Monthly Archives: June 2013

Open Letter to My Girls

Dear Girl1 and Girl2,

First, I still can’t believe, Girl2, you will be 5 on Tuesday.  That is crazy to me.  What is even crazier is that, Girl1, you will be 15 soon.  You are both entering big phases in your lives, one entering Kindergarten and one entering High School.  Both of you have so much in front of you, and I know you will both do the best you can do.

I wanted to take a moment and just let you both know how much you are loved.  I don’t think I could have asked for two better daughters for me.  I want you both to know how proud I am of both of you.  Girl1, you have a great grasp of who you are, and are not afraid to show it. I admire that very much in you.  Girl2, you are following in those footsteps.  You have no issues showing your personality, and also have a great grasp of your own limits.  I don’t think I have ever seen any other 4 year old put themselves in a time out because they were frustrated.

I know both of you strong willed females will make your own decisions in life, and no one will be able to stop you.  We all have to live and learn in our own ways, which includes making our own mistakes.  Don’t forget to grab a life lesson from each mistake or else you made the mistake for nothing and chances are really good you will make the same one again.

Celebrate your successes that you have.  It doesn’t matter how small it may seem, still celebrate each and every one.  Any reason to be happy and spread good news is a good one.

Trust your instincts.  You will meet lots of new people and be put in so many situations.  If something tells you that something is wrong, it probably is.  Don’t be afraid to act upon a gut feeling.  I can honestly tell you in most of the bad things I have gone through in my life there was a little voice telling me to get out.  I didn’t listen, and maybe you won’t either at first, but learn to trust yourself.

Love your body.  Do not let anyone tell you different.  It is part of who you are and you are beautiful.  You will have your moments of insecurity, but do not let it eat you alive.  Be proud of who you are, and always know how beautiful.

Love as hard as you can.  Love so hard that it feels like your whole body is going to explode with love.  Don’t worry about things like length of time or if it is the right person.  When you feel it, run with it like a kite and the beach and watch it fly.

Don’t be afraid of getting your heart broken.  It will happen, and it will happen more than once.  It will feel like the end of the world, but I assure you it isn’t.  You will cry and maybe not change your clothes, and that’s okay, but don’t let it close you off to one of the best emotions we can feel.  It will get better and there is no time limit.  You will know when it is time to move forward.  Just remember to move forward.  

Make friends.  Open yourself up to other people.  You both have such a great shine to you, and it is a shine the world needs to see.  Some may go, you may go, but there may be one or two that will stand by you for many, many, years.  I can tell you that these friends will be just as close as family and your relationship just as important.

I know it may seem hard to believe right now, but in the future you two will be best friends.  I know there is a large age difference, but over time that will matter less and less.  There is 16 years between me and your aunt, and I could never imagine life without her.  Love each other so hard.  You will need each other time and time again.

Thank you both for understanding I am not perfect.  Let that be one of the first lessons you take away, because no one is perfect.  We are all scratched, dented, bruised, and scraped.  It is these things that make us all beautiful and unique.  Embrace these imperfections and own them.  Don’t let bad decisions define who you are because they won’t make you a bad person.  It just makes you human and a student of life.  

Make bad decisions.  Just don’t kill or physically hurt anyone.  That may make you kinda bad.  Just learn from them.

If someone hurts you once, think about the reasons why they did it before you let them back into your life.  Sometimes we just can’t help but hurt those that we love (or even don’t love, but you know what I mean).  If you can justify it, then forgive.  Forgiveness is so very important in this journey.  Forgiveness isn’t just for other people, but also for yourself.  Always remember to forgive yourself.

If someone hurts you twice, get them out of your life.  Never accept a situation where someone puts their hands on you.  If that happens, even once, get out.  Do not be afraid, and do not allow them to convince you that it will never happen again.  It will.

I love you both so much.  I cannot wait to see the beautiful, strong, women you will both become and I will be cheering you on from the sidelines as you start your journeys.  I will also be here to listen and comfort you when you need it, maybe even when all you want is for me to go away.  

