Don't take life too serious.

Brand New Kind Of Me.

Talk about a personal anthem! I remember hearing and liking this song when it was released in 2012, but hearing it again recently, it took on a whole new meaning.

I watched the video before I added it to this post. The scene where she is singing to herself in the mirror made me ugly cry. It brought my own thoughts and feelings to life. Alicia Key’s words embody the empowerment I am feeling at this point in my life – a new confidence, a personal acceptance, a decision to never again apologies for who I am or what I believe.

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I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about the project I am working on. She asked me if I was abused. I told her yes, for eight years. What I noticed in that moment was that my heart wasn’t pounding. I didn’t feel small or embarrassed or sad or scared or on the verge of tears. I can say things out loud now, that I never would have been able to say even a year ago. Some how, I have flipped a switch on shame. As Mrs. Keys says, “It’s a brand new kind of free.”

So I just wanted to share this with you guys. If you have ever overcome something difficult in your life (who hasn’t?), are trying to overcome something or are struggling with getting out of your own way so that you can, I know you’ll get the chills when you hear this song. I advise taking a drive (by yourself…no kids allowed) and blasting this one!

Let me know what you think!!

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Fiction

The River Ran Through Her.

Hannah had been driving through the Adirondack mountains for hours, racing the river to clear her head. She left her family behind on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, with an urgency even she didn’t understand. She kept one eye on the road and one on the river, convinced she was looking for something, just not sure what.

wpid-IMG_20140907_150650976.jpgHannah slams on the breaks and pulls the car to the side of the road. Leaving her shoes in the car, she walks down to the river. She laughs at the sight of the rock that caught her attention from the road. It has rays of sunshine beaming down on it, as if it is calling to her. She couldn’t resist heading right for it.

Hannah begins jumping from one rock to the next, offering no time to contemplate fear. She smiles as she reaches the boulder begging for her company. She pleas with her clumbsiness to stay at bay, as she awkwardly climbs to sit on the rock.

Hannah isn’t used to sitting still. She’s used to her mind and body being pulled in a thousand directions, always dictated by other people’s needs. She bends her knees to her chest and closes her eyes. She begs the restlessness to calm down.

Hannah begins to hear the loud silence of the water racing downstream. wpid-IMG_20140907_150627439_HDR.jpgLooking both up and down the river, she starts to see the thousands of rocks, littering the water’s path. Each one embedded without permission, demanding to be considered. She thinks about the difficult circumstances she has made it through as these rocks, and her ability to overcome them as the water constantly running through. The river becomes a force Hannah feels confident surrounded by.

A strong gust of wind blows – a manifestation of Hanna’s incarcerated energy. Finally – she breathes. An inhale strong enough to wake her.

Hannah timidly slides off her clothes and places her feet in the river.  wpid-IMG_20140907_150832327.jpgShe braces herself for a shock of cold. Instead, the warmth clings to her skin, seeping into her soul. It moves her to walk deeper. Hannah knows there is a reason she was called to this open space and is moved to walk deeper. She risks being seen from the road and maneuvers each slippery rock with conviction.

She can no longer resist baptizing herself in the moment. Hannah submerges herself in the river, conforming her body to the rocks. Water rushing over her bare skin, she dips her head back and allows the river to run her completely over. She eagerly gives in to it, feeling no need to come up for air. The stress of life – motherhood, relationships, family, money, self doubt – she could feel the water pulling it out of her pores, leaving her lighter and finally free.

Hannah stands up. She confidently manipulates the stones to carry her out of the river. As she reaches the rock that initially called her to this space, she arches her back against its heated skin. She feels the sun recharging her spirit.

Hannah dressed and walked back to her car. She did a U-turn in the road and headed home. She set out today with the idea of finding herself on repeat in her head. sunset As she finished her journey, driving in to a sun set as perfect as her time alone has been, she felt relieved of her search.

A Piscean true at heart – it’s no wonder Hannah found her self by the river, contemplating forces that run both with and against nature.

 

 

 

Life can be serious business.

Give It To Me Straight, Doc. How Long Do I Have?

“I need you to lift your breast and flop it on to the machine. Now relax while I squish the shit out of your boob and also, please stop breathing until you feel like passing out, while I take the picture. After I’m done violating your breasts with this vice, I’ll have you wait here to ponder your own demise.”

