Sometimes we all have to make difficult decisions and while they are not entirely joyful, they can lead to it in the future.
On Monday night I broke up with Tommy. I’m grateful for the almost 9 months we were together; I grew and I learned to trust more. However, all of this pulling away is too much for me. I simply outgrew the relationship.
I’m grateful for the lessons he taught me – he helped me open up, especially about the rape, and realize that I can be loved even though something horrible has happened to me and I can be loved even with PTSD. He helped teach me to trust a bit more too.
On Saturday I decided to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for a day of self care. While I was there, I saw a guy wearing a Rammstein shirt with the lyrics to “Du Hast” written out. We got talking and that talking turned into an hour and a half chatting about music, Beavis and Butthead, life experiences, that we realized we had some things in common. I thought it was awesome that he was seeing Roger Waters, he had an extra ticket and Brian invited me to see Roger Waters with him.
We decided to grab a late lunch, early dinner and before we did, we took a walk around the art museum and took photos of the Center City skyline. He did agree to a selfie with me.
We went to Rotten Ralph’s for a late lunch/early dinner. They had gluten-free options, so I had shrimp tacos and he had a Reuben, which is one of my favourites too. This was both of our first times at Rotten Ralph’s. We enjoyed it. It felt great to share conversation about topics we were both interested in. He let me talk and I let him talk.
Brian is also a freelance photographer, and he does work full-time for a company (not photography). We walked around Old City, I gave him a little tour, and we had fun taking photos. Brian and I shared a lot of laughter during this time, and even met a nice woman who saw we were hot and parched, who offered us water. Brian decided not to go to the piercing place and I would meet him back at Red Owl Tavern.
I got pierced and had my friend pierce me. I was telling him about everything and I said, “I’m on a break with my boyfriend. He’s single and he said he wants to be single. I’m free to do whatever I want.” Zach nodded his head in agreement and said, “have fun with the new guy! Sounds really nice and sounds like you’ll have a kick ass time!”
Brian knew Tommy pulled away and I told him that he says he wants to be single. Anyway, I texted Brian and let him know I was on my way back. When I got back, he was lounging and asked me how the piercing went. I showed him. Brian thought it looked awesome.
About 30 minutes later, he ordered Lyft and we headed to the Wells Fargo Center. Since he bought us dinner, I bought us some drinks. That was the agreement. The show started at 8:30 and it was amazing. Brian and I have the same favourite Pink Floyd songs and we sang to each other. It felt so good to be able to go to a concert and sing with the person I went with. We both smiled at each other as we sang, and I won’t lie, my heart fluttered.
he show ended at 11:30 and we took the subway back to Center City. The bars were crowded, so I ordered a Lyft back to where he was saying and we had a drink at my favourite restaurant, Red Owl, which is part of the hotel he was staying in. I ordered a Spayside and he had a shot of Jim Bean. We toasted to a great evening and wonderful memories.
Brian and I hugged. He wanted me to check in when I got home, to make sure I made it safely. We agreed to keep in touch and we’ve been in touch.
Thursday again! First Thursday in August and it’s a hot one in Pennsylvania! It was 96 with a real feel of 105. So thankful that I was indoors today.
Tomorrow is the intern’s last day at the full-time job and on Wednesday I coordinated and planned a pizza party. We had it today. I’m happy to report that the pizza party for the legal interns was a roaring success. I changed the time to 1pm without an issue. The gluten free and regular pizzas were a hit. Party lasted for two hours and we will shared some laughs. Everything thanked me for planning and coordinating; I told them, “I love doing stuff like this. Anytime!”
The two interns, Zeke and Matt, agreed to photos. What a great time! I gave them all thank you cards, which gave them a sense of gratitude. They thanked me and they thanked us for our kindness.
There was a happy hour earlier for all of the interns. I went for an hour and the other interns I met throughout the summer were happy to get a group photo with me. Awww! So grateful they agreed.
On Tuesday when I started my evening shift at the library, Terry mentioned that one of the new clerks loved my Happiness Box Project scrapbooks that I had on display in June.
Last night when I started my shift, the new clerk was working. I asked her if she enquired about the Happiness Box Project scrapbooks and she smiled, she did. She asked me how I decided what to put in. I explained that this was a non-traditional scrapbook and I put everything I collect throughout the year into it.
I continued, “for more traditional scrapbooks, I go by a theme and I choose the best photos, especially ones that have a story and I can journal.” I had the snap album I was working on and continued, “lately I’ve been working on snap albums, which are a combination of photo album and scrapbooking. It’s still time consuming!” I let her look through my snap album and she was impressed. She definitely wants to learn more. I feel grateful about this all.
I’m also thankful for Tommy, my parents, my friends, family, and co-workers. What are you grateful for today?
