Monday, February 27, 2012

Back in the dating pool :-(

Well, as my title suggests, I'm back in the dating pool again. Actually, however, this time, it was not due to me at all. Match Music guy got a great career opportunity on the other side of the coast. It really is a good break for the industry he is in, as he will have steadier work and be able to network with more higher status people.

In his e-mail, he was certainly happy for this new opportunity, but at the same time felt very bummed as this would affect our relationship. And in actuality, I was bummed too, as I do think we could have furthered our relationship.

There is part of me that feels like the stars were not aligned in our favor. When I say this, I mean that there were some instances (out of his control) where he had to cancel dates, such as a virus on his computer and a bad alternator in his car last week, and then at one point he thought I was letting him go in not suggesting a date idea in an e-mail. Certainly, these are coincidences for sure, but it did make me wonder in a funny kind of way, like the universe was trying to tell me something. Maybe this was good that this happened now versus 6 months or a year down the road or something. I always like to believe that things happen for a reason. If things are meant to be, then they come back to you in one way shape or form, at least this is my viewpoint on life, experiences, learning lessons, and loss.

In any case, I wrote a nice e-mail back saying what I've said here, that I'd be selfish not to be happy for him, and that I'm sure he will find someone there, though this means he will also be back in the dating pool, something he does not enjoy. So, there you have it. Last week would have been our 4th date. I guess this is a new record for me, but :sigh: it's back to dating again.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Guest visitors

So while I've been busy with things here, I also have a few new visitors. I'm not sure how long they are staying. The story is that they are from a hoarder in Chicago. A shelter took them in, but they were going to be euthanized, so some local rat rescues here, took them. It was a total of 21 rats they had to find placements for. The way rats work is that they have to be quarantined for 2-4 weeks with no other rats to ensure they are healthy. Otherwise, the entire rat colony can be killed.



The two I have, a pair of girls, I've named Matilda and Tallulah. I've never had pet rats before, but they are fun. They are easy to take care of in terms of maintenance, however, rat-proofing can be hard, harder than bunny proofing, at least in my house anyway.

I've had the girls a week in a half, and they are doing well. Matilda is more outgoing, but both take treats from me, climb into my lap, etc. Tallulah, however, will hide after a period of time out.

Anyway, if you've never had a pet rat, and you want something that is pretty easy to take care of and trainable, a rat might be for you. They are not smelly like a ferret either. They keep themselves very well groomed and do enjoy being around humans, at least these two. However, if you have other animals, you need to take caution with that. The other species may not be too happy with them, as evidence of Clover thumping for 2 hours after they got here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Re-opening wounds

For several weeks, I had known about an upcoming dinner for some local dog trainers. It happens that the annual dog training conference I've been attending since 2003, will literally be in my backyard this year. It is really exciting to have such an big event here, and I'm hopeful it will be just as good or even better than other past conferences.

I had already told the event coordinator I was going, however, I also knew there was a high chance my former boss would be there. After all, we are in the same town and belong to the same organization. It took me awhile, but I finally was brazen enough to ask the event coordinator if she had RSVP'd. I guess I did not want to have to feel anxiety or feel paranoid for nothing, but at the same time, I did not want to sound petty. Yep, you guessed it, she RSVP'd.

I was the very first person to arrive, and she was the last person to come. There were a total of 16 people there--6 of us were trainers, the rest were committee members. The dinner was mostly for the local people--to see if they would be interested in being a part of the local arrangements team, of which I will be leading. For me, it was also a chance to chat with some old friends and catch up.

Overall, the dinner went well, but there was definitely an awkwardness between her and me, as well as another dog trainer who had also worked for her after me. I know we both glanced a few times in each other's direction, but we mostly avoided eye contact at all costs. She spoke to a few people sitting around her, and I spoke to a good number of people in general. The one thing I know I had was support from good friends and members who had also helped out with the conference last year. THAT made a huge difference for me, as I was reminded how valuable and recognized I was for all my hard work last year and the years preceding.

