Jun 10, 2018
I made it through the year of firsts. Holidays. Birthdays. Every season. It's interesting what you think will hurt doesn't, and what sneaks up on you with a kick to the guts. Christmas was fine, but the Tulip Festival was another story. The closing of the old bowling alley, a certain hotel in Vegas changing it's name...confirmation that my old life was over.
It's been one year since we were all under the same roof.
It's been one year since there was a real face-to-face conversation.
For one year I've avoided almost all the old haunts.
I had no energy left to spare to enjoy a lot of the things I once enjoyed.
I spent a year without my roller skates.
I've spent a lot of time feeling broken. Foggy. Scared. Bullied. Feeling that a lot of what had been the most meaningful in my life was now for naught. Wondering if I am supposed to go on living. Missing my old self. Wishing for the confidence and creativity I once had to return. Feeling hopeless that they ever will.
Somehow, I kept pushing through, and had a lot of wonderful experiences, too. I found a new freedom I enjoyed. I made deep connections with incredible women who share similar stories.
I continue to work hard in therapy to heal from my trauma and PTSD. I am slowly, slowly making progress. Baby steps. Forward motion. Glimpses of my old strength are becoming more frequent, and the waves of anxiety are happening less. The decision to take control of my own healing in a situation that left me so hopeless has been empowering and crucial.
I have gotten over the pangs of both heartbreak and jealousy that would hit when I would see a baby out with both a mom, and a dad. I am working on getting over the pangs of both heartbreak and jealously that hit when I see an announcement of baby number two.
I have forced myself out of my shell and comfort zone, a ton. This has been one of the best things for me. I have met people I never would have met otherwise and have tried my hardest to learn from each person who has crossed my path, knowing that they were all placed there for a reason.
I took some inspiration recently from a woman who after experiencing loss said something like, "Option A isn't available. And if option A isn't available...then we're going to have to rock the shit out of option B." I am still wrapping my head and heart around the fact that yes, option A isn't available. But I'm feeling more optimistic that once I know what option B is, I can rock that.
I have met new men. It's been more of a social experiment for me than anything else, because I've never dated. I've been in a long term relationship since I was 19. I need to learn who I am around new men, and what I want. It's few and far between. Dating for me has been conversation, or food or a drink. I've had a year without romance in my life. And that's okay.
I slowly feel my creativity, focus, and spirituality coming back. Like sparks lighting up through my system...a tiny bit here and there at a time...slowly coming back online. Back to life. And I'd rather give myself time to see it through and feel the difference, than to jump off a bridge.
I am learning what boundaries I need, and how to begin to draw them.
I believe, with nothing but trust and some blind faith, that there is something more for me. I don't know what that means, or when I'll get there, but I know I'm not on this earth to be shattered and stopped at this point in the story. What if this is right when it's about to get good? I have to know.
And then of course, my boy. My boy. My boy. My world. My son. I am the most happy, grounded, myself, rooted in earth, and in my essence when I am being mother. I am not sad. I am not lost. I am fully present in each moment. I am dropped in, I am there. I am just as in awe of him as I have ever been, if not more so. I know there are big lessons he is here to teach me, big things he is here to do, and I am HIS mother for reasons I have yet to know. He is my joy and my balm.
I had never known what regret felt like until this year. But when I look at my son, I know it couldn't have all been for nothing because HE came from this. Little blonde being of light, life, and magic.
I have been thinking so much about this day as it approached. I didn't know how I'd feel, or what I'd want to say. I wanted to wake up in my full power, a sense of relief. Healed.
But instead I feel sad. I feel in time I'll be okay. That one day I will wake up that way.
But today I'm sad, and that's okay, too.
Apr 1, 2018
Protecting your energy.
Nurturing your happiness in the face of whatever life is throwing your way.
I was made to feel I wasn't entitled to my own happiness.
I began to understand.
I would no longer cast my pearls before shells, rather than souls.
