Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"There's Always Gonna Be An Uphill Battle..."

My therapist doesn’t like that I spend so much time alone. She actually gave me homework to only spend a certain amount of time per week going out by myself. 

I’ve already failed. 

She asked me if I think the reason I choose to spend so much time by myself is because I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I said.. "well, now I think that." 

It makes perfect sense though. Especially lately. I’m having a hard time relating to people that I once considered to be very close friends. I get mad at them for their behavior. I say things out of anger to further distance myself from them. I deleted myself from a group text that I’ve been a part of for years. I don’t make much effort with the friends I do have. I feel like it’s not really worth it. Nothing makes me feel better. So I keep going out alone. And then that makes me feel worse. 

You know what I hate the most about bad habits? They are my go-to things when I’m feeling sad, lonely and lost. And then I do them. And they leave me feeling sad, lonely and lost. It’s really not very fair. How come I can’t be addicted to going to the gym? Or reading? Or going to school? Why do my obsessions have to be so incredibly unhealthy? Not just for my physical self, but my mental state also. 

I keep telling myself I’m going to get a grip on things before they get too out of hand. I’m going to get my weight under control before I hit the 140s. I’m going to quit smoking before I actually start buying full packs of cigarettes instead of just bumming them off my friends. I’m going to quit gambling before I get to a certain dollar amount in my savings account. I’m going to be home by 2am this time. Okay, maybe 3... but just this one time. 

And just like my homework from my therapist, I’ve failed all of these. I feel like I’m officially out of control. 

I tell people all the time that if they want to overhaul their life, take it one step at a time. Individual battles are fought before the war is won. Trying to change everything at once can set you up to fail because you need something to hold on to while you are letting go of something else. 

I think that’s a lot of enabling bull shit if you ask me. 

My therapist recommended I keep standing dates with the people I get along with the most. Hang out, set new date, hang out again. Rinse and repeat. That way, I always have something to look forward to. So, I’ve started to do that with two of my friends. One I’ve known for close to ten years and is probably the person in my life that I get along with the best and relate to the most. And the other I haven’t known as long but, in many ways, feels a little like my soul sister. She’s a whole decade younger than me, but conversations with her flow way easier than with other women my age who have similar situations to mine. Plus, she understands lonely. And I think it’s important for us to make time for each other for that exact reason. 

As far as handling my personal shit, I’ve decided to just go ahead and tackle it all at once. It doesn’t make much sense to feel better about one thing if I still feel completely miserable and ashamed of another. 

My parents and I booked a trip together to take my son to San Diego to see both the beach as well as the zoo. We are going next month. Just like my friend-dates, it gives me something to look forward to. Something to save for. Something to be excited about. I really hope that by continuing to do things like this, I can pull myself out of the muddiness of my mind. It’s just so damn easy to feel sorry for myself. And to feel lonely. And to get depressed. I’m the person that complete strangers are always saying “Smile!” to because smiling just does not come naturally to me. Being sad is my comfort emotion. And while that’s generally been okay with me, it’s not good enough for my kid. I don’t want him growing up thinking misery is normal. And I definitely don’t want him to grow up to be lonely. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. 

So, like all the other many times I’ve said and done this before... 

Here we go again.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Road Frequently Traveled... is Still Made of Dirt

I think I'm a little late to the party on this Chef's Table show on Netflix. It was suggested to me by Netflix itself once I finished my most recent binge-worthy show. I thought, "Well, I like food. Sure I'll watch." 

Damn. This shit is no joke. 

Basically, if you haven't seen the show, each episode is a beautifully filmed and exquisitely produced documentary of a chef, currently operating in one of the top restaurants in the world. Every episode is literally better than the previous one. And the first one is amazing. 

I think what draws me to the show so much is not what most people would think. It's not because I love to play around in the kitchen. See, because that's exactly what I enjoy doing. Playing. That is not at all what is going on with these chefs in their kitchens. Food is their life. It's everything that defines them. They wake up thinking about it. They breathe it every moment of the day. Their relationships suffer. Their health suffers. They struggle with how to live up to the standards their family has set for them. But at the end of the day, they follow their heart and not one of them lives with any regrets for choosing the path they have. 

