainable for her.

The hilarious part of all of this is that Marissa spends so much time communicating what her life is about and trying to convince others of what her life is about and almost no time with really accepting herself or even understanding herself.

She told me that her own therapist told her that she didn't think she was gay. Marissa's decision to tell me what her therapist told her is suspect just like everything else that comes out of Marissa's mouth. She's a liar. Plain and simple. Being lied to is one thing. But lying to yourself is an entirely different thing.

The most interesting part of the whole thing is not so much the experience itself anymore. It's really my own role in it and how I could allow myself to get sucked into it. Someone told me that her ex-boyfriend before me described Marissa as "crazy." I don't know if that's far off. There really is something borderline about her that I did experience once before with Mercedes. In fact, the similarities between Mercedes and Marissa are almost uncanny.

I've spent too much time on this already, but I guess I needed to put it down on record.

I made a HUGE mistake with Marissa, but I also learned a *ton* about myself and about recovery and I'm really proud of the way I've recovered from this. It was something that I knew I wanted for myself when I met Marissa, but something I just didn't have the courage to face at the time so I let myself make the mistake, but that mistake lead to an even higher understanding of who I want to be, so I am ultimately grateful for the experience I had with Marissa.

As far as what happened on Wednesday, I can only really look at it as pathetic at this point, but it lends itself to closure as well for me. It was really like an emotional slingshot away from the experience with Marissa and it's better prepared me for next steps which I am excited about.

I'm in a really good place right now and excited about where I am and what the future has in store for me.

May. 13th, 2012


This is how the doctor described the ultrasound results. I'm being referred to a urologist who will probably diagnose me with something stupid. I haven't had any discomfort since the doctor did her number on me which makes me believe she popped something back into place.

It's funny, really. Hilarious even.

I don't know why I didn't mention Miranda in my last entry. The spinning and fogginess continues, but I've been in this position before. The grass is never greener even when you're rolling around in it. I learned that with Mercedes, Adela, both Jens, Marissa, Micah, and now Miranda. She's really all that I would want from a physical perspective and the attraction is definitely there, but I describe all the women who are part of that category as completely wrong for me and way too much fucking work and I enter into the challenge of it just to prove that I can reach the "summit," but I don't need to prove that to myself anymore so I don't know why I do it. Perhaps it's because I'm an idiot.

Regardless, there are three women in my life right now. They are all showing an active interest in me, but the one that I'm most attracted to is the one who is the hottest which not-so-coincidentally is also the one with the most baggage. I really don't know why I fucking do this to myself and to others.

Velvet and Kristy are also clearly interested and have said as much.

I've been in this fucking position before and it's really really really REALLY fucking frustrating and I'm creating something for myself that doesn't need to be created and it's not a departure at all from the things that led to my divorce. It's really the greener grass syndrome and it's not hard to figure out. People do it all the fucking time and I really suspect that it's one of the things that led to the failure of my relationship with Marissa. There are things that she never told me about that really don't make sense for me to know about right now and I don't want to.

Velvet is falling for me. Hard. And she and I are going to have to sit down so that I can be honest about my confusion about things.

I spent better part of the afternoon with Jonel and the kids for Mother's Day. Took her to La Condesa and then Halcyon for dessert. It was nice and I know that she appreciated it.

I need to lay low this week and really gather my thoughts because they are all over the place right now. I need to get centered and regain some perspective on what's really important and get in tune with my gut again.

Miranda is amazingly beautiful and is clearly interested in me, but it's really the mystique that she's attracted to. The way that she's lived her relationships should be the biggest red flag.

If I were to choose the one who shows the most stability, it would be Velvet and Charlotte is such an awesome little girl. Big fucking sigh.

Huge fucking sigh.

Date with Kristy was nothing short of amazing to the point that it was terrifying. We have a hiking date on Wednesday.

What the hell am I doing?

May. 10th, 2012


A routine checkup today resulted in an order for an ultrasound. Could be cancer... or a hernia... or something else. I won't know until the ultrasound and then I imagine if there's still question there will be a biopsy.

