As you can see by the fresh new look, I'm preempting the end of winter all by myself. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the wind and the cold and I'm ready for the warm sunshine. I know, you say..."it's been such a mild winter"..well to me, a mild winter would be 70 and sunny.

So, on that same premise, I will be doing some spring cleaning here, if you will. That pretty much means that I will be exorcising some old demons, which could potentially be a little hairy. I think it's important, though, to acknowledge some shit so I can just let it go and move on to a brighter, shinier future.

Now, this doesn't mean every day will be a damn therapy session in writing..there will still be just random bits here and just means that there could be times when I run on a little bit unedited. For the 3 of you who read this on a regular basis, I'm sure it won't be a difficult thing to just close the window if it gets to be too much.

Today's bit of cleansing will be about the whole break-up debacle. Unless you happened onto this page randomly, you know that I am just newly (two months) single after a 6 year live-in relationship, and you probably know that the last couple years of it was little more than a roommate situation. We just simply could not find a way to move on, either one of us, despite knowing it was over. Hard thing to do when you've known someone for so long (we were friends for 5 years before we even dated).

So, what happens in that kind of relationship that everything just falls apart and you both sleep through it? I suppose I could just blame the whole thing on him, and state some simple facts..he worked..all..the..time. I don't mean just long hours. I mean 7 days a week, averaging 14 hours a day, unless he exhausted himself to the point that he would actually just sleep an entire day away. Or two. I could bring up the fact that he gained a good 80 pounds after we got together, which pretty much killed the physical part of our relationship. Not because I'm a shallow, horrible bitch. Because he wasn't comfortable in his own skin, and nothing I could do or say could change that.

Regardless, I don't think those were the reasons for the breakup. I think they were symptoms, really. The real problem was respect. I think part of the reason we were so close as friends, and in the beginning of the more-than-friends stage, was because there was a mutual respect there. We respected one another intellectually and emotionally, because we each had issues growing up (as we all do, it seems) that we could have used as burdens, but instead used as catalysts in order to boost something about ourselves. Here is the key, though. We did this in much different ways.

I channel my stuff creatively. Even before I was doing the full-on art/sculptor/fabricator thing, I would find other ways to vent stuff in an artistic way. Every apartment I've lived in has always been meticulously decorated and fussed with from the day I moved in until I left..whether that was a year or 3 or 6. Always something to do. When I finally went back to school and found this thing that I have so much passion for, it was just the perfect fit for me. I was in a place where I couldn't be brought down, and this is about the time we got together.

He was attracted to that fire in me, and I think a little envious of it at the same time. In some ways, he is frustrated creatively. You see, he channels all of his stuff into work. It's all about problem solving and the next big thing, and he has probably started 15 companies in about that many years, since he finished college. Some were great successes, others not so much, but he either cuts his losses and starts anew, or in the case of his restaurant, keeps them afloat because of some sentimental attachment he cannot break.

So, there was the stress of the construction on our apartment, which he escaped by working constantly, leaving me with making every decision and babysitting contractors. Not exactly what I signed up for. When things started falling apart, he wasn't there to back me up, and I got completely disheartened by the entire affair. So I suppose he lost respect for me because I didn't take the reigns enough to get everything done, and I lost respect for him because I had given up anything of my own to deal with the renovation, and felt completely unappreciated. Then his father got sick and died, which spun him into depression. To be expected, who can deal with that without getting depressed? Then a few months later, his mother also died suddenly. Ok, now he's almost not functional. Who can blame him? So instead of dealing with the problems our relationship was having before, we were just trying to get by day to day. All of this time went by and neither of us made any effort to focus on us. Years went by like this. He had set up a situation in which he ultimately controlled everything, but then resented me for being in a position of weakness. I guess I resented me for it, too. I don't do the weak woman bit very well. So I sought happiness elsewhere and we just lived our lives totally separately.

In the end, he was good about the whole thing, which was quite surprising. He has a tendency to be quite volatile, and that is a big part of why I think I avoided being the one to end things. I didn't know if I would be forced to deal with his wrath. Don't get me wrong, it isn't like he was violent. He could just be really mean when he wanted to..or more accurately, when he was careless enough to be. But I can be, too. That is something, despite my bitchiness, that I am trying to control. Bitchiness is one thing..but cold, cutting and hurtful is quite another. Baby steps.