Goodbye moon

Ever Sophia, Love, pretty things, therapy

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).

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Humming bird

Love, soulfood, therapy

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.

silly rabbit

Love, pretty things, silly goose, soulfood, therapy

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.

Still

domestication, soulfood, therapy

31 years ago I was just a heart beat in my mama’s belly.

30 years ago I was just a sweet baby in my mama’s arms.

12 years ago I was just a girl leaving her mama’s house.

10 years ago I was just a mama with a heart beat in her belly.

5 years ago I was just a woman leaving her the place where she’d grown.

1 year ago I was just a girl watching her mama marry a man who had long been no good.

5 days ago I was just a woman witnessing the heart break of self sacrifice in her mama’s voice.

Today, I’m just a heart beat, holding fast to the tension of in between. Honoring time and decisions that shouldn’t be rushed. Biting my urge to rescue, rally, defend.

Just a heart beat humbled by the ticking hands of what we do, and who we do it to. Ourselves.

Under it all, a girl who surrendered to love. Looked away from the fact that relationship requires two sets of open hands ready to receive and two sets of open hands ready to give.

Now, coiled, heaving, betrayed by no one but herself. One thousand reasons why. And none of them matter when your face is pressed hard against the cold damp ground, bottom, home, beginning, nothing and absolutely everything.

You’ll get up you always do. But I think you should stay there a while. Take inventory of your pieces and just sit with them. Still.

about that rape accusation

social awareness, therapy, your body

Does it feel like women have gotten out of hand lately?
Like the Aziz Ansari mystery woman and the Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are on a power trip? Motivated by money? Coming out so late after the fact? On the girl-who-cried-rape-band-wagon?
And last year they all knitted pink cat hats and (the privileged white ladies at least) marched (or was that a saunter) across America’s main-streets in protest of the misogynistic buffoon that too many of our sisters elected into horrifying amounts of power, too bad it was in January could have at least appreciated so many boobies on the National Mall. Then one day last fall a bunch of basic ass women thought that someone was a) reading their facebook updates who cared or, b) thought for a second that they would dare to tell their stories of harassment and sexual assault right there in the open either with adjectives or with simply #metoo, as a way of making a point.

The Larry Nassar thing tho we can all agree was fucked, right?

I mean, I did hear from a number of dudes that they couldn’t believe the sheer numbers of women they knew that spoke up during the one week where #metoo was relevant.
You know what I couldn’t believe? That anyone was fucking surprised. I’m not.

 

You know why women are out of hand all of the sudden?

WE WOULD LIKE TO STOP GETTING RAPED.

RAPED.
We would also, appreciate it if our children were not raped. Groping, verbal assaults, attempted rapes, cat calls, sexual harassment, discriminatory workplaces, power manipulations, non-consensual but not quite violent sex, incest, needing to walk with our keys jutting through our fists just in case. ALL OF THAT, let’s go ahead and throw that in the mix too. WE ARE FUCKING SICK OF BEING SEXUALLY VIOLATED.

It’s never been okay with us. It’s just taken a very long time for us to find a platform to speak from. Taken a long time for the ground swell of permission to build, that corrodes the shame, un-cages the voice and let’s us scream. All of us together, I hold that even for the ones that can’t or won’t yet. We’re done.

This is the critical mass, look around. Up next: this shift…. It’s no longer safe for men to be sexually violent towards women, we have your name and we’ll ruin your life. Watch.

 

Don’t Worry I Did Eventually Call My Therapist

soulfood, therapy

I should go see my therapist but I don’t want to. I feel a little like a five year old digging her heals into the sandbox, admittedly. I just don’t want to have to show up a month later and unpack the shit show that I have made of my life. Is it shame? Is it embarrassment? Probably both.

To have to be witnessed when you don’t even know what’s going on yourself sounds miserable. The alternative however, seems to be to lose your mind all alone. Maybe it’s best that way. Accountability at this juncture isn’t good for anyone especially me.

 

Grief, it does this thing that reminds me of that one really hard level of Donkey Kong in the second railroad world. It starts off with Donkey and Diddy in a tiny rail car, you have to go through this ominous abandoned coal mine with a broken track. You have to execute these breath-taking jumps from one broken bit to the next. If you don’t hit A and B in the right sequence, while traveling at the exact right velocity or else you die. Just fall to the bottom of the screen. Snap, down one more life. And then almost cruelly it takes you back to the start to do it all over again.

 

It’s like that. But sometimes it feels like your big brother holding your head under water at the public pool everyone else frolicking about while you try to both not make a scene and not inhale two lungs full of chlorinated water. Other times it feels like an underwater tea party with a couple of friends at the bottom of the pool. Air bubbles escaping through smiling teeth, count to ten, bob back to the surface. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea these days.

