Don’t Call it a Comeback… Yet

Write this down: Love is infinite and invincible, our lovers (mothers, fathers, children, siblings, pets and friends) are not.

Image: handmade journal (by me) and tree bark pen

Handmade ephemera and quotes accordion-style envelope journal: by me and tree bark pencil

These days—well, on rare occasion when I sit down to a bloodletting via the Mighty Mac, a little—not so little—voice beckons from the bowels of my ego and says, “Well, where the fuck have you been?!” And I’m like, “Gworrrrrl (this is our special love language) you don’t even know!”

Greatest love story never told (abridged version) is as follows: loving myself (more than ever), my children, my cats, and this beautifully complex human (whom I’m honored to call my adventure partner, and [what I call him], and not a cussword today) takes up every single moment of my conscious existence. And, judging from the damage I’ve done to my teeth lately (grinding) some of my semiconsciousness.

Relationships are hard and egos are BIG and fragile and crazy and I am broken in many of the right places. “You see my light shinin’ through? Get with this!” But also some of the wrong places; and those edges are sharp. My days are a combination of being fully present and open, transparent and authentic, brilliant and available and free, yet also moving cautiously: slow—ly through this place and space in time and trying not to cut a bitch with my sharp edges. This is no easy feat, but what I have found (and repeatedly lose sight of) is the tremendous therapeutic gift of being able to release this ire and angst in my writing and make connections through the resonation of that gift.

Virtual tea time and back rubs have rescued me (and many of you) many times over through the course of the eight or so years in which I’ve been bloodletting on these here interwebs. And the friendships…man, listen! I love my NEW! (some old, some recycled, some vintage) tribe with my whole ass, and I just wanted to let y’all know that I’m fighting my way through the taupes, fog, and haze, (And tangled blankets; I forgot what a clusterfuck bed-sharing is.) and slowly– one word after the other– making my way back to do tea…and of course, honey bread with you all.

 

-BIG love

Thoughts on 2013: Love, Life and Laughter

2013

New Year’s Eve began in the kitchen just as any other day: coffee and “introverting”, or what people who normally live outside of their heads call meditation. I started my greens whilst the black-eyed peas boiled and the butter– for sweet potato muffins (which I would later burn to near disintegration) softened.

Both the young people made plans with friends. I’ve never brought in the New Year without them, but accepted that I had done so of my own choosing and acquiesced, although internally wilting.  The man-child chose the young lady-friend and the girl-child rung in the year with  her bestie. I’d wondered if my sadness was exacerbated by not having the dude here. Although I knew he wouldn’t be, there was a gradual increased sadness which would befall me as the day got in full swing. Despite an attractive invitation and at least two other options, there was a nagging pull to sit this one out and let the year’s end segue into the new year’s beginning, subtly and without much ado. It had been drama-filled enough already.

2012 began with the finality of my twice contested divorce and ended in the honeymoon phase of my new marriage. It was a crazy year and I’m still not sure if the timing of it all makes me a rockstar or a masochist. What I can tell you is this,  the fallout from that crazy year was very much akin to 365 endless crazy nights out on the town. This made 2013 my dawn of reckoning and its tagline would become the phrase, “What in all of hell?!”

  • On Love: I loved fiercely this year.  Since it’s already been established we’re all  well over 18 here, I’ll add that I’ve also enjoyed the absolute best sex of my life this year. The not-so-secret secret to this is simply, trust. Not the, we’s-married-now-certificate-waving, your-genitalia-will-implode-upon-inappropriate-insertion pseudo trust, but genuine trust. Trusting that my soft belly -dimply thighs- and-great-big-HEART (Gotcha!)-having self is enough. Trusting and believing that I am deserving and therefore, by default, entitled to truth in love and all else. Trusting that commitment is the greatest promise one can make to themselves and showing up in my marriage fully– both figuratively and literally (Fuck your beauty standards!) naked! And to that, I say “Woo hoo!” (I actually said, “Woo-fucking-hoo!” But, the anxiety around dropping two F-bombs in one sentence did get the better of me.)

There was also this, whilst the man and I did rather enjoy all of that literal nakedness, 2013 also saw the entrance into the meat of our young marriage.Whilst the carnal references make for  quite a bit of giggling,  it was surely what felt like the very worst of the best year of our lives. There is no amount of prep-work or foreshadowing to ready one for the unparalleled amount of ego sloughing and personality pruning it takes for two middle-aged people to surrender to the unknown, oft-misunderstood-as-comprehensible, illogical magic that is love. We were stubborn and cynical, rigid, resistant and, just plain ol’ ugly. THIS is what I seek to help shed a wee bit of light on in The First 52 project: surviving the first year of madness marriage for the rest of us.