Ok, so maybe the technician performing my mammogram didn’t use those exact words, but she may as well have. All the niceties in the world could not have prepared me for what I experienced this morning, and I don’t just mean the actual act of have my boobies flattened like a pancake. Through out the process, I felt incredibly vulnerable and scared out of my mind.

During a routine physical last week, my doctor felt something in my breast that concerned her and sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound. I had both tests done this morning. While I waited for the doctor to look over the results, I completely convinced myself that I had breast cancer.

I sat there planning how I was going to tell my family. Already convinced of my fate, I decided that I would opt to have my breasts cut off. I wondered if my health insurance would cover all the treatments I would need, including whether or not implants would be an option. I panicked as I thought about my hair falling out. I fought back tears, as I thought about my two kids growing up without me. I knew it was inevitable that my new found breast cancer would kill me.

When the tech came in and told me that the doctor did not see anything that concerned him, Ididn’t believe her. I had managed to work myself up to the point that even hard evidence, showing I was in good health, wasn’t enough. I then went for my ultrasound.

“I want you to lie down and expose your left booby. I’m going to glob some hot gooey stuff on your tit and awkwardly rub this wand all over it, while saying nothing but making noises that will lead you to believe I just saw death on the screen I’ll be staring at.”

Yeah, no. That isn’t really what the ultrasound technician said either, but again, she might as well have.

Before I was even finished wiping off the boob goo and getting dressed, the tech was telling me through the door (how personal, right?) that the doctor saw nothing and I was free to go. I whipped the door open so fast, I almost smacked the poor woman in the face with it. I asked her, “So, you’re sure I’m good. I don’t need a biopsy or anything like that? Will I need a follow up ultrasound, ya know, just to be sure?” “No” she said. “You’re all good.”

And just like that, I was physically no different then when I arrived.

As I drove home with the confirmation that my ta tas were actually healthy, I contemplated why I’ve always feared I would die young. Is it connected, in some way, to my early childhood trauma? Is it because my mom died young? Could my self-esteem really be that low – to the point that I don’t feel worthy of living a full lifetime?

It’s so strange to me that this one event could make me question so much, and convince me so strongly of a false fate. I’m so grateful for the outcome and in a strange way for the entire experience. Once again, life has shown me how damaging my “pending doom” and irrational thinking can be.

Always fearing the worst, I see things without clarity or lack an authenticity to my experiences. I’m not in control all the time – that’s not even a realistic option. I need to be reminded of this from time to time. Today was a clear reminder. I had myself six feet under because I fooled myself in to thinking I was in control. Apparently, my idea of controlling things leads me in the path of the worst case scenario. That is not how I want to live. If I always assume and plan for the worst, I’m preventing the good in life from shining through.

I realized something today that I don’t think I fully understand yet. Letting go of fear seems to run parallel with letting go of control for me. Perhaps by heading towards fear, I can move forward more freely.

Why is it so common to expect the worst? Is imagining the experience of pain easier than imagining the experience of joy? Have you ever experienced something similar, where you convinced yourself something bad was going to happen, even before you had all the necessary information?

mammo

 

 

Don't take life too serious.

What Happens In The Woods…Is Sure To Show Up On My Blog.

Camping with the girls taught me a few things. Women can and will talk openly about damn near anything, our emotions are as fleeting as our conversations, we are more petrified of pooping in the woods than creepers stalking in the woods and no one, I mean no one, should ever assume, underestimate or doubt a woman.

Brandi and I finally made it to the site around 6pm on Friday. The other three girls, Heather, Jerrica and Whitney, had already started to transform the beautiful piece of land, into what we called home for the weekend. A fire was going, table set, citronella candles burning and yes, beers in hand.

Bugs. Everyone wants to know how we survived the bugs. Turns out, I have more in my back yard. Between the 200% deet bug spray always at arms length, tiki torches, citronella candles, Jerrica’s bug zappers and her briliiant idea to duct tape fabric softener sheets to the trees surrounding us (She saw it on Pinterest – we just modified it), we definitely west nile-ated the mesquitoes. Did you catch that. Oh yeah, there’s plenty more of those little made-up jewels.

Prettiest way to fry bugs.
Prettiest way to fry bugs.
It's how we roll.
It’s how we roll.

While Heather was free-vagin’ it (I warned you) and preparing dinner that first night, we crowded around the table and like those that have seen the shape of Jesus in a cloud, we were in awe at what we saw. It was a sign that came in the form of cheese — our instincts that this weekend would be epic had just been confirmed.

