Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Being Honest

In the recent weeks, there have been times when I forced myself so hard - to smile or laugh, react appropriately to what's happening around me, that the effect has been quite the opposite, I'd find myself crying more bitterly than ever just a few moments later, generally being able to hold off, barely enough for people not to notice.

I'm tired of saying that I'm sad, and sad to say that I am tired. What else can I do? Is this normal? Not really, no, of course not.

I usually make my outbursts of sadness quick, you know why? Because there's no time. I'm either already doing something, or on my way to do something, or finishing something on my way to do something else. I am always in the middle of doing something with or for Nika and I don't like showing emotion in public, it makes me feel as though I'm worse than all the people who aren't sobbing on the train, which, is probably the truth.

I've told people I'm sad, generally the reply is 'I'm sorry', yeah, I'm sorry too. You've got no idea how much.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All By Myself

So.. single parenting, need I say exactly why it's hard? Probably not. Leaving aside the obvious financial aspect as well as daily struggling to give your child a sense of security, safety and unconditional love as well as confidence and not to mention reassurance that they aren't any different from the other children.

Yesterday is a good example, of what I find difficult and sad.

Nika is a good albeit picky eater, often she loses interest in the food served quite quickly and needs help finishing her portion. However yesterday, for the first time she finished lunch all by herself - I was so excited, trivially small, it seems but what a breakthrough actually, if you knew us..

I instantly told the nearest person - my mum, who was in the other room at the time. She said that it was great but Nika ought to have been doing that a long time ago.

I had snapped a picture, of my happy eater, and didn't hesitate in sending it to my boyfriend. 'That's great!' he replied, and then said he was having a really hectic day at work.

I told my dad too, and he asked if it's considered a milestone at this age and I explained that it's not.. but for Nika.. as he stared at me, awkwardly, trying to be empathetic towards my enthusiasm.

I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine on the phone later '..and you'll never believe what the weekend was like' he cut me off.

I tried striking the subject up with my boyfriend later in the evening but the thing is, there it is - the cost of single parenting and the repercussion. Nobody is as interested or fascinated by my child except me. Some people aren't interested in children at all, others have their own children.

I am alone to take pictures of her new pretty hairstyles, to celebrate every little and big milestone, to stand in awe, as she says the most amusing things. To get excited, as she learns to do something new. To look at her as she's asleep and smile because she's just so pretty. I'm the only one who takes videos of her and then enjoy watching them and laughing at how cute and funny she is. I embrace the back pain proudly, as she's just getting so big. I love her hugs and kisses. I get so happy picking out toys, outfits and activities, more often than not, I get a little sad, because nobody else really cares, nor can they answer if she looks better in baby blue or lilac. I am the only one who feels like crying when she does. And only my heart sinks for a moment, if she trips or falls.


I am the only one who worries, about what she's thinking and how she's feeling, and if I'm making the right decisions for her.

Our family portraits are just the two of us. Often taken by me off my phone camera, thus out of focus and blurry. The only ones that are semi in focus are the ones off the webcamera. If out and about and doing something interesting and new, I'm not in the pictures as I'm the one taking them. Nika is such a photogenic kid. I have a few beautiful photos my friend was kind enough to take for me last summer. I keep wanting to have some of those framed.


I was trying to put together a slideshow the other day, and realized that Nika and I haven't got a recent photo of us together, the last one is of my hand holding hers, both with painted nails and that was taken in early March. The last one of us actually together was taken by me, at the end of January. There was one my dad took last weekend, but it was in motion on a train, and isn't very good as he only took one shot, on my phone because I asked. We were wearing matching shirts and jackets as well as shoes, not over-the-top matching, just complimenting, but Nika's not looking at the camera. 



There is nobody I can share my fears, troubles, difficulties, excitement, happiness with, had it not been for kind Facebook comments, I hate to say it, but I'd feel alone altogether. 

I never expected it to be easy. I knew it wouldn't be.  However what I didn't expect, is being so lonely in this parenting adventure. Such solitude.