One more thing before I go – Read.  Read everything you can.  

Love,

Mom

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Learnings from a Hurt Place

This morning I ate a small bag of Ruffles and pepperoni and cheese.  It was pretty amazing because I really haven’t been eating a lot the last few days so I was really proud of my efforts. It’s hard for me to eat when I am upset about something, and let’s face it, it’s usually hard for me to eat in general.  I do very well pretty much everyday, but like with anything that is bad for you, it always lays dormant waiting for you to leave an opening.  Somewhere in my brain I will always associate skipping meals as a really good thing, a positive thing, so it’s hard to congratulate myself while telling myself I am an idiot at the same time.

I’m not going to tell the story about why I am upset, because it really isn’t just my story to tell, and honestly, I don’t want to tell it.  Everyday gets easier as I run through the gambit of emotions.  I have felt better each day, which is how we got to Ruffles and pepperoni this morning.  Oh, and cheese.  Progress, people.

I will share the end result.  Over the course of the last 5 days, I’ve felt betrayed, used, abandoned, judged, lied to, labeled, lost two friends and something that took up mostly every Saturday for almost a year.  It’s been a crazy ride for the last 5 days.  I’ve been devastated, relieved, angry, and contemplative.  Here is what I have learned:

People, including myself, can be absolute idiots.  It comes with the being human territory, and just as at times we can be absolute geniuses, we can also have absolute moments of stupidity.  Being backed into a corner can make us do really stupid things.

You cannot be mad at others because they didn’t do what you wanted them to do.  Well, you can, but in the end it doesn’t matter because they will still make their own choices and you will have absolutely no say in it.

You cannot be mad at others for making bad decisions.  Remember, you probably make bad decisions all the time, and you probably didn’t listen to anyone either.

You have to accept that sometimes you may value someone more than they value you.  It’s a hard acceptance, but a true one.

People lie.  Sometimes you won’t understand the why behind it, but you just need to understand that it happens.

Fear is a bitch.  Fear can stop us from getting into trouble, but it can also absolutely stop us from obtaining something wonderful.  It’s okay to be scared.  Everyone at some point in their life has been scared.  It is not okay to let fear dictate your life.

Sometimes people we surround ourselves with are not the best people for us to surround ourselves with.  The people we choose to let into ourselves should embrace and inspire.  The should fill you with love and allow you to fill them with love.  When that doesn’t happen, you probably aren’t surrounding yourself with the right people.  All relationships should be give and take.  Sadly, it doesn’t usually work out that way, but that doesn’t mean to give up before you find it.

Violence is really never an answer.  It just isn’t for me.  I really can’t think of one situation where violence has made it better.  It may feel good at the time, but never forget it is very bad.  It kinda breaks my heart when I hear about it.

I am and will be fine.  It’s what I do, the consummate cheerleader.  It’s been a rough week, but it is what it is.  I accept that there will be good days, and bad days, good months, bad months.  Hell, I have had bad years.  Yet, at the end, I know I always have so many things to be grateful for; children who I find amazing; a job that isn’t horrible; friends that love me, even when I make bad choices.  The world is still good, and though I haven’t felt much like unicorns and mermaids, I could solidly go with a mini-pony.  They are quite cute.

I will leave you with a most amazing quote from a movie I have a soft spot for:

“Be excellent to each other”

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The Art of Feels

When I was 15, I was told that I was a manic depressive.  I didn’t understand really what that meant as I sat there holding a paper to give to a pharmacist.  Sure, I got depressed but I was 15.  It like comes with the territory, or so I thought.  What the person who handed me didn’t understand is that what he saw as manic depressive, I saw as just having a lot of feels.  I had that paper and I walked home and walked right past the pharmacy because I didn’t think I actually needed anything to cure me.  I just had feels.

