MANTRA

"If I knew all the words, I would write myself out of here." MRAZ

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Heat Is On and It's Time to Face the Truth

I'm not trying to say that I'm an advocate of lying, but there are times when I choose not to tell the whole truth. Or maybe what I'm trying to say is that I'm very adept at choosing not to walk the line when I don't want to - I'm a skilled player when it comes to evasion and asking questions to keep the heat off of me and focused on you.

So, I was shocked when I told him the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It was the raw underbelly of my heart; and my inner-woman was stunned that I had let it roll off my tongue so freely, so vulnerably. Like it was nothing; when it was really everything.

----

I blame it on the fact that we're fire friends. That when everyone else has retreated into their tents for the night, we alone stay at the edge of the campfire for just a few more minutes.

If there's any place not to lie, it seems to me that it's in front of a fire. There's something sacred and beautiful about fire, and even more so when you share the experience of appreciating it with someone.

Several times we've been left alone - and those few minutes stretch into their own space, where standard rules don't seem to apply. We're not really friends, but around the fire late into the night, we're kindred spirits releasing truths into the air, into the space that is ours alone.

----

I blame it on the fact that we walked on the beach together, hand in hand; that we shared a bed and a beautiful meal; that you took my breath away with beauty, art and music, as well as your direct line of questioning that parceled all my heartfelt responses into nothing but a pile of empty, thoughtless excuses.

I was using them to avoid the truth. You knew it. And you led me to it slowly.

It was a dawning, a fiery sunrise within my own heart that you witnessed. It was sacred and beautiful. And there was no space for lies.

----

I blame it on the fact that I've been too busy and too stressed for too long. I've been telling everyone else's story instead of giving my own the care and room for development that it needed.

I blame it on the fact that I've been evading the truth within my own heart. 

----

"To be absolutely honest, in two years what I really hope is to have need for a family car. To need enough room for a significant other, a baby and a dog."

----

Such a simple truth to reveal, the fact that I want a family. But it's something I want...so badly...that I haven't wanted to admit it.

It's no surprise that a little girl growing up in a broken family would dream of a house full of boys: one big one for me and a few smaller ones that we made together. And I knew that it would be a house filled with happiness. It was what I wanted.

It is what I want.

----

It rolled off my tongue. This confession.

From one beautiful soul to another, in a shared space where lying wasn't permitted, I spoke aloud a truth that I had barely even whispered in the depths of my heart.

And why not? Because I don't want to hold onto it for fear that it won't happen.

If hold onto it and it doesn't happen, I'm devastated - and then have to deal with it; whereas, if I don't hold onto it, I can pretend that it wasn't ever really that important to me to begin with.

A loose hold means that it's easier to move on, move forward. Disappointment is easier to manage than devastation.

A family: a mom, a dad, a kid, a baby and a dog. A happy, silly, growing family. It seems like such a simple thing to want, but it brings tears to my eyes, and my heart swells like I'm standing at the edge of a cliff and I can't see the ground.

----

I held that dream in my hands recently.

It was handed to me. It took me by surprise. And even though I had reason to doubt, I couldn't resist the call of my heart.

Stupid heart. Stupid call. The dream ended abruptly.

It was like being the last in line dancing to the Piper's song and tripping over a limb into a night-cold brook. Holding my throbbing head in my hands, wondering why I was freezing cold and alone in the dark.

----

Was it possible that instead of a happily-ever-after, I had really just been about to sell my soul to the devil?

----

The heat is on - and there is no evading it this time. I've offered up my heart for evaluation.

It's time for me to face the truth.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Courage from the Heart of Another

Does it count if the courage didn't come from your own heart, but instead was gifted to you by the heart of another?

That's the question of the evening.

---

It almost feels like I didn't fight "the good fight," because I was using a strategy that until recently wasn't my own.

Basically, I borrowed another set of balls to handle my business.

And I'm trying to figure out if it's legit. Does it count? Is it blessed by the gods of good friends who know just how to bolster you up in the midst of a personal battle?

And more importantly, will it stick? Just because I was able to succeed in this one battle, will the winning streak continue on with me to other battles? Or will it realize that it's been lended-out, taken by a less-than-worthy heart; and take a leave of absence just when I need to be my most strong?

---

Lots of questions running though my mind. Lots of trying to be strong and realizing that it's my friends who are making me be strong. On my own, I am a lily-livered weakling.

Or is that what I've been led to believe; and instead the truth is that my friends are trying to jump-start the lioness they know is within?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kissing my Palm

The thing is, he saw you do it first.