Profile Update

domestication, Love, social awareness, soulfood, therapy, your body

I am not Beyoncé. Hard to believe I know. I am also not June Cleaver, Jessica Alba or Princess Di. I probably have more in common with Julia Louis-Dryfus and Elizabeth Warren. Today I updated my Bumble profile to the perfect mix of setting reasonable expectation while still sounding fun, sexy, uninhibited, and classy . Choosing pictures where I look subtly breath taking, but down to earth. Literal earth, at least two nature pics and one selfie in heals. Shots with the perfect amount of I like to party sex appeal but not party so hard that I’d suck your dick on the first date sex appeal.

 

And it occurred to me, WHAT IN THE FUCK ARE WE DOING TO OURSELVES.

 

So here’s my honest to God’s truth Bumble profile:

Hi I’m Reagon. Pronounced Ray-gun. Yes, like the president. In fact that’s my shtick (follow me on FB, Insta, Twitter, & Snap @reagonforpres). [Hey, if I can’t get a cup of coffee or a cocktail at least I can get a few more followers… add this to future branding campaign advice.]

 

Any way, I clean up real nice, in fact I was recently told that I look like a living doll. But I also, regularly look like a homeless person. Also, like clock work every year I do no shave November, and December, and sometimes January, February and half of March. By spring break every year I can Rapunzel style French braid my pubes down to my ankles and sculpt my leg hair into a punk rock Mohawk. Hot right?

Honestly, because we just met I’ll painstakingly shave, pluck and pull 80% of the hairs out of my body. They were all blonde to being with so this process annoys me highly but so does the prospect of dying alone. So here we are.

To appease all of your inquisitive minds, the drapes match the rug. And I do have rug. Fuck ladies, let’s stop paying Tammy at the local Wax Palace $100.00 every ten days to rip the hairs out of our vag okay? Like, can we add that to our next national ballot? It’s clear ya’ll aren’t actually down for the revolution, but can we at least let my lady hair sail free?

Sorry about that tangent. It’s nice to meet you.

 

Today I woke up on a twin sized air mattress next to the beaming eyes of the most exquisite creature that I have ever seen. Between me lovingly gazing into my daughter’s eyes in a sweet sleepy stupor I tried to identify what that old familiar sound was. Oh my God what is that??? It sounds like the dog is barfing in the tent. Oh my God THE DOG IS BARFING IN THE BED, IN THE TENT. I somehow contorted my body even further than should be humanly possible and clung to my blankets for another ten minutes. Partially because I was freezing fucking cold and partially because I wasn’t exactly bouncing out of bed over joyed to clean up dog vomit. But I did, eventually, and as promised it was fucking disgusting. This thought crossed my mind numerous times, I’m so glad that no one has to see me dressed in seven layers of clothes, thick wool socks shoved in flip flops cleaning up barf. And trust the flip flop socks didn’t give off a sexy geisha vibe.

 

The nice thing about waking up to a steamy pile of vomit is that your day really only goes up from there.

 

I made a fire. I ate a hotdog for breakfast. I took down the campsite. I wrestled the tent like an alligator into it’s impossibly tiny bag. At one point resorting to laying my entire body on the stabbing rocks, again seeking solace in thank God that no one can see me and laughing at the heavens, “Ohhhh mother fucker, this damn tent is a real metaphor for my life. Well look at this God I DID IT! Un-barfed, neatly folded and then artfully crammed and shoved into it’s pouch. Zipper amazingly closed and all done by me, myself and me. Alone. Fuck. I surrender.”

I’m not trying to do that shit ever again by myself. But I will because of the RBG in me.

After the seventy-second load to the car I stripped out of three layers of clothes. Taking amusement in the breadth of my own undressing capacity. Hot dudes that I bring home from the bar get the Dita Von Teese dimly lit peak-a-boo slow undress session. But, in the wild there I am teeter-tottering on top of my six year old tennis shoes with the grace of a hippo with flamingo legs. A real homage to Eric Carle, without the tear jerking sentiment.

 

And then I drove our three barely pulsing corpses back home. The two things that I miss most about having a man:

1) being the passenger

2) indulging in the helpless girl act long enough to not be the one who has to catch and release the parade of spiders that are fleeing into my home at the moment

 

Here’s the thing: I CAN DO ANYTHING. Literally, anything. I look back to my younger years with bewildered awe. I can’t believe that I did all of that. I look into my future with bewildered aweee, girl you still got it. The thing that changes once you know that you’re powerful beyond measure. That you are divinity incarnate. That your talents can’t be contained. Is that you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone anymore.

 

Yes, I want to be seen. I want to be heard. I want to be held. I don’t really care if you know that I’m a total sex kitten in my embodied sexual prime. I don’t care if you know that I spent thirty minutes today unclogging my bathroom drain. While interjecting like a school girl, ewwweee this is soooo sick. I don’t care if you know that I smoke a bowl in my hammock or that I wrote a highly intimidating business letter all today. Really I just don’t care anymore.