My world expands.
I've been given back to myself.
Spring strengthens me.
Many attempts have been made to clip my wings.
Nobody gets to take them from me.
Hear me loud and clear when I roar the following...
My story will have a different ending. And that's okay.
Jan 19, 2018
Jan 16, 2018
That was me...up until the end of October.
At seven months in, this is the longest I’ve ever been single. Imagine being in a relationship for all of your adult life, then bam! The unexpected happens, and there you are. A grown woman, and mother who has never dated. Suddenly, I am in unchartered territory...this including online dating. Women friends close in age who are happily married hear this, and clutch their husbands a little tighter. Horrified, they tell me they could never imagine being in my position, and couldn't possibly do it. I get it. I had the same reaction to stories of the unthinkable over the years.
I can totally remember hearing about something called match.com for the first time close to a decade or so ago. This was a place where you looked for a partner online! I thought that if people had to resort to this, then they must be totally and completely desperate. How sad for them. I also felt very lucky, if not a bit smug, because I would never need that sort of thing.
But here we are. And you better believe I had residual judgement coming with me into this new chapter of my life. But at almost three months into online dating, my thoughts about it are completely different than what I ever could have imagined.
I quickly learned that in 2018, having tinder and bumble is hardly different from having snapchat and instagram. Everybody's doing it. I've heard complaints of "hook-up culture", and the confusion of "hanging out" rather than legit dates. I'd gone out on a few set-ups which were complete duds (and ghosters). So, despite my nervousness about it, I knew I would need to take matters into my own hands. One night, I poured a glass of champagne and downloaded the first of the two.
I'm constantly learning more about what I do, and don't want. As I've gained experience and can compare, it's easy for me to see who I'm drawn to, and why. The why is important to me, as I want to be as smart as I can about this. I'm also able to learn and practice new skills that I hadn't had to before. It's been nice for me to build my confidence with dating, after feeling so low this summer. I don't know that I'm back at 100%, but I'm coming "back" more every day. And the only way to ensure this keeps happening, is forward momentum, and moving on with my life.
I first experienced this in my early 20’s. It would not be my last. I encountered men who tried to make me feel small, and question my own WORTH using fear tactics, threats...among other things.
I’ve thought SO much about what a terribly sad disservice it’s been to these men, to have been brought up in a world where this behavior (and view of what a woman is in relation to them) is OKAY. In a household where this is OKAY. These days, as I move forward with a little man by my side, I’m constantly thinking about how I can make sure he is an integral part of this NEW wave. The new movement, and a part of the solution. My biggest hope is to preserve the softness, and sensitivities I see in him. To raise him to VALUE equality, empathy, compassion, and communication. To teach him that these things don’t make him less of a man, but a bigger and better person. To have respect for his fellow man/woman/human. And to know the inherent difference between right and wrong.
The unity and the POWER of women right now is palpable. I can almost reach right out and touch the momentum. It has reminded me I am not alone. I am not small. And makes the ground under me feel a little more solid on days I still may wobble.
. . . . . .
"Part of what keeps you sitting in that chair in that room enduring harassment or abuse from a man in power is that, as a woman, you have rarely seen another end for yourself. In the novels you’ve read, in the films you’ve seen, in the stories you’ve been told since birth, the women so frequently meet disastrous ends."
- The economics of consent by Brit Marling
Dec 7, 2017
Oct 29, 2017
Oct 24, 2017
I’ve been a mama for a little over 19 months.
Today I was remembering how I felt physically after giving birth. I’d never felt more •in• my body. Internally, I could feel every last inch, down into my toes. I was alive, and buzzing. I’d never felt that way before, or since. It lasted awhile, and then it was gone. The transformation into a new species was complete. One thing that’s never left me is a new level of comfort in the skin I’m in, and love for it. I still can’t believe I lived so long without the person I love most even in my life. This body was the vessel that brought him to me. It carried his weight, and his bones, and his soul. Being a human is weird, and has never really felt all that natural to me most of the time. Cramming our big souls and starstuff into temporary housing, full of mortal coil. But when I reflect on the day it brought me my Little Prince, I kinda don’t mind it at all.
