Wow wow wow

So I get to Chicago, it’s all cool. ‘Cept my one friend told me I was having a quarter-life crisis after I told him my plans to go cross country–ouch. This was quickly made up for when the waiter called me “my lady” and swore he knew me from the local music scene… Sorry guy, I don’t think so.

Chicago is cool… Not sure if it’s liveable cool yet, but maybe. And damn it was cold tonight, in June! Boo.

Oh and it’s hard to escape A even here. Everything is a reminder. B ordered a beer, and the waiter brought the wrong one, and it was Oberon. A’s favorite beer at Michigan. Ugh. I need to just start associating it with something other than A. Instead Oberon is C’s favorite beer from Michigan, it is the beer B misordered. It’s like having to reprogram my brain.

Photos to come soon.

Wow wow wow

Back Home

Yesterday, I spent the day in Ithaca at my parent’s house. It’s good and bad to be here. On the positive, A is out of sight, out of mind and I definitely needed a break from that. I’m on the internet less and so I don’t find myself tempted to constantly check his facebook or inadvertently get updates from his friends on his shows etc. (Facebook has really just been a source of misery to me – between finding out about the Australian girl that way–seriously, I know right–to A’s friend calling all this a bunch of BS like I hadn’t been to his house of bunch of times before, like he didn’t like me, like I wasn’t the one to always say A, J is calling answer it! Social media is not kind during a break up. A NYT article said that 25% of all divorce proceedings now include references to Facebook. Crazy right?) But on the positive, it’s a little easier to focus on myself and what I need and what my future holds instead of all that other BS. One point for Ithaca.

But then there’s the bad side. The side that feels like I’m running away from my problems. I’ve always prided myself on being an adult. I come from parents who sacrificed a lot of for their family, and I think there’s a great sense of pride to be gained from that and doing the right thing no matter how hard. A sign or testament of your character. I work hard, I try hard, I love hard, and for the most part I take life, and the big choices and decisions I make pretty seriously.

Is leaving Baltimore the right choice or am I being cowardly? And I think it’ll be easy for people to spin the story so that I’m running away. And those are the people that don’t really know or care about me anyway. (Most of them live a stone’s throw from their own parent’s houses, so let them cast the first stone.) They’re the people who I’m not ever really going to talk to again, the people who don’t want to know the full story, they just want their snippet of gossip so they can pass judgement.

Even though I worry about this, I really believe that I’m not leaving Baltimore to runaway. I’m leaving to move on, and that’s the bigger picture. There’s no good reason for me to stay in Baltimore, that’s not where my life was headed and I always knew that.

I think this is what’s really frustrating me about this break up. I get so caught up in the little things that I’m losing sight of the big picture. It’s like the thought of him kissing this other girl–their mouths touching, their hands and bodies touching, the way other people probably saw them in the park and thought they were happy and in love, the fact that he wanted that kiss, that girl–all of that little stuff just kills me. And it makes me so angry and so sad. But what if this girl ends up being the mother of his children? What’s my pain really matter to his bigger picture? How can I really be angry about something like that? Or rather why should I waste my time and my energy being angry? If he ends up with this girl, or some other girl, our pithy three and a half year relationship really doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Likewise for whatever future I have.

I like to think everything happens for a reason and that being a good person will be reciprocated with good fortune (I hope… I know this isn’t always true.) I know that I didn’t do anything “wrong,” (sure I made mistakes, but nothing that wasn’t forgivable or solvable), and I know didn’t deserve to be treated so badly in the end, and I know that my character–that good person that I want to be–is still intact. While I often feel like a sucker for trusting A so completely, and my self esteem has plummeted beacuse even this immature, emotionally-shallow, mama’s boy doesn’t want to be with me, I’m rooted in the fact that I try to be a better, good person everyday. And if that’s true than I know I can trust myself and the decisions I make for myself, and that includes leaving Baltimore.

UPDATE: Wrote this last night. Just woke up. Had another stupid dream where this girl had slept over at his apartment with him. I go barging in on them like a movie (I guess it sort of is a movie after all, it’s playing in my head.)  I’m not trying to fight the girl or anything, just talk to her, maybe yell at her. (In real life, my anger is directed at him not her). She won’t talk to me and hides behind A for protection. After I wake up, I realize that what hurts the most isn’t that they had been together, it’s that he’s protecting her and not me. Lousy. I think he’s going up to Philly to see her today, because you know, “I’ll never see her again, she lives on the other side of the world” like he hasn’t already said that lie to me twice before, and so that’s sucky. One more visit with her and he’s probably seen her more often in the past month than he’s seen me. Crazy right? It’s like we never dated at all. Must keep myself busy today – you can probably expect more psychoanalysis postings later today.