It's all that I need, really. I don't want it to be cancer, but, if it is, then I'll f*cking deal with it. It makes me sick to my stomach to think it might be cancer.

The checkup wasn't routine. I've been feeling discomfort for about a week and the medical student diagnosed a hernia until my actual doctor took a look and said a hernia wasn't likely and ordered the ultrasound.

I had a headache from Hell yesterday plus the discomfort and did not have a good day.

Today, I reluctantly woke up for my run and finished the run fine with no discomfort, but then had the appointment and she really did a job on me. It was painful.

Art opening tonight with V and then another tomorrow with K and a trip down to S.A. as well tomorrow and the ultrasound during the day.

Things are starting to blend and spin and get a little complicated, but I feel remarkably in control. I've working with an unprecedented level of confidence right now that has its foundation in my ideological resolve and faith in things that are larger than me with the added benefit of wholesale advocacy for myself. I'm not an ideologue. Those days are long gone, but I have strong beliefs and my context is solidly me. I don't need or want to convince others of my viewpoints. I honestly don't care whether people agree with me or not.

It's a scary sense of enlightenment that can only be coupled with its counter-balance which leads me to believe that the cancer threat might be real.

Or not...

I'll know more by this time next week.

Brain surgery in Denver is a virtual certainty at this point. Doctor said that I'm going to be in a rehab hospital for part of the recovery. I can't imagine doing that in Austin or Texas so I'm going to start researching doctors as soon as I finish this entry.

Nothing else to say, really.

I'm tired...

May. 9th, 2012

Bruised ego...

Jonel has been in what she calls a "funk" lately which she says is just out and out depression over recent events over the men in her life. She has someone that she's been seeing who's older than her, but that she doesn't quite see as a partner. More like a fun buddy and then she had someone she was seeing for a little while that she tried to take things delicately with because she said she liked him, but he fell off the face of the Earth and she's taking it a little hard.

She cried to me about it and I couldn't help but feel bad for her. My advice to her was that she accept the mistake she made with Rob and move forward, but her depression rubbed off on me and now I'm in a similar funk.

It's really amazing how fear can guide us into terrain that we don't necessarily want to be on.

It's hurtful to know that she's moving on and I'm sure it's hurtful for her to know that I'm moving on as well. My decision to not be friends with her is certainly not something she's okay with, but it's no longer about her for me. I have to protect myself and she knows it and she also has to do the same thing. I can't imagine that she has stopped caring and that knowledge just doesn't help matters.

But an extension of my conversation with Lacey yesterday is that we let strangers into our lives and we let down our guards and we let them come in and wreak havoc on our emotions and then let them walk away while we're left to pick up the pieces. It's not a good feeling, but there is no life without pain. Life is suffering, is what I think a wise man once said.

The Four Noble Truths

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

It might seem like a really shitty way to look at life, but it's really impossible to know happiness without also knowing suffering and I must keep faith in my belief that life's most beautiful moments are those where there are the most suffering and when we are at our most vulnerable.

What are happy moments, in the end? They're chemical manifestations in our brains that lead to certain emotions and those chemical reactions have their antithesis, but do they not all hold the same value, in the end?

Velvet and I had a "talk" about where things stand and I suppose a part of me realized that there would be something there between she and I because of her perseverance. Unfortunately (or fortunately), God has added Kristy and Miranda into the equation and my gut has already solved the equation, but that isn't stopping me from trying to manipulate the equation into a different outcome, but it's really just math and the rules don't change just because you want them to.

The rules never change just because you want them to.

May. 4th, 2012

Bout route...

My curator pal Jaime has an interesting way of announcing his plans. He calls them "bout routes."

Mine this weekend goes like this: Saturday: Kristy -> Medici, Kiddos -> San Antonio for Luminaria, Sunday: Miranda -> Mad Hatter's Brunch, Jonel -> Bike ride w/kiddos, Karen -> Drinks

... with Velvet and Victoria making appearances.

