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. 

Thoughts On My Thirties

writing

Uh…yeah, so where do I begin? The truth is, it’s hard enough to remember what I ate for dinner yesterday, much less sum up an entire decade in a sitting, sans alcohol. There is something about the presence of alcohol and the ease of drudging up old shit that go cup in hand. And today–for now, I’m on coffee. What I can tell you is at the forefront of my mind most days, is the profound resilience I came to acknowledge at the ass-end of my 30s.

As I watch people close to me struggling to find the spark within, I am fondly reminded of that which raged up, ravaged, and ran through me. After years of simmering in complacency, and a brief–albeit smoldering darkness, the bifurcation of life versus existence presented itself; entitlements be damned, there was no grace, and there’d be no apologies. No limbo. Choose.

My thirties have been the most complex years of my adult life . I experienced what it meant to be alone with company, and fear-filled in love, in tandem. I ran, faced, and surrendered to my greatest fears only to find peace and sweet, magical love in the chaos of it all. I lost my will, my way, my mind*, and my ego. I gained weight and confidence, and self-acceptance and beautiful, bountiful friendships. Blessed truth.

“…love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”-Mother Theresa

I surrendered my womb.

I divorced.

I watched my boy become a man, whilst ironically– on the very shoulders he offered,  my own strength would run from me and, nestle weightily for a time upon his unsteadiness. He bent. In the shame of my burdensome unraveling, I wept. And, I wept. I wept a vapid sea of melancholy only the force of my adversarial girl-child’s, rising new moon could foment from ebb to much needed tempest. Behold, the winds of Kali: tempestuous rage; enough to level my ramshackle home, psyche, and resolve.

And, in the resolute stillness of a new day, I begin to build again: more intelligently, more sustainably, lovingly, and aware. Au revoir, thirties. I’ll take that beer now.

 

Peace, and…more love, please.

*Treat your depression, people. That is all.

Project 333: Preparation

Earlier this week–abruptly and outwardly apropos of nothing, I opted to join Courtney Carver’s Project 333. (The week before last, it was shooting. A real gun. The road to forty is full of surprises.) I digress. From the blog: “Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months.* Wow!

receptacle

I had no idea just how few thirty three items were until I did the first culling. Limiting my wardrobe so drastically would require fastidious planning, so I devised a plan I thought would simplify the planning process. You still with me? OK. First, I painstakingly removed all of my I’ll-wear-these-again-when-I-lose-some-weight items. As difficult as that was, I know I’ll never wear those items again even if I did suddenly receive a jolt of post-hyster/oophorectomy middle-aged beer and doughnut lovin’ metabolic badassery. I’m over it. I’m fat. I’m hot. I’m happy. R.I.P sizes 2-8, it’s been real.

Next, I went on to the seemed-like-a-really-good-idea-when-I-was-depressed-but-I-hate-you-now pile of items. I have serious, serious bouts of crippling depression, also known on this blog as, “the taupes”. No matter how many years I’ve battled the evil beast, I still succumb to the siren song of cash register beeps and clicks during my lapses. (In addition to, not in lieu of professional counseling and prescription drugs.) This pile– unfortunate for me, but to the delight of someone else weighed in at over 50 pounds. Many items still had tags on them. There was one particular blouse in that pile– one I distinctly remember ordering from ASOS in those first few weeks after my first marriage ended. It fit, the style was classic, but the memory and the ensuing emotions were all wrong. I tucked a note in the pocket which read, “Be love.” before I folded it, placed it atop the pile, tightly tied the trash bag flaps and made a clumsy, albeit purposeful traipse to the donation receptacle down the road. I hope it brings a smile to someone’s face; it really is a beautiful top.