In one particular episode, the chef being displayed was out on a dinner date with his wife. After the movie, she asked him what he thought about it. He distractedly asked, "What?" "What did you think of the film?" she repeated. He sat quiet for a moment and said, "I don't know... I didn't really watch it. I was trying to figure out how you could drink mozzarella." 

Nothing in the world makes me more jealous than seeing people who are so passionate about something. 


I'm drinking too much again. And I'm smoking cigarettes. I'm overeating and gaining weight. I'm not sleeping enough. And I'm gambling way, way too much. I'm withdrawing into my head. I'm cracking jokes about how miserable I am with my friends. But I'm not laughing. 

My son's dad's schedule has changed fairly drastically, leaving me with a lot of time on my hands where I'm not required to be directly available or responsible for my son. Boredom has always, always been my biggest enemy. I could, of course, use it to my advantage. I could work on projects at home. I could go to the gym. I could socialize with friends that make me feel good. I could go watch a movie. I could watch more episodes of Chef's Table. But I don't do any of those things. I escape. Into dark corners of dark bars, doing anything I can to quiet the racing thoughts that consume my mind. 

I know it's not healthy. I know because I've been down this road before. Many, many times. And like every other time before, I know there is a fork up ahead and I will take the road that leads into better decisions, healthier choices, genuine smiles and smaller jean sizes. I always do. Because at the end of the day, I do know what the right thing to do is. I think that's what sets me apart from others who go down this same dark road but never turn back. I can't afford to leave everything else behind. I've come too far and created too much to give up forever. 

But I do give up. For a while, that is. Like now. I've given up right now. 

If I had one wish that was guaranteed to be granted, it would be to be given a passion for something in life. Like, I feel like even if that passion caused struggles in my world, if I knew in my heart at the end of the day that what I was doing was the right thing for me... the right thing for my soul... I feel like all the dark times would seem... a lot more tolerable. 

I'm well aware that I'm not going to find this passion at a Keno machine. But it's not at the gym either. Or in the kitchen. And as much as I want it to be in motherhood... it's not there either. 

The closest I've ever come to doing what feels right for my soul is this silly little blog. Pouring my heart out for anyone that wants to read. Opening myself up to support, to criticism and to heartache. Every time I press that little button that says "Publish" at the end of writing a blog, I feel like I've at least accomplished one thing: being myself. 

I'll work on bigger victories. In the meantime, I'll relish in the jealousy of others' passions. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Just a Small Town Girl... Living in a "Guy's Girl" World

I feel like I’ve written a very similar blog to this one. But with almost seven years of blogging under my belt, and certain things never changing, it was bound to come up again. 

About a month or so ago, I was talking to a friend at work about how I felt like going out on a date. I hadn’t gone out on a real date in a long time. Nothing serious, just a good time with someone. Hopefully. 

I still have an online dating profile because I can’t figure out how to delete it. I've only figured out how to hide it. So I went in, updated it with all my new information from the past three years and clicked "go". Within minutes, I had some interest. Within a few hours, I had to click it off again. Fucking scavengers, I’m telling you! Like they’ve never seen a girl before! Sheesh!!

Anyway, in all the messaging madness, one came through that caught my attention. I was doing all of this on a Sunday and there was playoff football on so he asked me how I was enjoying the games since I had expressed football as a main interest in my profile page. We started communicating back and forth throughout the day and boom! I had a date. 

To make kind of a lengthy and somewhat boring story short, we went out on a handful of dates over the next three weeks. We met out. We had dinner. I went to his place. He came to mine. It was fun, it was comfortable, he was nice. But I saw it happening. I tried to ignore it but it was there. And so early on too! And finally, after one way-too-casual comment too many, I dipped out. Because I had been down that road before and already knew how it was going to end. 

Only a few weeks in and I had already gotten “buddied”.

Being “buddied” is different than getting put in the Friend Zone. Guys famously know the Friend Zone as a place you end up when a girl really likes hanging out with you, but has absolutely no intention of sleeping with you.

Guys want to sleep with me. But they also want to belch, fart, talk about how good their recent bowel movement felt and pat me on the head as I depart for the evening. I’m a buddy. It’s been my curse my entire dating life.

