And would like to look at them all in a row for my future reference
And would like to look at them all in a row for my future reference
It’s been a while since I’ve been round these parts. There’s been no shortage of things to write about, it’s just that I’ve most dissociated from my body and I drool a lot from exhaustion these days. Super hot, I swear.
I’ve been doing all of the soul searching, all of the processes of elimination, full blown psychiatric self-evaluations… weird, insurance won’t cover it… and honestly I don’t know what the deal is. My energy is decidedly fucked. Is it chronic lack of sleep? Probs. Am I going to catch up on it anytime soon? Probs not. Is it a series of vitamin deficiencies or poisons from eating like a scavenger for the past six months? Likely. Is it too much fucking transition for any human in too short a period of time, vicarious trauma, lack of enthusiasm for my life decisions, the energetic vampiring of a suddenly incredibly needy nine year old, cramming in way too much therapy before I graduate?? All of that too. I’m working on it kind of, mostly I’m just riding the mo fo wave half asleep and entirely undermedicated for the next five weeks, at which point I’ll probably collapse and need some kind of psychiatric intervention, hope you all send me to one of those nice inpatient facilities on the beach, it’s never too soon for the gofundme page.
So yeah, I’ve put heaps of shit on the back burner including writing and creating, just the things that sustain me, good plan Reg.
Long story short, I dare not let a year go by without a birthday update. And I’m super salty and honestly kind of devastated right now so I’m thinking a gratitude post to get me out of my tunnel vision.
Something that went well each month of me being 30.
September: My baby had just come home from what seemed to be fooorrreevvveerrr (in my best Sandlot voice) last summer and we were elated and in love. I had a solid few weeks before school started back up so we totally indulged in gooey mama daughter everything. Also, endured a massive your kid was abducted on the way home from school scare so I was super jazzed about all of the parenting stuff that usually is uberannoying like cooking, cleaning, bill paying, butt washing, ya catch my drift.
October: I met a super cute guy that I had mostly good chemistry with. He said things like when we finish grad school, how cute our babies will be, and where do you want to live we can move any where. Honestly, I can’t even think of this dude’s name off of the top of my head, and things quickly unraveled, no harm, no foul. But what did happen was that I awoke from the trance of Reagon was going to be happily single forever. The carrot of family made a brief appearance and I was hooked.
November: I remember November distinctly because I was at a birthday party the whole time. Allllll of my people are born in or around that month and it’s wildly exhausting yet super amazing to bake, and dance, and soak, and bask in the glow of celebrating all of my favorite lives.
December: Ohhh this is where I accidentally fell in love with a raging narcissist and it was in the early stages of everything being cotton candy dipped in heroin. We went on a magical trip to NYC and had so much fun and so little sleep. By Christmas day everything was crumbling but those first 24 days were golden.
January: This is when the hustle got real real. It’s also when I started my Women’s Resiliency group and it was my therapeutic play ground, absolutely soul crushing, and wholly inspiring all at once. I could run a marathon fulled on girl power (like actual heroing tales of thriving through horrific trauma and homelessness girl power). Shout out to everyone of my now former clients.
February: I distinctly remember being a full blown wreck this month. But the silver lining was a mile thick. Not only did I find clarity and reconnect with my self-worth but I leaned on my best friends near and far who held me entirely together.
March: Just the best month, not only did I finish my academic portion of graduate school but I also met the love of my life.
April: Pretty much the next four months are a whole lot of me being deliriously in love with the most beautiful man. I started my internship this month, undulating between terrified and overwhelmed with a dash of is it too soon to count down the next six months? But they started, and soon they will end. Yay!
May: People totally showed up for me this month. It was the first month of all kinds of housing transition. I got two new roommates this month and they were sweet as pie to Ev and I.
June: I moved in with Dani. I realized for the first time in over a year that actually living alone isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and it’s good to have someone there who can will let your dog out and have a beer with you after a wild day. So much shared knowing between us, forever grateful for our two months together. Also in this month I rode in a helicopter, and went to the Grand Canyon for the first time, NBD.
July: I got to introduce said unicorn man to my family and see my baby for the first time in six weeks. Plus, I played super hard this month, hiking all of the things, kayaking, swimming, road-trips, dancing. And I slept in, watched netflix and generally did what I wanted. One full blown kid free month was magical.
