Feeling in need of a purge. Which, should always be done here – and not on Facebook or a diary I’m bound (no pun intended) to throw away. This, I shall not erase.
I have this compelling nature to share.
I have this unedited ME that I can’t shut up.
I really kind of like her.
I think if I met me – I’d be dubious at first, but then, I’d think, you know what? I know where I stand with this chick and she wears her heart on her sleeve.
So I’m still cleaning – sort of.
Going through my closet – slowly – and taking forever when I hit a box of photos. Today I opened a high school duffel bag.
I posted this pic and said “Still fits … If you discount the fact I can’t zip the skirt up anymore.”
And it does. And I can’t. I have momma hips now. But, it still slides on.
A dear friend, jokingly replied: “As if it was zipped up much in high school 🙂
The irony is – yes, yes it was. VERY zipped. Are you kidding? I was still a virgin. I played with Barbies until I was 16. Not in a ‘oh hi, how are you’ Barbie interaction way with another Barbie – but with her hair and clothes.I didn’t ‘become a woman’ until I was 16! Late bloomer much? Still waiting for the boob fairy. Pretty sure she’s not showing up.
I sold most of my expensive Barbies in 9th grade to fund a toga party I threw.
But I was still SO innocent when it came to ways I had decisions to be innocent.
I’m happy for that commenter by the way. He used to call me ‘English Muffin’ back when that was innocent too. I have the 6th grade year book to prove it. He is a good man – who is a new dad. And I couldn’t be happier for him.
Earlier, I was thinking of houses … dwelling (no pun intended again) in homes I drive by similar to the one I used to own. I lost it after losing my job in 2008. Yup, I was in the mortgage business. Ever heard of Downey Savings and Loan? I was the ‘loan’ part in my town. I was being paid California wages in Arizona – (but lived in Nevada – it’s complicated). The founder lived in town. He was amazing. He was a millionaire that drove an old car with a bumper sticker that said ‘These colors don’t run’ (American flag) and wore Kmart jeans and actually listened to people.
I listened to him too. Because he was smart, and not just smart, but wise. And a hard worker. I’d listen to stories about his humble upbringing and about his kids and grandchildren. I loved that man. I did. And he was SO funny!
I remember one day – after opening a loan center in a new suite, he sat with me. I was busy. I mean, I adored this unassuming man, but I was busy. And we CARED about our customers, he cared, I cared. He mentioned I was probably too busy to talk. I admitted it. He went to the front door and said, “Amanda, I’m glad you’re here.”
I’ll probably never receive a kinder or more authentic compliment than that. He was no phoney. He passed. And I wish, I wish I had more time to listen. Because he had SO much to share. And was so willing to do so. I listened when I could – and when I listened, he had my full attention.
Rest in peace Mr. Mac. You were so loved.
OK. Let’s move onward.
So I’m not feeling 100% today – and it’s my dad’s birthday and I totally phoned it in with a ‘show up, give a card, leave’ thing.
On the way home, I’m thinking about Jim.
I hit a stop light – and there is a man with a sign.
“Please help. Vet”
I’ll now share with you – (because thank GOD I can) the IM I sent my love:
On the way home I thought of you. How you heal me in ways you don’t know. How calm my heart is with you (when we’re not on a Vegas Highway lol) How safe, home, loved and right I feel with you. I sometimes look at houses and covet them – but then I remember – we have each other. And always will be sheltered and nourished and have love. Some of those beautiful houses have the loneliest people in them. We’ll never be lonely. We’ll always know love. And we both know to cherish that. Then I was at a stop sign and a man was holding a ‘Please help. Vet’ sign (which was odd because it was laminated) and he reached into his shopping cart and grabbed a rib – and walked to his woman, and gave it to her to eat, and my heart swelled. Such love – and they’re on the corner of a busy street, asking for help. Anyway – I just wanted you to know, I’ll always give you a rib. I’ll always rub your back. I’ll always cherish you Jim. You make me feel so safe to be me – and authentic. Even when I say stupid shit I don’t feel unloved or judged. Thank you.
Yeah you little voyeurs! That was a very real IM from me to the man I love.
I share it because it’s true. I’m such a *&%ing handful! And he still loves me.
I hung some of his art today.
With the remnants of energy I had.
I needed him on my wall.
I just – need him.
In a ‘non-weird-needy’ way. If that makes sense. Which it wont. If you’ve read any of my posts on love, or THINKING I was in love – or determined NOT to be in love.
I’ll share this – when my head is on his chest – I feel complete.
When he’s in the room, I feel full.
When he laughs, my souls smiles – and blushes.
When he sits typing on his phone, with a tendril of hair falling out of his pony tail, I fall in love. Again. And again.
When I remember his patience and humor – I feel like a complete idiot for not having that sooner.
But, I wouldn’t have had it.
As I’ve said before, and it bears repeating, I WOULD have blown it.
It’s just so sad, but beautiful that it took this long. 25 years.
It’s going to mean so much more – every second. Every hug. Every passing glance. Everything will mean so much more.
