Tonight's cocktail is a Tequila Sazerac, also from High Street on Market in Philadelphia. A classic sazerac is made with rye, Peychaud's bitters, and sugar, shaken with ice into an absinthe-coated glass and served neat with a twist of lemon. This one was on the rocks, and they sprayed Pernod from a mister over the ice and lemon before pouring in the other ingredients from the shaker. Using añejo tequila instead of rye whiskey was an interesting change and added a nice, smoky flavor. I was a fan, but I might have preferred it neat.
Midlife heartbreak is no joke, y'all. Still, I'm on my feet and have yet to acquire any more cats, to the great relief of Magnus the Cat and Lego the Poodle. Sometimes I'm feeling vastly better than I should, and other times I'm not sure how I'm even breathing. On the theory of "fake it 'til you make it," I'm seeing friends, doing things I enjoy, reading novels, and relaxing with my kids. When Tweak asked me the other day if I was still sad, I said yes, very, but I couldn't do anything about it, and if this is the worst thing that ever happened to me, I've had a good life. I keep finding little ways to feel better. One of those is my new bracelet.
When McDreamy and I started dating (more than 5 years ago, the past 3 of that long distance thanks to the Navy), he gave me a silver hook bracelet that he'd gotten after doing a semester Marine Biology study in St. Croix while in college (we met in college). He'd ridden out a direct hit from Hurricane Hugo while there, and the time was meaningful to him. When he gave it to me, he intimated that he wanted to trade it for an engagement ring eventually. I wore that bracelet every day for five years, only taking it off to shower and exercise. If I mistakenly put it in a different place and couldn't find it for a moment, I felt unsettled.
The morning after the breakup, I had the urge to put on the bracelet. My wrist felt naked without it. I even tried putting it on to see how it would feel, and I was hit by a wave of nauseating grief. The bracelet is in the bottom section of my jewelry box, and I don't know when I'll be able to look at it again. I can't bring myself to give it back, though.
Last week, I bought myself a new bracelet in a very different design, featuring a blue topaz (which, I've since learned, is sometimes called "the writer's stone"). It's making me feel better to look at my wrist and see evidence of my commitment to myself. I'm determined to pull myself free from this, even if I have to do it by my fingernails. I know that I'm worth it, that my good life is worth it.
I've come to realize that when I love people, I love the everloving daylights out of them. I open my heart without reservations, and I'll give my beloved whatever I have. To a point, that's good, but it has a downside when I find myself changing and adapting to be the person I've realized the other wants me to be because I'm hooked on the love heroin and am afraid it will be taken away. I settle for less than I need and deserve. I squeeze myself into a paradigm where I don't belong. I apologize when I'm not sorry. I don't say when I'm hurt. So, I have a new mantra: Fuck All That.
If I ever do have another intimate relationship (something I can't even imagine right now), I am not going to ignore red flags that something is not right. I'm not going to settle for emotional scraps instead of getting what I need. I will be given respect and prioritized, or I will be gone. There's nothing, including the prospect of becoming a crazy cat lady, more horrible than becoming a person you don't like. I happen to like myself. I'm a smartass. I weigh a little more than I should. I say "fuck" a lot. I'm vibrant and strong. I'm physically passionate. I geek out on books and think words are sexy. I am worth the time and trouble to be loved the way I love others. Otherwise, don't waste my time. Because Fuck All That.