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Behind the Curtain

I had a post decided for today – and it was dark.  It was to be about my current mood – still ensconced in heart ache.  It was to be about  feeling Hopeless.  No longer expecting anything with any measure of confidence for myself – no longer cherishing or desiring with anticipation.

But as a believer in contagious moods and in keeping with looking for good – I made the decision to apply that to myself.

I declared today Pajama Day! And as I lay on my bed watching a movie – a ray of light found its way onto my television screen.

I paused the movie,  fetched a beautiful piece of material to cover the sheer curtain on the offending window and stopped.  And noticed.  And was inspired.

I give you – Behind the Curtain.

 

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This is what I saw – and it caught my breath.  I had covered my Thai Buddha and plant while shutting out the light – and in the process,  brought some into myself.

I was fascinated and began to play.

 

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I looked around my room for other suitable silhouettes.

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I so love the elbow pushing against the cloth during this ’embrace’

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And lastly – the ‘offending’ window – that brought unexpected light.

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To you today I say: May your mundane astound you, and may you stop and notice beauty even with a heavy heart. – Amanda

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The truth of it …

It’s been a rough few weeks.

And because I must always be honest in order to feel any serenity at all – I’m sharing an ugly part of it with you.

Last month I shared that I lost my job – since then my son gained one.  He’s been away a lot, staying with my mom in a neighboring State to cut down on his commute.

I on the other hand, had been home a lot, and his absence filled every room with a palpable foreshadowing.

I then received an urgent call from my landlady.

She was warning me that she had finally presented my nightmare neighbors with paperwork,  and that it did not go well and they were angry with me apparently.

The truth of it was that after all the traffic, drugs, domestic violence and general disregard for the community – the community had had enough.

She tried to tell them that it was more than one complaint from more than one neighbor.  But they had decided the closest to them was the snitch.

I knew what they were capable of, so to learn this was in short, terrifying.

My routine had to change – I feared they might harm Butters, my dog, in my absence.  I feared another attack on my car during the night.  I wasn’t so concerned about them breaking in and doing me bodily harm, but still had a hard time falling to sleep – and am keeping weapons at my bedside.

Add to this that I found myself in the middle of a triangle of toxicity when it came to matters of the heart.

I was lonely.  Scared.  Had too much time to think and had too many things going on – my serenity was shot and my stomach cramped with emotional discomfort while my heart ached.

Night after night I looked across at an empty couch.

 

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It isn’t so much that Nicholas wasn’t sitting on it. He’s spreading his beautiful wings and while I miss him, I’m proud of his ability to fly.

It was that nobody was sitting on it.

Problem is, I know myself well enough to know that I don’t want anyone constantly on the couch across from me – and yet I was lonely.

I walked around the house in a fog.

One night – as I was taking my medicine, I had the thought ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’

This thought didn’t hang uncomfortably in the air – it blended into the room as if it belonged there.

I could take ALL the medicine and cease to be.

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At that moment of time, I was terrifyingly okay with that.

I felt I’ve seen and done more than 100 lifetimes.  I felt my role in my son’s life was shrinking to nonexistence.  I felt I would never be loved the way that I loved.  I felt so completely depleted of all my hopes and energy that I had nothing further to do here.

And God how I love life!

I do.

I have SUCH gratitude for my humble shelter – the food in my kitchen – the pictures in clouds and the beauty of weeds.  I seek out good everywhere I look – I love to the nth degree and I cherish every friend and loved one in my life.

And still I stood staring down thinking ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’

It breaks my heart.

But at the same time, there was a beauty in letting myself feel that pain and hopelessness – I knew I was being what I always strive to be.  Authentic.

I wasn’t brushing the thought away like an annoying gnat with a ‘Don’t be silly.’

I KNEW I would not do it.  I knew this.  But I knew the thought was very, very real and could not be discounted.

It forced me to look at, then let out – all my pent-up emotions.

It forced me to stop for a moment – without flitting from dishes to dog and errands to emails and look myself, literally in the eyes.

I stood at the mirror, leaned over my bathroom sink and noticed myself.

There she was.

Amanda.

A real person who had been wearing herself so thin and worrying herself physically sick.

Miss independent – unsure if she could provide.  Miss solitary – needing company.  Miss brave – afraid to go outside.

And as Butters looked sadly at me, missing her boy – and not understanding why she had to be locked in the house all day –  I felt completely lost and vulnerable.

But I felt.

And I always do – so deeply.

And though sadness overwhelms me – so does joy.  I love in vibrant color with a panchromatic heart.

And I am content with ‘enough’ and I do not want ‘ALL’.

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I could poetically end there – but that would not be honest.

Things are looking up, they always do.

There is always hope waiting for those who can look at their lives and choose to live it.

I have an amazing job opportunity just around the corner, although, I’ll probably always have a healthy fear of not being able to provide the necessities.

I’m still sleeping with several weapons at my bedside, but so far so good as far as the neighbors go.

I’m still lonely, but this is a good thing for me!  I used to think I didn’t have the capacity to need anyone.  Craving human interaction is definitely a step in a healthy direction.

I have incredible friends that love me and show up.