 

I’m just going to keep showing up as me. Vast, unapologetic, liberated, loving, loud, soft, determined, tired, me. Maybe I’ll charm you. Maybe I’ll scare you (I’m good for that). But if you’re the type that looks at fire and sees beauty then maybe we should get coffee. And maybe you could pick me up. I’m serious about never wanting to drive again.

 

Sincerely,

Splendid, complicated, lovely, exhilarating, real as fuck Reagon

Solid Advice

Love, soulfood, therapy

Sometimes the best advice is novice advice. Seriously. I’m in the business of counseling people. Counseling is actually a total misnomer. Really what you’re supposed to do is basically say nothing, and then just paraphrase everything that the person already said. Do not give advice. Do not tell antidotal stories. Do not interject from your own experience. Above all else do not tell them what to do. It is not how humans make change. Self-motivation is a real thing. In fact it is the only thing.

 

Hi my name is Reagon and I’m straight trippin’ over this man that I’m in emotional limbo with. We’re at that juncture where I carry my stomach in my sternum, my emotions and thoughts splayed out all over my insides like a broken mirror. Reflecting things that I wish weren’t there.

 

So, I start calling friends. It’s amazing how many people don’t answer on a Tuesday afternoon, it’s like you all have lives or something. But the truth is that the person who picked up the phone said exactly what I needed to hear. She tempered, “Sorry for playing the devils advocate but why are you doing this to yourself?” We talked about the reality that somewhere inside I feel unlovable. Undeserving. That I self-sabotage and project my shit on the other person.

 

Damn. Occasionally someone says something that pries back my eyelids to a reality that I haven’t even had the balls to admit to myself. Somewhere inside you feel unlovable. Fuck, there it is again.

 

That’s all of those deeply knotted familial roots. A household full of people, slated to love me unconditionally that told me that I wasn’t shit most days. Still ring my phone to remind me every now and again. My mother thought that she was keeping me humble. She didn’t want to see another beautiful girl acting like the world owed her something. Didn’t want to see another talented girl receiving gifts of veneration. Didn’t want to believe that things could be easy, different, promising for her own baby. Maybe it wasn’t a lack of faith but instead the narrowed perspective of trauma, the tunnel vision of overwhelm, the darkness of loneliness.

 

Either way who in the fuck does that? Sick people. I say that with a lot of understanding and love. Broken people work hard to create gravity. Misery loves company. And there I was absolutely splendid.

 

I bought that narrative. I became obsessed with perfection so that no one would see the truth. I excelled as a distraction to the shit show that was our home. I self-loathed. I gave sheepish consolations to people that told me that I had the world in my palm. That I could do anything. That I was enough. Okay, sure.

 

I have spent ten years de-programing myself. Replacing “you’re a piece of work” with you’ll have peace and it will work. Some days are easy. I look in the mirror and I see God. Some days I look in the mirror and dissect every part of my physical, emotional and mental visage. And those days mash up into one stream of life that I sail every damn day.

 

You see we get comfortable. Start believing that we’re fortified and over it. Grown and transformed. Only half braced for the bottom to fall out. For the man that steadily and sweetly reassembled the pieces of you that had been devastated by the natural disaster that is having a family and attempting to recreate that family.

 

That man. He pushed me every single day to chase my dreams and then come home in the evenings and enjoy the fruit of my labors. He was my fucking rock. Steadfast. My creative springboard. He was laughter, play, brutal honesty, and mostly the safe space that I needed to find myself. To love myself. And he’s gone. I’m loosening the grip on that heart cord but it’s hard.

 

It’s hard to stand up, really stand up, by yourself when you’re used to someone having their hand gently resting at the base of your spine. There for when you get tired, when you’re carrying too much and when you just need to relax.

 

I’m a fucking mess. A mess with good friends who understand all of it. Who have been there. Who remind me over and over, you are one of the strongest people that I know. You’ve got this.

 

She says, “It all boils down to spending time and enjoying the presence of another person. Simple.”

 

It is actually that simple. And sometimes I need someone to keep it real with me. To do the bad therapist thing and to tell you a story about herself, “There was a period of time where I told Jeff that I loved him and he wouldn’t say it back. I just had to hold that down for him for a while and trust that things would come around. He said, I have a lot of love for you I just can’t say that I love you yet. And you can’t do anything but have respect for that.”

 

That’s the mark of a strong woman. A fortress. A woman sculpted by the wind and the flow of failed relationships and broken hearts. Standing her ground in honesty and patience. Exactly the woman that I needed to talk to.