August: Massive leaps of faith. The return of my sweet baby. Figuring out how it is to be her mother again for this round of who she needs and a sliver or two of what she wants. I’ve been doing this month with far too little grace but with a heap of support from my people, and I made it, despite all of my doubts. Still here.
Finally, I leave 30 a little bruised, a lot tired and with a ton of appreciation for my health, my perseverance and my community. Huzzah or something.
Well that was a rallying pep talk.
I spent my whole childhood imagining what it would be like to be a mother. I would have three kids, all named after early 90’s sitcom characters: Blossom, Clarissa, and Tapanga, respectively. At least one would be a boy.
I was to be happily married, but also an ultra bad ass working mom, like an astronaut working mom. I’d tend to the children between missions to Saturn and stuff. I also magically was going to be there everyday when the kids got home from school. I’d bake pies for snack time, be the room mom and be the biddy basketball coach.
My babies were going to be five times as smart and a light year better at making good decision than me, but also have blonde hair and blue eyes because did you see me as a child? (Okay not those unfortunate ones where I was a morbidly obese infant the other ones).
Let me count the ways that I fabricated what I was sure would be reality: family vacations, family dinners, family meetings, family game night, family sized packs of fruit snacks, pretty much the word family before any noun makes it bigger and better, and who doesn’t like bigger and better things???
I now know that the word family not only makes you look like less of a glutton in the check out isle but it also allows you to share the burden. It creates a home. Relief on the hard days and witnesses for the great ones.
Absolutely none of those things happened. Happily married evaded me the more I chased it. Three artfully named children turned into one artfully named girl. Being an astronaut turned into being a therapist, though I’m pretty sure that I’ve had an alien or two as clients. I can’t even remember a single time that I wasn’t rushing around in traffic at five o’clock trying to pick Ev up before her after school care closed. Last but not least I have no time to coach anything, other than the rousing peptalks that I give both of us to crawl out of bed and even still our morning routine makes it into double overtime pretty consistently.
The moments of feeling like I’ve balanced single parenthood, work, school, romantic partnership, dog ownership (my eulogy to who I thought I would be as a dog parent is next), has been far from eloquent. I’m inclined to say it’s the hardest thing that I have ever done, but also that it’s never once felt impossible.
I haven’t yet gotten to be the mom I dreamed to be. But I did get to be Ever’s mom over and over and over again. Couldn’t have chosen a more majestic little creature to negotiate this family thing with until the day I die, and then some.
There’s a whole other part to this but I’m keeping highly classified information about the most beautiful thing that happened today, so I’ll wait on until the photo deal goes through with People magazine and the gag order is lifted (I’m impatient, you know this).
Trying to stay present. Soak in all of the glorious sensations of new love. Let go of my instinct to recoil when a man sings my praises. Silence the voices in my head ringing the warning bells of, that’s what they all say.
Somewhere deep down I’m confused as to why the beginnings are filled with eloquent soliloquies about how I’m an angel and so much of everything that they’ve ever wanted. The ends come riddled with stone cold projections about things that I have never been. We both know the truth, and it’s not their version of the story most of the time. But, I let go these days. Remember.
Today, the place that I live now.
Today, I dig claws into my reservoir of optimism, syphoned and over tapped some time ago. Just a woman naked under the full moon of lust. Dancing for heavy rains of abundant care. Prayers that this time, he really means it.
Tempering my heart with intentional inner dialogue: even if it doesn’t work out, I will be a better person for loving.
Just here, now, balanced on the edge of fear, attempting to translate this visceral feeling that somewhere between our mutual words of adulation is an incredibly viable promise of lasting love, and still, me, searching for words.
Living in incredible awe of you, of me, and the phenomenon of falling in love. Kissing good night my attempts to rationalize magic. I am so sorry for doing that to you.
This morning I woke up next to you over and over. I fell back asleep each time just long enough to lose track of reality, rustle, stir, and then find you on the other side of my eyelids, again. Letting the sensations of our bodies interlaced flood me each time.
You said the night before, our bodies are perfect for each other. I’m a four LEGO and you’re a three. Counterparts. Intuitive contortions. Harmony.