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Just be happy.

We ate like queens the entire weekend. Full on camping buffet equipped with bacon burgers, summer salads, chicken, eggs, more bacon, sausage, even freakin’ toast. We ate hotdogs at almost midnight on Saturday, along with smores and motrin. The buffalo chicken dip didn’t stand a chance at making it home and the brownies lasted a hot minute because duh – women.

I never once felt like I was roughing it. Well, as long as I ignore the fact that we had no bathrooms around us. We were more prepared than a tweeked out, doomsday prepper.

Oh and the booze! I say that like I crack open a cold one while changing my son’s first diaper in the morning but honestly, I rarely drink more than a glass of wine at night. This was a pre-motherhood level of drinking. It was fabulous. It led to moments like this:

It's a can't talk, I'm laughing so hard I may pee myself kind of moment.
It’s a can’t talk, I’m laughing so hard I may pee myself kind of moment.

and this:

Farm girl gone bad-ass.
Farm girl gone bad-ass.

And of course this:

Yep. Flip cup. In the middle of the day.
Yep. Flip cup. In the middle of the day.

I’ve always known music can bring people together, but it truly is it’s own character in this story. From the time we arrived, the music was flowing. We learned so much about each other simply by taking turns playing our favorites from our own playlists. It’s amazing how many stories are attached to songs.

The music took us in so many different directions. And guess what? White girls can rap — like a boss! Perhaps the shots of caramel apple vodka were catching up to us but we could have battled Eminem that first night. We attempted to have a dance party but should have started it much earlier in the night. I decided backing it up in my chair was a way better idea than falling in to the fire.

Cheers...now let us all pray we don't have a hang over tomorrow.
Cheers…now let us all pray we don’t have a hang over tomorrow.

Through out the weekend, we kept a question game of sorts going. Some we wrote down and threw in to a bag to pull out and take turns answering, others we just shouted out whenever we thought of them. Questions ranging all the way from the random “Have you ever been in a fight?”, to the insightful “Name two words to describe yourself.”, around to the “What is on the top of your bucket list?” and of course we had to get all deep with “When you were 10 yrs old, where did you see yourself in 10 years?”…still pondering that one.

I surprised the girls by admitting I broke a guys nose once with my foot. Who knew Brandi wants to go to space before she kicks the bucket? And I don’t believe any one of us still quite know why Heather felt the two best words, in all of the English language to describe herself with were, “Goat Farmer”. The two Moms in the group may or may not have peed themselves a little when she shouted that out.

We had a moment where shit got very real. We had creepers camping near us, who decided to sneak up on us. Let me just say, I almost shit my pants I was not scared for a second. We may not look like a bunch of bad ass bitches but when these guys came creepin’, I don’t think they had any idea how prepared we were to take them out. We didn’t have a gun but between the knives and the hatchet…these guys were going to lose a body part if they took two more steps. Turned out all we needed to defend ourselves was nothing more than some good old fashion shit talkin’ and a show of force. Girl power, bitches.

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We almost committed murder right before this picture was taken. Gangsta.

Saturday, we decided to take a hike, since we were already in the woods and all. Despite a few blisters and slight dehydration, we were reminded of the beauty that is the Adirondacks.

 

I can only hope it wasn’t just the booze talking when we promised to make this a yearly thing. Being with a group of strong minded, funny, down to earth women – no husbands, no kids and no agenda for the entire weekend, was therapeutic. My body and brain slowed down and I laughed so much I don’t need to do crunches for a month (I don’t every really do crunches people).

Something else pretty amazing happened. I missed my family. That may sound shallow to some but the truth is, as a SAHM, I’m never really anywhere without them. Of course I appreciate and love them with every ounce of my being, but missing them, not knowing what they are doing and realizing that they can in fact survive without me, was a very healthy thing for me.

In between the food, drinks and laughter, I took little pieces of my own time to just sit and be quiet with myself. I think I managed to move past a few emotional glitches that have been gnawing at me. The river, fresh air and immobility was apparently what I needed to clear the fog away.

My tools for meditation in the woods.
My tools for meditation in the woods.

Sunday morning, we stumbled out of our tents looking like we got hit by a bus refreshed and started packing up. In less than an hour, we were saying our goodbyes. As I looked back at the site, I couldn’t help but laugh and think, if only trees could talk. Thank you girls for being you. And thanks for not letting the bugs, the doubts and life get in the way of our weekend 🙂

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Don't take life too serious.

