About Me

Living life one dream at a time.

Words of the Wise

"What after all is a halo? It's only one more thing to keep clean."
-Christopher Fry, The Lady's not for Burning

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'"
-Mary Anne Radmacher

"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more."

-Erica Jong

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel unsure around you...We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us; It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-Nelson Mandella, 1994 Inaugural Speech

"Until this moment I had believed forgiveness to be a special virtue, a beneficence God expected of good people. But it wasn't that at all. Forgiveness was an instinct, a desperate impulse to stay connected to the people you needed, no matter what their betrayals."
-Monica Wood, My Only Story

"If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days."
-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

"The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them—words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried when you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for the want of a teller but for the want of an understanding ear."
-Stephen King

"Have you even been in love? Horrible, isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like 'maybe we should just be friends' or 'how very perceptive' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love."
-Neil Gaiman, Sandman: The Kindly Ones

"Being always overavid, I demand from those I love a love equal to mine which, being balanced people, they cannot supply."
-Sylvia Ashton-Warner

"What I need is someone who will make me do what I can."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You know, when you crawl that far down into the abyss, you really shouldn't bring stuff back up with you. Some things are meant to live in the dark. Your blog is like one of those fish with no eyes. Only slightly more disturbing."
Saturday, January 1, 2011

And so it goes.

I'm not terribly proud of my behavior lately. It's as if everything has just been too hard, and I haven't been able to keep my head up. I've spent the last week in my apartment, hiding from the world. I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to do anything. I don't want to go anywhere. I just...don't want to engage.

Generally speaking, if you give me a crisis, I can deal with it. Anything you want to throw at me. I'm up to the challenge. I'll take charge, find a way to get everyone through it, and do it with a determination that borders on fanatical.

One challenge. I'm golden.

But when there are multiple fronts on which I need to fight, I break down. I can't focus. I bleed energy like a gunshot victim. I start to close in on myself, and withdraw from everything. Instead of fighting the good fight, I collapse into a quivering mess.

The gnawing worry for over a year has been trying to sell my house. There is nothing I can do to make it move, and so I have tried not to let it bother me. It's there, though. Every time I walk into this apartment, every time Alec and I go to sleep in the same bedroom, every time I make a second monthly payment, every time I look for something and remember that it's packed in a box out in Cary, it's there. I stomp it down. I tell it to be quiet. I tell it that I will win eventually.

Then came the cyst. At first, it didn't seem like such a big deal...have surgery, get it removed. But every day it grows, and every day it pushes against parts of my insides that aren't used to being pushed. It hurts when I sit, it hurts when I stand. It hurts when I lay on my back. It hurts when....well, it always hurts. I have not had a day without pain in almost a month. This is harder to ignore than the housing issue, because it's always screaming for attention. I swear I have tried to ignore it. But it scares me. I'm afraid that surgery will not be as easy as I hope. I'm afraid that maybe there's something else going on that I don't know about that is causing all of the pain. Again, there is nothing I can do but wait. And try not to be afraid.

I am burned out at work. This I can deal with, because it's such a necessary evil. But it doesn't bring the challenge it used to. It's not something that I can say, "Well, at least I have a great job!" It's just a dull ache.

All of this was enough. I was managing. I was hanging in there, and doing okay as long as I reminded myself to be happy with all of the anticipated fruits of the last few years' labor. I was hanging in there.

And then I was slowly, messily dumped. I hadn't really realized how much I'd been relying on this man's smile to get me through. He was safe. He was constant. He made me happy every time we were together. It had been so long since I'd let my guard down and just enjoyed someone's company that I failed to see the danger that lay within. And all of a sudden, without warning, he panicked. Out of nowhere came, "I don't know what I want." That gradually turned into, "I need some time". Then came the death knell of, "you deserve better".

And again, there is nothing I can do about it.

Throw in the agony of Christmas, Alec being gone to his dad's for a week and a half, and then compound it with the stomach flu.

I am worthless right now. I don't know where to turn. I can't think.

I'm not answering the phone. I'm not going out. I've cried every day.

It hurts to breathe.

I wish someone could come in and make it all better, but I know how foolish of a wish that really is.

Things will get better. Until then, though, I just want to cry a little more.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vignette

We're getting to be regulars at Al's Diner on weekend mornings. "Our usual counter seats?" he asked as we walked in. He was still holding the dog leashes in his hand. I smiled as I took them and put them in my purse.

"Of course," I said. We made our way around to the counter, where the same old waitress with the gravelly voice took our order. I asked for a cup of coffee and complained that he needed to stop feeding me so much. "Eating out for breakfast all the time is a terrible habit to get into, you know." He looked at me out of the corner of his eye. "No, it's not! What are you talking about? It's a great habit!"

I stopped to think for a moment. Come to think of it, it really is pretty cool.

I fiddled with my coffee, and asked the question I'd been contemplating for the last few minutes. "So, a while back you mentioned that you had a feeling this was going to be a year of big change in your life. Any thoughts on how that's going to play out?"

He thought for a moment. "Well, maybe the change has already happened."

I glanced at him."How so?"

Sometimes I'm still caught off guard by the fact that he always uses such an offhand, matter-of-fact tone of voice when saying things that make my heart stop.

"You know, before I met you, I wasn't very happy. I was turning into an old curmudgeon. But now, it's like I'm a different person. I'm enjoying everything so much more. I love what I do. I love playing my horn, and I'm just a whole lot happier in general. As a matter of fact, I'm happier now than I've been in ten years."

I set the coffee cup down, turned to him, and kissed him on the cheek.

"That's a good thing," I said quietly.

"Isn't it, though?" He grinned.

In that moment, I realized that there was nothing that could make me any happier, and nothing else needed to be said...so I just drank my coffee and smiled.