After taking her out to play on the playground, pleased with how independent and polite she is, I put my little pride and joy down for a nap next to me.

Today she let me do her hair, said 3 absolutely new words. I bought her glittery Play-Doh that she really likes and one of the tops I had bought her for summer is already tight on her. I could excitedly gush to people, as they would probably sympathetically pretend to be excited, but I didn't bother. Instead, I started making some spaghetti for lunch, poured myself a cup of tea and cried a little.

Of course there are people who adore Nika, my parents and brother, my boyfriend thinks she's great, several friends too. But I'm still very alone. And it's just so sad.

I was alone since week 4 of pregnancy, nobody threw me a baby-shower and I was too busy to throw anything like that myself as I worked up until 34 weeks of pregnancy because I needed to save up money for when the baby comes.

People are so used to me 'coping' they ask strange questions such as

'Can you lift this out of the elevator yourself?' - No, I cannot, it's very, very heavy.

'Can you come there with us next weekend?' - No I cannot, I'll be with Nika, and it's a 40 minute train ride and then 20 minutes on a bus or an hour and a half in a taxi which Nika won't handle well, so we're sorry, but we can't make it.
 'Can you come without Nika?' No, I cannot.


'Can you stay and work late this evening?' - No I cannot, Nika needs a bath and she'll only eat dinner if I'm there.
'Can you come to work early tomorrow? - No, I cannot, because after Nika falls asleep at 10 or 11pm, I clean, feed the cat and cook myself dinner and then do laundry, pack my bag for work the next day, by the time I shower before bed, it's 1 or 2am. If I come to work at 8, I have to wake up at 6, which means 4 hours of sleep.

'Can you pay rent early this month?' No, I cannot, I'm saving up for Nika's doctor check-up and vaccinations, and she really wants her ears pierced so I need to save up for good quality earrings.

'Can you buy...?' - No, I cannot, Nika still needs some summer clothes and I need to start saving up to send her to dance classes.

'Can you..?' - No, I cannot, don't you understand?!!?

I just can't.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Odd One Out

It wasn't one of the hundreds of phrases he said on the phone yesterday. It wasn't one of my abstract dreams. But by the time I opened my eyes, all of my fears were suddenly reduced to one: changes.

I live surrounded by unfaithful relationships and even unfaithful, dishonest, failing marriages. So many unhappy people, bound to stay in unhappy relationships. People lie, cheat and hurt each-other, often purposely. So many of them are already looking for somebody new without having let go of the somebody 'old'. Maybe it's themselves they lost somewhere along the way in their relationship. Having no idea about who they used to be, what they used to like doing and why, due to being part of somebody else for too long.

There are seemingly, so many problems. Too many to overcome so they opt not to even try.

And if truth were to be told, all these people secretly yearn for the particular changes I dread.

Are they really 'changes'? Must they be deemed that? Can these things just be that what went wrong? As if they're called changes, I'm afraid of one day it being my turn..

I try not to think like that, but it's overwhelming at times.



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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don't tell me...

Ever since having this dream: April Snow, I keep catching myself in mid-running away thoughts.

On the train today, to a smaller town on the outskirts of Moscow to visit family, I was thinking about how I usually used to get through the problems I've been trying to tackle unsuccessfully lately. These things that bother me - they are all repetitious, a locked pattern that I fall into time and time again, half of it is my fault, the rest is influence of a foreign factor that I cannot shake. Alas, the choice to remain is mine, thus, by definition it's my doing.

Usually, I leave the country where I'm at. That's how I undo my doing.

I started thinking about my dream and how I had made that decision to leave and was wondering where I could have decided to go to. I mean, granted, there are several places in the world I'd rather be.. but where could have I gone? Since clearly, I was taking Nika with me, and though bearing only a small suitcase (being the exact copy of my new pink one but in jet black) yet knowing I had no plans of coming back for a very long time.

Half way through the plane ride, I realized how obsessively I had been thinking about all this since that dream. I suddenly got frightened.