Back Home

Moving On

Oh how the page views have dropped since the drama has ceased. I’ve decided to leave Baltimore. It’s a really great city and I have some incredible memories, but quite frankly it’s not my city. I can’t quite possess something that has A’s hometown written all over it. Every where I go it’s: those are bars/restaurants he plays at or we dined at, that’s where his friends work or hang out at, that’s where he grew up, that’s where he blah, blah, blah. So, more importantly, I’m left with the inevitable question- where to now?

Next week, I’ll be hitting up Chicago and NYC, even looking at some apartments. But do I want to live in these cities? Two years ago, I tethered myself to a desktop. I think it was my attempt to create a work environment in my apartment, which was necessary at the time while I was finishing up my M.A. Sure, I like it (yes, iMac I love you), but now I’m itching for the travel-ability (is that a word?!) of a laptop. So I might be making a big purchase soon. In which case, I don’t have to choose a city at all. I could spend a month crashing on a friend’s couch in NYC or Portland, maybe a month in Georgia with my Aunt or a month in LA with my brother. I’d drive across the country, designing and writing and photographing. Everything I love. I find this possibility very exciting. I wouldn’t expect to travel for the rest of my life, shit or even more than a year probably. But I think that’s a problem for me in Baltimore, I was too tethered to one person, one place, one plan. And I don’t think that’s what I need right now. I need to learn to better accept change and take life as it comes. This is definitely a valuable lesson to learn. And I’m nervous, but excited to live up to it. And dear friends, I’ll be calling on several of you to help me out and house me. Pretty, pretty please?

Things I will miss about Baltimore:

  • Orioles games (I know, I know they suck)
  • Charles Street
  • Druid Hill Park
  • Mt. Vernon Square
  • the Wind-up Space
  • That small-city feel
  • Taco Fiesta Nachos
  • Clementine’s HoneyPot (seriously, best cocktail I’ve ever tasted – gin, rose water, honey, ginger, something else, something else)
  • Dominick’s Pizza
  • Poker games!
  • Biking along the harbor
Moving On

Okay, I’m Supposed to Write About This

I am upset that I don’t know what the lies are and what the truths are. Before I always trusted him and so it was easy. Now it’s not.

I am upset because I don’t know what’s going on–is he seeing/talking to the Australian girl still? Is she still in NYC or in Australia or hell, even here in Baltimore? Is there someone else?

I am upset because he hurt me, even though he always said he didn’t want to, would try not to.

I am upset that I wake up checking my phone to see if he called or texted or e-mailed me. I’m upset that when he did on Monday, I found it calming and reassuring.

I am upset that it had to end so badly, when for the most part everything else was good.

I’m upset with myself for letting it get this far. For not being stronger sooner.

The bottom line is, I know what I want in a partner and he wasn’t able to be that person. It probably made him feel inadequate and frustrated. He doesn’t know what he wants in a partner, and so I couldn’t be that person. Always leaving me feeling insecure and confused.

Okay, I’m Supposed to Write About This

My Grievances Towards Adam Hopkins

After 3 1/2 years of exclusive dating, Adam Hopkins and I are through. And what’s worse than having your heart broken is having your trust betrayed. Particularly by the one person who I wouldn’t have ever thought would do that. Even though he’s out late at bars, even though he’s a very charismatic person, I always trusted him because he said he loved me and because I truly believed that he was the epitome of a good person. Unfortunately, I believed in him more than he did in himself.

At first I thought we were going to be able to end our relationship on okay terms. Not that it ever happens on okay terms, but I thought we would just do our own separate things, but in a year, I’d be fine calling him a friend. I don’t see that happening anymore and here’s why. Below are my grievances towards Adam Hopkins and how he turned a loss of 3 1/2 years into a waste of 3 1/2 years.

A little back story. I got my M.A. on May 15th and had been crazy busy for the whole semester leading up to this. Things weren’t great between Adam and I, but I really believed it was because my attention was on school and I thought once that was over, we’d fix stuff. He left for a three week music retreat in Banff, Canada on May 16th. He returned on Sunday, June 6th.

1. He would call and e-mail me every other day and tell me that he missed me and loved me. But then when he got back and we started talking about stuff, he said that he so enraptured by the music and stuff going on there that he really wasn’t thinking about me at all. Sample e-mail:

May 26: “Hope your day is good. On my way to a club set that a friend is playing and then rehearsal at 10:30. Busy, busy! But good. Just wanted to say hello and hope your day was good. Love.Adam”

2. He told me that he was having all these concerns about our relationship while he was at Banff. When did he tell me this? On Sunday when he got back? No, on Sunday, I went to see him, he told me “cute hair cut” and we chit chatted for a while, and then he took me to his bed in the biblical sense. Not a single mention that anything was askew in our relationship.

