Monthly Archives: January 2014

Processing Emotions

Hello, friends!  I had a blog post planned out for today about another special person, and while this one will still be about someone special, it isn’t what I originally had in mind.  Isn’t that how life happens?  You plan for one thing, and then something happens that makes you say, “Nope.  Today I have to talk about this.”  So here we go, and you will get the other post somewhat soonish, if my crazy chaotic schedule decides to cooperate.  

I had Girl2 my normal days this week, and on Thursday when we were going to bed, she had a meltdown.  She started to cry because she missed her father and she wanted to see him.  It’s hard in these situations to not feel bad for many reasons.  She has done this before, and it internally upsets me, because you feel like you aren’t good enough, or maybe they love the other person more than you. One can easily become a little bitter at these times, and it can be really, really, hard to deal with this impartially.

Growing up, I was told not to cry a lot.  The message I got was, “It’s a tough world, Sweetheart, and crying shows weakness.  We don’t cry for things.”  Sometimes it was, “If you want to cry, I will give you a reason to cry.”  I learned, crying is not something you do freely, it is shameful most of the time, and a very negative thing.  

In the span of about a minute, my mind raced. I knew a lot depended on how I reacted in this moment.  I thought about her, and her situation, rather than myself.  I thought about how it could feel to be 5 and have everything I knew change so drastically.  At 5 years old, one is not equipped to understand adult relationships.  One does not know how a marriage could fall apart.  One does not know how or why these things happen, they only understand how it changes them.

And that is okay.

So in that minute, I did what I thought I could do, and that was just understand.  I told her it was okay to cry.  In fact, I invited her to let it all out.  I explained to her that she is very loved, by myself, her father, and anyone lucky enough to know her.  I told her I understood that she missed him and that this must be very hard on her.  I held her in my arms while she cried and we talked about how I felt when my mom went through a divorce and how confusing it was.  She asked me to read her a story, and I did.  She asked me to sing to her, and I sang “You are my Sunshine.”  She came in at the end (we just don’t sing one verse; we have them all down) and sang back to me in a teary voice and went to sleep, cuddling her stuff animal and telling me she loved me.

I think to this date, with all of my three children, this was most likely my best parenting moment.  I hate the situation it stemmed from.  I hate that in order to feel to better myself I had to cause her tears.  In that moment, I had a choice.  I had the choice to give her the message of “It’s a tough world, Sweetheart.  Toughen up.” or “You have emotions, and sometimes it is a tough world, and it’s okay to react to those moments and do what you need to do to get through them.  Tomorrow will be another day, hopefully a better one.”  I chose the latter, and that made all the difference,

I know it’s a tough world.  She will know it’s a tough world.  She will now also know she can come to me, express her feelings and tears.  I will hug her, sing her a song, and just listen.  I will relate.  I will love, even when sometimes that love hurts my heart to make me want to cry myself.

Maybe the world would be a bit nicer if we just had someone to sing us a song when we are sad.

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For Two Special Ladies

I know I said I would post once a week about someone special, but this time I decided I would do two special ladies in my life.  They both are dear to me, and they both have one thing in common: I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like, for we all have crazy schedules, but they touch me in profound ways.

First I will start off with a fellow blogger and lover of words.  I met her through an ex (who was not my ex at the time), as she was in his circle of friends.  I immediately loved her for all she represented, which was a strong sense of self and an amazingly strong voice.  As a woman, I deeply appreciated this.  We became friends, and even though the ex and I split, we still communicated.

Our friendship has never been built on hours of visits, or hanging out and having crazy adventures, but rather conversation.  She inspires me in so many ways and shows me that there can be gentleness and beauty in this world.  I know even though we rarely see each other that she loves me and that she is always solidly in my corner as I stumble through this place called life.  When he made me feel miserable about myself, she told me I was beautiful.  She has been a constant cheerleader in my struggles, and for this I am eternally grateful.  I received a package from her the other day, containing books for Girl1 to help her in her own spiritual quest, and I was touched by the handwritten notes we both received.  It meant so much to me, that she thought about me, and she does these things without expecting anything in return.  She is just kind.