 It's difficult because I'm being continuously encouraged to take off. It's becoming difficult to talk about the subject because each time I come up with less and less reasons to argue against leaving like that. Soon there will be only one reason to stay.

This in itself is unlike me. I either leave or I stay, I don't ping pong between decisions, generally I leave over the course of a day or overnight, which to many people seems spontaneous but in reality it's because I had already previously weighed the options and possibly several times, that way, by the time I need to make a decision, there isn't much thinking left to do.

I am unhappy where I am, I really am. I often feel like these days I'm short of people to turn to but as though I've traded that in for having one person that's with me all the time to a point of where I don't have to turn to him at all, he's already standing there when I need him. In all honesty, I have no regrets, just a shame that the cliche is true - it's close to impossible to keep all your friends once you're in a happy exclusive relationship.

It's not just my relationship that keeps me put in the city, current apartment, living arrangement, the thing is, the situation itself that I'm stuck in, should I turn away and walk away, I don't think I can ever come back and rekindle things for the 100th time. This would be leaving one time too many, and Nika.. she's happy with the way things are, what do I do? How long do I keep going? Until I get so miserable that there will be only one clear decision ahead.. no options, just one way..the way out?


There's more. Of course there's more. I've also been digging around my old notebooks and diaries, I shouldn't, it's not good for me. I'm looking for something but I've got no idea what, as I've yet to realize what questions I'd like answered. It frightens me that in search of a happier place to go to, I opted to engulf myself in those things from my past instead of.. something more relative to the present.

I stayed up so late last night, reading. I recall myself being in a much worse place those years.. but it reads differently, nicely..until I get to a muffled tear-ridden, sadness-stricken entry every couple of pages. I think in all this, I'm most likely digging to find a reason, something that justifies the outcome. I don't care about the outcome per se, I am in a much better place now.. but I fear I don't know how to prevent it from happening all over again, but I try not to think of it all that way.

Another thing I find breathing down my neck and haunting me is much, much to blame for these feelings too. It's temporary, I chant that like a mantra every second day, and after it's all over, I needn't even look back at this all in this light, I deserve it being over, it's anything but trivial to me, and once it is.. once it's over I'll at least feel as though what I have right now is rightfully mine and that it's okay to make plans or assumptions, that I'm not building castles out of invisible sand on a non existent beach. Sometimes it feels as though I am. 


What a plethora of all sorts of mixed and messy emotions.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Trying Again

If people who are even vaguely acquainted with me were asked to describe me, the word 'confident' is most likely to be amongst the first few if not the first.

People that I call friends, even more so, are likely to say 'confident, aggressive, clever'.

It's all a charade. One that I pull off very, very well.

This week has been rather difficult.

I suppose it's all due to me being a creature of habit. I don't adjust well to routine change and half the time if that happens I go through these periods of absolute withdrawal altogether. Don't get me wrong, I wake up and primp myself to go to work, get there more or less on time and by lunch, I'm off home to hang out with my little munchkin.

I look forward to seeing my boyfriend, on the one or two occasions a week that I get to and we generally do our best to at least spend weekends together.

So once my little world gets shaken for one reason or other, often I can't help the change, physically I go through all the routines, but mentally I space off - often going to ugly and unpleasant places in my mind, thinking of the absolute worst.

This often being over-analyzing my parenting skills, fearing that I'm epically failing in this or that and that Nika deserves much better. Likewise with my relationship, I get insecure and fear my boyfriend suddenly discovering something about me that he cannot possibly put up with. I fear losing my job, or workload rather, and thus my income. I worry, a lot. This isn't even including my body issues - obsessing about whether or not my blouse feels tighter this month or if my jeans fit me nicer before my vacation.

I look for ways to change or improve, as I've never been good at accepting.

The way I carry myself is also very deceiving, I wear very high heels and have good posture. I know exactly what to wear and when as well as how - people would never guess that I'm insecure about my looks.

I fret about my weight and untoned muscles in my mind, regardless of how adamantly I get reassured of the opposite.

