An Emotional Day – Aug. 29, 2021

Believing in Myself

So here’s the thing: I have amazing intuition. Believe what you want about humans having only five senses. We don’t. We have more. And for me, one of my strongest senses is my gut feelings about what to do and not to do. I’ve had this ability since I was a small child, but I learned what it was all about in 2016 or so.

I’m an empath. And not just any old empath. I’m an extreme empath. Like, extreme. When I tell people that, if it’s not met with “Huh?” it’s met with skepticism. Which is fine. It’s a tough concept to grasp and wanders deep into the Woo-Woo Woods. But the reality is I can feel other people’s emotions, I’m a sponge for the energy of a crowd, and I have an uncanny knack for instantly knowing the right choice in difficult circumstances. The problem is, I also have an uncanny knack for not listening to myself.

This is born out of low self-confidence, a problem I’ve been working hard to address in recent months. I’d like to believe I’ve made significant progress. But I learned in the past few days that I still have work to do.

Our house went on the market Wednesday. On Thursday, we received a fantastic offer well above list price. Our Realtor advised me to wait until the weekend frenzy to drive the price up further. This wasn’t necessarily poor advice in the market we’re in. It’s an insane sellers market. But my gut was telling me to take the offer. So I pushed that strategy with the Realtor. And then I let him talk me out of it.

Things didn’t go as I’d have wanted them to go the rest of the week leading up to the 8 p.m. deadline for offers tonight. And so now we’re very much in a state of flux. As all of this was unfolding this evening, I took a cigar and went out to the yard and sat in a lawn chair I pulled out of the jumble of unpacked crap that’s in our garage. I smoked and fumed as night fell and lightning bugs began to dot the landscape. I knew I should have taken the offer. I knew. And I didn’t trust myself. I trusted the expertise of the Realtor, who made sure when he gave me his advice that he underscored that the decision was mine.

And it was mine. But I let someone else essentially make it for me. I’m forty-seven fucking years old, I am a smart person who has educated himself on the world and on business and, of late, on real estate, and I took advice from someone who wasn’t even born when I had my first management position. And again… I knew better.

Never again.

My life started to turn around this year when I began to believe in myself. I threaded the needle on an extremely complex set of circumstances that resulted with me landing a job that has potentially life-changing financial possibilities for my family. I clearly saw the way through a complicated housing opportunity that will erase about a half-decade of financial challenges.

I did that. Me.

I saw it, I felt it, I did it.

This isn’t to say I will never listen to counsel again. If an electrician tells me it might be wise for me not to touch Wire A to Wire B, I’m going to not touch Wire A to Wire B. But when it comes to non-life-threatening matters, I’ve got this.

Me and Music

It’s been an emotional day overall, kiddos. I’m not sure why. These days just sort of happen to me from time to time. One of the things I know about myself is that music matters. I don’t just listen to it. Oftentimes, I feel it. See the above item and maybe it’ll make some sort of sense. Anyway, Wifey-Poo and I were driving back from our weekend getaway. A year or so ago (maybe it’s been longer), I started an Amazon Music playlist for her. Every once in awhile, I’ll put a new song in there that makes me think of her or that is connected in some way to our past. One of the more recent songs I put in there was “If You Love Her” by Forest Blakk.

So we were listening to that playlist on the way home, and that song came on. And the lyrics were sung:

If she gives you her heart, don’t you break it
Let your arms be a place she feels safe in
She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have
She’ll love you, if you love her

On days when
It feels like the whole world might cave in
Stand side by side and you’ll make it
She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have
She’ll love you, if you love her like that

And suddenly, I realized tears were spilling from my eyes and rolling down my cheeks.

In 2018, I lost my way. Well, if I’m being honest, it started three years or so before that. I don’t know exactly what happened, but what I do know is that I wasn’t Wifey-Poo’s safe place and I did break her heart. Repeatedly. I could say that the reasons and the details don’t matter, but they do. Every single one of them matters.

I found myself 20-plus years into my marriage with two boys who needed their dad, and we were fighting to survive.

Thankfully, we did.

As we drove today and that song played, the enormity of it all hit me. We are by no means the perfect couple, and we are still adjusting to some pretty big changes that have happened in our lives. But together, we are so good. So when I heard “she’s the best thing that you’ll ever have,” I realized how true that was. And I don’t mean that my head realized it. The depths of my heart realized it.

I’m not exactly sure what the tears were for. I think a large part of it is the tremendous guilt and regret that bubbles up to the surface every once in a while. I look back on the things that happened in an eight-month period in 2018 and early 2019, and I regret everything. There’s not a moment of it that I wouldn’t take back. Were I granted three wishes by some magical genie, fixing that period of time would be Wish No. 1. Unquestionably. Unflinchingly. Before the genie was even fully out of the bottle.

But the thing is, there are no magic genies. And, as sad as it is to say, erasing that time period and everyone and everything in it wouldn’t fix all that I want to fix. So instead I’ve committed myself to the only path that actually exists when your marriage comes to the precipice — and that’s to turn around and walk yourself back to safer, more familiar ground.

Wifey-Poo would be the first one to tell you she’s far from perfect. She’s humble and beautiful like that. But she definitely has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. In a few short weeks, we’ll celebrate the 29th anniversary of knowing each other. We were freshmen at Drake University. We lived on the same floor, and her room was on the path for me to exit the building. One day, I was headed out and she had her door opened. She insists she was studying chemistry, and maybe she’s right — if chemistry somehow looks like Tetris. I said “Hey.” She said “Hi.” A few days later, we fell into a conversation in a packed dorm room in which everyone else seemed to disappear. A few weeks after that, we had our first date.

Our lives haven’t been easy. We’ve faced unimaginable sorrow. But here we are. And there I was in the car, crying, realizing how stupid I’d been, how I’d almost lost everything that truly matters to me — and thanking God that I didn’t.

The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘Next to “God,” “love” is the word most mangled in every language.’

Richard Bach, A Bridge Across FOrever

Lunch With the Kids

We met up with Boy the Elder and his amazing girlfriend for lunch on our way home. I sat there watching the two of them and realized something: They remind me exactly, and I mean exactly, of me and Wifey-Poo when we were that age. Spooky and beautiful.

Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. Wonderful moments of clarity about progress on your journey through life.
  2. Chipotle.
  3. Whacking weeds that are growing up through the crack in your driveway.

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