A few beers later, I surveyed my closet faced with the realization that: 1. I have entirely too much shit 2. 33 items is merely a particle in my walk-in closet universe. And, so begineth, The Second Culling of Clothes. This process–having already expunged the can’t-fit-yous and the I-hate-yous still took several hours. These hours were different, however. I’d gotten to the core of things, if you will. I was down to the toughest choices: my favorite items and, I began to notice some pretty interesting truths. So, in no particular order, I present them here:

  • I like quality items. Save for a couple of TJ Maxx, Marshall’s big box liquidation type retail steals, all of my favorite things are high-quality/ higher-end goods. I chide the dude for being a label whore, but J.Crew, Free People, Anthropologie, Lucky, Kate Spade, Birkenstock, Zara and Elie Tahari–I’ve been whorin’ for ya. I confess.
  • That being said, a very close second in the whoring department are my Indie-boho-handmade-NYC-street-and Etsy-goods purchases. Aargh! How I long for the day when you all have sew-in labels. This girl loves her handmade goods.
  • My personal style is a cross between classic and eclectic: clean lines meets bold patterns. Almost all of the items cut failed to make a statement of class or style on their own. (More on that when I reveal the keepers.)
  • I like natural fibers–synthetic blends, eh not so much.
  • I live, work, and play in warm, earthy tones and neutrals, all year long.
  • Lastly, my wardrobe choices–the near and dearest ones, are projections of my inner voice, they are elements of expression and, they are as intense, complex and intriguing as I am.

 

To be continued…

* The next round of Project 333 begins on July 1, 2013. You are, however welcome to begin at any time.

Peace and simplicity

 

In 40 Days

In just under 40 days I’ll be 40 years old. This is awesome for many reasons, but rallying for number one is the sucktacular turned spectacular turned  sucktacularer and then, the take-my-breath-away-supercalifragilestically-spectacular of my 30’s. I assure you, while I have come out on the brightest side, I have zero intention on ever partaking in that kind of emotional roller coaster ever again. Nor, for the sake of readership, will I ever string those same words together to describe a life event. 

OOTD: Tunic-Free People
Sexy Boyfriend shorts-Gap
Sandals-Sperry Topsider

So what is the big deal about turning 40? Well, see…I don’t have one, but the best part, is I don’t need one. I have reached the age–well…almost– of zero fucks! (F)our-zero! See what I did there?

At some point in one’s life–preferably before the need for prescription drugs–we must all accept the, ever trite, “things we cannot change”. And, something about imbibing enough liquid courage to, “change the things we can.” That, my friends is what these here 40s are all about.

I don’t have a list of things I must accomplish, because I would aim way too high and fall short, and self-flagellate. This is not only ugly, but honestly after 39.94 years of practice, rather boring.

I’m not going to pose nude for Vanity Fair exposing the battle scars of childbirth, fine lager and “bad” carbs. Actually, I’ve already posed, in my skivvies for a far better publication. (Details forthcoming)

Also, I will no longer refer to anything that tastes like a doughnut, bialy, bagel, baguette–hell, any bread-like goodness as, “bad”. Please forgive me, my previous trespasses.

There will be no sex tape. I’ll give you a moment to gather yourself.

You good? Very well, then.

There will be no hullabaloo. However, over the course of the next 40 days, or more–I reserve the right to be flaky (Thank you, Lavonne Ellis)–I will take the time to reflect– at length, or not– on how far I’ve come. In that reflection, there will be celebration, and libations, because that’s the way to bring in a new year. So…uh, yeah, in case you weren’t paying attention, I am quite fond of libations.

For posterity, (and, the kick in the ass I need to return to blogging like a rock star) I will share these small celebrations; one just never knows when they’ll need reminding of their innate awesome. So, let us commence, shall we?

Peace and love

The Scintilla Project: Day Two

Prompt: Tell the story about something interesting (anything!) that happened to you, but tell it in the form of an instruction manual (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3….)