I love sports. Like.. LOVE them. Besides my kid, sports are the only thing I can say I’ve ever been truly passionate about. I also like beer. A lot. Like, not just drinking it... although of course I like drinking it... but I love learning about it. I love where a particular beer comes from. I like learning about what happened the year it was brewed. I like knowing about the bottling process. I dig brewery tours. I think all of that stuff is really neat. 

I like playing games. Not video games, but adult bar games. Darts. Shuffleboard. Bowling. Air Hockey. Pool. Golden Tee. I love these kinds of games. I’m good at them. I have lots and lots of fun playing them. 

I also swear. I swear a lot. I probably shouldn’t. My sweet boy’s first full sentence will probably have “fuck” in there somewhere and I feel kinda bad about it. But that’s how I speak. I try hard to be careful. Honestly I do. Truly. Ahem... 

So I guess it’s a combination of all these things along with the fact that I can talk fairly educatedly on many subjects that result in not getting treated seriously as a respectable, datable female. I never have. Guys get comfortable around me very quickly. They feel like they’ve "known me forever". They tell me everything. They kiss me like I’m their fucking sister. It’s really, really NOT awesome. I hate it but I can’t shake it because I can’t change myself. Not in that way, at least. 

Occasionally, I do come across a different kind of guy. The guy that sees my sexual side. He sees past the “bro” part of me. He doesn’t care about what I’m into. All he cares about is getting me naked and in bed as quickly as possible. And then telling NO ONE. Oh.. that’s a fun one too. Being someone’s secret. Yeah.. that makes me feel wanted and valuable. Nothing sexier than being in someone’s closet. 


Dating is so frustrating. It always has been. It’s why I sometimes stay longer than I should in some relationships. Because the only other option (besides just enjoying being single of course) is to go out dating and I think that might actually be the worst thing in the world. 

Well, at least I got it out of my system. I mean, unfortunately, dating is a necessary evil if you want to meet someone to potentially spend your life with. But, I think maybe I’ll just enjoy my family, my friends and my baby and hope that The One will fall magically out of the sky like that camera in The Truman Show. And maybe he’ll see and want to be a part of all of my pieces. Not just the easy ones. 

Or maybe I’ll just spend the rest of my life doing bottle shares, getting tagged online in funny memes and sharing the random amusing text with all my ex “buddies”. If nothing else, I have been lucky to make some pretty good friends along the way. 

If only that were enough... 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

That's It! We're Going BAAAAACK On The Grid!

I took a full month off of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. 

The first week, I was like “This is amazing! I’m never going back online!”

The second week, I was like “Man, I sure do miss posting all these awesome pictures of my food though.”

The third week, I was like “I’m so liberated! I’m deleting all of my profiles!!”

The fourth week, I was like “Hmm... I wonder how (insert multiple names)’s baby is doing. I sure do miss that cutie face.”

It's February 1st. My self imposed social media ban is officially over. 

I’ve seen my therapist twice this past month. The first time, I basically just cried the entire 45 minutes. But I did feel better. The second time I saw her, we talked a bit about me being off of social media. She thought, based on how upset things were making me, my choice was a good one. 

However, while I was quite convinced for a while there that I was never coming back to Facebook and never going to blog again, I realized that there would be things I would miss out on. So over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about making important changes online that I know will make my online experience more enjoyable. 

Most importantly, I have to substantially narrow down my friends list. The political climate has made people literally hate each other. And unfortunately, I am not exempt from feeling this way. Not that I think I really hate anyone on my friends list. But I do realize that I am friends with some pretty close minded people. So, those ones are the first to go. 

I’m also friends with some very passionate people. I can totally appreciate this. I’m quite passionate about a lot of things as well. But if I’ve learned one thing about social media, it’s that no one in the history of the Internet has ever changed someone else’s opinion about something with a rant, a meme, a link, etc. No, I will not say “Amen”. No, I will not take a moment to share this to my wall. No I will not tag a bunch of people that I believe may benefit from my particular opinion on a subject. Please stop wasting my time. 

I cannot be saved. I will never buy your product. I do not support your home business. I think you are wrong. Plain and simple. 

Those are the second ones to go. 