  • On Life: Oh life…I’m admittedly feeling a bit awkward as I try to extract the living segment from the loving, but let’s see what comes of it. I simplified my life greatly in 2013. Beginning with Project 333: I’ll try not to sound like a paid advertisement (Of which I am not) but, this project changed my life. The skinny on the project can be found in the aforementioned link, but what I learned in wrapping up 2 complete sessions has been so much more. At a glance, I learned to make smarter choices about clothing purchases which trickled into smarter choices about purchases overall; pausing to ask myself, “Do you need it?” And at the very least, “Do you want it enough to wear, use, eat, enjoy the hell out of it?” And if the answer was no, I passed. And THAT is where it got really deep and heavy.  Over the course of the last 2 +, maybe three years, I’ve been reevaluating my relationships. It began, of course, with the dissolution of my 20 year marriage, but it grew to incorporate friendships and even business relationships. That simple question turned my year on its head. Do you enjoy the hell out of it/them?! Chances are, if you haven’t heard from me yet this year, the answer was, no.

One of my favorite groove thangs often says, “Friendships define themselves.” A quote I’ve read to myself in passing many times, but never dared to unpack. Denial maybe? I’ve also read Maya Angelou’s, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” I may have even said the latter of those two aloud; offering it in advisement to a friend or loved one without properly owning it. And then, my friendships not only started to define themselves, but some of the friends therein dared to redefine me; attempting to rattle long-established, clearly set and succinctly expressed boundaries. Needless to say, I was not enjoying the hell out of these encounters at all. What began as merely an aggressive wardrobe culling turned into a lesson in assertiveness,  gentle self-love and self-nurture. I have– as Courtney Carver states, chosen to, ” Be[come] more with less.” Adieu mes amis.

  • And lastly, on laughter:  Let me preface this by saying,  the simplicity of the phrase, “Live, love, laugh…” resonates deeply with me as a person who battles MDD and, who has previously engaged in self-harm. (In April of 2013,  I quietly celebrated 10 years of being self-harm free.)  I spent the better part of 2013 laughing like a new fool! Not just the superficial laughter borne of silly jokes or humorous happenings, but laughing heartily at myself, to myself and many times all by my damn self. This year I laughed with greater frequency and authenticity than I have ever experienced in my “perpetual adulthood” of a life.

Treating myself gently has resulted in feeling free, living simply and laughing loudly. I turned 40 this year, and contrary to popular belief, youth is NOT wasted on the young. It does not simply usurp itself,  youth is plentiful. If you respect your inner-youngster, you will be thusly rewarded with a life in which you will, “Laugh all of your laughter and weep[…]” curse and mope wholly, just the same. My  point– live out loud. ‘Cause while it’s equal parts terrible (It’s really quite terrible!)  as it is cliche, (and likely about 5 years passé, knowing me) “Yolo!” Laugh like your bridgework and crowns are sound and you’ve had all of your mercury amalgam fillings replaced with the new composite ones!

In closing, although the year ended on a somewhat lackluster note, I’m trusting it was the U/universe’s way of lulling me; a resting period for that which awaits. With a paradigm shift and a  resolute smile, I raise a well-arched brow to 2014; cocking my head ever-so-slightly to the side and snidely uttering, “Bring it!” (Actually, I said, “Bring it, bitches!” But, y’know.) Winks and smiles.

Love, peace and, laughter.

 

The First 52 Uncut: On Ugliness

“…I do feel we are at the end of a rope: the one that tethers us to this cycle of hurt, or the one that tethers us to each other, I do not know.”He says nothing.

Enter  a wave of pain: swelling through my chest,  breaking from my lips in a series of violent, bated exhalations, followed by a tsunami of tears. Slowly I rose to my feet,  feeling at once lighter, yet at my heaviest. The notebooks taunt me from my bedside. The notebooks, where my research and unedited scribblings for the book about our marriage lay in wait. I close my eyes to see my Self in my mind’s eye, and kneeling before her earnestly, humbly, compassionately, I  say, “Whatever feels right for you, is the right thing to do. Do that.”

This is an excerpt from the “The First 52: Uncut”.

It would be a disservice to ourselves and anyone who reads this blog, follows my far too infrequent ramblings about this project, or those on the front lines of their own first year of marriage  to sugarcoat the truth. Marriage can be ugly. Unh, unh…I see you, oh-self-righteous-it-is-the-most-beautifullest-union-brows-furled-clutched-pearls-reaching-for-your-mug. Have mine, and several seats.

There ya go. Love is beautiful. The process by which egos are shaped, shed, sloughed, and bloodlet to simultaneously surrender, survive, and still sustain said beautiful love all within the confines of this institution is as ugly as it gets. [Insert deep breath and an affirming head nod] But, it doesn’t have to be; mark my words, trust my tears and follow our journey.

In love, BIG love.