When I was finally serious about getting out of bed two hours later, and only because I absolutely had to, you said, “I’m probably not going to see you for a couple of days”. And then you kissed me all over. All of the silly parts, my armpit, my elbow, my ribs, my right knee cap, and all of the places in between. I squirmed, smiling so hard it hurt. You are pure delight.
Right before I left, we were standing in your kitchen, I’m pressed heavy into your chest. It is the most solid and reassuring place just I have visited in some time. I’m not sure if it was just the sensation of pure trust, a deep knowing that neither of us are going anywhere, or if it was just the way the light danced all around you, but, in that moment and in every moment since I have simply known that you are home.
When I showed my ex-ex boyfriend my archetypal piece, where through tears I explained the parts of my destiny that I could not yet understand to a room full of people, he sat there silently. It was a turning point, I would tell my therapist. He didn’t even care enough to say anything at all.
When I showed my ex-boyfriend my archetypal piece, I was explaining that it was a turning point last spring. The image that clarified that I want to be married, I want more kids. My vision of a very wholesome commitment to a joyous man. Someone really sweet. My professor was really hung up on it having this big all seeing eye.
I said I think it’s you. He said, it can’t be me, I don’t have blue eyes.
Turns out it couldn’t be you, you’re not sweet. You are not the promise of eternal love. And both of your eyes are sewn shut.
You know who has blue eyes.
Ya’ll know I’ve been kissing frogs, for a while. I’ve officially been single for a year. Let me do some finger counting like a 1st grader realllll quick…. I’ve been on dates with TWELVE different men in a year. Of those seven made it to second dates. (That’s actually way more than I thought, now that I review the facts). Surprisingly decent odds, but I’m also just a really nice person who likes to give people ample opportunity to let their pretty little personalities shine. For only three of the seven was there any real potential for a meaningful relationship. One out of twelve made it to official boyfriend territory that quickly corroded into a land mine of manipulation, deception, and horrors, but who’s counting.
And then there was lucky number twelve.
Twelve is an auspicious number meaning that this dude if wholesome as fuck. Someone that I look at and think, now here’s a man who stands up to the grandpa test.
So, what’s the grandpa test?
My Papa who is absolutely the love of my life. The corner stone of positive male influence for me. The man, who when it comes down to it, I’ve been desperately trying to find. (Uhhh huh, that’s how attachment to our opposite sexed caregivers work, if you’re lucky, you try to recreate healthy relationships in your life and not toxic or disregarding ones… been there too.) I’ve been working on my daddy issues like it’s my job for years, ’cause it is.
This past summer I had the absolute blessing to spend a few days with my Papa. Time crawled by, I savored every moment of it. One summer Kansas evening, we were sitting in lawn chairs on his back porch, and my Pops was telling me about how he had made a number of loans to people who blatantly did not pay him back based on their agreement. My grandpa is savvy, it’s not that he didn’t understand that there was risk in loaning friends money, it was that he couldn’t fucking believe that people were systematically so God-damned shitty these days. Long held acquaintances. Family friends. People from his tiny close-knit community. Ohhhh you gonna do me like that. (That’s what my grandpa sounds like in my head, not reality).
He just explained it all really sadly. Like right in front of his eyes as the decades ticked by he watched as morality completely eroded. Disbelief. But, still he shows up to the next person ringing his doorbell in a terrible bind, with the benefit of the doubt. Still helping people. Still hoping that there will be a few more someones that behave honorably.
That conversation has been a lump in my throat ever sense.
Maybe that’s the word, the sentiment, the everything: honorable.
For a year I have been searching high and low for an honorable man and I didn’t even know it until it was just right there staring me back in the eyes.
I’m learning and learning and learning to listen to my intuition. To stay tuned into my senses. To be careful about getting ahead of myself, be careful about having too many drinks, being careful about over sharing, over promising, over fantasizing about how wonderful it all could be. Learning because the reverse of all of those things is like playing with matches in a kerosene bathtub. And I’ve taken many a self-induced fire bomb bath over the years.
Number twelve, who I shall now rename to number one, because it’s a new year, and a new even more intentional and present me, truly seems like a really good person.