What Doesn’t Bend, Breaks.

 

There is something about this third decade of my life, that has opened my eyes, and my heart, just a little bit wider. For those that believe people don’t change, it’s unfortunate they missed this stage in life.

Change is necessary. It’s a platform for growth.

I can look back at the last decade of my life with perspective and a bit more earned wisdom. I can see where I steered off course, made poor choices, mistaken certain things, relationships or events for what really matters. But I regret none of it. I appreciate and know the value of the scars left behind.

I’m learning how stillness, can lend itself to moving forward. Simple motions in time, like drinking coffee on the porch, watching the kids play outside, has become way more important than a big house or expensive vacations. Our five year plan has totally morphed in to a “it will get done eventually” mantra. I’ll give up damn near everything for sunny days in the backyard with the young babes though.

I’ve definitely become more of the tortoise and less the hare. Yes, some of that may actually be due to the arthritis in my hip and sleep deprivation (yes I said I’m in my 30’s and not my 70’s); however, it’s more to do with me just being in less of a rush these days.

Had I not been in my late 20’s when I became a Mom, I don’t know that I would have been wise enough or selfish smart enough, to realize being a Mother isn’t enough. Learning how to unconditionally love others is a gift and is fulfilling. But learning how to love yourself and evolving, is necessary.

I’m not afraid to hold myself accountable to how I’m feeling anymore; or other people for that matter. I used to avoid this behavior. I don’t like confrontation. Whether it be with a best friend, co-worker, my husband, a boss or myself – I hate it. But it doesn’t scare me anymore. It doesn’t make me feel like I would rather curl up in a little ball rather than say what I need to say. I feel like my voice is streaming from a foundation worth paying attention to.

I think my drive to overcome the helplessness instilled in me, and my maternal instincts, have met at just the right time. It’s quite empowering. Both are teaching me to how to bend instead of break.

Living in the past kept me stagnant and scared. Ignoring it left me defeated. Understanding how it is connected to me now, as a woman and still pretty new Mother, seems to be right where I need to be at this point in my life. Some would say, of course you are right where you are supposed to be, where else could you be? I’d say it depends on the day.

Some days, I’m able to call myself out on my own irrational thoughts. I can pin point envy in the way I find myself judging other people. I have to ask myself why things matter so much – if it’s because it appears it will make life easier, or it’s because of what other people may think, than I know I need to check myself. Authenticity isn’t born out of ease or other people’s opinions.

I guess that’s really what I am chasing these days. Authenticity. To carve out the baggage and fine tune my soul. Every other day, I feel like I am starting from scratch. That in itself, is a beautiful lesson.

 

 

 

Momma has lost her mind.

Coffee Dates: A Slice of Sanity for a SAHM.

coffee

Something I look forward to every week, is coffee with the girls. Since I became a SAHM, I have been fortunate enough to gain a strong circle of new friends. Life seemed to have handed me these ladies, at a time that I had no idea how much I would need them.

It’s a pretty incredible thing to have other women in my life that are at the same stages I am. Even though the ages range, the point in life is the same, and the emotions that go along with that are understood. Either we never knew each other before we had kids or our previous friendship drifted for awhile, leaving so much to learn about each other. I know how rare it is to connect with new friends at this point in life – for this I am so very grateful.

One of the reasons I love these girls so much is because they are not shiny-happy people. We’ve all struggled in our lives in some way shape or form. There is a layer of empathy to having a shitty day that is humbling and appreciated. We don’t always have our shit together, nor do we ever really aim to.

We’re all currently on the same page financially as well. It is incredibly difficult to manage life with one income and all of us do that on a daily basis. Our coffee dates allow us to vent that stress, without the guilt factor. There is a level of ease in talking about anything, be it our relationships, finances, kids or ourselves.

We all have the same parenting style, when it comes to raising our precious little tyrants. It’s a beautiful thing. We don’t sweat the small stuff. We don’t judge each other on how she parents. We expect that each other would address a situation if you see a kid acting like an ass, no matter who they belong to. If a child needs something, we take care of it, even if it isn’t our own. As long as the coffee is flowing, so do the mornings.

We all have a slightly jaded, fun sense of humor. We laugh at our parenting failures as much as anything. We tell our stories, we bitch, laugh, talk about deep shit, gossip, cry, whatever. It is a little slice of “ahhhh” to the life that is being a SAHM.