My dear, impressionable 7 year old son, who is living with moderate autism, who thinks so highly of you...even if you don't acknowledge it, or appreciate it.

You thought he wasn't paying attention - engrossed in his iDevice, watching gaming videos - when you tenderly lifted my hand to your lips, palm first so that you could kiss the consequence of my clumsiness. But he saw you; and he absorbed your tender gesture.

I couldn't believe it. You're my ex-boyfriend. You aren't suppose to be so loving. It's like we're still living in a mixed up land, where we aren't together, but still long to be.

But it seems that love exists in any land...mixed up or not.

And love, no matter how it is defined - or not - is still able to procreate kindness.

The next day, my son and I went to high five each other. And as we smacked hands, I saw his expression change. There was deep concern that furrowed his darling brow. He grabbed my hand, looked at it, looked at me and bent his little head so that he could kiss my boo-boo and make it all better.

Just as he had seen you do it.

With such a marked tenderness.

You don't want to be with me, because you don't want to be with "us," - you don't want to be a father. But you're already affecting him more than you know.

He'll remember this - and he will be a more tender man, a more tender lover, husband - and hopefully - father, because of this moment when you chose to love me.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Under (More) Pressure

In an interesting turn of events, I moved in with my ex-husband at the beginning of the 2012 year - almost just in time to celebrate our first full year of being divorced.

My decision to move back into the house that we shared while married was multi-layered - like an onion (a big, fat smelly one). But the 2 main factors were...a. I had no rent money (since I had just recently left my job to start publishing) and b. he never completed the mortgage edit - taking my name off the property - and couldn't move forward with an appraisal since the house was in disrepair.

Our agreement was that I would provide property management (negotiating with the HOA, cleaning, managing service providers, more cleaning, calling in all kinds of favors from friends for home improvement supplies, did I mention the cleaning?!) and in return, I would be able to live at the house for free while I pursued whatever opportunities opened for me through jab's plethora.  The agreement would exist until the house was appraised, the refinance paperwork completed and my name removed from the property. And we'd figure out how to deal with the awkward part of living together again a day at a time.

And even though the agreement was cut and dry - real life has a way of creating more hoops to jump through, more pop quizzes than you've studied for, more opportunities to feel like the awkward adolescent standing in front of the class red-cheeked with embarrassment.

To put it nicely, it has been a rich experience - and has hopefully, made me a better and stronger person.
---

But now, I am just ready to move on.

I am happy to report that the agreement is coming to its fulfillment. The house has been cleaned, the HOA placated, my friends and connections thanked and thanked again. The paperwork process was initiated, the appraisal scheduled and final details submitted to the bank for processing.

Things have been moving along. Not near fast enough to please my taste, but at least there has been forward momentum.

This week, though, has been a doozie.

I was informed by one of my closest friends that she and my ex have started a connection that they plan to pursue. And though she doesn't yet want to be called his girlfriend (by god, it's too early for that) they have kissed and she does plan to come over for romantic visits (last night, her car was still in front of the house at 4am). And she really wants our friendship to remain the same...

[Can you blame me for sleeping poorly; for rolling over at some point and checking out the window and at seeing her car, checking my phone for the time? If you want to, that's fine. Live as I have for the last 8 months and maybe you'll start acting a little crazy too.]

My ex topped that tidbit with the fact that the refi appears "dead in the water;" or at least, that's what the Banker told him. He needs me to submit my divorce paperwork, because what he's already submitted didn't fulfill the requirements of the paperwork process. And he needs to find an extra $1,400 to order to complete the process - and isn't sure where that money is going to come from.
Is it any wonder that I may have indulged at the local Martini Bar on Friday night while updating my mom on all the particulars?

To be honest with you, as ready as I am to depart this household, I don't have a place to land yet. My company and my professional engagements have grown - but not quite enough just yet. Those are ends I am desperately trying to match up as quickly as possible...understanding that ultimately the journey is not in my control.

All I can do is act in a way that I can be proud of...so that when this nightmare is over, I'm not haunted by actions that were mean and childish. My record isn't spotless, but I'm doing the best I can to make sure that it stays as clean as possible.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy from Afar

So, I think it's a very good thing that I am in the midst of 2012 Apple Adventures. There's nothing like taking out your stress on a bag of apples that need to be peeled and chopped. It's a methodical process that provides a lot of firm sensory feedback, almost soothing to a soul that's raging on the tumultuous waters of life.

 
And I am not ashamed to admit that I am the soul that needs soothing.

Today, one of my dearest friends took me out to lunch to confess that she's decided to pursue a relationship with my ex-huband. She doesn't want to be called his girlfriend (it's too soon for that) - but they have already kissed, so they intend to see where this may lead.