I worry about the future. I don't really believe that I'm worthy enough for someone to want to spend the rest of their life with me and secretly, I worry that one day Nika will tell me that I've been a disappointment to her.

Every day is back to seeming to be a struggle. I have so many things to smile about, but also, more than ever, so many things feeling as though I'm anchored.

I'm hopeful.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April Snow

I didn't get much sleep today, by the time I managed to fall asleep for two consecutive hours, at about 5-something am, I was so tired, I was afraid of not waking up if my daughter does (which is far-fetched as the kid is just so loud!)

I woke up upset and dizzy. I had been having a bad dream. It took a while to sink in, that I'm awake, in the same place I had fallen asleep.

Back during the vacation, as I sat still somewhat spaced one night, my boyfriend said he didn't like hearing about dreams, that they were often bad, frightening and/or depressing. He's right. He said that, because at the time, the previous night I had woken up startled and still shaken up in the morning. Anyway, I cut myself off and waited a few days until I got to talk to someone about it and felt better. Sharing a dream, a bad one that affects you and your thoughts when you are awake, in my case, it only really goes away when I share it, talk about the dream thus verifying that it was just that - a dream.


I suppose we're all different that way, dreams are a big part of who I am, being that I am constantly having to deal with very vivid, often disturbing ones. I've learned how to deal with that, it's not always being chased or trapped, sometimes, like last night, it's.. so real that it's frightening.

I find myself short of friends these days, don't get me wrong, I've got some - most are a phone call away, I just.. I find myself blogging about this in lieu of actually picking up the phone.

I had a dream, that instead of falling asleep at 5am, I switched my computer on and flicked through a few Facebook status updates and recent photos, I seemed to be doing it for ages, but actually only 4 minutes passed.

Before much time passed, I had started looking up and booking tickets - one way tickets.

By the time it got brighter, Nika and I had already packed a little black suitcase and were wheeling it out to a taxi. At the airport, I tried to dial several numbers - my boyfriend's the most.

Skipping some private details ahead, we still got on a plane but I've got no idea where to, in all honesty, the only thing I know for sure is that we weren't ever going to come back.

I woke up startled, just as the plane was taking off.

The rest of the day wasn't better. I got caught in midst of a blizzard - in bloody April, a blizzard in April, seriously.

Then, I think 'Why not go walk around a nearby mall for a bit, cheer myself up, maybe get something for myself and my little monster princess. And what do you think, now THAT was a case of FML - there I am, happily shuffling from shop to shop, about to head into one that I like particularly, well, color me scared as all freaking demonic hell is unleashed upon me, as there I stand, possibly faced with the one person who resides in Moscow that I NEVER EVER --EVER-- want to be faced with, ever. I couldn't say for sure if it was her or not, I slammed myself into the shop so quickly I even had a few flashes of white in front of my eyes. Chances are, I was mistaken, really, the odds aren't that great but for the sake of my sanity, I am avoiding that mall like the plague starting today.

Shaken, I skim through the shelves and then duck out of the shop as quick as my feet could carry me, not going to that mall is a good idea as I swear, judging by my behaviour, I'm surprised security didn't think I was shoplifting.

I have to wake up early tomorrow and most of my day is rather packed, I don't know whether that's a good or bad thing judging by how tired I am and this pressure I have on the right side of my head just doesn't even seem to go away.

I wish things were different.
I wish I were different.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Airplanes..

So the holiday.. I know, I know, talk about lagging with the recap but it's better late than never!

Initially, he had warned me about a tendency of his, that I would be inevitably faced with - needing to be on time for reservations or at airports, stressing over anything to do with an appointed time. I did face this so-called 'worst quality' of his and I can honestly say it did nothing to put me off him.

Leaving Moscow we got to the airport on time, even freakishly early but enjoyed getting some much deserved grub before take-off. We never stop laughing when we are together, but that is an observation I made only towards the end of the trip. Not that I didn't know it already, it was just much more evident after spending 10 consecutive days together.

