I am not going to lie, I’m on my third margarita after what feels like an absolutely endless week, and I worked clear through to the bottom of my second one. These are not just any margaritas either – it’s my Magic Pixie recipe, which has knocked even the most dedicated alcoholic on their ass in two glasses. On top of that, they’re the second half of the pitcher that I made for Steve’s wake in December, which is a bit of a story.
(Steve and I promised his youngest son to make my margaritas for him after his 21st, and since Steve and I never got to do that together like we planned, I made my stepson my margaritas, and then gave him rye whiskey, moonshine, rum, and his father’s favorite good gin at his father’s wake. In small quantities, y’all, I’m not stupid.)
Anyway, this particular pitcher has been sitting in the freezer since then, and y’all, it’s JULY. I haven’t been able to touch the blender pitcher since then, and if you know the story behind this recipe, you know it’s Parrot Head approved, best in the world level margarita. Steve got a damn tattoo with Jimmy Buffet, and margaritas were his kyrptonite. He’d had them around the world, and he said mine were the best in the damn world. (Also the only ones that’d get him buzzed, which was adorable and hilarious and made for one hell of a fun night. )
In other words, I make a glorious margarita, and no one has been sober enough after drinking them to disagree yet.
So, after this week, for me to be on my third… it says a lot. Especially since I’ve been curtailing my drinking pretty hard. But eventually, that blender pitcher needs to be emptied, and I miss the feeling of being happy. The memories of margaritas with Steve is about as close as I get to that right now, that and snuggling with our new rescued from the side of the road kitty (who is currently trying to help me type). So much else just reminds me of where I am not enough or have screwed up, or how short I am falling from where I want to be and what I want.
Live in the moment, they say. Sometimes the moment is heartbreaking. Sometimes you’re not strong enough to exist in it for long stretches of time. Sometimes things you think will make you happy end up hurting you. But I do my best, and I use it to figure out what I want and need. (Did you know cat toe beans trigger touch pads on laptops? At least she doesn’t mind my singing.)
But hey, I’m still working and creating. I’m keeping on top of tasks, even if the house isn’t quite as clean as some part of me says it should be. (Hi, Mom.) Plus? My pen work is getting rapidly better – and I’ve pushed the envelope of what I can do, and what most established pen turners DO do. Hell, I made the top posts on Instagram for #bespokepens within an hour of posting some of my work, and it wasn’t even a finished pen. I mean, okay, it’s a quiet tag, but that’s a first in over 4,000 post for me – and my engagement is pretty solid. (I have really good friends.) So, I have a measure of confidence that the ideas I’ve had simmering in my head will happen here, albeit slowly. Like my favorite therapist told me: I’m not slow, I’m THOROUGH.
The same friends are encouraging me to pick back up jewelry making too, even if just casually. Quite a few came forward today to say that their favorite pieces were ones I made, and I just… maybe I should? I cleared off the work bench recently, thinking maybe, but maybe maybe needs to be more than maybe. I never felt that good at it, but then again, my standards have always been set against the best of the best, so it’s not really the best yard stick. I could always just work on making the designs that I want, and not worry if they sell – but I need pens and soap to be solid enough to pay the bills before I’m that comfortable doing that. I wonder if jewelry would fall under Patreon content?
So many questions, and somehow, instead of answers, I ended up with a tiny rescue kitten with fur the same color as Steve’s hair.
And all this while navigating trying to get over a crush on someone who decided they weren’t interested – and I can’t tell how much of that was due to me still being drowning in grief and not at my best, and how much was just them. In the end, it doesn’t matter. I just need to move on, because dammit, I have a scrap of pride left, and don’t want to be moping about someone who doesn’t even acknowledge I exist anymore any longer than I have to. I’m not doing it very well, which makes me incendiary-levels of irritable. Friends point out that it’s going to be extra hard, because it was like stubbing a toe when your entire foot was already broken – it hurts more than it otherwise should, and really, it was an absolutely unreasonable situation to start off with. But it takes up more emotional bandwidth than I wish it did, bandwidth I’d rather have for my art or creative work. It’s a reminder of the ways in which I feel not enough, unprepared, abnormal, and of how easily I’ll care for someone who isn’t even remotely invested in me.
I’m too nice, Steve used to say, people take advantage of that. He worried about me being used so often. I guess I see why, but I can’t help but wonder. It doesn’t matter, but you know how it is – we question. It drove him nuts, that I’d look from every angle, because it usually just meant I hurt more.
But it also reminds me of the ways in which I am phenomenal, curiously enough. I won’t be right for everyone, or even most. It stings, because like my good friend Cari points out, I look for, and love, the best in everyone I meet, and hope they are that best more often than not. It’s a grace I hope is extended to me, so I try to extend it. I know I haven’t been at my best lately, but… to be fair, it’s pretty damn unreasonable to expect me to be. So, I try to cut myself some slack, and keep trying to grow. But… I am finding that I don’t doubt my worth. I doubt that I was given a fair shot at showing who I was, but not my worth.
And it’s not my fault they weren’t willing to get to know me.
Obviously, if this is what I’m thinking about after three margaritas – do I have the bandwidth to pick up old creative outlets and someone who disappointed me and missing my late husband – I’m doing pretty okay.
I really could use a few million dollars though. Maybe someone who adores me as I am and is willing to let me make them laugh once in a while. And a few days at the beach. Those things would be faaaabulous, possibly even better than my margaritas.