On Friday morning, I woke up earlier than Tommy per usual. I cuddled with him for a little bit, but at 9:30 I decided to scrapbook a little. I spread out on my half of the bed, as Tommy snoozed.
After 45 minutes, I decided to stretch my legs and I walked downstairs. I saw the two cats and the big fat black cat followed me back to our room. He was interested in scrapbooking. I decided to e-mail our host, to ask about the cats’ names. She replied: all black cat is Kentae, and the Tuxedo cat is Taemar. Kentae became my best friend and scrapbooking buddy. Kentae also loved Tommy.
Taemar liked us too, but he was more skittish than Kenta. It took him some time to warm up and he mostly stayed downstairs.
We finally ventured out at 12:30. We went food shopping to get ingredients for dinner, as well as some other snacks. Friday night date night in. Since we are trying to save some money, I’ve been cooking for our get-togethers. I was going to make us gluten-free quesadillas.
Tommy decided to build a little stove for us to take to Darby Creek. I loved watching him build it. Kentae did as well.
After Tommy finished, we took the trolley to Drexeline and walked to Darby Creek. We went swimming and built a campfire.
When it started to rain, we went back to our Air BNB. I cooked us dinner and Tommy really enjoyed it. He said, “you really love to cook, don’t you?” He smiled when I said, “yes and I love cooking for you. Can’t wait to do this on a more full-time basis.”
We met the other guests that were staying in Nicole’s Air BNB. They both commented how delicious my quesadillas smelled. I offered to cook them some, but they already had dinner.
After that chat, Tommy and I went to our room. I asked him to contribute to the sn@p album I’m making of our March Brigantine/A.C. weekend. He said, “babe, you know I’m not a strong writer.” I asked him to dictate his story to me and as he massaged my back, I wrote down his story. I had him read it when he was done and he was impressed.
Kentae then joined us for selfies and movie night.
Tommy and I watched Carnival of Souls first. This was his first time seeing that movie and he enjoyed it. He found the colourized version of Night of the Living Dead. I watched the first 35 minutes, but was feeling tired and fell asleep.
Thankful Friday, indeed. It’s amazing to have Tommy’s love, and the love of both Kentae and Taemar.
I took Thursday and Friday off to spend some time with my love. We decided to get an Air BNB in Drexel Hill; and I’m glad Air BNB didn’t catfish us! The room looked as it was listed. I arrived at 3 PM and was greeted by a big black cat, and a tuxedo cat. I fell instantly in love.
Tommy didn’t arrive until 3:45 PM and I loved playing with the cats until he arrived. The cats loved my company, too. Once Tommy walked through the door, we embraced. After a week and a half of not seeing each other, it felt great. I asked him how work was going, how it felt to get a first paycheck, and the excitement of starting a new job. I told him what was going on at my jobs.
At 6 PM, we went to dinner. Tommy used to work at Pica’s and since they now have gluten-free pizza options, I seconded. Drexel Hill was only a 10 minute Uber ride from Pica’s in Upper Darby. Unlike the first time we went at the end of February, it wasn’t crowded. Probably because it was a weeknight and people are away. Tommy and I were seated right away.
I ordered a fruit spritzer and a gluten-free mushroom pizza; he ordered a Shirley Temple and a large pepperoni pizza. Tommy told me some more stories from when he worked at Pica’s, especially the basement that looks like a dungeon. I would love to see it because I can only imagine.
After Pica’s, we decided to go bowling. Tommy wanted to go to Wynnewood Lanes in Haverford. Unfortunately, when we arrived, leagues were going on and we couldn’t bowl until 9:30 PM. It was 8:15. We decided to stay and watch the leagues. During one of the games, one of the bowlers scored a 298, an almost perfect score. I asked if I could take a photo and he agreed. That started a dialog and he turned out to be friendly. He chatted with us until their game was over.
He talked us into joining a league in the future. Tommy and I will think about it, of course, because it’ll depend on work schedules. We were called over and a lane opened up. Needless to say, I need a lot of bowling practice! Tommy did well.
We bowled until 10:15. We beat the rain storms, and we headed back to Drexel Hill with the stars shining brightly. We held hands and we talked more about joining a league. It would be a great way to spend time together, and learn as well.
When Tommy and I got back to the Air BNB and after a shower, I showed him the black and white film photos from the Pride Parade in June, our nature walk in mid-June, and our Atlantic City trip for my birthday. He smiled as he looked through them, which made my heart smile too. Baymax was also on and you know how much I love Baymax.
Here are some of the film photos:
This is why I take photos and scrapbook. I love sharing the memories. We ended the evening watching Baymax, then we said our I love you’s and went to bed.
