Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Look for Blessings and They Will Find You

I expected blessings yesterday and I was blessed. My day started with helping my Dad around his house.  I’m starting to enjoy moments when he underestimates me and I surprise him with my strength and ability.  His local Albertson’s is like his Cheer’s bar.  Everyone knows his name and they are full of bright smiles for him.  He kept introducing me as his daughter, then pointed out to his favorite butcher that I am single.  My response? "Seriously.  You really just did that?" We had fun shopping together.  He wanted to fill my fridge and I introduced him to goat’s cheese with water crackers and fig preserves. He’s a fan.  He filled my gas tank and funded a manicure.

I got groceries home and spent "me time" in a nail salon.  From there I headed to Will Rogers State Beach where I caught the sunset and picked out a few rocks.  I love quiet beaches and sat in my car for a bit to watch the waves in comfort.  As the last families headed home, I went to Santa Monica where there is more light and patrolling officers.  I wanted to thank the photographer that brightened my Wednesday.  He thought I was kind, and offered more coffee and tea.  I declined, and walked around the pier, checking out the night fishing. A few anglers were just setting their bait and hadn’t had a chance to catch anything. I used to fish with my Dad off of that pier and laughed a little at all of the couples leaning on the rails, oblivious to the fish guts they romanced in.

I walked around and approached the police officers that stood in conversation across from Bubba Gump. I thanked them for their service and wished them well in safety.  They thanked me and as I walked away I could hear their conversation shift into the gratitude I offered and their gratitude that it came from someone who looked like me.  That made me smile.

I wandered to the other side of the pier, and enjoyed a few moments as a shameless cougar, watching young shirtless men play beach volleyball under the stars. I left when I felt like I was being creepy enough.

I found myself watching the surf alongside a single mother.  She understood my desire to stay out when I know there's an empty home waiting for me. Her children were fully dressed, running in and out of the ocean as if it weren’t freezing.  They kept running to her for hugs and praising her for being a terrific mom. They’re on a similar plan where she also has stretches of days to decide what she wants to do now that she can do whatever strikes her as fun. They had spent a day at Disneyland and she was tiring them out so she could have a quiet drive back to San Jose with dry clothes and blankets in the car.  We talked spousal and child support. We talked love. In all of my anger, I still held back from trying to hurt my ex with every bit of fire in me.  She helped me see that with those I love, even when they’ve hurt or upset me, I would never try to cause them pain or make them feel insecure.  The love I looked for in him looks a lot like power and domination. We talked dating.  She dates, but she doesn’t get too close to anyone.  The natural progression of a relationship means having someone to sleep by your side every night.  She has young children and cannot sleep with one eye open.  She ends her relationships before they get to that point. That never occurred to me.  In all of my dating thoughts, I just assumed I’d get to be a fun grown up when I didn’t have my kids and both worlds could remain separate.  I never considered dating for keeps and just thought about dating and being married again.  The in between phase and the practical aspects of it never crossed my mind. She reminded me that I need to deal with my codependent tendencies so I don't bring them into my next relationship.

We talked tattoos and how she covered hers. She used a hamsa, because a hand of protection used in many cultures must mean several religious folks have placed their values in something meaningful. (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Jain beliefs and Anatolia, but we didn't talk cultural appropriation.) She made a suggestion for mine.  I have a bee and my ex’s name on my shoulder.  My nickname for him was Honeybee.  For so long he would’ve done everything in his power to make me feel like a queen.  The name is going to be covered, not altered. I don’t know if I want to keep the bee because I like bees and I have longer than I've known the ex, and it ties into the life that brought me my kids.  I don’t know if I want something to devour the bee, but that thought makes me laugh.  I love California Poppies and like the idea of flowers on my shoulder. She suggested a honeypot.  Bees eat honey.  Bees need honey.  Without the queen, the hive dies.  I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I really liked her suggestion. At the same time, my days on movie sets make it impossible to not think of a honey wagon and that's not an image I am fond of. Besides, I've had his name on me for long enough that covering it should be all about me.

For today, I’m overflowing. That means I’m able to give and that looks like helping out with my niece and kid brother’s 11th birthday party.  I’m not a party planning mom and lucked out in my kid’s sensory integration dysfunction.  I don’t like to throw parties and they don’t like to be at parties.  Usually they want Mountain Dew, Doritos, Gummy Worms, and a fast Wifi connection. Today I got in a tug of war with a bounce house and didn’t freak out over ruining my new manicure.  I have polish at home and I may play with my own nails later. Depending on how this day makes me feel, I may decide to hit the beach again tonight.  Whatever my day brings, I will look for the blessings and see the grace that covers me.

My Children's Autism and Our Codependency

Closing The Book and Starting New Chapters