This is what happens when The Universe says, "You're ready, Steve."

May. 3rd, 2012


Funny that Obama's re-election slogan is "forward" since it's basically the theme behind my thoughts this morning...

As I walked back from Bennu after my run, I thought about Marissa just as I do every morning but the thoughts had a tinge of distance to them and by "tinge" I mean that I when I look back at our experience together, she's a dark stick figure on a distant horizon with the sun setting in front of her as she walks farther away from me. Soon enough, the sun will set and there will be no trace of her except in a conceptual sort of way.

I look at photographs of her today in almost disbelief that she ever even existed for me, but with the intense knowledge that she did. She exited my life as earnestly and intensely as she entered it almost in a full sprint away from me and most days I don't know whether to be angry or sad or grateful about the whole experience. Today, I'm sad about it because we did share so much in so little time together.

Our experience together was amazing on so many levels and I guess what angers me is that I feel as though the experience was only one in a long line of similarly intense experiences for her. I wonder all the time whether I was really all that meaningful for her and I think that when I'm eventually able to let those feelings of insecurity or inadequacy go, then I'll be over her because it really doesn't matter one way or the other whether I was meaningful to her. I undoubtedly was meaningful, but the time we spent together was so small, that I really have to keep it all in perspective.

My point is (and it was what I was thinking about as I walked back from Bennu) that the Marissa chapter in my life is coming to a quick close and I'm sad about it. I think about Lisa sometimes, but only as a quick flip-through of the chapter and I look through it with some curiosity as a way to jog my memory and as I survey the entirety of my life. I'm not ready to assign Marissa to that role - the role of simply a cog (albeit important cog) in my life's machinery. It saddens me deeply that she will be that for me soon because, God help me, I still love her, but I love myself more and moving on and forward is becoming not just important but necessary for me.

There are rules to life and one is that living your conscious life in the past will result in one of two things: Insanity or resolve. People kill themselves every day because they're not able to get their consciousness to break free from something that basically doesn't exist anymore. As much as my mind wants to remember and think about all the amazing times that Marissa and I had, the real and physical world - and all the people and things in it - are pulling me in a different direction and I can no longer ignore that. There comes a time when it's impossible to ignore and some people give up on themselves because they are not able to let go and others simply give in to it and I'm giving in to my future. As uncertain as my future is and as certain as the past is, I still side with the future.

There is undoubtedly more time that I need to heal from Marissa, but my commitment now is to my future.


Apr. 29th, 2012

Not sure...

I made a couple of new artist friends last night at Co-Lab for their opening and had a nice chat with Sean (guy who runs Co-Lab) and I saw Lacey. So nice to see her. We keep on meaning to get together to plan our show together, but she's just as flaky as I am with certain things.

I went with Lena and Velvet and Velvet's daughter. I'm not real happy with the way my relationship with Velvet is playing out. I decided awhile back to distance myself from any thought of a romantic relationship with her, but she's a little fucking odd. She sends me texts and has done one huge favor for me, but our relationship has always been platonic and I don't see it going anywhere else besides that because she's fucking negative as hell and it frustrates me. She digs at me the same way Jonel does and it bugs me to no end. We honestly bicker like an old married couple and it's oddly intriguing to me because we barely know each other. She's also from Ohio so I'm wondering if it's something that Ohio women just have in their blood.

Went out for happy hour with Miranda on Friday which was nice. I think I already mentioned that.

Ran into Karen at Bennu this morning and we sat and chatted honestly and openly about our most recent relationships. I had a thing for her when M and I were still together, but it never went past a passing thought because I was honestly very in love with M, but now that there's some distance, it's become more than a passing thought. I spent the better part of the morning after our chat thinking about it.

I'm really not sure where I'm going right now in my relationships with people and I don't have a direction. Sometimes I think I'm just kind of wandering aimlessly from one opportunity to meet someone to another and it's a little frustrating.