And I know for certain there is magic at work out there, beyond this plane...
Oct 19, 2017
Oct 13, 2017
When asked what I’ll look for in a future partner, an image immediately pops into my brain. Not of a person, a type, or a look. No. I picture a strong, vibrant tree. Straight lines, fleshed out, and beautiful. The roots traveling deep, reaching into the earth. I can smell the soil. Above the leaves, sunshine, and clouds. But above that, are planets and nebula. Swirling deep purples and blues. I can hear the motion. Boundless expansion. This is what I will hold out for, and there’s no time frame. A wise soul, endlessly growing in both directions. Feet firmly planted. Mind blown open. A man of both earth, and the infinite.
Sep 30, 2017
For me it happened slowly...then all at once.
In four months time:
Life as I knew it changed completely.
I underwent the most radical inward journey.
My thinking rewired.
I ended up in a place I didn't think I'd get to for years.
In four months time I deeply grasped:
People can only meet you as deeply as they've met themselves.
I am responsible for what I say, not for what you hear.
Hurt people hurt people.
I am responsible for my own happiness.
It costs nothing to be kind.
My biggest takeaway from the above, is that I AM OKAY. Not only am I okay, but I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OKAY. I will ALWAYS BE OKAY. And NOBODY CAN EVER TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME. Let me explain. I recently delved into what MY responsibility was in various situations, and relationships from past. I've been digging through the why's. Why I've chosen the romantic partners that I have over the years of my life, the friendships, why I've experienced certain situations as hardships. What was I believing to be true about both these trials, and various connections that kept me there? What was I believing to be true that sent me away? That made me sad? That made me mad? I looked at blame. If I blamed anyone through the years for letting me down, for breaking my heart, for ruining my life, for diminishing my sense of self, for disappointing me, I started to examine. I was a part of the experience. I brought something to it. My energy. Myself. My time. Me. When I look at me, what could I take responsibility for?
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Byron Katie workshop. I was introduced to her teachings, The Work years ago by one of my best friends. I thought I grasped the concept, and I did...simply. The in-person crashed course CHANGED MY LIFE. I do not say that lightly. I will NEVER be the same. In the smallest nutshell, The Work boiled down asks 4 questions. When we're in distress, having anxiety, sadness, surrounding a disturbing thought, you ask: 1.) Is it true? 2.) Can I absolutely know that it's true? 3.) How do you react -what happens- when you believe that thought? 4.) Who would you be without that thought?
Through meditation on stressful situations, and inquiry of the thoughts we are believing to be true, we can begin to break it down and see things as they really are.
I am who you believe me to be.
No person has ever hurt another.
We are believers. It's innocent. A trick of the mind. It's impossible to change your mind from what you are believing in that moment when you're in the throes. But everything ends, and then you can begin to question. You place yourself back in that stressful situation. You may be surprised at what you find. What you're believing to be true you still may find is true for you. You may find it is not true for you. When you examine who you are without that thought about the situation, or person, you see them in your minds-eye completely differently. They may not look malicious, or cruel, or arrogant. They may in fact look scared, confused, hurt.
There is SO much more to it, and a process of turning what you have believed to be true about another back onto yourself, and an examination of your role. For example, you say of someone: "they're a coward". You say, "I'm a coward." You then find ways this is true of yourself in that situation.
Through this, I've realized many of my romantic attachments in the past were based out of my own fear. Fear time was running out. Fear there was no one better suited for me. Fear options were slim.
Fear I couldn't do better.
Lifelong issues have rushed to the surface, and I can pinpoint and articulate them for once. There are old "truths" for me to now confront:
That I need a man to be happy.