Ah, the last Thursday in July. It’s my cousin, Doug’s birthday. My Happiness Box Project is growing, things with Tommy are blossoming, and there’s a lot to be thankful for. Of course I am thankful for Tommy. I’m so grateful he’s in my life. I’m also thankful for friends, family, and co-workers.
Sunday was another hot one. It was 100 degrees again and I’m so grateful that Terry let me use her pool for a couple of hours.
When I went back home, I decided to stay in for the day. Too hot and humid to do much else outside; I hunkered down in the basement and worked on my snapbook. Tommy and Jessica’s Brigantine and Atlantic City Weekend in March 2022.
Self-care will become my routine when Tommy has to work. It’ll be a good skill to carry into the future.
Tommy and I talked. I think I just needed an evening to process my feelings and anxieties. The truth is, I get a lot of time off at the County. I get 5 personal days, which I lose at the end of the year, I get three weeks vacation where I can only carry over 5 days each year, a bunch of sick time, and comp time. Now that I am typing for Bill, I’ll be earning some comp time.
When I was at my old job, I got four weeks of paid time off. I rarely take time off since I am a single woman with no children. At my old job, since I needed to use time (I could only carry over 5 days there as well), I often helped a single mom; I took off and watched her daughters, for free. I would throw in mental health days. Yes, I have chronic conditions, but even with the doctor’s appointments, I still had tons of time left. Taking some time for mental health days actually helped my health and the need for so many doctor’s appointments.
Tommy surprised me on Thursday evening when he told me he has next Thursday and Friday off, after all. I guess when I’m not in anxiety mode, he’s better able to respond. I took next Thursday and Friday off from the County. They will be vacation days – vacation days for my mental health. Yes, spending time with my love counts as a much needed mental health break. I also took 12 August off; my parents will be on vacation, and I’m going to take a day trip to Brighton Beach, solo. I’ll spend the entire day at the beach, then head into NYC before going home.
Conflicting schedules suck, but I am going to make more time. I have flexible schedules and since I don’t take a lot of time anyway, I can budge a little. Hell, I can even go in early and stay late before I need to take the time. I’m a worker bee and trustworthy. I get stuff done and I’m reliable. I’ll also talk to Simone at the library – I may see if from time to time I can work my four hours on a Saturday and have dinner with Tommy if he doesn’t work Tuesday and Wednesday from time to time. This will be doable until he has a proper job (hopefully).
I know I didn’t need to post this, as this relationship is between Tommy and I; and the way I use my time off is my business. However, I do like to post my thoughts.
With that said, Saturday was 100 degrees. Since I was solo this weekend, I headed into Philly and went to the Franklin Institute to beat the heat.
I hung out at the planetarium. I love the planetarium.
I got hungry at around 1pm. The waitstaff had to get the gluten-free hot dog rolls out of the freezer and it took 45 minutes to reheat them, but they gave me an extra free hot dog and French fries for my wait. I already bought fries and could only eat one hot dog, so after I left the Franklin Institute I gave the freebies to a homeless person. Since kindness was handed to me, I decided to pay it forward.
This show at the Franklin Institute was amazing and the scientist was awesome too. He was playing Persian music before the show that was so beautiful.
This was one of the songs he played:
I took myself out on a date to Banh Mi and Bottles. I had a vermicelli salad and a drink. It felt nice to chat with the waitress and they treated me so kindly since it was hot. I thought of Tommy the whole time, however.
I can’t wait to see him on Thursday and Friday. We agreed that I will do the cooking when we spend two days together. I sure do look forward to that.
It’s been really hot this week – mid to high 90’s with real feels in the 100s. This will continue through Monday. Next week will be hot, but not as hot. I’m grateful that I work and live in air condition buildings.
I’m thankful for Tommy, friends, and family. What are you thankful for?
My goodness! We’re almost half-way through July. Can you believe it?! Happy Bastille Day to my French followers, but really to anyone who acknowledges the day.
First off, Tommy had a good first day at work. I am so happy for him. I’m giving him some space tonight so he can decompress. I am so grateful that the first day went well. I have good feelings and it’s nice to have those good feelings.
I went into the library today after work to help with the July display. I am not scheduled to work on Thursdays, but last night I told Sangeetha and Krissy that I would help – I had sea shells for their summer display. They let me put the shells that Tommy and I (mostly Tommy) found in Brigantine at the end of March. Krissy found some sea life photos and I started decorating. Both were grateful that I helped. They’re going to finish the rest tomorrow. I told Sangeetha, “any time you need a display done, I’ll be happy to do it for you. I love doing these.” I am so grateful that I can do these displays.
Can’t wait to see the finished display on Tuesday!
I’m grateful for Tommy. I’m also grateful for co-workers at both jobs, friends, and family. What are you grateful for today?