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I am

Someone special put this on my Facebook wall today – and made me feel like I was not ‘less than’.

imageI don’t think people ‘refuse’ to grow – I think we’re all on our own personal paths and even when it’s not evident that we’re growing – we are.  Perhaps it dawns on us later.  Much like our parents wisdom and love, we don’t realize it or appreciate it until we’ve become parents – much like the advice they gave us, we can’t understand it until we’ve unfortunately made the mistakes.

A post by Jeff Brown resonated with me earlier in the week:

“I used to judge people who didn’t want to work on their ‘issues’ and patterns. I questioned their emotional courage, their fortitude, their depth. To be sure, many of us myself included could do a better job of dealing with our stuff head on. But, at the same time, I now recognize that we cannot know how courageous someone else is by looking at their lives from the outside. Perhaps they are carrying around so much unresolved emotional material their own, even that of the collective that they do not have any energy left over for process. Or perhaps they are working in the deep within in ways we cannot begin to imagine healing their unresolved, quietly building the egoic foundation necessary to take on the next level of inner work. It’s so hard to know where courage lives.”

Never the less, the quote made me feel like she got me.  That I was compromising myself a little here in order to ‘fit in’.

Let me qualify my feelings.

I have never ‘fit in’.

I moved from England to the US when I was to enter 6th grade.  It was not ‘cool’ to be different.  I knew nothing about ‘cool’.  I did not fit in.

Our community in England was about handmade clothes & no cliques.  And … the metric system.

Imagine for a second, seeing for the first time (like I did when tested to figure (no pun intended) what math class I should be integrated into) a number and a line and another number.  A fraction? WHAT?

Needless to say, I was ‘integrated’ into a remedial math class.

I also wore skirts and knew nothing about ‘labels’ or ‘designer’ clothing.

School sucked.

I was bullied for my differences – and in an effort to ‘fit in’ I tried to lose my accent.

This was the era of ‘Dallas’.  I mimicked the accent and found myself caught between sounding like an English ‘J.R. Ewing’ – then I was in limbo for a while and ended up losing my English accent.  (Oh how I wish I had held onto it until High School!)

It still rears its head with words like ‘Been’ (pronounced ‘Bean’) and a few others. I also pronunciate every letter (I pronounce that with every ‘t’ not ‘d’) and so I have not completely lost my origins.

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Dork me, cheerleader me, graduating me and college me.

All me.

Always has been.  Always will be.

I had an imaginary friend in England – her name was Suzie.  We rode horses together.  My horse was named Ice Diamond.

I sang in an imaginary band (and still do in the car) – it was called “Silver and Gold”. (I was Silver).

‘Gold’ was an imaginary brunette.

Mostly they were Abba songs.  I loved Abba growing up.

The point is – I’ve always been into ‘imagination’.

I’ve always written, drawn – created.

Never did I shrink myself.

I was published at 9 in a newspaper – during college I had several poems published in a book (in the library of congress no less) that are cringe worthy now.  I was listening too much to ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe.  I went on to write for a local magazine – critiquing restaurants.

The point is – I’ve always written.  I needed to.

Still need to.

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I’ve shared with you my son growing up, me growing older, my hopes, my fears.

Jobs lost, careers gained.

Life at it’s best and life’s downs.

Aren’t they beautiful?

All the ups and downs.

Truly.

No sarcasm.

I feel so blessed to just BE here.  To appreciate when things are good – because I’ve felt when things are bad.

I find myself thinking about trying to save my son the effort and pain of the ‘bad’ – but to what end?

How will he know when life is good if he hasn’t seen the under carriage of it?

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I remember pork belly dinners with my mum (in the first picture) when money was tight – and now it’s an expensive delicacy? (Laugh Out Loud.)

The point is – I have never been what you would call ‘normal’.

And after reading that quote on my page – I am SO grateful for it.

I almost ended this blog.  I will share with you some of that ‘goodbye’:

I considered ending this blog.

Then it occurred to me …

This blog is about me being imperfect.

Saying the things others can’t or won’t.

Throwing confetti some days and shedding tears others, all over the keyboard.