There’s never really a dull moment. We are women who otherwise are with children all day. We talk, a lot. And we love it. It’s like excersice for our brains.

The only problem we run in to is Mommy brain. Our conversations are constantly interrupted by demands for puffs (a.k.a. baby crack), a foul odor starting to demand attention or a little boy’s attempt to give his Mother a heart attack. No doubt, not a single one of us will be able to remember what the hell we were talking about after whatever situation is handled.

I will be going camping with a few of these ladies in less than two weeks. I can’t wait. We have our list of who’s bringing what, we’re creating the greatest play-lists ever and we are ready to go – rain or shine. The Momma hats will be left at home that weekend and it will definitely be more than just coffee flowing.

So… cheers to the other Mommas in my life! You ladies are awesome. Every week I learn something new from you all. You keep me laughing and give me something to look forward to each week. I don’t know what I would do without you!

 

Momma has lost her mind.

A Bikini Cut And The Crack-Head Shakes.

csection

Early on in my first pregnancy, I would joke about how I would gladly be cut open instead of have my vagina blown out by a 7 pounder. However, the truth is, when I was told I had to have a cesarean, I cried like a baby.

It was less than a week away from my due date and I had gone for my weekly check-up. My doctor put his hand on the top of my belly and immediately led me to the ultra sound room. He then, with an annoying, nonchalant manner, requested that I come in to his office. He sat across from me and told me that my daughter was breech and that we would schedule a cesarean three days from now.

Before I said anything, I started to ugly cry. I don’t really know why, other than I just immediately felt robbed of something I was deathly afraid of to begin with. I was even more petrified now.

My unborn daughter refused to let someone else pick her birthday. I went in to labor the day before I was scheduled. My poor doctor had to cancel his golf plans. Pity.

After settling in (several painful attempts at an IV, catheter and small talk), people were somewhat scrambling to fit me in to the OR. I started to panic. It was one of those, I’m scare and I want my Mommy moments…only my Mom can’t hold my hand from heaven. Thank God for my husband, who refused to go to work the day before I was scheduled because he, “had a feeling”. This is the same man who woke me up that morning to the scent of Lysol, due to nesting like a crazed she-man.

Out of no where, nurses started pouring in to my room and I was wheeled away to the OR. My husband had to hang back until right before they cut me {cringe!}. Shortly after, the anesthesiologist came in and read me the if-you-die-it’s-not-my-fault waiver. He then had me sit up and hunch over as he completed the spinal block. A little prick my ass! That shit hurt and him telling me not to move made me want to cry harder and punch him in the jugular.

They laid me down and then this guy starts asking me “can you feel this, can you feel this, can you feel this?” I was so freaked out because I kind of could and kind of couldn’t! I just felt like I was failing his stupid test and I was going to feel the doctor slicing my skin! Finally, the doc said, “hey, do you feel this?” and I asked, “feel what?” Apparently, I was good because he was pinching my leg as hard as he could.

At this point, I am flat on my back and my arms are strapped down. It’s perhaps the most vulnerable, terrifying position ever.

I have a blue curtain hanging by my face to prevent me from seeing my body being pulled open and organs shifted around. That would be great except, if I looked straight up, I could see the reflection of what was going on, in the big light fixture that was not being used at the moment. If I looked to the right, I saw a tube that my blood was rushing through.

Again, thank God for the man sitting on my left. It was his face and his voice, that I focused on. That was the only thing that kept me calm, as I felt my body being pulled and jerked around. I couldn’t feel the pain but I felt what I knew they were doing to me. Again, just awful.

My daughter was pulled from my womb and marked her presence with a dainty little cry. They cleaned her up and brought her over so I could see her. My reaction was, “Oh my God, she is so beautiful!” I laugh when I think of this because it was actually quite a shallow reaction. I was psyched she didn’t have the cone-head, gooey, newborn look to her.

My experience wasn’t over yet though. Even though the hubs left to go be with the baby, I still had to be put back together. It was the oddest thing to hear two doctors, on opposite sides of me, discussing their summer plans, as they were literately closing up my body. Bizarre. When they were done, a nurse took the blue sheet down. I was immediately mortified. My doctor was wearing, what my memory now swears was a butcher’s apron, and it looked like he had just slaughtered a warehouse full of cows.