I’ve always been a girl who had really deep feels.  I didn’t think it was strange to cry over books and commercials, it was normal.  I could empathize with peoples pain and hurt and always want to fix it for them.  If I could, I would try to suck their feels into myself so they wouldn’t have to have them anymore.  I would shoulder the worlds hurts if I could.

I remember being in third grade and my teacher had reached out to my mom.  There was a girl in the class who was having a difficult time.  She really didn’t fit in and she had no friends.  The teacher wanted me to make friends with her so she wouldn’t feel so alone.  So I would walk home with her and play games with her (I still remember sitting on her living room floor playing “Where’s the Beef” – yes, they made a board game out of that).  I think it has always been in my genetic makeup to just feel all the feels.

When my father unexpectedly passed away, I remember going to the doctor again.  A regular doctor who asked a bunch of questions and she ended with giving me a script for anti-depressants.  Again, I was handed something to dull down my overactive feels.  I went to the pharmacy this time because I was older, and didn’t trust myself as much, and got it filled.  I went home and stared at it before I threw them in the garbage.  To me, being sad and not sleeping well had everything to do with the fact that my father died on my son’s birthday and no one knew he was even in the hospital.  That makes sense, right?  Who wouldn’t have feels?  I remember talking to one of my employees at the time who’s father had also passed and he was given the same pills.  The difference was he took them.  He told me how he didn’t feel sad, but he also didn’t feel happy.  It was just nothing.  After that conversation I had known I made the right choice.

Once more I was given this magical cure of the feels.  I was going through a rough spot and just couldn’t get out of my hole.  It was pretty bad for a while and resulted in me having a mini breakdown.  I saw yet another new doctor and this time filled the pills and started taking the medication.  I did it for about a week before I realized that this is just who I am.  I am a girl who has deep feels.

That isn’t to say that there are tons of people out there who need the medication.  I think anyone who has issues should exhaust avenues to make themselves better.  For me, it wasn’t the medication that was going to make me feel better.  It was accepting who I am and acknowledging that sometimes I will care too deeply, love too hard, and mourn when I’ve lost things.

Right now I feel a little broken.  I feel a little sad, and a little mournful.  It will eventually pass, and I will be back to my rainbows, unicorns, and please don’t cuddle me self (walking contradiction, remember?).  I was outside and the neighbor was mowing the lawn and I wondered if he was also broken.  Maybe he had just lost something and felt a little sad and mowing the lawn made him feel better.  I am sure it probably wasn’t the case, but I like to make silent connections with unsuspecting people.  

I didn’t take the medications because I wanted to feel.  I wanted to feel all the feels, good and bad.  I fully believe you can’t have one thing without another, you can’t be happy without knowing sad.  You can’t be full without knowing empty.  It helps us gauge where we are, or what we need to do to get to a better place.  Sometimes things can be scary.  Scary doesn’t mean hard stop though, if anything scary is the best feel to have because it is going to be a monumental moment in your life.  Stop and think about it.  Think about one time you were really scared.  Did you run?  If you did, were you happy you did?  Did you face it?  If so, did you get that waive of relief for doing something you never thought you could do, or was it for something worth so much that nothing could have stopped you?  Monumental.  

I love people.  I really, really, love people.  I love them when they are happy, and I love them when they aren’t.  I understand broken people, the fighters that keep going, and the ones that need help getting picked back up.  I have been all of those, and something tells me you have as well.  I have yet to meet one person who has not been broken.  We are all so wonderfully fantastic with our feels and our scars.  It’s beauty, friends.  I may not feel it now, but I know I will again.  I will ask Girl2 and K to give me my own Warrior face make up because I deserve it.  

I don’t know what ended up happening to the girl who I played Where’s the Beef with.  She ended up moving at some point.  I still think about it from time to time, and how I was really scared to approach her at first, but we had some good times together.  Feels aren’t always a bad thing, even when they are at their worst, and they are always worth it.  For me, being a girl with really deep feels makes me feel alive and connected.