Next weekend is Luminaria, but there are so many things happening in Austin that night too that I'm considering staying in Austin. Plus, I have a brunch scheduled with Miranda on Sunday.

I miss Stevie and Ben. It's too long since I've seen them. They really do ground me.

I'm not sure what else to write right now. I use this journal to fill time sometimes because just sitting around thinking drives me a little nuts. I need and want to stay busy, but I also need downtime.

Karen admitted to me that she has barely let go of some anger she had and it got me thinking about the anger that I have and in the conversation that I had with Dana as well about her anger and how she feels it still and I don't know that I've completely let mine go either. The bottom line is that I don't know that I'll ever feel as though there wasn't some betrayal. M's actions really defined a lot of betrayal that I don't know will ever be completely out of my system. I told Karen that I have had a hard time forgiving myself and that I completely went against my own gut feelings about M and Karen described her own "blinders" and that's really how I feel about M. I did have blinders on and, in thinking about the beginning (which for some reason I always return to), I think about me completely ignoring my own instincts even when Michelle was asking me explicitly what the hell I was doing.

The truth is, I had this person that was paying an inordinate amount of attention to me and I was flattered and spellbound, really, but it wasn't about me. I was a distraction for her from the pain she was going through with her ex and I honestly believe that she didn't get through her breakup with him until we were solidly 6 months into our own relationship and, even then, it was still present for her. I was a rebound, plain and simple, and I fucking knew it and I went ahead with things anyway.

And perhaps she was a rebound for me too. I think so. But I did love her very much and was prepared to do whatever it took to make it work. Fact is, she wasn't and I need to forgive myself and move on which I'm doing little by little each day.

Part of the conversation this morning, though, was about the choices I made and they were mistakes and all I can do now is learn from them and build a life that is separate from those choices. It's really all I can do and I am doing it. I'm meeting new people all the time and doing what I need to do to maintain as busy a life as I can although I think I can be busier which is why I'm considering doing more freelance work which will get me in the space financially to do more traveling which is what I really want to do. I miss it. I miss having the money to take the boys places like NYC and buy things that I consider luxuries now.

It's really time for me to get back on that horse.

And it's also an opportunity for me to look at my long-term future which has been creeping up on me. I'm 41 now. There hasn't been a more opportune time for me to start looking at my long-term future. *Steve's* future rather than that of my own with someone else which I had still always avoided anyway. Getting myself in order is scary and exciting at the same time, but ultimately sets me up for a long-term contentment or happiness that I don't know that I've been able to safely say that I've been able to think about.

I look at building and maintaining my own friendships with people rather than friendships with people who I knew through someone else and there's a certain independence around that, but a lonely independence because I want to share my friendships with a partner, if that makes sense.

This will be an ongoing theme for me, but I'm excited to say that I'm building the confidence to be able to start, build, and maintain friendships whereas three months ago, the idea of doing it was just too much for me.

Three months ago seems so fucking long ago...

Apr. 28th, 2012

What might my life...

What might my life be without the hope of something better? Or maybe just the realization that my life is already awesome and that the hope for more only yields disappointment and a wanting that exposes me as the ungrateful bastard that I am?

I was thinking this morning as I sat on my porch drinking coffee about my impending brain surgery and how it really is going to change my life forever. Any difficulty I might have now with the idea of being alone, will undoubtedly be compounded after the surgery. It really does concern me and I'm frankly scared.

I had a good moment or two with Miranda yesterday at La Condesa. She had never been and talked a little about how she doesn't go to places like that when she's in Austin.

There was an openness about her which reminded me of Marissa, but also a serious side to her that she works to cover up which also reminded me of Marissa. I don't cover up that serious side and I thought it was interesting that Miranda, in the middle of calling me out for it, also admitted that she's just like me in that way.

It's been a recurring theme as I work to bring closure to the Marissa experience: The idea that Marissa and I were more alike than different. I'm trying to decide whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. It was good on so many levels because of the sense of intimacy around it. I can't speak for Marissa, but the split was so traumatic for me, I think, because she was my best friend and because we were so alike on an emotional level.