After spending an hour in recovery, by my self, where nurses chatted about hospital politics, while throwing around my numb body to clean me up (it was just awkward), I was finally taken back to my room. Here’s the thing though. I got, what I have dubbed, the crack-head shakes. For some reason, some people get real shaky after a spinal. I was one of those people. Someone should have warned my sister. As I am being wheeled in, she starts freaking out because her baby sister looks like she’s having a crack-attack.wiggle your toe

My crack-attack started to fade eventually and within a few hours, my legs were warm and tingly. Not in a I-just-had-great-sex kind of way, but more of a did-I-just-piss-myself kind of way. I kept trying to will my big toe to wiggle like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Shit didn’t work that way.

It all being said and done, I got to hold and breast feed my tiny, baby girl and all was right with the world.

Going in to have my second child, I thought knowing what I knew, the C-section would be easier. It wasn’t. I was scared and panicky the minute I walked in to the hospital.

Natural childbirth is painful I know, but it’s natural. There is something about being cut open to bring your baby in to the world, that makes you feel a little robbed. I think most women (most I know anyway) pray for a cesarean when they find out they are pregnant because they are petrified of jacking up their lady parts and afraid they won’t survive the pain.

There is absolutely nothing glorious about a cesarean, except the end result of course. It’s scary, it’s cold, it’s not natural and the recovery is slow and painful. I still cringe (not lying) to this day when I hear a staple gun. Yes, they used fucking staples to close me up! It isn’t as easy as a conveniently, scheduled due date that avoids wrecking havoc on your body. My feet hitting the floor the next day was a stabbing pain that made me want to bunt sweet baby Jesus.

So to the women who don’t have children yet or are currently pregnant: Do not wish for a C-section. Our lady parts are fucking awesome and can handle it. I never understood what the big deal about C-sections was, until nature demanded that I have one.

In the end, all that matters is that I had a healthy baby girl, who will be five years old in less than a month (Wow!). But truth be told, I get a bit jealous in a room full of women, hyped up on birthing stories.

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Don't take life too serious.

My Dammit List

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for little slices of empowerment lately. I’ve been a bit stagnant and in need of … well I don’t really know. I came across a post called, My Dammit List, written by Natalie, on her blog, The Cat Lady Sings. It just felt good reading it.

self preservation

It made me understand that a little of what I have been lacking lately, is unapologetic self-appreciation. I have to be the one to light that flame and keep it burning. I can’t do that if I am holding on to what-ifs and it’s-not-worth-its and buts...

Natalie’s explanation of and reason for creating a dammit list, was said so perfectly, I won’t even try to describe it any other way.

“So I need a Shit I Stand For list, a Book of Me that I can refer to when I feel my edges wearing away. When I feel like I’m losing myself. Because sometimes I feel like the cord tethering me to Earth is slipping, and that I might disappear, or become a ghost. No one wants to be an amorphous blob.”

“So I need to know where I stand, so that I can stand. This is my Dammit List. Imagine adding “dammit” to the end of every bulleted item, for emphasis. I reserve the right to update this as necessary.”

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I give you my Dammit List:

  • I will be a priority in my life. I have to take off ALL the hats I wear in order to do this. That means someone else will have to take the lead for me. I won’t feel guilty about that anymore.
  • I will stop comparing myself to other Moms/women. We all have baggage and wear our shields to cover it, differently. Life looks different on all of us, on purpose. I’m going to try to start to call myself on it, the next time I have a thought, that any one person is more worthy than I am, just because they look like they have their shit more together.
  • I will be proud, and not embarrassed, when someone compliments my writing. I have a talent and I am proud of that. Accepting a compliment proudly, doesn’t make me boastful. Discussing something I have written, does not mean I’m fishing for approval. If I wrote it, it’s something I genuinely want to talk about. If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s not my intent or my issue.
  • I have a right to disagree with someone, and just as much of a right to tell them why. Shaking my head in agreement or saying nothing at all, instead of speaking up, shaves off little slivers of my soul. Not going to do that anymore.
  • I have a right to ask someone not to behave or say certain things around myself and my children. I’ve always had a hard time speaking up. It stems from never being allowed to as a kid. I’m not a kid anymore and if things are being said that encourage negativity, a bullying mentality or in an intimidating manner, than I will ask you to pipe the eff down.
  • I will do things that are unexpected of me. I’m not the same person I was yesterday or the day before that. If I decide to make changes in my life or lifestyle, no ones opinion of that will stop me from doing so.
  • I will not have toxic people in my life anymore.
  • I will let fear motivate me, instead of hinder me. I will pay more attention to what I am resistant to and move in that direction. If anything, life has taught me it’s that direction, that leads to answers and joy.