I'm not sure, but I think that's the way it's supposed to be.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I've started this post so many times, I should already have a novel.

This time, I'm just going to write. It will have to sort itself out in the end.

I've been so careful in relationships for so long, I had almost forgotten just how much fun it is to jump in with both feet and let the current take me where I need to go. I've let myself worry about the end from the very beginning, and I've kept a part of myself in reserve, afraid of what would happen if I didn't keep distance and perspective. Not wanting to lose myself, I've refused to allow myself the freedom to dream.

That may possibly be changing.

I've met someone who has unknowingly given me permission to feel free again. He makes my heart smile, and my crunchy exterior crack. His simple, straightforward approach to me is refreshing, honest, and endearing. He makes me laugh, and he makes me want to give of myself.

I'm not hesitating. I'm not worrying about the circumstances (which are unique and a bit of a challenge, but not unreasonable or impossible). I'm opening, and feeling.........well........sweet :)

Perhaps it will not work. Perhaps he will move on to something else. Perhaps he is not for me. But until I have reason to believe otherwise, I'm going to believe that there is a possibility for great things.

If nothing else, this is beautiful just because of that.

Rules to Live By

Listen to your head, then follow your heart.

Take the risk! You won't regret it.

Believe in the power of naps.

Hope for more than you expect.

Be silly with children.

Forgive yourself.

Have an occasional glass of wine in the dark.

Make wishes.

Watch fireflies.

Stop worrying!

Indulge in things you shouldn't.

Focus on the bigger picture.

Allow yourself a cookie.

Love your grandparents.

Never waste whipped cream.

If it's worth doing, do it passionately! Otherwise, don't do it at all.

Stay up too late talking.

Walk in the rain.

Use big words whenever possible.

Allow yourself to giggle.

Smile more.

Invest in the perfect bed pillow.

Trust your friends.

Splurge!

Sing in the shower. And in the car.

Love your mother.

Feel pretty. Or handsome. Whichever fits.

Let it go.

Laugh often.

Trust yourself.

Listen to birds.

Raise your face to the sun, close your eyes, put your arms out, and sigh happily.

Pet dogs enthusiastically.

Tell people how you feel.

Wear good shoes.

Listen carefully. But be selective in what you believe.

Love your life.

Love the world.

Love yourself.

Dream.
Thursday, May 27, 2010

Looking back

I was reading through old blog entries this morning, and wondering why so many of them were so very angsty. I also wondered why I have written so little over the last couple of years.

The truth, I think, is that I was never as dark as my blog would make you believe. It was just that there were moments when I needed to sort out the things that would fly through my head at speeds too quick to catch. I was learning to think smarter. I was identifying the tough moments (that everyone has, to be honest), and finding a way to exorcise them. I was evolving into someone with perspective.

Since I started writing, I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned that a lot of the drama that happens in your head is normal, and finding a healthy, private method of expressing it is good. You can't bottle up experiences like illness, death, breakups, or financial sector meltdowns. You also can't let them rule your life. You can talk about them, write about them, work through them...whatever it takes to move on from them. But you have to move on, and you have to let them go. Writing did that for me for a long time.

So why don't I write much now?

Because I don't have to.

Maybe I'll write some things that I want to. I have a few things wiggling around in my head at the moment that could use a good examination, but nothing that is battling to get out. I feel clean, and I feel healthy. I feel happy.

I was told this morning that I am someone who 'gets it', and almost laughed out loud at the concept. Not because it's not true, but because I never really imagined I'd make it this far.
I am still kinda goofy, but only in a way that makes me smile.

Thank you, blog, for providing years of free therapy. I <3 U.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A work in progress

A is at his dad's house tonight, and I have the house to myself. It is quiet, and there is nothing that has to be done before I go to bed.

It is amazing how just one evening of nothingness can recharge my soul.

I've been starting to burn out again, and I don't like it one bit. Why is it that I always have to push myself until I can't take anymore before I remember how to focus and put everything back in perspective? It's a vicious cycle that I need to break. I like the calm me. I enjoy the girl who takes things in stride and remembers to laugh every day. I want to spend more time with the quieter, more centered person who enjoys the small, beautiful things in life.

I know that a lot the problems right now stem from the bleakness of winter. The cold, dark days do nothing for me. The smell of grass, the warmth of rain, and the evenings filled with bird song and fireflies sustain me in subtle ways. I miss green. I long for lilacs. I pray for spring.

Bad things happen. Work takes over your mind, and people make you crazy. Errands pile up, and money becomes scarce. The house gets messy. Friends die.

How does one persevere and learn not to let these things take over? How do you maintain a sense of peace when all of those things drop into your lap when you're not looking?

I've gotten better over the years, God knows. Moments like tonight are more frequent than they used to be. I only wish I could find a way to stay in this place more often than not.

I guess all I can do is keep trying. I owe that to the girl who makes me smile...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not hard to find, but nearly impossible to hold for long

Last night, I dreamed of the forest. Clear streams winding through ancient trees, with happy children laughing on the banks. My uncle Chester fished in the shallows as I looked on smiling. I was wishing that I could have allowed my son to spend his entire childhood there, oblivious to the troubles of civilized life.

I awoke to the sound of my alarm clock, well-rested. I'd slept through the night without awakening for the first time in weeks, and the vaguely frenetic fog that tends to follow me when I'm tired had lifted. I knew that I had too many things to focus on today, and that I wouldn't be any less frantic today than yesterday. But I could think clearly. I could start my day with a quiet mind. And I was grateful.

My life is a good one. I am fortunate in ways I can't even begin to count. But sometimes, it takes a simple, delicate moment - like waking up from a peaceful dream - to put all of the peripheral noise in perspective so that I can be appropriately grateful.

Perspective. It's like the sound of laughter in the wind, sometimes.