Living life and figuring out who the hell I am.

I realize a lot after these past years – a lot of the seeking I was doing was not to understand ‘evil’ – but to understand myself.

I am the unspectacular human.

Was I looking for forgiveness? Yes. And I STILL am my own worst critic, but finding bigger evils does not help.

I need to stop.

Looking for good … I always will. But I need to BE the good I seek.

Every post is me in some way.

Throwing stones at the dysfunctional neighbors, sharing the wisdom that I only have come to be in possession of by making awful mistakes.

Wishing I could spare someone the pain of going down a wrong path by describing it. Not just in my stories, but others.

This blog – is about me purging all the toxins from my deepest, darkest parts. It’s about me figuring out how to push past the ghosts and fill myself up with light.

I never could just talk about something. Published at 9 for the first time, I have always needed to write.

And after years of secrets, I also have a need for unflinching honesty.

The only way I can see a good path ahead of me, is when it’s illuminated with truth.

And sometimes I am too truthful.

And sometimes I share too much.

But I can’t see that changing.

So I either end the blog – or forgive myself and embrace the girl who thinks too much and puts it out into the internet world.

I’m not ending the blog.

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No, no I’m not.  But Butters is shedding in Winter – *see above picture

and so I’m reminded – that we can grow and remain our inherent selves, and still share – all over the f%$&ing place – even when it’s not the appropriate time.

I love that you read me – I love that you know me (and if you read this blog, you DO know me)

A special thanks to Austin and Ksbeth for always ‘liking’ my posts.  You put a smile on my face. And to Alyce, who became my friend and an ever supporter .. THANK YOU! Even when I couldn’t back myself up, you did.

To all my Facebook friends (who, I can TRULY call friends, thank you for always clickin’)

x

And Nic, thanks for letting me use your actual name and not cringing when I write about you. 😉  Y’all need to know that I only write about my son because he lets me.  And I am also grateful for that.

And shout out to Beck – who put up with me reading this, and helping me with the title – and trying to remember the name of the song below.

Slipping through my fingers

I just returned from a special day with my mom.

Driving home it was 111 degrees in my car, but I had goosebumps on my skin while listening to this song.

It is our song – no doubt.

We both cried the first time we saw this scene in a local movie theater.  For different reasons I thought at the time, but now I’m not so sure.

I had chosen the soundtrack for the car ride today as it was our special mother-daughter day.

She mentioned Dancing Queen and how she related to it and to the part of the movie when Meryl Streep said “I used to have fun.”

She told me one day I would understand.

I reminded her that ‘one day’ had come.

I look back now at the days before I was a mother.  When I was the Dancing Queen – young and, okay, not so sweet.  But God did I live!

I know she did too.

She was young and beautiful and had hopes and dreams.

I do understand.

I keep catching up to points in her life all the time – and all the while she’s having new experiences that ‘one day’ I’ll understand.

“Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time”

_________________

 

I wonder if my mom knows how much she still means to me.

I watched her today, on a spa table.

She was on her back, eyes closed – golden red hair splayed out around her and she looked … so beautiful.

“Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it …”

I said nothing for a while – just stared at her.

This woman who was my entire world when I was that school girl.

She lay there, very still, lit by artificial light – as if she were no longer alive.

I couldn’t bear the thought of it.

“You’ll make a beautiful corpse.” I said.

She smiled.

We have a wicked sense of humor.

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“Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers
Slipping through my fingers all the time”

The thing about becoming a mother, is that it’s the exact moment we realize how much our own mothers love us! 

Then in necessary irony, the universe shifts the pull of gravity from her to our own children.

But as my child becomes a man, I find an unmistakable pull back to the woman who once had my whole heart.

Today I wanted to soak up every second I had with her – catching glimpses of the woman who once sat brushing my hair, making my porridge, stroking my forehead.

“Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny”

As I dropped her off home –  we both said our I love you’s and good-bye’s …  I suddenly wanted to never say good-bye.

I wanted my head in her lap as she stroked my forehead  – I wanted to see her dance and to talk about her hopes and dreams.

She got out of the car and turned and waved …

“Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness”

Slipping through my fingers all the time.