Best laid plans fail.  Everything hurtled to a halt yesterday and I am in a complete C.R.I.S.I.S.  Four things broke, snowballing from small things to the final earthquake that may or may not shake my world for a while.

1. Lola broke Snow White.  My first orchid.  My little dog, beautiful and innocent looking, chewed off her blooms and snapped her stalk in two.  It shocked me and upset me.  But not as much as the second thing that broke.

2. My time budget was stretched to the point of breaking.  The week of work was so intense that I put off errands and meetings and dates to Saturday and Saturday came with too few hours to get everything done.  But more important things broke.

3. I broke my commitment to post every day.  Two months of writing every single morning and sharing with the world fell victim to my poor time management and the crisis I now find myself in.

4. The Crisis.  The third thing I broke.  I have broken my resolution.  And I don’t know when it happened or how it happened but it did happen.  Yesterday is when I realized for the past several months there has been an elephant in the room of my head.  Perhaps it started as a mouse and then became an elephant calf.  But by the time I became aware of its presence it was an adult elephant, taking up space in my head and being ignored.

I have been lying to myself.  I am, and for some time have been, emotionally affected by a man.

There.  I said it.  And even still I am lying.  Affected is such a euphemism.  So much so that it isn’t true.  I have no idea how big this is but right now, like the sky, it is ALL I CAN SEE.  What I have convinced myself for months was a mild irritation with someone I convinced myself was a friend I am absolutely not attracted to turned out to be something completely different.  My hair has been an excuse and even that was employed to perpetuate lies I told myself.  I cut it again in order to keep avoiding this thing that completely terrifies me.

Today I have an apology to make because not only did I lie to myself, I lied every day on this blog.  I didn’t know I was lying, of course, but I wasn’t authentic, I haven’t been true to my nature.  Honesty is a thing I value above almost every other thing and today I am humbly coming clean.

For months I have run circles around myself.  I have run from him and from my own truth.  I have employed survival mechanism after survival mechanism and avoided the essence of who I am in this place in which I find myself.  I have severed ties (he didn’t let me), fought tooth and nail for my space (he won), argued (he argued better) and denied everything.  I have despised and ill-treated him as he worked around me to be my friend.  All without even realizing what I was doing.

And then yesterday the clouds parted.  And I am completely terrified.  I feel like I have failed.  I am overwhelmed by the need to run.  Fast.

But I have no idea what the right thing to do is.  Do I run TO or do I run FROM?

For the moment I will freeze.  And pray.  Perhaps the feeling will pass.

Snip Snip… Again

This time it was for me.  A little trim.  A bit of pep in my step and breeze on my neck.  Not as short as the last one but a little step backward.  Or forward.  Or not at all.

Perhaps I have learned there is so much to say and that my hair grows so fast that I have given myself too little time…?

For those who have followed my blog, you know what I am about to explain to newcomers.  The Singlestream came into being with the Resolution that I will remain single until my hair falls to my shoulders again and that I will publish an entry for this blog every day of this period.  A sabbatical one might say.  A break from the rollercoaster of mate-finding to find meaning and purpose within my own space.

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”

tienne Balsan, Coco avant Chanel

It could be a sign of progress on this journey that I feel so confident and satisfied that I cut my hair and extended the period.  Perhaps I’ll get to love it here and make it my forever home.  Maybe I will find a way to face and eliminate the fears and negatives I see in singleness enough to stay here forever.  Even if I don’t, the journey has been worth it.

Today my head is light, I look good, I feel confident, and I am happy to write a little longer.

Haircut = $50

The confidence and growth it represents = PRICELESS

The first 14

Today my blog is two weeks old and the Resolution of the Hair is firm.  I have made the right decision to lay off romance for a while and to commit to posting every day something of value that does not involve romance.  I knew it would be a challenge – especially the daily thing – and that I would learn a lot along the way.  But I had no idea what I was getting into or where it would take me.

Every so often I am going to draw brakes on this blog and review my lessons.  I’m in unchartered waters within myself and my own space and like all good explorers off on adventures before me into new worlds I feel the need to draw a map.  These reviews will be the signposts and the milestones of the journeys I have made – into my own soul, into the world, into new friendships, and through the internet.

First, my internet journey.  It has been remarkable to create a website almost from scratch with little zero knowledge of this world.  If I am honest with myself, and with you, I will have to admit that I am a bit daunted by technology.  Despite belonging to the generation that invented Facebook and Twitter, I have been a bit afraid to venture too far.  The social sites I get – they are made for the use of all people including the ignorant like myself.  The email thing is great for work and for life.  But to step out and choose colours, fonts, backgrounds, link to twitter accounts, link to previous posts and select and define parameters for widgets – I deserve a MEDAL for what I have had to overcome to get to this!   What has also surprised me is how much I enjoy it.  I had to stop myself with self admonitions from spending two more days on setting this thing up (“Who cares if there’s no photo in the heading Bushlings?  get on with it, you need content for this to work”).

I’ve found WordPress a bit baffling, a new world to dig around and play with.  The support seems to have been written for techno geeks but fortunately I have a few in my address book to bail me out when I need a little help.

Blog surfing is relatively new to me too.  I joined this expedition for the writing, not the reading.  But now I have been sucked in!  Into tag surfing, leaving comments, and meeting new people.  I have met a talented artist who likes to draw portraits in pencil, a father who loves to tell stories in rhyme, a young PhD student with an interest in the plight of single women (bless him), a Catholic devotee who believes married couples should be chaste after having kids (whatever happened to the Proverb about drinking out of your own well?), a grieving mother determined to comfort others with memory bears, and a couple of crazy college self-proclaimed Betches who are obsessed with all things Betch.