I follow her path on FB and on here.  She has two children that she homeschools.  She has a different approach to parenting that I both admire and respect.  She continually amazes me and challenges me to open my mind.  The world is lucky to have her, and I am luckier to count her as a friend.  I may not say it, but I love you ever so much for all you have done for my soul.

Lady number 2 I will call Stella.  She knows why.  She is also someone I wish I could see more and one of the most interesting people I have ever met.  We worked together in hell, and yes, it was hell, and she helped me get through it.  The thing about her was I always envisioned this tornado around her, she was like a whirlwind; always going somewhere, but you always wanted to be a part of it.  Really, if you spend 5 minutes with her, you will wonder how you lived your entire life without knowing her in it.

One of my first memories of her was when I was working in her store, filling in, and we had to do a catering order.  I am not one who can wrap things artfully.  I am also chaos incarnate, and while I could put together an order with lightening speed, I was in no way the person who could make it look like art once packaged.  We stared at each other because we had no idea how we could pull it off.  We began to talk, and we realized the she could artfully package, while I was a master of sandwich making.  This is how we became each other’s yin and yang.

It’s been a decade since that time, and we experienced so much in hell.  I could tell you stories, but I promise you that you would not find it as funny as we would.  She went through some really tough times, as did I, and we would always be there for each other, even if it was just through text.  She understood me.  She knew I was a maniac, but she was too.  She was a whirlwind and I a tornado, but together we were the perfect storm.  She never judged me for any of my actions, and when I took my giant leaps, she was one of the ones propelling me forward, telling me I was making myself better for it.

How could I ever explain the love I have for her?  I just can’t.  I don’t know if I have ever seen as much strength and beauty as she goes through her path in life.  She deals with hardships that I believe would crumple me to the ground.  She has an amazing outlook to all things, whether good or bad, and the ability to take our worst situations and laugh about them with me.  We once said we would be Sister Wives.  It had nothing to do with the men, we didn’t even care, we just wanted to live in our commune life together.  I don’t think we really even thought about the husband part.

She also taught me that passive aggressive could be really funny.  We would lash out at hell by doing ridiculous passive aggressive things, like when I did the ordering in the summer and stocked up on frozen drink lids.  Why?  I mean who doesn’t want a frozen drink in 10 degree weather?  Sierra Mist became the most purchased soda for our store, because, we really needed those 10 cases when we would go through maybe 2 a month.  Sierra Mist to us became everyone’s favorite drink.  We really thought we were funny.

I don’t know where my life will take me, or what adventures lay before me.  I do know, however, that both of these ladies have touched me in ways far more than I would ever be able to tell them.  I love them ever so much and they continue to inspire me beyond words.  In case I haven’t said to you in person, thank you both, for being there and giving me the honor of calling you friend and sister.

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Ode to Friends

Oh friends, what a weekend.  Being sick was not very enjoyable, though the worst seems to be over at this point.  Things do have a way of creeping in and lingering, and I hope that this isn’t the case for me.  This post, however, is not about me.

Friends are amazing.  It really doesn’t get more simple than that.  In some cases, friends become even more than just friends, they become part of our souls.  If you are really lucky in life, you can find someone who can do that for you.  My best friend saved my life once, though she didn’t realize that she was doing it at the time.  It wasn’t the conventional life saving, like giving me CPR, but it saved my life nonetheless.   

When I was 16, I started dating someone.  He seemed great at first (don’t they all), and he had a car (awesome!), and I really liked his eyes.  We dated for a while, and as all relationships do, they change over time.  I used to have a lot of friends that I was very active with, and they would always ask me to do things with them, but he didn’t like them.  Eventually, I stopped agreeing to do things with them and over time they stopped asking.  My life became his and he would pick me up from school every day (he was 18 and out of school), bring me to work, pick me up, be at my house.  If I had clothes he didn’t like, he would take them.  Slowly, I just became trapped.

He wasn’t trapped.  He would still hang out with his friends, and I would have to sit at home while he did this.  There was a truly awful thing that happened when I was 16, that I won’t get into here, because that baggage still belongs to me.  Sorry, friends, but some things I have to keep to myself.  