I try to remind myself that this was probably a weird feeling for her as well, but I cannot say old wounds were not re-opened. It's been close to a year since that day (you can look back through the archives if you are interested), and a year since we've had any contact at all--no phone, no e-mail, no anything. It is hard when you are in the same town at times. I think this is a situation that would have caused more rapidly healing from afar, ie "out of sight, out of mind."

Certainly, I have moved on and done my own thing which is coming along, but still, it is hard knowing that she and I will have to have some contact over the next 8 months. People tell me to be the bigger person, and of course I am, but sometimes, you do get tired of being the bigger person when you do not see others doing that as well. I think the most helpful thing for me is to remind myself that we truly are on the same team. I know we both want an outstanding conference and to be able to help as much as possible. I know we are both for the positive, scientific dog training movement, despite the fact our approaches are very different. 

I guess this will be a good test to see if this old wound can heal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This morning started out as any usual one--coffee, feed dogs/bunny, check e-mail, check facebook, debate on things to do today, figure out some semblance of a schedule, eat breakfast, etc. All the day's normal. Then, out of the blue, I received this in one of my e-mail boxes:
Hello Tiptoe, I wanted to thank you for the MOST beautiful card and note...Are you training dogs?Give a call if you come to the area!LOVE, CS

I left one sentence out for privacy reasons, but just this note alone made me surprised, happy, and weepy. So, who was this person? This was my first therapist, CS (this is different from C. my former therapist, whom I have talked about before in this blog) from when I was 16 years old. I saw her from that time up until I left for college. We've kept in touch off and on for the last 15 years. It helps that my mom lives in the same city, and at one point, the psychiatrist my mom saw was in the same building as CS's. I used to feel very awkward about this close proximity, but as time has passed, it no longer matters to me.

CS has always held a very special place in my heart. Besides the fact that she was my first therapist (she specialized in eating disorders and substance abuse), I think I was one of her early clients as well. I think part of why I have always held a deep fondness for her was, because I shared quite a lot with her than I had anyone else, and she did more things for me that probably nowadays many therapist would not do for keeping a strict patient/therapist boundary. For example, (and this was many years ago), but she came to my house when I cancelled my appt., saying I did not feel well when really, I had od'ed on a bunch of pills. Yeah, I'm not too proud of that moment. She called my mom, went to the hospital, and all the rest is history. Then, she once came when I was in a psych ward for adolescents, though she did tell them I had and ED and needed to be monitored. I was not in there for an ED at that time--more depression, suicidal tendencies. The only regret I had with her was that she did not push further for me to go into a higher level of care, (of course I was in denial about this at the time) something I think now could have turned me around faster, than oh 10 years later when I finally decided to actually truly try to recover.

Anyway, this brought back some nostalgia as I had not heard from her in a long time. I usually send holiday cards and try to touch base when I'm visiting my mom, but that is typically rare, more for logistical reasons than not enjoying the visits. In the early days, like 2-3 years after I stopped seeing her, occasionally, I'd get a surprise card from her. And it always touched me in the fact that she remembered me. But as time has gone by, and we've both moved on with our lives, we've also lost touch a bit, except for my holiday cards. This is actually the first time in years that I know her e-mail address! I don't think that was intentional, but I always tried to be respectful of therapists who did not want to have e-mail contact. Now, if I was seeing one, it would likely be one of my first questions to ask just so I'd know and not always be wondering.

Besides the fact that this post made me nostalgic and kind of weepy, I think it reminds me of the impact people make on our lives. All the long-term therapists I've had over the years have in one way or another made a difference to me. I've been fortunate that I haven't had to go through a slew of them to find ones that I connected with, whether that was as a therapist or other professional. And for that, I'm always thankful. This isn't to say that these are the only ones who have made impacts on my life, these are just people who I've shared much more of my personal life with.  And for that I'm really thankful they were there at that specific time in my life.  I just hope too that in my chosen profession I can make that much of a difference as well.

Do you have therapists that have made strong impacts on your life?  Do you keep in touch with them through letters, e-mails, etc.?