I know Mrs. Mac loved Mr. Mac this way – because I had the honor of seeing them together.
I saw the easy way they finished each others sentences – but had different interests.
I saw the way he looked at her … after decades.
And from humble beginnings, astounding fairy tales begin. No matter how long it takes.
Part I – The truth
I’ve seen abject poverty, absurd wealth – caste systems – been tugged at by hungry, filthy, beautiful children in India “Baksheesh!”. My white skin and light hair touched uninvited, brave small hands reaching out to make tangible the encounter.
I’ve climbed onto a wing of a plane and let go.
Lain on a table as a life ended.
Pushed life into the world while apologizing to a room I had screamed for hours in prior.
I’ve loved and lost.
Hated and forgiven.
Held onto innocence as long as I could, the only ways I knew how.
Delved into debauchery to test my limits and punch out at the world.
I am educated – and so ignorant.
I thirst for truth and seek it. Hunger for good and dissect things until I find it.
(Dissection … a quick tangent here.
It occurs to me that when people tell me to ‘let it go!’ or ‘Just get over it’ the simple fact is that they just don’t want to hear about a current problem or hurt.
For me, I must dissect. So that when I let go, I let go of all of the parts.
It takes me longer, but in the end I’m rid of, and understand ‘the thing’.)
I ache at injustice.
I have a bad habit of flight in lieu of fight.
I need solitude to really be me – and in that solitude I ache for a partner. One I can miss.
I’ve been a good mother, an awful mother. A good friend and an awful friend. A good daughter and an awful daughter.
I’ve self medicated, self mutilated and despised myself.
Lashed out – fed my pain with my own cold served dishes.
I hit my knees nightly saying ‘thank you’ to a God I don’t believe in.
Spiritual me, with hands clasped – and God forbid I forget, perhaps in a state of fatigue. My OCD pulls me from bed and I snap out a prayer – offer up sincere thanks and what I mean to be true – then sabotage my blessings almost daily.
I don’t reciprocate the love of my friends demonstrably.
She who used to gift everyone to be in their favor, won’t leave her home anymore to visit the important, unwavering people in her life. And they still love me.
I hole up in my nest. Only really feeling safe when I don’t have to make eye contact, or be funny or upbeat. Where I’m not too thin, not too deep. Where I’m gloriously, unapologetically me!
I go deeper into myself. Talking to myself.
Not eloquently – but my thoughts are. I open my mouth in public and hear myself trying to fit in and failing.
I see patterns in my behavior, faces in my food – beauty in the reprehesible and ugliness in Saints.
I see truth.
Part II – Deeper truth
I watch the news and cringe at the biased reporting.
I read quotes slapped up on pages and various social media ‘walls’.
I sneer at the generic, pedestrian sentiments of the ‘Hang in there’ cat poster variety.
“Come on! Catch up! I’m past that life stage!”
Then end up feeling sanctimonious and rethinking everything I think I know again.
I want to say “You! You there! With the prefabricated opinion – have you looked into that? Do you even know if it’s attributed to the correct author? This original opinion that you found on the internet?”
“Have you weighed both sides through careful and passionate research?”
But I don’t.
Because then I’m told I think too much.
But should I ever be asked the same question, I hope my answer can always be an authentic ‘yes’.
I’ve written some terrible posts lately – just typed out for the sake of posting something. I’ve been so uninspired.
Then I watched Nymphomaniac Volumes I & II last night and today.
Lars von Trier inspires me.
(The photos above are stolen screen shots from his movie Antichrist)
Lars von Trier pulls me deeper.
He puts no decorations on his points. It’s raw.
I don’t have to pretend to ‘get’ him. Pipe in the corner of my mouth, leather elbowed jacket – discussing the 100 things his movie could mean. No. None of that.
His cinematography is breathtaking and writing succinct.
I used to love Poe. I think because of the depressive complex nature of his topics. I was young. And full of angst. I think I also pretended to understand him.
I never understood Shakespeare. Okay, some of it. But then I’d get snagged on a sentence – like a blouse on a branch. The more I tried to pull free, the more entangled I became – the more the sentence could mean.
This reminds me of the joke about the blue curtains.
In Nymphomaniac, I loved that Joe – while listening to Seligman’s metaphors politely and even contemplating their validity – carried on with what she meant to say.
Nymphomaniac was not erotic for me. I don’t think it is supposed to be. But then – porn does not arouse me.
I have a very unhealthy view of intimacy – the result of a multitude of inappropriate ‘experiences’ I did not choose to be a part of.
The emotionless rutting makes me sad. Especially in this movie – her never-ending quest to be filled. To feel.
Her blank stare as men thrust inside of her on the train.
Carnal, desperate and mechanical.
She tells her life story, unedited, to a man who has taken her in after she has been beaten.
Of all the characters – Seligman the virgin, in my opinion, was the most reprehensible character of all the men.
And not just because he kept interrupting her story while trying to validate her actions in order to feel better about himself …
I vehemently feel disgust for those who misrepresent themselves.