My girl K entered my life when I was closer to 17.  It was a very strange meeting, though we had gone to the same schools since 7 grade.  I was skipping first period (it was pottery, and I am not an artist, but they told me I had to take the class), and went out to smoke and there she was.  No one else was around, and we formed this friendship that was totally just based off of first period.  I would see her walk by the class, and I would slip out, and we would converse about things like snack cakes.  I ended up leaving the school that year, and went to a different school the next year.  We didn’t exchange numbers, or hang out, but the year after she ended up at my school.  I remember the first day, when I saw her, and I went running at her and attacking her with a hug.

She thought I was a maniac.

Over that year, our friendship progressed to more than first period.  She gave me the courage to tell him that I was going to spend a night out with my friends.  I did go out, and it was the most freeing experience I had in two years.  She started coming over and he would glare at her.  Unlike other people, she didn’t stop coming over.  She asked me to do things with her.  When I said I couldn’t, she would challenge me until I finally began to understand that I could go out.

He was not pleased.  He started telling me he would kill himself if I went out.  I doubted my actions, but then one day I asked him what kind of flowers he wanted at his funeral.  Harsh, I know, but I was really beginning to have some faith in myself.  He started following us when we went out.  Every time we would go out, he would pull up on the side of the road, starting a fight with me.  She still didn’t give up on asking me to do things.  

Now we can get to how she saved my life.  I used to complain about him a lot and she would always give me the same advice.  I was like most people and didn’t take the advice given to me, but I would continue to complain.  She looked at me one day and just simply said, “You aren’t allowed to talk to me about him anymore.  You complain about the same things, but you don’t actually do anything about it.”  I am sure it was probably hard to do, and at first I didn’t know what to make of it.  She forced me to really look inside,   Suddenly, without an outlet, I was left with my reality.  She didn’t stop talking to me, or doing things with me, just complaints about my entirely unhealthy relationship was off the table.

I did try to break up with him once, and he in turned started to strangle me.  K gave me a place to stay, a new apartment she was getting with another friend.  I quit my jobs (yes, I had 2), didn’t tell my family, and just kinda dropped off the face of the earth for a few months.  He got the hint, and I didn’t see him again, except for once years later.  He was standing behind me at McDonalds and I could feel his eyes burning a hole in my back.  I was terrified and left, but really, I think I was around 22, and years had passed.

We had a period of not talking, K and I, for about 4 years.  We had a falling out over something I can’t even remember, and I am sure it was stupid and totally not worth the 4 years that we weren’t talking.  Then something amazing happened one day.  I went to my moms and she told me K had called the house looking for me.  She gave me her number and I gave her a call back.  We made plans and I went over her house, bringing Girl 1 and the Boy, who she also hadn’t seen in 4 years.  It really was as if we had never stopped talking, that was the bond we had.

Now, she is here with me again, and has been here helping me through one of the roughest periods I have gone through.  She took my car to work yesterday, and when she got out it wouldn’t start.  I am horrible with these things, absolutely horrible.  She is as well, but she knew I would be freaking out more, so she stayed calm to help me through my breakdown.  Not all of our stories are so deep. There have been some really ridiculous adventures and stories we have had and have shared.  I am pretty sure that people ship us, though that part of our relationship doesn’t exist (though we did have a period of time renting videos at Blockbuster that had a lot of Lesbian/Gay pairings.  I can see how people may have thought it).

Sometimes, if you are lucky, you will find that person.  You will find your soul all entwined within someone else.  They will balance you and compliment you without maybe even being aware that they are doing it.  They will be someone who will take you on your worst days and stand on that ledge with you, making sure you don’t jump.  Sure, I know we have our moments where she wants to throttle me, and likewise, but it’s out of love.  She will brave Wal-Mart with me, even though that place is full of Satan.  I really can’t count the ways and tell the vast amount of stories that we have had in our lifetime.  I just know at the end of the day, I am so very lucky to have her in my life.  Without her, I may not have had one to share.

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I think I am going to take a day each week and spend some time talking about the people who are really important to me.  The ones that have had an impact, good or bad, and who have helped to make me who I am today.  There are so many people, that this will definitely have to be an ongoing project, but one I will happily do, because I want them to know how much they mean to me.  2014 – showing the appreciation.