Just remember it’s okay to be broken.  I sat around all day today in my pajamas, took a shower and got dressed in more pajamas.  I drew 2 pictures, ordered pizza because I couldn’t be bothered and ate the whole small gluten free pizza in one sitting.  I think now I will curl up with a book, and try to lose myself in someone else’s broken story.  One day I will get my face paint.

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Being Human

Being human is hard.

Being a girl is hard.

Being a human girl sometimes is damned near impossible.

It’s been a crazy start of a week, up through today, and I shan’t go into the deets.  I think I will just write here and see what happens.

I almost gave up, you know.  I almost hid in a corner and just let it all wash over me until I couldn’t stand anymore.  Luckily, it isn’t my style.  So I stood up and decided that I would face it, and deal with it, maybe cry sometimes, and smile others.  I decided I was choosing not to give up, but to be a human girl.

I spoke earlier about how you become vulnerable when you hand your heart to someone, that you are giving them the responsibility for caring for it.  It just doesn’t fall under love in the attraction sense, but can also fall in the any sort of love sense, like friendships and parental, really anything.  When we bring people into us, we are opening up parts of ourselves that maybe doesn’t get opened up too often.  We may not think of the repercussions if someone doesn’t treat us gently, or even if we do, sometimes we just don’t care.

The truth is, sometimes people don’t treat us gently.  Intentionally or not, sometimes our gift that we have given to people to hold and secure becomes left behind, smashed into pieces, or squeezed until it just doesn’t exist anymore.  We all make mistakes, we may wrong others, we may forget them, or tell them things that we don’t mean.  

The choices we make are do we pick up the remnants and try to piece it together and move on?  Do we offer our broken selves to others, knowing that it can still happen again?  How do we still trust in each other, or ourselves?  We can’t help what happens sometimes, and not all stories have happy endings.  In fact, looking back at our experiences, we may find that most do not have happy endings.  

It’s with this that I say we have to all stand up and go on.  We have to forgive people who hurt us, and ask forgiveness of those we hurt.  Trust me, as much as we may scorn those that hurt us, if we look into our hearts (albeit maybe a bit worn and tired heart), we will find that we may not have been so gentle ourselves.  We can’t forget how to open ourselves and let people in, with abandon, because to try and hide from being hurt we are just hurting ourselves.  We have to accept that we will have those moments, and just hope that we will have enough good memories to have made it worth it.  

Do what you need to do to get over your hurt.  Watch movies, play video games, eat, don’t eat, go shopping, count your pennies, listen to sad songs, dance like crazy in the rain, sun, or even under the moon, check your email 50 times a day to see if there is contact, check your phones for messages until you just start doing it less and less.  There is no time limit, but there is a time where you will be able to get up again and face it.  I’ll be waiting, a little battle worn, but still full of hope.

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White Blank Page

First off, can I just say, Shop Rite, that putting cinnamon raisin bagels in the section of gluten free foods, only to find that they are not gluten free is cruel.  Luckily, I have become a bit of a maniac with nutritional labels.  You bastards.

Anyways, now that is off my chest I can continue.

My mom used to own a house.  We never had our own house growing up, but after my grandmother passed away she was given monies from the estate that enabled her to buy her own house.  Of course, at this point, I was around 18 and decided I was not ready to move at that time so I stayed in the apartment that we were renting and she moved onto the next chapter of “Life’s Big Adventure”.  I did end up moving into there at some point, when the apartment didn’t work out (random stranger moving up from South Carolina probably didn’t help, but hey, adventures are about the unexpected).

It was a nice house, 6 bedrooms, a yard with strawberries and blueberries.  I remember once my girl K and I had a picnic in the backyard, behind the bushes, and it was almost like being in a magical garden.  At least, that is how it felt to me.  It had a lot of potential.  