Then there are my friends that share my opinions. They also believe Trump is a clown. They also believe God doesn’t exist. They also believe women are strong and equal, or perhaps even better, than men. They stand for LGTBQ rights. They are appalled by all sorts of shaming. They want to raise their children in a better world than the one we are in. They are very, very outspoken about it. Even more than me. I read their posts and links and get worked up, angry, aggressively frustrated. I feel helpless, or worse, that I could be doing more and I’m not. I cry when I see the pictures they post of Syrian refugees or angry Trump protesters. I get mad when I read the latest article they’ve posted about the access pipeline or whatever other outrageous Executive Order was signed today. I am heartbroken when I read about sick babies that won’t get help because prayer is the chosen method of care. 

I am so, so tired of being mad. And depressed about the state we are in. I don't need constant, vivid reminders of this misery. 

So sadly, these are the third and final ones to go. 

Fake news. Slated opinions. Ignorance. Hate. Trolls. Bloody babies. Dead bodies. Trump's stupid fucking face. These are not the reasons I wanted to be a part of social media. 

Family. Food. Social events. Cat videos. Babies. Game of Thrones memes. Selfies. Books. Smiles. Relationship statuses. Football. Accomplishments. Success stories. And friends I don’t get to see regularly. These are the reasons I signed up for social media. And these are the things I want to see when I scroll down. 

One of my favorite podcasts is The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on ESPN radio. Earlier this week, he was discussing his frustration with how ESPN wants their "employees" to touch on how the current political issues are affecting sports. It's clear without him really saying it that he leans left, loves equality among HUMANS and believes what's happening right now is seriously UN-AMERICAN. And what he said was... when people write to the show and ask him why he "wants to drive away listeners" with his opinions, his beautiful and perfect response is "I don't want to drive away listeners, I just want to drive away you! It's not everybody. Like, there are two kinds of people in the world: people who like our show and people who don't! That's it! We do what we do!"

We do what we do. But we don't all have to like it. Don’t take it personally. I probably still like you. I just don’t want to see or listen to your shit anymore. I’m sure there are many of you out there that feel the same about me. It’s okay. I won’t take it personally either. I mean, I have to change a lot of stuff about what I’m posting too as I have fallen into the above categories many, MANY times. No one has pissed me off more than myself. Believe me. 

But this. This is the stuff I want to post. This is what really matters in my life. Everything else will just have to sort itself out without me. 


However, quit blogging? Ha.. what was I thinking?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Fuck You, 2016.

Three years ago I peed myself on Christmas. 

I sat at a bar, gambling all the money I’d made that night, and peed myself. Because I was both too drunk and too lazy to get up and go to the bathroom. 

Peed. Myself. 

These days, I have a glass of wine whilst I watch my latest Netflix addiction. This is, of course, after I’ve spent an hour or so with my son after work. Doing puzzles. Playing on the floor. Maybe just watching him run and laugh around his playroom. And after another half hour or so of putting him to bed. Making sure he’s comfortable. Being sure that he goes to sleep content and without distress. Even if that means pretending to sleep on the floor next to him, with my hand stuck through the bars of the crib, gently rubbing his back as he falls slowly into slumber. 

Then, only then, do I have a glass of wine. One. Maybe two if I splurge on a second or third episode. I don’t get drunk anymore. That’s not responsible. That doesn’t fit with my lifestyle. That doesn’t fit with who I want to be for my son. That’s not who I am anymore. 

I drink wine in my room. That’s where I watch my shows. My parents barely drink. Special occasions only. And they don’t drink wine. There’s no need to keep it downstairs. It’s a long trip when I’m already knee deep in the craziest Black Mirror yet. So it’s in my room. 

Johnny watched Xander in my house. While I was at work. He strangely felt the need to go into my bedroom. He saw the wine. He strangely felt the need to report it to my brother. My brother, who is already looking for a reason to prove he’s doing better than me. At life. At parenthood. At addiction. Whatever. He used it against me. He made me hate him. He made me hate everything. 

They say I’m a secret drunk. Lying to myself and others. Accusing me of drunk texting when I’m actually very sober, just super angry. Saying I'm hiding my alcohol it when it’s simply convenient in its current location. Ducking behind my blog because I’m a coward when really, it’s because no one lets me say what I’m feeling. Everyone else, always having to have the loudest voice. My brother's ultimate addiction... the LOUDEST FUCKING VOICE. 