The first evening we spent in Helsinki - in a dainty albeit stylin' hotel room, I tugged on his sleeve to duck outside for a quick shopping spree at H&M kids and then it was off to a two star restaurant.. Most memorable dish being a razor-clam something but the most talked about ending up the dill mousse and yoghurt ice-cream. It has since become the butt of every second joke.

Another amusing moment was the wine - an assorted variety, idea being that with the tasting menu, you get a dish and its very own complimenting wine - in my attempt to match my boyfriend drink for drink, I accumulated 5 half-finished glasses in front of me, only two of which I could tolerate to keep drinking. Truth be told, even with the.. minimally annoying staff screw-ups and the revolting dill mousse, I was relatively impressed! He just smiled, and then snickered that by the end, this will not have been impressive at all. He was right.

We stumbled.. Okay, he walked, I stumbled back to our hotel room and got barely three hours of sleep before being woken up by a thumping distant beat of some sort of music. We got dressed and headed downstairs and into a taxi towards the airport, in just a few hours later, we were walking on Parisian ground.


I loved how we'd always walk holding hands by the way, again, we always do .. but doing it all the time every day makes it more noticeable.

We spent the days at museums. Most memorable to me, surprisingly was Rodin - flawless works. I got to see my much beloved Caravaggio as well as the infamous Gioconda as well as some beautiful stained glass.

Every evening we'd go to a lovely restaurant. I suppose not so surprisingly, seafood was often my choice. I did pluck up the courage to try all sorts of things that I had sworn off at a very young age, such as mushrooms and organs - regardless, I was always happy with the food served, excluding that monstrous dill mousse and yoghurt ice cream --> insert shudder here.

But really, what turned out to be most memorable is dozing off on his shoulder quite often, and waking up completely curled up around his arm. Or feeling him kiss my forehead. Those times were the absolute best.

The shopping - most binges occurred when visiting Baby Gap. Plenty of stuff for me that I've always wanted but couldn't afford in such bulk in Moscow.

Only one day was somewhat difficult, I wasn't on the game, felt a tad ill - so much so that I winced at the idea of even looking at handbags, which knowing me, is a tell-tale sign of being ill. Fear not!.. We returned the next day, where I got to pick-out a much much much MUCH wanted pink suitcase. (insert gushing about the best boyfriend ever here).

Also, I cried twice - both times due to being extremely overwhelmed with bottling my feelings up, the not so uncommon repercussion of not talking about certain feelings in a timely manner.

There was a lot of fantastic food consumed throughout the trip. And fine, I admit it, having been out to relatively nice restaurants before, truth be told, this trip introduced me to a whole new level of restaurants.

Another highlight is the Maitre D' of a particular 3 Michelin star restaurant chasing our taxi down and flinging the door open - 'Usually I like to keep these for myself, but this time I thought I'd return it' said he, all the time flashing a kind smile, then handing me my clutch purse, that I left behind due to overdosing on calories.

Leaving Paris was bittersweet. I missed Nika terribly but spending so much time with my boyfriend was fantastic. Some pink suitcase shopping later, a few mishaps and a lot of stress related to being stuck in traffic, and we were on the plane. Again, laughing and shamelessly PDA.


Throughout the trip, we had been repeatedly faced with all sorts of different couples.

One worth mentioning is a couple we were seated next to at lunchtime. The woman never made eye-contact with the man, her face never leaving her iPhone screen. The man was eating and also peering into his phone - they exchanged all of five words in total. I'd never want to be in a relationship like that, made me all the more grateful for what I've got.

Then there was that Russian couple at the airport - they couldn't wait to get completely drunk and wouldn't stop bickering.. Gah.

On our arrival back to Helsinki, we were surprised with a room upgrade. We rested for a bit and then soon made it out to dinner, where we had the tasting menu - each dish accompanied by its own cocktail -and- wine, by the time we made it out to a cocktail bar at the end of the night, we were relatively lit.