At least the other men did not hide their intentions.
People who hide their intentions frighten me.
I was very happy with the ending to the movie.
When I was little, and someone I loved very much was being hurt – I fantasized about doing the same thing.
It was always the same fantasy – the person would not be taken by surprise.
They would know it was me – look directly into my eyes and know my intention and that I was going to follow through.
Never for me – but for someone I love – I would kill.
I can know that about myself and I feel less guilty for not leaving my house to visit.
I also know I need to offer what I can to those I care for while there is still time.
I know this.
But I also feel I need to improve what I have to offer.
I’m still dissecting.
I still look in the mirror and don’t understand what others see. I do not find myself aesthetically pleasing most of the time – and when I do, I feel prideful and vain.
But the most important things that I see when I look in the mirror I am comfortable with.
I meet my own eyes and see someone who is willing to admit all of her faults.
I see someone who is willing to work on them.
I see someone who I would like – someone I would visit and not expect a visit from in return.
I’d probably also post an arbitrary prefabricated quote on her wall and tell her not to take herself so seriously – that we’re all in different stages of our life’s journey, and hers is just one of many.
Knowing she’d dissect it.
I’ve been sad again. And while examining the ‘sad’ I narrowed the root cause down to a need for two things.
Consistency and authenticity.
These are things I need.
To be able to count on someone or something.
To be told the truth, and never left feeling confused and worried due to lies or omission.
I can handle the truth.
I can move on with truth.
I keep getting told how strong I am, so it must be true.
I need truth.
If I’m willing to do the work – whether it be at home, in the workplace or within my relationships with people, I need it to be reciprocated.
I’m loyal to a degree of ridiculousness.
I’m consistent – you can count on me. I’m honest, (sometimes too honest, I know this.)
I need those things in return.
My mom offered me some advice the other day: “They don’t care about you, you need to look out for yourself.”
I won’t say who ‘they’ are, but she had a point.
The problem is, I still care about them. I care about the time and work and heart I’ve put in.
I’m never going to abandon a place or person until I’m sure I’ve tried my very best. Because I have to live with myself after they’re gone.
I pray because it feels good and it feels right.
It feels right because I’m saying ‘thank you’ without a human audience, and that feels authentic.
It feels right because I’m taking a moment to reflect and ask for guidance – and not things.
It feels good because I pray for positive energy – I ask for blessings for others.
But, I am not a Christian.
I tried to be. I’ve asked ‘the’ question in the past – with an open mind and willing soul: “Jesus, please come into my heart.”
I tried because it felt like the right thing to do, but mostly because I didn’t want to go to hell.
Then I felt hypocritical asking out of fear.
I wanted so badly to believe – but not at any cost – not because I was afraid not to.
I even convinced myself to some degree that God might actually appreciate an honest heart that at least tried. Although, probably I am going to hell. If there is one.
I had to be honest with myself though. I don’t believe. I do not believe the stories in the bible happened.
And it’s not just Christianity, every religion to me, seems as if a game of ‘telephone’ (Or ‘Chinese Whispers’) has been played with it.
If there is any one and only ‘right’ religion, man has dipped his hands into it over time. As a result, I just don’t feel like what was original, authentic or intended is among the current selections.
I don’t trust man.
But I do have Faith.
I believe in a higher power. Something bigger than me. Something I’ll never understand and am not completely meant to … because wouldn’t that be counterproductive to the concept of ‘Faith’?
I do believe in the power of prayer.
I believe there is a source of good – and of love.
And for all intents and purposes, I call that God.
In two weeks it will be Christmas Day.
Although I’m not Christian, I can appreciate a day selected to celebrate the birth of a child that represented love and forgiveness. I can get behind that.
In fact, I usually adore this time of year. The extra love and kindness that the Season tends to bring from others.
The lights and the music – the joy and the hope that warms Winter.
I’m not feeling any of that this year.
I have knots in my stomach where excitement should be.
I’m looking away from lights and avoiding the holiday music.
I feel like a deadline is beating down on me that I can’t possibly meet.
I love giving.
I especially love being able to grant a wish – be able to witness a smile that reaches the eyes of someone I love.
It’s been a tough year financially.
I know I’m not the only one – but I can’t write about what other people are feeling.
I only know how I am feeling.
I know that presents aren’t ‘the reason for the season’, but I don’t want to let my son down.
I’ve always found a way.
Somehow managed to grant a material wish for the boy I would lay down and die for.
I am falling short this year.
And it hurts.
And it makes me wish Christmas wouldn’t come.
I need to pray on that.
Pray on why the need to give is so strong, that I feel ‘less than’ if I can’t do it.
Because that’s a lot different from needing to give and not wanting to do it.
I need to pray on why it upsets me so much to think I’m letting someone down when I can’t provide things they want.
Because that’s a lot different from not providing things they need.
I don’t ever want my motives to be driven by fear.
I will pray they are driven by love.
I’m quite certain they are.
It is Christmas after all, the one time of year when it’s traditional to show love by offering gifts. To indulge in a few material tokens of our affection.