The stages of a break up

domestication, Love, silly goose, soulfood

1- this prob isn’t going to last, tread lightly. bookend every criticism with 2 compliments.

2- yup, getting back together, at least for makeup sex, picking out the wedding dress right now.

3- that mother fucking asshole. probs going to burn his house down. unless he apologizes at some point in the next 72 hours, I don’t want to lose all of those hours of pinteresting our future baby’s nursery.

4- ahhhh good. he really sees his mistakes and has shown satisfactory remorse. yay I won’t die alone.

5- ohhh for fucks sake. dude literally can’t even fake being nice for 3 days.

(repeat steps 1-5, 3 to 7 times until you’re worn down to cinders of your former self. you’ll know it’s time for step 6 when you look at his pictures and expletives accidentally jut out)

6- you’re dead to me. outta lives. unplugged the gaming console and took a long walk to the woods to bury the last remaining drops of hope, empathy, and love that I had for you.

7- sit shiva for 5 days.

8- do you, but for real this time.

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so what if he dies

Love, soulfood

The best thing that ever happened to me was that my grandmother, my best friend, my confidant, my hero, died when I was 19 years old.

I was gobsmacked by the reality that just like that poof your entire world can crumble. The person who I had ran earth shattering loving energy with since the moment I was born was gone.

I spent the next couple of years in chaos. Trying to find the meaning of life, trying to find a way out of my own pain, trying to find a way, period. Through sex, drugs, rock and roll… okay more like jam bands, and a baby. I decided that I would love harder. I would love bigger. I would not let things go unsaid. I wanted for my people to know that they were my people.

What I was really doing was trying to live with no regrets. Out of a hedonistic need to build pillars of “I did the best I could” around my shattered heart, in anticipation for the next heart break that was inevitable.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that I wasn’t strong enough to love like that. 
I allowed people to mistake my tenderness, my surrender to love, my willingness to stick things out as weakness. I allowed myself to be mistreated back into a place of shelter. A calloused place where I questioned the wisdom of my generous trust.

I lived in that place for years. There that I had no one to face but myself.

And then one day, this beautiful man floated into my life. His magnetism, is his own. He sucked me right in. Much to both of our surprise he was my soulmate. A mirror. A challenge. Embodiment of the pulse in my veins. My favorite person to be in the ring with. We did what you are supposed to do in a good relationship, we healed eachother. Well at least he healed me. Pealed away all of those layers of defense.

We have seen our share of bad days. Terrible days. Drag out, fetal position, rip your heart out days. But for everyone of those there was a repair that lasted ten times as long.

No walls. Honesty. Brutal often. A free exchange of being. Predictable, steadiness, presence.

And I lost him too.

The second best thing that ever happened to me was that I lost my best friend, my life partner, the father of my child. 

Ju and I are still in heated debate about my right to have not handled his sickness well. Debate about whether or not I was an asshole to a sick dying man that I put out on his ass. We may never resolve that debate. I may never stop being defensive about it. But, because there is no other way I’m going to lay down that sword. Instead, just saying this. I don’t have the capacity to be totally selfless. I held onto resentments. I felt sorry for myself. I didn’t handle it well. I was bad to you when I shouldn’t have been. And mostly I’m sorry to myself for all of the crippling guilt that I have held onto about that.

There I was, destroyed and somehow liberated. Like an inmate up for parole who wasn’t sure that she could actually live on the outside.

Thank you for that too. Alone. Wounded. Confused. That’s where I do my best internal work. This time that shit was deep, and I came out the other side as a profoundly better person.

Reminded that life is not about attachment to outcomes. It is about the moment, the process. Journey. Not destination. How many times I said it and finally life beat that shit into me. Adversity is the greatest teacher if you are open to the lesson.

As I embrace the fact that as time ticks on I will have the loss of many more to add onto the list of excruciating pain that I am grateful for. Reminded. I am made of water. Fluid. Accommodating. Moveable. Unable to be crushed, just displaced. Eventually reconfiguring, flowing through. Nothing more, nothing less. Just am in this form, on this earth, with these people until I’m, we’re not.

I think I might go ahead and do a couple of things with myself while I’m here.

 

 

 

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.

we all fall down

Love, soulfood

You can fall apart anyway that you choose.

I fell apart for a full year.

Some hours, days, publically because I needed everyone to see my heart being ripped out. Some hours, days, it was just quiet tears, muted sobs, gasps for air alone. In a classroom. At the grocery store. Those were the times that I couldn’t control it. Many hours it was in my therapist’s office. Long explanations of how it all came to be, my personal accountability, the injustice of a dying partner. Every Tuesday at nine I rattled and wailed until I felt my soul burning hot, festering and finally purging the sorrow that coated all of my being. Each time I would find my feet, walk out the door and magically it filled up again.

I fell apart naked, in my back yard under the desert sun. I would wait until my flesh was on fire. It made the loneliness retreat somewhere further inside. I cocooned myself in my hammock. Savored every ounce of the sensation of ease. I tried to stock pile it for later that day, for later that year. I got in my car and drove. I got on a plane and flew. I got on my knees and prayed.