The next morning was all about quietness and walking around. By the time we were seated in the business class (another fantastic surprise!) on the flight back, I (by then habitually) leaned my head on his shoulder, and thought about how there couldn't have possibly been a better vacation nor is there a person I'd rather be with. Having been back in Moscow and it being more than a month since our departure to Paris, that hasn't changed.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Because I'm worth it.




In all honesty, it wasn't sheer laziness or lack of proper time management, something happened that had completely put me off blogging altogether. I began fearing the repercussions of what would happen if the wrong person came across all this, at the wrong time - well screw that. I have so much I want to share. About the holiday, about what's been happening, Nika.. my relationship. I'll be damned before I change my habits out of fear.

As you know what? Life is full of things I don't like or would like to change - if I let those things get in the way of what I do like, then my life would just be miserable, it's not fair. I have less than a dozen entries in the last 6 weeks - that's not like me and no circumstances should change me as a person, again, it's not fair.

Expect an update, soon.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Little Princess Tears

I don't know what to do about Nika. On the one hand, everything that we've been doing so far, it seems so right and well.. but, on the other hand, every so often something happens or she says something, that makes me think that inside, she's thinking up a storm, and being as verbal as she is - she tells me, but I bet she can only get across a fraction, I'm a little frightened of actually hearing what he thinks.

I hope the decision I've taken that feels right to me, is.. right for her as well. I'm terrified of her getting hurt. She looked at me this evening, with watering eyes, and said 'I told you so'. Call it overreacting, I don't care, regardless, hearing 'I told you so' from my 3 year old.. it's frightening.

We've had all sorts of conversations lately. At one point, it was her redirecting her emotions at the cat - saying Timmie was upset and something was bothering him but he wasn't quite sure and couldn't explain. I asked her if it was something someone had done, and she said she wasn't sure but it could be.

Any person who's not a parent will essential label me bonkers right now, wondering how I can take a three year old so seriously, but it takes being a parent and knowing your child to realize that every tear and every smile is what life is about.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mascara

On Sunday, my boyfriend brushed off speckles of mascara that had fallen from my eyelashes onto my cheek - I have a habit of overusing mascara, even when seemingly, there's nothing left to scrape out anymore, then it's just so dry, that it crumbles.

Monday was pure crap - only by fault of my own, breaking the first commandment - thou shalt not get wasted on Sunday if Monday is a working day, but whatever. I suppose once in a while is not only fun but also therapeutic, especially given the circumstances.

Regardless, that is not the point. But no, I did not get around to purchasing a new tube of mascara because I fail epically at managing my time - there is no other excuse.

Today, or rather this evening, someone who had betrayed my trust gravely earlier in December, stood in a cosmetics shop saying basically 'I owe you one, really, get whatever you want!'. This made me so angry and upset, I'm surprised I didn't burst out crying out of frustration and hurt. I declined politely, twice as he insisted afterwards. Bottled up the anger and frustration and ordered myself to hold back the tears, outraged but keeping calm, I continued on with the evening in the company of this person.


'He's acknowledging he made a mistake and is trying to make amends' I get told later this evening. There wasn't much left to say about the matter after that. Is there something wrong with me? Am I the one who's not even remotely understanding what is right and what is wrong in this world, blowing everything out of proportion? Does mascara repair absolutely betrayed trust? I thought this person was my friend. Never did the thought of 'oh I need some mascara, why don't I let him buy it for me, as he shattered what I believed to be a nice thing we had, and thus he owes me, because frankly, I don't appreciate him extracting information out of me and then taking advantage of it, especially in the particular way he did' cross my mind. What the hell ever. If that's what is considered normal and 'nice' - I don't want to be a part of it. It's unfair people think that way.

Not to sound as though I'm 8, but I really thought he was my friend, I trusted him and was honest with him and expect the same cutesy in return.

For what it's worth, on my way home, I stopped by the small mall and the cosmetics shop there and bought some freaking mascara.

Because clearly, the only thing that needs mentioning here, is the damn mascara.