About a month ago, before all this mess, I got up from my bed one night... I went into my medicine cabinet and grabbed a bottle of Percocets I had left over from my C-Section. I counted them. 10 total. I went back to bed and googled how many Percocets it would take to die. After fairly thorough research, I concluded that 10 would probably only land me in the hospital. Maybe just give me a terrible, terrible hangover. It would certainly just look like I was simply crying out for help. And that just wouldn’t do.

So I slept on it. 

I woke up the next morning with a clearer head. After inquiring, I discovered my recently increased life insurance policy probably wouldn’t kick in for Xander for another year of me being alive. If I did kill myself, he would immediately go to his dad, not stay in the stable, comfortable environment I had sacrificed everything to create for him. Not to mention, I am 50% of my household. I couldn’t just leave without making sure I had things covered financially. 

Then, I woke up again. 

Am I really thinking about the LOGISTICS of suicide? 

That’s when I decided that I needed help. More than drugs. More than alcohol. More than a blog. I needed someone to fucking LISTEN TO ME. Without judgement. Without bias. Without laughing at me when my back is turned. Just. Fucking. LISTEN. 



So I start seeing a therapist next week. And as of January 1st, I’m laying off social media for a month to clear my head and take my eyes off my phone. Alcohol is simply being saved for cheat days and special occasions because contrary to other opinions, my alcohol consumption is now UNDER FUCKING CONTROL. And as far as the blog I’m “hiding behind” ? There is enough truth in that statement to lay off it as well. 

So big deal, you won’t hear from me for a while. I’m finding myself, okay? Or at least I’m trying to be the best person I can be for my son and being angry at so many motherfuckers at one time just doesn’t help my cause. And killing myself is CERTAINLY a waste of time if my baby suffers in any way because of it. 

This is arguably my most fucked up resolution blog yet. But it’s still that... a resolution blog. I want to be a better person. I want to be happy again. Like... REAL happy.. not social media happy. I want my son to look up to me, not be ashamed of me. I want to be proud of who I am. I want those around me who are looking for reasons to point and laugh to GO FUCK THEMSELVES. Family is not blood. Family is who cares. 

I want to feel good about myself again. I want to wash my face at night and smile when I towel it dry, not look away from the mirror in shame and self-pity. 

I want to flush the Percocets.

It needs to be a better year. For me, for you, for all of us. Do me one small favor? Don’t laugh the next time someone does something you find strange or even silly. You’ve read the meme... everyone is fighting their own battle. So be kind. BE. KIND.  

Don’t be one of the reasons they lost the battle. 

Happy Fucking New Year.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

I'm Not Mad... I'm Just Disappointed.

Wasn’t that just the worst? When you were young and you got in trouble for something. Your parents sat you down and you were waiting for it... the yelling, the screaming, the punishment. But then, with tears in their eyes, they simply say “We aren’t mad at you. We are just disappointed.” 

That’s what I’m going through right now. I’m just disappointed. 

On a global level, I’m absolutely disappointed that our new President is going to be Donald Trump. I’m disappointed that I have loved ones that voted for him. I’m disappointed that the popular vote was even as close as it was. I’m disappointed that so many people didn’t even vote. I’m disappointed in the system. 

I’m disappointed that the same people who thought their lives were ending eight years ago are now telling me not to worry. As if their feelings of oppression meant more than mine do. I’m disappointed that so many women I know celebrate his victory. It brings me to tears to think about it. 

On a more personal level, I’m disappointed in people. I’m disappointed that my feelings aren’t taken into consideration. Like, ever. By anyone. I’m disappointed that someone I crushed on loved the attention so much, they failed to mention their pregnant wife in our many interactions. I’m disappointed that the sex I do get on occasion is from someone acting out their frustrations with their own fucked up ex. I’m disappointed that I have to beg for shifts at a job I’ve been at for five years. I’m disappointed that I have to beg for a hundred dollars a month from Xander’s dad to cover his expenses. I’m disappointed that I even need it. 

I’m disappointed that I could be actively involved in my brother’s life or not involved at all and he wouldn’t care. Not one fucking bit. In fact, he wouldn’t even notice either way. I’m disappointed that I’m too proud to make nice with his selfish wife so that we can try to enjoy the holidays with the whole family. I’m disappointed in the way our family talks to each other. As if we are expendable. As if we could easily be replaced if necessary. 