For whatever reasons, chaos looms, as it does, and the potential turned into lacking.  Grass grew too high, things piled up wherever they could, and it just didn’t look as pretty.  My mom had some demons of her own that I think prevented her maybe from caring about this portion of home ownership, my stepfather was probably just worn out, K had moved onto her next chapter, I had a baby and was moving slowly down my own path.  The siblings were kinda too young and in some ways probably learning life lessons that they didn’t need to learn.

My mom ended up leaving the house and moved into a rental house.  It’s a bit different, renting vs. buying.  You can do your thing and when something breaks someone else with fix it.  For me at this stage it is perfect, because I am at a loss with a tool box, which is why I haven’t been on the lookout for my own house.  She is happy, and I guess that is the important thing, right friends?  I do often wonder if she misses that house.  If she misses owning it, misses that feeling in the beginning of potential.  I know I miss the fruit bushes and that day where I had a magical picnic in some magical bushes.

I thought about the house today when I was dropping my brother off at home.  We drive by the exit, and I will almost always think about it when I drive by.  I have driven by it before, just to see, and I know I am not the only person to take a drive down memory lane.  It was beautiful, this old house.  It was fixed up and it even had additions built onto it.  I wanted to park for a moment, and just let the memories wash over me, but I realized that would be especially creepy.  I was happy for the house, though.  I was happy that someone else had seen the potential.

Now that I think about it, houses are a bit like people.  We all have this potential, these promises of futures.  Sometimes people enter our soul space, and they may have all the best intentions in the world, but instead of adding to our beauty, it just makes us convoluted.  We aren’t taken care of in the way we need to be taken care and we become shades of what we used to be.  It isn’t anyone’s fault, maybe there are demons, or maybe it just wasn’t the right home.

The point is that something or someone can come along and just belong.  There is no more imagining, there are actions.  Next thing you know after a fresh coat of paint, maybe a mow, you have an addition that just makes it better.  Additions, people!  It adds value in the long term, and even if they don’t stay, your addition will.  

We don’t stop losing our potential.  We always have it in there,  but as I have learned sometimes those we choose to move into our soul spaces don’t always have the tools or the ability to utilize it and we end up with debris and overhead growth.  Be your potential.  Imagine it and then make it possible.  

And for goodness sakes, read the nutritional labels before you buy cinnamon raisin bagels in the gluten free section.  I’m glad I did all of the above.

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Walking Contradiction

When I was younger I wanted to be a nun.  I’ll give you a few minutes to compose yourself.

Better now?

Seriously, I have always had this fascination with nuns.  I didn’t understand it when I was younger, but I really wanted to be one.  I wanted to belong, and wear the habit, and just give off an aura of peace and love.  I guess I could have also wanted to be a hippie, minus the habit, but I don’t think I knew what a hippie was back then.  Plus, I don’t enjoy the herbal enjoyments.  I would make a really bad hippie.  I also discovered I would make a really bad nun.

Ever since I was little, I have been making life plans for myself.  I always think I have everything in order.  For those that have the grand opportunity of knowing me in the flesh space, they will tell you I am one of the most chaotic people they know.  I thrive in it.  One day I’ll take a picture of my work desk to prove it.  My order is chaos.  I would always plan my days, and sit in my room being grounded planning my big escape, getting older and planning my social activities.  I am a planner.

I have realized that my plans don’t always work out.  In fact, now that I think about it, I can’t remember any ones that have worked out quite like I expected them too.  Which kinda kills my soul.

See, I think of myself as this really logic based person.  I think that is where my grandiose plans of planning come from.  I like logic, and order, and everything that comes with it.  I have been described as cold, unfeeling, standoffish, etc. and my logical side says, “Yes!  That is exactly how you should be, you awesome logical thing!”  I remember back in the day a bunch of us were talking about opening an insurance agency.  My job was to be the one that would give people all the bad news, like some sort of insurance bouncer.  My girl K has told me many times that she does not like to argue with me, because I just get kind of cold and logical.