Did I mention that I am currently living with my ex?
Have you been following the sordid tales of my adventures this year in working with him to get a property we share ready for an appraisal? If you haven't, you're missing out - I am not going to lie. It's a great story!

And so, it's not that I begrudge their happiness.
Love happens; and attraction doesn't follow the rules. I operate a Love Letters community - I of all people know how spontaneous and imaginative the feelings of love are, and can be. So, on those terms, we're good.

I told her that it wasn't going to ruin our friendship, but that the parameters of our friendship would indeed change - there's no way to ignore or deny that fate. I also told her that she may be exactly what he needs - and that they may be very good for each other; different temperaments, like bodies, fit together differently - and some better than others.

I just don't want to tell her I told her so...when she comes to me frustrated about his behavior or about how our friendship has changed...

So, I am hoping for the best - for all of us: that they will be happy together - and that I will be able to survey their happiness from a different vantage point - not from the room down the hall.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

stuffed with kisses

We were indulging in a little before-sleepy-time-snuggle, me and the kid. Hunkered under the quilt and listing to the high powered fan cut through the quiet night.

I kissed the tip of my finger and dramatically space-shipped it up-and-over to his face. I made sure that it landed on the tip of his nose.

He giggled.

"Aw, man. I'm stuffed," he expressed delightedly.

"Wait. What?" I answered. "You're stuffed with kisses?"

"Yep," his answer was thick with amusement. "I'm not hungry anymore, because I'm stuffed!" He said it dramatically, with lots of emphasis on the word "stuffed."

"So, no more kisses?" I was checking. This momma wants to get in all the kisses I can, while I still can.

"No. I'm stuffed."

He used it perfectly - just as any of us would have after Thanksgiving dinner. And two thoughts immediately hit me...

One

I am so proud of how he's developed and progressed this past year in his ability to express himself. The kid has HFA (High Functioning Autism) and has experienced delays in many areas of development - speech being one of the major ones. We've worked hard, first with different Early Intervention Strategies and then with consistent Speech Therapy, in both a school and clinical setting.

The fact that he's internalized this idiom and is able to express it, thrills my heart. Sure, the usage is a little nontraditional but if you were a part of our family, you'd know that we feast regularly on a diet of big, fat, juicy kisses.

Two

I am so proud to have established a home environment where my kid can say - delightedly - that he's stuffed with kisses. It's been a goal to make sure that love is expressed in our household. It doesn't meant that we're happy-go-lucky all the time; but it does mean that we take every single opportunity to express affection and sincere love.

It'll change soon. Before I know it, kisses will go out of vogue. I'll have to transition to something a little more manly, like fist bumps. But, it'll be a love-expression all the same!

a frog story

It's a small story. One that I won't take too long to tell.

(Oh, my. I heard that sigh of relief. Am I really that long winded?)

I pulled up into the driveway this evening, mind filled with tasks to get ready for the yard sale I have scheduled way too early in the morning. And as I pulled up, I noticed a blot on my white garage door. At first I thought it was a leaf - we did have some righteous storms this afternoon and evening.

But the closer I got to the garage, the more I noticed its shape. A frog.
A sign of good luck - as far as I'm concerned. Of vitality...of peace...

Of course, this could be because of Peace Frogs.
I also had a frog volleyball tee in high school when I was playing on the varsity team.

Whatever the reason, frogs give me a good feeling.
Hope mixed with determination and a bit of the organic spice that flavors life.

(You can call me weirdo - that's okay. I get it a lot.)

I kept the lights on and got out of my car to take a closer look - and to snap a pic. He had his head angled just so, as if he were posing for the shot.

"Hey, buddy. That was a good shot. But I am going to come closer for another one. Stay put. I'd rather you not jump off while I am trying to get closer."

He didn't move. And I got a great shot.

"Thanks, man. That one was even better."

Then I realized we had a problem.

"Hey, man. I'm gonna need you to move. I've got to get in and start getting the signs ready for tomorrow's sale. I'd rather not have to lift the door with you still attached. Um, I'm pretty sure that you don't want me to either. So, if you could go ahead and make plans to be somewhere else, I'd appreciate that."

He lifted his head and turned it just a bit.

I'm not sure if it was an action of rebellion: "Who are you to tell me what to do, woman?!"

It might have been an action of acquiescence: "Of course. I understand and will act while you're away."

Either way, I didn't push the issue.
I left him to deal with things inside the house. I'll be back out soon enough and will deal with the situation then.

I really hope he hops away.