3. Did he start to bring up his concerns about the relationship when I saw him next on Monday? Nope. Instead we threw a softball in the park and had a really nice time. I had to instigate a conversation about us, because I knew something was wrong.

4. After we have a long conversation about what’s not working for us, we decide on staying together as casual, romantic friends and that I would see other people on the side. But he would not. Because we were changing out relationship because he wasn’t ready for the commitment, but he wasn’t interested in dating anyone, he just wanted to focus 100% on his music. I was allowed to date other people, because with his commitment to his music, he didn’t want me to miss out on the opportunity to be with someone who might be able to really make me happy. He was really trying to act like the noble person, like he was giving me up so that I could really find happiness. This was all a facade.

I repeatedly asked him if this was just a stepping stone to us breaking up. He said no every time, he emphasized that he didn’t want to break up, that he just needed things to change. I asked him if it was even a remote possibility that we would have a future together. He said yes it was. He’s a coward who couldn’t do the right thing because it was the hard thing.

6. I agreed to our arrangement in #4. Then he says he has one more thing to add. I was like you’ve got to be kidding. He tells me how he had met someone in Banff that he had real feelings for, but that it didn’t matter because she lived in Australia and would never see her again. He assured me they didn’t do anything. This came as a huge shock considering his e-mail on May 26 (we had already been e-mailing about how he needed to be more honest/open about having female friends, so I wouldn’t get jealous/insecure):

“There are of course girls here, and most of them play really, really well and are cool too. But it is weird to explain, for me. In the music world I don’t really differentiate between having a girl in an ensemble…it is just another musician. If they are good and it works then we play together, but nothing beyond that. I actually have an improvised group (that I put together that is me and ALL girls, but it’s because of the instruments they play, and has nothing to do with them being girls). So there are many girls that I know here just because we play together. Of all of them there are probably two that I would consider actual friends…like if people go to the bar or have a listening session, then we hang out. One of them is part of the Aussie’s, but when I talk about them being out of control I don’t really mean her. The Aussie guys do things like take their shirts off and slap each other. But I assure you there is nothing to worry about. …OK, looking forward to coming home and seeeeeing you. Love.Adam

7. When go back to his apartment on Monday to sleep. I of course don’t and instead am just freaking out that this is not right at all. Tuesday morning, I fly home to Ithaca to surround myself with loved ones and figure my stuff out. He calls me, and I tell him that I’m home and working through stuff. He sounds really annoyed that I was telling everyone that we were broken up. I told him I would stop and that we would try to stick to the situation we had discussed in #4.

8. Wednesday I send him a message that say we need to end it because I need to focus on myself, which is exactly what he’s doing. He calls me and we talk about it. He’s sad it’s ending, but not sad about losing me. We say that we’ll still play softball together, that we won’t make a decision about our summer vacation in North Carolina until the due date in July. We say that we’re going to work this through and we can still be friends. Our break up was going to be sad but not messy. He said that we’ll get together on Sunday and talk through all this stuff.

9. That is until Saturday. I came back to Baltimore on Thursday. He spent Thursday and Friday nights in NYC. He had told me he was going to spend Friday night with his friend T.J. Huff so that they could talk. I sincerely thought that this was difficult for Adam. It turns out the Austrialian girl, Shannon Barnett, who he was never going to see again was also in NYC for the same show Adam was going to. He could have told me about this on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and he didn’t. He chose to leave me in the dark. Probably so he wouldn’t feel guilty about what would happen next.

10. After dating for three and a half years, Adam and I hadn’t even been broken up for two days when he hung out with this girl and “kissed” her. He apologizes for hurting me, but not for kissing her. She hung out with his best friend T.J. to the point where she friend-ed him on Facebook. I know T.J. and I aren’t the greatest of friends, but I was hoping for just the tiniest shred of loyalty from him–or at least hoping that he would tell Adam to lay off and not make a bad situation worse. But if I couldn’t expect loyalty from Adam, why on earth would I hope for it from T.J.

I didn’t find out that she was in NYC with him from Adam. I found out about it on Saturday (days after the fact) from Facebook. And I had really believed on Monday that she was not a major factor in all this mess. I really believed that he would never see her again because that’s what he told me.