My mantra/prayer/manifesting process before meeting him had gotten super clear:
I just want to find someone who is good to me, consistently.
That’s all. Time will tell. But you know, I’m me, and he’s probably the one.
Your presence has always been a warm spring afternoon that pops up in the dead of winter.
Lovely beyond measure, surprising, short-lived.
The contrast. Stark.
The thrill. Intense.
Just enough to hold me over.
You’ve always came in seasons.
Picked up the box you sent me today.
The man at the UPS store hit on me,
“When I saw the name I was expecting a big burley German woman, but look at you.”
“Hum”. My signature response to the strange things men feel propelled to say.
He said, “This didn’t come very far, but they sure packed it good”.
“Yeah, I’m not even sure how there was this much stuff”.
I had forgotten that I gave you a key to my car,
a key to my house,
a key to my soul.
takes up a lot of space I guess.
I don’t know at what point I stopped writing about other interesting things and only now write about grief and relationships. Regular God-damned Dr.Ruth I suppose.
Today, something terrible happened to me. I’m not sure if it was the slurry of sugary shit that I consumed, or the early signs of the stomach flu, but I came home at 4:45, put on my pajamas and proceeded to spend the rest of my night entirely recumbent. The good news is that I can run the world from my phone and my laptop. The bad news is that my dog hates me because I haven’t walked her all day. I was just sick, shaky, just not well. I’m begging Ever to do everything, baby please turn on the light, please just take Meena out for a minute, can you just find something to feed yourself, please. She literally ended up eating raw spaghetti that she dipped in both salt and sugar…. ummm okay. Eventually I ordered pizza, pizza gets you out of the parenting dog-house pretty efficiently.
Any way, I’m less yack-y now and my kid is bathed, brushed, and put to bed. My papers are done, I put a massive dent in the total ass load of work that I needed to do some time last month today. So, all in all it’s a win. But really this is a super long, whiney, intro to say the following:
Today, as I laid there bewilderedly watching my hands involuntarily shake just matter of factly I remembered that this is why we need adult partners. Today, as I sat listening to a client talk about the burden that she is enduring taking care of a friend who has no partner or family. Today, as I recalled the last time that I had food poisoning really bad. I remembered that we have a partner because we need someone to take care of us sometimes.
It’s not impossible to do every thing solo. We can be indigent about it. We can embrace our culture’s glorification of independence. We can sit on our high horse, wearing our martyrdom, singing our own praises disguised as complaints about how hard we’ve had it and how much we’ve over come. We can. I have. I’m also super fucking over it.
I need help. I’m also really good at helping. I have absolutely no shame about admitting that. This is why we have partners. There are hard days. There are sick days. There are old days. There are days where we can’t for any number of reasons rally and meet our own basic needs. Myself included.
This is the long version of what I said rather succinctly on Facebook earlier.
On why my crazy ass is still making dating a priority:
Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and get a cat and be okay with being single.
Then I remember the time that time I ate a bad egg taco at work, became violently ill, had to call my boyfriend to pick me up as I lay in the grass intermittently vomiting and shitting myself.
And it all comes back to me, this is why you need a partner in life. For there will never be a friend on earth who I will ever feel comfortable subjecting to those things.
That day is absolutely etched into both of our memories. I remember the exact moment of trying to walk to my car and then collapsing in the grass. I remember calling Julius in tears asking him to please come get me, quickly. I remember him pulling up with Ever in the back seat, completely unprepared for what he would see.
That may have been the day that all of his sexual attraction to me died, unsurprisingly, he literally watched me sit on a toilet with my head buried in a trash can for a solid 12 hours. Sweetly making me feel like I wasn’t totally vile. At some point in the night I wanted to go to bed, but I didn’t dare lay on any porous surface. He made us a bed of trash bags and old blankets on the living room floor and he laid next to me all night. That makes me cry even now.
I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there about about wading through the shit of life, and somehow you’re okay because there was someone by your side the whole time.
I could count another three dozen times when one of us were having some of the worst days of our lives and we pulled each other through.
I just know, that that’s what true, down for you, best days and worst days, love looks like.
I don’t know if you go out and find that. If you build it. If it falls into your lap. But I do know that I need that again.