And on the most personal level, I’m disappointed with myself. I’m disappointed that I don’t let things go. I’m disappointed that I can’t just accept that some people are having a bad day, so it’s okay for them to treat me like I’m insignificant. I’m disappointed that I have also treated others poorly because of my own stress and issues. I’m disappointed that I’m expected to just take shit from people because “that’s life” and that standing by my convictions is interpreted as me being stubborn and relentless. And that I should take both of those words as insults. I’m disappointed that the only time people really notice me is when I spout something controversial on social media. I’m disappointed that I’m forgettable. 

It’s just been... a very difficult week. Even if he doesn’t manage to nuke another country, force all women to wear bikinis to work or reinstate slavery and concentration camps, just the fact that we elected a reality TV star to the highest office in the country just proves how backwards we are as a society. I know it’s not the end of the world and I’m really not mad at the situation we currently find ourselves in. 

I’m just... disappointed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Just Keep Swimming...

I sucked at life last week. 

Truthfully, I had been setting myself up to have a bad week for a while now. For the last month or so, I’ve been progressively making decisions that weren’t... shall we say... goal-oriented. I’ve just been doing some stupid shit. And I feel pretty crappy about it. 

I’ve been focusing my sexual energy on men who are emotionally detached or unavailable. Or both. So now I’m lonely. I’ve been focusing my financial energy on those damn little keno balls. So now I’m broke. And I’ve been focusing my physical energy on stretching my days as long as possible but not taking the time to nourish my body or my mind. So now I’m sick. 

I can recover from all these things. I’ve done it before. It just takes grounding myself again. And nothing like a good old case of Shingles to ground yourself. 

I mean, seriously? Shingles? 

As frustrating as it’s been to deal with, it’s really not all that surprising that I got it. I mean, Shingles is basically a physical manifestation of stress. And while I don’t always feel like my life is stressful, when I take a step back and look at everything I’m juggling and how I choose to handle all of it, it totally makes sense. 

I finally had a little breakdown this past weekend. My son is going through a less than desirable whiney stage and we had spent a long and challenging morning together. My parents had been out doing their usual Saturday morning routine and when they got home, I left him with my mom for a minute, went upstairs, sat on my bed and cried tears of exhaustion and frustration. I really felt like I hadn’t nailed the whole mom-thing that day. Or the last few days, really. I felt bad that I was so irritated by his crying. I just really, really needed a break. 

It’s times like these that I am so grateful that I’m not completely alone in raising my son and that my parents are there to help pick me up. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for all those women (and men) out there who are truly doing it all by themselves. Because parenting is hard. Like, really hard. 

Anyway, crying it out helped. And going to work that night helped too. I worked a shift alongside one of my closest friends and talked it all out. I felt better about myself and knew that not only was it time for an energy shift, but I knew I could do it. 

Sunday I relaxed. I watched football. I hung out with my dad. Johnny came and took Xander for a few hours so I napped (for the love of everything good..I fucking napped). I hung out with my mom. I ate good food. I drank some tea. I watched Westworld. 

I recharged. Both my brain and my body. 

So today, I woke up ready to mom the SHIT out of this day. I got up early and cleaned my room and the nursery. I did a bunch of laundry. I made food for Xander. I took him for a walk around the park. I helped my mom with our Halloween decorations for the house. Then I went to work and rocked out a banquet. And after I post this, I’m going to go to bed instead of staying up too late watching Netflix. 

You know, grown up shit. 

It’s very easy to get lost in my head. Instead of being thankful for all the things I have, I start to get frustrated with the things I don’t like about my life. I start to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. And I start to feel resentful that others have it easier than me. But that’s no way to live. I have to remember that I can’t count on others to ensure my happiness. Only I can control how I handle life’s little challenges. 

So, back at it. Falling down, breaking down, being down... all of these things are normal. As long as I’m not staying down, I’m winning. 

I was finishing up the banquet paperwork tonight at work when, out of nowhere, one of the bussers that was cleaning a table near me looked up and said, “Tina, I wish there were more women like you in the world.” I looked back at him, but he had already started walking back to the kitchen. And once again, I started to cry. 

But those tears... those are the kind of tears I’m okay with.