Love: Model: 1.618   TM and ©1997   Michael and Tameka Inc.   All rights reserved.golden (2)45

Congratulations on the discovery of your NEW! Love: Model 1.618 and, welcome to the life you never knew you wanted, til you realized it actually existed. Here’s how to get started living your dream–well, the one you never dreamed because, you never knew to believe it might actually come true.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cheating spouse
  • 1 jilted spouse
  • supportive friends
  • healing time
  • an open heart
  • 1 handsome co-worker
  • several alcoholic beverages
  • 1 NYC dive bar
  • a long, very long kiss good-night
  • faith

 

Instructions:

  1. With all that you are, make your jilted spouse confront the cheating spouse with evidence of yet another extramarital affair. The jilted spouse must also alert the cheating  spouse of plans to relocate for an unspecified amount of time.
  2. Have your jilted spouse pool all liquid assets from stock options and available credit card cash advances.
  3. Take pooled resources from Step 2. Use them to help jilted spouse secure adequate housing, furnishings and obtain other essentials.
  4. Combine jilted spouse with supportive friends. Add adequate healing time.
  5. Upon completion of Step 4. Your jilted spouse will begin showing signs of healing and restoration. You are ready to proceed when this is evidenced in increased self-esteem and intermittent displays of genuine happiness and fulfillment.
  6. Breathe.
  7. Insert one tall, handsome male co-worker into the story. Take the previously jilted spouse, and allow the two enough alone time for casual banter, joshing and coy smiles.
  8. Repeated Step 7. over the course of one–You better ask somebody– hot, sexy, New York City summer. Upon proper execution, your previously jilted spouse will now show consistent signs of high-level confidence, self-esteem and, blossoming sexual energy.
  9. At the New York City summer’s end, have your previously jilted, but-now-glowing-with-blossoming-sexuality-confidence-and-self-esteem spouse, invite the tall, handsome, not-exactly-a-stranger-anymore from Step 7. To the local dive bar.
  10. Have him postpone, but consent, nonetheless.Do not allow the previously jilted, but-now-glowing-with-blossoming-sexuality-confidence-and-self-esteem spouse become discouraged.
  11. Breathe. Plot. Wait.
  12. Set the date, and go to the local dive bar.
  13. Upon entering, have your previously jilted, but-now-glowing-with-burgeoning-sexuality-confidence-self-esteem-and-a-mighty-fine-plan greet the barkeep with a smile. Have her order a drink of Stoli’s Oranj chilled, and a Heineken. Order a Hennessy–no ice– for the tall, handsome, not-exactly-a-stranger-anymore. This combination will bode well.
  14. Repeat Step 13. Until smile widths increase, bottom teeth are visible, protective/defensive postures cease, glazed eyes and somewhat slurred speech are present. Close bar tab, and have the once previously jilted, but-now-glowing-with-burgeoning-sexuality-confidence-self-esteem-and-a-mighty-fine-plan one phone the supportive friends secretly, from the ladies’ room. They will rejoice.
  15. Have the two exit the local dive bar and enter the bustling city streets–southbound. As you near the end of the first block, insert the right arm of your previously jilted, but-now-glowing-with-burgeoning-sexuality-confidence-self-esteem-and-a-mighty-fine-plan, into the pocketed hand, and bent arm of  the tall, handsome, not-exactly-a-stranger-anymore. Walk approximately 6-10 city blocks before coming to a deliberate stop.
  16. Have the two exchange giddy– albeit restrained– farewells, as they recall the evening’s highlights. Lean them in for a kiss.
  17. Maintain the kiss from Step 16. For a period which feels nothing short of forever. Allow hands and, Stoli’s-Oranj-chilled-and-warm Hennessy-minds to wander. This will produce the desired outcome.
  18. Enjoy.

 

Learn more:

For updates on Love: Model: 1.618 from 1997-2012, keep your eyes and ears open for my upcoming debut novel. For instructions and safety information on proper care and handling of your Love 1.618  from 2012-2013, please “Like” The First 52 page on Facebook. My in-the-works-coming-soon, tell-all-and-teach-many guide to surviving the first year of marriage for the rest of us, grows there.

 

Disclaimer:

Infidelity and divorce completely fucking suck, but sometimes shit happens and when it does, it’s comforting to know that ordinary people can and do have extraordinary stories of triumph to tell.

Just Write Sunday (on Monday)

I woke up yesterday resolute on productivity. I will write, I will create, I thought. Eh, I cleaned and organized and napped–which I needed because the flu has not been kind to me, but I did not write and I did not create. Boo. So here I am a day late with my requisite “Just Write” warm up post for the week.