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January 1st, 2014

It was an amazing day, friends, and I am going to tell you why,

First, I took Girl2 and the Boy to go with me to a dear friends house where I had to help her with a few things.  That accomplished we came back home and just hung out around the house.

That in and of itself was wonderful.

Girl1 wanted me to draw with her.  I don’t draw, and it isn’t because I am being modest.  I mean I can’t draw.  I even have trouble with stick figures.  She had come up with a game, where you pick a character for a webcomic we read, then a scenario, and you have to draw it.  It went painfully slow for me, but it went.  Girl2 joined in, and hers were just adorable.  We spent hours doing this, just drawing and sharing.  The boy was hanging out with my girl K and playing Civ 5, and I know it took 500 years to takeover Dublin.  It was accomplished however.  Never give up.

Then at bedtime, Girl2 blew me away.  She told me she knew how to spell love. L-O-V-E.  This was the first time we had spoken about what she could spell, or words she may know, but my heart filled up when the first word that she spelled to me was love.  What a beautiful thing I was able to experience, and I am quite sure she had no idea of the profound feeling it gave me.

January 1, 2014.

Love.

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First Post of 2014

2014 is here, friends!  We did it!  We made it through another year, together.  I will admit, some parts of it were a bit of a rough patch, but we still made it through.

2013 was my year of actions, as I said in my year in review post.  So, in true fashion, for New Years Eve, I just relaxed.  I came home from work and I hung out with my soul sister K, my girls and the boy.  We watched The Doctor Who marathon on BBC until 11:50 to watch the ball drop.  Us girls straightened our hair and threw on makeup, just because we could.  I proceeded to bombard my FB with these pics, maybe to the dismay of my friends because they just kept coming.

It’s too early for me to be profound, which is good, because profound is too deep for me at this time in the morning.  It also goes with my theme for 2014, which is to just be simple.  I want to simply be good, and sometimes maybe simply be bad.  I want to make mistakes and learn how to learn from them.

Simple isn’t easy, especially for a girl who only knows how to complicate and over-analyze.  Simple will be a path and one I may have to make on my own, since this ground for me has not been uncovered.  It isn’t just saying, “Okay!  We are going to be simple now!” but rather knowing what moments it is okay to be simple.  Here are some other things I would like to do this year:

Getting better with my own self and feeling more comfortable in my skin. I like to hide myself in bigger clothing; it makes me feel safe and secure.  I realized the damage I could unintentionally be doing to my daughters by striving so hard and never being satisfied about who I actually am.  When we were doing our make-up (and trust, I rarely do that), Julie wanted hers done too because she said she wanted to be pretty like me.  It was humbling for two reasons.  1 – In her eyes, I am pretty.  2 – In her mind, she can only be pretty in makeup.  I told her she didn’t need the makeup because she was already perfectly beautiful, but I would let her have some for fun. This year, I strive to simply accept who I am in all fashions, and to start giving my daughters that foundation they need.  They deserve that and so do I.

I need to reconnect a little more.  I need to simply get back to basics, and stop letting technology do the work for me.  Facebook is great and all, but it shouldn’t be the only form of communications I have.  Yes, this sounds simple, but it can be hard with work schedules and just plain tired.  I need to learn to do better in this area, even if it is just a card in the mail or a letter.  Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail that just says “Hi, I am thinking about you.”.  I especially need to do this with my mom, who I do talk to on a regular basis, but sometimes I think she needs that. 

The Boy’s New Year wish was to go to NY and see Times Square.  He wasn’t even shooting for NY Eve, just a chance to go.  I can make that happen for him.

2013, I am not sorry to see you go.  You were exactly the year I needed you to be, and I was exactly the right person I needed to be.  I would even strive and say I was fantastic.  2014, you have a lot to live up to, but I am gladly accepting this challenge and knowing we are going to hit every mark.  Well, most of them.  Ok, some of them.  Simple is my plan, so if I don’t hit them all, I will be okay just knowing I tried.

And before I go, I shall spare you some selfies!  Don’t worry, The Boy is just drinking sparkling cider.

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Happy 2014, friends.  I hope it is all you want it to be and then some more.  Make it happen and make it count.

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