That I can't take care of myself financially without a man's help.
That if a relationship is easy, something must be wrong.
That romance is tragic.
That there must be struggle.
Romantic relationships have been a glaring want/need/priority through my life, as long as I can remember. Maybe because I never saw my parents in one. I can't imagine what it would have been like to see parents kiss, sleep in the same bed, go on a date, or say I love you. I wanted what I never had, desperately. I also feared I wouldn't have it. I feared divorce. Never, ever was I going to get a divorce. Well, I've got two (drastically different) divorces under my belt, and surprisingly, I am okay. I fully do accept my life. It's mine. It's what happened, it's all in, it's made me me.
No person has ever made me do anything! I have left when I thought I should leave. No one pushed me away. I have stayed when I thought I should stay. I could have walked out the door at any time.
I have wrongly and selfishly loved versions of men I've been with other than the version that was right in front of me. I've loved past versions, and future versions. Because of this, I've poked and prodded and wished for them to be things they are not, and I have experienced being poked and prodded and wished to be what I am not.
You can't teach a cat to bark. Some people spend a lifetime trying, and at the end of their lives the cat looks at them and says...meow.
Of her now husband, BK says, "he can't move me. I'll keep going with or without him." Imagine this said in the most loving, and grounded way. It makes all the sense in the world, right?! Why should anyone want anything less of me? Why should I want anything less of the partner I love?
But we blame each other for not living up to our visions. How could we? How could someone live up to my vision? It's MY vision! How could I live up to their vision? It's THEIR vision! Blame. The blamers, BK says are the most important people in our lives. They are the ones who wake us up. Those who agree with us don't teach us anything. We become the people we don't like. We ARE them. We see ourselves in others, and we become self-righteous. Advice you give to others is always advice for yourself.
I (you) am the problem. If I am the problem, I can take care of it. It's JUST ME. It's user-friendly. Everything that happens is FOR me (you).
BK said, "The more work you do, the more you fall in love with a beautiful mind. The clearer you get, you'll fall in love with a beautiful mind. It's a match. Like you thought [previous relationships] were a match. It shows you the distance you have to travel." This was one of the most comforting takeaways. No relationship yet has been it. The end all, be all. I have so far to travel! I am only at the beginning. I am aware of the gap of what I've experienced, and what is yet to be. The gap is vast, the growth has begun, and the end result can be nothing other than the truth. HOW. EXCITING. IS. THAT?!
Learning and beginning to practice this new way of thinking brings this image to mind:
I undserand far deeper than ever before how much we trip ourselves up. WE do that. By what we think, and believe to be true. I have literally not been able to walk out of a door before because of what I believed?! I have been this horse?! Amazing. I have felt a new lightness, a new compassion.
Learning that I am okay has been nothing short of transformative...
I had the power all along...
The best BK bit was this. "You've just been told a bomb will go off in 30 seconds and will end the world. Despite what you are thinking and believing...are you okay? [PAUSE] Yes. Now 15 seconds. Despite what you are thinking and believing...are you okay? [PAUSE] Yes. But the minute you start focusing, thinking, and believing the scary or terrible thoughts upon hearing that news...you've already blown up your world."
Lightbulb, on. I get it.
A few more nuggets:
-There is no hell so dark you can't go in and clear it all up.
-Love is the power. (Love by our own definition)
-There is no one not worth listening to. You can always walk away. Do you walk away with anger or peace?
-If you didn't compare yourself with anything else in the world, aren't you perfect?
-It's just an experience. It doesn't mean you ever need to experience it again.
Sep 12, 2017
Sep 4, 2017
Aug 23, 2017
I am working through feelings when the flashes of hurt hit, and it feels so good to get them out here. I love the art of it, that the simplest flash sometimes spins into the best blog. I love the writings, and the musings that come. I love that they are coming, and that I feel connected to myself so deeply these days. Emotionally, and artistically.