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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precipitating events

Love, pretty things, soulfood

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.

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.

Successfully took another bullet in the name of love

Love, soulfood

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.

utttttt oh

Love, pretty things, soulfood

Just there. Always. Last year. Next weekend. Today with 30 minutes notice.

What do you want to do?

Let’s explore.

Opened door.
Up a mountain.
Side of the road, head thrown back, star gazing. Beaming blinding moon.

His arm must have been just floating behind my back. Asking sweet gentle permission, is this okay?

Okay, well there’s the Big Dipper you know that. And then where there would be a line that goes to Polaris. The North Star. The one that all of the other ones rotate around. But that’s some old time sailor stuff.

Over there, you see that cluster of stars with the bright one in the middle, that’s the one on the Subaru logo. Pleiades.

There’s Orion and those there are his belt of course. And the one that looks like a sigma that’s Cassiopeia. And then there’s this one and I know I was supposed to remember the shape, but I’m not sure anymore.

Later he would say I’m not very good at stars. I’d say you did pretty well.

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.

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.