I fell apart on my couch in sweltering heat. Slowly watching my body shrink. Taking long labored drags from joints. I fell apart in dance, hip hop, slow jams, gut wrenching love ballads. I danced my pain all over my tile floor. I fell apart with my friends, over dozen of phone conversations, dozens of nights full of wine and infinite good-bye hugs.

I fell apart before, during and after sex with strange men. I clawed my agony into their backs. Whispered please, I’m loveable, in my moans. But none of them were willing to witness a broken bleeding woman. They wanted me to be a me that I wasn’t even sure still existed. And still I tried. It was hallow and insincere. I oscillated between vulnerable self-disclosure and telling them absolutely nothing at all. I learned everything:
People like to talk, I can listen. People are not trying to bare your burdens, I pretend to be light well. I can say every single thing that’s hard to say and only hear back, why are you telling me this? I’m telling you because I want you to see me. I need empathy. I need the distraction of you for just a moment.

Yeah, well I need you to chill, I just met you. Heard.

I fell apart through ink spilled over paper, bleeding sad poetry, antidotal stories, words of my disbelief, affirmations after affirmation:

You are worthy. The Universe is inherently good. Good things ARE happening to you. Trust the timing of your life. Breathe.

I fell apart a thousand times in the arms and ears of the man who put me there. Not maliciously but due to circumstance and the instinctual tug to find love and cling to it for dear life.

I fell apart with a baby in my arms. Blessedly rocking and kissing the only creature that can make everything okay. I threw my head back and screamed more than once don’t you fucking dare take this from me too.

Suffice it to say, I fell apart. Totally. Falling and learning are synonymous. I learned who my family is. The places that are safe to be unbuttoned. I learned all of the corners of my shadow and it turns out that even beneath the buried trauma, pain, cowardness, mistrust and anger is a pulsing orb of light. I am good. I am worthy. I am love.

And then in a way that I have yet to find words for the shards of me started recoagulating into a breathtaking powerhouse of a woman. Cautioned, steady, open, delightful. She is okay. And will continue to be okay through all of the future storms. A seasoned sailor of trepid seas. Riding.

You know how you know that you’re healing. It’s when you look sorrow in the eye, lean into his chest, stay there for an impossibly long time. Then because you can, you pull away, relock eyes and smile.

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.

 

Christmas Day

Love, pretty things, soulfood

I’ve found God in this forest over and over again.

I’ve sat just as I am now on the side of a mountain and sobbed. I’ve looked at the sun beaming between the tree tops, painting lace all over the pine needles and prayed for strength. I’ve laid on pine cones and mourned the loss of the things that I could not control. And today, I walked over rock and ice in tremendous gratitude for the breath of life, the elegance of divine timing, the ability to change.

Grounded and flying.
Alive, every cell of all of us.
Surrender.
Trust.
Promise.

My sweet Lord.

The Bumble Chronicles

silly goose

I have been single for exactly two weeks. Two days ago I decided to start Bumbling. What in the hell is bumble you ask? The (theoretically) less creepy version of Tinder. I’m unsure of the set up for same sex couples, but for the hetero-crowd the women call all of the shots. They pick who they like, the woman chooses to ­­­­message that person, she asks them out on a date. Conceptually it’s the better situation for a woman I think, but I’m feeling like I’m going to bail.

 

So men pop up on the screen and there are a few pictures of them and they say very little in their profile section. Just one thing, or even just a series of emojis. It’s clear that this whole online hookup thing feels like swimming in stagnant water. You might catch a leach, get dysentery but hey at least you made a concerted effort to get wet. Everyone is brief, just trying to preserve their anonymity, myself included.

 

There’s the full gamete. Doctors, lawyers, business executives. Men named SoliderofGod who have gold fronts and look like a skinnier version of Snoop Dogg. I didn’t make that one up. It’s not the most horrendous activity that I’ve ever been part of but it’s pretty close.

 

I had to Google which way to swipe. Had to ask friends for advice. Had to read a number of profiles aloud because they were better than stand up. My friend consuls, it’s the fucking worst. But what are you going to do? These days it’s pretty much the only way to meet guys. Maybe you should try Tinder, at least you could get fucked quickly.

 

For fucks sake (literally) this is what life has come to. Am I really that washed up? That undesirable? Is it entirely unfeasible to move out of state? Where in the world are all of the single men? I’m not even picky at this point. Just needs not be a serial killer, holds mediocre conversation and isn’t physically repulsive. IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK? Apparently.

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.

Perfectionist

Love, pretty things, silly goose, soulfood, your body

These bodies that we’re in. What a funny device. All of this ambulating. The arch of your back on the inhale. The way that you kiss the top of my head, and then the center of my forehead. The back of your thighs.

 

Sometimes I get the urge to wrap your body around mine and take off down a rolling grassy hill. Sort of sure that we’ll gash our knees open but so delighted by the joy of momentum and gravity and I could care less. Grass stained and out of breath, let’s do it again.