16 July 2017
Unicorns are mythical creatures. They are majestic, full of strength, and have magical powers. Even in legends, they were rare.
Over two years ago, I was on a mega cruise ship. In search of my (then) husband and his friend, I entered the cigar lounge where they were playing Magic and backgammon. I was introduced to two other men, and one said, “You do exist! You are a unicorn.” Then we began talking about football. They were told I taught my husband the game of football; I did, but they were having a hard time believing it. They heard I would always let him smoke cigars. What they didn’t know was that I was always encouraging him to spend time with “the guys.” I didn’t need to go on every single camping/hiking trip, because a) it was time alone, b) it was good male bonding time for him, and c) I didn’t need to be by his side 24/7/365, as it was the case far too often. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my husband-then-, but I have always been independent. I always cherished the times we spent together, and once I began pursuing another degree, I would block in time on our shared calendar every night to let him know that spending the last few hours of the day with him was important (apparently it wasn’t enough for him though). These men found it hard to believe such a woman existed…until they met me.
So, the unicorn label stuck. There are many things about me that come up in discussions that becomes hard to explain the why. Unicorn. More recently, after a conversation involving movies from video games, I was told, “You are a legend, Ms. Hellinger.”
In some ways, we are all unicorns because we are so unique. Some have special powers that makes them extra rare.
I am in my favorite spot. The patio. I am soaking in the solitude of a Sunday morning. Well, afternoon. And writing with my mega Mickey Mouse coffee mug full of the brown addicting liquid that helps motivate me every day. I have spent another week on a self-discovery tour, and learned many things.
I was on a quick getaway to the West Coast, and to spend more time at Disneyland. From this short trip, I learned that I was in the right place, but at the wrong time. I am still in a wrong time. I have not healed yet.
I am not vulnerable, but I do not want to let my situation define me. I addressed this with my therapist (yes, I am not ashamed to say I am in therapy, nor am I ashamed to say I am still depressed). It took me three months to be strong enough to say I was not going to let someone treat me disrespectfully and maliciously. Taking a stand the way I did was how I gave myself permission to say I may be the victim, but I was not going to let it define me. I couldn’t. I’m stronger than that.
I do want things. I do need things, but these needs and wants aren’t black and white, and I am still searching for an expression. I want to be happy, and I am. I need to be in a better job, where I’m paid what I’m worth and using my degrees. I’ll get there. I have a temporary plan. Nothing is permanent, nor is it etched in stone at this point in my life. My career is this ─writing─ and I can write anywhere in the world, as I have proven time and time again. However, the reality is that I need a job to pay the bills, but I no longer have to search for a job to make it a career. Those days are gone, and something I never had to begin with because I was stuck for far too many reasons. I was being suffocated and drowned.
Suppressed and oppressed. The perpetual thumb pressing down hard, on me, holding me underwater, nearly drowning me; only releasing pressure to let me resurface to catch my breath before being pressed back under water again. This is no way to live. This is not how people should treat each other. This is not how a man should treat a woman, and vice-versa. This is not how a husband and wife should live. This is not a marriage; this is a prison.
It is said the tears of a unicorn has healing powers. If this is true, then the tears that rushed, like the power behind any massive waterfall (Niagara and Horseshoe Falls comes to mind), on June 2 swept away anything remaining, only leaving room for healing to begin. It’s going to be a long road though.
I have spent time traveling over the last 36 days. It has been a liberating feeling, and interesting adventures have been occurring along the way. Will I write about them? Some. Not all. Some might end up in a poem, or my next novel, the next work in progress. Some will remain a secret. Regardless, I know there are more adventures along the way because my eyes are open.
I have also gone out a few times this week. Girls night out on Thursday that turned into another drink at the bar right after we were done with dinner (and the restaurant was closing down). Meeting friends out Saturday night. It was weird. Very weird. I don’t know if it’s because of where I am, and people are starting to see me out more, or if it’s because I am beginning to feel like I don’t belong here (another post, in the new chapter). Some of my dearest friends are here though, and I still need their support. I try not to refuse any invitations to any quick weekend getaways. I am returning to golf more. I still meet for coffee, tea, lunch, dinner, drinks (wine/beer/bourbon), bbq’s, and other events. I have other friends who look forward to me joining them in Abq. I am going to the movies more often. I am still working out and walking Duke every night.
I am waiting for the grass to dry after torrential downpours on Thursday and Saturday. The lawn needs to be mowed. I almost bought a weed eater and chainsaw today; I wonder what my friends would think of me not only owning, but using, these power tools… I need to do some house cleaning. Yet, I chose to sit outside to write. I am building new dreams as I write. My moments of restlessness are a result of six months sitting still; not going anywhere, not doing much but the right thing to get to where I needed to be: this here and now. However, this restlessness is also a sign that I need to move, get up and do something; go someplace. Most of the time, it’s my way of wanting to escape again. Of course, I would go back to Disneyland in a heartbeat, but I need to be in other places. Interact, mingle, do something alone, do something with friends; meet new people. Explore. Even Duke gets restless. He seems restless even now, torn between the cool shade, letting the sun warm him on the patio, burrowing into the tall green grass I still need to mow, or going back inside where it’s cool, but it’s not where I am. He still follows me around the house as I move from room to room.
I have a summer reading list. Football season is drawing closer, and I have BIG plans for this season. Cannot wait. I’m traveling. Job hunting. Socializing. Networking. I need to remind myself daily that I am still healing, but I want to have fun along the way. (Fun also means being safe.) The final chapter is getting closer now. I’m still waiting for my diploma.
I officially return to work on Monday. Something I’m not really looking forward to, but it’s a job that I can leave when I choose to leave. There is a bitterness that exists: staff isn’t treated well. I’ve been treated very poorly during this tumultuous time in my life. I am still in a transition phase. I will be addressing various issues in the future.
I bought an Echo and Dot on Prime Day, in hopes it will help negate the absence of white noise that is still bothersome. It’s not bad on the weekends because I’m home most of the time. I have been leaving my iPad on, shuffling through all of the music, thinking that the music helps Duke, too. We both went from busy noise, to a dull noise, to no noise in a short amount of time.
It’s July 16. I have 25,000 more words to write by July 31 during Camp NaNoWriMo. I am surrounded by a large group of writers. I stay in touch with my peers from SNHU, and we continue to support each other. It’s a great circle to be part of.
Is Natalie a unicorn? No, but she works very hard to be the successful woman that she is. There is a backstory I’m writing. I am also working on explanations after Natalie saves Chad because it does alter a few things, but not drastically. Nick became Adam during my thesis revisions, and he’s still an asshole. We learn a little more about Adam with this backstory because there wasn’t enough of his character in what I originally wrote.
I am still Wonder Woman, which is a likeness to a unicorn. With the exception of the house cleaning, I multi-task far too often. I did scale back significantly this year, and will slowly rebuild. Inner strength is sheer beauty. And, since I am procrastinating house cleaning and yard work, I am switching over to write another 3-4,000 words (or more) for the day. Writing, and being out on the patio. Simple bliss for a Sunday.