I just got home from my business trip to NJ and Boston. I don't normally ever come back going, "Wow, that business trip was AWESOME!" But I'm saying it this time! I had such a freaking AWESOME almost-week up there.
First off, New England (and the north east region) is my most favoritest place in the country. I've lived in a lot of places but I love that area the best. On our drive from Boston to NJ, I had my face pressed against the window and just kept going, "LOOK at those TREES!" My New England coworkers were like, dude, they're just trees. Now, don't get me wrong: I adore my new Texas home. Austin rocks. Love it. It's green and gorgeous. But it has SHORT trees. Not a lot of water here so the trees very smartly decide to stay short and get wide (much like myself). In New England, the trees tower over you. As one native Austinite told me today, she hates tall trees. She likes her short Texas trees. She likes to see the sky. So there is a plus to the short trees. Plus, being surrounded by short trees, I can pretend I'm taller.
Second, the trip to NJ was our divisional off site "group hug". It's all IT people. Can you think of a less exciting group of people with which to have an all-day meeting? But it actually was a lot of fun. Mostly due to the fact that - this year - the didn't try to "mix it up" with assigned seats. We got to sit where we wanted and with whom we wanted. So I could lean over and make my silly remarks to my friend and she could go, "Stop talking to me." I got to see a lot of coworkers from PA that I haven't seen in about a year, too. And some NJ friends - ditto. So that was actually much better than I expected.
Third, everyone kept telling me how gorgeous I look. And by gorgeous, I think they really meant, "Wow, you're not a 300 pound, gelatinous, weeping mess!" But I just pretended they all thought I should be on America's Next Top Model. I found it especially funny that, on the day when I didn't have time to wash my hair, everyone told me how great my hair looked. What is THAT about?
On Tuesday night, I got to hang with a long-time friend that I adore. He is actually the son of a friend from my Boston rock theater days. I still think of him as that 14 yr old kid. Well, he's 6'2" and 25 yrs old now. So that was an adjustment. HA! He's been one of my few male supporters through this divorce. He recently lost his life love and we've found we have many similar experiences in our dealing with our losses. Sometimes he just calls to see how I'm doing because he's having a hard day dealing with loneliness. Other times, I'll describe something I'm feeling and he'll get it. Normally if a 25 yr old tried to liken their love-loss to mine, I'd toss some snide remark at them about how their situation is so paltry compared to mine. But he really gets it. We had a great time hanging out and we both gave each other a great shot to our respective egos. Nothing like hanging out with people who love you no matter what to just make you feel amazing.
And speaking of people who love you no matter what, on Wednesday night, I got to hang with my other long-time (and one not-so-long-time) friends. I hooked up with Kristen, Trish and Alicia at a great Boston eatery. These three women were my go-to pillars when future ex first dumped me. I have to tell you how awesome it is to have people to turn to who will immediately start praying even as you're crying on the phone to them. I cannot tell you how much they've had to endure in listening to me. I also think how hard this has been for them. I mean, first, they have to deal with standing on the side lines while one of their best friends is in the ring having one of the biggest fights of her life. Praying is amazing. And it works. But I know first hand that the human side of you wishes you could get in the ring and throw a few punches, too. And second, two of them were almost as close to my future ex as they were to me. So they are feeling the loss of a man they loved for many years. And they are dealing with the whole, "Who IS this guy, anyway?" thing.
But all week at the office, I just had a huge smile on my face. I think that threw all my office mates. This was the first time since March that I travelled to Boston. First time they saw me since they heard I was actually getting divorced. To see me looking healthy and smiling like a goon? I don't think that was easy to reconcile in their heads. I think that was why I got so many shocked sounding comments like, "You look amazing!"
So yah, this trip just rejuvenated me. And I'm still smiling!