I sense the same thing with Miranda and it attracts me to her in the same way it attracted me to Marissa and I'm trying to decide whether I've learned enough about myself and my experience with Marissa to tread down that path again. Miranda is beautiful and smart and creative and we share a lot in common (the culture thing is HUGE, I'm finding), but I also sense that side to her which is not unlike Marissa that is fearful and doesn't want to communicate too much for fear of being judged or losing an opportunity.

I guess, for me, I'm more confident in myself (at least for now) and I'm not vulnerable to Miranda right now, but I know that once I make myself vulnerable to her that things might get a little tricky in the same way they got tricky with Marissa. Does that stop me from trying?


Apr. 24th, 2012


The confidence is back with some feeling that I'm in full on recovery mode now about everything. I still hurt, but it's an anxious pain that is not unlike the pain that I felt when I was starting to run again for the first time after my leg break. This is the feeling. It's a feeling of anxious anticipation around just wanting to run again.

It's the second time in my entire life where I've pulled myself out of the emotional hole I was in. The first time was when Mercedes left me. That time was a bit more difficult because I was literally alone, living at home and spent hours upon hours in total despair over what happened. The relationship was also a bit more significant than this one.

I still think about Marissa every day, but she's regressed into the person she was before or maybe she was always the same person and I chose to ignore the things that I didn't like about her. This is perhaps the case. In any case, she's definitely not someone I would want to have a friendship with because I've seen the true Marissa and the amount of energy that I would be putting into a friendship with her would be like yelling into deep and cavernous well hoping that it would spring. Total waste of time, in other words.

My hope and anticipation is that I meet and connect with people that are awesome and meet with my standards and with whom I can develop meaninful relationships. That's my barometer and it's not unreasonable for me to expect people to be awesome and authentic and those are the ones that I hold out for.

Still, I'm anxious and sad sometimes because I just want someone to share my life with. Also not unreasonable.

To that end, I am meeting someone here at Bennu shortly and she's pretty awesome on the surface. I met her online and she seems nice, but we'll see how it shapes up. I've got standards as far as looks as well and I need that to fit too.

I'm a fucking snob.

Apr. 23rd, 2012

Back from Denver...

I had an interesting few days in Denver. Lots of thinking and contemplating. Went for an interview which could have gone better. Stayed with Aaron most of the time and with Juanita the last night.

I'm sitting on my bed right now after a run and a trip to Bennu. My cat is at my feet sleeping...

The thing is: I turned my life completely upside down for her. I mean, completely. I went completely out of my comfort zone for her and gave to her as much as I could and I put up with a lot of shit and I never once considered leaving her. Ever. And I think what is so painful for me is that I am just one in a line of people who she made empty promises to. I wasn't the first and I certainly won't be the last, but I'm just so sad that I allowed it to happen the way it did.

I know I need to take the lesson from this and I know I need to stop looking back, but it's so fucking hard because I have to work in the same building as she does and I need to think about the idea of possibly seeing her every time I go to work and when I go home to Colorado and come back and think about that, it makes it harder.

It's been a long time since we broke up and I'm starting to plan conceptually for the next few months and I'm realizing that part of that planning involves a year since the break up.

What I'm having such difficulty with, and the reason I say I turned my life upside down for her is that she and I have NOTHING in common, but I made some of the things that she likes part of my routine. I still fucking drink coffee every fucking morning, for fuck's sake. And I like music that I would never have liked had she not come into my life and I've thought about things from a perspective that I never would have had she not come into my life and these things don't necessarily make my life better or worse - just different. But I see how she is as a person and I cringe now because I let her come into my life and change it and to allow her to do what she did really makes me sad because she is not the type of person I would want to be around in any way shape or form.

She's obnoxiously yuppie. She's extremely unauthentic. And it makes me sick that I allowed her in my life. It really does. Today it does, anyway.

So I need to shower and drag my ass to work and hope that I don't run into her today.


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