This week in my head, I am juggling major decisions. One of my fur-kids has…I believe, suffered some kind of psychotic break. I know how this all reads, but trust me, as it involves violent behavior, what I perceive to be paranoid delusions, and feces. I am not in a good place about it at all, but I’m weighing the options and trying to come up with the most humane solution. Good thoughts are needed.

There appears to be a theme of transitioning happening for me. I have some TBA business and personal development plans underway which involve [low squeal] jewelry, and a concerted effort to push “The First 52” project along [insane giddy squeal]. The Universe has been coming through in big ways and making these transitions smoother, in turn decreasing my reservations. I believe in both projects wholly, but an inherent belief in my awesome is just part of the puzzle. Y’know, I still gotta feed the cats!

This week at the Hive, I am excited! The man will be home for a week in just 15 days and I’m looking forward to the together time. It’s been just a little over a month since we last saw each other when I visited NYC. You’d be amazed by how much growth and change occurs in seemingly short periods of time during a family’s infancy. So, it’ll be fantastic to have him home for some centering and reflection before the next phase. I’ll also be using the time to get us both on the same page about, “The First 52” project and privacy. “…writers are always selling someone out.” Said, the incredible Joan Didion. While this may be true, I’d like to do so with his stamp–however tenuous– of approval. That being said, you should soon start to see posts that contain content from the project. Be on the lookout, as I will be seeking your input.

Overall, I’m starting the week off in a good place. I’m focused, I’m organized, I’m happy. [Pauses for a silent moment of gratitude.] Now, it’s time to get movin’. What are you working on, or working towards working on, this week?

 

Peace and a plan

On Lifestyle Blogging and Tuesdays

lifestyle tuesday

The new year began on a Tuesday. This is a particularly favorable occurrence for me; Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week. Months that begin on Tuesday are extra special, but years that begin on Tuesday, they are extra, extra special. What a great way to begin the new year! Do pardon my atrophic vocabulary, it’s been a while.

It could be my need to make connections, but I feel my recent resolve surrounding my blog and this Gregorian occurrence have some deep metaphysical meaning and will bring good fortune if I just believe…and, of course, write more during this profoundly auspicious year.

I have been “lifestyle blogging” for 6 years. I’ve been reviewed, revered and reviled. I’ve blogged guest posts, blogged about hosting guests, met families, and made you all part of mine. Along the way, I met some fairly awesome (and, a few assholey) people, keeping consistent with that whole family theme. What do you know, they like me, I thought. I have something to say, I pecked. And, then it happened, a major life occurrence. I found myself deep in the throes of what I had not yet known would be my lifestyle blogging fear. It fell apart, and I was existing–albeit barely, and that my friends, is a far cry from livin’ or stylin’.  What do I do now?

Broken heart, maimed ego– I tried a few times to dust myself off and type again, but nothing. Divorce is a personal tragedy of epic proportion–but these days, it seemed hardly blog-worthy. We aren’t celebrities outside of our small collective. There were no big bucks (read: NO bucks) involved and well, even that little thing about the other woman was unappealing, literally and figuratively. Sure, the process of rebuilding was an arduous one, but it had been done, sadly, by so very many before me. And, I wasn’t about to go all Suze Orman on how to protect your assets, or some other weird cult of domesticity-like tear on how to feed a family of three for eternity on one cube of tofu! Not my style.

Then, there was the return of my bout with depression. A depressed writer? Yeah, now that’s original! Not. Nor did I have it in me to get out of bed, much less the wherewithal to find it, and write creatively about it–y’know, the bed; beginning and end of my near year-long existence. I just saw no way to return to that which had been such an important part of me, and yet it felt so wrong to stay away.