Something very exciting for me is the fact that there are people out there who want to read what I have to say.  Hundreds have popped in for a visit this past fortnight (212 in one day!!!) and some have committed to me, to hear me out every single day, by pressing the subscribe button.  What an honour!

I don’t know if this is a break if internet etiquette (and I don’t rightly care) but I feel the bursting desire to say “Thank You”.  Thank you for taking the time to visit, for taking the interest to commit, and for offering the grace of understanding in your comments.  Thank you for sharing and supporting my journey – a journey is only as good as the travelling companions.

Several of my friends have taken this a step further and started their own blogs.  Four of them to be precise.  Some are private musings, some are public offerings, but all are an enrichment to the world.  It truly amazes me how one drop of water in an ocean can start a ripple from shore to shore.

My journey has started strong on the internet but what I did not expect was how much it would push me off the computer and into the world.  In committing to delivering a post every day about anything and everything but romance until my hair grows I have forced myself off my couch and into the world to find things, do things, and live things to write about.  It has turned into a resolution to live every minute of life and leave no moment unfilled.  Almost like a renewal of vows with Life.

My personal journey, the sabbatical from relationships, is a cleanse.  It is a challenge for me as it would be for many single woman.  But it is so liberating!  I have conversations without digging for deeper meanings (because who cares if that’s what he’s after?)  I gently redirect away from flirtation (and sometimes not so gently).  I choose what I wear, what I eat, where I go and who I spend time with completely free from the hinderance and influence of “what-if-I-bump-into-Mr.-Last-Chance-on-the-street-today?” kind of thoughts.

If I do bump into him he’ll have to wait.

I am having too much fun to quit!  In two weeks I have learned that I like being pretty – for me.  I enjoy putting on my makeup for the art involved.  I relish walking my dogs for the fresh air and not the calorie-burning benefits.  High heels kick my confidence and don’t just perk my bottom.  Friendships of substance keep me revived and refreshed as the ideas come without potential lifetime mating consequences.  I am truly blessed and life can be such a joy with me on my own.

One day when the hair grows to my shoulders I will see how I feel about getting back in the game.  I suspect, if the first fortnight is anything to go by, I am going to want to continue on this journey.  It might keep me in the hairdresser’s chair!  But in truth, it will take something mind-blowing and special to take this train out of the Single Stream.

I love my life!


Skipping Stars

Today she found out who she was
and what a fool you are
to waste the dream you chanced upon
when you stumbled on a star.
You picked it up with awe
figured… nah… it couldn’t be
and like a common pebble
you skipped it out to sea.

Out on the open ocean
the ball of flame still burned
shining further from your reach
you felt your stomach turn.
The damage is now done-
too late you realize
the best thing ever in your hand
just vanished from your eyes.

But the star burns on and brightly
as it floats out on the sea
and shores and boundaries give way to
endless possibility…
The star inside her thanks you
for throwing her away
to a place where she could grow
to the SUN she is today.

Found some of my scribbles that I’d tucked away somewhere.  Will probably post them here and there as they come to me.  Not to worry, I have not gone back on The Resolution!  Just a few reminders here and there why I made it in the first place. 

The Hair

And so I found myself in a chair with my eyes closed and my face in a silent scream as a piece of me died. Or pieces rather. Thousands of long fine brunette pieces. Denis, the dainty Filipino hairdresser flitted and tittered about how “AmAA-zinG” (hard G) it was. All the time severing cords that tied me to old lies and memories. Courage tightened in my chest and I could scarcely breathe as the chains dropped feather-light in dying screaming clumps to the growing darkness on the floor. Blow dry. Flat iron. Spray this, rub that. It was only when I opened my eyes that I realized how much of me I had let them kill.
Yup a future can be killed. And a future is such a painful thing to lose. The loss of it can knock you to the mat, jaw slackened, sweat soaked and brain shaken like Rocky. Losing sight of tomorrow can keep the strongest woman turning feverishly with no hope of relief in nightmare soaked sheets. Even the taste of food becomes synthetic and rubbery and salty with… grief.
The future is our own personal myth, tainted by our identities and perceptions of our purpose. A glorious picture that the little girls inside us all sit and color in our daydreams then project like a mirage that we walk toward one stiletto in front of the other. And then it disappears. In the time it takes for him to close the space between his vile disloyal hand and her unwitting (and worse willing) body. Our hard work at being perfect irreplaceable partner couldn’t prevent it. Our forgiveness and ladylike behavior couldn’t fix it.
And then we weep and mourn, call our girlfriends and go into therapy…
SCREW THAT. Enough is enough. My girlfriends need a break. I have a lost a future every few months for the last two or four years. It is time to set practical goals. The first one was to take matters into my own hands. Or, more correctly, into Denis’ hands. So deep breath, it’s over, let’s do this. I need to erase the images that my photographic memory replay in unguarded moments. Images of long brown hair splayed out on his shoulder. Or his hand, the one that later would do treason, sifting its way through the mess of my morning hair, or my shower hair, or my evening hair, or my swimming pool hair… it had to go. Cut the tainted strands off.
The hair is now somewhere between Halle Berry and Nancy Grace. Time for a new goal before I end up with a fade!
And here I am at the making of this resolution – I will not become romantically involved with a man until my hair touches my shoulders again. And here in this blog I will record my journey through trims and relapses (inevitable), adventures and discoveries, and the construction of my new future.
Until my hair reaches my shoulders…

Somewhere between Halle Berry and Nancy Grace