That’s only half of me though.  The other half is this optimistic, free spirited, emotional, girl who feels way too much and way too hard.  There are no plans, fate will put us right where we need to be.  Somewhere there is a unicorn that I will find, and we will eat snacks in some magical forest.  I envy Girl2 and her ability to just love and smack faces with it.  This side usually comes out when I am really happy or possibly intoxicated.  Contrary to some of my other posts, I don’t get intoxicated that often.  I want to frolic in fields for the rest of my life and express all the emotions I could ever feel as I feel them.

It’s hard to have these two sides; it’s like always a war going constantly.  Things come across your path that one side will try to talk you out of, and the other side will talk you into. You think you can do something because one side will tell you that it’s ok, and even provide reasons why.  The other side will just stand back waiting for the moment to pop up with the “I told you so.”  It’s exhausting.

So what does one do?  Well, in my case, I tend to display the logical, while letting the emotional win.  This attempt at planning has absolutely not worked for me in the past.  It usually leaves you vulnerable, and there is nothing a logical person hates more than vulnerability.  I was thinking of this earlier with Girl1 entering the realm of relationships and love, and being vulnerable tends to leave you with the possibility of having your heart broken.  I can’t warn her though, because honestly, sometimes the best part is knowing that you are opening yourself up to the possibility and letting someone in.  It isn’t usually pretty, at least not as pretty as they make it out to be in the movies, but it is an experience.  One hopes that when you pass your heart to someone that they are as gentle as they can be.

I guess when I look back at some point at my crazy, logical, emotional life, I want it to be about the journey I have taken, the paths I have chosen, and the experiences I have had.  I don’t expect it to be sunshine and rainbows, just like I don’t expect it to be perfectly planned.  I’m sure my heart isn’t done being broken because it just feels too many feels.  I know there are probably even times I will convince myself that it’s okay for it to be broken, because it was planned.  I don’t think I would change it for the world though, because in those moments of incredible feels, I feel so very alive.

I really would have made a horrible nun.

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Painful Love

I think posting three days in a row should get me a medal or maybe a coffee.  We can compromise and I would accept a medal with a cup of coffee on it.  Hooray for compromising!

My girl K and I were talking last night as lately we have started a very nice ritual.  We will go outside around 9:30-10 and just talk until it’s time to head to bed.  I have very much enjoyed it as it’s a nice way to unwind after the day.  Sometimes we talk, sometimes we just sit quietly together.  I look forward to these moments.

We were talking about Girl2, and her feels.  I don’t think I have ever seen a person who just feels things so hard.  Her love is painful; she will go up to you and just squeeze or tap your face (it’s more like a slap, but she doesn’t mean anything mean by it).  She just feels very hard. 

I have realized children lack that filter that we get as adults; that need to not feel so hard.  When we get angry, we don’t really unleash it.  We may try to talk it out, or rationalize it, but we don’t just scream it out or cry as hard as we can.  When we love someone so much it feels like our bodies are going to burst, we don’t run over and slap their cheeks together so hard.  How nice would it be to be able to just truly express how we feel?  We are taught as we grow that everything will always be “okay”, when asked how we are, we are always “fine”.  One of my favorite things about working in an office was really watching this play out – someone greeting you as they walk by and asking how you are, but they just keep going before you can even give the obligatory answer of “fine.”

I don’t know if this is just my part of the world, us Northeasterners are known for our fast paced lives, always going and never really stopping to enjoy the moment.  I remember the first time I really took notice of the walk-by and wondered if they even processed the fact that they asked me a question that required an answer, but didn’t stay to hear it.  What would happen if I was not having an okay day and just said I wasn’t fine.  Would that even register?  Would someone know how to process that?  I don’t think we are able to handle that much real.

I envy Girl2 and her feels; her ability to not just feel, but to just watch it pour out of her.  I am slightly afraid of her, to be honest, when I see her run at me full speed, ready to give me her painful love.  I embrace it though and I know how lucky I am to be able to receive it.  I wish the world was a little bit more like Girl2, and I hope she holds onto it forever.

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