Dammit, that felt good. Putting oneself first, without allowing fear of judgment or other people’s issues to get in the way, is not an easy thing to do. I struggle with it daily. The only real way to combat that, is to just do it. It’s quite humbling and empowering.

vagina balls

So get to it! Make your own list. Print it out and hang it next to your mirror. That way before you can continue the habit of looking for what’s wrong with yourself, you can start paying more attention to what’s right.

Thanks Natalie!

Don't take life too serious.

The Forgiveness Culture Doesn’t Work For Me.

If I see one more “spiritual” meme about forgiveness come through my Facebook feed, I just may start flipping the bird to random people.  Encouragements to forgive irritate me.

Our culture is caught up in the idea that forgiveness is a soul cleansing act that will graciously lead you to recovery.  The forgiveness rhetoric is so heavily associated with moving forward and the idea that it will rescue you from harboring ill will.  I don’t buy it.

When things don’t sit right with me, it can have a physical effect.  My gut is far wiser than my brain or my heart.  It doesn’t seem to be as gullible.  As I get older, I tend to let my gut lead more.  My tendency to do so pushed me away from the forgiveness gospel.  No part of exploring the idea of forgiveness felt good on me.  It actually cheapened the outrage I have learned to tap in to and made me feel smaller.

What if I'm not angry anymore?
What if I’m not angry anymore?

Given the extent to which I have been doused with dysfunction and used for another person’s gain, I’m not so sure I am wired to accept that belief.  Furthermore, I think it’s a little bit of bullshit that any person that has had their body and mind violated against should be advised or expected to forgive the perpetrator.  The socially accepted voice that tells me I need to forgive to obtain closure is righteous and lacks empathy.  Learning that has brought me more closure than any failed attempt at forgiveness.

My story is worth holding on to.
My story is worth holding on to.

I could not, and still cannot, wrap my head around telling someone that willingly made a wrong and somewhat lethal choice, over and over again,  that I forgive them.  For me, telling the man that abused me for eight years of my young life, “I forgive you” is telling myself “it’s ok”.  As in, oh don’t worry about, no big deal, I’ll survive.  It’s not ok.  People say when you forgive, you can let go.  Let go of what?  Let go of any part of my story and ignore how I have had to adapt because of it?  No thanks.  I’ll hold on to that.

I didn’t need to offer forgiveness to find the kind of closure I needed.  Without forgiving, I managed to tone down the panic and trauma.  I needed self acceptance and the ability to embrace all of who I am.  Now I just need a shift in our culture so that I don’t feel like I did something wrong or I am inconveniencing someone else’s comfort level by telling my story.

WTF
WTF

I call bullshit.  A “strong” person is one who has found the courage to scrape off the layers of shit and shame abuse glues to you.  The film that needs to be peeled back and eventually removed is a lifetimes worth of work.  For me, forgiveness just doesn’t have a place in that battle.

Life can be serious business.

A Distorted Mind.

I was hit last night.  I didn’t know where it came from or the cause but it was a blow that shook me.  I’m still shaking.

8

I can’t understand why depression seems to creep in and take such an oppressive hold, at times that seem so incongruously wrong.  It feels like years worth of building myself up has crumbled down today and it has left me desperate.  Desperate for an air I can breathe back in to my usual full of life mind and body.  I’m running on discouraged fumes today.

I am reaching for a layer of strength so that I can mother my children through this somber day.  My arsenal for hiding my broken pieces is running frustratingly low.  The art of distraction, for both them and myself, is vital today.  I need room to decipher how to react to them when I feel like this.  It’s difficult to recognize.  It’s hazy at best.

Just as the energy to find humor has completely left me today, so has my relationship to any familiar emotion.  I am indifferent to all of it.  Love is there.  I can feel it.  I just can’t access it.

This is my truth.  I have these days.  I have variations of these days.  I have no way of knowing when this particular occurrence will lift or at least ease.  My body usually recognizes the break before my mind does.  I’ll be in motion again.  I’ll move forward and up word in thought.  My brain will react less critically.

Time is the only prescription that works.  Time and the will and ability to connect my flesh to the moment.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/daily-prompt-forward/