I have a loving family that I can count on.

The world is so beautiful – and the universe is carving new paths  all the time.

And I’m willing to walk them.

 

 

 

 

 

For The Longest Time

I’ve been under going a transformation. 

I won’t compare it to that of a caterpillar to a butterfly … but rather a snake shedding its skin.

Outgrowing my old, dull, scarred protective layer and using every muscle to pull free – brushing up against rough things to shed that final piece.

What has emerged is raw, sensitive, achingly new and wonderful.

I have a twinkle in my eye.  A secret smile.  A feeling of hope – and promise.

 

Taylor James

Taylor James

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I sat outside earlier and watched the last of the suns rays playing with the cloud cover … a breeze moved my long hair.  I was glad in that moment I had not decided to cut it.

Billy Joel drifted to me from a nearby houseI’m that voice you’re hearing in the hall …”  I exhaled – closed my eyes.  I felt in that moment, beautiful.

I felt that I was enough.

That I was awakening.

I haven’t been there for the longest time
I had second thoughts at the start
I said to myself
Hold on to your heart

I seem to have suddenly gone from ‘what will I be?’ to ‘I know just who I am.’  And the woman in me approves.

My inner goddess that craves touch – intimacy – interaction and laughter has been given the green-light by the cautious, anxious mother in me.

It’s my turn.

Now I know the woman that you are
You’re wonderful so far
And it’s more that I hoped for

I thought this newly emerged ‘me’ was my secret – but she’s not.  Others have noticed.  That I’m smiling more.  Laughing more.  Being bolder and have a glow to me.

I’m spending more time with friends – noticing the opposite sex.

I’m completely and delightfully aware that anything is possible.  And giving myself permission to explore that.

I don’t care what consequence it brings
I have been a fool for lesser things

And I haven’t felt that for the longest time.

 

Beauty (and the insecurity beast)

A man said to me today, “Does your guy know how skinny and beautiful you are?”

Any other time and I would have been offended – I am uncomfortable receiving compliments – I have learned to say ‘Thank you” but – mostly I’m in knots inside not wanting to be noticed.

I’m not a ‘girly’ girl.  I don’t wear heels, don’t need spas or salons or haircuts.  I don’t dye my hair or buy purses or shoes.  My favorite flower is the tiny grass daisy.

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I really try not to call attention to myself.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry – will only wear silver-colored metals – no super short skirts or low-cut tops.  I wear minimal make up, no colored polish on my fingernails and no busy patterns on my clothes.

Today, I responded in a moment of complete honesty.  I surprised myself when I looked him in the eye and said, “You know, I’m scared I’m not enough.”

He looked at me and asked, “Does he know your heart?  That you’re beautiful inside?”

“Yes.  I think so.”

And I know that’s what counts.  I’m not shallow.  I’m not ignorant.

But if I’ve ever wanted to feel beautiful, to be looked upon through the eyes of someone special and seen as beautiful – it’s now.

The knots inside are of a new kind.  Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and there are eyes I want to please.

And what if I’m not enough?

Musings from the Laundromat – Giving and Receiving

First I’d like to thank Butters for only waking me up 4 times in the night.

Then, I would like to thank my weekend alarm (set when Nic was still a young school boy, you know … a few weeks ago) that went off at 2:16 am.

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It had been set for something he was going to that I had to wake him up for. What was it?? … I can’t think of it.

Anyway, in trying to turn off said alarm, I:

1) woke the rare sleeping dog

2) knocked my phone off of the nightstand, and

3) sent my glass of kiwi-watermelon drink flying – only to land in between the bed and the wall.  A nice tight space for cleaning up.

I don’t know if that is the actual flavor by the way … I’m guessing based on the portion of my carpet that is now a lovely kiwi-watermelon color.

Heard my son up several times in the night too – and when I left the house this morning, he was rocking moves like Jagger.

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A sleeping Jagger, but moving like him none the less.

Speaking of moves, yesterday I modeled a dress for a good cause.  CASA is a program that benefits abused and neglected children in the area.

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It was a lot of fun to meet the other models and attendees.  

It was also a little hilarious to be half-naked getting ready in a room closed off from the event, whilst facing a huge, wall sized window facing the river.

I don’t think any of us really cared.  The people going by on their jet skis probably were going by too fast to notice.  (Not sure about the people on the beach.)

I noticed some things though.  

I noticed that I didn’t have the fears I had in my 20’s or 30’s to stand in a slip and a bra in public view.  

And I noticed that I thought the other ladies,  in all shapes and sizes were beautiful.  Just as they were.

They were even more beautiful to me because of why they were there.  Women giving their time, wanting to do what they could to help such an amazing non-profit organization.

I refer to my growth again as a lot of things are changing.  44 has been pretty amazing so far. 

It’s so wonderful to be comfortable in my skin, comfortable in my head and full of hope and joy and promise. 

Life is amazing.  And if you’re patient enough, and do the next right thing, it turns out life has gifts you didn’t even know were coming.

I’m still processing  this.

But, as someone very special to me said recently, it is nice to sometimes  receive after all the time we gave. 

Yet, I can never forget that there is nothing worth receiving unless I keep giving.