This also came as an extreme shock because 1. Adam had posted a message on my Facebook wall Saturday morning about riding my bike fast as lightening, which is our inside joke/thing from a Kimya Dawson song. 2. We had exchanged friendly text messages Saturday morning about how we’ve been/what’s been going on. Of course he made no mention of Shannon or that anything was awry at all. I completely thought that we were in the same position we were in on Wednesday (#8). I really thought that we would talk about stuff on Sunday and end fairly amicably. In my head this was still all about his music, not about another girl.

Other things, not in chronological order, it kills me that he can’t hide his delight and happiness that he experienced in Banff. He’s repeatedly called it the greatest experience of his entire life, which just feels like a cold slap in the face. Especially, because I was so supportive of him for the whole damn thing. Like oh I don’t care that you’ll miss my graduation, this is a huge opportunity for you. Oh you’re too busy to really talk? That’s okay, I’m glad you’ve got your motivation back.

14. He wrote me this morning attempting to take the noble approach about how he hopes we’ll be friends and stuff. He writes,

“I really appreciate you being there for me for the past year, which really was the worst year of my life. It didn’t make it any easier, but it was comforting knowing that you were there by my side throughout the whole thing. I think you are an amazing person…”

He thinks I’m so amazing, and he’s so appreciative as I stood by him through some really tough times, but he can’t even give me three days to wait to talk to me before he goes making out with some other girl that he has serious feelings for?

15. I’m just so angry that he chose to let this other person in when he hadn’t even finished what was going on with us. He’s such a coward, he was never going to break up with me, he was just going to keep stringing me along until he could move away and then distance would take it’s toll.

This is practically a novel huh? It’s just so hard because again, I really thought he was the one person who would always do the right thing, no matter if it’s the hard thing. And he didn’t. He was completely weak and cowardly. He lied to me so often. Something I was always so afraid of due to past relationships. It’s like I let him know all of my fears and he chose to manipulate all of them.

I’m just angry and disappointed. I know there’s no point to feeling entitled in a relationship, because you can’t control what the other person does, but it’s hard to handle that the person you trusted completely was willing to betray that trust completely.

My Grievances Towards Adam Hopkins

Willy Wonka’s Vermont Chocolate Factory

[NOTE: Sorry for the delay in posts. It’s been one of those things where the ideas are churning but the posts aren’t happening. Expect more posts this summer.]

I didn’t get to cross anything off my 30×30 list, but I did make a tiny tick on the list. #17 – Visit all 50 states. Last week for business, my manager and I flew up to Burlington, Vermont. I left BWI at 6:00 am, stopped at LaGuardia and made it to Burlington by 9:30 am.

We met with our client, Lake Champlain Chocolate and got a factory tour. This is the brightest, happiest, cleanest factory I’ve ever seen (and I used to work in a factory, so I know.) We didn’t walk the floor or anything, but in the back of their retail store/office space, is a big glass wall where you can see the workers and the chocolate being made.

We watched a woman hand make this awesome chocolate sculpture (I’ll try to get a photo if I can) of the local theatre. She even once made a chocolate clock, that was an actual functioning clock! They even had a chocolate waterfall (although, it was probably only about three inches high) that was part of the enrober. The enrober covers the truffle or ganache or whatever filling in a chocolate shell.

After the tour, we had our meeting. Apparently, at a chocolate company it is completely acceptable to eat chocolates at 10 am. They had a plate out for us with all sorts of chocolate goody things – by mistake I grabbed a chocolate covered ginger thing. I hate ginger. Oops.

Pat on the back, I did a very good job on the presentation. I was pleased that they were interested in what I was saying and that I was providing them with good ideas. Yay me.

We went to lunch at this cute hippie restaurant that was the first restaurant to be certified green in all of Vermont. It reminded me of Spoons in Baltimore, which sure enough was the first certified green restaurant in Maryland. Burlington reminded me a lot of Ithaca, probably because it’s a college town too.

Then we did some more work stuff. Before we left we got to choose some more chocolates to take home for “product research.” The coconut, champagne and anything with nuts were my favorites. Their chocolates are really fantastic and I’m super excited to design them a kick ass website. This is their old one. But mine will be much better. 🙂

At around 5, my manager and I hopped back onto the plane–oops, we even got on the wrong one! Seriously, we were on the wrong plane looking for our seats when we realized it was going to Newark and not Cleveland! But we figured it out and made it to Cleveland and back to Baltimore.

And that was my day trip to Burlington. In a nut–err, chocolate–shell. Ha.

That’s 14 states down. I don’t know if I’ll make all 50 by the time I’m 30, but I do have hopes to hit Oregon and Washington, Illinois, New Orleans, Georgia, Delaware by the end of the year. Whoo.

Willy Wonka’s Vermont Chocolate Factory