Shortly after my marriage to Michael in September of 2012, I began a writing project chronicling the triumphs and travails of our first year of marriage. A guidebook, for the rest of us… kinda–I maintain it privately. The plan was to blog the book, I scrapped that plan before the first post ever went live. Before that project, I entertained but almost immediately opted against blogging our history, courtship, wedding plans, and the wedding itself, in consideration of my family’s privacy and sensitivity. Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, at the time I felt I, too, lacked the requisite bravery, diplomacy and, tact to handle the amount of criticism my choices could incite having just publicly failed at this marriage thing. (Secretly, I still yearn to write a post about our intimate under 5K Las Vegas nuptials here.)

My absence from the blogosphere has not been pleasant. Writing without an audience is cathartic, but it lacks the level of fulfillment that I derived from sharing my experiences, however lackluster. (I suppose that’s where creative wordsmithing makes all the difference.) Plus, sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode if I don’t express myself without interruption or the need to see, read, acknowledge and adhere to the social cues of humans.

So, there I sat in the glow of Tuesday’s setting desert sun. There, at the man’s side of the bed with Cosmo cat on my lap and a decision heavy on my mind. Here I am, back, by the grace of a new year that began on my favorite day of the week, and whatever real or imagined metaphysical significance there be attached to this Gregorian occurrence. Let there be words…again.

 

Peace and my first 700+ words of the new year

Feeling Good

Pre-Wedding Zen: Yael Rose, age 13

He laughed, and I bet he was shaking his head. Once again incited to utter bemusement, he declared, “I love you, you feminist martian!” We were discussing finances, well my present lack thereof–which mind you, says naught about my continued insistence upon autonomy. “I want to do this on my own.” I said, and he lovingly obliged, as he often–but, certainly doesn’t always.*

It’s been just a month since Michael and I celebrated our promise of forever, and I gotta tell you, life’s challenges welcomed us posthaste. Mendelssohn’s march was still reverberating in my joyful craw as real life began kicking me–ahem, us– in the ass.

Families: broken, blended, and shaken (You gotta love in-laws!) slow to the aisle jaunt of nary a pairing. Speak your piece, and return to your regularly scheduled programs, they demanded. If you’re lucky, yours will be a romantic comedy and not a psychological thriller. Fish eyes.

Finances: uh yeah, the first of the month is the first of the damn month, and the power-companies -that-be do not care that you got bamboozled into going over your photography budget. Which, we didn’t; I tried, but he– albeit lovingly, did not oblige.

Oh and did I mention that little tidbit about us living–balancing both family and finances from opposite ends of the country?! Yeah, that too.

We jumped in on the deep end with options capping off at deep and even deeper. This is not my first marriage. This is not our first attempt at together. Betwixt us two a lot of living and subsequent learning has, and continues to occur. We are seasoned, although our life together is fresh. It makes for an interesting life, this new melange of flavors–and well, as many of you already know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This particular phase of my interesting life got me to thinking, … (I now hear a crowd–crowd means four– most excitedly and unintelligibly murmuring in anticipation of the revelation of my thinking.) …we are not alone. The changes and subsequent adaptations of the past few years were new to us— myself, Michael and the young people– but, we are part of a growing number of real-life remixed families in which this, and assorted other interesting dynamics are ubiquitous**. We are the change, we are the new family portrait.

Ready for the good part?

I thought it over, long, hard, and powered by some of the strongest vats of organic brew ever imbibed. I summoned my gut, my love and my committee and ultimately decided to dedicate the next year of wordsmithing to the journey. For the next 48 weeks (we’re down four already) I’ll be writing about what it takes to not only survive but succeed at the first year of marriage/partnership, the second (third, or more) time around, with and without children, and of course cats (OK, or dogs) and in-laws who sometimes behave like outlaws. There will be social media surveys, there will be guest posts, there will be lots of sweet, sometimes bittersweet marriage morsels for the mind, body and spirit. Please message me if you are interested in contributing, guest essays and questions are welcome–encouraged even.

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good.” -Nina Simone

* Feminism, even martian feminism is about choices; I later soon after graciously chose to accept the man’s money.

** Ubiquitous is not to be confused with encouraged. I fought a valiant fight for my previous marriage, and in the end deferred to the Universe’s plan for me–this has no bearing on her plan for you.

Peace, and the prospect of all that is NEW!