How To Be Single

Love, science says, therapy

If the word single reminds you of the number one, or an old sitcom from the 90’s, or a hot new Beyonce track then this post is not for you.
For the rest of us:
If the word single sounds like a metaphorical probation officer strapping your ankle with a bracelet of how in the hell do you portion a meal for one, piling the other side of the bed high with pillows so that sleep doesn’t feel so hollow and the constant impasse of dragging yourself out in public alone, again, then have a seat, let’s talk.

Singledom… singlehood … is a spectrum really. There are all kinds of ways to be single, maybe it’s working for you maybe it’s not. Single feels to me like skinny dipping on a pitch black night all alone. I’m not quite sure if it’s wholly exhilarating or if it feels like I might accidentally crack my head open on a rock and bleed to death right there next to the dock, fishermen stumbling over my corpse in the morning. (I thought about being less dramatic in that illustration, but it’s actually pretty accurate.)

Where ever you fall on the single spectrum here’s some advice, from a professional.

 

Step 1: Take Care of Yourself-

This means so many things. At the very least you need to maintain the status quo of standard of living, attention to hygiene, time in nature, amount of exercise that you were gifting yourself while you were still in a relationship. Derailing into a bowl of pity soup is not helpful. It is helpful to increase your self care from the tinniest things to the big ones. Those things are quite literally the antidote to depression. Think you’re above becoming depressed, well you’re wrong. Also, take some fish oil, it can’t hurt.

 

Step 2: Put Out the Word that You’re Single-

but also that you have a black belt in Karate and a ferocious guard dog. Your people might know their people. Seriously.

Gone are the days of the small hunter and gather community where one moment you’re gathering sticks for the fire and the next moment Fred Flintstone comes over and clubs you over the head drags you back to his cave and has his way with you. Not that any of us are upset about that. But what I’m tryin’ to say is that humans have not evolved to comprehend solitude. Our psyche, our physical bodies, our hormonal bodies were not wired for you to sit your ass on the couch and binge watch Game of Thrones every weekend. Neither can we make any sense of Tinder, isolation, self-loathing or the sinking sense of hope inching further and further away on a physiological level.

All of that is to say, do not allow yourself to be alone all of the time. Put some thing exciting on your calendar and…

 

Step 3: Go Out in Public-

Maybe your goal isn’t even to get into another relationship. That’s totally fine, great even. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek human contact. We are social creatures, surely you know that. Every single thing about life that matters in the end are the relationships that we created at this phenomenal meeting of place and time. Don’t miss a single day of the opportunity to be you in relationship. It’s the why.

 

Step 4: Make Friends Above All Else-

The wind might blow South one day and that guy or gal that you were ‘talking’ to, might just fade away. All of those pieces of yourself that you hooked into them, because you were grappling and any hand up would do. Those just get ripped out. And it will be fine, but it will be just you again. Well you and your friends. Make sure they’re there first.

 

There’s more, I’m just figuring those parts out still.

It was all so beautiful

Love, pretty things, soulfood, therapy

I met this boy with a big nose, a skateboard and a heart of gold. He asked me to be his girlfriend on a swing set. We would walk to the same pizza shop every afternoon that summer and then his mother would drive us in her old Saab to the movie theater. We were those kids in the back row groping each other’s bodies with the immediacy of learning sexual touch for the first time. It felt like Christmas morning and singing the hook from your favorite song too loudly at a stoplight. Every. Single. Time.

This boy and I. We didn’t know better. The only pertinent information was that we were both mild-mannered and utterly infatuated with each other. He would come to be my first great love. The one who would ruin it for every man to come.

What do you mean, men don’t buy you gifts just because it’s Tuesday? What do you mean, men don’t write whole albums of love songs for you yearly? What do you mean you don’t want to lie in bed with me all day exploring every bend and crevice in my body? What do you mean not every disagreement can be worked out be me batting my eyes and leaning in for a kiss? What do you mean?

Our love was sweet as pie and twice as nice. I lived in unadulterated young love bliss with that boy grown man, myself slowly losing my grip on girlhood, for five years.

I hope everyone knows at least once how it feels to be adored. What it means to wake up in the morning a fleshy temple for someone else’s devotion. The space between us, six inches, or six states, oozed with the divine nectar of love. Innocence. Joy.

What do you fucking mean it’s not going to be like that?

The past eleven years have felt like one long fall from that cliff. Hitting every boulder on my way down. Bruised, bloody, and gashed. You should never hike in sandals. Bring plenty of water. Tell your friends where you’re headed. It’s dangerous out there. It requires lots of perseverance. A steadfastness in exactly who you really are or you will be shaken. To your core.
Shaken.

In a crumpled pile at the base of that mountain again. I remember this place well. The rocks that at first looked ominous now glisten in the light. The little specks of mica call me to pull them in for a closer look. The dried pine needles can be gathered in around you, they make a descent enough bed.

Even that patch of cactus can be touched if you’re careful. There it is in all of its splendor, long lost hope for a heavy spring rain instead content with sipping from the morning dew.